Critic Reviews

59

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
LaBute is coming of age as an artist, and his future looks brighter than I ever would have suspected a year ago. Enfant terrible or not, he's starting to become a substantial figure in American film.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
LaBute has that rarest of attributes, a distinctive voice. You know one of his scenes at once. His dialogue is the dialogue overheard in trendy mid-scale restaurants, with the words peeled back to suggest the venom beneath.
88
Charlotte Observer
His (LaBute) observation of human nature is keener than before, his dialogue more attuned to ambiguities.
75
The actors nail the comic sting in every line, punctuated by eleven prime Elvis Costello songs.
75
The film is certainly clever enough to hold an audience's interest throughout, though in the end it's a victim of its own ambition. As a moral investigation, it's shallow and ultimately ludicrous.
75
Chicago Tribune
LaBute never loses sight of what shape he wishes this crafty story to take. In the end, his aim is true.
75
Miami Herald
In The Shape of Things, love doesn't just hurt: It bites, and bites deep.
75
The cast helps enliven what could otherwise come off as a treatise. All four actors played these roles during the play's off-Broadway run.
63
Though the writing is often sharp, one is reminded repeatedly by the actors' theatrical delivery of some lines and by the confined settings that the movie's origins were on stage.
58
Entertainment Weekly
What it isn't is a believable relationship. Yet that may scarcely matter to LaBute, a gifted and corrosive wordsmith who appears intent, by now, on shoving all romantic couplings into the meat grinder of his misanthropic design.
50
New York Daily News
Besides repeating his premise that only fools fall in love and deserve whatever circle of hell they enter for it, he seems to really believe that morality has no place in art. Certainly, he's keeping it out of his.

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