Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Acutely observed, subtly but sharply written and expertly acted.
100
Who would have thought that one of the most provocative and affecting films made about the fallout from 21st century divorce would have emanated from a 19th century novel?
88
Young Onata Aprile makes Maisie a passive wonder, a sweetly poker-faced, nonjudgmental and hopeful child, even as she's being ditched at bars, forgotten at school or passed back and forth like a prize, or a bad penny.
88
What Maisie Knew flirts with sentimentality but mostly keeps it at bay until the very end, at which point the filmmakers and we realize the kid has probably earned it.
88
The result is a film that deeply engages us on multiple levels. Not only do we wonder what Maisie knows and how she knows it, we want to get this seedling to a place where she won't have to be transplanted every day.
75
Cartwright, find something sadly timeless in a child torn apart in a custody battle that no one wins, least of all the child.
75
Some of the twists the film takes, particularly in its final third, strain the powers of belief, but the ending, thankfully, does not soft-pedal all that came before.
75
For those who have read the book, this contemporary adaptation of a once avant-garde story feels exactly right.
70
A broken-family melodrama with a minimum of histrionics, Scott McGehee's and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew begins from scenes that will be familiar to most viewers who've witnessed a custody battle. Things get pretty orchestrated from that familiar scenario onward, but never to the point of unbelievability.
50
In this bleak indie bummer that confuses hopelessness with depth, they're really nothing more than selfish, one-dimensional monsters. Maisie's better off without them.
50
This is a fine idea for a PSA TV commercial, but (a) they already did it back in the '70s and (b) it goes on well past the 30-second mark.

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