• Studio: A24
  • Release Date: Apr 4, 2014
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 226 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 226

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  1. Dec 22, 2014
    10
    Visually stunning. Breath-taking. The overall story amazed me, and it's the weirdest i've ever witnessed in a film, esp. with Scarlett Johansson. Despite Scarlett's nudity, the mysteriousness behind what she is intrigued me the most. The director and writer, Jonathan Glazer brought the novel of the same name to life, although i didn't read the book, i still fell in love with this film,Visually stunning. Breath-taking. The overall story amazed me, and it's the weirdest i've ever witnessed in a film, esp. with Scarlett Johansson. Despite Scarlett's nudity, the mysteriousness behind what she is intrigued me the most. The director and writer, Jonathan Glazer brought the novel of the same name to life, although i didn't read the book, i still fell in love with this film, everything a guy like me could ask for Thriller, Sci-Fi, with Scarlett Johansson. Expand
  2. Dec 18, 2014
    10
    An amazing erotic and metaphorical journey about the true meaning of beauty and the analyse of what it is to be a human being, by the hand of a mind blowing performance by Scarlett Johansson, and a terrific score.
    Everything here just works perfectly.
  3. Dec 14, 2014
    8
    This film is visually beautiful, with it's eerie atmosphere with deception theough seduction looming over so many scenes. Scarlett Johansson's performace is certainly one of her most interesting she's done. This film does have a lot of ambiguity to it though as not all is explained clearly or concluded properly, but nevertheless this film is a cinematic gem and should definitely be pick up!
  4. Dec 12, 2014
    9
    I was mesmerized the entire movie. Thank God for directors that don't rely on a heavy classical soundtrack that annoys and distracts. Natural noises, such as wind blowing, footsteps, clocks ticking are far more effective. When music was used it was creepy and atmospheric. The bleak Scottish cityscapes and natural beauty only added to the atmosphere. There are scenes in the film I willI was mesmerized the entire movie. Thank God for directors that don't rely on a heavy classical soundtrack that annoys and distracts. Natural noises, such as wind blowing, footsteps, clocks ticking are far more effective. When music was used it was creepy and atmospheric. The bleak Scottish cityscapes and natural beauty only added to the atmosphere. There are scenes in the film I will never forget. I thought Scarlett Johansson was terrific, although I'm already a big fan of hers. I don't need a complete story tied up in a bow for satisfaction, this little slice of Sci Fi was excellent. My only small critiques was that the story of an alien or robot becoming sympathetic to humans has been done before many times, and the Scottish accents were so heavy I couldn't understand some of the dialogue, but it was not distracting enough to ruin my enjoyment. Not for everyone but if it is your style you will love it. A director to watch for sure. Expand
  5. Dec 8, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I rated it a 2 because of Scarlett Johansson; if it had been Melissa McCarthy I would have given it a zero.
    The main message of this movie is that life (and this movie) is long, lonely and boring unless you are having sex.
    A "man cave" is one thing but an "alien cave" is a whole different matter.
    One of the messages the movie conveys (which every man knows and no woman will ever believe) is that a man doesn't care what a woman's house looks like, just as long as he's gonna get laid.
    There was another very enlightening concept in the movie - when S.J's character is in the restaurant and all the patrons turn and stare at her and realize that she is an alien because humans never gag on dessert.
    Spoiler alert: Scarlett Johansson's character was played by a black person!
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  6. Nov 24, 2014
    10
    Easily the smartest and most interesting film I've seen in 2014. Scarlett Johansson offers a brilliant performance- subtle at the start with an increasing sense of emotional peril as she loses her "human" exterior but seems to gain an inner humanity.

    The story follows her change from heartless, unemotional and detached alien doing her job of collecting specimens, (or skins) for an
    Easily the smartest and most interesting film I've seen in 2014. Scarlett Johansson offers a brilliant performance- subtle at the start with an increasing sense of emotional peril as she loses her "human" exterior but seems to gain an inner humanity.

    The story follows her change from heartless, unemotional and detached alien doing her job of collecting specimens, (or skins) for an unsaid nefarious purpose, to her bonding with humanity to the point that she betrays her employer/fellow aliens as she tries to rather hopelessly join the local earthlings and taste the joys and pains of humanity.

    The film handles this in such an abstract and original way that it takes effort to keep up. It is not a film for those who want to leer at naked Johansson- which results in the negative scores, which, if you think about it, is really funny.

