Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Wendy and Lucy is modest, minimalist. But it nonetheless reverberates like a sonic boom.
  2. This is where the movie excels. In the classic neo-realist tradition, it's scant in plot yet rich in mood and character, offering us a revealing hint here, a poignant glimpse there, with each revelation filtered through Michelle Williams's superbly muted performance, all the more moving for being so restrained.
  3. It's a tender, tough, uncompromising film, photographed with a disarming directness and seeming simplicity that looks almost naked next to the dramatic constructions of most films. It just makes her precariousness all the more real.
  4. Improbably, it's one of the most affecting films of the year, which once again demonstrates that all you need to make a good movie is talent.
  5. Wendy and Lucy is like "Lassie Come Home" directed by Antonioni. What's piercing about it, and also disturbing, is that Reichardt views the renunciation of society with something close to righteous purity -- as a lefty romantic dream.
  6. 91
    The film is exquisitely realized, with a tremendous, naturalistic performance by Michelle Williams at its heart and a pervasive, assuring sense that Reichardt and Raymond have distilled everything nonessential from their story and imparted exactly the impact they wished.
  7. 91
    Having the dog around raises the emotional stakes tenfold, and develops a kinship with Vittorio De Sica's Italian neo-realist classic "Umberto D.," which also revealed societal ills through a poignant dog-owner relationship
  8. 90
    Trembling throughout on the verge of a tearful breakdown, but far too dignified to allow her character to choke up, Williams delivers a sensationally nuanced performance that, were it not so resolutely undramatic, would constitute an aria of stoical misery.
  9. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Williams' performance is remarkable not only for its depth but for its stillness.
  10. 90
    What will happen to her? The strength of this short, simple, perfect story of a young woman and her dog is that this does not seem, by the end, to be an idle or trivial question. What happens to Wendy -- and to Lucy -- matters a lot, which is to say that Wendy and Lucy, for all its modesty, matters a lot too.
  11. 88
    Simple story, beautifully told.
  12. 88
    Another illustration of how absorbing a film can be when the plot doesn't stand between us and a character.
  13. 88
    Within the confines of this minimalist picture, there are sequences so vital, timely and of-the-moment, so powerful and well-observed and precise, the effect can be emotionally overwhelming.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    An evocative film with a believable and subtly enthralling lead performance that gets deeply under your skin.
  15. 88
    Wendy Carroll is a character we rarely see in movies anymore, a woman left alone with her thoughts. That a moviegoer would care what she's thinking testifies to the power in Williams's brand of solitude.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 11 out of 25
  1. Jul 13, 2013
    Wow! That was a waste of time. Firstly, Wendy and Lucy it is such a boring and lame and stupid film that it will make you want to kill yourself. One hour and twenty minutes wasted in my life that I would rather had been knocking my head on the ground. Nothing happens in that film and when she find Lucy she just leaves her-AGAIN!!! I watched the first 30 minutes and then the ending. Don't watch it unless you are depressed and you prefer to watch that film rather than cutting your self. Maybe Wendy and Lucy it's worse. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    A film that revels in its mediocrity - though it tries, it is neither fun, insightful nor observant. It's only saving grace is Michelle Williams' heartbreaking performance. Full Review »
  3. TransporterM.
    Aug 3, 2009
    This is just the kind of film that gives viewer ratings a bad name. I suspect that those who think this film was boring would also think that De Sica's neo-realist masterpiece Umberto D - which it closely resembles - is also boring. It doesn't give critics a bad name to recognize that there are some movies that just can't serve two masters, as many try to do, and which are more like caviar than pizza. For the pizza-only lovers who missed the point of this movie, it is a "tranche de vie" - a slice of life - that poignantly illuminates the triumphs, tragedies, debasement, and, especially, nobility of everyday life. Full Review »