Bones And All Reviews Are In, See What Critics Are Saying About Timothée Chalamet’s Cannibal Romance

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in Bones and All.
(Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

When it comes to the film industry, “coming-of-age romantic horror” isn’t a genre that’s overwhelming the market, especially when you throw cannibalism into the main plot. That’s just one reason why anticipation is so high for Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s newest project, Bones and All. Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell star as the cannibalistic lovers in the movie that’s set to hit theaters on November 23 — just in time to get your appetite up for that big Thanksgiving dinner. The reviews are in, so let’s see if Bones and All lives up to the bloody hype.

If the trailer is any indication, things are definitely going to get bloody for Timothée Chalamet’s Lee, as the actor reteams with the director of Call Me By Your Name. Along with Taylor Russell as Maren, Bones and All also features Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland and Chloë Sevigny. Let’s get straight to the reviews. IndieWire’s Leila Latif gives the movie a grade of A-, saying that Luca Guadagnino makes a star out of Russell in Bones and All, even if it does fall into the trappings of some coming-of-age cliches (as does the book it’s based on). The critic says: 

If this proves a star-making turn for Taylor Russell, the way that Call Me By Your Name proved for Chalamet, then it will be well deserved, a testimony to Guadagnino’s casting prowess (one infamous alleged cannibal aside). The film opens itself up successfully to myriad readings, potentially speaking about everything from intergenerational trauma, to queer love, to addiction. But Bones & All is fundamentally a beautifully realized and devastating, tragic romance which at multiple moments would have Chekhov himself weeping as the trigger is pulled.

Aaron Neuwirth of We Live Entertainment gives it a User Rating of 8, saying the director is able to match its high concept with authentic performances, and any other additions to the arthouse horror genre would be welcomed by this critic:  

It undoubtedly satisfies as a strange piece of horror fiction, yet also works as a tender love story. There’s a quiet confidence in how this has all been assembled, including a fittingly offbeat score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and great uses of wide shots during magic hour. If ever there was a film about cannibals that one could describe as an achievement in maintaining a level of stunning poeticism, this is the one to do it, even if I had to chew on it for a bit.

Aramide A. Tinubu of Shadow and Act says there’s no doubt that the gore in Bones and All is “genuinely horrific,” but the film doesn’t lean too much into the horror genre. In the critic’s words:  

Instead, the film leans much more into a slow dramatic romance, held up by the stunning performances and chemistry between Russell and Chalamet. More still, as good as they are, it’s Rylance’s Sully who steals every scene he’s in. For those who can’t quite get into the horror elements, the mystery surrounding Maren’s past and the world of eaters will leave you enticed, even when the film’s tone becomes imbalanced.

Stephanie Zacharek of TIME magazine says the movie is never boring, and the true star is Taylor Russell, whose performance will stick with you after the lights come back up. The critic says: 

Guadagnino’s film is artful and tender, if occasionally almost too tense and brutal to bear. Watching it—waiting to see where it was going to end up, and finding myself in thrall to one performance in particular—I wondered if this film might haunt me forever. But after it was over, I found I could shake its spell easily. Bones and All is fastidiously romantic. It’s so carefully made, and so lovely to look at, even at its grisliest, that it ends up seeming a little remote, rather than a movie that draws you close.

Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting rates Bones and All 4 skulls out of 5, enjoying the use of the road trip format to explore the “monstrous” need for survival and human connection. More from the review: 

Bones and All makes for a sumptuous and sensual feast. There’s a matter-of-factness to the gore, and cannibalism will likely repulse mainstream or unsuspecting audiences. But beneath the viscera and grue is a tender and affecting tale of first love and discovery. It’s as elegant as carnal and carnivorous, and it’ll take a bite out of your heart if you let it.

The movie has amassed an impressive 85% on Rotten Tomatoes from over 120 critics’ reviews since its premiere at Venice International Film Festival, and audiences are about to get their chance to see all the cannibalistic fun on the big screen to judge for themselves. Bones and All will hit theaters on Wednesday, November 23. You can see what else is in store for the rest of this year with our 2022 Movie Release Schedule, and get a peek at what’s coming in 2023

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.