Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 100
    This great film by Anthony Fabian tells this story through the eyes of a happy girl who grows into an outsider.
  2. 38
    It’s a fascinating story: part genetic mystery, part socio-racial tragedy. However, Laing’s life, despite its inherent melodrama, does not automatically lend itself to the screen.
  3. Inherently dramatic but needed a stronger director than Anthony Fabian, who overdoes understatement.
  4. 50
    The direction is never more than conventional, with a tear-inducing finale better suited to a TV soap opera.
  5. Skin is both exasperatingly choppy and exceptionally moving.
  6. A little more variation in the script, though, might have yielded something truly great.
  7. Alas, Mr. Fabian, directing his first feature-length fiction film, uses a club whenever a feather would do. He also mishandles the actors, in particular Mr. Neill and Ms. Okonedo, both of whom have been incomparably better elsewhere.
  8. If you didn't know that it was based on a true story, Skin would be a little hard to believe.
  9. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    One of the more bizarre illustrations of racial injustice under apartheid is dramatized in Skin.
  10. Too many of the characters are either good or bad, and that loss of nuance is missed.
  11. The fact that it's actually based on a true story adds an extra layer of poignancy, heightened further by another superb Sophie Okonedo performance.
  12. Ella Ramangwane gives a fine performance as the young Sandra.
  13. Director Anthony Fabian lets the story sell itself, and it does so partly on the strength of the lead performance by Sophie Okonedo.
  14. Reviewed by: Kevin B. Lee
    40
    The story is too rich in incident for Fabian, whose episodic TV-movie approach speeds through Laing’s lifetime of abuse.
  15. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    83
    A tragic, enraging, and uplifting tale.
  16. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    70
    This workmanlike, but enormously moving, movie makes the case that apartheid really does control her life, even her decision to rebel and get involved with a black man.

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