Anything Else


Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 37
  2. Negative: 12 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Has some of the wit, sass and sexual candor of an "Annie Hall." But it covers the same kind of territory with more bite and bile.
  2. 75
    At a time when so many American movies keep dialogue at a minimum so they can play better overseas, what a delight to listen to smart people whose conversation is like a kind of comic music.
  3. 75
    Anything Else may not be the second coming of "Annie Hall," but it has more wit and substance than almost every post-college romance that sees the inside of a projection booth.
  4. With Anything Else, Woody Allen proves himself an old dog capable of thinking up some new tricks.
  5. 75
    Because Allen hasn't lost his knack for slapstick with a sting, Anything Else hits its mark more often than not.
  6. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    The younger casting brings a freshness to the material and, with Allen as the weird mentor, there are plenty of laughs, even if the pacing's slow and the running time over-extended.
  7. Feels newly hatched. Some of the laugh lines creak as loudly as grandma's rocker and the cultural references send up billows of dust.
  8. Small-scale and loose. It feels oddly long for a Woody Allen picture, but its relaxed, casual air gives the humor room to breathe, and a gratifyingly high proportion of the piled-up one-liners actually raise a laugh.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Anything Else feels driven. It's like a rant from a therapist's couch--angry, unmediated, free-associational, unleavened by sentiment or compassion. And it's something else that Allen hasn't been lately: funny.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Relieved of his courting duties, Allen gives his funniest performance in ages.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Dawson
    Allen’s films have always had a feeling of melancholy to them, but this -- the first film Allen has written after the fall of the Twin Towers -- harbours a sense of dark unsettlement amid the neurotic romantic comedy.
  12. This is a quintessential Allen comedy: squirmy relationships, dark Jewish humor, an assumption that everybody in Manhattan has money and a touch of glamour, and -- as with most of Allen's movies since the first few years of his career -- not nearly as many laughs as it gamely tries for.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It's asking a lot of audiences to spend nearly two hours with characters as screen-unfriendly as the ones played by Biggs and Ricci, though both actors (and especially Ricci) do what they're asked to do.
  14. Biggs, in particular, seems positively frozen by his imitative efforts -- less Woody than wooden. Ricci is a bit looser, and has the added advantage of hiding behind those saucer-eyes.
  15. 50
    The film founders during a series of uncomfortable scenes involving Biggs and DeVito, whose performance verges on painful caricature, but Ricci is adorable and delivers Allen's sharp dialogue with real flare.
  16. Two Woody Allens, two kvetching, whining, neurotic incompetents bungling their lives . . . that's one too many Woody Allens.
  17. 50
    A pastiche so derivative and pointless, it leaves you wishing Allen had not bothered.
  18. On the plus side are engaging performances by Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci. On the minus side is . . . everything else.
  19. 50
    A bittersweet experience. It leaves you asking for more, even knowing that nothing more is forthcoming.
  20. One reasonably dependable pleasure in Woody Allen's films is that he uses old-time songs, in moderately jazzed-up versions, on his soundtracks.
  21. With every recycled piece of business -- which is to say, every scene in Anything Else -- the distance widens between Allen and the elusive audience he pessimistically chases. He has never seemed less in touch with his own real, pulsing, 21st-century city.
  22. It's so irrelevant, unambitious and lazy it almost seems to be thumbing its nose at the daring filmmaker Woody once was.
  23. 40
    Meant as a return to the form and substance of Allen's far superior early work satirizing the equivocations and betrayals with which we ruin our lives. In fact, the movie only comes alive as a hostile critique of psychoanalysis.
  24. I have a friend who insists Allen should make a western, if only because the demands of genre might force the birth of new ideas. His movies do create and service an innovation-free comfort zone that makes most TV sitcoms seem adventurous.
  25. 38
    This relentlessly mediocre romantic comedy is basically a pretty arthritic third-generation Xerox of "Annie Hall," with Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci in the old Allen and Keaton parts in a probably quixotic attempt to court the youth market.
  26. The worst performance in a film that diminishes even the talented Stockard Channing is given by Allen. He's never written a more unpleasant, vapid or irredeemable character for himself, and he makes it worse by overplaying.
  27. 30
    Anything Else isn't just the latest Woody Allen movie; it's also the smallest. His pictures seem to be getting tinier and tinier, and after you've seen them they leave nothing but a tinny echo and a bad taste. Anything Else is misanthropy writ small. Allen is too stingy to be generous even with his contempt.
  28. The movie doesn't have the energy to be truly horrible. It's too muted and enervated. But it's a somewhat tedious thing to sit through.
  29. The film's hatred of Ricci and Channing and its affectionate tolerance of the hero's mousy hypocrisy and his mentor's negativity are familiar Allen motifs, but the faint echoes of his best work only make this one seem grimmer.
  30. Being a cultural icon is a time-limited occupation; after a while, the culture moves on, and if you don't move with it, you end up with a movie like Anything Else.
  31. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    Feels like a pointlessly nagging play.
  32. 30
    A joylessly plodding film that cannibalizes Allen's classics of the '70s and '80s while managing only a few decent one-liners.
  33. 25
    This movie is wretched, condescending, and sad, like watching an elderly man spend more than 100 minutes tapping his arm for the youth vein -- which he never finds.
  34. This seemingly good idea results in disaster. Allen has no insight into the current generation of young people, and his film is just a jumbled rehash of themes and motifs that he's explored elsewhere.
  35. Reviewed by: Alex Kranz
    The dialogue itself is not interesting or funny. Ostensibly sophisticated remarks--lazy references to Freud or Dostoevsky or whatever--pack no dramatic or intellectual weight.
  36. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Too labored to be romantic and too derivative to be funny.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Oct 10, 2011
    This film is what Allen would call in his better years, 'mental masturbation.' I don't need to talk about how the story and jokes areThis film is what Allen would call in his better years, 'mental masturbation.' I don't need to talk about how the story and jokes are shamelessly recycled from other Allen movies, or how all the characters are either boring or unpleasant, or how out of touch the film is with how college graduates talk, or how sick I am of listening to people talking about their fear of death. All I need to say is this: I would rather watch anything else than Anything Else. Full Review »
  2. Feb 14, 2011
    Nice movie, well written with a descent amattering of laughs. Very much a typical Woody Allen effort through and through. The acting was veryNice movie, well written with a descent amattering of laughs. Very much a typical Woody Allen effort through and through. The acting was very solid. I had fun. Full Review »
  3. LouF.
    Nov 28, 2008
    Nice divertissement for dialogue, acting, coleur locale and your typical Allen uber-selfconsciousness as a scathing and absurd way of Nice divertissement for dialogue, acting, coleur locale and your typical Allen uber-selfconsciousness as a scathing and absurd way of self-reflection. He takes himself so seriously he in fact ís two people in one. This is why I suspect William P. is right in suggesting that Dobel is Double - is his alter. Great point. Full Review »