Keep the Lights On
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
It's 1997 and New York City is in a state of intense flux when documentary filmmaker Erik Rothman (Thure Lindhardt) first meets Paul Lucy (Zachary Booth), a handsome but closeted lawyer in the publishing field. What begins as a highly charged first encounter soon becomes something much more, and a relationship quickly develops. As the two men start building a home and life together, each continues to privately battle their own compulsions and addictions. A film about sex, friendship, intimacy and most of all, love, Keep the Lights On takes an honest look at the nature of relationships in… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is a painful drama, but its pain is more studied than emotive, and it demands that we think just as much as it makes us feel."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"When you summon memories of this film, they are almost always of two men in a room, in a default state of discontent."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Keep the Lights On acknowledges (without belaboring) the performative nature of identity; how each of our claims to selfhood, be it sexual, romantic, or professional, are staged on a shifting terrain of habit, fantasy, and desire."
‑ Nathan Lee, Film Comment Magazine
"Sachs captures Erik's yearning for Paul and Paul's addiction-induced indifference with equal force."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"It feels as if we're being given glimpses into real lives unfolding."
‑ Alistair Harkness, Scotsman
"The cast, uniformly excellent, draws us into a vibrant, energetic Manhattan where commitments are forged and broken through sheer chance and those seeking permanence must continually resist temptation and ennui."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A heart-breaking love story and call for emotional transparency in relationships."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"The best film of 2012...Perfect."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Rage Monthly
"An intimate, honest and uncompromising study of the need for love and the addictions to drugs, sex and intense emotion that may accompany -- and sabotage -- love's pursuit."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"There's a lot to like here, and if you're a traditionalist who hungers for a happy ending, you'll find it embedded in the opening credits."
‑ Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
"A complex and mysterious tale of a love affair, one that lacks the tidy story arc of a movie but feels real."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Small in frame but large in heart."
‑ Michael Nordine, Willamette Week
"A brutally honest, at times embarrassingly raw, attempt to capture a modern day, urban relationship...bittersweet and filled with memorable details, a huge leap forward for [director] Sachs."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"Director-cowriter Sachs takes an unusually intimate look at a 10-year relationship in this beautifully shot and performed New York drama."
‑ Rich Cline,
More reviews for Keep the Lights On on Rotten Tomatoes