Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    May 26, 2014
    100
    An astonishingly beautiful, irresistibly grim movie.
  2. Reviewed by:  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    May 14, 2014
    100
    The visual and thematic palette immediately brings to mind Michael Cimino’s once-maligned "Heaven’s Gate" — except that The Immigrant accomplishes more in two hours than Heaven’s Gate did in nearly four.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 13, 2014
    100
    Gray has a knack for wrapping big themes into an intimate embrace, and The Immigrant feels both epic and fine-grained.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 13, 2014
    100
    You may often find yourself second-guessing the film, questioning how—and if—it will all come together. But by the time of the intense and impassioned climax, a storm of emotion is ensured: a great movie rising before you like a delusion, like a dream.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 15, 2014
    90
    The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 15, 2014
    90
    What really sets The Immigrant apart is how urgent it feels. Historical dramas often have a reserve that comes with perspective, but nearly a full century removed from this story, Gray seems, if anything, more emotionally invested here than in his contemporary dramas.
  7. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    May 28, 2014
    89
    The Immigrant is two hours long, but I stayed even longer in my seat, through the credits, still in thrall to it all. The title is singular, but the scope is not so easily quantifiable.
  8. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    Jun 5, 2014
    88
    Visually evokes Coppola’s "Godfather Part II" and Leone’s "Once Upon a Time in America," but in its utterly irony-free melodramatic sincerity also suggests a silent-era woman’s picture à la D.W. Griffith, King Vidor or G.W. Pabst.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 23, 2014
    88
    Marion Cotillard has made her share of unremarkable, if not remarkably bad, films. But when the French star, who won the Academy Award for her unearthly reincarnation of Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose", gets it right, the result is magic.
  10. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 22, 2014
    88
    Gray directs this handsome and evocative film with emotional restraint, making its archetypal title character a living individual whose moral journey is never simple.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    May 22, 2014
    88
    The characters look as if they’d be more comfortable with intertitles than spoken dialogue. And the faces — Marion Cotillard as Ewa, the beleaguered Polish immigrant of the title, holds a close-up as well as Lillian Gish or Louise Brooks.
  12. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Oct 4, 2013
    88
    In its stripped-down realism and blistering fixation on its main character's grappling with life and mortality, the film is kin to Roberto Rossellini's collaborations with Ingrid Bergman.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 16, 2014
    83
    The Immigrant is reaching for the same thing that Fellini achieved in “La Strada” – the state of grace that arises between people who at first would seem to have nothing in common but desolation.
  14. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 26, 2013
    83
    Gray's fifth directorial effort is a conflicting experience admirable and powerfully executed in parts, cold and meandering in others.
  15. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 26, 2013
    83
    The Immigrant is contained, restrained, thoughtful filmmaking that satisfies on nearly every level, except for the desire for a little chaos.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 22, 2014
    80
    The Immigrant is not exactly the feel-good hit of the summer, but it is a compelling tale of what, in the end, can only be called survival.
  17. 80
    It’s richer than anything onscreen right now. It’s worth the pain.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 17, 2014
    80
    The strength of Gray’s movie lies in showing the connection between people in a place without rules.
  19. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 15, 2014
    80
    Though the film is sometimes as fraught as the immigrant experience, in the end the ideas are so rich, the look so lovely, Ewa's journey so heartbreakingly real, even the flaws seem to suit it.
  20. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Oct 6, 2013
    80
    Its final scenes and sublimely framed last, lingering shot are extraordinary.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    May 26, 2013
    80
    This rich, beautifully rendered film boasts an arrestingly soulful performance from Marion Cotillard.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 22, 2014
    75
    The Immigrant is not unlike a Prohibition-era “Taxi Driver,” with Cotillard as the apprentice hooker, Phoenix as the sweet-talking pimp and Jeremy Renner (playing the theater’s magician, Orlando) as the would-be savior.
