Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Wheatley is all about control of tone and how he's using this big obvious metaphor. His film is alive with human behavior, heightened at times and stylized as hell, but alive and identifiable and crackling with a wicked energy.
Screen International
Working with writer (and co-editor) Amy Jump again, Wheatley wades into the prescient 1975 text, delivering a complex, fluid interpretation which is respectful and almost-faithful while still being its own beautiful, crazed beast.
Ballard’s concept is meticulously, lovingly recreated, like a museum exhibit of itself. But the tone is always more playful than it is disturbing, a walled-off black joke which opts out of saying anything new.
High-Rise isn't an entirely cohesive accomplishment, but that's part of its zany appeal. While in certain ways his weakest film, it maintains the morbid entertainment value found throughout Wheatley's work while marking an ambitious step up in scale.
The politics serves as footnote to the aesthetic for Wheatley and High-Rise is certainly style over substance. For fans of the British director, that may well be more than enough.
Time Out
The movie ultimately feels both too glib and too hermetically sealed to resonate beyond its chaotic interiors.
Rarely have so many classy ingredients added up to such a muted, muddled, multi-story mess. Of course, it is still better to make an ambitious failure than a boring success. A true disaster movie, in all senses, High-Rise is ultimately an ambitious, brilliant failure.
The Playlist
screenwriter Amy Jump and director Ben Wheatley are less concerned with the message than with the madness, and their resulting picture is heavier on style than substance.
What began as a self-contained allegory on open class warfare becomes a showcase for stylistic anarchy, wherein the ensuing orgy of sex and violence serves to justify a near-total breakdown of cinematic form.
The Guardian
Wheatley has made High Rise his story, instead of Ballard’s. That’s fine – but, unfortunately, it’s a less interesting take.

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