Upstream Color

  • Studio: erbp
  • Release Date: Apr 5, 2013
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 111
  2. Negative: 24 out of 111

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 30, 2013
    4
    Almost a decade ago, Shane Carruth created "Primer," a low-budget sci-fi flick that developed a cult following for its complex ambiguity. This new one has a better quality look, arty even. It's edited with short cuts to keep it moving. But…the plot is totally obtuse. A man and woman have been part of some kind of enigmatic experiment involving a worm. There's also a guy who walks aroundAlmost a decade ago, Shane Carruth created "Primer," a low-budget sci-fi flick that developed a cult following for its complex ambiguity. This new one has a better quality look, arty even. It's edited with short cuts to keep it moving. But…the plot is totally obtuse. A man and woman have been part of some kind of enigmatic experiment involving a worm. There's also a guy who walks around recording sounds and tending to pigs. And "Walden." If you like to feel hip and love to dig deep for meaning, you're liable to find it perfect. Otherwise, there's lots of interesting imagery with no easy payoff. Collapse
  2. Mar 24, 2015
    5
    If you found Shane Carruth's first film, Primer, a tough watch prepare to be completely bamboozled by his second feature. The plot is...well unexplainable! It involves strange maggots, operations on pigs, hypnotic states and an unorthodox love affair. For most this will induce frustration and confusion and many aren't going to make it to the end, others will delight in its offbeat,If you found Shane Carruth's first film, Primer, a tough watch prepare to be completely bamboozled by his second feature. The plot is...well unexplainable! It involves strange maggots, operations on pigs, hypnotic states and an unorthodox love affair. For most this will induce frustration and confusion and many aren't going to make it to the end, others will delight in its offbeat, hallucinatory structure. There is no doubt cart is a filmmaker of talent but if he gets any more obtuse he risks disappearing up his own arthouse orifice. Expand

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 2, 2013
    80
    It is invigoratingly freaky and strange, with a Death-Valley-dry sense of humour somewhere underneath — though a little derivative sometimes. More than once, Carruth gives us a close-up on a hand ruminatively stroking a surface: very Malick. And the shots of creepy creatures swarming under the skin are very Cronenberg.
  2. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Aug 27, 2013
    100
    If you’ve ever sat at your desk wondering whether there’s more to life, or been kept awake by an insidious hum in the darkness, this will speak to your soul – even as its enveloping, disturbing, uplifting story sends your mind reeling with giddy possibilities.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Aug 26, 2013
    80
    How to sum up? You have to make synapse-spark connections, interpret events to your own satisfaction, pick up visual cues (a long stretch of the film is dialogue-free) and be happy with not knowing all the answers (you know, like in life — but not in most motion pictures). A perfectly judged, strikingly beautiful film, but also a lunatic enterprise which invites — even welcomes — befuddlement as much as wonder. A true original.