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The Wonder

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Ireland, United Kingdom, United States · 2022
1h 49m
Director Sebastián Lelio
Starring Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar
Genre Mystery, Thriller

In 1862, Lib Wright, an English nurse, is summoned to a tiny Irish village to observe what some are claiming as a medical anomaly or a miracle – a girl said to have survived without food for months.

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What are critics saying?

80

The Guardian by Benjamin Lee

A film about the danger of believing without questioning that turns us into full-throated believers in whatever Lelio and Pugh can do.

50

The Film Stage by C.J. Prince

Pugh’s performance is more adequate than impressive, a result of her character having background and motivations laid out so there’s little else to take from what’s onscreen.

67

Collider by Chase Hutchinson

It is by no means a perfectly constructed work, but there is something more immense in its thematic aspiration that provides plenty for Pugh to play around with. All that makes it unwieldy also makes The Wonder mesmerizing so that, even when the spell is broken, you can’t shake it from your mind.

75

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Impressive as it is that The Wonder is able to squeeze so much from its spartan trappings, the film still feels clipped at 110 minutes; there may not be a lot to chew on, but there’s almost too much to savor.

67

The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

As always, Lelio has a way with his actors. Nothing will ever feel forced. Even the most melodramatic stakes will feel grounded. And yet, despite a pointless framing device the film simply does not need, it’s missing some of the visual magic of his earlier films.

80

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

Lelio and his co-writers have made a smart, subtle disquisition on the necessity of both skepticism and faith, with a particularly keen understanding of religion’s uses and abuses.

50

Variety by Peter Debruge

An evenhanded but ultimately preposterous adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel, co-written by the author herself (with an assist from Alice Birch).

90

The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber

Nothing would work quite as well without the performance by Pugh. She commands the screen from her very first appearance, and we never have doubts that anyone who tries to interfere with her will be facing a formidable adversary.

92

TheWrap by Tomris Laffly

In the end, Lelio earns the powerful close of The Wonder with every temperate turn. His film, a career-best, departs like a birdsong, with an optimistic finale as perfect and revelatory as they come.

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