An admirable, frustrating attempt to strip away the novel's inherited "classic" status and restore its raw and earthy passion.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
The film gave me something I never expect to get from any classic literary adaptation: the shock of the new.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Arnold's approach does Bronte no disservice...
Xan Brooks - Guardian [UK]
This impressionistic take includes some strikingly authentic visuals, but the acting is lackluster and the languorous story often sinks into tedium with its focus on the minutiae of country life.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
With so much attention paid to mood and imagery, emotions seem to get lost in the wind.
Stephanie Merry - Washington Post
Arnold is so much stronger on atmosphere than event that she comes to seem resentful of Bronte's plot, and the final scenes are less discomfiting than laughable.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Undoubtedly, its coup de grace has everything to do with race.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
Lyrical and minimalist - if you don't care for such qualities, you may just find it slow ...
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
...a film that is always interesting but never entirely compelling.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
All of the book's poetry is gone; it isn't even a memory.
David Denby - New Yorker
Arnold has been successful in reimagining the story's archetypal emotions in the story, bringing it closer to its passionate elements.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
In reality it's a bit of a slog.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Arnold ... has put her stamp on Emily Bronte's 19th-century novel Wuthering Heights, but it's a smudged and imperfect stamp, to be sure.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Arnold drastically pares back dialogue and exposition, telling the classic tale of passion and revenge with probing, harshly sensual camera work and a minimum of sentimentality.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Unfortunately more interesting in theory than it is to watch.
Leslie Felperin - Variety
If you can handle the glacial pacing and lack of dialogue, there is a certain squirmy satisfaction to watching this well-worn story of love, cruelty and madness play out minus the long-winded speeches and romantic catharsis.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
...Utterly absorbing, [Arnold] has created something lasting and beautiful, the kind of film that is entirely engaging.
Amanda Mae Meyncke - Film.com
Its singular and unflinching vision is always admirable and often breathtaking.
Kate Taylor - Globe and Mail
I love this movie, and love the way it burrows through an English-lit classic to deliver a sensory, kinetic experience that's true to the book but also entirely different.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
If you can slow down your movie metabolism enough to acclimate to its world, Arnold's naturalistic retelling grasps an elemental truth about the novel.
Dana Stevens - Slate
An audaciously and satisfyingly stark, direct and radical approach to an oft-filmed literary classic.
Neil Young - Hollywood Reporter
Faithful and bold...
Mary Corliss - TIME Magazine
It's just that there isn't enough story - the book shouldn't be required reading for the film to make sense.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Wuthering Heights is stunningly shot and beautifully acted. It puts you inside the minds of Cathy and Heathcliff in a way no other adaptation has done before.
Kristal Cooper - We Got This Covered
Cuts beneath the romantic accretion of decades of movie and TV adaptations to penetrate the dark heathen heart of Emily Bronte's 1847 novel.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Most of what's here is interesting enough to be valuable on its own right without quite managing to be "good".
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The atmosphere is vivid but the romance is not.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Your enjoyment of the film will depend on your appreciation of the troubling and brutal nature of the source material.
Rebecca Barry - Flicks.co.nz
...almost unbearably sensual - and not only in a sexual way.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Arnold doesn't merely adapt Bronte's story but retells it in her own style, creating a film that can be frustratingly languid to start but becomes mesmerizing as it progresses.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Alive with texture--sensations and noises, fur and breezes, accentuating both slow-moving stillness and the perception of the now.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Arnold's film reinvents Bronte's 1847 tragedy as if it had never been filmed before, from the damp ground up.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
The results are often obtuse and self-consciously arty. But the movie is also frequently engrossing, sucking the viewer into the emotional landscape of these star-crossed lovers.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
A classic story loses its luster
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
A great sensual experience, but not a very good movie
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Bearing about as much resemblance to the famous 1939 film as chalk does to cheese, Arnold employs the jagged, realist style that defined her excellent films Red Road (2006) and Fish Tank (2009) to great effect.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
While director Arnold captures the semi-barbaric violence, rough beauty and rustic splendor of her setting and period, her use of nonprofessional actors in many roles detracts from the story's power.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Perfectly ridiculous adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel. Shaky-cam nausea combines with wooden amateur acting and sloppy editing to render an unpleasant experience.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Perfectly ridiculous adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel. Shaky-cam nausea combines with amateur acting and sloppy editing to render an unpleasant experience.
