Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Few directors can put loneliness on screen as persuasively or capture the eerie quiet of people waiting for something, anything to happen. It's in moments such as these, when all sense of time disappears and all that remains are bodies in motion and Ken Kelsch's limpid cinematography, that you remember just how good Ferrara can be.
A lean, well-contained slice-of-life at 83 minutes, 'R Xmas finds the director making a confident return to the hard-nosed realism on which he's staked his maverick reputation.
New York Post
Introduces a new Ferrara -- sophisticated and restrained. It's a look that becomes him.
R Xmas offers a poetic and profane ambiguity that's vintage Ferrara. The drug dealers are community leaders, the cops are corrupt, and the materialistic wife has unimagined emotional reserves.
Cinematographer Ken Kelsch, Ferrara's frequent collaborator, picks up the theme of overlapping lives by layering images within scenes -- the ongoing interplay of reflections and shadows is breathtaking -- and through slow, shimmering dissolves.
Village Voice
Like any self-respecting Ferrara film, 'R Xmas has its intimations of hellfire, yet it's a weirdly benign Christmas fable -- something like "Miracle on 134th Street."
Despite some hazy plot points, the tough, compelling drama comes together quite satisfyingly, standing alongside 1996's "The Funeral" as perhaps the most controlled and cohesive of Ferrara's uneven work of recent years.
New York Daily News
Despite the intriguing potential, the end result is a queasy stalemate.
The title refers to the commercialization of just about everything in modern society, and Ferrara brings touches of his ornery filmmaking imagination to bear on the pessimistic parable.
A seedy little movie with little in the way of theme, purpose, energy or wit, 'R Xmas is the latest slice-of-death drama from that earnest maestro of grub, Abel Ferrara.

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