August Keller


There comes a point when a film is so elite in so many ways that it must be called a masterpiece. The absolutely electrifying gifts that both Lynne Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix give us in You Were Never Really Here unite in such a way that is rarely seen in any medium. This work of art does everything it sets out to do and more; every shot is a painting, every sound is carefully chosen, and every moment brings the audience along in a way that knows better than we do. You Were Never Really Here is a film that doesn’t mind being misunderstood on a surface level because it penetrates its viewers so deeply, it cannot be denied.

From the very beginning, You Were Never Really Here displays its artful cinematography and disorienting sound as it takes us through the life of a broken man. Joaquin Phoenix disappears into his role and makes the viewers feel genuinely empathetic and completely terrified at the same time. The seamless and creative editing allows the audience to soak in his ugly life and feel his disjointed reality. This precision in every frame (artfully crafted by Ramsay), in each performance (all paced by Phoenix), and in each sound results in an experience that is unparalleled. I expect You Were Never Really Here to be in the discussion for Best Picture of the Year all year.

Writing: 10/10
Direction: 10/10
Cinematography: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Editing: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Score/Soundtrack: 9/10
Production Design: 8/10
Casting: 10/10

Effects: 8/10

Overall Score: 9.5/10