The Motel Life

  • Studio:
  • Release Date: Nov 8, 2013
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Nov 7, 2013
    60
    The feature spikes its lonesome mood with shots of dry humor, animated sequences and flashbacks — at times overplaying its hand, even as Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff wordlessly convey all that needs to be said.
  2. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Nov 7, 2013
    60
    While this gritty indie is light on plot, the world of bars, casinos, hospitals and gallows humor is real and heartbreaking.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Nov 6, 2013
    60
    What is successful, and suggests a promising future for the Polsky brothers as directors, is the film’s central relationship, which never feels less than genuine.
  4. Reviewed by: Boyd van Hoeij
    Nov 11, 2013
    50
    So full of explanatory flashbacks and animated sequences visualizing the characters’ invented yarns that their real dramas are indeed almost obscured.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    Not surprisingly in this tale of desperate men, the only women are top-heavy cartoon characters — literally, animated sequences illustrate Frank’s stories — or live-action betrayers, like Dakota Fanning’s Annie, Frank’s ex-girlfriend. I found the cartoons more interesting.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    It's admirable and even memorable, in its moody fashion, thanks to Roman Vasyanov's richly textured cinematography — he's a shooter to keep our eyes on — and three affecting performances.
  7. Reviewed by: Zachary Wigon
    Nov 5, 2013
    40
    The Motel Life too often revisits the same emotions and sentiments, leaving us with a portrait that feels frustratingly simple.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 24, 2014
    10
    A tragic story of two brothers - drunk, drifting along, and determined to distract themselves from their lives, both present and past. TheA tragic story of two brothers - drunk, drifting along, and determined to distract themselves from their lives, both present and past. The animation, making the harsh realities of these men almost dream-like, brings to life this drunken journey in an icy and isolating environment. Full Review »
  2. Feb 25, 2014
    10
    A really great performance from the actors! Emile Hirsch and Kris Kristofferson jump off the screen with their powerful performances. Not toA really great performance from the actors! Emile Hirsch and Kris Kristofferson jump off the screen with their powerful performances. Not to mention the visuals are gorgeous. A really strong directorial debut from the Polsky Brothers. I look forward to seeing what else they come out with in the future! Full Review »