Ray & Liz


Ray & Liz

Critics Consensus

Ray & Liz takes an unflinching look at lives impacted by poverty whose lingering impact is enhanced by writer-director Richard Billingham's refusal to indulge in sentimentality.



Total Count: 63

Audience Score

Ratings: Not yet available
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Movie Info

In 1990, alcohol makes Richard's father Ray a prisoner in his own bedroom. Ray's estranged wife Liz and neighbor Sid battle for control of Ray, who remains hopeful that Liz will return to him if he manipulates her through his self-destruction. A decade or so earlier, Richard's younger brother Jason -- then three years old -- is left alone with his hapless Uncle Lol. The lodger tricks Lol into drinking the stash of alcohol hidden in the house and neglecting Jason. Liz violently punishes him upon her return. In 1985 Jason, now 10 years old, goes out with a friend on Bonfire Night but can't find his way home and ends up sleeping in a shed. He is finally taken into care. When a social worker breaks the news to Ray and Liz, Liz cries a little, but quickly forgets....


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Critic Reviews for Ray & Liz

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (3)

  • What distinguishes "Ray & Liz" is its ability to find strange tonal nuances within that terrible sadness; bleak as it is, it's remarkably devoid of bitterness or rancor, and even its most despairing passages are flecked with humor and hope.

    Jul 20, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Billingham's famous photos are tough-minded and emotionally painful, silent by virtue of their medium. And his live-action version offers a similar experience.

    Jul 19, 2019 | Full Review…

    Dave White

    Top Critic
  • We often say art "cuts close to the bone," but in its depiction of clinking liquor bottles and drawers of unopened rent notices soaked in dog urine, Ray & Liz slices clean through that bone.

    Jul 12, 2019 | Full Review…

    Andrew Lapin

    Top Critic
  • Performed with absolute commitment by its cast (Justin Salinger and Ella Smith play the younger versions of the title characters), "Ray & Liz" is a quietly harrowing movie.

    Jul 11, 2019 | Full Review…
  • With its very tamped-down emotion, Bellingham's decision not to attempt insight or empathy is the most telling display of the consequences of his story.

    Jul 10, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [A] film in which the memories you can't shake and the memories you won't let go become indistinguishable from the ones you never had.

    Jul 8, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ray & Liz

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