(2009)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
The amazingly natural first-timer was discovered, in a gift of publicity-ready truth, while having an argument with her boyfriend at a train station.
90
Arnold's first feature, "Red Road" (2006), centers on another outsider, a woman who monitors security cameras. The film is formally brilliant, but it doesn't have the breathtaking openness of Fish Tank.
90
Salon.com
Absolute dynamite.
90
Variety
What makes the picture feel special is its unflinching honesty and lack of sentimentality or moralizing, along with assured direction and excellent performances.
80
A vivid portrayal of life at society's margins with a compelling turn from newcomer Jarvis. Little wonder it scored at Cannes.
80
The film belongs to Jarvis, however, and she makes the most of it with expressive features that convey Mia's mixed-up emotions from raging temper to sweet vulnerability. She will go far.
80
The New Yorker
Fish tank may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as "The 400 Blows." [18 Jan. 2010, p. 83]
67
In that way, Jarvis is a lot like Arnold: an artist who knows the steps, but doesn't yet have all the moves.
50
Village Voice
Jarvis gives a ferociously persuasive performance in an otherwise routine tale of domestic disaster.
40
A grimy kitchen-sink melodrama with an Ajax cleanser script: The muck is all surface, the turmoil cleanly shallow and contrived, though never less than gripping.

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