In French master Claire Denis’ off-planet but decidedly earthy English-language debut, Juliette Binoche plays a crazed scientist intent on harvesting the semen of Robert Pattinson’s monkish inmate on a prison-ship sent to extract the energy from black holes. What’s not to like?
Simran Hans, Sight & Sound
Everything about this movie is retro, from the opaque yet fully felt performances (led by Pattinson) that make the audience come to the actors rather than the other way around, to Stuart Staples’ analog synthesizer-heavy soundtrack, to the closing credits song by Tindersticks featuring none other than Pattinson, whose vocals suggest what Chris Isaak might sound like if he lost his will to live.
Matt Zoller Sietz, Roger Ebert
Denis does an adept job blending the radical tone shifts. Mainly, she accomplishes this by treating both sides with a surprising tenderness. The quiet meditation and the emphatic violent outbursts are both given space to exist with a frankness that is transfixing. Denis is presenting a life of bleak seclusion and allows all sides of the psychological ramifications therein to breathe unencumbered.
Alex Brannan, CineFiles