Darren Aronofsky and Paramount have been very careful not to spoil anything about mother! Trailers and ads have only really begun to appear in earnest in the last couple weeks, and the movie opens in theaters on September 15. So you may not want to read the first reviews of the film out of the Venice Film Festival. If you want to just get a sense of what critics thought here it is: They liked it!

If you want further details, links and excerpts are below. Some critics were extremely positive, describing Aronofsky’s latest work, his first since 2014’s Noah, as “audacious” and “fabulous.” Others were a bit more muted in their praise, recognizing the film’s energy and style while questioning some of its choices and “plot contrivances.” But just about everyone on the critical spectrum said it’s a movie worth seeing.

Again you won’t have to wait long to check it out for yourself; mother! premieres in less than two weeks. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the earliest reviews.

Ben Croll, Indiewire:

“Darren Aronofsky’s audacious and rich cinematic allegory is his most daring film yet.”

Jessica Kiang, The Playlist:

“Seldom has a title ever earned its exclamation point in more emphatic fashion. In fact it deserves a few more, so here they are: !!!!!!!!!”

Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily:

“A devouring and restless experience: a creative surge that’s like the lancing of a boil, releasing a torrent of despair and disgust for the greedy chaos of society today as well as a self-loathing portrait of the artist as an emotional succubus.”

Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast:

“Aronofsky’s film is ultimately concerned with the parasitic nature of the male artist; how he drains the lifeblood from all those around him in the name of creativity and ego fuel. In that sense, it’s a remarkably self-absorbed film, and one that, allegorical or not, feels like an agonized mea culpa from the artist (Aronofsky) to those in his personal orbit.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:

“Pulls you in with its intriguing central dramatic situation and pushes you out with some mightily far-fetched plot contrivances.”

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

“A dazzlingly skillful machine of virtual reality designed to get nothing but a rise out of you. It’s a baroque nightmare that’s about nothing but itself.”

Brian Formo, Collider:

“Isn’t quite as fascinating as it thinks it is, and the hellish setting perhaps goes too far, but it is relentless and it sure is something that needs to be experienced.”

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