Critic Reviews

83

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
So hauntingly perfect is Barnard’s film, and so skin-pricklingly alive does it make you feel to watch it, that at first you can hardly believe the sum of what you have seen.
100
The film’s turn toward the tragic is hardly untelegraphed, but its emotional blows still land with crushing precision.
100
Carried aloft by the remarkable performances of her two young leads, Clio Barnard’s poignant, unflinching slice of hard-knock-life grips tight and lingers long. Britain’s definitely got talent.
83
The Selfish Giant preaches compassion by showing us in its very closing moments, the fathomless goodness that can lie beneath even the spittingest, snarlingest exterior.
80
This is a fine film, which cements Barnard's growing reputation as one of Britain's best film-makers.
80
[A] solidly effective addition to Britain's social realism tradition, elevated by excellent performances by the young leads and some unexpectedly poetic touches.
80
Empire
A terrific human drama about two boys about to be consigned to the scrapheap, with standout performances from its young leads.
80
Time Out London
It’s not a pretty story, but its warmth lies in its fondness – love, even – for the two boys at its heart.
75
Though slow-going for much of its running time, Arbor's delicate tale culminates with a frighteningly choreographed tragedy, but tacks on a beautifully evocative and mostly wordless epilogue that carries the semblance of progress.
75
Slant Magazine
The ear for language is paired with an eye for the landscape, and the film finds beauty even in such a seemingly dreary, economically depressed community.

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