Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
Nobody else could fit the role of a crestfallen rocker that Paul Dano embodies in director So Yong Kim's remarkable For Ellen. Read full review
This performance, unlike anything Paul Dano has ever done, must have required some courage. It requires an actor to cast aside all conceits of performance, presence, charisma and even timing. Read full review
It has a sense of drift that both vexes and beguiles. Read full review
So Yong Kim's direction remains ruminative, even poetic, in its pacing, its sense of place, and its approach to intimacy, but this is her most unsuitable script. Read full review
Unfortunately, Kim nearly wrecks the film's observational acuteness with a climax that shamelessly steals from Bob Rafelson's classic blue-collar drama "Five Easy Pieces," and this faux-gut-punch finale feels haphazardly sutured on rather than arrived at organically. Guess that ham-fisted opening shot was a sign of things to come. Read full review
In a film that deliberately recalls 1970's "Five Easy Pieces," Dano's performance as a lost dreamer running from adulthood resonates beautifully.
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By concentrating so intently on the psychically unattached Joby, Kim hinders dramatic and character development. Her "Treeless Mountain," the Korea-set saga of two young sisters, was also quiet and open-ended. But the interplay between the two girls provided warmth and depth. For Ellen feels both colder and slighter. Read full review
The drama is so minimalist that it's hard to glimpse the man behind the woe. Read full review
The scant character development is not enhanced by the film's directorial style. Read full review
Sundance Mopey Alienation Flick No. 4,228 is For Ellen, an empty angst-athon that proves 90 minutes of close-ups of Paul Dano looking wounded can be even less interesting than it sounds.
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