(2011)

Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
What follows is something rarely seen in American movies: a sincerely humane examination of what it means to experience a crisis of faith. Tender, bittersweet and often gently comedic, Corinne's 20-year journey toward (and around, and away from) her God has a loose, searching rhythm that's engrossingly unpredictable.
88
Farmiga expertly guides a large and gifted ensemble cast and proves as fearless a director as she is an actress. She lights up Higher Ground and makes it funny, touching and vital.
88
Corinne's journey begins with an act of blind faith. The movie ends, but you have a palpable sense that the journey does not.
88
There are no heavy-handed portraits of holy rollers here, just people whose view of the world is narrow. There are also no outsize sinners, just some gentle singer-songwriters who are too fond of pot and whose lyrics are parades of cliches.
88
Farmiga's film doesn't state things directly, but we sense what is happening to Corinne, and how some turn to fundamentalism for complex and interconnected reasons.
83
Higher Ground breaks crucial, sacred ground in American moviemaking.
80
This would be tricky territory for the most experienced director, but I can't remember the last time I saw organized religion handled in such an even-handed, thoughtful manner.
80
The film is a deft, graceful and often poignant story of a woman's quest to find her own identity and a spiritual sanctuary that will give her life hope and meaning.
80
Farmiga closes in on moments that express mood and character so lightly and perceptively that you don't notice them gently - sometimes too gently - moving the story forward.
75
Farmiga never seems to strike a false note in any role, but this is perhaps her most reflective and multi-layered performance.
75
The problem is that the story, as constituted, is of necessity against organized religion, but Farmiga, as director, pretends that it's ambiguous. So you get a movie slightly at cross-purposes with itself.

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