“Gus Van Sant Sells Out To Hallmark”
Weeping is invited, but by no means required.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
- New York Times
"Restless" can get under your skin, even if you are suspicious of its motives and dubious of its ideas.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Restless's main problem is that, although barely a minute of screen time goes by without some adorable quirk revealing itself, it's essentially dramatically inert.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
More care seems to have gone into wardrobe choices than into clever dialogue or plot.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Not this era's "Love Story," despite its most ingratiating efforts to find meaning, laughter and romance by way of a too-young protagonist battling cancer.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Is the title meant as a joke? A torpidly precious love story about death-obsessed adolescents, the film's becalmed and embalmed in its own sensitive self-pity.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Gus Van Sant's latest -- a middle-class hetero teen romance, no less -- walks the line between mainstream sentimentality and dark art-house humor so effectively that it seems noncommittal.
Mark Holcomb - Village Voice
This overly twee, morbidly cute romance initially digs up the ageless "Harold and Maude" as a touchstone before it slips the coils of watchability.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The generally expected continues to happen, and we're left with another coming of age tale of getting to the emotional maturity while not letting go of the quirk. Meh.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
An uncommonly touching romance about a young man and woman who essentially worship at the shrines of their own deaths.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
[A] moody, tiresomely whimsical tale.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
In its episodic bits of quirk and whimsy, and its romantic morbidity, it's a project that smacks of film school - you can practically follow the cookie crumbs of Wes Anderson and Harold and Maude and the French New Wave.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Van Sant lays on the whimsy with a trowel; Wasikowska's quirky thrift-store wardrobe and twinkling performance are enough to trigger migraines.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Restless is consciously lovely in the face of death. How rare.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Gus Van Sant doesn't make bad movies.
Richard Nilsen - Arizona Republic
Unlike Van Sant's grittier, less sentimental recent small films, it's twee enough to make your teeth ache. It's the director's biggest miscalculation since "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" 18 years ago.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
"Restless" is far more precious than profound. But that takes little away from this soulful teenage exploration of love, life and death.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
"Twee" doesn't begin to describe this set-up, and it doesn't suit Gus Van Sant, or any director for that matter.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A film that is often as insipid as one of Nicholas Sparks's commercial melodramas.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Van Sant salts the film with moments of macabre humor, but never goes beyond the bounds of good taste. His directorial touch is restrained.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Goopy doomed teen romance looks to appeal mostly to impressionable adolescent girls.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
The material isn't up to Van Sant's abilities, and the impression of "Restless" is of a filmmaker playing with familiar themes and searching for an adequate vessel.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
Van Sant and his longtime cinematographer, Harris Savides, can caress the faces of youth with a poet's eye for beauty and pain.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The film errs on the side of formula even as it carries the sheen and delicacy of something handmade.
Sheri Linden - Los Angeles Times
Better stock up on tissues.
Sarah Dobbs - SFX Magazine
Quirky, death-obsessed...oddly touching...faintly amusing
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
A slight tale whose self-conscious indie quirks fail to lift it beyond familiar Disease of the Week formula.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The couple's ability to see through how people perceive courageous behavior in the face of death forms the heart of the film. Van Sant illustrates that those trappings usually exist only to make the ones who are not sick feel better about themselves.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Had Restless been a silent film it may have been some kind of stylish masterpiece.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Gus Van Sant staggers back and forth across that line like a drunk with a busted stopwatch.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Driven by the brave performances of its two young leads, this tender and emotionally resonant film thoughtfully challenges our ideas surrounding death.
Kate Quirk - FILMINK (Australia)
A tenderly stylistic evocation of young love wrapped inside a New Wave-esque bundle of wistfulness and nervous energy, and a well constructed little diorama. But one whose elicited feelings do not, alas, linger.
Brent Simon - Shockya.com
Gus Van Sant's film bristles with an ethereal quality as we are drawn into a reality in which time seems to be suspended. First time screenwriter Jason Lew has penned a poignant and heartfelt story
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
With a tighter grip on proceedings, one imagines Restless would have Van Sant troubling the Academy all over again. As it stands, it's a sweet, gentle film.
