The movie captures that heady adolescent sense of time stopping and the moment mattering while standing far enough back to let us acknowledge all the pitfalls Marieme is moving too fast to see.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2015-05-07
From the opening montage of Marieme and other girls playing American football in full uniform, "Girlhood" resonates as something special.
Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2015-04-09
"Girlhood" is about as grim as movies get, but it's showing something real, and Sciamma has a feel for this period of life, the camaraderie, the jokes, the kinds of conflicts, the panic and the hope.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2015-04-02
Director Sciamma uses an uncommonly light touch in depicting Marieme's gradual transformation from an unformed blank slate into a self-assured girl who doesn't always make the right decisions in the process of figuring herself out.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, 2015-03-19
Sciamma (Water Lilies, Tomboy) gets unaffected performances from her non-professional cast.
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, 2015-02-27
"Girlhood" is a mesmerizing exercise in the enlightenment that can happen when a filmmaker shifts the male cinematic gaze ever so slightly and uncovers what looks like a whole new world.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2015-02-26
Beautifully observed, precisely directed and acted with wonderful conviction, it pulls us into the life of its protagonist in a deeply involving way.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2015-02-05
Physical force governs every relationship in Girlhood.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2015-02-05
Throughout "Girlhood" the malignant energy that results from having a scary home life never entirely dissipates. Yet the story allows for a full array of emotional peaks and valleys.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 2015-02-05
"Save for a few standout scenes of carefree elation and daring camaraderie, 'Girlhood' is largely a grim and stilted study of oppression."
Inkoo Kang, TheWrap, 2015-01-30
While "Girlhood" is sad and wrenching, it doesn't feel like a misery-mongering expression of high-minded (and therefore condescending) concern.
A.O. Scott, New York Times, 2015-01-29
Writer-director Celine Sciamma expertly places her characters in that nebulous region between child and adult.
Jesse Hassenger, AV Club, 2015-01-29
[A] vibrant portrait of a teenage girl (Karidja Toure) who joins a female gang as an escape from her life in the projects.
Sara Stewart, New York Post, 2015-01-28
The movie's an empathetic triumph.
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, 2015-01-27
Celine Sciamma's Girlhood advances the French helmer's obsession with how society attempts to force teenage girls into familiar categories, when the individuals themselves don't conform so easily.
Peter Debruge, Variety, 2015-01-26
Where many filmmakers would have underlined the bleaker, harsher aspects, Girlhood presents the characters' grim reality without surrendering its lightness of touch, its compassion or its hope.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter, 2015-01-26