Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Well intentioned and commendable, Tim Blake Nelson’s film does not put his dialogue or writing strengths into question. But movies have to convince us on myriad levels, and this can be tough enough as it is.
The film is focused enough on relationships not to sound preachy.
Village Voice
Anesthesia doesn't cast judgment. Instead, Nelson slowly reveals awful things about his characters after we've decided to like them. I admire the film's vigor, even if at times it feels like a cruel, clumsy trick.
Anesthesia comes from the heart, as few films do these days.
Despite a few stylistic inconsistencies, the conceit mostly works, but it helps that this time Nelson has rounded up a talented group of actors to play his troubled ensemble of characters.
The cast (which includes Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Kristen Stewart, and Corey Stoll) is strong, but the movie itself is a little exhausting, like a New York cousin to Paul Haggis’ Crash, with a smaller budget and a bigger vocabulary.
The editing and the compositions here can be slightly ungainly, and some of the characters are not quite fully realized, but Nelson ultimately transcends the limits of his own material through sheer, cussed determination and lively anger.
The ensemble labors sincerely to bring Nelson’s dense, frequently didactic writing to life, though it can be a hard task.
Despite the generally talented cast of Anesthesia, its linked-lives format, which we’ve seen so many times before, is frustrating: Too much adds up to not quite enough.
Slant Magazine
Tim Blake Nelson's film immerses itself into as many pain-induced (and painful) subplots as it possibly can.

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