Critic Reviews



Based on 44 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
Granik films with subtlety and quiet grace, but Leave No Trace explodes in the mind.
Leave No Trace is a universal, unforgettable experience.
The heart of Leave No Trace is the rapport between the father and daughter, and McKenzie and Foster are keyed to each other’s movements, perhaps even each other’s thoughts.
The movie takes its time, but in its unassuming way, draws you close and keeps you there.
Moving, perhaps inevitably, toward a final fork in the woods, Leave No Trace condenses big questions into something simple and quietly powerful: two people bonded by blood and shared history, discovering how their needs align and diverge.
Leave No Trace’s acute sense of place and how people relate to it makes for great, emotion-laden naturalism.
It’s a film that never overwhelms but it lingers, leaving its mark on the viewer.
Leave No Trace sprouts into a modest but extraordinarily graceful film about what people need from each other, and the limits of what they can give of themselves.
Granik took a big risk here, making a purposefully small film that rejects familiar notions of dramatic conflict. But her approach works well enough that the most jarring note becomes Foster’s movie-star presence.
There’s a listless, almost meandering nature to the story. The film’s conflict is clear — this is no way to raise a child, and allowed to continue in this fashion, Will risks both his life and Tom’s — and yet there’s no sense of where the script it headed, and no urgency to its resolution.

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