With a 93 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics have high praise for the movie about a struggling father who tries to get back the home his family was evicted from, by working for a greedy real estate broker.
In a review published after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde wrote, “with ’99 Homes’ Bahrani finds the right mix of the two phases of his career to date, mainly on the face of Michael Shannon, who’s a known Hollywood quantity while also thoroughly believable as a Florida swamp rat who traded in his mullet for a shiny suit.”
Most critics agree that the film is elevated by stellar performances from Shannon and Garfield.
See 9 other reviews about the Broad Green Pictures release below.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
“’99 Homes’ is an exciting and emotionally grandstanding drama about temptation, shame, humiliation and greed — and it’s got something to say about America’s toxic-loan slump and how the taxpayer-funded bailout created a bonanza for big businesses who could make money out of the recession.”
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com:
“’99 Homes’ pulses with energy from the very beginning. Bahrani is always keeping his camera moving, timed to an unsettling electronic-driven score. It is his most confidently made film. It doesn’t feel like there’s a beat, a shot, an angle that’s out of place or unconsidered.
Eric D. Snider, Vanity Fair:
“Michael Shannon is magnetic as the conniving, acid-tongued Rick Carver, almost tipping over into cartoon villainy before giving us some perspective on the character. He makes the film funnier than you’d expect it to be, with Andrew Garfield‘s expressive tearfulness balancing it out the other way. It’s a potent mix that’s more reminiscent of Bahrani’s most recent film, ‘At Any Price,’ than his earlier, more sedate ones. He’s still evolving as a filmmaker, and this new story-driven approach is an interesting turn.”
Nicholas Barber, BBC:
“It’s a propulsive, streamlined, yet weighty drama. Its director and co-writer, Ramin Bahrani, is a Venice festival favorite who has made several muted parables about America’s dispossessed, but ’99 Homes’ proves that he can also make thrillingly urgent mainstream entertainment without turning his back on the harsh realities of life on the breadline.”
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice:
“Every shot, every beat, in this tale of an Orlando real estate monster (Michael Shannon) profiting off foreclosures is a nail hammered into the indictment Bahrani is framing. […] Bahrani shows what happens when it becomes more profitable to yoink away the American Dream than it is to encourage people to buy into it. Shannon shows us the toll that that yoinking etches in the face, the mind, the soul.”
Mark Lukenbill, Slant Magazine:
“Bahrani’s talent for orchestrating sequences of tightly wound tension is in full bloom here, as is his complementary knack for quieter grace notes.”
Jessica Kiang, Indie Wire:
“It opens with blood spatter; it will end with your blood boiling. Which is to say that Ramin Bahrani’s ferocious foreclosure drama ’99 Homes’ is exactly as effective as it needs to be. While neither subtle nor particularly nuanced, the blunt force trauma impact of its narrative never feels exploitative, being wholly justified by the importance of its themes.”
Joseph Baxter, CinemaBlend:
“This film showcases itself as a fascinating tale that’s very much a product of our times in a plethora of ways. Andrew Garfield‘s performance as a struggling single father forced out of his home and lifestyle, clearly depicts an average man who has been caught up in the gears of a system that is heartlessly harvesting lives, grinding the grain of lower-middle-class folks into feed for a group that Carver callously calls ‘the winners.'”
Shirley Sealy, Film Journal International:
“Even so, ’99 Homes’ is still a movie–and it’s a really good one with excellent performances from the two leads. Andrew Garfield reveals here the potential to be a 21st-century ‘everyman,’ the kind of guy Jimmy Stewart used to play. And Michael Shannon–well, his Rick Carver is simply astounding, a scary but intelligent and complex human being, and one of the most memorable screen villains we’re likely to meet this year.”
James Mottram, The List:
“Urban melodrama ’99 Homes’ is rarely subtle and the ending feels a touch too contrived, but this largely excellent effort is a step up from its director’s earlier, similarly socially conscious films like ‘Man Push Cart’ and ‘At Any Price.’ Aided by electric performances from both Shannon and Garfield, Bahrani stirs his provocations into a fiercely dramatic cauldron. Bubbling over with anger at the ever-increasing wealth divide, it’s searing, sensational stuff.”
“99 Homes” hits theaters Sept. 25.