Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
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. Read full review
The imagery is consistently striking and the themes, if well-worn, do often ring true.
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Breathtaking moments give way to boring ones; searing emotions vie with the exceedingly bland. Read full review
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. Read full review
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. Read full review
The dialogue is as stock as the characters, and James's visual palette never surpasses the adequate. Read full review
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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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. Read full review
A film of precious, romanticized misery and squalor. Read full review
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