User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 51
  2. Negative: 6 out of 51

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  1. Lyn
    Mar 15, 2011
    Not quite what I expected: It's less about the happy couple and why their marriage has succeeded, and more about the miserable characters who orbit around the couple's placid, nurturing lifestyle. Excellent acting makes the characters very true, however, and the themes linger. (E.g., how does one build a happy life, aside from being, as Gerri admits, "lucky"?) As with other Mike Leigh films, one marvels at the harsh, un-Hollywood look of all the mottled complexions, double chins and bad teeth . . . real people with real problems that one hopes will somehow work out. Expand
  2. Jan 31, 2011
    The latest from writer/director Michael Leigh revolves around a happily married couple and a few of their miserable friends (especially a wreck who's beautifully created by Leslie Manville). Nothing happens to them, it all happens around them: long scenes of conversation and subtle interaction. The performances are all nuanced and interesting, but this is a quiet, microscopic drama. Don't expect anything more. Expand
  3. Jan 2, 2011
    This was an awful movie - slow and boring with unattractive, uninteresting characters. The only feature that made sense was the name, as it seemed to last a year. It's one of those movies that critics like because they respect the director and review well because they don't want it to appear that they missed someting brilliant.
  4. Feb 11, 2011
    With the exception of Manville's exceptional performance, this was like watching grass grow. As "Autumn" flashed across the screen, I couldn't believe we still had two seasons of torture left to go. Characters either smug or pathetic and dialogue banal. I didn't get it.
  5. May 24, 2011
    really really enjoyed this film. it is deep, emotional and involving. best watched with low expectations, this film will creep up on you and not let you go.
  6. Apr 6, 2011
    "Another Year" has a beauty of its own; which could be equally liked and disliked for the same reasons.The main one being: the comfortable and non-judgmental Tom and Gerri could come across as shallow and sadistic as well. Maybe, that's one of the many charms. But I don't really think it is their story.
    Though it is boring, one might find it hard to label it so. For, there is something
    that is worth wondering and thinking that stays with her or him. Expand
  7. May 17, 2011
    I feel as though there is a several thousand word review in me to discuss the new Mike Leigh film, Another Year, which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but I have to admit this is a film that, though I love for many reasons, I feel not many people I know will ever see it, and so I'm going to sum up my thoughts with a brief reflection.

    Mary (Leslie Manville) gives one of the
    absolute best performances I have seen in film, as an aging alcoholic woman who is alone and depressed and desperate but cannot see what she needs to do to change anything. She frequently visits with a co-worker Gerri (Ruth Sheen) who is happily married to Tom (Jim Broadbent) and they seem to tolerate her because they are basically good people living a healthy life together. This is a British film set in the London area with realistic people playing very realistic roles. The film is told through the 4 seasons and takes us through many emotions, but it is totally in the character of Mary that we lose ourselves as we contemplate her sadness, but as Mike Leigh does so well, we don't just see one side from the other characters around this central figure, we see the entire spectrum of good and bad.

