Keep the Lights On (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Keep the Lights On2012

Keep the Lights On (2012)



Critic Consensus: Keep the Lights On is a mysterious, sexy journey deep into the love affair of two men that always manages to stay true to life.

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Movie Info

It's 1997 and New York City is in a state of intense flux when documentary filmmaker Erik Rothman (Thure Lindhardt) first meets Paul Lucy (Zachary Booth), a handsome but closeted lawyer in the publishing field. What begins as a highly charged first encounter soon becomes something much more, and a relationship quickly develops. As the two men start building a home and life together, each continues to privately battle their own compulsions and addictions. A film about sex, friendship, intimacy and most of all, love, Keep the Lights On takes an honest look at the nature of relationships in our times. -- (C) Official Site

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Roberta Kirshbaum
as Katie's Mom
Jamie Petrone
as Katie's Cousin
Henry Arango
as Himself
Chris Lenk
as Hustler
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News & Interviews for Keep the Lights On

Critic Reviews for Keep the Lights On

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (38)

The movie's elaborately failed closure only makes sense once you understand that the filmmaker's all-too-human desire for self-justification apparently trumped the ruthless self-control required to make a work of art.

February 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Keep the Lights On acknowledges (without belaboring) the performative nature of identity; how each of our claims to selfhood, be it sexual, romantic, or professional, are staged on a shifting terrain of habit, fantasy, and desire.

August 22, 2013 | Full Review…

There's a lot to like here, and if you're a traditionalist who hungers for a happy ending, you'll find it embedded in the opening credits.

November 2, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Every frame pulses with hard-gained experience: it may be the most lived-in film of 2012, and certainly counts among the most moving.

November 1, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Monitoring the peaks and troughs of this fractious relationship is more fascinating than enjoyable.

November 1, 2012 | Rating: 3/5

This is a painful drama, but its pain is more studied than emotive, and it demands that we think just as much as it makes us feel.

October 30, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Keep the Lights On

Keep the Lights On is brutally honest and devastating like love can be when ruined by drug addiction and by one person's dependence on another. Full review on filmotrope. com

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Mind numbingly dull.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


In "Keep the Lights On," Karen(Paprika Steen) gives her brother Erik(Thure Lindhardt), a documentary filmmakerin his 30's, grief over not being able to put his life together. That's even with her not knowing about his phone sex habit which is how he hooks up with Paul(Zachary Booth) who mentions something about a girlfriend after they have sex. That does not stop them from forming a relationship that goes beyond the physical, however. Meantime, Erik's friend Claire(Julianne Nicholson) wants to have his baby while he sweats out an HIV test. "Keep the Lights On" is a quietly intense and incisive look at a turbulent relationship. As erotic as the movie is, there is one sex scene that has to be one of the most emotionally unnerving I have ever seen. That having been said, the movie has less to do with sex than with addiction and those it affects. Ironically, Erik is an anchor for Paul, otherwise clean cut with a good job compared to Erik who has never been big on responsibility. Throughout, Erik gets glimpses of other potential realities, one of which would be a huge mistake to say the least. Along these same lines, the movie's central weakness is telling it entirely from Erik's point of view which, while building suspense concerning Paul's whereabouts, limits the story in not properly giving Paul adequate definition.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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