Fritz Lewis’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's like a hybrid of Taxi Driver and Drive with a little bit of Good Time and other films similar to it... revenge character study sort of thing, but it's so much more and less than that. You Were Never Really Here is an abstract, esoteric masterpiece. It leaves such a dirty, helplessly ambiguous impression that oddly reminded me of It Comes at Night... yet the whole look and feel of the film is really realistic and gritty at the same time.
I honestly don't think they used that much color grading and what not.
The score is fucking insanely moving and tense, and the film's themes and pace are really fucked up, and depressingly beautiful and painful. You'll definitely be thinking about it and them far long after it ends.
Joaquin Phoenix gives his 2nd best performance in this manicly quiet and rapturously absolving character study.
He performs it so well with facial and body expressions alone.
Also, guess what,
Lynne Ramsay is a master at giving us something very little and almost held back to a certain sick extent... because the violence is very reserved and not shown.
It's like she's playing us with a montage of screams and punches, but they hit so fucking hard.
There were a couple scenes that really had me choked up just from the brutally mental nature of them... and again, the psychotic Jonny Greenwood score sure did help.
I originally said the pacing was a little problematic, because I feel like they really tried to cram everything into 82 minutes for no particular reason and easily could've taken a bit more time with a couple things and a little less with others. But at the same time, I don't know if the film would have given me the same effect any other way...
It shows very little in terms of backstory (flashbacks), exposition, and violence, but it made me feel so much more and left me with a lot more to think about so I would say it worked for the most part.
But goddamn I wanted to see Joaquin Phoenix bash someone's head open.
This film is driving me crazy 😣.
Also word, there was a subway underneath the theater and that sound was looming in and out throughout the film at some of the most important and fitting scenes, so I really wanted to give some props to the sound design department before Truman crushed that fantasy of mine, but oh well.
My experience > all of yours I guess.
Imagine watching this online.