We Are What We Are


Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Aug 29, 2013
    The film is that rare modern horror movie that doesn’t simply fabricate its scares with the standard bag of postproduction tricks. Instead it builds them via a bracing command of traditional suspense tools... This is polished film craft.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    Sep 9, 2014
    Intelligently conceived, beautifully executed and filled with surprisingly convincing performances all around... We Are What We Are is that rare horror film that could play at both arthouse and grindhouse theaters without seemingly out of place at either one.
  3. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Sep 25, 2013
    Among the stronger American horror films of the year.
  4. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Sep 27, 2013
    Mickle and co-writer Nick Damici gutted Grau's story to the bone. And they not only built something entirely new on that skeleton — they managed to equal and in many ways surpass the dark, bloody beauty of their source material.
  5. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Sep 25, 2013
    It plays less like a contemporary horror film than an increasingly gruesome drama, building to a climax — completely original to this version — where the movie’s core themes are expressed through grotesque imagery.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 29, 2013
    Make no mistake: Mickle wants to make you jump and scream, but death only arrives in this movie once its world comes to life, which makes each sudden turn all the more intense.
  7. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Aug 29, 2013
    We Are What We Are is just a great yarn, well-acted, elegantly shot and put together cleverly so that even its more visceral delights feel well-earned.
  8. Reviewed by: Nigel Floyd
    Feb 25, 2014
    Against all the odds, Stake Land director Jim Mickle has cooked up a controlled, affecting ‘companion piece’ that honours the Mexican original while deepening its themes.
  9. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Feb 24, 2014
    A crunching, visceral transplant for this cannibal tale from its urban Mexican setting to an American milieu.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 17, 2013
    With its lush look, uniformly excellent acting, slow cadences and unhurried unspooling, We Are What We Are rewards your patience without skimping on the goods.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 25, 2013
    There’s a hint of Terrence Malick (or David Lowery, of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) in the often-gorgeous photography of Ryan Samul, and a hint of Shakespearean grandeur in Sage’s portrayal of a dignified and honorable American father infused with an ideology of madness. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen an exploitation film played so effectively as human tragedy.
  12. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 9, 2013
    An American remake of Jorge Michel Grau's 2010 Mexican shocker, this Sundance and Fantastic Fest fan favorite is undeniably creepy stuff that’s been given a dusty, American Gothic anti-sheen courtesy of cinematographer Ryan Samul.
  13. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Oct 11, 2013
    "The Silence of the Lambs" gave us an articulate, Euro-suave gourmand cannibal, but served up pretty much the same stew.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Oct 10, 2013
    A family implodes with a biting commentary on patriarchy.
  15. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Oct 3, 2013
    The movie saves most of its modest number of jolts for its last quarter or so, which makes them all the more intense. They stick in your craw - and be warned, they're not for the squeamish.
  16. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Sep 30, 2013
    A first-rate example of good storytelling and well-timed — while not excessive — gore. Its disgusting, hilarious conclusion left me eager to see what’ll be next from director Jim Mickle.
  17. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 26, 2013
    What Mickle really gets right, and what makes this far and away a more artful and effective work of skin-crawly horror than its predecessor, is atmosphere.
  18. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 26, 2013
    Like the family, the film occasionally comes apart at the seams. But Childers and Garner are absolutely mesmerizing as Iris and Rose.
  19. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    Sep 24, 2013
    It isn't until the ending, which turns the squirm amplifier up to 11 and exceeded even my horrific expectations, that we finally see the story's potential realized.
  20. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Aug 29, 2013
    That We Are What We Are steers just shy of silliness even at its most outrageous is in large part thanks to a committed cast of non-disposable character actors.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Oct 10, 2013
    A grade A, meat-and-potatoes genre flick.
  22. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Sep 26, 2013
    It’s all a little silly, but Mr. Mickle’s restrained gravity stifles the impulse to laugh.
  23. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 26, 2013
    While ultimately gory — and a little dopey — this is no rowdy, exploitation-y, gross-out picture. This is a film where ambience, glossy imagery and performance are more effective than the splatter.
  24. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 24, 2013
    Outside of its cracked psychology (well conveyed by papa Bill Sage), We Are What We Are is horror leftovers, neither inedible nor piping hot.
  25. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Sep 21, 2013
    Jim Mickle plays the scenario deadly straight and unintentionally exposes all of its attendant absurdities, leaving the cast stranded.
  26. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 10, 2013
    There’s some fun to be had, as long as your idea of fun includes being grossed out.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Oct 2, 2013
    One of the best horror/thriller movies I've seen in the last couple of years. I love the Hawthornian Lovecrafting setting and mood. MichaelOne of the best horror/thriller movies I've seen in the last couple of years. I love the Hawthornian Lovecrafting setting and mood. Michael Parks (Jean Renault from "Twin Peaks") is one of my favorite actors, and he delivers an outstanding performance here as the local village ME/doctor. The script is terrific it pulls you in without throwing in the standard horror shocks and scares. And it absolutely saves its best for last, so stick it out! Full Review »
  2. Jul 8, 2015
    This is a horror movie you can sneak past the ladies, gentlemen. There is such a feeling of despair through the whole ordeal that I becameThis is a horror movie you can sneak past the ladies, gentlemen. There is such a feeling of despair through the whole ordeal that I became quite transfixed by the power of it. Far, far too many things go on at one time for this to be a one watch - there are deeper things in this movie than the visceral exterior. The movie flows toward the climax with unending vigor and dread that it grips you and the ending will leave you looking like a clueless teenager - the celery stick fell out of my mouth. Outstanding work that man. I give it 6 hurls out of 10 for gore and 3 sets of underwear out of 10 for fear. Full Review »
  3. Jul 28, 2015
    It is not at the level of poetry and it never will, but in this case there is a poesy by Philip Larkin called "This Be The Verse" thatIt is not at the level of poetry and it never will, but in this case there is a poesy by Philip Larkin called "This Be The Verse" that explains it perfectly:

    They **** you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.
    Full Review »