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Blue Valentine Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Love tears them apart. Again. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

A bittersweet elegy to love. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Gosling and Williams have the most palpable chemistry of any screen couple this year, never striking a false note in this achingly tender tale of a love that implodes before our eyes.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Blue Valentine is lushly touching and gorgeously told.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Ultimately, the heavy-handed and annoyingly obvious aesthetic wears thin.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Here's one vote for the most affecting, anguishing, revealing and prophetic scene of the movie year-and yes, it's all of those things at once in a powerful film that alternates between moments of earlier happiness and later pain.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Blue Valentine reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Agonizing but beautiful adult drama about love and marriage.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this intense, moving drama about a young couple's rocky relationship is fraught with moments that are both tender and true, with the truest being the most anguished. The complex, heavy material -- which includes abortion and hints of alcoholism -- will likely overwhelm most kids, except perhaps for the oldest of teenagers. Expect some sexual scenes with partial nudity (including one that originally earned the film an NC-17 rating, which was reduced to an R on appeal), swearing (including "f--k" and more), and drinking, as well as a number of forceful arguments.

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about relationships. Does it seem realistic? Would you want a relationship like the one portrayed here? Parents, talk to your teens about your family's values concerning dating and relationships.
  • How does the relationship portrayed here compare to other movies about couples? Is it similar or different?
  • Why do you think the movie was originally rated NC-17? Why do you think it was changed to an R?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: There's lots of complicated, messy relationship stuff here, but at its heart, the movie is saying that you can't have the good without the bad. The message is that relationships are both beautiful and ugly, sometimes at the same time; they buoy you and make you question yourself.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters are multi-dimensional and realistically drawn; they're flawed human beings who make mistakes and can't always fix them. But most of them are warm, loving, and giving, too.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Three men ambush a man at work and beat him up; they're shown kicking and punching him. Afterward, his face is swollen and bloodied. A couple argues bitterly during an intimate moment.

  • sex false4

    Sex: This film was initially given an NC-17 rating for a scene of explicit sexual content but was re-rated R on appeal. A man and a woman are shown in a sexual position; his behind is somewhat visible, as is a side view of hers. A couple takes a shower together; her breasts are bare. A married couple is also seen bickering while trying to have sex.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "jackass," "p---y," "motherf--ker," "c--t," "hell," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Logos for Budweiser and Steinway Moving and Storage.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A character drinks fairly steadily, sometimes throughout the day. He also smokes often. A couple loads up on liquor that they imbibe in a motel.