The result is an occasionally strange, occasionally brutal and occasionally lovely work that goes up on the shelf with "The Ocean of Helena Lee" and "Girlhood" as one of the more impressive coming-of-age tales of recent times.
The respect that the film mostly has for Aria’s personhood, even at such a young age, gives it a keener edge than many other entries in the rather overpopulated coming-of-age genre.
Both Aria and the film as a whole are very much in their own head, which is a nice place to visit but probably not the healthiest environment to grow up in.
The Hollywood Reporter
Argento seems to have learned from the experience of her overwrought first features, or maybe from life itself, that there is more to childhood than Gothic horror, and the mischievous moments of being a kid captured in Misunderstood show a filmmaker who is maturing in the direction of audience appeal.
The New York Times
A buoyantly funny, sometimes desperately sad film.
The A.V. Club
The ostensible boldness of Misunderstood is undermined by the sense that it’s also pandering—that its view of childhood as a bourgeois horror-show is at least as salable on the art-house circuit as it is authentic to its creator’s experiences.
The film is only slightly dependent on the self-pity that informed Asia Argento's last effort, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, but it feels similarly airless.