Critic Reviews

65

Metascore

Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
Los Angeles Times
One of the places where In a Better World is especially successful is comparing and contrasting the moral worlds of children and adults, showing how difficult but essential it is for each group to learn from the other.
83
A fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep.
80
However didactic the film's final scenes, there's no denying the sheer dramatic intensity Bier achieves.
80
Boxoffice Magazine
An artistically mature work with pitch perfect performances.
75
An emotional powerhouse.
67
Bier has done far more compelling work before, but the globe-spanning, life-affirming, morally upright trajectory of her latest accomplishment weakens its quality while sustaining its popularity. In a Better World is heavy, but it's also heavy-handed.
50
Bier dramatizes our ambivalence so earnestly that it's tempting to give her awards rather than admit that the movie is a crushing bore.
50
Village Voice
Slick moralizing grows exponentially as the plot, wrapped in travelogue photography, transparently expository dialogue, and cheap thrills, drives home spurious parallels between the first and third worlds.
50
Everything about In a Better World feels just a little too easy: a better movie might have let in more of the messiness of the world as it is. This one falls into cheap manipulation, winding up the audience with foreboding music and the spectacle of blond children in peril.
40
While Bier doesn't offer easy partisan answers, she still dilutes a social issue down to the level of soap-operatic background noise and back-patting platitudes. It-and we-deserve better.

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