Ed Gibbs - The Sun Herald
Restless shares with some of Van Sant's best work its gritty Portland, Ore., locations and a washed out palette. Unfortunately, that's all it shares with it.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
anepityxhs apodosh mias realistikhs isorropias anamesa sto penthimo, alla taytoxrona elpidoforo paron
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
[S]cramble[s] to cram the 'quirky' back into the please-god-kill-me-and-save-me-from-yet-another-ridiculous-teen-romance... I'm really sick of stories in which women are sacrificed to men's personal journeys.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
"Listless" might have been a better title...
Philip French - Observer [UK]
The downward curve of Gus Van Sant's career continues with this awful slice of morbid whimsy.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
If you haven't seen a wasting disease in real life, you might think "Restless" is romantic. If you have, you might diagnose it as terminally cute.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
With Restless, Van Sant seems to be aiming for somewhere in between the art house and the cineplex by delivering a movie that is as heartwarming as it is strange.
Mathew DeKinder - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Not keen on kook? Get ready to fidget. But those up for a sweet-natured romance full of idiosyncrasies will undoubtedly forgive the rather flyweight feel.
James Mottram - Total Film
Hopper is the spitting image of his father Dennis when he was 20 and the versatile Wasikowska once again shows her talent for investing the most delicate of material with a sturdy emotional conviction.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Henry Hopper just moved to the top of our 'Dude, You're Awesome!' chart.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
Derivative, irritatingly pretentious drama from Gus Van Sant that completely fails to ring true.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's not for everyone, but for me, it works.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
A minor film from director Gus Van Sant, whose crafty humour and existentialism (see the devastating My Own Private Idaho) boils down to what feels like kookiness here.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
A pastiche of much better, more thoughtful films about 11th hour partnerships. Harold and Maude, Love Story, My Sister's Keeper.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
All surface, no thought and quite horribly empty.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
- Empire Magazine
After the excellent Milk, this is more like curdled cheese.
Damon Wise - Empire Magazine
A terminal illness is the ultimate hipster accessory.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Gus Van Sant's light, lark of a look at love and death among the young and quirky.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
The only restless activity in this movie will derive from audience members squirming in their seats.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
- Austin Chronicle
A calcuated portrait of teen angst, but one that's just interesting enough to be worth watching.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
... banal and cliched ... jejune and derivative ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Working through its wistfulness with a leisurely likeability, Van Sant's latest is a weird little gem.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
The sense of specialness, of the privilege of being pretty and in pain, should be the film's undoing, but it proves to be its saving grace.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Restless, in the long run, will be nothing but a minor curiosity in the filmographies of the otherwise talented Wasikowska, Hopper, and Van Sant.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Restless may have a few things working in its favor, but the balance tips toward quaint self-indulgence, teenage narcissism and amateur storytelling.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Feels like an Urban Outfitters catalog shoot, boasting two intolerable lead performances from young actors who treat extraordinary trauma as a lazy Sunday afternoon acting school exercise.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Van Sant can color quite interestingly within the lines of commercial cinema when so moved and still retain his indie sensibility.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
If anyone other than Gus Van Sant had directed Restless, the film could have well been impossible to sit through.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
"Restless" teeters close to so many screen cliches that, even when it treads in uncharted territory, it feels like you've been there before.
Chris Foran - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Restless is just as relentlessly whimsical and calculated as it sounds. The big surprise, however, is just how dreadfully acted, written and, yes, directed this clunker truly is.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
This low-budget movie takes its time filling in the backgrounds of its characters. That works for a while, but when it's over you may wonder if that's all there is.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
A very special film that deserves a chance with discerning viewers.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
James Verniere - Boston Herald
You'll forget you're watching a Van Sant production and not the Lifetime channel.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
A minor entry in the director's canon...while not horrible, it might make you a little restless yourself.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
It would be easy to make fun of the woozy soap operatics of "Restless," but Wasikowska cuts through all of that with piercing clarity.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The movie is full of gestures and flourishes that distance us from the subjects in play - grief, death, healing.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
She's kooky - and she's going to die!
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Is there another filmmaker out there today who is generally agreed upon as being a significant artistic talent who is simultaneously capable of turning out absolute disasters as Gus van Sant?
