Critic Reviews

79

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Lindhardt, sweet and childish and achingly vulnerable, gives a stunning performance.
88
By dropping in on this couple from time to time for the kinds of moments one of them might remember, the film is more honest than its characters.
88
The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict.
85
The film, though, is as sure-footed as their partnership is not - a nuanced portrait of emotional turmoil, persuasively acted, richly sensual one moment, wrenching the next, and unlike so many films centering on gay characters, not particularly concerned with things like coming out or HIV.
80
A well-written, sensitively directed relationship drama. In most circumstances, that's all it would be - and that would be enough. But lead Thure Lindhardt pushes the picture into realms of such exposed intimacy, you almost feel like you're dating him yourself.
75
The film is at its best in the bedroom, not shying away from the sexual relationship, but not being graphic about it, either. There is great sex, clumsy sex, tender sex - and it's all crucial to the story. Such genuine intimacy, whether gay or straight, is virtually nonexistent in American cinema. It's enthralling to see it here.
75
A tough, well-acted little indie.
75
More than just a relationship drama of striking specificity, this is a naked confession about addiction.
70
A stiff central performance diminishes its emotional impact, but the visually alluring film's sensuality and tenderness give it a lingering spell.
63
It's inspired of Sachs to lean on Russell for a kind of oblique emotional depth. But it's possible to leave this movie mistaking Sachs's soul for Russell's.
50
Never lets viewers fully inside Erik and Paul's world, a reticence that isn't helped by the actors' fey, restrained-to-a-fault performances. That and a frustratingly episodic structure make what might have been a raw and inspiring portrait of commitment and boundaries a surprisingly uninvolving, arms-length enterprise. Keep the Lights On lets go just when it should be holding you tighter.

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