Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Emma Bernstein
    Oct 4, 2012
    100
    Sister is as bleak and as beautiful as its snowy, mountainous setting.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 17, 2012
    91
    The high-low setting effectively reinforces the emotional geography of both lost souls. Gillian Anderson makes a brief, well-placed appearance as one of the rich.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 5, 2012
    91
    Her film is closer to Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" in the way it gets inside the gumption and desperation of childhood lived on the edge. It's a terrific, bracingly sad movie.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 4, 2012
    91
    Sister may not arrive at a happy ending, but the lack of resolution -- capped off by the powerful last image --completes its journey to a place of rousing emotional clarity.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Director Ursula Meier's Sister is a penetrating study of familial bonds, quietly devastating in parts, beautiful on whole and destined to make you fall in love with a practiced and entirely amoral preteen thief.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 2, 2012
    88
    Haunting and sad. And absolutely worth seeing.
  7. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 18, 2012
    88
    It's delicately made, yet forceful in its delicacy.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 3, 2012
    83
    In an unusually subtle performance by a child actor, Kacey Mottet Klein stars as a crafty ragamuffin.
  9. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Oct 20, 2012
    80
    Meier and cinematographer Agnès Godard make potent use of the setting's alternating highs and lows, delivering a jolt of heartbreaking hope in the film's final image.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Oct 17, 2012
    80
    The strong supporting gallery - including Gillian Anderson and Martin Compston - feels underused, but Meier and her ace DoP Agnès Godard make shrewd use of the dramatic alpine locations.
  11. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 4, 2012
    80
    Trading the cooler, more emotionally detached style and vibe that characterized "Home," her debut feature, about a family falling apart, Ms. Meier quietly goes for the emotional jugular in Sister.
  12. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 2, 2012
    80
    Meier is clearly carving out a path all her own; the next one should be a gem.
  13. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 17, 2013
    75
    The style and subject matter recall the films of the Dardenne brothers, ("The Kid With a Bike") and while Sister never reaches the heights of their best work, it earns the comparison.
  14. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Nov 9, 2012
    75
    The real acting laurels go to Klein, who is both an adult and a child - by turns smart and not so smart, brave and fearful, caring and full of disdain.
  15. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Oct 5, 2012
    75
    Meier's tight focus on her primary characters pays off: Seydoux brings a strong array of emotions to a highly unsympathetic part. And Klein, whether plugging his ears with cigarette filters or suddenly embracing a woman he barely knows, is heartbreaking.
  16. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Oct 2, 2012
    75
    Ursula Meier's film is sustained by a sturdy emotional engine and some intrepidly thoughtful characterization.
  17. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Oct 5, 2012
    70
    Sister offers several reasons why the boy can't or won't return to ski-resort robbery next winter. But the movie also quietly suggests that, whatever he does, Simon will always be the boy from down below, boldly impersonating someone born to the heights.
  18. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Oct 4, 2012
    70
    Likely to create considerable nervous tension among viewers who think they've seen this all before. They haven't.
  19. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Oct 2, 2012
    70
    Writer/director Ursula Meier uses a stripped-down, naturalistic aesthetic full of well-organized compositions that pay close attention to shifts in character mood, comportment, and behavior.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 23, 2014
    7
    The cool thing about sister is that It really makes you curious about what it is about/what is going to happen. Its pleasant enough, and quiteThe cool thing about sister is that It really makes you curious about what it is about/what is going to happen. Its pleasant enough, and quite likeable. Full Review »
  2. Dec 9, 2012
    6
    One look at the description and you know what you're getting into: a bleak, realistic European drama that probably isn't the best choice forOne look at the description and you know what you're getting into: a bleak, realistic European drama that probably isn't the best choice for movie night with your friends. It's unpleasant, it's the exact opposite of entertaining, but it's compelling, the acting is solid, and if "scenes from a Swiss boy's messed up childhood" sounds like something you'd want to see, you won't be disappointed. Full Review »