    This is a film of the quality found in the directorial hands of a very few directors- Antonio and Kubrick spring to mind. It demands we watch it at it's own pace, and it moves away from the regular trappings of standard sci-fi fare into more artsy, thinking realms.

    The performances of many of Scarlett's male victims seem natural and unforced- you really get the feeling she is preying upon people on our "real earth" as we pass through shopping malls and drab, regular, lower middle class places. This wildly complements the scenes aboard the alien's den, which are stark, artistically blank canvases. The effect is jarring and unsettling.

    Some viewers complain about a "lack of story", but I didn't find this true at all. Johansson's brilliant double metamorphosis from lovely perfect human exterior with it's cold, calculating inhuman interior, into just the opposite- an alien monstrosity which now possesses empathy, joy, curiosity, pity and fear- is a might and moving transformation, and for this viewer, following this path is what gives Under the Skin it's unique look at the human condition, from a perspective I had not visited before.

    And that is what film, when it is art, is all about.
    Beautiful and horrific at the same time, this magnificent film reminds me of that similar balance of humanity and terror found in the equally wonderful Swedish vampire film, Let the Right One In.

    This movie is for those who like real contemplation after their films- definitely not for the quickie gore/sexy nude actress crowd, nor the thrill ride set either, and I expect having Scarlett in the lead role, and the knowledge that she bares all here, (more than most actors ever will in the most extraordinary ways), probably has led many to expect an entirely different sort of experience than this smart, beautifully original motion picture.
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  7. Nov 22, 2014
    2
    Under the Skin is a great example of a film that wants to be more than it is, which ruins what it is. The film wanted to be very elusive and deep, but ultimately wound up being incredibly dull and uninteresting. On top of that, it was essentially like eavesdropping on a conversation between two people you do not know and you hear one of them tell the other a story. Along the way, you pickUnder the Skin is a great example of a film that wants to be more than it is, which ruins what it is. The film wanted to be very elusive and deep, but ultimately wound up being incredibly dull and uninteresting. On top of that, it was essentially like eavesdropping on a conversation between two people you do not know and you hear one of them tell the other a story. Along the way, you pick up some details and know what is going on, but you never really feel involved in the conversation and, ultimately, the story does not really have any kind of impact on you. That is this film. It tried so hard to be deep that it never really made you feel involved and care about the characters involved. On top of that, it never truly develops any character, namely because it never established any of them. This one did nothing with its characters for many reasons, the main one to me being that they wanted it to seem more artsy than it truly was, which was off-putting.

    Now, there are some positives, namely the incredible cinematography. There are some seriously gorgeous shots in this one that truly floored me to the point that I really wanted to love this film. Scarlett Johansson was also very good here, even though her lines were limited. As a whole, Under the Skin is a beautiful film that lacks any true substance or quality beyond its looks. There is nothing under the skin about this one.
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  8. Nov 22, 2014
    0
    This is the worst piece of sh1t i 've ever watched in my life. DO NOT WASTE your precious hours of life, watching this abomination. Even thinking about it makes me wanna puke. You may thank me in advance.
  9. Nov 20, 2014
    7
    I can't help it I loved this movie. Great visually. Excellent creepy sounds and music score. Looking back however I wish the plot and some scenes were understandable. I know it's based on a novel but a film should be able to stand on it's own in telling it's story.
    I understand some things can be left to our imagination,
    but 1)what happened to the swimmer? 2)what in the hell went down
    I can't help it I loved this movie. Great visually. Excellent creepy sounds and music score. Looking back however I wish the plot and some scenes were understandable. I know it's based on a novel but a film should be able to stand on it's own in telling it's story.
    I understand some things can be left to our imagination,
    but 1)what happened to the swimmer?
    2)what in the hell went down with the diseased man?
    3)Why was there a small group of aliens (human form/bikers) already there?
    So I will be a bit shocked if this gets a best picture nomination although I loved it anyway.
    I mean there are critics raving about this movie as one of the best of the year. Seriously? I mean did seeing Scarlet naked really rock some of these critic's worlds that much or what?
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  10. Nov 7, 2014
    10
    Really, this film is flawless. Scarlett Johansson is fantastic, as in fact are all of the supporting cast members. Visually it is one of the most stunning and captivating films I have ever seen. The soundtrack alone makes this film a cut above the rest. And it also contains strong emotional moments, I cried at I think three separate points of the film, all for different reasons.
  11. Oct 28, 2014
    10
    Wow! This movie is cool! It has a slightly slow start, and it's a touch low budget, but, the movie as a whole is a true cinematic masterpiece! If you like your sci-fi mixed with your horror, AND a lil thrill, don't even think twice, rent this one!
  12. Oct 24, 2014
    0
    Dumbest movie ever
    Biggest waste of time in my life
    Nothing good ever happend in this movie
    Just when you think it might have a slite chance of picking up and something interesting is going to happen...BOOM,,,it doesnt
    Ugh i was so dang mad when this ended. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE movie
  13. Oct 22, 2014
    5
    While I was extremely disappointed at the end of the movie, I don't want to give a scathing review. This film is meant to be watched several times. It's meant to be studied, and I didn't study it.

