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Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 88
    Peter Keough Boston Globe

    This sounds like it could be austere and schematic, but the affecting, authentic performances from the first-time actors make these characters thoroughly authentic. show more

  • 75
    Jesse Cataldo Slant Magazine

    The songs performed here function as the creative end point of emotional trauma, revealing pain gradually transfigured into art. show more

  • 50
    Simon Abrams

    Watching Campbell over her shoulder or in a mirror is frustrating because it consistently limits our view of her character. Porterfield's people can't give anything away beyond their immediate aggression, frustration, and sadness. But it's hard to appreciate an intentionally blurry portrait of a family that's so impressionistic that all you can see of its already-withdrawn characters are their shadows. show more

  • 60
    Keith Uhlich Time Out New York

    There’s still enough of merit here (particularly a movingly low-key finale that strikes just the right note of reconciliation and regret) to suggest that Porterfield has the chops to eventually hone his talents to a fine point. show more

  • 50
    Noel Murray The Dissolve

    Where before, Porterfield seemed to be recording life as it’s lived, here, he’s mostly recording plot. The difference is glaring. show more

  • 75
    Jessica Kiang The Playlist

    Some occasionally awkward performance moments aside, though, the film is very compassionate towards its characters and finds just about enough original insight within the well-worn family drama genre to keep things from feeling too familiar—it’s a just a shame there couldn’t have been a little more vitality injected early on. show more

  • 80
    Sheri Linden Los Angeles Times

    It's a story of contained chaos, quietly observed — one that catches fire more in retrospect than in the viewing. show more

  • 70
    Nick Schager Village Voice

    The film exhibits a contemplative quiet and attentiveness to detail that enhances its issues of regret, bitterness, and confusion, many of which are rooted in thorny parent-child relations. show more

  • 70
    Jeannette Catsoulis The New York Times

    Mr. Porterfield might sometimes be too subtle for his own good, but by taking us on a low-key ramble through the ever-shifting feelings of a fractured family, he has woven a dreamy, detached chronicle of dissolution and renewal. show more

  • 91
    A.A. Dowd The A.V. Club

    Drenched in the evening glow of its urban and suburban backdrops, Darker comes alive in the dark, when its characters are drowning their sorrows in song, the sauce, or conversation. show more

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