Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Three years after entering prison for robbery as a 19-year-old heroin addict, Sherry Swanson (Gyllenhaal) begins her first day of freedom, clean and sober. A model prisoner who has undergone personal transformation, she immediately sets out to regain custody of her young daughter Alexis. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Maggie Gyllenhaal is such a miracle of an actress that she makes you respond to the innocence of Sherry's desperate, selfish destruction.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Maggie Gyllenhaal cements her reputation as a gifted, if somewhat aloof, actress in Laurie Collyer's sad character piece.
  3. What distinguishes the film from its many peers is the quality of Ms. Collyer’s writing -- which rarely reaches for obvious, melodramatic beats -- and the precision of Ms. Gyllenhaal’s performance. She treats the character neither as a case study nor as an opportunity to show off her range, but rather as a completely ordinary and therefore arrestingly complicated person.
  4. 70
    Gyllenhaal turns the young ex-con into an enormously sympathetic figure, but by the end there's no denying that her need for the girl is as selfish as her addiction.
  5. 70
    The wonder of Sherrybaby is that we can admire Sherry's exuberance and evident love of life -- and the extraordinary actress who portrays her -- without really being sure where she's going.
  6. 50
    Sherrybaby is the kind of pretend-arty Sundance thing that gives indie cinema a bad name.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    A movie bursting with nothingness.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Mase
    Sep 19, 2006
    Well Done!!, Very honest real filmaking, for anyone who knows someone like Sherry this should hit close too home.
  2. LeeA.
    Mar 18, 2008
    Trejo was pitch perfect. Esposito about as authentic as his turn in, "The Wire." Gyllenhaal...what better to say than her performance was not like watching a consummate actor; it was like observing the real thing. As for Collyer's script: she's either a 12 stepper, or one terrifically objective and, ( in this sense, could this be an oxymron??, ) "sympathetic" medium. Expand
  3. James
    Sep 11, 2006
    Maggie Gyllenhaal is terrific! She just breathes life into this film. No sugar coating, just gutsy, eye-opening acting. WOW.
  4. MichaelL.
    Apr 12, 2007
    This is a wonderful film; difficult to watch, yet exceptional in its humanity. Yes, we might know where it's going, but it's a miraculous ride. Maggie Gylllenhaal is astoundingly "real" as Sherry. There isn't a strained, inauthentic moment in her performance. She is 100% raw. Anyone with an ounce of insight into human nature, or an understanding of the trauma "bad parenting" inflicts will find a way to connect with Sherry. Don't miss it. Expand
  5. ChristopherW.
    Jan 25, 2007
    Sherrybaby is a remarkable film partly because Gyllenhaal's character is so unremarkable. This desperate emotionally desolate woman is not necessarily the kind of heroine who rises above adversity to become something more extraordinary. The film treats her as a deeply flawed and wounded young woman who is unappealing and manipulative. Gyllenhaal strikes all the right notes with this performance. It's a gutsy courageous performance because a lesser actress may have tried to make the character more sympathetic and ostentatious. One of the many strong aspects of this film is the genuine honesty and natural realism that Gyllenhaal and the actress that plays her daughter were able to convey in their pivotal scenes together. This made the film's emotional punch all the more devestating. As a harrowing glimpse into a life that ran far off the tracks, Sherrybaby is a powerful viewing experience. Don't look for a happy ending. This is not that kind of film. Just be prepared for a difficult, naked, but nonetheless compelling character study. Expand
  6. HansB.
    Feb 20, 2007
    Maggie was fanstastic (10). The story was so so (6) --> 8.
  7. Meghan
    Jul 14, 2007
    Overrated. Vulgar for the sake of jusy being vulgar because it's an "independent film" and they feel that they can could get away with it. Magge G did nothing but whine her way through it. Questions were left unanswered. Thoroughly disappointing. I wish they had just stayed with the mother daughter aspect of the film instead of constantly going to the sex aspect of the film. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews