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Two Lovers Review Critics


Dave White Profile

He hates himself. Chicks love this. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Joaquin Phoenix gives a superbly raw and excruciatingly vulnerable performance.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Phoenix plays the romantic lead with great intelligence and enormous charm, making his character's conflict utterly believable, and Paltrow positively glows as the radiant shiksa who dazzles him.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The whole movie is so well-cast and performed that we watch it unfolding without any particular awareness of "acting."

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    For a filmmaker who has made his reputation with such crime thrillers as "Little Odessa" and "The Yards," James Gray reveals an unexpected gift for the mysteries of romance.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    James Gray's Two Lovers really is a '70s movie, in the mode of such raw, unfiltered character studies as "The Panic in Needle Park," "Wanda," and "Fat City."

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  • See all Two Lovers reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Joaquin Phoenix indie is a boring, self-indulgent melodrama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this indie drama stars Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow but is not a teen-oriented romance. The movie covers several mature themes like alienation, unrequited love, suicidal tendencies, and how parents relate to their adult children. There are two sex scenes, including a bare breast; very coarse language (more than 30 "F" bombs); and an apparent suicide attempt.

  • Families can talk about the way Leonard's two relationships affect him. How is he different with Sandra than with Michelle?
  • What genre is this movie?
  • Was it expressive or boring?
  • The charactersall seem much younger than the actors. Are the actors believableplaying people in their early 20s?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Adulterous relationship succeeds, man seems to try to commit suicide.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Disturbing scene of a man jumping into water apparently to drown himself. Upsetting conversation about miscarriage and a D&C.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Two sex scenes -- one is in a bed with bare shoulders/backs visible and the other one outdoors with the couple fully clothed. Michelle shows one breast to Leonard through her apartment window.

  • language false5

    Language: Coarse language -- more "F" bombs (at least 30) than usual for an R-rated drama.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Mercedes, The Metropolitan Opera, and Cartier are all featured.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Michelle and her buddies take Ecstasy and various adults at a club and party are shown drinking cocktails.