An anarchic, liberated, and contagiously alive character study that feels like it was born out of a three-way between Amélie, Oldboy, and Gaspar Noé before maturing into a force of nature all its own, Pablo Larraín’s Ema doesn’t always dance to a clear or recognizable beat, but anybody willing to get on its wavelength will be rewarded with one of the year’s most dynamic and electrifying films.
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
Ema _is a film, too, about dancing – specifically, contemporary dance and reggaeton, a Puerto Rican hybrid of hip hop and Caribbean influences – as an expression of unspoken human desires and female friendship. (It’ll make a compelling double-bill with Céline Sciamma’s similarly electrifying _Girlhood.) Larraín fills the screen with movement, his camera circling the actors as they cut loose. At one point, orthodox movie grammar gets jettisoned altogether and for a few moments Ema turns into a kind of supercharged music video, as she and her posse cut lose in the streets, basketball courts and parks of their city. The Pacific Ocean is their endless backdrop. It’s heady and euphoric – a picture of pure freedom.
Phil de Semlyen, Time Out London