Hillbilly Elegy

critic Reviews

, 25% Rotten Tomatometer Score
  • With the form of an awards-season hopeful but the soul of a bland melodrama, Hillbilly Elegy strands some very fine actors in the not-so-deep South.
  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Alison WillmoreNew York Magazine/Vulture
    The film is like a package of assorted chicken parts that can't be assembled back into something approximating the shape of an actual animal - there's way too much of some stuff, while certain essentials are missing entirely.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    James BerardinelliReelViews
    Here's a rare example of a Netflix prestige film that neither runs too long nor overstays its welcome.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Brian LowryCNN.com
    These would theoretically be juicy roles for Adams and Close, but even with those stars letting loose, the conversations about broader cultural and economic challenges that the book triggered get obscured by what feels more like a Lifetime movie.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Stephanie ZacharekTIME Magazine
    Hillbilly Elegy isn't as terrible as the trailers make it look, but as an enterprise it's just all-around sad, a movie that courts sympathy for its characters yet ends up only as a requiem for itself.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    A.O. ScottNew York Times
    The best thing I can say about this movie is also the most damning, given Mamaw's proud indifference to anyone's good opinion of her. It's respectable.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Danny LeighFinancial Times
    On the page, Vance's Mamaw at least had complexity, a bad parent herself born of others. Howard smooths and syrups until she is no more than a Pez dispenser of chain-smoking tough love.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Brent HankinsThe Lamplight Review
    Howard's film would've been far more interesting had it been willing to explore [the complexity of poverty], instead of sanitizing it and shining it up nicely for award season.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Wendy ShreveFeaturing Film
    n real life, Vance's depiction of his grandparents aroused controversy. Hillbilly Elegy stirs curiosity--to read the book.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Brian OrndorfBlu-ray.com
    Netflix didn't want me to review "Hillbilly Elegy," and now I understand why.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Alan ZilbermanWashington City Paper
    There is little narrative arc, only a raw glimpse of this flawed family, so Howard and his collaborators strain for significance that always eludes them.
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