'Manic' Critic Reviews

100%
MovieWeb:   1 reviews
67%
Rotten Tomatoes:   63 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    50
    I'm guessing the art photography is meant to signify a fragile state; instead, it suggests an attention disorder to which camcorder-wielding filmmakers are dismayingly susceptible.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Dave Kehr New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    The camera work is so self-conscious and so intrusive that it consistently overrides our interest in the characters and their individual dramas.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Shows more hopelessness than optimism but is never less than honest.
    Full Review » 11 years ago
  • Stephen Hunter Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Its modesty of aspiration and its naturalism of style are its two most salient values.
    Full Review » 11 years ago
  • Laura Sinagra Village Voice (Top Critic)
    While Gordon-Levitt leans hard on an overcompensatory Timberlake scowl, he's kept real by the rest of the ensemble.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Jami Bernard New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    50
    Searching for a documentary feel, the camera here is so shaky that you cling to the arms of your chair lest you pitch into the next row.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Eric Harrison Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    75
    Absorbing and occasionally disturbing film.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Philip Wuntch Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    75
    All the performances are poignant, and, while the screenplay reaches no new conclusions, it allows the actors room to create and grow.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    63
    Melamed and his cast provide more than a few truth-divining moments.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    At the end of Manic I'd seen nothing really new, and the camera style made me work hard to see it at all.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Mark Caro Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    It's too painful and intimate to let you keep its subjects at a safe distance, as most mental illness films do. That, of course, is the point.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    50
    While it neither succeeds nor satisfies as drama, it's a great calling card for the actors involved, principally Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    Manic has quite a bit to recommend it as well, not the least of which is the lack of Hollywood gloss mental patients.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Dennis Harvey Variety (Top Critic)
    A riveting troubled teens story that has the unvarnished poignance of first-rank docus (e.g. Streetwise, Decline of Western Civilization III, etc.) on similar thematic turf.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    63
    Excellent performances redeem Jordan Melamed's gritty teenage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Michael R. Farkash Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    A stunningly potent story of troubled patients at a juvenile mental institution.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    70
    The group-talk and anguished groping feel true, as does David's frustrations with the kids.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Nell Minow Common Sense Media
    80
    Powerful film packed with profanity and brutality.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Felix Vasquez Jr. Cinema Crazed
    75
    Cheadle is excellent and gives this the true credibility it deserves.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com
    80
    A dynamo of a movie with solid performances.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Nick Dawson Empire Magazine
    80
    Anyone stumbling into the cinema halfway through would think they were watching a documentary, as Manic dispenses with all cinematic flourishes, instead aiming for and achieving absolute realism.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Derek Adams Time Out
    It's an undemonstrative, vividly authentic film.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Ron Wells Film Threat
    80
    This is exactly the kind of film the Dogme 95 movement was meant to inspire.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com
    60
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Paul Sherman Boston Herald
    50
    Full Review » 9 years ago
AVG. RATING 4.2 GREAT
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