Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by
Slant Magazine
Most disheartening is how the female leads aren't given ample space to develop as dynamic characters beyond the most urgent confines of the script's scenarios.
The casting isn’t all together unconvincing: Olsen and Fanning’s collective ability to project intelligence beyond their years works both ways, allowing them to play both precocious youths and youthful adults. But Very Good Girls catches them in between those stages, and the effect isn’t evocative so much as muddled.
You can only imagine how much stronger the movie might have been had it fleshed out subsidiary dramas whose outlines are barely discernible.
Despite a finely wrought lead performance by Dakota Fanning, the drama feels more like the stuff of a mild — and dated — YA novel than an involving exploration of female experience.
The only real reason to see it is for a luminous leading turn from Dakota Fanning as Brooklyn teen Lilly.
All in all, Very Good Girls is a very bad excuse to subject those of us who have enjoyed Fanning ever since 2001’s "I Am Sam" to seeing her flash her bare fanny, fondle herself provocatively and cavort in her underwear for no dramatic purpose. Yes, she should be allowed to grow up onscreen. But without a story that justifies it, it just feels sad and desperate.
The film rings false at almost every turn despite its naturalistic performances. Lacking emotional substance, it comes off as far too studied in its subdued intensity.
The Dissolve
Movies about female friendship are rare, so it’s dispiriting when one comes along, then hauls out the same tired plot in which both women fall for the same guy. Very Good Girls can’t even blame rampant film-industry sexism, as it was written and directed by Naomi Foner, making her directorial debut after many years as a screenwriter.
Village Voice
Very Good Girls is a film one wants to like but can't. It just doesn't work.
The screenplay is so vapid and cliched, and the casting so terrible, that viewers may wind up entertaining themselves with other thoughts.

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