Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
An alienated-teen movie that surfs along on the whims and casual cruelties of its central character runs a risk: It can wind up as random and undisciplined as she is. Instead, Little Birds is a touching and distinctive achievement.
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New York Daily News

The imagery is consistently striking and the themes, if well-worn, do often ring true.
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Los Angeles Times

By Betsy Sharkey
Breathtaking moments give way to boring ones; searing emotions vie with the exceedingly bland.
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The Playlist

By Gabe Toro
Temple and Panabaker are quite good in their lead roles, to the point where you start to hate the fact that the movie's thesis thrives on the girls being damned if they do, and damned if they don't.
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Time Out New York

By Eric Hynes
The problem is that screen mayhem has a tendency to translate as hip posturing, and Little Birds' scenes of shoplifting shenanigans and pistol-whipping showdowns all too readily conform to indie-film form and style.
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Village Voice

By Michael Atkinson
The dialogue is as stock as the characters, and James's visual palette never surpasses the adequate.
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New York Post

None of the actors has the heft to elevate this rote material, though to be fair, the task may be impossible. The dreamy shots of a poisoned sea in Little Birds show an imagination sorely missing from its drab plot and characters.
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The New York Times

By A.O. Scott
I don't think Mr. James intended to make a creepy, exploitative movie about teenage runaways - or, for that matter, a moralistic, cautionary tale of girls gone bad. But those are the default categories that Little Birds stumbles toward, perhaps because the filmmaker has not found a cogent way to channel his curiosity or his empathy.
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Slant Magazine

By Nick Schager
A film of precious, romanticized misery and squalor.
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41 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.