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Back from a tour of duty, Kelli (Linda Cardellini) can't wait to rejoin her old life in the Rust Belt town in which she's always lived. She's ready to experience the old feelings of everyday life-the carpet under her bare feet, a cold beer in front of the television, the smell of her baby's head. But slowly, her world comes to feel unfamiliar. Her friends love her but seem preoccupied with trifles. Her children need more focused attention than she can give, and as much as he tries, her husband Mike (Michael Shannon) doesn't understand what she's been through. As… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The writer-director is Liza Johnson, an artist, making her first picture and doing it with considerable grace."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Sincerity and restraint can be good things in independent movies, but not when you run the risk of putting the audience to sleep..."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Return is a commendable, genuine, and simple drama that effectively highlights the intrinsic trauma soldiers face when trying to come to terms with the reality of life back home."
‑ Richard Haridy, Quickflix
"Cardellini holds the restless centre of Liza Johnson's patient, precise drama, which brims with quiet disaffection."
‑ Phil Hoad, Guardian
"Johnson's narrative control is as assured as her visual sense. She skilfully captures the dead-end decency that compounds the servicewoman's mix of trauma and frustration."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"This quiet, naturalistic film has a classical arc and a lingering sting."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"With its modest scale and sharp observations, writer-director Liza Johnson's first feature has the quiet impact of a short story."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"Skipping the usual flashbacks-and-cold-sweats cliches, Return has an understated power, even if the story traverses pretty well-trodden ground."
‑ Angie Errigo, Empire Magazine
"A debut of sober distinction, carried by the seriously good Linda Cardellini as a US Army supply worker whose readjustment to Rust Belt domesticity is touch and go."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Michael Shannon steals the film - when does he not? - as the loving, frustrated husband whose fuse is burning short."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Finally someone has written a really good role for Linda Cardellini -- a big, prickly, demanding role that puts her onscreen in literally every scene -- and it's a thrill to watch her operating at full throttle."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"You admire these characters for their considerable resilience while understanding that even the best-intentioned people can break under the stress."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"This is a quiet, honourable, carefully paced little independent movie, like a Sundance Institute coda to The Deer Hunter."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"As hounourable as its intentions are, the feeling of been there, done that pervades."
‑ Clare Conway, Little White Lies
"There's no glib emotional grandstanding with the cast - particularly the excellent Cardellini - unshowily inhabiting their roles and underlining the assertion that it really could happen to anybody."
‑ Tim Evans, Sky Movies
More reviews for Return on Rotten Tomatoes