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How I Live Now

Drama . Action . Thriller . War . Romance

An American girl on holiday in the English countryside with her family finds herself in hiding and fighting for her survival as war breaks out.

Actors: Saoirse Ronan , George MacKay , Tom Holland , Harley Bird , Anna Chancellor , Corey Johnson , Sophie Ellis , Sabrina Dickens , Natasha Jones
Directors: Kevin Macdonald
Country: UK
Release: 2013-10-04
More Info:
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    Tender, humane, and searing, How I Live Now stands as something all too rare: a movie about young people that young people may love — but not one that lies to them, and not one built for them alone.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    How I Live Now takes some frightening, gruesome turns. In tone and terror, it comes close to matching the jumpy dread of Danny Boyle's British Isles virus thriller "28 Days Later."

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Macdonald's movie is a kind of fairy tale. While in the Marvel franchises, the good guys always win, The House I Live In explores the far more tangible process of simply remaining alive at all costs -- and finding, against impossible odds, justification for living through another day.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    It's strong stuff, and the actors are fully up to it. Full Review
  • Bill Stamets

    Set in England, the dystopic “Brazil” and “28 Days Later” both ended with pastoral idylls for adult couples. How I Live Now offers adolescents a lovely vision of holistic healing in the same countryside.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The result calls to mind “Lord of the Flies” and “Children of Men,” even if the film’s second half is much less compelling than its first.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    In a movie without adults, the children are spontaneous and natural. And Ms. Ronan is captivating throughout.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Charlie Schmidlin

    Macdonald’s unique direction and Ronan’s jittery performance makes the film a worthy watch

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Wisely sticks to its protagonist’s p.o.v. while avoiding a longer view of the calamitous events around her, making up in emotional immediacy what it lacks in broad dramatic sweep.

    Variety Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Ronan acquits herself nicely. Believable as both a smitten leading lady and a resourceful action heroine, she’s the ideal young-adult starlet — though after this and "The Host," maybe it’s time the actress lent her piercing baby blues to a plain old adult project again.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mark Jenkins

    Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.

    NPR Full Review
  • Geoff Pevere

    As a dystopian teen movie, Macdonald’s adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s young adult novel is refreshingly free of digital apocalyptics and unnervingly prone to random violence.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    The film stumbles into a cross-country odyssey that dominates its last third. That is fascinating, but not properly set up, much like the film itself. How I Live Now skips over the “How,” loses itself in the “I” and never lets the pathos of “Live Now” pay off.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    As sun-dappled infatuation abruptly crashes into post-apocalyptic survival, Mr. Macdonald struggles to balance a nebulous narrative on tentpole moments of rich emotional resonance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    Part of the point may be how trauma simplifies life by stripping away everything inessential, but just as there’s little satisfaction in watching Daisy pursue an unworthy goal, there’s little satisfaction in watching a specific, colorful, keenly felt portrait become such a familiar story.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    How I Live Now goes to that nuclear nightmare, and Ronan, who can’t hide her smarts even when the role isn’t as good as the one she had in "Atonement," makes a feast of the journey.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Emma Morgan

    An Arab Spring-y allegory with kissing cousins and a divine countryside setting, Kevin Macdonald’s fourth narrative film is an awkward oddity, as uncomfortable in its own skin as its protagonist.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Cath Clarke

    Kevin Macdonald’s slightly drab adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s popular teen novel would be nothing without Saoirse Ronan.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    Macdonald's film is a noble stab at bringing Meg Rosoff's YA novel to the screen, which sees Ronan in typically watchable form.

    Empire Full Review
  • Henry Barnes

    A gooey love story is pitted against the end of the world. No wonder the romance comes up wanting.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) does a passable job of evoking post-apocalyptic atmosphere in How I Live Now, although the film suffers from uneven tone — is it a teen romance or wartime adventure? — and, ultimately, a regrettable lack of focus.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    A meticulously observed, rapturously directed account of World War III and its aftermath as seen from the point of view of a spoiled young woman. The movie’s pretty fascinating before it goes bonkers.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Imagine a Judy Blume rewrite of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," and you'll end up somewhere in the ashen yet uplifting vicinity of How I Live Now.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    There are a few effectively disquieting sequences early on, but the film never recovers from director Kevin Macdonald's indifferent staging of a pivotal moment.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    What starts as potentially interesting apocalyptic speculative fiction devolves into dreary sub-Hunger Games survivalism and banal teen romance.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    For every poignant moment there’s a gaudy dream sequence, wretched internal monologue, ham-fisted zoom or an exchange of dialogue sorely lacking nuance. Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    A frosty-eyed, imperturbable actress in “Atonement,” “Hanna” and “The Host,” Ronan is at least able to sell Daisy’s new focus while the movie loses its own.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The production feels tentative and underpopulated: I thought not only of Katniss Everdeen but of the marvelous pandemonium in Danny Boyle's zombie epic "28 Days Later."

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Drama is as much about perspective as it is about events, and the angle provided by How I Live Now turns out to be self-defeating.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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