Critic Reviews

37

Metascore

Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance.
88
The movie contains little in terms of traditional action, and Refn never uses it in a rousing or exciting manner, either. That would break the nightmarish spell this strange, beautiful film casts on the viewer. A mother's love has never been this ruinous.
88
This is one of the most shocking and one of the best movies of the year.
75
Refn has consistently delivered films that have subverted our expectations, and has proven himself a master at stylistic self-reinvention, but this feels like the first time he's gone back to any particular well.
75
It takes the basic form of the revenge flick and dips it in tar, making for a movie that comes out sticky, nasty, and black.
60
Only God Forgives is the spectacle of a brilliant young director spinning out in style. It's a beautiful disaster.
60
Only God Forgives is a hypnotic fugue on themes of violence and retribution, drenched in corrosive reds.
60
Crushingly, the dependably perverse art-action director Nicolas Winding Refn has finally made a boring movie.
50
The movie is like one thin satiric lark inexplicably slowed down to the point of lethargy.
50
There's no way to overstate the gorgeous look of this film, but the mannered dialogue and deliberateness of pace becomes less of an homage to Asian revenge films than a parody.
50
Only God Forgives is the kind of remarkable disaster only a very talented director can make after he finds success and is then allowed to do whatever he wants.
50
Where "Drive" shrewdly mystifies, Only God Forgives stupefies. You can see its gears grinding. But I'll always hang on for a rare talent like Refn. Even when he stumbles, he leaves you eager to see what he's up to next.
40
However mystifying, or downright boring, you find the result, rest assured that the Refn faithful will swoon. Peace be with them.
38
Refn's expectation-defying choice is laudable in theory, but Only God Forgives is a pretty awful drama.
38
God may forgive you for seeing this needlessly brutal film. But you won't forgive yourself.
30
The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in Only God Forgives, an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance.
30
The collision of violent spasms and art-film ennui leave the viewer's brain bloody but unfilled.
30
Long after Only God Forgives concludes, only its scuzziness remains. This artistic misfire will forever be knocking on heaven's door.
25
The innovation of Refn's latest is mostly just in the way it manages to merge gory and boring. At least it's created a new movie adjective for me: goring.
25
Ugly, gore-strewn and, ultimately, ridiculous.
20
Style over substance doesn't really tell the half of it: you can bathe a corpse in groovy light and dress it in an expensive suit, but in the end that rotting smell just won't go away.
20
Only God Forgives would seem to be a parody of something or other - "Blue Velvet"? "Last Year At Marienbad"? - except that the film takes itself seriously to the point of suffocation in telling its lurid tale of slaughter and revenge.
0
In Cannes, one wag described it as “cinematic defecation” in print. I'd like to top that one, but as James Agee used to say, I know when I'm licked.
0
Whether one thinks Only God Forgives is laughably awful - like, for instance, “Showgirls,” “The Color of Night” or “Battlefield: Earth” - or just plain terrible awful depends, appropriately, on how much you're willing to forgive it.
0
This is the worst, least, dumbest picture made by people of talent this year.

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