Wildlife (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wildlife (2018)

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Critic Consensus: Wildlife's portrait of a family in crisis is beautifully composed by director Paul Dano -- and brought brilliantly to life by a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan.

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Elegantly adapted from Richard Ford's novel of the same name, Carey Mulligan (MUDBOUND, AN EDUCATION) delivers one of her finest performances to date as Jeanette, a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of a 1960s nuclear family. Fourteen-year-old Joe played by newcomer Ed Oxenbould, is the only child of Jeanette (Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal)--a housewife and a golf pro--in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job--and his sense of purpose--he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother's struggle as she tries to keep her head above water. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place, WILDLIFE commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents' marriage.

Cast

Carey Mulligan
as Jeanette Brinson
Jake Gyllenhaal
as Jerry Brinson
Bill Camp
as Warren Miller
Ed Oxenbould
as Joe Brinson
Darryl Cox
as Clarence Snow

Critic Reviews for Wildlife

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (10)

Dano doesn't appear in his own movie, but its texture is of a piece with his courteous and careful performances, where he always seems to plead fruitlessly with an unjust world.

October 15, 2018 | Full Review…

It's beautifully designed and well-acted, and Mulligan's tense work as a mother who sometimes seems to be the stronger parent and sometimes the more dangerous one is exquisite.

October 8, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

An accomplished, moving piece of filmmaking, one that cares about its characters and trusts its performers.

September 10, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This is a superb film.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Dano aces the formal requirements that make a good film. But there's so much that is great in this debut, and not enough that feels original.

January 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Did Dano pick up this uncommon fledgling restraint from one of the many first-rate filmmakers for whom he's acted?

January 23, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

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