    I would not suggest this film for many people I know, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great movie about real life.
  8. Dec 28, 2011
    As far as acting is concerned, "Another Year" is full of stellar performances. Lesley Manville is superb as the family friend who is unhappy with her life, but is unable to face the reality of it. Broadbent and Sheen are also excellent in their performances, but so is the supporting staff. Leigh's sweetheart from before, Imelda Staunton, is poignant and a memorable character, though she only appears in the first five minutes of the film. Leigh has done a good character study of unhappy, depressed people and how they might look, behave, what they might talk about, etc. What Leigh failed at doing is managing to make the film more dynamic and appealing to a broader audience. Yes, he has excellent characters and excellent performances, but those cannot make a great film on their own. Making a film look real does not mean that it has to be boring or mundane. There are certainly times when the film feels contrived and too "artsy" in favour of the entertainment value. Then again, Leigh never really went for entertainment value over his craft, so that is to no surprise. Definitely not a film for everyone, but it is an interesting story with super acting, which definitely makes it worth the watch! Expand
  9. Feb 23, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Mary(Leslie Manville) is a "glass half-full kind of girl" living in a glass half-empty world, a diegetic world where problems don't magically resolve themselves before the credits start rolling, as if on cue. In a different film, the coquettish act that the middle-aged woman puts on for Joe(Oliver Maltman), the much-younger son of Gerri(Ruth Sheen), Mary's "friend", wouldn't be so cringe-inducing. At a party, Mary asks the thirty-year-old man out for drinks, and the moviegoer feels so embarrassed on her behalf, because this lush, in spite of the make-up and youthful-looking wardrobe, isn't fooling anybody with her grab for relative youth. Fishing for a compliment, Mary asks Joe to guess her age, and not wanting to encourage any further advances from the old lady, the unmarried man jokingly guesses "sixty...seventy," before falling silent, because a lie(to say that she could pass for her late-thirties or early-forties) would be even more cruel than the truth. She's not aging well; that's the sad truth, but still the woman insists on wearing a flower in her hair, clinging on to the belief that she possesses a vestige of her former sexual allure. And you know it once existed, this sexual allure, just by the way she carries herself. Back in the day, Mary must have been hot, which would account for Tom's patience with this cougar in heat. Somewhere in his adult self lies the who once fancied his mother's sexy friend from work, and Mary seems to know what sort of effect she had on men, young and old alike, in her prime, as she fulfills a possible boyhood fantasy of Tom's when she feigns to enter his treehouse. Quite tellingly, late in "Another Year", Tom remembers that Mary once worked as a **** waitress in Corfu, an island in Greece, which to a boy of ten, must have been exceedingly exotic. At another time, Mary had a job in New York. It's this happier time, years that overlapped with Gerri's knowing of her as the medical group's secretary, which is key to understanding "Another Year", a miserablist film with no exit. Happily married to Tom(Jim Broadbent), thriving professionally as a psychotherapist, the moviegoer has to consider their younger incarnations to make sense of this unlikely association. Twenty years earlier, Mary must have been a lot of fun to be around, a kooky, free-spirit singleton that a married woman with son in-tow might have secretly envied. When Mary makes reference to an old flame, a married man, in, what we gather, another of her frequent drunken spiels, it's Tom, not Gerri, who sides with her. While the husband calls this ex-lover "a duplicitous s*it", the wife ungenerously reminds Mary, at her lowest point, that "it takes two to tango," and that "we all have to make choices," suggestive of an older dynamic to their friendship where this alcoholic old maid was the leader and Gerri, the follower, and now, after all these years, the happily married woman still relishes the moment where the fun-loving office gal lost her agency over the straight-laced doctor. Ever since the fallout from this problematic love affair, Mary has been living vicariously through her "friend from work"(the qualifier belongs to Gerri, whereas they were once simply friends), who as it turns out, is the lucky one. In an earlier scene, Gerri refers to her extra girth as her "middle-aged spread", in front of Mary, whose looks no longer carries any currency. The word "perfect", which Tom uses to describe his wife, is what previously had been applicable to Mary, back in the day. Gerri is nice to her, because she can afford it. Mary is such an obvious trainwreck, the mother never worries about Joe being tempted by her friend from work's feminine wiles. In another diegetic world, Gerri would have to worry, because in most films, doesn't the luck of the lonely and downtrodden change at some point? They always find love, right? If not Joe, then surely it's going to be Ken(Peter Wight), who will rescue Mary from certain spinsterhood, and live happily ever after. But alas, Tom's longtime friend is morbidly obese and greying at the top, and in Mary's eyes, no knight in shining armor. All the good older men, as suggested in a brief scene at the pub, are interested in women half their age. Mary never learned the valuable lesson that "beauty is only skin deep". She's like the character in the Nanci Griffith song "Drive-in Movies and Dashboard Lights", who is "heavy on thigh and light on integrity," who never learns that "when beauty's all you offer, too soon the world discovers that your beauty's gone." Expand
  10. BKM
    Jul 2, 2011
    A quiet, melodrama free character study that requires patience. There are no big plot twists or cathartic moments in Another Year, just human beings struggling to make do with the hands they have been dealt in life. Skillfully directed and wonderfully acted, but also a bit of a bore.
  11. Jan 24, 2011
    The night of seeing this movie I was kept for hours by the screech of wheels outside my window where an action/chase flick was being filmed. It's appropriate considering Another Year was the antithesis of the kind of loud crap being made today and served up every Friday. I haven't stopped thinking about the movie since I walked out of the theater. Ignore the naysayers and go.
  12. Aug 10, 2013
    Really well made with some tremendous performances; I loved the down-to-earth tone of the piece. Mike Leigh does make some great dramas and he really gets great performances from his actors. In this one I loved both Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen, but the star of the show was definitely Lesley Manville. She had to go through the whole gamut of emotions and did it quite brilliantly (IMO). It’s not a film that will be to everyone’s taste; the explosion count is zero; car chases get a similar score and as for deaths, well, there is one, but we only find out about that one when they have to go to the funeral. But I digress; I found it a really engaging film with some real characters that are both believable and well rounded. It’s nice to see British people portrayed as they are for a change, instead of some stereotypical ‘vision’ of what everyone thinks they are. On the down side, I did find it went on just a tad too long at the end, but I’m not going to hold that against it. It’s well worth a look if you get the chance.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.2/10.
  13. Apr 7, 2011
    Has to be watched more than once to appreciate it. I have not seen a movie which so captures the isolation and despair of loneliness. Its a real movie about real people, those in relationships and those who linger alone.
  14. Apr 16, 2011
    The writer-director, Mike Leigh, tries to capture moments of everyday life, which in 'kitchen-sink' England means lots of ashen-skinned people being glad that it's not raining and sad about everything else. And then they drink lots of wine and say pointless things like 'for my sins' a lot. 'Another Year' successfully captures the lack of pace and unedited feel of daily life, and yet strangely Leigh cannot avoid making it seem artificial. Highlights of the film included an interminable sequence in which Leslie Manville puts on a painful slurred-drunkenness act, and a dinner with a character called Ken who had clearly been directed to talk with his mouth full, because no matter when the camera catches him nor how much he's concurrently drinking or seeming to swallow, there is always a chunk of food in the left cheek. A clumsy, awkward, slow, ragged and annoying film. But still miles better than 'Happy Go Lucky'. Expand
  15. Jun 21, 2011
    This film employed great acting, cinematography, and an engaging storyline. The film moves on a pace that may be a bit slower for some to really enjoy. But the movie does have a realistic and believable portrayal of life. The actors did a great job in letting you understand the issues that they are dealing with personally. The married couple (Tom and Gerri), also reverberated a true deep connection that is shared amongst many long term relationships. There were many awkward moments, heart-felt laughs, and serious situations to enjoy in this film. I would recommend this movie to anyone who has a profound sense of enjoying a true motion picture. Expand
  16. j30
    Sep 19, 2011
    Laugh, Love, and Live. I always thought that those signs in people's houses were pretty corny, but I think it could describe Tom and Gerri. The movie captures nearly everything about life (birth, death, love, regret, the list goes on) in a passing of a year. The movie made me reflect on my life and the lives of others around me; and that's why the movie is universal because I think just about anyone could relate to it's characters. Expand
  17. Aug 23, 2011
    Another Year is simply a dreadful movie, a cinematic train wreck. You know you shouldn't keep looking but for whatever reason you simply can't look away. It was a wast of time, money and acting talent and I can't believe that some nimrod actually funded it. A gaggle of meaningless characters find each other - no surprise there in that no one else would have much to do with them - and bore each other silly with incomprehensible blather about their aforementioned meaningless lives.