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
It may not be grounded enough to be emotionally effective, but another strong performance from the stellar Mia Wasikowska and a consistency to its vision make Restless worth a look.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Van Sant gets lost in no-man's-land between his daring independent sensibilities and his mainstream compromises.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Everything about these two is just too calculatedly precious, it's like watching two ten year-olds fall in love.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The film is morbid and mawkish, and packed with enough forced whimsy to make you scream.
Walter V. Addiego - San Francisco Chronicle
It's effortlessly honest, with edgy humour balancing the dark themes.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
- AV Club
Restless is not a complete waste of time because of the energy between the two main characters, but had me hankering for another viewing of Terms of Endearment.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
It's a disappointing, maudlin development in a career that's been fascinating ever since he followed up Finding Forrester with Gerry.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
It feels like a series of scenes rather than a cohesive whole.
Kaleem Aftab - Independent
The problem with this movie is that it's hard to figure out what Van Sant finds so fascinating about these kids.
Dave White - Movies.com
Simon Gallagher - Film School Rejects
Story of young, tragic love gets emotional, intense.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
If Harold and Maude hadn't already gotten there 40 years ago, this quirky but engaging trifle might seem refreshingly original.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Count me in as a reluctant unbeliever.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Restless has some touching moments as the two loners realize they're falling in love, but it threatens to suffocate in its own quaintness. It's only natural for teenagers to see life in outsized proportions...
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
"Restless" turns out to be very good and it could easily have been very bad; memories of 1991's "Dying Young"...spring immediately to mind. (Director Gus) Van Sant also handles the risky material expertly.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Somehow, Van Sant has made a film about life and death in which the stakes never seem higher than whether one insolent kid will stop being such a horrible mope.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
The sort of gargantuan catastrophe that only a master moviemaker can create.
Alonso Duralde - The Wrap
Van Sant gives the young lovers the sort of gauzy, dreamily sensitive treatment that he's able to deliver in his sleep by now - but too often it seems like he might be working on just such a sleep-induced autopilot.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Plays like a parody of hopelessly twee indie romance cliches
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
a five-hanky weepie where several unspeakably sad things happen to relatively pleasant people, and yet it's also uplifting
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
An offbeat and ruminative drama about two young people and their mutual obsession with death and dying.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Any movie with as tender a bared heart as this one can't be dismissed.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
This lyrical study of love and death may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Gus Van Sant's superb control of and sensitivity to the material make it one of his very best, and one of those rare fiction films which can truly be described as inspiring.
David Noh - Film Journal International
A work of off-putting bathos and lovey-dovey nonsense that inspires not just the titular agitation but stomach-cramping, eye-rolling antipathy.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
The results are not without drifting specks of poetry, but mostly suggest a fuzzy remake of Bresson's Four Nights of a Dreamer starring the cast of Twilight.
Fernando F. Croce - House Next Door
Gus Van Sant sells out to Hallmark
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Van Sant brings a flannel soft touch to a film that resembles the work of Nicholas Sparks far more than of the director's longtime influence Bela Tarr.
Stephen Saito - Premiere Magazine
- Digital Spy
A calm, sometimes heartbreaking, tender ode to love.
Mayer Nissim - Digital Spy
Van Sant navigates the mix of whimsy and inevitability with a practiced hand.
Lisa Nesselson - sbs.com.au
Restless is just eccentric enough that some viewers will react badly to it, but it is that very specific voice that I responded to.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Gus Van Sant's latest is a delicate teenage love story which overcomes some self-conscious quirks to resonate as a gently moving hymn to life.
Mike Goodridge - Screen International
This paean to the troubles of youth has none of Van Sant's edge, which seems to have been replaced by whimsicality as two young people, one dying of cancer, the other mourning the loss of his parents in an accident, meet at a funeral and fall in love.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It's a dire potpourri of adolescent cliches and style-magazine aesthetics, a massive fall-to-earth after the director's Gerry and his 2003 Palme d'Or-winner Elephant.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
Though decently shot and acted, Van Sant's romantic melodrama might be one of his simplest and most conventional films, lacking his personal signature.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
So fluttering and tender, so guileless, that you almost can't believe it was made by an old hand like Van Sant. Then again, maybe you can.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline