The movie succeeds on its own quiet terms, binding the three parts together with assurance and tonal consistency to cast a lingering spell.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter, 2016-01-07
Franco gives one of his most subtle performances yet as a recovering-alcoholic father, and the three young newcomers' performances are honest and affecting.
Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly, 2016-01-07
A sobering, evocative drama.
Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News, 2016-01-07
Yosemite mines Franco's fiction for its most vital quality: his unsentimental depiction of youthful insecurity, this time among fifth-graders.
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, 2015-12-29
A low-key drama whose modesty is its own reward.
Dennis Harvey, Variety, 2015-10-27
Although evocative and nicely observed, the coming-of-age drama "Yosemite" ultimately proves too low-key and elliptical to make much of an impression. "Stand by Me" it ain't.
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 2016-01-21
The material aspires to powerful terseness, but its seemingly conscientious refusal to ramp up too much drama ultimately renders it thinly anecdotal.
Glenn Kenny, New York Times, 2015-12-31