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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A story of love lost and found in a small town, Snow Angels is a heartrending portrayal of three couples in various stages of life orbiting around each other in search of connection and meaning. An unexpected act of violence disrupts the lives of these intertwined couples and reveals the profound moments in which they each realize how precarious and remarkable life can be. High-school student Arthur plays trombone in the marching band, busses tables at the local Chinese restaurant, and avoids his squabbling parents. At work, he flirts with Annie, who used to be his babysitter. Annie is trying to build a new life for herself and her daughter after splitting with high-school sweetheart Glenn. A man with a troubled past, Glenn hopes to make a new start by getting a job and reconnecting with his family. At school, Arthur meets a pretty girl, Lila, who is just as nerdy as he is, and they quickly develop a crush on one another. Though Lila makes her feelings for Arthur painfully obvious, Arthur is reluctant to accept her advances as he watches his father move out of the family home while his mother struggles to keep things together. Determined to find happiness, Arthur begins to fall for the irresistible Lila, even as he witnesses Annie and Glenn tear one another apart in a series of distressing encounters that occur at the same time as his parents begin separate lives. Then, on a cold winter morning, Glenn and Annie's past catches up with their future. In one shocking moment, all of the pain and struggle comes to a screeching halt. For them, and for everyone who knows them, nothing will ever be the same. (Warner Independent Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Green is a rare bird in American filmmaking: a humanist who knows how to tell a story.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    90
    With a deep understanding of his characters, Green has crafted a film that's devastating and uplifting without sounding a false note.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    80
    Emotionally harrowing and gentle by turns, this well-acted winter's tale is a more narrative-driven experience than Green's more lyrical Sundance entries, "George Washington" and "All the Real Girls."
  4. 70
    A power­ful drama, but if I didn’t know Green had directed it I probably wouldn’t have guessed.
  5. 63
    Frankly, Snow Angels is a downer. This isn't inherently a negative - after all, some of the cinema's most powerful motion pictures are downbeat. However, in this case, there's no emotional force behind all the gloom - just a sense that something's missing.
  6. 60
    Beckinsale tackles the downscale role manfully, but Rockwell is nearly unrecognizable as the pudgy, suicidally depressed, chronically inept Glenn, who's acting out a half-convincing portrayal of himself as a born-again Christian.
  7. Scene by scene his (David Gordon Green’s) new film, Snow Angels, isn’t terrible. Parts of it are amusing, and there are wintry images that eat into the mind. But it’s one of the most disjunctive things I’ve ever sat through.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. JoeZ.
    Mar 14, 2008
    10
    Sam Rockwell brings to the screen a very believable devastation of the heart. His acting is the best yet. It is not a happy story but the experience of true sadness has never been so well performed by this cast of characters. Expand
  2. ChadS.
    Apr 19, 2008
    10
    Once when Arthur(Michael Angarano) was just a boy, he spied on his babysitter in the shower. Even though Lila(Olivia Thirlby) occupies the left side of Arthur's bed, she will never replace the babysitter in his heart. Back in the day, Annie(Kate Beckinsale) didn't walk, she floated up and down the sidewalks of her small New England town. Years later, it turns out that Annie was mortal, after all. Arthur works with his former babysitter at a Chinese restaurant. You've seen Annie's type before. She's the incongruous knockout ringing up your groceries at the checkout line in your supermarket, or she might be the "sandwich artist" asking you if "...you want the meal." These women have a story. A hard-luck story. It usually involves marrying the wrong guy, and having the wrong guy's child. That's Annie's story. That's why she's waiting on tables. In "Snow Angels", we see both: the fruition of young love, and the disintegration of a love gone to seed. With a little more time, Arthur's idealized ardor for Annie might've come full circle. It would've been a travesty, but by no means, a tragedy, given the context of what happens. "Snow Angels" is a sad movie, but sometimes sad movies say so much. Expand
  3. JW
    Mar 10, 2009
    10
    One of the most stunning, brilliant, and harrowing movies of the past decade.
  4. TomM.
    Sep 24, 2008
    8
    Occasionally one comes across a flick that throughout its viewing it is difficult to believe that you are actually watching a film, that is, the portrayals and details of the storyline are so real it stuns. Snow Angels is such a film. Every character and every cast member shine in this incredibly human story, essentially about two couples--one, somewhat seasoned but estranged and trapped by irredeemable despair; the other, coming of age and enheartened by the discovery and hope of first love. Kate Beckinsale, as the struggling lead character, and Michael Angarano, as the grappling teenager, are absolutely perfect, as is Sam Rockwood, playing the reborn and suicidal ex-husband. Incidentally, Rockwood's portrayal of a drunk stumbling violently through scene after scene is about as masterful a performance as you'll ever want to see. The man is truly gifted. The pacing of the film is a bit disorienting at first, with parallel and allied scenes threatening to overwhelm; but, gradually the effect cooks, adding to the starkness of it all. Expand
  5. JayH.
    Sep 11, 2008
    7
    Very believably done, exceptionally well written. The performances are excellent and convincing. Fine direction. Fine film, although it can be a bit of a downer. Expand
  6. MichaelE.
    Apr 18, 2008
    6
    Well-made in all respects,with honesty and a startling turn from Sam Rockwell to recommend it, but it just screams "indie movie" and the story seems to made up entirely out of cliches from the "things that will get your movie into Sundance" checklist. Storywise there are no real surprises, and if the ending isn't obvious from the first act, it becomes jarringly so about halfway through. Expand
  7. ElizabethC.
    Apr 4, 2008
    5
    This film does feature some good naturalistic acting by Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell, a good sense of place and the director has promise. Yet I found that I couldn't get involved with the characters, and I was bored despite the melodramatic plot. The fault is with the writing, which is very disjointed as it jumps from character to character. I also found the rather generic teenage romance to be superfluous and distracting from the main plot. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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