Motion received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 57, based on nine reviews. Glenn Gamboa of Newsday praised the album as an "EDM winner" and was complimentary of songs such as "Outside", "Pray to God" and "Open Wide". Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "The best tracks on Motion [. . . ] focus more on high-caliber vocals than on booty-blasting low end", adding that Harris's "largely straight-ahead approach will rankle EDM devotees who are searching for boundary-busting beats, but he's taking his chances with the most unpredictable technology of all: the human voice. " Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times opined, "For all the intensity he delivers on Motion, Harris is best [. . . ] when he dials down the jock-jam vibe, as in 'Love Now' [. . . ] and 'Ecstasy'". Wood also praised the guest appearances of Gwen Stefani and Haim, stating that "the presence of those strong women does wonders for Harris' amped-up music. They bring out the man, not the meathead, in the machine. " Elysa Gardner of USA Today remarked that "Harris' textural savvy is evident throughout, if his methods are hardly novel. "