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Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: An alien seductress (Scarlett Johansson) preys upon hitchhikers in Scotland.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 10, 2014
    Weird. Brilliant. Stunning. Under the Skin is by far the most memorable movie of the first few months of 2014.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Mar 28, 2014
    Throughout, what truly matters to director Jonathan Glazer is articulating through visual and aural enticement the unconscious power of our death drive.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 17, 2014
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 3, 2014
    A brave experiment in cinema that richly rewards the demands it makes. The result is an amazement, a film of beauty and shocking gravity.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 18, 2014
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 3, 2014
    Much of this is fascinating, as far as it goes, but it wouldn't go as far as it does into drama were it not for Ms. Johansson's wonderfully strange performance.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 2, 2014
    I certainly wish Ms. Johansson hadn’t shown up at all. She’s never less than interesting to watch, but Under the Skin is a big waste of her time.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 71
  2. Negative: 19 out of 71
  1. Aug 24, 2014
    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 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.
  2. May 15, 2014
    Anyone wanting simple-minded, run-of-the-mill shallow plot and celebrity action will be disappointed. But if you appreciate a challenge, a visual masterpiece, with fascinating loose ends that will keep you thinking long after you see it ..... then this is for you. Suspend your need to analyze and understand everything, and let your imagination soar. This could become one of the true cult films, to join Blade Runner, 2001, and Alien, but with deeper and darker places to haunt you. There are THREE main stars: Johansen of course, in a role that expands her repertoir admirably, the Scottish wet/damp 'noir' background, and the mysteriously occult part of the story which will indeed work its way under your skin and remain with you especially when you cannot sleep late on a rany night. Expand
  3. Apr 19, 2014
    Oh my God. I was always excited for this film, but this is just above and beyond what I could have imagined. This film is not for everyone because it's so incredibly arthouse, but I honestly think that if people talked about the film, they'd see it in a new light.

    Virtually nothing here is meant to be taken literally; it's extremely symbolic. It's an allegorical trip that is haunting, intriguing, sublime, gorgeous, sad, different, strange, human, spellbinding, unforgettable, and masterful, utilizing all of these qualities that convey what it means to be a human. What is also is about, though, is reveling in the questions and finding answers.

    The cinematography is immaculate and the sound design is incredible. The score is mesmerizing and perfectly complements the visuals and tone of the film, with its strings and screechy sounds crossing into the realm of being sound effects at some points, and that's great because like the film, it brings together all senses and experiences into one odd package. Scarlett Johansson is intoxicating, doing so much with so little dialogue. She uses her eyes and facial expressions and callousness-turned-fake-charm so well, and you forget that you're watching an actress work because it's so immersive and shockingly realistic.

    I can see why some people would dislike this film because it is very alienating (no pun intended) and probably as far from mainstream as you can get, but it's also so engrossing. This is a film that gives no explanations and doesn't really have much of a setup that leads into a conflict that sets the movie into action in a traditional sense. It works wonderfully because the movie itself feeds off of our abilities - as humans - to interpret emotions and read other individuals. The movie even seems to be watching you back at times.

    Jonathan Glazer demonstrates that he has such a huge talent but also a great deal of discipline in order to make everything work. In the hands of another director, everything would have crumbled into pieces, but because it's so well-made, he makes connections between humanity and sexuality, objectification and death, and, to a certain extent, gender roles.

    The ending (without spoiling anything) both satisfies and leaves ample room for interpretation, and is very affecting. There is a good amount of emotion to this film, and it's just so commendable that a film like this could be so human and realistic. I can definitely see the comparisons to Kubrick (my favorite director ever) and I could compare this film to Eraserhead and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and partially to Eyes Wide Shut.

    This is a movie that I will never be able to forgot, and I know for a fact that I'll be thinking about it obsessively for a very long time. This may be one of my favorite films ever.

    9.7/10, masterful, two thumbs up, miles above average, etc.
  4. Nov 20, 2014
    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?
  5. Aug 5, 2014
    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. Expand
  6. Jul 17, 2014
    This was one of the worst Sci Fi movies I have seen, and I LOVE Sci Fi! I waited for months for this to come out on DVD because it wasn't playing anywhere around where I live, and now I know why. I gave it a 4 instead of a 2 only because of Scarlett J. She is the only good part of the movie because she is so beautiful and sexy (so if you are a Scarlett fan it is worth seeing). It seemed like the slow, dreary pace would all be worth it when it explained itself in the end, but this movie didn't even try to, which made me angry for wasting my time on it. I do like odd, cultish movies (like Rocky Horror Picture Show , John Waters movies, etc.) but this really missed the mark. If the ending had wrapped things up, I could have forgiven the slow pace and often boring scenes, but it didn't. A horrible, very disappointing ending for several reasons. Expand
  7. Aug 3, 2014
    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. Expand

See all 71 User Reviews