Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Leonard is a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents, Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle, a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard's staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family's dry-cleaning business. Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him. [Magnolia Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. As in a good European film, shots are allowed to breathe. The focus is on character and human emotion. At the same time, the movie shows an American concern for pace and story development. The result is the best of both worlds.
  2. For a filmmaker who has made his reputation with such crime thrillers as "Little Odessa" and "The Yards," James Gray reveals an unexpected gift for the mysteries of romance.
  3. Although Paltrow is radiant (and she nails the character’s ditzy sense of entitlement), it's Phoenix's movie. He is, once again, stupendous, and stupendous in a way he has never been before.
  4. 75
    The characters are all a little too old for this sort of drama, and they know it, but that makes Two Lovers as much about last chances as new loves.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Joaquin Phoenix gives a superbly raw and excruciatingly vulnerable performance.
  6. 70
    The movie's chief value is to preserve Phoenix at the height of his wary physical grace, which recalls a young Marlon Brando.
  7. 38
    The only possible interest the movie will inspire in anyone comes when Paltrow flashes a breast toward the end, far too late to pump any excitement into an aggressively boring film that gurgles with self-indulgence.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. MasterO
    May 4, 2009
    Gorgeous and affecting movie. The only reason I could knock it is because it's tough to believe that two women would fall all over themselves for a thirty-something dry-cleaning heir who lives with his parents-- but I guess that is one of those "he's Juaquin Phoenix, he's hot enough to make it happen" moments. Great movie. Expand
  2. RudyM.
    Feb 19, 2009
    Simply wonderful, the best movie of the decade since Lost In Translation.
  3. Feb 21, 2012
    One of the most beautiful love dramas in the recent years with great performances of an actors playing grown up but emotionally immature characters.some people are dismissing this film by saying that these characters act like teenagers but that's exactly what makes this film stand out,cause people like this do exist. Expand
  4. May 25, 2012
    Avec Two Lovers, James Gray étonne. Déjà par le fait qu'il s'attaque à une banale histoire d'amour après trois films où règnent la violence (Little Odessa, The Yards, La nuit nous appartient). Et puis, Two Lovers n'est pas un film romantique comme les autres. Il est même bien loin de la surdose de bons sentiments, de chansons et de belles couleurs typiques de Hollywood. En effet, ici, tout semble noir et cruel (magnifiques jeux de lumières qui offrent une certaine ambiance), accentuant ainsi des détails méconnus à ce genre (tentative de suicide, fausse couche...). On ressent le mal qu'éprouvent les personnages à aimer. D'ailleurs, il faut féliciter leur performance à chacun, dévoilant leurs émotions avec tant de finesse et de crédibilité. Un grand bravo à Joaquin Phoenix, bluffant, et Gwyneth Paltrow, dans un de ses meilleurs rôles. On pourrait regretter que le final s'en arrête là (pas de spoile !). Mais on ne peut rester indifférent face à la puissance qui se dégage de Two Lovers. Expand
  5. BecquerM
    Feb 20, 2009
    I could not help but become engrossed in James Gray
  6. KP
    Sep 24, 2009
    This movie was ok at best. Phoenix was solid as always. But I think it was the worst I've seen from Paltrow in a long while. I just found her character totally unbelievable...not sure if it was her acting or the writing. maybe both. I just didn't buy it. Even though the film did it's best to put a new spin on the "love triangle" theme, it still felt cliche to me. Expand
  7. EdwardK
    Mar 13, 2009
    Good performances could not save what Siskel and Ebert used to call "the idiot plot": If one of the main characters ever failed to act like an idiot, there would be no plot. I found it depressing to watch the three main characters make one bad decision after another. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews