Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Has some good performances (Ms. Moore's ongoing snit is a terrifically sustained bit of glowering), but it only barely begins to knit its self-pitying characters into a credible family unit. They are oddballs with attitude.
  2. When all is fretted and done, there's little dramatic payoff in this moody first feature by Bart Freundlich. But cinematographer Stephen Kazmierski's images are appealing, and the mood is on target -- Thanksgiving as hell.
  3. The film has a kind of echo-filled emptiness to it that some will take as profundity and others as mere emptiness.
  4. Reviewed by: Denise Lanctot
    50
    The first-rate cast is wasted serving up this melodramatic turkey.
  5. 50
    An overly mannered film drowning in the symptoms of dysfunction but unable to tap the root causes of this WASPish clan's pain except in the most oblique and cursory ways. This might be Freundlich's point, considering this family deals with its problems through avoidance.
  6. As Freundlich surely knew, he must have counted, as do we, on the revelation of character to enrich the piece. It doesn't happen. None of the people is particularly interesting, not even the obligatory neurotic, well enough played by Julianne Moore. [6 October 1997, p. 28]
  7. 40
    The Myth of Fingerprints is only 90 minutes long, but watching all this tasteful torment, you can't help thinking that if you were watching a Jewish family or an Italian one, the air would be cleared -- and you'd be out of the theater -- a hell of a lot quicker.

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