• 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone
    Hartley's debut deserves heralding; he combines a rigorous social conscience with the exuberance of fresh comic thinking.
  • 88
    TV Guide Magazine
    The Unbelievable Truth captivates with its committedly off-center vision of suburban angst.
  • 80
    It’s drifty, dreamy quality that, contrary to the film’s indie-cool ingredients, makes it eminently watchable and modern.
  • 80
    Washington Post
    The unbelievable truth about The Unbelievable Truth is that this offbeat, accomplished darkish comedy is the feature film debut of its writer-director-editor-producer Hal Hartley, and lead actors Adrienne Shelly and Robert Burke.
  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
    What makes the film fun is the deadpan, tongue-in-cheek humor that undermines the seemingly sincere dramatic scenes.
  • 70
    The New York Times
    Mr. Hartley and his director of photography, Michael Spiller, have made a film that is visually and verbally much richer than its low budget.
  • 70
    The Unbelievable Truth is a promising, reasonably engaging first feature of the art school film variety. Very consciously designed and stylized in all departments, pic has a minor-key feel to it.
  • 60
    Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader
    The unvarnished quality of some of the acting limits this effort in spots, but the quirky originality of the story, characters, and filmmaking keeps one alert and curious.
  • 50
    Boston Globe
    While Hartley, who made this movie on a shoestring budget, has avant on his mind, he's not nuanced enough to quite pull it off. [03 Aug 1990]
  • 50
    Dave Kehr Chicago Tribune
    If the film's diffidence is its greatest charm, it is also, in the end, its greatest limitation-it's a movie that seems afraid to declare itself, to make the big move that might propel it from the pleasant to the memorable. [03 Aug 1990]