  23. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 22, 2014
    75
    This is the first film Gray has made with a female protagonist — he wrote the part specifically for Cotillard — and he gives the character the same resilience and resourcefulness usually reserved in movies for men.
  24. Reviewed by: Dan Callahan
    May 16, 2014
    75
    If we can accept it on its own terms, The Immigrant has many moments of exceptional power and rare delicacy.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 15, 2014
    75
    What sounds like undiluted melodrama with the hounds forever nipping at Ewa's heels is transformed by Gray into a mesmerizing meditation on the broken American promise.
  26. Reviewed by: Diane Garrett
    May 15, 2014
    70
    Gray does show some amusing facets of this world, such as prostitutes dressed up as society figures like the Rockefellers and Astors, for instance, but mostly The Immigrant is a bleak affair.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 15, 2014
    70
    I wanted to fall under this movie’s spell as if watching one of those early 20th-century immigrant melodramas — instead, it felt like visiting a meticulously appointed but too-tidy historical museum.
  28. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 26, 2013
    70
    Enhanced by a splendidly atmospheric recreation of the Lower East Side, the intimately focused work is anchored by another superior performance by Marion Cotillard.
  29. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 14, 2014
    63
    Phoenix, who was so subtle in “Her” and brilliantly tortured in “The Master,” has lapsed back into the shouty bombast style of his “Gladiator” days, but his efforts to make the character seem layered are to little avail, especially given that Gray waits until the end to try to make him a tragic figure instead of merely a sleazy one.
  30. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 15, 2014
    50
    Glimmers of a fascinating and lively period film surface and fade in the first half-hour of The Immigrant. What predominates is a dully morose, overheated and implausible story.
  31. Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 12, 2014
    40
    In this movie, Phoenix turns himself inside out, but Cotillard’s reserved performance doesn’t move us. Bruno advances in his confused way, Ewa resists, and, despite Jeremy Renner’s flickering presence, the movie becomes dour and repetitive. Looking at them, you finally think, Enough! Life must be elsewhere.
  32. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 26, 2013
    40
    The Immigrant promises rich territory to explore, but in the execution it’s overly stately, dreary and unconvincing.
  33. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 26, 2013
    40
    The Immigrant is certainly different: but Gray seems to run out of ideas and the film is shapeless and unsatisfying.
  34. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 26, 2013
    40
    Dialogue aside, the craftsmanship is unimpeachable, and Gray takes a timeless approach to pacing and camerawork: even the sunlight is sepia-tinted. But the grand themes of loyalty and ambition never catch fire, and the film’s few truly memorable moments are invariably its smallest.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 3 out of 9
  1. May 16, 2014
    9
    Beautifully filmed and featuring 3 superb performances from Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner. Not everyone will enjoy the pace, but the film is most rewarding to people who pay close attention to its details. Films just aren't made like this anymore. I consider it to be one of Grays best, and with career-best performances from Cotillard and Renner. I think there's a chance that the audience for this kind of film will be smaller than others, slow building melodramas typically are these days, but Gray has made a masterpiece of his. Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2014
    3
    A plodding, directionless period piece melodrama whose meandering script and largely one-dimensional characters are unable to elevate this film to the loftiness to which it aspires. Regrettably, its exquisite cinematography and fine production values aren't enough to salvage this otherwise-mediocre offering. Full Review »
  3. May 29, 2014
    6
    In the early 20s, a Polish woman (Marion Cotillard) immigrates to America, only to find herself forced into prostitution by Joaquin Phoenix's character. This film is as desperately bleak as it sounds: a relentless downer that had potential to be grand and moving, but is hindered by the contrived plot, the glacial pace and the overblown orchestrations. Darius Khondji's cinematography is lovely, but bathed in an unoriginal sepia cast. Cotillard works those big eyes to full effect as she suffers endlessly, while Phoenix practically twirls his non-existent moustache. The period situations are interesting, but the dramatic potential is amped up to melodrama. Full Review »