[Hossein Amini's] polished storytelling carries this along, generally compensating for the mundane visuals and the actors' skilled but unmoored performances.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2014-12-11
Everything about The Two Faces of January is right, even as the events it describes - a couple's idyllic Grecian holiday, a charming American's adventures abroad - go terribly wrong.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2014-10-10
The movie never reaches a boil. Instead, it simmers and simmers until you're suddenly shocked at the hot water you're in.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2014-10-09
Things get awfully twisted under that hot Mediterranean sun.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2014-10-09
A stylish directorial debut for screenwriter Hossein Amini.
Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2014-10-09
It follows three people, all of them flawed and under pressure, and keeps the audience in sympathy with all three. It's some kind of feat to place three people in conflict and have the audience wish the best for each of them.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2014-10-09
You should see it just for Chester-the adventurous sham, running ever deeper into a maze of his own devising.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2014-09-29
There are no jolting twists or shocking reveals. The reward lies mostly in accepting each character on his or her terms.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News, 2014-09-26
Perfectly fine - as chilly as a cold platter of octopus salad, as bracing as a shot of ouzo.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, 2014-09-26
Even when the plot threatens to crumble, the actors know what to do with the pieces.
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 2014-09-25
There's a mystery here, some thrills and blood, but mostly there are beautiful people and the kind of human hunger that devours everything and everyone in sight.
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 2014-09-25
Is the film too old-school for short attention spans? Maybe. Rest assured that Amini's shuddery endgame is well worth the wait.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 2014-09-25
January skirts by on its tastefulness and appreciation for the source material, however single-minded.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club, 2014-09-25
At a certain point, it's akin to reading a mediocre murder mystery. You finish it because you're too far in to quit, as opposed to actually caring how things wrap up.
Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic, 2014-10-16
What the movie lacks in suspense, it could make up for with erotic tension. That's missing, too.
Wesley Morris, Grantland, 2014-10-10
It offers a lesson in crafting antiheroic characters. We don't have to identify with them, but we at least need to be intrigued.
Stephanie Merry, Washington Post, 2014-10-02
Gorgeous, occasionally evocative, but, in the end, mostly dull.
Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture, 2014-09-26
All the pieces would seem to be in place for an effective film, but the direction is zestless, the pace is more often laggardly than leisurely, and the lead performances are surprisingly lifeless ...
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2014-09-25
The Two Faces of January feels shot too tight and cut too tight; it doesn't push forward at a bewilderingly fast pace, but its story and its performances still feel like they need more room to breathe.
Tomas Hachard, NPR, 2014-09-25
It lives or dies on its ending, and the final minutes here don't jibe with the rest of the film's cat-and-cat game.
Kyle Smith, New York Post, 2014-09-25