Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Watch On
  1. 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.
  2. David Gordon Green's captivating winter-chill tragedy, is a tale that encompasses murder, divorce, adultery, alcohol abuse, mental breakdown, and the disappearance of a small child. In other words, it's downbeat enough to make the recent Oscar-nominated films look like party games.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    An intriguing and somber tale of disintegrating and disappointing relationships fused with a coming-of-age story.
  4. 50
    I left as frustrated as that band teacher is at the beginning of the movie. Enough with these meek, banal exercises, David Gordon Green. Hit me with the sledgehammer in your heart.
  5. Disturbingly good. The writing and the performances are such that as things go from bad (sad motel-room affairs) to worse (a 4-year-old gone missing), the film's characters get inside your skin, your soul. It's enough to make you want to cry.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Green and his regular cinematographer Tim Orr have a feel for the sad, generic landscape of small-town America, but rather than adding to an overarching melancholy it only reinforces an already drab, at times bizarrely comic tone.
  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.
  8. 67
    In spite of strong performances and a characteristically vivid sense of place, the film feels disjointed and heavy.
  9. Green is a rare bird in American filmmaking: a humanist who knows how to tell a story.
  10. 60
    For a film full of murder, jealousy and fatalism, Snow Angels feels curiously small and anecdotal, and its impact diminishes as it nears its terrible conclusion.
  11. 70
    A power­ful drama, but if I didn’t know Green had directed it I probably wouldn’t have guessed.
  12. Green knows how to convey a mood visually and develop tension with his camera. He just doesn't give people enough interesting things to say or know when to shut them up.
  13. 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.
  14. 58
    Kate Beckinsale is too good for any of the guys in Snow Angels and too good for this movie. Her inventiveness exposes just how puny this movie is.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The film's success is due in large part to actors who are both faithful to all the social minutiae and seductive enough to keep you watching.
  16. For all the misery and emotional mess of Snow Angels, Green finds resilience and hope in the kids and even in some of the grown-ups.
  17. 91
    The result feels less like selling out than growing up.
  18. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    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."
  19. Revelatory as well as unsettling.
  20. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    All of these actors are incredibly fine, and as a confirmed Beckinsale non-fan, I'm obliged to say that she really knocked me out here.
  21. Despite all-around wonderful performances and excellent dialogue, the story never quite coheres narratively. Instead it moves toward a hopelessly bleak -- and I mean bleak -- climax that's more traumatic than dramatic.
  22. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Snow Angels succeeds because of the depth of its well-drawn characters. With no cinematic sugarcoating, it's an organic story that draws us in to these people's lives, as flawed and destructive as they may be.
  23. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    It does give Sam Rockwell another opportunity to creep us out, and Kate Beckinsale a new shot at believability. Too bad the movie around them meanders.
  24. Reviewed by: Jason Anderson
    Thoughtfully crafted but ultimately lugubrious, Green's latest only really connects when the director sticks to the small stuff.
  25. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    With a deep understanding of his characters, Green has crafted a film that's devastating and uplifting without sounding a false note.
  26. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    Few filmmakers these days are as capable and assured with the fumbling ambivalence of human conversation as Green is; his ear for the half-truths, misapprehensions, and long-simmering defensiveness of everyday dialogue is a wonder to behold.
  27. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    What saves this heavy, heavy material from sinking into the chill, familiar turf of the Small-Town Midwinter Tragedy is Green's practiced ear for verbal idiosyncrasy and off-kilter conversation rhythms.
  28. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Despite the foibles that have affected his films, the dramatic image has always been important to Green, who has developed quite a cult following and deserves it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. JW
    Mar 10, 2009
    One of the most stunning, brilliant, and harrowing movies of the past decade.
  2. TomM.
    Sep 24, 2008
    Occasionally one comes across a flick that throughout its viewing it is difficult to believe that you are actually watching a film, that is, 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. Full Review »
  3. JayH.
    Sep 11, 2008
    Very believably done, exceptionally well written. The performances are excellent and convincing. Fine direction. Fine film, although it can 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. Full Review »