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How I Live Now

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom · 2013
Rated R · 1h 41m
Director Kevin Macdonald
Starring Saoirse Ronan, George MacKay, Tom Holland, Harley Bird
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller, War

Daisy, an American teenager, is sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with cousins. She settles into a dreamy pastoral life as she falls deeply in love with Eddie... until their summer is blown apart by the sudden outbreak of a 21st century world war.

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Total Film by

An Arab Spring-y allegory with kissing cousins and a divine countryside setting, Kevin Macdonald’s fourth narrative film is an awkward oddity, as uncomfortable in its own skin as its protagonist.


Village Voice by Alan Scherstuhl

Tender, humane, and searing, How I Live Now stands as something all too rare: a movie about young people that young people may love — but not one that lies to them, and not one built for them alone.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

There are a few effectively disquieting sequences early on, but the film never recovers from director Kevin Macdonald's indifferent staging of a pivotal moment.

50 by Jordan Hoffman

For every poignant moment there’s a gaudy dream sequence, wretched internal monologue, ham-fisted zoom or an exchange of dialogue sorely lacking nuance.


Variety by Justin Chang

Wisely sticks to its protagonist’s p.o.v. while avoiding a longer view of the calamitous events around her, making up in emotional immediacy what it lacks in broad dramatic sweep.


Empire by Olly Richards

Macdonald's film is a noble stab at bringing Meg Rosoff's YA novel to the screen, which sees Ronan in typically watchable form.

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