Neon | Release Date (Streaming): June 5, 2020
6.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 40 Ratings
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Positive:
21
Mixed:
15
Negative:
4
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10
fra92Jun 25, 2020
Elizabeth Moss shines in this incredible story about writing and womanhood. I really loved it, and I will watch again in cinemas!
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4
moviemitch96Jun 15, 2020
I really don't have much to say on this one at all. I had no idea this was a biopic prior to watching it, nor did I have any idea who Shirley Jackson was. So maybe that's a big part of why I couldn't connect with this film to save my life,I really don't have much to say on this one at all. I had no idea this was a biopic prior to watching it, nor did I have any idea who Shirley Jackson was. So maybe that's a big part of why I couldn't connect with this film to save my life, but even that aside, the film feels loosely and half-heartedly stitched together through questionable cinematography and editing, lack of any coherent narrative or purpose, and simply seems to just mosey along. Aside from an always brilliant and reliable Elizabeth Moss (as well as a worthwhile turn from Michael Stuhlbarg), the rest of the performances from Logan Lerman and Odessa Young left much to be desired for me. Overall, I simply found the whole ordeal to be quite forgettable and pointless. Expand
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5
Brent_MarchantJun 13, 2020
An ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to do something different with the biopic genre as told through an episode in the life of enigmatic horror/mystery author Shirley Jackson. While the picture benefits from strong visuals andAn ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to do something different with the biopic genre as told through an episode in the life of enigmatic horror/mystery author Shirley Jackson. While the picture benefits from strong visuals and excellent performances by Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young and, especially, Elisabeth Moss as the title character, director Josephine Decker raises far too many issues and introduces an excess of story threads that never quite tie together into a coherent, focused whole. That's unfortunate given the story's complex and colorful protagonist and its fine ensemble of supporting players. Judicious editing and a revamped screenplay would have worked wonders for this one. As it stands, however, "Shirley" represents a missed opportunity to tell a story as provocative and engaging as the subject it's profiling. Expand
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10
DeanomiteJun 6, 2020
I have greatly admired Elizabeth Moss since she clawed her way up the ladder on Mad Men about a decade ago. I think she will go down as the next Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn, seductive without being sexy. Her performances have a rhythmI have greatly admired Elizabeth Moss since she clawed her way up the ladder on Mad Men about a decade ago. I think she will go down as the next Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn, seductive without being sexy. Her performances have a rhythm that pulls you in and gets you to hang for hurdles that are both chronic and acute. As an example, at 1hr5min of this movie, she resolves to go a party in defiance of her philandering husband. Out of the blue she is forced to wrestle with agoraphobia in a way that is hilarious in a very subtle way. The next scene she is seductively exploring her own homosexuality, it is seamless in a way no other actor could attempt. the acting here is all solid, the photography is understated and the direction is extremely well done in an obscure non signature fashion. A very good movie. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
JLuis_001Jun 13, 2020
I must start by saying that whoever put the thriller tag on this film should be fired right away.

Then the writers should reconsider how they could create such arrogant and pretentious characters. I hardly want to deal with those kinds of
I must start by saying that whoever put the thriller tag on this film should be fired right away.

Then the writers should reconsider how they could create such arrogant and pretentious characters.
I hardly want to deal with those kinds of people in my daily life, let alone in a film.
But I totally understand characters that behave like that and they definitely shouldn't create problems when watching a film, yet when they don't help the story to progress, it's quite clear that the interest in following them decreases considerably. And when the story is that inert, you have a big, big problem.

The issue is not that the performances are bad because they're not, especially that of Elisabeth Moss, the issue is that the characters are not really attractive.

I also read the film fictionalized a lot of what it portrays, but to be honest I can't say anything about that considering all I knew about Shirley Jackson is The Haunting of Hill House.

