Love Lies Bleeding Movie Review

Do you like noir? Then you’ll love this, it’s as simple as that.

Like those old movies from the 1970s and 1980s that your parents wouldn’t let you watch but you did anyway, this movie felt like that every step of the way. The music at the beginning doesn’t fit necessarily, but you won’t mind… it’s uneven, awkward, but so is the film. It’s a brutal story of revenge. It’s violence with a thin veneer of love. 


It’s absolutely for the A24 audience, which I happen to be a part of, so if you like their strange and sometimes demented storylines, you have to see “Love Lies Bleeding.” Kristen Stewart is fantastic in a role you never see her attempt. It’s a total win for her.When we begin meeting characters, our first is Lou, played by Stewart. This is a significant accomplishment for her because she bravely took on the project and immediately sells you on the kind of person Lou is.


Lou helps her father run a gym and when we first meet her, she has her hands and an arm snaking a clogged toilet. That was fun to see. And you will see it in all its glory, too. Those moments in real life are frightening enough to consider. On the big screen… yuk. But it helps with the feeling of the film I mentioned earlier. It’s her reality. Anna Baryshnikov plays a sweet young woman called Daisy, who has the mentality of a fifteen-year-old. She has a mad crush on Lou and jumps around and claps when she gets a chance to be with her. Baryshnikov played her brilliantly.

Then Lou meets Jackie, or “Jack” played by Katy O’Brian, who used to be a competitive bodybuilder in real life. That’s not too hard to see. I jest. She’s built! Jack’s goal in life is to get to Las Vegas and win a women’s bodybuilding contest. She needs money to get there and ends up working for a shooting range owned by Lou Sr. (Ed Harris). You guessed it! Lou’s pop. Her brother-in-law JJ (Dave Franco), who likes to use his wife, Lou’s sister Beth (Jena Malone), as a punching bag, also works there.


You know little of the characters Jack and Lou before Lou is pumping Jack up on roids to help her win the competition. Quickly into the film, very sexually graphic scenes start. Lou, a skinny female who leads nothing in her life, takes charge in the bedroom without hesitation. The queer sex scenes are visually raw. Scenes when they make love are explicit to the nth degree.


This is director Rose Glass,’ second effort. She also directed “Saint Maud,” which has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Glass holds nothing back within the building of this relationship. If she did, she wouldn’t be true to these women and who they are becoming. The steroids are kicking in and Jack, kind and gentle at first, is losing control of her emotions when it comes to Lou and anything that disturbs her woman. Those who do are the men in her life. When Lou becomes hysterical about Beth getting her worst beating yet ending up in the hospital, Jack takes things into her own hands to settle the score.


The movie’s violence escalates, and some outrageous and foolish decisions are made. Lou butts heads with her father and Daisy gets caught in the crosshairs. She naively decides to try a little blackmail but should have gotten over Lou instead.


This movie is Top-Notch “Out There.” It’s abnormal and though Lou is trying to get over her addictions, mainly smoking, a scene with Jack posing on stage makes it clear that Lou is her obsession, and she isn’t over her. But will she ever be? This is a highly uncommon yet exceptional film, just like people. The movie pulls away the veil that is often used to conceal characters’ identities. It’s spectacular filmmaking.





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Love Lies Bleeding

Directed by: Rose Glass
Written by: Rose Glass and Weronika Tofilska
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, with Dave Franco and Ed Harris

Rated: R
Run Time:1h 44m
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Drama, Lgbtq+, Action

Distributor: A24
Production Co: A24, Film4, Escape Plan Productions, Lobo Films


Rating contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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