"Beau is Afraid is big, and weird, and kind of wonderful."
— Chris Evangelista, Slashfilm
"Beau Is Afraid is bold, enthralling, and unlike anything you've ever seen before."
— Ross Bonaime, Collider
"A consistently jaw-dropping joyride through one man’s terrible, very bad, no good week."
— John Nugent, Empire
"A true American original, and proof that, while the hype surrounding [Aster] may have been early, it wasn’t wrong."
— Nick Schager, The Daily Beast
"With Beau Is Afraid, his third and easily most ambitious feature to date, Ari Aster traces, to more cosmic and absurd ends, how tragedy is birthed by, well, birth itself."
— Derek Smith, Slant Magazine
"Yet there’s sensational artistry at work, with Aster peppering much of his storytelling in the background of scenes (photos on walls, informative signs, etc.) that a lot of folks might not even notice."
— Brian Truitt, USA Today
"While this psychodrama satirises our tendency to scapegoat our parents for our own failings, Aster is even more searing when he takes Beau’s trauma seriously, resulting in a film with meticulously executed tonal command and emotional nuance."
— Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
"The film shares some of the unsettling horror of Aster’s first two films, Hereditary and Midsommar, but I’d call Beau Is Afraid a more straightforward comedy—as long as the idea of Looney Tunes crossed with Portnoy’s Complaint sounds funny to you."
— David Sims, The Atlantic
"It’s the kind of movie worth recommending for its ambition alone, merely to witness the audacious result of anxious self-loathing writ large across the silver screen, without an ounce of restraint. That it’s also a remarkably well-crafted horror-comedy is a cherry on top."
— Siddhant Adlakha, IGN
"It’s a huge, huge swing, and Aster skeptics will likely scoff at the egotism of it all. But for those of us who’ve been at the receiving end of a classic Jewish-mother guilt trip, Beau is Afraid will serve as affirmation, cinematic therapy, and the most relatably terrifying thing they’ve ever seen."
— Clint Worthington, Consequence
"Its visual imagination is wonderfully unrestrained, compelling in its extremes even when it is so clearly indebted to every movie that Aster hoovered up to get here. Its tone is impressively steadfast in its desire to repel one moment, entrance the next. And its performances are across-the-board astounding in their commitment."
— Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"Beau Is Afraid is very much a black comedy that utilizes well-placed horror techniques–Aster has a solid command of tension and loves to swing his camera to and fro to create a sense of vulnerability. Aster’s direction and sense of humor, the latter of which emerged more prominently in Midsommar, just seem more at home in a comedy."
— Brianna Zigler, Paste Magazine
"There is an overarching story and some obvious themes, including the extreme fear suggested in the film’s title. There’s also anxiety, masculinity, toxic femininity, toxic mothers, the road not taken, etc. But there’s also plenty going on beneath the surface, clues that a movie that is already surrealist enough, might be even more surreal than you can catch in one viewing."
— Karen Gordon, Original-Cin