User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 55
  2. Negative: 17 out of 55
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  1. Jul 13, 2013
    0
    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'tWow! 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. Expand
  2. JeremyK
    Jul 1, 2009
    2
    Must have played better in the theatre - or not. Nice recap by Andrew. I was emphatically impressed by "Old Joy" and its deft touch of melancholia and wonder. This is in contrast a very silly film whose mundane contrivances and all too overstated sombre simplicity make it feel an empty, patronizing waste of time. Michelle Williams is fine I suppose, I however, found myself more curious Must have played better in the theatre - or not. Nice recap by Andrew. I was emphatically impressed by "Old Joy" and its deft touch of melancholia and wonder. This is in contrast a very silly film whose mundane contrivances and all too overstated sombre simplicity make it feel an empty, patronizing waste of time. Michelle Williams is fine I suppose, I however, found myself more curious about the secret life of the senior, seemngly gentle, journeyman of a security guard. Needless - there's nothing here and let's be generous in calling it a 'noble failure'. Expand
  3. JayH
    May 1, 2009
    7
    Beautifully and very convincingly acted by Michelle Williams, but what a depressing and slow moving movie. I never lost interest but it did drag in parts. Believable. Sincere direction and the simplicity of the film makes it work.
  4. jacksono
    May 10, 2009
    2
    Incredulously slow and predictable. Watch me read my lines. Now watch me use the toilet in the bathroom of a gas station, this is me washing my face afterward. Now see how I feed my dog, watch dog eat its food. Almost a parody on independent, but it wasn't meant that way. Who cares?
  5. MikeH
    May 9, 2009
    4
    While I really enjoyed and appreciated "Old Joy" this tale of a woman who makes many poor decisions did not involve me, whatsoever. Exposition is a good thing and is sorely needed in this instance.
  6. GregR
    Jun 30, 2009
    3
    Pro: (1)This movie did an effective job of portraying those who don't care about others predicaments. As well as the few who lend a hand to those in need of help: i.e. security guard. (2) I felt Wendy's pain and was compelled to help her. Con: (1)Terrible sound. I would have enjoyed no music compared to the continuous annoyance of somebody humming as well as the droning musical Pro: (1)This movie did an effective job of portraying those who don't care about others predicaments. As well as the few who lend a hand to those in need of help: i.e. security guard. (2) I felt Wendy's pain and was compelled to help her. Con: (1)Terrible sound. I would have enjoyed no music compared to the continuous annoyance of somebody humming as well as the droning musical score. (2) Camera work was horrid. Examples: camera man would aim camera at car. Umm, Wendy is over here now, you may wish to pan camera to Wendy. I'm convinced the camera man was distracted by something else during the filming. Another example, the scene in the woods where Wendy was trying to sleep. Some deranged man appears out of nowhere and starts babbling. Ok fine, yes it's scary. Problem is: I couldn't see a darn thing, let alone make out 1 coherent sentence from babbling man. I've never been a fan of completely dark scenes; I find them very annoying. (3) Wendy is destitute, we get it. Let's learn more about her background. Yes, it's actually important for the viewer to understand how/why she is got in this situation. Very weak character development. (4)The movie just ended suddenly, with her giving up her dog, Lucy and hopping on a train. The End. Critics will rave about artistic intentions of the filming techniques and musical score etc.,etc. The fact is, it is popular these days for critics to hump any movie that isn't a hollywood special, regardless of how weak the film actually is. Expand
  7. RobS.
    Jun 9, 2009
    3
    The acting is good, but the story is pointless. It might has well ended mid-sentence. Did they run out of money and had to just end it?
  8. tintin
    Jan 30, 2009
    2
    I love movies. I see at least 1 art house film per week. This movie was a waste of my time and money. The only bright side is that I only wasted 80 minutes of my life. The entire movie is Michelle Williams looking for her dog. Why is she going to Alaska? Is she going towards something or running away from something? At least the popcorn was fresh.
  9. TransporterM.
    Aug 3, 2009
    8
    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 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. Expand
  10. filmlover
    Dec 18, 2008
    3
    I love art films, euro, asian etc... but this film is just plain boring. Williams is terrific and i liked old joy by the same filmmaker, but this is pointless and often doesn't make sense.
  11. JonathanF.
    Jan 24, 2009
    10
    a moving tale of a broke woman trapped outside a society that won't let her in. probably too slow for some, the movie has a quiet pace fitting to the life wendy desperately tries to make new again. as she fights her way to alaska where a job awaits, her car breaks down and she loses her dog, but as depressive the material is the film sits on michelle williams' quietly moving, a moving tale of a broke woman trapped outside a society that won't let her in. probably too slow for some, the movie has a quiet pace fitting to the life wendy desperately tries to make new again. as she fights her way to alaska where a job awaits, her car breaks down and she loses her dog, but as depressive the material is the film sits on michelle williams' quietly moving, and captivating performance. it's the most unrewarded, underappreciated performance of the year. Expand
  12. TommyL
    Feb 19, 2009
    3
    We know absolutely nothing of Wendy. Why is she in her current situation? Why does her family not care about her? Her relationship with Lucy is very shallow and needed to be fleshed out more. The more interesting one is between her and the security guard but we get to know very little about him. This film went literally nowhere, literally and figuratively.
  13. AdamC
    Mar 1, 2009
    9
    Great slice of life film that shows what the real world is like. This is the type of movie that means more after a second viewing. I look forward to catching this film again when it makes its way to Blu Ray or DVD. Michelle Williams is absolutely absorbing and believable as Wendy in this decidedly realistic film.
  14. KR
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    One of the best movies of 2008. A quiet, moving masterpiece that packs a powerful punch. If only all movies were so simple and spare. It's like a great Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway short story in its economy and simplicity. Not much seems to happen. And yet by the end, I felt deeply connected to these characters and really cared about what happened to them. Williams should have One of the best movies of 2008. A quiet, moving masterpiece that packs a powerful punch. If only all movies were so simple and spare. It's like a great Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway short story in its economy and simplicity. Not much seems to happen. And yet by the end, I felt deeply connected to these characters and really cared about what happened to them. Williams should have been nominated for an Oscar for her understated, beautiful performance as a quiet, strong woman living on the edge of society. And her love for her dog feels more real and powerful than many made up movie romances on screen. A real gem! Expand