    As a work of art, this movie shines. As a science-fiction movie, this movie fails utterly. The science fiction aspects are cast aside, as if the details are unimportant. Who are they? Where
    While I was extremely disappointed at the end of the movie, I don't want to give a scathing review. This film is meant to be watched several times. It's meant to be studied, and I didn't study it.

    As a work of art, this movie shines. As a science-fiction movie, this movie fails utterly. The science fiction aspects are cast aside, as if the details are unimportant. Who are they? Where are they from? What are they doing? What do they want? If you're watching the film as a piece of art, the answers don't really matter. But as someone who enjoys science fiction, the film ended prematurely before most of the questions were answered, or in some ways even addressed.

    Under The Skin's merit lies almost entirely in its subtle, deeper analysis. As a viewer, we're not expected to enjoy the movie without a considerable amount of effort on our part. This is not to say that all movies should spoon-feed a plot to the viewer, but I think there is a healthy balance between story-telling and allegory, and this film seems miss that happy medium.
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  14. chw
    Oct 13, 2014
    7
    Under the Skin was odd. There are no names said in the movie, and it's sometimes hard to understand. Otherwise, it is pretty good, and you also get to see Scarlett Johansson naked, so...
  15. Oct 12, 2014
    8
    Mysterious and mind-blowing after you unlocked it,Under the Skin is a fantastic Sci-Fi & Fantasy movie,centered on human kind's perspective of beauty.
  16. Sep 30, 2014
    10
    Simple flow diagram for this movie:

    Do you like Arthouse movies? | | Yes No | | Do you like Scarlett Johanssen? Do you like Scarlett Johanssen? |
    Simple flow diagram for this movie:

    Do you like Arthouse movies?

    | |

    Yes No

    | |

    Do you like Scarlett Johanssen? Do you like Scarlett Johanssen?

    | | | |

    Yes No Yes No

    | | | |

    Watch this film Watch this film Don't watch this film Don't watch this film
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  17. Sep 28, 2014
    1
    The king's not wearing any clothes! Really, can't believe that the critics like this movie so much. Reminded me of a Bergman movie with less happening or "Waiting for Godot" with no dialogue. No story. No moral. Many loose ends. Highly recommend you skip this movie even if it is free.
  18. Sep 4, 2014
    8
    A genuinely disturbing science fiction movie unlike anything else I have ever seen. Good work. It's nice to see Scarlet Johansson doing something a bit out of the ordinary since she came to the public eye like most young women in film-doing more girlie type movies that were meant for audiences of young women. That being well and good I liked the ending of this movie and they way theyA genuinely disturbing science fiction movie unlike anything else I have ever seen. Good work. It's nice to see Scarlet Johansson doing something a bit out of the ordinary since she came to the public eye like most young women in film-doing more girlie type movies that were meant for audiences of young women. That being well and good I liked the ending of this movie and they way they portrayed the aliens as something truly alien that we basically couldn't communicate with at all. Might be like that. I liked the scenery of Scotland also. I think that them shooting it there was a good idea as it gave the project a feeling of otherness somehow. Go see it, but don't go alone. Expand
  19. Sep 4, 2014
    4
    I'm left needing something more... despite a masterful performance from Scarlett Johansson. Under the Skin takes a look at an alien taken human form as Scarlett Johansson somewhere in Scotland over the course of a week. That's about all you'll take away from this one.
  20. Sep 2, 2014
    9
    A fantastic surrealist film. Very scary and thought provoking. Scarlett Johanson does a good job of beeing attractive, scary and heartbraking. One you must need to think about a lot after you see it.
  21. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    I saw this movie and initially liked it very much but became concerned because it overlooked some obvious problems with the narrative especially towards the end where 1) somehow the ugly man escapes, and 2) something scares her in the cabin in the woods. The more I think about it, though, these details do not matter. The viewer is given room to think for themselves and I appreciated theI saw this movie and initially liked it very much but became concerned because it overlooked some obvious problems with the narrative especially towards the end where 1) somehow the ugly man escapes, and 2) something scares her in the cabin in the woods. The more I think about it, though, these details do not matter. The viewer is given room to think for themselves and I appreciated the opportunity to fill in the gaps myself. Most of the movie provides enough information to draw general conclusions and powerful emotions. Some people will hate it because this is a sensual rather than a narrative experience. People expect stories and this is more like an out of body experience. I found it fascinating. I learned things about people, about humanity. We are good. We are lustful. We are kind. We are ugly. We are stupid. We are beautiful. We are tragic.

