Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
It's simultaneously incredibly pleasurable and quite disturbing, owing to its chilling elements and commentary on larger issues.
Always Shine is a potent psychological thriller, all right. But it's also a powerful statement on the very industry that produced it.
The New York Times
Always Shine is a deft, assured movie with a sly self-reflexive undercurrent containing commentary on sexism and self-idealization that's provocative, and sometimes disturbing.
Even as the movie lingers on the question of whether one woman has more talent than the other, Always Shine is an effective actor's showcase for both of them.
What makes Always Shine transcend, though, is its long-telegraphed yet still unexplained switcheroo - not exactly new to fans of "Mulholland Drive" (or even "Freaky Friday") but near-experimental in its implications, given the context of two women struggling to make their professional marks.
Always Shine shines brightest when it lets these women be themselves, and the filmmaking provides the dissonance.
Strong performances propel a movie that wears its influences (De Palma, Lynch) on its sleeve without feeling like a copycat.
In the end, even with its shaky introduction and unsatisfying climax, Always Shine effectively lingers with a pair of deeply committed performances and Takal's layered dissection of the vulnerabilities inherent in the world of filmmaking.
With her confident second feature, director Sophia Takal (“Green”) takes on Tinseltown misogyny and the toxic rivalry between friends, but that's mere prelude to a gonzo meta-fiction that deconstructs itself nearly to death.
Slant Magazine
The film undermines the unity of its characterizations, redirecting into garish phantasmagoria.

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