The overload of soapsuds (and the production's excessive attention to on-location squalor) at times overwhelms the earnest performances of the three very good lead actors...
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Sorrow suffuses "Welcome to the Rileys," if somewhat uneasily.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Stewart's idea of inhabiting this part seems to be to scowl a lot and let her hair go unwashed. The Twilight star doesn't have the depth or emotional agility to go toe-to-toe with Gandolfini and Leo.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
"Welcome to the Rileys"? Thanks, but no thanks.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
The story line invites such horselaughs that writer Ken Hixon and director Jake Scott handle it too gingerly, as if at the end of tongs.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Jake Scott's Welcome to the Rileys is so underwritten that, despite a more energetic performance, Stewart makes much less of an impression.
Dan Kois - Village Voice
If Welcome to the Rileys were a thicker-skinned movie -- if it were the movie it thinks it is -- so much of the outcome wouldn't be telegraphed the minute you read the premise.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Ms. Leo finds a way to be affecting in spite of it all. It's as if her later scenes had been lifted from another movie. An enjoyable one.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Welcome to the Rileys is a reminder that good, or at least intriguing, things can come in what seem to be predictable packages.
Cary Darling - Dallas Morning News
It's as if Tony Soprano and Bella Swan had landed the two leads in somebody's amateur theater company, and this is what the lucky audience gets.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Terrific acting by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo -- and a noble effort from Kristen Stewart -- goes a long way toward salvaging it.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
You just wonder what Jake Scott, the director son of Ridley Scott, and Ken Hixon, the confused and inconsistent screenwriter, were smoking. Whatever it is, I'll have what they're having.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
The sluggish pace serves to spotlight poignant scenes, but mostly feels as if the Rileys' family tragedy has left their 30-year marriage in a state of suspended animation.
Peter Debruge - Variety
Audiences tend to avoid Kristen Stewart's non-Twilight movies like vampires fleeing daylight. Believe me, it's their loss.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
An engaging, if tense, viewing experience.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
An oft-told tale gets brightened by three fine performances.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Scott has the good sense not to bring everything to a neat conclusion. After all, this is really the Rileys' movie, and one about rebirth and letting go of demons.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
The actors and admirably sensitive director Jake Scott (son of Ridley) can't compensate for Ken Hixon's long slog of a script.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Like a quiet conversation about despair and hope.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Plenty of authentic laughs and great supporting performances make Welcome to the Rileys a decent film.
- We Got This Covered
Kristen Stewart ever runs out of "Snow White" sequels, this is what her post "Twilight" career should look like.
For every moment of raw self-destruction there is an equally charming resolution.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
- Empire Magazine
[It] will win no prizes for originality, but it benefits greatly from the subtle performances of the two leads, particularly Leo...
Jeremy Aspinall - Radio Times
It's a preposterous story, yet for part of its duration at least, Gandolfini as the slouching, baggily dressed Doug and Leo as the reawakened wife manage to make it rather touching.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
If it could be too slow-burning for some, it is at least a refreshing change from a pattern of film-making that never gives you a moment's rest because there is nothing under the surface.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It's downbeat and has little to say about the grieving process, and while Gandolfini and Leo are memorable, Stewart is not.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Gandolfini's bashful, bear-like Doug is endearing but most of this earnest film just doesn't ring true.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
It's a well-made film, and New Orleans is crisply and interestingly shot by cinematographer Christopher Soos, but this ultimately looks like a TV movie dressed up for the big screen.
Despite its indie sensibilities, under the surface it's a pure Hollywood heart that beats here.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Stewart's strung-out, frowzy performance is a timely reminder that the girl can act, but despite strong work from all three leads, the facile screenplay runs out of things to say fairly quickly.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
The dialogue and ponderous drama got lost even before the camera rolled.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Observant writing and direction make this exploration of grief surprisingly uplifting.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Quietly assured and superbly written, this is an emotionally engaging drama with a trio of terrific performances from James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart and Melissa Leo.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Movingly written and exquisitely played by the three leads, this never gets bogged down in sentiment or lazily opts for easy answers.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Stewart lets it all hang out in a firecracker role but her damaged character never achieves the depth the weak material could have done with.
David Jenkins - Time Out
It's not horrible. It's just directed and written with a heavy hand and a sensibility that could use a lot more restraint.