    I will give a positive rating to any movie that is unforgettable. Or a movie that can change the way I see humanity. I think the scene where she leaves the baby on the beach will stay with me forever. And the conversation she has with the ugly man and her decision to run away after his escape. These scenes were powerful, logical, and downright fascinating. I can’t stop thinking about this movie.

    It was disturbing to see humanity through the lens of this thing that walked among us in such a friendly city. That she was looking for lonely men made her less despicable. That she attempted to fit in for a while and try to live among us was both charming and pathetic. What happened at the end of the movie made sense, because she didn’t fit in. She was objectified by men… brought out the worst in most (but the best in others).

    Art is left up for interpretation, and I think this qualifies. People will either hate or love this movie. It was too over-simplified to mask its deficits with confusing b.s. … it did not attempt to hide its flaws. It was deliberately made this way, whether you liked it or not. I liked it better than most movies i have ever seen. It gave me new insights. It got under my skin.
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  22. Aug 23, 2014
    7
    I don't know what I watched, I fell asleep while watching it. Though I remember a lot of "buzz" sound which made me extremely sleepy over the movie. Good thing I also waked up when the film started to actually play what it was playing so let's see.
    Firstly I need to say that this movie IS artistic. Being very VERY weird. The storyline is not a storyline, the characters are not characters
    I don't know what I watched, I fell asleep while watching it. Though I remember a lot of "buzz" sound which made me extremely sleepy over the movie. Good thing I also waked up when the film started to actually play what it was playing so let's see.
    Firstly I need to say that this movie IS artistic. Being very VERY weird. The storyline is not a storyline, the characters are not characters and so long! Actually; the characters aren't very detailed. May that Scarlett Johnson played in this movie as the main character, this didn't make the movie better. It was a very creepy movie some times or rather boring at the start. The soundtrack is the part of the creepiness and also the idea. The storyline is also not very detailed but very well placed and I liked, to be honest, it's idea. Not a very good movie, a short one but a rather fascinating one. I don't know if this should be like a recommending review but it's your choice.
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  23. Aug 22, 2014
    7
    Spoiler alert: quite intentional that Scarlett Johansson would be cast as the otherworldly predator sent to capture human men. She is such a stunning example of the human female form, that there would be no need for extraterrestrial powers. Her naked body (displayed at length in the movie) is all that's necessary to get the average heterosexual male to follow her anywhere. : )

    Now on
    Spoiler alert: quite intentional that Scarlett Johansson would be cast as the otherworldly predator sent to capture human men. She is such a stunning example of the human female form, that there would be no need for extraterrestrial powers. Her naked body (displayed at length in the movie) is all that's necessary to get the average heterosexual male to follow her anywhere. : )

