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First reactions to new Kristen Stewart movie from Saint Maud director call it "brutal, brilliant, and bloody"

 Love Lies Bleeding.
Love Lies Bleeding.

Love Lies Bleeding has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and the new Kristen Stewart-led movie has critics raving.

Directed by Saint Maud’s Rose Glass, the film follows reclusive gym manager Lou (Stewart) as she falls hard for an ambitious bodybuilder Jackie, played by The Mandalorian’s Katy O'Brian, who is heading to Las Vegas to pursue her dream. As a romantic relationship forms between the two, their love soon leads them down violent roads as they get pulled deeper into the web of Lou's criminal family.

Soon after the flick premiered at Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah, praise came pouring in for the saucy thriller. "It’s a brutal, bloody, and discombobulating ride, but boy, is it a blast," Devan Coggan wrote for Entertainment Weekly. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman echoes, "A midnight noir that shoots over the top of our expectations but lands where it should, at a place where even valorous people have to go to extremes."

Many critics praised Stewart and O’Brian’s performances, as Bilge Ebiri from New York Magazine/Vulture says: "Stewart, who in her best work turns anxiety into poetry, has arguably never been more vulnerable, and O’Brian displays a boldness that comes not just from her extraordinary physique but also from an inner innocence she brings to the character."

Rolling Stone’s David Fear highlights the heat of the movie: "Love Lies Bleeding doesn’t have time for a slow burn. It’s a movie that comes in hot and leaves in a molten blaze of glory". Meanwhile, David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter sums it up perfectly: "Seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t want to watch Kristen Stewart flicking back a greasy shag, driving an old pickup and chain-smoking in grubby tank tops?"

Fred Topel from United Press International adds: "Not the best lesbian crime thriller ever. That is still Bound, but there's room for more and Love Lies Bleeding certainly goes to unusual places that should not be spoiled." IndieWire’s Kate Erbland comments: "The sheer scope of its ambition is enough to inspire awe."

As well as O’Brian and the Twilight star, the supporting cast includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, Dave Franco, and Ed Harris.

Love Lies Bleeding releases on March 8 in the US, and April 19 in the UK. For now, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies heading your way in 2024 and beyond.