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The A.V. Club
Thoroughbreds...has been made with diabolical craft and intelligence, the kind that marks Finley as a major new American talent. But it’s no empty exercise, no mere calling card. The style all comes in service of the central relationship and the superb performances that bring it to bewitching life.
It’s the pair’s bond that helps to make the film more interesting than just a study of wealthy murderousness (though it’s great at that too). It’s also a portrait of female friendship that, despite the dark places it goes to, proves to be oddly touching.
E. Oliver Whitney
Ultimately it’s Finley’s sleek and stylish visual language that makes Thoroughbred a must-see, and one of the best surprises out of Sundance. He composes his shots with such precision, control, and confidence.
Thoroughbred is a dark and pointed piece of work that depends on the delicacy with which someone can thread the needle between Hitchcockian suspense and capitalistic venom, and Finley — adapting his own play to the screen — demonstrates a cinematic authority that eludes many filmmakers who have worked in the medium for decades.
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
Thankfully, Finley isn’t only adept at writing and directing good dialogue but he also understands how images and sounds can enhance his story.
Some zinging dialogue and pungent photography are complemented by the two young leads and the late Anton Yelchin in support.
A story steeped in emotional remoteness manages to command our attention in Thoroughbreds, first-time filmmaker Cory Finley’s darkly satirical portrait of the young and disconnected in old-money Connecticut.
Yelchin’s performance — grizzled, neurotic — is sadly on-the-nose, making us feel as if we’re watching the last act of a troubled young man.
Cory Finley's screenplay is full of sharp, exactingly timed exchanges whose rat-a-tat rhythms exert a spellbinding pull, even if the dialogue at times comes off as artificial and mannered.
The Film Stage
Taylor-Joy and Cooke have a weird, comedic dynamic that could have put them in the canon of cinematic duos if the movie had been braver in pushing their relationship to darker territory. Ultimately, Thoroughbreds is a lot of potential with an anticlimactic payoff.
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