• Released
  • September 12, 2012
  • 1 hr 14 min
  • Drama
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88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Melissa Leo plays her without inflection, giving us no instructions about what our opinion should be. It is a brave performance, an act of empathy with a sad woman.
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80

Time Out New York

By Keith Uhlich
The movie might very well have come off as a too-clinical experiment if it weren't for Leo, who maintains a rivetingly mysterious aura even as her character's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre.
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80

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
A small gem of bleak, neorealist portraiture.
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70

The Hollywood Reporter

A minimalist, image-based character study that is almost impossibly fragile and yet emotionally robust, Francine is a legitimate discovery.
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70

Variety

By Justin Chang
A glum but tenderly observed micro-portrait of a woman struggling to re-enter society after being released from prison.
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67

indieWIRE

By Eric Kohn
While Francine distinguishes itself with atmospheric strangeness, Cassidy and Shatzky never create a satisfying whole.
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60

NPR

By Ian Buckwalter
At times Francine feels like a documentary as well, an intimate observational work in the mode of Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers, where the omnipresence of the camera puts the characters so at ease that they reveal subtle moments of character that they might otherwise hide out of self-consciousness.
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50

Slant Magazine

By Bill Weber
In a character study of an ex-con who gives her heart and mind to animals rather than people, Melissa Leo's risky performance is ultimately framed with a disappointing, distanced pity.
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50

Village Voice

By Melissa Anderson
Reveals itself to be a project of few interesting ideas.
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38

New York Post

What with the unexciting hand-held camerawork, and the off-putting script and lead performance, Francine remains as frustrating as its inscrutable title character.
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65 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.