80

Time Out New York

By Joshua Rothkopf
Return is almost too underdramatized to seem like a piece of today's zoomy entertainment, but its anxieties-the bare cupboards, the vague sense of purposelessness-are at the heart of the American experience for many. It's what indie filmmaking ought to be.
Full Review
70

New York Magazine (Vulture)

By David Edelstein
There are a couple of hundred instances in which Johnson or her actors could take condescending short cuts and slip into white-trash stereotypes, but I didn't see any - only gifted performers vanishing into their characters, refusing to pass judgment.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
In this stratum of Middle American society during wartime and hardship, the movie suggests, life is tough and challenging. You admire these characters for their considerable resilience while understanding that even the best-intentioned people can break under the stress.
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70

Los Angeles Times

With its modest scale and sharp observations, writer-director Liza Johnson's first feature has the quiet impact of a short story.
Full Review
63

Slant Magazine

By Andrew Schenker
As director Liza Johnson understands, simply being over there changes someone, no matter if anything unusually traumatic happened to the person.
Full Review
60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Johnson's feel for the rhythms of reconnection are steady, and she and her fine actors make Return one of only a handful of films to honestly address what to many is heartbreaking reality.
Full Review
60

Total Film

By James Mottram
Reversing his "Take Shelter" role, Michael Shannon convinces as her grounded husband and "Mad Men's" John Slattery offers good support as a fellow vet. But this is Cardellini's film, and she dominates with a terrific, tough-minded turn.
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50

New York Post

By Lou Lumenick
Return comes briefly to life when John Slattery of "Mad Men'' turns up as an acerbic yet sympathetic reclusive drunk whom Kelli meets during court-mandated rehab. But it's not enough for a film that limps along to a pretty much preordained climax.
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50

Village Voice

By Nick Pinkerton
Firmly in the unassuming indie vein, Return treads lightly and leaves little imprint.
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25

New York Observer

By Rex Reed
Ms. Cardellini plays it like a zombie, and she isn't helped by all the loitering camera angles and repetitive close-ups of her head framed against car windows. It's a worthy subject, ploddingly explored in a film that is too modest for its own good.
Full Review
63 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.