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78

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

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 3, 2014
    70
    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
    25
    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: 26 out of 42
  2. Negative: 11 out of 42
  1. Apr 5, 2014
    10
    Did this director forget we had watched Aliens 1, 2, 3, and so on plus Nymphomaniac Vol 1 & 2. Scarlett didn't had opportunity to show her SKIN in CA:TWS, so they made a 'SPECIAL' movie for her named UNDER SCARLETT's SKIN. Expand
  2. Apr 7, 2014
    10
    A bonafide masterpiece, and I do not say such a thing lightly. The juxtaposition of Scarlett Johansson's haunting beauty and masterful performance in the titular role, set against the bleak Scottish landscape and the intolerable ease unto which she coaxes her prey, culminate in a film that chills to the absolute core. It's pacing deliberately ramps up the tension and this coupled with an unbearably horrifying score left me on an absolute knife edge. As many have stated, it is indebted to Roeg, Kubrick e.t.c. but not in an obvious postmodern, heart-on-sleeve approach; as much as it borrows Glazer innovates. It is shot beautifully, it's pacing is sheer frustrating perfection and it has seriously gotten under my skin. It's a long time since a film has effected me in such a way, and it has left me thinking about it for days and even now weeks after viewing. I, for one, consider this to be one of the best "science-fiction" films to have ever been produced. An agonising, terrifying but unmistakably beautiful film. Let me make this clear, this is a paradigm-shift for "science fiction" cinema. Brilliant filmmaking. Expand
  3. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    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.
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  4. Apr 25, 2014
    7
    I did not get it. Reading up on the movie after having seen it, there was a plot there, a character progression that I honestly did not follow as it was happening. To me, anyway, the movie was a pure sensory experience.

    Of course, Scarlett Johansson nudity will do that do you. And there is a lot; we're not talking one or two fleeting shots. Nor is the nudity restricted to one character; it's quite egalitarian.

    However, the film works as something more than pure erotica. Scotland doesn't sound interesting, but they shot the hell out of it for this film. There's very little dialogue throughout and only bursts of sound; you're just watching one main character set against scenery. In the end, it's a film that asks questions, not just the obvious one, "Would you follow a naked Scarlett Johansson to your death?" (yes, answers half the world), but also "What would an alien arriving on Earth make of us?" and "What's the difference between good and evil". Even if you don't catch all of the plot that is being nonverbally conveyed to you, there's enough going on to make this an effective cerebral sci-fi film.
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  5. Jul 7, 2014
    5
    I don't remember the last time I walked out on a movie, even so this is not the case because I saw it all, however never did I have the before the urge of leaving the theater since 30 min in. This might be one of the worst movies I have even seen. If this were 70's sci-fi maybe I'd have given it a pass but now it just passed as pretentious BS. Don't lose your money or time in this. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. Jul 20, 2014
    0
    If your only goal is to see Scarlet Johansson naked, then this is the film to watch as she is nude through 80% of it. However, don't expect real dialogue, an interesting storyline or a point to this film. Basically, a beautiful woman (alien in human form) drives around in a truck at night seducing dumb, horny men with superficial conversation. She takes them back to her house/cave and walks them into a black tar-like pit where they drown & are never heard from again. Repeat 10 times, the end. The only way this movie could have been worse is if it were a double-feature with Jake Gyllenhall's film "Enemy". So glad I didn't pay to see this mess in the theatre, but still bummed I wasted about a buck on it. I'll never get that dollar, or those 2 hours of my life back. :( Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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