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Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In 1970s suburbia, Maggie and her younger siblings spend the night telling each other stories in the attic. Downstairs, as their parents entertain guests over the course of a gin-soaked evening, truths are unearthed and betrayals come to light. With standout performances from John Hawkes, Molly Parker, and a cast of talented young actors, Julia Dyer's second feature is an honest and challenging look at the reality behind the façade of a seemingly perfect American family. (Tribeca Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    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
    83
    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: Eric D. Snider
    Feb 26, 2013
    83
    The kids’ performances are effective and strong, with little touches that bring them to life as recognizable types of smart young people.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 5, 2013
    60
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Feb 7, 2013
    50
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Feb 4, 2013
    50
    Lacking much in the way of character depth, the film attempts to fill the gap with melodrama.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 8, 2013
    30
    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.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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