The Starling (2021) Review [movies like The Starling]

the starling movie reveiw

Table of content


A married couple suffers a hardship, leading Jack to head off to deal with his grief while Lilly remains in the “real” world, dealing with her own guilt. As if Lilly’s troubles weren’t bad enough, a starling that has nested in her backyard begins to harass and attack her and she becomes comically obsessed with killing it. Lilly eventually finds guidance from Larry, a quirky psychologist-turned-veterinarian with a troubled past of his own. The two form a unique and unlikely friendship as they each help the other to explore, acknowledge and confront their problems.


Quick States

  • Rating: 5.8
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Kevin Kline
  • Director: Theodore Melfi
  • Writers: Matt Harris
  • Certificate: PG-13
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Release Date: 2021
  • Runtime: 102 min
  • Filming Location: New York City, New York, USA


credit to Netflix

The Starling (2021) Review

Hi you guys, today we are reviewing the magnificent movie The Starling, released in 2021, and you can find it on Netflix.

The movie is starring Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd you may know him from Molly’s Game movie, and Kevin Kline. Moreover, the film is directed by Theodore Melfi, it won’t hurt to say that Theodore has some good movies, and has worked with Melissa McCarthy in the past.

lilly and jack

The Starling takes the story of a peaceful happy couple Lilly and Jack, who had a baby girl that they loved heavily. However, the happiness cracks when the baby girl gets sick. And the events of the film begin!

To be honest I find the movie to be uniquely excellent! And what I love about it is the fact that the director and the writer got straight into the story.

Meaning, we don’t know anything about how the problem occurred, or the day it happened. However, they focused profoundly on the impact of the tragedy on the main characters.

And Honestly, I found that to be more interesting, and good use of time, better than if they focused instead on the unfortunate event itself! As we witness the mental suffering Lilly and Jack are experiencing, each one in a distinct manner.

The director-actor connection

jack looking in the window

You can tell that the director-actor connection is great, and a good proof is that we are familiar with Melissa McCarthy in comedy movies (Spy, Thunder Force, The Boss, Identity Theif… ), the same thing can be said for Chris O’Dowd also lots of comedy films or at least funny characters in serious films (Molly’s Game, Get Shorty…).

And the director Theodore Melfi found success in bringing the Dramatic side of each of these two main actors. Plus, in my humble opinion, a great actor is one who can combine excellent drama as well as good comedy in his arsenal.

And this is what Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd proved throughout their careers and in this movie! We are accustomed to seeing Melissa McCarthy in Comedy movies, however, in this Drama movie she did a wonderful job, very persuasive acting indeed!

Secondly, the second thing I loved about The Starling is that in the middle of the Drama there are some weel timed sprinkles of Comedy, the thing that gives a good balance to the movie!

the starling lilly

And this was done beautifully there wasn’t domination of Drama that will leave you depressed, neither a dominance of Comedy that will make the dramatic events look silly.

Thirdly, a thing that I find intelligent is the poetic directing. Meaning, when the director shows us for instance, the tree leaves move under the influence of the wind or something like that, the way Akira Kurosawa used to do it.

In conclusion

lilly in bedroom

The writing and screenplay were elegant, and realistic, yeah big time! It’s like if they were real-life dialogues, not a script. The soundtracks were also great and can make you easily integrate into the events.

To sum up, The Starling is an impeccable Drama, Romance, Comedy movie, the Directing and acting were successful in transmitting the message of the film in a clear fashion. And my personal rating is 8/10. Leave your thoughts in the comments, I am always happy to read them, thank you.

Movies like The Starling (2021)

1 – Pieces of a woman

Pieces Of a Woman is the closest similar movie to The starling (2021), it takes the story of a couple deciding to do their first giving birth experience at home.

However, when the baby came, she only lived for a couple of minutes and died. The couple got into a depressed state and the events of the movie begin.

credit to Netflix

2 – Marriage story

In 2019 Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver came back to us with the performances of their lives! A movie that was nominated for 272 awards, won 128 out of them.

It’s Marriage Story, the movie takes the story of a couple that used to be extremely happy, but things got complicated between them over time and finally got divorced. And we follow how life will be between them after the divorce.

We have a complete review on Marriage Story, check it here!

credit to Netflix

3 – A Separation

This movie brings to me so many memories, for I saw it for the first time in the college cinema club. The movie is about Nader and Simin a couple that lives in Iran.

However, Simin decides it is better to leave her country in order to find more opportunities to give a better life to her child; but Nader refuses for a reason which is taking care of his ill father.

A Separation is a different movie, highly recommended!

credit to Sony Pictures Classics

4 – Hillbilly Elegy

You want to see Amy Adams in excellent acting, this is the movie you need to watch! In Hillbily Elegy we follow the life of three generations, where we see how they handled abuse inside family, drugs and many other things.

We did a separated review on this one too, read it here.

credit to Netflix

5 – Minari

Minari ‏is a 2020 drama film written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung and starring Stephen Yoon, Will Patton A gentle and comprehensive story about our roots.

credit to A24

Can I watch The Starling (2021) with my parents or children

Well, you are going to be the judge for that, but a little warning; You can expect some strong language, as well as some suggestive material, you know what I mean.

Concerning sexual or nudity content, there is an Awkward suggestion including a light switch being referred to as male private parts. Moreover, in terms of Violence, there is a person who catches a bird, poisoning him and kills him.

You can expect the use of the “s” word and the “F” word, and there is a character trying to commit suicide. Yeah, that’s it!

Writer and film critic for Filmiland website, movies enthusiast, and a college student in the Film and Audiovisual Production Management. "Everything I know I know from movies!"

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