Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 20, 2013
    It’s so assured and accomplished, so rigorous on both a human and technical level, and so clearly driven by love for this harsh landscape and its hardened people, that I was entirely swept away by its characters and their story.
  2. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Dec 17, 2013
    Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling.
  3. Reviewed by: Paul Bradshaw
    Oct 24, 2013
    Carried aloft by the remarkable performances of her two young leads, Clio Barnard’s poignant, unflinching slice of hard-knock-life grips tight and lingers long. Britain’s definitely got talent.
  4. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    May 27, 2013
    The film’s turn toward the tragic is hardly untelegraphed, but its emotional blows still land with crushing precision.
  5. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 27, 2013
    So hauntingly perfect is Barnard’s film, and so skin-pricklingly alive does it make you feel to watch it, that at first you can hardly believe the sum of what you have seen.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 20, 2013
    As Arbor, nonprofessional actor Chapman gives one of the fiercest performances of this kind since Martin Compston's turn as a different sort of teenage entrepreneur in Loach's 2002 film "Sweet Sixteen." He's riveting, even in his final moment of calm.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Dec 18, 2013
    That The Selfish Giant feels familiar rather than groundbreaking makes it seem to some degree a step back for its talented director, but she’s avoided the sophomore jinx with aplomb.
  8. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Jul 8, 2013
    The Selfish Giant preaches compassion by showing us in its very closing moments, the fathomless goodness that can lie beneath even the spittingest, snarlingest exterior.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 5, 2014
    a movie not many will see. a shame. it is, head and shoulders, better than 99.9% of the crap coming out of hollywood. unflinching, unsentimental, but very moving and sensitive. i missed a good quarter of the dialogue because i couldn't sort out the Northern accent. which really didn't matter. the story was so well conveyed cinematically and through the actors, it is easily grasped. outstanding. Full Review »
  2. Mar 25, 2014
    A surprisingly good movie, unexpectedly exceeded all my expectations and put me on speechless. It was inspired by the Oscar Wilde story which portrays two English boys who are suspended from their school for misbehaving. They are inherited from the poor family which led them to work for a local scrap dealer. After sometime the things changes between them and decides to move in different directions, which ends in a shocking tragedy.

    The story was told in a straight forward flow in a raw form with a possible realistic approach. Great performance by the two inexperience kids and a fine direction. One of the best British movie in a recent past with a good message carrying in it.

    The Story of a two kids with different characteristic nature, but same interest which puts them together. The relationship between them and the path they choose to travel in life was clearly depicted. And so the nature of unexpected accident that strike without a warning. All together this movie became a solid piece of cinema, but a bit rough in parts.

    Since 'Paranoid Park' I have not disturbed by any film scenes. The whole day I was thinking about the disaster that happened in this movie. For that scene alone this movie deserves to be R rated. Also, there are many bad words used in dialogues which is not suitable for kids. I love British movie, if you do as well then don't miss this movie.
    Full Review »