• Released
  • September 5, 2012
  • (NY)
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • Drama
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By Eric Kohn
Nobody else could fit the role of a crestfallen rocker that Paul Dano embodies in director So Yong Kim's remarkable For Ellen.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
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.
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
It has a sense of drift that both vexes and beguiles.
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Slant Magazine

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.
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Time Out New York

By Keith Uhlich
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.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
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 Mark Jenkins
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.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The drama is so minimalist that it's hard to glimpse the man behind the woe.
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The Hollywood Reporter

The scant character development is not enhanced by the film's directorial style.
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New York Post

By Kyle Smith
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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61 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.