The gay coming-of-age story's been done, but "Pariah" has something fresh to say, largely about the knotty complexities of love, and how they might keep someone in the closet: How badly do you need to be free, to hurt the people you love?
-John AndersonFull Review
Rees brings a heartfelt connection to the material, based on her own coming-out story, but the film's ingredients aren't the freshest.
-Colin CovertFull Review
You don't have to be black or lesbian or even know someone who's gay to appreciate "Pariah"; you just have to have gone through or be going through the process of growing up.
-Tom LongFull Review
If the destination is trite, the journey isn't - it comes with an ample supply of raw honesty.
-Rick GroenFull Review
Rees tells Alike's story in vignettes that are sometimes slapstick, sometimes heartbreaking, always tender.
-Carrie RickeyFull Review
Especially rewarding about Oduye's performance is how she's able to portray that frustration while retaining hope and optimism.
-Bill GoodykoontzFull Review
Rees' script, peppered with colourful hip-hop argot, is smart and economical, with well-drawn characters, dialogue and situations that echo with authenticity.
-Bruce DemaraFull Review
"Pariah" feels a lot like life, at its most confusing, contradictory and exhilarating.
-Ann HornadayFull Review
Adepero Oduye is excellent as a Brooklyn teen coming to terms with her sexual identity in this gritty film
-Chris VognarFull Review
The originality lies in the details, and the dramatic energy that sustains almost every scene.
-Joe MorgensternFull Review
An eloquent, haunting coming-of-age/ coming-out tale...
-Moira MacDonaldFull Review
"Pariah'' really feels like something rare.
-Wesley MorrisFull Review
Rees packs a lot into a simple narrative, and only rarely overpacks.
-Michael PhillipsFull Review
The film is an impressive debut for writer-director Dee Rees.
-Roger EbertFull Review
Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity.
-Ella TaylorFull Review
In her fearless, world-here-I-am! debut Pariah, writer-director Dee Rees demonstrates, with simplicity and verve, that there's no substitute for authenticity.
-Lisa SchwarzbaumFull Review
The filmmaking is often wayward, the scenes of confrontation sometimes too stagey, but Oduye is a marvelous young actress with a camera-ready face brimming with soulfulness.
-Peter RainerFull Review
The movie's point, which is impossible to miss, is that it's hard being black & gay in America and, while there's undoubtedly truth in that sentiment, it doesn't necessarily make for a compelling motion picture circa 2011.
-James BerardinelliFull Review
The coming-out/coming-of-age story is almost a genre of its own, but Pariah has a fresh and distinctly urban take, anchored by an affable lead performance.
Something so honest and touching that you're instantly drawn in to its feelings and sense of place.
-Joe NeumaierFull Review
The gifted Dee Rees makes finding out a stirring and heartfelt journey. And Adepero Oduye is unforgettable. A star is born.
-Peter TraversFull Review
Pariah should be a special, important film for gay teens and their parents.
-Mary F. PolsFull Review
This is a look at the joy, confusion and heartbreak of adolescence that's both culture- and locale-specific and, at the same time, universal.
-Lou LumenickFull Review
The message - that prejudice exists in every community - is one worth listening to.
-Stephen WhittyFull Review
The film benefits most of all from Rees' careful screenplay, which dances that shifting line between fear and emergent hope. One of Alike's poems says it best: "Even breaking is opening. And I am broken. I am open."
-Amy BiancolliFull Review
Oduye as Alike is "Pariah's" subtle center, with the actress moving seamlessly between the tomboy thrilled to play hoops with her dad to the sour-faced daughter forced to wear pink by her mom.
-Betsy SharkeyFull Review
At its heart is an incandescent performance by Ms. Oduye, who captures the jagged mood swings of late adolescence with a wonderfully spontaneous fluency.
-Stephen HoldenFull Review
Funny, moving, nuanced, and impeccably acted...
-Melissa AndersonFull Review
Pariah plays like a longer, more complex addendum to the recent It Gets Better campaign aimed at sending messages of survival and strength to gay and lesbian teens...
-James RocchiFull Review