Boo Allen - Cedar Hill Sentinel (TX)
I never found a way in, and I couldn't wait for a way out.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
It is in so many ways the first adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
You feel its damp chill, enveloping the characters like a rough, thick cloak; if you screamed into this wind, nobody would hear you.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Visually drab despite the locales and emotionally parched despite the source, this isn't so much the heights as the cinematic depths.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Essentially a misunderstanding of (or an inability to convey) the breathing soul of this material.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
She's made a massive miscalculation in shooting it this way. It's a story of grand passion and she misses out completely on the passion, partly because the actors are inexperienced and they don't deliver the goods in terms of performance.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
A bleak but gripping retelling of a literary classic, which makes brave but effective use of its creative license.
Mark Demetrius - FILMINK (Australia)
Minimalistic, impressionistic, powerful filmmaking brings a fresh take to this English classic.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
Wuthering Heights is an audacious retelling of the famous story; a unique retelling that should be championed and celebrated.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
Even more striking than Arnold's impressionistic style is the way in which she strips these characters down to their abusive and vindictive cores.
Ian Buckwalter - The Washingtonian
The environment is one of unrelenting cruelty and misanthropy, which certainly brings out the novel's darker themes, but can be something of a slog to watch.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Visceral, at times savagely so. (Director Andrea) Arnold heightens the racial and sexual tension and content in ways that I'm not sure Bronte would approve of.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Through Arnold's eyes the story feels immediate and visceral.
Alice Tynan - Limelight
Contemplative adaptation focuses on teen passion and angst.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Arnold knocks the work off its high-culture pedestal back into the mud.
Kent Turner - Film-Forward.com
Physical and mental abuse perpetuates throughout the two hours plus of the film's running time with little reward and Bronte enthusiasts will despair
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
The worst things a filmmaker can be accused of is making a boring film, or a film that takes the audience for a fool - or a film that ignores the cinematic needs of the audience. Arnold's Wuthering Heights seems to do all of these
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The first half of the picture -- focusing on the younger versions of the lovers -- is more potent and inventive than the second half, which becomes more rigid as it seeks to the follow the dictates of the source material.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
This is what the movies can do.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A brutal vision of a savage romance...
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
From the endless rain, wind and mud of the moors to the strange, selfish characters themselves, the film weighs on the soul.
Maryann Koopman Kelly - Paste Magazine
Arnold, a director of uncommon originality, attacks our very notion of what a costume drama should look like. The result is neither dainty nor remotely refined: It's an animalistic, mud-splattered howl of torment.
Jeannette Catsoulis - NPR
It absorbs you fully, even traps you, and you're better off for it.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
One can admire the sublimity of Arnold's aesthetic compositions and framing, as well as the generally solid acting from a nonprofessional cast, but that's to no avail when the movie misses its emotional targets.
Nathan Southern - TV Guide's Movie Guide
... makes compelling changes while staying true to the spirit of Bronte's original work.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
One of the most vividly realized and boldly original adaptations of an established literary classic to come along in recent memory.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
This brave take is an interesting look at a classic for the few but may be too 'inner' concentrated for the many.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
This Wuthering Heights is not something to be passively accepted, but deeply felt, down to the bone.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
Probably the darkest movie ever made with endless scenes in shadowy rooms.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Andrea Arnold ("Red Road," "Fish Tank") adapts the Emily Bronte novel with a fresh spin that, ironically, is perhaps the first to fully articulate Bronte's world without much in the way of dialogue.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's an unexpected take on Wuthering Heights, one made all the more powerful, and no less faithful, for its unconventional choices.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
British director Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights is a version for our era, with a potent pastiche of naturalism, narcissism, a hint of incest, and a child victim's--Heathcliff's!--point of view.
