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78

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

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 296 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: An alien seductress (Scarlett Johansson) preys upon hitchhikers in Scotland.
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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: 58 out of 96
  2. Negative: 28 out of 96
  1. 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 everyoneOh 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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  2. May 15, 2014
    10
    Anyone wanting simple-minded, run-of-the-mill shallow plot and celebrity action will be disappointed. But if you appreciate a challenge, aAnyone 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 6, 2014
    9
    This film blows away the term "Cliche" and Glazers direction is top notch. It's a film you have to examine and think about, that has depth andThis film blows away the term "Cliche" and Glazers direction is top notch. It's a film you have to examine and think about, that has depth and purity. Moreover at times very scary and suspenseful. Johansson is brilliant. Expand
  4. Apr 30, 2014
    7
    I haven't been this conflicted by a film in quite a while. I also haven't thought about a film this much after seeing it in a while either.I haven't been this conflicted by a film in quite a while. I also haven't thought about a film this much after seeing it in a while either.

    There were moments during Under the Skin where I found myself completely awestruck by what I was seeing and hearing (the sublime beginning sequence for example). I sensed big existential questions being conjured meticulously through sound and image. There were also moments where almost nothing was happening, and the seconds felt like minutes. It just seemed it was stretched a bit thin a times.

    I do believe there is greatness within this film, but I'd be lying if I said I felt that way throughout the it's entirety. If you're feeling adventurous, give this one a go.
    Expand
  5. 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 severalWhile 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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  6. Jul 20, 2014
    3
    This is not a film but rather a collection of abstract scenes. The plot devices and attempts at narrative feel shoehorned and out of place.This is not a film but rather a collection of abstract scenes. The plot devices and attempts at narrative feel shoehorned and out of place. The characters are hollow, wooden, boring. Johanssen's performance seems absurd as she bounces between charismatic dialogue and robotic set-pieces. This is a disappointment. A film that seethes with potential but never delivers.

    - x
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  7. Feb 7, 2015
    0
    The only good thing about this movie is that it allowed me to replace Saw 3 as the worst movie I've ever seen. If someone wanted to torture meThe only good thing about this movie is that it allowed me to replace Saw 3 as the worst movie I've ever seen. If someone wanted to torture me they'd just have to make me watch this completely useless and pointless piece of crap again. Expand

See all 96 User Reviews

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