90

The Hollywood Reporter

By Michael Rechtshaffen
Alternately disturbing, laceratingly satirical and affectingly poignant, the film, which he adapted from the novel, Towelhead, by Alicia Erian, is very much a companion piece to the Ball-penned "American Beauty" in its unwavering examination of the dirty little secrets and raging hypocrisies lurking just beyond all those manicured suburban lawns.
Full Review
88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
The result is a movie about the many forms of social and sexual abuse that does not make the abusee a victim but victor.
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67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
As it becomes clear that Ball, in essence, has just restaged American Beauty with a socially conscious paint job, the sensationalism of Towelhead looks more and more like a dramatic tic.
Full Review
63

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The heart of the movie is really in Jasira's moments with her father, a mass of contradictions that Macdissi plays with comic ferocity and genuine feeling.
Full Review
55

NPR

By Bob Mondello
The performances are nicely calibrated, even when the director isn't meshing them into a persuasive whole. Summer Bishil makes Jasira an appealing naif -- smart, precocious and curious, if too easily led by hormones.
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50

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The potency of the acting is also undercut by leaden pacing and a sense of claustrophobia.
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40

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
As a first-time feature director, though, he (Ball) seldom lets the material speak for itself. Every shot is a statement, every scene sells an attitude.
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38

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Ball's trying to be honest about adolescent coming of age, but since he's dishonest about everything else, the movie collapses in on itself.
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25

San Francisco Chronicle

By Ruthe Stein
So disturbing it makes you uncomfortable watching it.
Full Review
20

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Ball knows one trick, and it's sure over.
Full Review
57 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.