Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Bullock’s performance is brilliant — she takes all these internalized fears and crafts a character who has already disconnected from emotion. Throughout the films, she challenges what “maternal” means in circumstances this dire.
Bier’s direction is coolly efficient, which fits the material to a t — anything more ostentatious would just feel wasteful.
As Bird time-jumps between the claustrophobic action of the house and a desperate sort of jailbreak, director Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) keeps the mood taut and defiantly in the moment.
This is a wannabe shocker with a clever premise that doesn't really get down and dirty or betray the base instincts of a born horror filmmaker.
The haunting, hypnotic, palm-sweating score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross promises way more than the film delivers. By the way, the birds in the box are meant to set off alarms when the monsters approach. They see way more than we do, which is part of the problem. Why should birds have all the fun?
Outside of its admiration for mothers, Bier’s film seems to only vaguely hint at other ephemeral ideas, and as a result Bird Box is a curiously hollow experience.
Heisserer’s script endeavors to give Bullock a rich psychological backstory to play — something to do with her reluctance to accept motherhood and the redemption she experiences in accepting that role — and the wonderfully self-reliant actress plays that arc earnestly enough. But there’s no getting around that this is a monster movie without a monster.
In the end, Bird Box’s most significant shortcoming is that it’s just too inert and unfocused to work as sci-fi horror.
The squelching of promise is not my worst (cinematic) fear, per se. But it’s still disappointing.
The effort behind Bird Box was to make something better than a standard horror movie, but the result is dull and half-hearted. It’s not serious enough or important enough to transcend the horror genre, but neither is it visceral enough to hold up as a regulation horror movie.

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