90

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
In its jagged style and tone Black Butterflies is as close to an inside-out view of Jonker's tumultuous life as a movie could go without sinking into chaos. Its hues are continuously changing, and the seaside weather around Cape Town reflects her tempestuous emotional life.
Full Review
80

The Hollywood Reporter

Paula van der Oest's biopic of South African poet Ingrid Jonker is conventional yet captivating thanks in large part to a terrific lead performance from Carice van Houten.
Full Review
80

Variety

By Ronnie Scheib
The uncompromising power of Ingrid Jonker's poetry runs like a pulsing vein through Black Butterflies.
Full Review
75

New York Observer

By Rex Reed
Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
Full Review
63

Slant Magazine

A reasonably sensitive and occasionally insightful look into the mind and psyche of an impassioned and deeply troubled artist.
Full Review
60

Time Out New York

By Keith Uhlich
Carice van Houten (Black Book) is superb as the emotionally unstable Jonker - all manically beaming highs and depressively gloomy lows, a tempestuous force of nature in a movie that too often plays it blandly polite.
Full Review
58

The A.V. Club

By Sam Adams
At least Black Butterflies gets the tortured-soul part right.
Full Review
50

New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
The script is cliché-ridden and ends on an overly sentimental note.
Full Review
50

Village Voice

By Nick Schager
Art, politics, and craziness conspire to form a rather mechanical melodrama in Black Butterflies.
Full Review
66 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.