    There was some good acting though: Lesley Manville (Mary) emotes and emotes and emotes to the point where you want to shoot her and end her misery (and yours), misery that culminates in the "Winter" phase with her friend and National Health Service "counselor", Gerri (Ruth Sheen) quipping, "You need professional help." No, really!!! Say it isn't so. And this only took a year to verbalize! The NHS at its best.

    Miss Manville's "Mary," although good, is equaled by David Bradley's "Ronnie," the recently widowed brother whose grunts and groans and staring interminably into space is not to be missed, unless, of course, you've already given up, fallen asleep or gone to the loo without bothering to press "pause."

    On the positive side, Another Year did inspire me to open an account on Metacritic to warn other, unsuspecting victims to spend their time and money elsewhere, like the bowling alley or something. Seriously, it was a consummate waste of time. No plot, no conflict and no resolution: what's not to dislike?
  18. Mar 2, 2013
    Wonderful, small and sad but enjoyable. These ordinary people may even provide the viewer with self-reflective thoughts.
  19. Mar 4, 2013
    If this is what Mike Leigh encounters in his every day life then I think he should find another circle of friends. His new friends should be calm, articulate and capable of getting through a sentence without the use of an idiom.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 5, 2011
    You may not realize the imprint it has left until its last season comes to a close.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 4, 2011
    Many scenes, like Another Year itself, don't actually go anywhere.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 3, 2011
    This humane movie is an ode to joy, albeit of the mature sort.