The Playroom


Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Feb 7, 2013
    The Playroom captures the malaise of mid-’70s suburbia with a merciless accuracy not seen since Ang Lee’s 1997 film, “The Ice Storm.”
  2. Reviewed by: Eric D. Snider
    Feb 26, 2013
    The kids’ performances are effective and strong, with little touches that bring them to life as recognizable types of smart young people.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Feb 5, 2013
    The Playroom jettisons all things cute, but still takes flight by portraying the characters, adult and juvenile, under direct lighting, and asking you if you care about them.
  4. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Feb 5, 2013
    A rare example of a grown-up story compellingly told from the perspective of children, The Playroom is a modest gem.
  5. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Feb 7, 2013
    The drama often feels posed and inert. Even so, it strikes more than a few chords as it digs deeper than period cliché.
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 5, 2013
    The precedent for a movie like this is Ang Lee’s bruised "The Ice Storm," but whereas that film sprung from a novel that burns with indictment, Julia Dyer’s effort — scripted by her late sister, Gretchen — is a more open-ended affair and slightly unsatisfying for it.
  7. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Feb 7, 2013
    Although Dyer's sophomore feature clearly intends to capture the magical otherness of a child's p.o.v., nothing in her strangely aloof mise-en-scene or her late sister Gretchen's script yields anything more than a group of well-thesped, believable suburban kids upset by their parents' behavior.
  8. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Feb 4, 2013
    Lacking much in the way of character depth, the film attempts to fill the gap with melodrama.
  9. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Feb 6, 2013
    More than anything, The Playroom feels like an excuse to explore this retro house from a child’s point of view—which is perfectly okay, provided no one breaks the spell by talking.
  10. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Feb 7, 2013
    The tone of The Playroom is one of soppy moroseness. This imitation “Ice Storm” is as refreshing as a step into a puddle of slush.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 8, 2013
    Between the loaded conversations and metaphors, and the phony overlay of a children's fairy tale, The Playroom can't stop telegraphing themes and interpreting itself. There's nothing left for the audience to do.

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