Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    100
    With Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke registering personal bests in the performance category as well as playing magnificently and ultraconvincingly off each other, What Doesn't Kill You, a true story that is powerful and completely riveting from beginning to end.
  2. A tough, authentic street drama born, bred, and shot in the no-spin zone of working-class South Boston.
  3. The overfamiliarity of What Doesn't Kill You is redeemed by a full-scale performance from Mark Ruffalo.
  4. It tells a good story well, and in the process quietly says a little something about what it means to look at the American dream from the bottom up.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Like "The Departed" and "Gone Baby Gone," What Doesn't Kill You is an engrossing, gritty, sharply written and well-acted drama set on the mean streets of South Boston.
  6. 75
    Goodman doesn't allow even a hint of postmodernism or self-consciousness to creep into What Doesn't Kill You, and though the movie's various heists and shootouts are gripping, they aren't especially kinetic or stylish.
  7. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    70
    Ruffalo's feral vulnerability gives the familiar form a jolt.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    70
    It is worth seeking out for a brutally honest, achingly realistic, and emotionally compelling look at the other side of petty crime – the slow, painful path to legitimacy.
  9. 63
    This is a rare case of a movie that improves dramatically as it goes along.
  10. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    40
    Goodman's movie tends to limp along.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Feb 22, 2013
    6
    This was a pretty intense movie, but it felt as though as I watching it in fast forward. What Doesn't Kill You is the story of two brothers,This was a pretty intense movie, but it felt as though as I watching it in fast forward. What Doesn't Kill You is the story of two brothers, who grow up in poverty and whom turned to organized crime to survive. For fifteen years, they did what they were told, but with the boss on his way to prison, they decide to go off on their own. Admittedly, it's a tremendous story that follows the paths of these brothers over the course of the next few years, the problem was that in this movie, years translate into about 10 minute intervals. Instead of giving us a complete and accurate portrayal, the director decided to cut the story into small fragments, usually no longer than a minute or two. Something is said, something happens, and then were on to another something, when? where? who knows!? The movie moved so fast and was so choppy, that it left my head spinning. Despite the confusion, it was pretty entertaining and Mark Ruffalo gives an unbelievable performance. Here's another example of a guy I've seen around, never thought much of, who randomly shows up in a B-movie and just makes the whole film worth watching. If you're able to keep up, and this movie doesn't confuse you into an absolute stupor, it's not bad. The story is solid, the cast is good, and it has it's moments, but again only if you can get passed the ridiculous pace the director has decided to set for us. Full Review »
  2. bobs
    Sep 13, 2009
    10
    More like an 8, but gotta try to skew that dopey user rating - makes us all look bad. This was a fine film - can't wait for Goodman's next.
  3. JayH
    Apr 26, 2009
    7
    Powerful but very heavy, exceptionally well acted, gritty, realistic and believable. Fine cinematography, good direction. Good job overall. Powerful but very heavy, exceptionally well acted, gritty, realistic and believable. Fine cinematography, good direction. Good job overall. The characters are well defined. Full Review »