Marsha McCreadie - Film Journal International
This weird, yearning movie could become beloved to many, just as the novel has been.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
In whittling down Emily Bronte's romance to its most earthly aspects, Andrea Arnold stylizes herself into an unavoidable corner.
Joseph Jon Lanthier - Slant Magazine
Though a bold rethinking of the British classic, the film is marred by muddled dialogue and dark and claustrophobic photography.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
This film provides a striking and immersive feeling of place and the ache of desire.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
Bleak adaptation of Bronte classic lacks passion and power.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
This is no Merchant Ivory version of the often-adapted classic.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
It's a boldly modernist approach designed to irritate purists, and although it's pleasingly tactile, it's perhaps too avant garde; its fractured narrative and glimpses of lens flare constantly break the spell of the period fiction.
Andrew Collins - Radio Times
Andrea Arnold's stark, defiantly naturalistic new version succeeds brilliantly in injecting the shock of the new into this well-thumbed English classic.
Kate Stables - Sight and Sound
The film is by no means negligible.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Deserves a lot of credit for approaching sacred source material in such a radical form.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
It's not a costume drama in any real sense, with blusters of wind standing in for dialogue and, frankly, sheer boredom subbing for Bronte's look into the riddles of the human heart.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
- Empire Magazine
This Wuthering Heights, sponsored by the UK Film Council, may well please the juries. It isn't going to give you a good night out, though. Believe me. Writhing in your seat never lies.
David Sexton - This is London
Arrestingly shot in natural light, with no soundtrack, the moors have never seemed more alien or bleak and this does stay with you but at over two hours long it's rather hard work.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
I'd say this astonishing adaptation of Wuthering Heights was one of the most impressive costume dramas I've seen in years, except it's so far removed from any normal expectations of the genre that I'd hesitate to call it a costume drama at all.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
A would-be sophisticated but actually naive attempt to turn Emily Bronte's fascinating, emotionally involving romantic melodrama into the most alienating kind of brutalism.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Arnold's radical approach might have worked but for one fatal flaw. Her Heathcliff can't act.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Even squeezed into the film's square frame, Arnold's trademark, like snaps from an early box camera, Ryan's images are often overpowering.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
There have been many screen versions of Wuthering Heights but we've never seen one quite like this.
Philip Concannon - The Skinny
Where's the dangerous passion and emotion which has kept the book alive down the generations for so long?
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
This is definitely a film to watch - but only as part of a discourse on what love is. Despite a very committed vision and understatedly solid actors, somehow this never quite feel like what Emily Bronte intended.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
There's something satisfyingly jolting about the way Arnold makes Bronte her own.
Kevin Harley - Total Film
Arnold, who is known to be a very instinctive film-maker, aims for the dark heart of the novel ... Nature is her only true star in this.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
An astonishing-looking adaptation that captures the setting of the book, and its darkness, wonderfully, but goes too far towards edgy in its quest to avoid the usual literary cliches.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
A gutsy if not entirely successful interpretation of Bronte's tome.
Josh Winning - Little White Lies
A strikingly bold and impressively naturalistic adaptation of Bronte's novel, heightened by terrific performances from its two young leads, though the second half of the film can't quite live up to the first.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's a visually forceful attempt at seizing the ardor of the novel that nevertheless pales next to the abyss of passion explored by Luis Bunuel in his own strange, 1954 visualization of Bronte's classic.
Fernando F. Croce - House Next Door
A defiantly art-house adaptation of the Emily Bronte classic that is from the school of Robert Bresson rather than Merchant Ivory.
Kaleem Aftab - Independent
This is an updating in tone rather than time, often without the essential explosiveness of the book. But it's one way of reinterpreting Bronte's words and visually, at least, an extraordinary achievement.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
This 'Wuthering Heights' looks astounding and there are clever decisions in almost every scene.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out