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Frances Ha Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

All the ha put together. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    81

    out of 100

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

  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety

    Baumbach pushes beyond sincerity in search of truth, drawing from such stylistic forebears as the French New Wave, Woody Allen and Andy Warhol's Factory films to capture a reality that has eluded him on his more polished dramedies.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Gerwig, who previously starred in Baumbach's "Greenberg," is charmingly awkward. And Sumner (Sting's daughter) is an ace with deadpan one-liners.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Mary Houlihan

    Filled with witty dialogue and natural performances, Frances Ha marks a return to form for Baumbach.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    You may watch Frances Ha relating to little of it, or a lot of it, but this "road movie with apartments," as the director (shooting here in velvety black-and-white, recalling Woody Allen's "Manhattan" in its texture) so aptly put it, is informed by a buoyant, resilient spirit.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Frances Ha is a patchwork of details that constitute a sort of dating manual—not one that tells you how to meet hot guys, but one that fortifies you against all the crap you have to deal with as a young person in love with a city that doesn't always love you back.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal John Anderson

    Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig's work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    The director mixes moods with a playfulness that is both brazen and carefree and yet precisely modulated, yielding results that amplify the specific content of the screenplay. This makes for a film that, however cheap it was to make, is incredibly rich to watch.

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  • See all Frances Ha reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Smart, hilarious, mature look at an appealing scatterbrain.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Frances Ha is a sophisticated, black-and-white comedy with some romantic subplots. It's very dialogue and character-based, with a wonderfully cheerful attitude; good things happen to good people, but only after they fail a few times. The biggest issue is language, which is strong and includes "f--k" and "s--t." Sex is also a frequent (and sometimes graphic) topic of discussion, though no nudity or sex acts are actually shown. Characters drink and smoke in a social, background way. There's occasional overindulgence, with effects that are played for laughs. Since the story is about twentysomethings, only older teens may actually be interested.

  • Families can talk about whether Frances is a role model. What are her positive attributes? Is she smart? Responsible? Brave? What chances does she take? What choices does she make?

  • What does Frances learn over the course of the story? How does she earn her happy ending?

  • Why do you think the characters tend to drink so much? What's the appeal for them? Are the consequences realistic?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Frances eventually gets herself together and follows her dream, but her moment of change isn't really the focus. Mostly viewers see her misadventures -- i.e. learning what not to do. But she never makes any serious mistakes, other than spending too much money, making social faux pas, and missing good opportunities.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Frances is a bit of a scatterbrain, and she makes many mistakes, but she's cheerful and never gives up. Plus, she never deliberately makes any bad choices; she just chooses unwisely sometimes. Eventually her optimism and gumption are shown to have paid off.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Minor arguing between friends from time to time.

  • sex false3

    Sex: No nudity or sex is shown, but sex is a regular topic of discussion; the characters think about it often. Sometimes the talk is fairly graphic.

  • language false4

    Language: Language isn't constant but is fairly strong. "F--k" is used more than a dozen times, and "s--t" is used several times. "C--t," "t-ts," "anal sex," "bitch," "damn," "douche," "Jesus," and "slut" are also used.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Various logos/brand names are glimpsed in the background, such as Bank of America, Belvedere vodka, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink beer, whiskey, vodka, and other alcoholic beverages and smoke cigarettes in a background way, at home, at clubs, and at dinner parties. Occasionally a character overindulges in alcohol, with results played for humor. There's a running gag about keeping one foot on the floor to prevent "the spins."

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