"Right At Your Door" is an indie disaster movie, a description that would seem inherently at odds with itself, but actually just calls for a judicious set up: here, L.A. is hit with dirty bombs (an urban trauma scenario that inevitably evokes 9/11), but the film focuses in on a man (Rory Cochrane) who’s sealed himself inside his house just as his possibly contaminated wife (Mary McCormack) makes it home. Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly is a fan:
[T]his smart, coolly horrifying American indie thriller one of the scariest movies you’re likely to see all year â€” a post-9/11 nightmare about terrorism, panic, and paranoia with real, waking-life implications… A corrective for 24 and its blowhardism, Right at Your Door doesn’t waste time fulminating about who organized such effective terrorism, or why. Instead, [director Chris] Gorak keeps his inquiries intimate, and as a result, painfully identifiable.
Neil Genzlinger at the New York Times finds less depths: "The film, especially in its resolution, feels a bit like a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode and might have been better at that length, but the actingâ€™s pretty good, and the cinematography keeps things lively." Chuck Wilson at the LA Weekly also acknowledges possible Rod Serlingness, but writes that "Right at Your Door is grounded hard by some terrific smoking-skyline special effects and by Cochrane and McCormackâ€™s intensity. Theyâ€™re impressively unsentimental, even as tears stream down their faces for most of the movie." (He adds that "The ending, by the way, is ridiculous (letâ€™s hope), yet totally unnerving.")
At the Chicago Reader, J.R. Jones enjoys the doomsday set-up of "the first third of the movie, after which the tension dissipates badly." Nick Schager at Slant agrees: "Stuck with two irritating characters (proficiently embodied by Cochrane and McCormack) and a narrative with muddled things to say about love and sacrifice and an undeveloped view of law enforcement as a threat rather than a help, the film eventually seems unsure of where it should go." And Michael Joshua Rowin at indieWIRE finds things to like, but concludes:
Too dramatically weak to offer a sufficiently "small," personal view of the kind of event typically recreated in the most technically spectacular manner, but too innately loaded with traumatic import to be simply forgettable, "Right at Your Door," despite occasional technical precision, never solves the problem to which other cinematic interpretations of 9/11 have at the very least compromised a solution: why are we watching this?