User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 158

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  1. Oct 14, 2011
    4
    Curtis (Michael Shannon) is having bad dreams. Bad dreams are a bit low key to accurately describe what he dreams at night; absolute night terrors works better. He dreams his faithful dog suddenly attacks him and takes a chunk out of his arm and later he dreams his best buddy stabs him with a pickax. There is no warning these events would ever occur in reality, but for some reason, Curtisâ Expand
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    3
    Please don't waste your time or money on this clunker. It would have made a nice 1 hour Twilight Zone episode, but nothing more or better than that. A groaner of an ending. ``YGHhhhhh - wish I stayed home
  3. Mar 6, 2012
    3
    slow and spiritless. the entire movie labors to reach the pinnacle ending which is anticlimactic. you will feel cheated.
  4. Dec 5, 2011
    4
    Poorly directed, too long, and done on the cheap. Trying to build suspense has rendered the film boring. I should have spend my money on the muppets.
  5. Oct 23, 2011
    3
    I wish I had read some of these user reviews before going to see the movie. Manipulative is the key criticism. The film-makers toy with viewer's emotions without grounding the plot in any real insights into human nature or interpersonal dynamics.
  6. Oct 17, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a mostly well executed movie that is completely undone by its ending, which essentially turns the film into an offensive parody of mental illness. If the hook had been delivered as they emerged from the shelter, it would have worked. But after they spoke with the doctor it crossed the line. Expand
  7. MJT
    Oct 23, 2011
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow is this movie overrated. There are some things to admire: the actors are all very good and the cinematography is outstanding. But, somehow it doesn't quite work. I'll point out one element that seems dishonest and safe: having the daughter be hearing-impaired means that the filmmaker doesn't have to really give her a point of view. That is dishonest because of course she has emotions. She just sits like a sweet little cherub (and she is adorable). But, she is given no room to react to the craziness around her. Kids have personalities too. Key scenes that show this: We get to see some of her spunk when she is feeding the dog some of her own breakfast in the opening scene...but later when her father gives the dog away we get no reaction from anyone--not even a mention of it! That shows me the filmmaker wasn't really interested in the real emotions of the family members. The whole film felt designed to get good reviews, but it felt very manipulative to me. Expand
  8. Feb 21, 2012
    3
    Not a disaster movie, just a depressing movie that doesn't make sense with no escapism factor. They tacked a cheesy ending on it because they knew no one would want to see this movie if it was honest about itself.
  9. Dec 4, 2011
    0
    This movie was so horrible it compelled me to join this site just so I could review it. Everyone better "take shelter" from this mess of a movie. In a theater of 20 people on a cold Sunday night, 10 people, including me, walked out within the first hour. The entire first hour consisted of no plot development. Every 10 minutes this guy was having nightmares, and the only purpose of these dreams was apparently to scare the sh*t out of the audience. By the third nightmare, I was over it. Based on the spoilers I've read, apparently this crap just continues the entire length of the movie. It's a 15 minute plot spread out for what feels like an eternity. Clearly there must be someone in this movie --- either an actor, or someone behind the scenes --- who has a cult following, as it would be the only explanation as to why it has such high ratings on here. It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life. If you want to see great acting and "cinematography", or whatever the hell else people are saying is so great about this movie, you'd be better off seeing a movie whose writing didn't suck. MESS! Expand
  10. Jul 12, 2012
    1
    I am diagnosed with Bi-polar. I have been around many people with Schizophrenia and have talked with them about it. I have yet to meet anyone yet who has said they have the hallucinations that people have in these movies that try to sympathize with people with mental illness. Even a Beautiful Mind, another train wreck of a movie that makes portrays mental illness symptoms in Hollywood form, a.k.a., a fairy tale. They don't exist. After watching this movie I am again insulted with the way this is all represented. Even the fighting with his friend is very phony. And no one possibly could get the ending of this movie cause it has an infinite amount of possibilities on what it could actually mean. I am glad I downloaded this movie and didn't waste my money renting it, or wasted a Netflix slot. As far as the acting, I didn't think that Michael Shannon's job was very difficult when I thought about it. He usually just has a blank face. Emotionless. Who couldn't do that? This is one of those movies that critic's like because it's a very different kind of movie. Maybe if they would have turned around and seen have the audience sleeping it would have altered there final scores. Only reason I gave it a 1 is because I did like a few of the camera shots. A few were memorable. But too movie as a movie whole. It isn't very memorable. Expand
  11. Mar 2, 2012
    4
    A boring film with above average acting, nice effects, and a story that grabbed me at the beginning, then lost a little bit at a time, right up to the predictable ending. It just wasn't fun, the only root was for the daughter. Some nice marks for the loving wife who puts up with it all. Is it faith, mental illness, or actually "the prime mover"? Although there is evidence for all three, I never found out and didn't care to form my own opinion because Mr. Shannon couldn't make me care. In the end not quite a poor film, so a C-. Expand
  12. Mar 8, 2012
    2
    I really, really don't understand why this movie scored so highly with the critics. If I had to choose one word to describe it, it would be 'tedious'. It was like watching a reenactment of someone's uninteresting (although unfortunate) life, with a few interesting dreams thrown in. I was waiting for the movie to begin all the way through until it ended.
  13. Mar 30, 2012
    2
    Most boring, slow paced movie I've stuck with hoping things would change, but alas - NOT. The broody thing got old fast and the mental illness vs. cosmic connection to nature of sorts just didn't work. Felt cheated for sticking through to the end... and why would you want to go broke, lose job, etc. adding on to a perfectly adequate concrete storm cellar... oh yeah, do you think you would stand around exchanging I-told-you-so nods in the face of the events shaping up in the final scene? blah! Expand
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Nov 21, 2011
    80
    Terrific. Michael Shannon delivers a fractured everyman who'll stay with you long after the final frame.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 6, 2011
    75
    All in all, Nichols ends up with a richly drawn, and at times disturbing, portrait of one man's descent into madness.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 28, 2011
    88
    Shannon's powerfully imploded performance ignites one of the best films of the year.