Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario), a troubled girl, becomes preoccupied with her mysterious, new neighbor (Jessica Biel), who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to babysit her newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper. [Tribeca Film] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 17
  2. Negative: 6 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Annlee Ellingson
    Jan 9, 2014
    Writer-director Francesca Gregorini builds unbearable tension into scenes that otherwise risk tilting toward melodrama and brings the eye of a fashion photographer to the film's hallucinatory dream sequences.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Jan 10, 2014
    Despite some very welcome black comedy — Jimmi Simpson appears delightfully, but too briefly, as a passive-aggressive co-worker who threatens to unravel the cocoon of delusion in which Emanuel has wrapped herself — the movie, trapped in the weeds of self-pity and skin-deep badassery, never quite earns the sympathy it so strenuously solicits.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 9, 2014
    The film has an odd and striking energy, and the chemistry between Scodelario and Biel has an electrical charge to it. There are a couple of genuinely creepy moments, and Gregorini keeps us on an emotional knife edge.
  4. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Nov 6, 2013
    There are shades of “Lars & the Real Girl” here, but where that film skewed towards dark comedy (which helped temper its outlandish premise), "Emanuel" is almost completely humorless.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Nov 6, 2013
    Played flatly head-on with some poetic pretensions, the concept never becomes particularly credible or appealing.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jan 10, 2014
    It's highly doubtful that you'll grasp even a little of The Truth About Emanuel after seeing this film. It's not so much a thriller as it is a ride on a runaway crazy train.
  7. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Jan 8, 2014
    What's missing, in the end, is any provocative or poignant insights into the "truth" about Emanuel; all we get are vague hints.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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