Return Reviews

  • 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.

    Phil Hoad

  • 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

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