Shirley is a film that has ambition and talent but none of them fits in the best way and and while it could've been a much more disappointing film, it's far from what I expected due to the good reviews it received.
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10
Scott92Jun 25, 2020
Beautiful, visually stunning, incredibly acted. Loved it, and I recommend everyone its vision
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3
Stream2BigScreeJun 20, 2020
Here's another weekend without a movie theater. There's still new content on demand and with streaming services. We finally got around to the new film on Hulu, Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss as renowned writer, Shirley Jackson. Is ShirleyHere's another weekend without a movie theater. There's still new content on demand and with streaming services. We finally got around to the new film on Hulu, Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss as renowned writer, Shirley Jackson. Is Shirley as thrilling as Ms. Jackson's stories?

Biopics about writers can be difficult to make cinematic because the writing process is so internal. While Shirley is about the writer and the writing process, it is hardly a biopic in the normal sense. The film focuses on a young couple who move to the Vermont college town where Shirley and her husband Stanley, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, live. The young husband, Fred, played by Logan Lerman, has a position as Stanley's assistant, and the wife, Rose, played by Odette Young, plans to audit some courses at the school, but her plans change as Stanley needs someone to manage the home because Shirley cannot. The couple plans to stay with Stanley and Shirley temporarily until they find their own place. As Shirley's eccentric madness fills the home as she begins to work on her new novel, thrills ensue and consume Rose.

Josephine Decker, who directed Shirley, does a good job of balancing themes. There is a focus on the relationships between the husbands and wives that deteriorate due to selfishness and mistrust. The film depicts how those relationship can affect mental health, which becomes more important as the film moves along. The connection between Shirley's writing and her mental state permeate the movie and affect the characters in interesting ways. Sometimes it can get confusing, but I suppose that was the point. The film wants to feel like one of Shirley Jackson's stories, and there is something thrilling about it - to a point.

Aside from some confusion due to directorial choices, my biggest problem with Shirley is Elisabeth Moss. Moss is a good actress, but like many actors, she has a go-to bag of tricks when she plays her characters. That deep, crazed stare she has. She's got a tremble and a soft, calculated speaking voice. While I get that Shirley has mental issues and she's prickly, Moss's portrayal of her feels like a caricature. It is outsized and false. I wish she would have reined it in. Moss is particularly jarring when compared to Michael Stuhlbarg, who is very good but equally calculating as Stanley. The unfortunate part of this is that Moss's portrayal took me out of the movie completely.

Ultimately, if you like Shirley Jackson's writing, it may be interesting to see this slice of life biopic/thriller. The director attempted to create a movie that feels like a story written by Shirley; and, even though, it has its thrilling moments, the movie can be confusing and off-putting. Unfortunately, Moss's over-the-top acting pulls focus of the film and does a disservice to it overall.
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6
TVJerryJun 13, 2020
Elisabeth Moss continues to expand her range as this cantankerous horror writer (based on Shirley Jackson). Her character is smart and verbally vicious, but also immensely troubled. When a young couple moves into their house, unusual thingsElisabeth Moss continues to expand her range as this cantankerous horror writer (based on Shirley Jackson). Her character is smart and verbally vicious, but also immensely troubled. When a young couple moves into their house, unusual things happen in several directions. This is primarily an exercise in putting complex characters in uncomfortable situations. As the relationships evolve, the drama abounds. Director Josephine Decker has created moods and people who are sometimes compelling and other times just frustrating. It's an unusual character  drama with Moss' performance creating the most interest. Expand
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6
bertobellamyNov 22, 2020
'Shirley' is not your regular biopic. Through this exuberant representation of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman, director Josephine Decker tries to explore the dark side of intellectuals; however, their intentions never seem clear'Shirley' is not your regular biopic. Through this exuberant representation of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman, director Josephine Decker tries to explore the dark side of intellectuals; however, their intentions never seem clear along the way. It's very welcoming to watch these new takes on the genre, but the plot's loss of focus turns the film into a very dense experience, and not in a great way. Expand
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