Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
While White Material is very much the story of this one woman, it is also a story of postcolonial Africa, a place where Europeans staked their claim, and where disorder and destruction upended everything. A mournful, frightening, powerful film.
100
It's a portrait, by turns chilling, thrilling, mysterious and terrifying, of a woman who refuses to be terrorized.
91
French mood-and-feeling master filmmaker Claire Denis returns to the Africa of her youth for an intense, mysterious drama exploring revolution and loss.
88
This is a beautiful, puzzling film. The enigmatic quality of Huppert's performance draws us in.
88
Unhurried in its storytelling but unshakable in its impact.
85
Yet in the end it's less the climactic madness and mayhem in White Material that sear the memory than it is the silent, balletic creep of child soldiers, grabbed out of school and sent with machetes and rifles through a forest to exact revenge for decades of repression.
80
As Claire Denis' stunning new movie reminds us, she expects a lot of her audience but gives considerably more in return.
80
Denis creates the threat of imminent danger through stillness and austerity rather than action. She's helped immeasurably by an astringent, fully committed performance from her leading lady, a gaunt, impossibly resolute Isabelle Huppert.
80
Movieline
With Huppert as her paradoxical lightning rod, Denis courts class and colonial tensions until they fly apart in the last moments of the film.
75
Denis' viewpoint and sympathies are sophisticated, complex and humane.
75
Its dramatic vexations are at war with Denis' prodigious visual skill. And the fight, ultimately, rewards the viewer.

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