Scott Bailey’s review published on Letterboxd:
Certain Women is directed by Kelly Riechardt and it is a well acted and well shot movie where absolutely nothing happens! I'm sorry, I honestly try and be positive about anything I watch. It's one of the most important things I try and do whenever I review a film, but there is hardly anything to like here other than the irony of how a film about how watching the boring lives of these characters can be just so insufferably boring to watch!
There are three different stories here, with no discernible narrative, direction or plot. The first story is of Laura Dern who is a lawyer who winds up in a hostage negotiation, the second is of a couple that try to buy land from an old man with dementia, and the third is of Lily Gladsone having an obsession with her teacher Kristen Stewart! To be honest, I was completely tuned out by the time it got to that third story. All three of these stories are just incredibly boring and uneventful and it move at a snails pace to get to the point (if there is one). It is the definition of tedious!
The best things about this movie for me was Laura Dern, the cinematography, and the most tensionless kidnapped scene in cinema history. Multiple times with the way this movie is shot, I actually feel like it tries to trick you into thinking something was going to happen and there was a few times I actually found myself trying to study the framing, before realising how fruitless it was! I do have to praise one of the driving scenes in this film, which actually has the films only use of music, it does some very clever things in the background where it kinda teased me something interesting was about to happen, but again it leads to absolutely nothing! For the most part though I was very impressed with the camerawork and the way scenes are edited together where when it goes to a different story, it just moves along to that scene without fades to black or anything like that.
Hell I even get the point that maybe I'm supposed to be bored and pissed off like this, but that's exactly the problem I have with this film. As a source of entertainment this simply serves to completely waste your time and money and I was sat there just completely bored out of my mind! It's well acted, and I liked the cinematography and editing style, but at the end of the day when nothing is actually driving the film it all, it's basically The Emperors New Clothes to me. Not a fan to say the least!