You admire these characters for their considerable resilience while understanding that even the best-intentioned people can break under the stress.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
Firmly in the unassuming indie vein, Return treads lightly and leaves little imprint.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Johnson's feel for the rhythms of reconnection are steady, and she and her fine actors make "Return" one of only a handful of films to honestly address what to many is heartbreaking reality.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
A bargain-budget bore by writer-director Liza Johnson about a female soldier back from a tour of active duty in Iraq who cannot adjust to life at home.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Sincerity and restraint can be good things in independent movies, but not when you run the risk of putting the audience to sleep...
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Finally someone has written a really good role for Linda Cardellini -- a big, prickly, demanding role that puts her onscreen in literally every scene -- and it's a thrill to watch her operating at full throttle.
Dana Stevens - Slate
With its modest scale and sharp observations, writer-director Liza Johnson's first feature has the quiet impact of a short story.
Sheri Linden - Los Angeles Times
Return is a commendable, genuine, and simple drama that effectively highlights the intrinsic trauma soldiers face when trying to come to terms with the reality of life back home.
The writer-director is Liza Johnson, an artist, making her first picture and doing it with considerable grace.
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
Skipping the usual flashbacks-and-cold-sweats cliches, Return has an understated power, even if the story traverses pretty well-trodden ground.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
This is a quiet, honourable, carefully paced little independent movie, like a Sundance Institute coda to The Deer Hunter.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Cardellini holds the restless centre of Liza Johnson's patient, precise drama, which brims with quiet disaffection.
A debut of sober distinction, carried by the seriously good Linda Cardellini as a US Army supply worker whose readjustment to Rust Belt domesticity is touch and go.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
As hounourable as its intentions are, the feeling of been there, done that pervades.
Clare Conway - Little White Lies
Johnson's narrative control is as assured as her visual sense. She skilfully captures the dead-end decency that compounds the servicewoman's mix of trauma and frustration.
David Parkinson - Radio Times
Michael Shannon steals the film - when does he not? - as the loving, frustrated husband whose fuse is burning short.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
There's no glib emotional grandstanding with the cast - particularly the excellent Cardellini - unshowily inhabiting their roles and underlining the assertion that it really could happen to anybody.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Impressively directed, sharply observed and emotionally engaging drama with a terrific central performance from Linda Cardellini.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's a focused, unshowy character study, light on fireworks but full of authentic drama and featuring an impressive lead performance from former ER actress Linda Cardellini.
Paul Gallagher - The List
This is Cardellini's film, and she dominates with a terrific, tough-minded turn.
James Mottram - Total Film
A striking, humane, low-fi coming-home drama whose very title has a relaxed connotation that the movie robustly embodies.
Brent Simon - Shockya.com
It's a well-made but grim psychological melodrama.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Unique for how normal it is, and laudable for its humbleness.
Michael Nordine - Not Coming to a Theater Near You
It's the brief glimpses of unsettling ordinariness -- ho-hum drug dependency, the joy of scoring a good plumbing job, the downsizing of a factory to two lone, lonely figures -- that gives Return its real punch
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
Cardellini's lovely performance is so vividly expressive in its soulful, anguished stillness.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Liza Johnson's feature film debut tackles a tough subject and comes through with a passing grade. There will be more from her in the future.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
This quiet, naturalistic film has a classical arc and a lingering sting.
Shannon chalks up another line on his rapidly growing resume of memorable performances. But it's mostly Cardellini's show -- she's in every scene.
Andy Klein - Christian Science Monitor
A quietly devastating, powerful and poignant drama boasting an unflinchingly honest and well-nuanced performance by Linda Cardellini.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Superbly communicates the difficulties of military transition and its ensuing confusion, executing its perspective with a refreshing trust in its audience.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Honest and downbeat, a movie with no revelations but still some painful truths to share. In a bigger movie, Cardellini might be experiencing a break-out moment.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Return is unusually attuned to its protagonist's alienation, which is especially painful because its source isn't some horrendous event she witnessed, but the hundreds of annoying aspects of everyday life.
Noel Murray - AV Club
Absorbing. (Writer-director Liza) Johnson...is to be commended for her matter-of-fact approach as well as for a refreshing lack of histrionics.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
It's what indie filmmaking ought to be.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
One late sequence ends with a twist that steers the film into a questionable bit of plotting that seems almost entirely at odds with the believable naturalism of the remainder of the movie.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
Overly sedate look at a woman's poor adjustment to civilian life upon her return from a war.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A modest, intimate, not particularly engaging American indie (premiering in Cannes Fest) about the adjustment problems of a woman who returns from a tour of duty overseas.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com