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Past Films

You Were Never Really Here

  • Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
  • Director: Lynne Ramsay
  • Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 89 min.

A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe’s nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.

"Set against the high-tension strings and jarringly funky synthesizers of Greenwood’s score, the film is transformative and transfixing."
- Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
"If Ramsay's 2011 melancholy masterpiece "We Need to Talk About Kevin" was about the consequences of caring too little, You Were Never Really Here is its polar opposite – a story of a man who cares so much that his soul is bleeding out of every pore. Read full review"
- Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle
"You Were Never Really Here is a masterpiece of form and performance, but somehow, its accomplishments in sound and aural texture manage to dwarf even those other accolades. "
- Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequence of Sound
"Ramsay’s fourth feature operates on the viewer in much the same way. With a minimum of resources, she creates a primal atmosphere of dread, then assaults the viewer’s consciousness in a single, sharp blow. "
- Dana Stevens, Slate
"Based on Jonathan Ames' novella of the same name, the film is rooted so firmly in Joe's point of view he sometimes is absent from the screen entirely. We're inside his head. "
- Sheila O'Malley,
"There is more to admire here than a simple economy of form and content, and the spareness of Ramsay's approach is no mere approximation of Ames' hard-boiled prose. The texture is as gritty as the filmmaking is exquisite."
- Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
"On the level of montage, You Were Never Really Here is an expressionistic tour de force. "
- Marchini Camia, The Film Stage
"Over the years, Phoenix has given us some of the most memorable portraits of dark flawed men from Commodus to Johnny Cash. Here, he is excellent, utterly convincing as a man who has been hammered by the world and so has decided to hammer it back. "
- John Bleasdale, CineVue
"Each of her previous movies captures human collapse in slow motion. You Were Never Really Here is a breakdown shot in hyperdrive, lean, economic, utterly ruthless and made with fiery craftsmanship. Let this be the language we use to characterize her reputation as one of the best filmmakers working today."
- Andrew Crump, Paste Magazine
"This is a film about pain, and it forces the audience to live in and work through that pain. And it’s absolutely worth the effort. By the end it’s a transformative experience. "
- William Bibbiani, IGN
"A journey to the deepest levels of the dark side, "You Were Never Really Here" is an art-house crime thriller that succeeds on every technical and creative level."
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A taut and almost unbearably intense 90-minutes, without an ounce of fat on it. Ramsay doesn't give you a second to breathe."
- Sheila O'Malley,