Shirley (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes


Shirley (2020)



Critic Consensus: Elevated by outstanding work from Elisabeth Moss, Shirley pays tribute to its subject's pioneering legacy with a biopic that ignores the commonly accepted boundaries of the form.

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Movie Info

Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband. The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door.

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Elisabeth Moss
as Shirley Jackson
Michael Stuhlbarg
as Stanley Hyman
Odessa Young
as Rose Nemser, Paula
Logan Lerman
as Fred Nemser
Edward O'Blenis
as Ralph Ellison

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Critic Reviews for Shirley

All Critics (194) | Top Critics (31)

Decker and Gubbins zig just where you might expect them to zag - but for all their departures from fact, they're not bold enough to give the tale quite the kind of vicious twist Jackson herself could be counted on to deliver.

July 8, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Decker's filmmaking is often dreamlike, but her storytelling has a cruel bite of reality to it-just as Jackson's writing did decades before.

June 8, 2020 | Full Review…

It's easy to admire the performances without feeling like the journey adds up to much. While Moss captures the complexity of Shirley's personality, the movie sheds scant light on the underlying why of it all.

June 8, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie feels not a little like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" with a literary George and Martha tormenting each other for fun.

June 7, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The deeper the author plunges into the project, the more subjective the movie becomes, revealing the dark visions that descend on Shirley in ghastly, expressive bursts.

June 6, 2020 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

There are few more daring actors around right now than Moss, and "Shirley" may be her best performance yet. She's brutally cutting but the pain of every slight ripples across her face.

June 5, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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