Critic Reviews

58

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
ReelViews
A low-key holiday drama that's refreshing not only because it lacks the big discovery melodrama of most similar movies but because it's entirely believable.
75
Rolling Stone
This engrossing blend of humor and heartbreak only hints at the causes, from betrayal to child abuse, of this family's dysfunction. Hang on. Attention is richly rewarded.
70
Stands as a wonderful ensemble piece not unlike Woody Allen's dramas "Interiors" and "September."
67
Less can sometimes be perceived as more, but in the case of The Myth of Fingerprints less is simply less.
63
Freundlich's problem is that he has made an essentially interesting movie that never seems brave enough to say what it really intends.
60
Has some good performances (Ms. Moore's ongoing snit is a terrifically sustained bit of glowering), but it only barely begins to knit its self-pitying characters into a credible family unit. They are oddballs with attitude.
50
When all is fretted and done, there's little dramatic payoff in this moody first feature by Bart Freundlich. But cinematographer Stephen Kazmierski's images are appealing, and the mood is on target -- Thanksgiving as hell.
50
The film has a kind of echo-filled emptiness to it that some will take as profundity and others as mere emptiness.
40
The New Republic
As Freundlich surely knew, he must have counted, as do we, on the revelation of character to enrich the piece. It doesn't happen. None of the people is particularly interesting, not even the obligatory neurotic, well enough played by Julianne Moore. [6 October 1997, p. 28]
40
Salon.com
The Myth of Fingerprints is only 90 minutes long, but watching all this tasteful torment, you can't help thinking that if you were watching a Jewish family or an Italian one, the air would be cleared -- and you'd be out of the theater -- a hell of a lot quicker.

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