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Stay Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… full of it … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    There's really not much of an audience for this picture. The movie demands that its viewers put the fragmented images and information together like an intellectual jigsaw puzzle, but it never gives those viewers a good reason to do so.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Eventually I gave up on meaning and began instead to study the profuse imagery -- and also the flat characters and anchorless performances.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Stay is interesting, but it's hard to recommend to anyone but the small cadre of David Lynch devotees who will inhale anything with a whiff of similarity to their favorite auteur's scent.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Despite the actors, the visuals and Forster's directorial swagger, the movie lacks impact.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The ending is an explanation, but not a solution. For a solution we have to think back through the whole film, and now the visual style becomes a guide. It is an illustration of the way the materials of life can be shaped for the purposes of the moment.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Complex movie with mature themes -- not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with difficult issues (loss, suicide, depression) in unusual ways (fractured imagery, nonlinear narrative, morphing characters). Younger viewers may be mystified by the movie's resistance to making standard sense. It begins with a car crash, the camera spinning violently to suggest the perspective of an obviously traumatized rider in the car. The film also features some harrowing, nightmare-like imagery, including spiral staircases, "doubles" of people, and repeated scenes that make time and space seem disjointed. Two characters appear with head wounds that bleed profusely, a dog attacks someone's arm, a young woman is restrained by doctors, and several characters refer to suicide; one character discusses her attempt with razor blades and shows her scars, and another puts a gun in his mouth and shoots, whereupon the shot cuts away without showing the blast, but cuts back to show his bloody head on the pavement. An art history lecture features disturbing paintings by Goya (soldiers and bloodied bodies). One character falls down the stairs and hits his head, hard. Some women appear in tight clothes, a brief visit to a strip bar includes pole dancers, mostly in the background. Characters use profanity, smoke cigarettes, and drink liquor, usually in despair or in an effort to self-medicate.

  • Families can talk about suicide, as at least two characters attempt it. How do Henry's memories and dreams, and Sam's efforts to understand them, play tricks on the characters, and by extension, the audience? How does the movie represent loss and grieving?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Not an issue

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Harrowing car wreck (seen from different angles, a coupe of times), suicide attempt with a gun.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A brief scene in a strip bar, references to a sexual relationship between two romantic leads ("Take your clothes off"), but no explicit images; one character tries to seduce/kiss a colleague, but he tells her no.

  • language false5

    Language: Several f-words, "damn," "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, smoking, discussion of "meds" for depression and other mental illness.