    Now on to the review. For those who are fans of the Faber novel - on which this movie is based - don't expect to know what in the hell the book is all about. I had to look up the Cliff notes. The movie is a stylistic, art house, abstract adaptation of the book. Sort of like a trip to the MoMA rather than the Met. Is you're in the mindset...you'll enjoy it. It's well acted, well written and generally well put together. Thought provoking, powerful imagery are the strongest points of the movie. Overall, a memorable piece of film worth watching.
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  24. Aug 22, 2014
    2
    I've watched and enjoyed movies like rubber, anti-christ and even kung pow:fist of legend but this? I just couldn't get into it at all. I think you have to make up your own story since there isn't one here...is she an alien? a demon? a witch maybe? take your pic and run with it because i guess that's the point! she spends most of the movie driving around trying(and occasionally succeeding)I've watched and enjoyed movies like rubber, anti-christ and even kung pow:fist of legend but this? I just couldn't get into it at all. I think you have to make up your own story since there isn't one here...is she an alien? a demon? a witch maybe? take your pic and run with it because i guess that's the point! she spends most of the movie driving around trying(and occasionally succeeding) to pick up guys,takes them to her.....home? dark void? black abyss filled with water maybe? heck if i know, but i do know that once these poor souls went in, they never returned for you see, they willingly(hypnotized? their body was numb once they entered her home and couldn't feel the water....maybe?) walked into the water and....well, they didn't drown but instead, had their skin taken, actually, all of their organs were removed and only the skin remained. At first i was wondering why she (it?) was killing since theirs seems to be no apparent reason but later i assumed "it" needed the skin of men but the last 25+ minutes of the movie has her(it?) roaming around aimlessly, riding buses, not being able to have sex for some strange reason,almost getting raped,getting gas thrown on her only to die a fiery death in a snow filled forest...... this movie just sucked since you havent the slightest idea of what's happening in front of you, it's like the director said....hey we'll just roll with it and hope the audience gets it! I just couldn't get into it, i just couldn't like this movie at all. 2/10 Expand
  25. Aug 18, 2014
    7
    Enigmatic, slow, repetitive film, but at least offers a bit of a "surprise" at the end. Yet after watching the film I wondered if it was even worth trying to figure it out. Wish Johansson had saved the nude scenes for a better film. Anyway, what does it all mean? One possible clue, I think, lies in a very brief, but pointed mention of the upcoming Referendum for Scotland and theEnigmatic, slow, repetitive film, but at least offers a bit of a "surprise" at the end. Yet after watching the film I wondered if it was even worth trying to figure it out. Wish Johansson had saved the nude scenes for a better film. Anyway, what does it all mean? One possible clue, I think, lies in a very brief, but pointed mention of the upcoming Referendum for Scotland and the possibility of independence from England. When considering who the characters are and the plot, this wider political context made sense to me. So, for me the film is a parable about the shedding of a colonial power for national independence. Interesting how "woman" figures in such anti-colonial narratives. But your guess is as good as mine! Expand
  26. Aug 18, 2014
    9
    Personally, I Wont Take The Path Of Pretentious Criticism & Multivariate Jargon, But I Want To Point That the movie is radiant example of contemporary cinema, away from the typical sci-fi manifestations, and even from recent cinematic expression in its totality.

    If u want good, creative, inspiring cinema please do ur self a favour and watch the movie. If u want something else, widely
    Personally, I Wont Take The Path Of Pretentious Criticism & Multivariate Jargon, But I Want To Point That the movie is radiant example of contemporary cinema, away from the typical sci-fi manifestations, and even from recent cinematic expression in its totality.

    If u want good, creative, inspiring cinema please do ur self a favour and watch the movie. If u want something else, widely approachable and easily "consumable" I suggest you better tune ur self to Godzilla, or Transformers. Have fun what ever u choose.
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  27. Aug 10, 2014
    5
    Under the Skin was generally disappointing, but if you don't mind watching a movie that gets really confusing and never explains anything it might fit your taste.

    The visual aspects of the film were nice, but the overall composition and artistic direction were mild at best. That said, it did provide some thought provoking perspectives on male and female relations.
  28. Aug 9, 2014
    2
    There are people that dig this style of weird, mostly silent, long-scene film and there are those like me, that don't. If you're going to use this style, which taxes the hell out of one's attention, then there has to be a big payoff of some sort, and that's what this lacked. Hence, it's mostly a waste of your time. I'd wager reading the source material would be better.
  29. Aug 5, 2014
    6
    If you just roll with it, it is intriguing and kind of fun. However, there were just too many moments of sheer nothingness that detracted from this otherwise good movie.
  30. Aug 3, 2014
    0
    Besides the fact the movie made absolutely no sense, there were scenes were literally nothing was happening. The silence throughout the movie begins to grow painful and combine that with a monotonous pace and horrible images and you have one of the worst movies of the year.
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. 63
    All this is initially fascinating, and then progressively less so. The problem is the usual serial-killer issue – things, no matter how weird and kinky, get repetitive.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 18, 2014
    88
    A deeply creepy and mysterious noir.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 18, 2014
    80
    Under the Skin is, in short, a film that does just that: gets under one's skin, shining a light on what it means to be human -- even if what we end up seeing is something less than comforting.