Dave White - Movies.com
...a consistently watchable piece of work that benefits substantially from its stellar performances...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Surprising twists lead the story in unexpected directions. The actors get credit for making you care about these characters. The audience develops a temporary bond during the 110-minute running time.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
The film works because its stars make up a trifecta of terrific performers who overcome the cliches inherent in their characters.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
...an uncompromising movie about the compromises people sometimes have to make in order to save themselves - and others. It's about doing what's necessary and right, instead of what's moral.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Welcome to the Rileys" sets out to be a study of grief and how to overcome it, but it rings too false to offer much hope - or entertainment.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
He may not have hit a homerun on his first Sundance at-bat, but debut feature director Jake Scott is savvy enough to get on base.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
An underwritten bit of skeezy morosity disguised as a heartwarming family drama.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
"Rileys" isn't believable for a second, but it's often watchable, thanks to its hardworking cast.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The performances find the ideal tone of closure, leaving the future relationship between these three more intriguing than anything established in the film.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The story sounds ridiculous -- hokey, even. But James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo and Kristen Stewart inhabit their roles with such an unstudied validity that we don't for a moment think of them as movie characters behaving for the camera.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Tries to turn an inherently melodramatic tale into a serious study of middle-class grief, but doesn't succeed despite the acting talent on hand.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Produced under the Scott Free banner (Ridley and Tony Scott, producers), it's surprising that such Hollywood heavyweights would choose a script that's so woefully bare.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
It's surprising in the lovely notes it consistently hits, and the simmering sweetness it achieves, despite the dark, seedy framework propping it up
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
The welcome mat on this film is very soggy indeed.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Gandolfini is admirably low key, but Stewart seems stuck in the same sneering, pouty mode she's practically trademarked.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Doug's mission -- to reclaim Mallory's innocence and his own fatherhood -- is too deranged for the squeaky-clean treatment it receives here.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
A character-driven drama that too often and bores you with its sluggish pace and poor editing. James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo anchor the film in raw, well-nuanced performances.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
What makes "Welcome to the Rileys" watchable is the cast. You won't find much Tony Soprano DNA in Gandolfini's somewhat slimmer Doug, outside of the powerful paternal instinct.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
The performances all around are great... [but] this is yet another wearyingly familiar story about what women can and should do for men, not about the woman themselves.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A couple finds a way out of mourning in wrenching drama.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
These are complex, believable characters, wholly deglamorized and bestowed with the layered complications that define real life.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
Stewart gives the kind of raw performance those of us who'd practically fallen asleep during her comatose Twilight line readings forgot she was capable of.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
The kind of movie performers often hail as a "labor of love." And audiences just find labored.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The film wears its heart on its sleeve, but the drama falters when the tone grows over-earnest.
Richard Mowe - Boxoffice Magazine
Sensitive performances by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo--and a sensationally sleazy one by Kristen Stewart--are simply not enough to enliven this downer of a movie about profound grief and how it makes people behave in strange ways--very strange ways.
Shirley Sealy - Film Journal International
This is a movie where the drama is shaped more by quiet conversations than by noisy confrontations -- kind of the way things happen in real life.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Welcome To The Rileys is way too humorless for a film in which Stewart repeatedly refers to her genitals as her "cooter."
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Welcome to the Rileys has some similarities to The Blind Side, as both films explore a similar scenario, but Welcome to the Rileys is more complex, less conservative, less offensive and an overall far superior film.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
A character-driven movie about grief, depression, and the way out of both of them through love.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Almost as embarrassing as Black Snake Moan -- all the more so because nobody involved in the film seems to recognize how icky it all is.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Another descent into mediocre Amerindie miserablism.
David Fear - Time Out
A solid piece of filmmaking, built on an unfussy, honest script and three beautifully understated and brave performances.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Ken Hixon's script contrives a lot of mutual-healing set pieces and then sadly but shrewdly aborts them...
(VIDEO) Director Jake Scott's tale of redemption attempted works better as an actor's showcase for Melissa Leo, James Gandolfini, and the ever-watchable Kristen Stewart than it does as a complete work of cinematic dramaturgy.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
# A compendium of bad ideas and worse filmmaking, Jake (son of Ridley) Scott's Welcome to the Rileys is forever peddling its psychologically reductive message until, at the end, it fairly screams it out.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
While the pacing often sags, Kristen's rude womanchild picks up the slack. As she settles into a sleazy routine while seeming just as relaxed moping around infatuated vampires, as stuck to stripper poles and pasties faking the femme fatale in charge.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
...this movie was pretty good
Luke Y. Thompson - Geekweek
Thanks to an earnest performance by James Gandolfini anchoring it, we can almost forget the weight of Kristen Stewart dragging it down with every hair flip and tug.
Erik Childress - Cinematical
While it's not among the best films I saw at Sundance, it's still quite entertaining, and well worth seeing
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Welcome To The Rileys has its heart in the right place, but the drama falters as it tends towards the solemnly earnest.
David D'Arcy - Screen International