Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by
The Glass Castle is a family portrait that at its heart is a father-daughter movie, anchored by two outstanding actors.
Time Out
The richly built The Glass Castle—splendidly attentive to the details of the Walls's eclectic childhood home and elevated by Ella Anderson's performance as a young Jeannette—is on the overlong side, but it does right by a tough true story that begs neither contempt nor pity.
Still the spectacle of this, of beautiful, sensitive children at the mercy of damaged adults — this is what we take from The Glass Castle. It’s a universal awfulness rendered with truth and detail, and somehow that’s enough.
Even while gesturing toward a redemptive sacred altar, a default mode for parenthood in many mainstream movies, the director lets the messy realities stand. And his fine cast makes them ring true — the selfishness and neglect, the confrontations brutal and tender, the pained silences and, not least, the gusts of pure, jagged joy.
Even when the the music swells and people talk through their problems to reach unremarkable conclusions, there’s an undercurrent of emotional authenticity.
Cretton captures the incidents of Walls’ childhood (too many of them, to be honest, as the film really ought to be half an hour shorter), but struggles to connect them to the grown woman Larson plays in the present.
Brie Larson and Destin Daniel Cretton, star and director, respectively, of 2013 festival favourite Short Term 12, re-team for the affecting, if less intense and occasionally meandering drama of The Glass Castle.
Village Voice
Destin Daniel Cretton’s adaptation of Walls’s book of the same name just often enough bursts to raucous life.
It’s a watchable disappointment that leaves mostly frustration in its wake.
In Cretton’s hands, this fact-based tale of an oddball, destitute upbringing rings false. It’s based on a woman’s complicated personal recollections of her traumatic childhood, and yet it feels like a cloying, one-note Hollywood tale, the beastly trauma all tied up with a pretty bow and de-fanged.

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