  15. Andrew
    May 16, 2009
    4
    As another viewer noted, this is a companion piece to "Old Joy." However, this one never engaged me. Wendy makes poor choices, the consequences of which are easily foreseen, though apparently she lacks the ability to think one step ahead. OK, so it's a movie about what happens to someone with a hole at her center, the origin of which is unclear, running away from something toward As another viewer noted, this is a companion piece to "Old Joy." However, this one never engaged me. Wendy makes poor choices, the consequences of which are easily foreseen, though apparently she lacks the ability to think one step ahead. OK, so it's a movie about what happens to someone with a hole at her center, the origin of which is unclear, running away from something toward "the last frontier" and probable exploitation, who decides and acts badly with little foresight. But I've seen films about people like her. This one adds nothing. The homeless and drifting are not, as the film tells us, largely harmless, mellow and victimized. Pitiable, yes. But the Pollyannish gloss on what is in general a depressing, predictable tale not only is jarring but offensive. Give "Old Joy" a look if you haven't seen it; it's a much more interesting view of the struggle to grow from adolescence into adulthood, having the same Portland-ish setting. Expand
  16. JohnB.
    Jun 13, 2009
    1
    This is just the kind of film that gives movie critics a bad name. Widely reviewed by the "experts" as an exceptional film, this thing is a boring mess from start to finish. No story, lifeless acting and a completely nothing of an ending. Absolutely pathetic, and a complete waste of time and money.
  17. JL.
    Jun 9, 2009
    3
    Boring movie. Girl is not very bright.
  18. JamesC.
    Dec 14, 2008
    10
    "Wendy and Lucy" is the American answer to the Dardenne brothers' "Rosetta" (1999). Kelly Reichardt has fashioned together a quiet 80-minute masterpiece of cinematic naturalism, unadorned by excess words or music or plot points. Reichardt lends not only an earnest, authentic voice but also a patient ear to the mass of common citizens quietly suffering under the weight of a hundred "Wendy and Lucy" is the American answer to the Dardenne brothers' "Rosetta" (1999). Kelly Reichardt has fashioned together a quiet 80-minute masterpiece of cinematic naturalism, unadorned by excess words or music or plot points. Reichardt lends not only an earnest, authentic voice but also a patient ear to the mass of common citizens quietly suffering under the weight of a hundred tiny daily struggles, forever on the fringes of the American middle class -- with the dream (or what's left of it) never quiet within their reach. And as for Michelle Williams....well, she is just exquisite, heartbreaking perfection. Expand
  19. RogerM.
    Dec 20, 2008
    8
    A young person's movie because most grown ups are too afraid to do what Wendy is, and a movie about the nature of modern America, all rolled into one. Low key, boring to the simple minded and ADHD, beautifully acted by Michelle Williams, with help from a dog and Walter Dalton.
  20. DarrylD.
    Jan 19, 2009
    10
    The pace of this film is as tentative as Wendy's situation. Flawless in its pitch-perfect sense of the place she is, the temperment of the people, and the wideness of the landscape. Kelly knows the area and has it's pulse down. Wendy's fears will grab the viewer, and for the too brief time this film is on, you are unquestionably with her, about her situation, and involved.
  21. anniem
    Feb 28, 2009
    10
    Agonizing for anyone with half a heart, and paying the slightest attention; all too true to life. Michelle Williams owns it.
  22. corndogJ
    Mar 11, 2009
    8
    I'll probably never forget Wendy (or Lucy), but John Anderson's reference to Wendy's "anonymity" rings true for me. There's a hole in the middle of her, a flat affect that needs some backstory on where it came from. One phone call to her sister and brother-in-law is painful, but insufficient as objective correlative. On the other hand, please do see this movie and the I'll probably never forget Wendy (or Lucy), but John Anderson's reference to Wendy's "anonymity" rings true for me. There's a hole in the middle of her, a flat affect that needs some backstory on where it came from. One phone call to her sister and brother-in-law is painful, but insufficient as objective correlative. On the other hand, please do see this movie and the glimpse we get of this character, this America. Expand
  23. JohnnyH
    Apr 15, 2009
    10
    Poor Wendy. Poor Lucy. Poor us! Poor those who didn't see the value in this piece. Simple, honest, yet full of life; adventure, love, loss, kindness, and finally sacrifice. Full of aspiration and disappointment, dreams and stark cold reality. As much as I'd love to, I don't think I could bare to watch this one again. Where's my doggy? There you are! Such a good girl! Poor Wendy. Poor Lucy. Poor us! Poor those who didn't see the value in this piece. Simple, honest, yet full of life; adventure, love, loss, kindness, and finally sacrifice. Full of aspiration and disappointment, dreams and stark cold reality. As much as I'd love to, I don't think I could bare to watch this one again. Where's my doggy? There you are! Such a good girl! ...Yes, I love you too, baby girl! Expand
  24. DennisL.
    Dec 11, 2008
    10
    Actress Williams is so compelling, without being overly dramatic. A short and touching story, low-key, quiet, sad; you know something is deeply troubling Wendy; you see why her dog is important to her. It feels real, and that's always difficult for a movie to convey. Director Reichardt does a great job here.
  25. Aug 27, 2010
    2
    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.
  26. May 26, 2015
    8
    Michelle Williams is one of the photogenic face in Hollywood and also like her performance. But won the negative impression of mine over portrayal of her character in 'Take This Waltz'. Doing a villainous role may get appreciation, for example, the Joker from Batman, but doing things that affect morality is really hurt if you really like that person. After that movie, I was not into herMichelle Williams is one of the photogenic face in Hollywood and also like her performance. But won the negative impression of mine over portrayal of her character in 'Take This Waltz'. Doing a villainous role may get appreciation, for example, the Joker from Batman, but doing things that affect morality is really hurt if you really like that person. After that movie, I was not into her films and she also did not do any major roles. Accidentally I came to know about this movie, which is in fact a bit older movie than what I was talking about and after knowing more about it, I got interested and I could not resist from watching. Frankly, this movie filled the gap created by the earlier crack.

