• Studio: A24
  • Release Date: Apr 4, 2014
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 3, 2014
    88
    A brave experiment in cinema that richly rewards the demands it makes. The result is an amazement, a film of beauty and shocking gravity.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Apr 3, 2014
    90
    The movie’s eerie, climactic image challenges our conventional notions of human identity and leaves us reflecting on the possibility that every being in the universe is an alien in disguise.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 10, 2014
    88
    What’s under the film’s surface is intriguing enough, but it’s the surface itself that holds you in a dark trance. A portrait of alienation filmed from the alien’s point of view — or is it just a woman’s? — the movie’s a cinematic Rubik’s Cube that snaps together surprisingly easily, yet whose larger meanings remain tantalizingly out of reach.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 18, 2014
    88
    A deeply creepy and mysterious noir.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 16, 2014
    89
    What makes Under the Skin such a mind-blower has everything to do with Johansson’s chillingly unempathetic turn as the, well, whatever she is, coupled with cinematographer Daniel Landin’s disorienting, hallucinogenic visuals.
  6. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 17, 2014
    83
    Virtually all science fiction functions as metaphor, and I took this film to be a metaphor for the act of becoming fully human.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 12, 2014
    88
    It feels fresh and unpredictable, as quietly strange as the remarkable musical score from first-time feature film composer Mica Levi.
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 4, 2014
    100
    This stark and intensely controlled film is the work of a powerful visual stylist and storyteller, one who looks like he belongs on the short list of directors who have carried the narrative methods of the silent era deep into modern cinema.
  9. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 10, 2014
    88
    With long, quiet takes in which he simply observes Johansson wordlessly taking in the world around her, Glazer infuses the everyday modern world with a surpassing sense of strangeness and doom.
  10. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Apr 3, 2014
    90
    The extraordinary achievement of Under The Skin is that while Laura develops some human qualities, Glazer resists the temptation to turn this alien’s story into the story of what it means to be human.
  11. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Apr 15, 2014
    90
    Glazer is nothing if not ambitious; the rough edge of naturalism, on the streets, slices into the more controlled and stylized look of science fiction, and the result seems both to drift and to gather to a point of almost painful intensity.
  12. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 3, 2014
    100
    Watching this film feels like a genesis moment — of sci-fi fable, of filmmaking, of performance — with all the ambiguity and excitement that implies.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 17, 2013
    83
    A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer's movie is ultimately too aimlessly weird to make its trippy narrative fully satisfying, but owes much to Johansson's intense commitment to a strangely erotic and unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.
  14. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 17, 2014
    91
    There's something fairly malignant in the way Glazer's strange movie holds attention, against the urge to give up and leave. There is no doubting its boundless artistry or pretension, a dangerous position for any movie in today's love-me pop culture to place itself in. Under the Skin is exactly where it gets.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 1, 2014
    100
    Very little in Under the Skin is clear at all. Its secrets unspool in mysterious, supple ribbons, but that's part of its allure, and its great beauty.
  16. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 10, 2014
    100
    Weird. Brilliant. Stunning. Under the Skin is by far the most memorable movie of the first few months of 2014.
  17. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Apr 2, 2014
    91
    Under The Skin is rich with menacing atmosphere, so much so that viewers could probably tune out the narrative and still get on the proper wavelength.
  18. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Sep 17, 2013
    100
    Glazer’s astonishing film takes you to a place where the everyday becomes suddenly strange, and fear and seduction become one and the same.
  19. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Sep 17, 2013
    83
    Under the Skin is a deliberately oblique piece of work that prizes rhythms and textures above hows and whys.
  20. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Sep 17, 2013
    100
    It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: it combines sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror.
  21. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Sep 17, 2013
    100
    Under the Skin is perhaps best viewed as an icy parable of love, sex and loneliness.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Apr 4, 2014
    100
    A brilliant science fiction movie — more of an "experience" than a traditional story, with plenty to say about gender roles, sexism and the power of lust?
  23. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Mar 28, 2014
    100
    Throughout, what truly matters to director Jonathan Glazer is articulating through visual and aural enticement the unconscious power of our death drive.
  24. Reviewed by: Andrew Lowry
    Mar 10, 2014
    100
    You may not be sure what you've seen, but you've sure seen something. With neither a petticoat nor a wideboy in sight, this is one of the most original and exciting British movies in some time.
  25. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    Apr 12, 2014
    90
    Actors aren’t Navy SEALs, I know, but Johansson was, in fact, brave to take on this role: brave in that it’s a sharp left turn from what audiences expect or even like; brave in that she embraced an artistically bold method of building a movie when most other movie stars would have said no thanks to the idea of chatting up random Scotsmen in a van.
  26. Reviewed by: Chris Willman
    Sep 17, 2013
    83
    Johannson turns out to be perfectly cast, being able to shift from blank alien mode to kittenish seduction without ever letting you see the switch being turned on or off.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 42
  2. Negative: 11 out of 42
  1. May 5, 2014
    3
    3 things I LOVE in a film: Stunning Visuals. Science Fiction. Scarlett Johansson. Given everything it had going for it I assumed an evocative story would be in store. I assumed wrong. So. So. So. Wrong. Next Stanley Kubrik? Please. This music video director needs to get over himself. Full Review »
  2. Apr 21, 2014
    2
    Wow. Even Scarlett Johansson's nudity couldn't save this 'artistic' piece from the monotone drone of alternating silence and annoying buzzing to the entirely uninteresting and utterly forgetful character development of the lead. The director's failure to get you the least bit interested in the character's development is a fatal flaw which leaves you mired in one boring shot after another. Symbolic? Sure. Do you care at all? No. There is nothing gripping and it ends as disappointingly as it plods along from the beginning. People walked out and for good reason. I stayed because I hoped for redemption at the end. FAIL. Full Review »
  3. Apr 25, 2014
    1
    (-)Virtually no plot
    (-)Extremely boring
    (+)You get to see Scarlett Johansson naked (i.e., why it has a 1 instead of a 0)

    If you like
    movies like Tree of Life, you will like this movie, otherwise, avoid Full Review »