BFI ScreenOnline says, "Darling lacks tongue-in-cheek humour and seems barely aware of popular music: odd for a film purporting to be modern and fashionable. Instead, it seems dated". The Guardian concludes "what came across at the time, and what still, on this its 50th anniversary, gives the film its energy, is the sense of a trio of highly intelligent social observers devising a near-documentary portrait of a smooth, rather ugly society in transition." TCM has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 67%.