    This movie falls in the line of 'Open Road' and 'Into the Wild' when it comes to rendering the main character. If you have already seen those two, or any other similar flicks, then you would find this movie was very much intense. Wendy, a woman in her late 20s with her dog Lucy are on an expedition to the other end of the country seeking a solution to the difficulty for having a normal life and job. One must have to keep walking on either of way to see a light at the end of the tunnel and that's what Wendy does here.

    "You can't get an address without an address.
    You can't get a job without a job."

    This movie commence middle of her destination, where she's stranded after her car broke-down. It won't say anything about the earlier account of Wendy or what might happen after the timeline of this film. All the 80 minute of narration takes place in the Oregon city which is just a glimpse of her life for us as a movie, but a major impact thenceforth in her life. The struggle during fixing her car is what depicted simply, but beautifully on the screen.

    The story is about the man and his pet's relationship, that's what the meaning of the title, like 'Marley & Me'. Also being a young woman, society is no safe for roaming freely all the places alone at all the time. Plain drama, it was, but something meaningful story, a lesson to learn, a character to study and a life to experience. A kind of journey of self- discovery during understanding how the civil system works. Thematically there's nothing wrong, but 'setting an example' wise, this movie is not safer for other than the adults. Among the best movies of the year it was released. Impossible not to recommend others, especially by me to you perhaps.

    8/10
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    70
    Unless you're an antsy movie-goer or have a cold heart, by the end of Wendy and Lucy, you'll be engrossed, hoping for the best possible outcome.