Brian Formo’s review published on Letterboxd:
Everyone deserves all the ridicule imaginable for this. And not just because we're tired of all the "let's speak to Trump voters" pieces over the last four years that was kicked off by this best-selling memoir. But because Hillbilly Elegy is a bad movie. This is the type of maudlin dreck that uses flashback montages of many scenes we'd just seen for a climactic attempt at catharsis. That's how dumb the movie thinks its audience is and to that end I don't even know who this movie is for. Your suburban centrist mom's book club? Hollywood moved like a snail on adapting this thing that had a four-month interest and has only aged worse and worse since. The book happened to published at the right time to capture coastal/suburban attention but the movie came out at the absolute worst time of ruralism desiring a full governmental coup. But again, the movie itself, regardless of timing, is abysmal. The memoir—and all the surrounding press around it— was, at least, an attempt to be an anthropological tool on modern Appalachia. But the movie is just a guy with less personality than bread mold, who is in law school, is dating the lovely Freida Pinto, and he makes everyone proud by getting a bougie internship after a few fights with his family. Cinema!
Want to see a lawyer who struggled with his rural roots when flung into high society functions? Watch Dark Waters. He actually did a lot of good for his community, the world, by taking on a major corporation for knowingly poisoning people and J.D. Vance just became rich from Wall Street and felt weird about his success at making money.