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Ian Curtis has aspirations beyond the trappings of small town life in 1970s England. Wanting to emulate his musical heroes, such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop, he joins a band, and his musical ambition begins to thrive. Soon though, the everyday fears and emotions, that fuel his music, slowly begin to eat away at him. Married young, with a daughter, he is distracted from his family commitments by a new love and the growing expectations of his band, Joy Division. The strain manifests itself in his health. With epilepsy adding to his guilt and depression, desperation takes hold. Surrendering to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film leaves you with the impression of an almost painfully innocent young singer, for whom alienation was, alas, far more than a pose."
‑ Bob Mondello,
"The film nails both the malaise and creative vigor of Curtis' short, bruised and chillingly relatable life."
‑ John Wenzel, Denver Post
"The film overcomes the central miscasting of Samantha Morton."
‑ Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central
"Control never gets any closer to the mystery than when the music plays. Too bad it cuts the songs short, returning to the banalities they were meant to shatter."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"Positioning art as a necessary surrender to a creative force which removes the self dangerously from existence and society, Control intimately connects in tragic yet euphoric ways to the mixed blessing of the radically unleashed musical imagination."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"[An] absorbing and ultimately harrowing look at Ian Curtis' short, unhappy life."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"Though Curtis is hopelessly dysfunctional, photographer-turned-filmmaker Anton Corbijn makes us achingly aware of the singer's talent, the haunting poetry of his songs and how, living in the gloomy culture he did, his passing was virtually inevitable."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The way Ian Curtis blocked his onstage movement mirrored isolationism in his home life. He clasped the microphone stand like a drowning man would a life preserver, but he couldn't stay afloat in dreary waters of his own creation. A seamless rock biopic."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"Control does justice to Curtis' legacy but fails to make any further grasps for significance."
‑ Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
"Some of Riley's musical performances are electrifying. This would not be a bad movie at all, except for the infuriatingly romantic portrayal of suicide."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Sam Riley is fascinating as Curtis, a hypersensitive young man hobbled by his incurable disease, and Samantha Morton is poignant as his put-upon wife."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"A film that perfectly captures the essence of the legendary and influential cult band Joy Division and its tragic lead singer, Ian Curtis."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Film %u0107e stoga biti shvatljiv samo onim gledateljima koji detalje povijesti "Joy Divisiona" i Curtisovog %u017Eivota imaju u malom prstu, a to su, dakako, najokorjeliji fanovi."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
"Um filme repleto de planos magnificamente compostos e que se tornam ainda mais impactantes graças ŕ impecável fotografia em preto-e-branco de Martin Ruhe."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Ian's trapped between insurrection and guilt, and so is Corbijn's film which mires itself in the artist's bourgeoisie dramas without figuring out how they influenced his music."
‑ Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly
More reviews for Control on Rotten Tomatoes

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