Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    30
    At this point, I guess we should just applaud Allen for his work ethic. Even at the ripe, old age of 72, he’s still making movies at the rate of one a year, come rain or come shine. The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t make good movies at the rate of one a year. In fact, by my count, he hasn’t made a good movie for almost a decade (1999’s "Sweet & Lowdown").
  2. Allen's latest, his 42nd effort as a director, is the work of an artist devoid of ideas and energy. Perfunctorily staged and lazily written, it comes to life in only the briefest of spurts, usually when the ever-reliable Tom Wilkinson is on-screen.
  3. 75
    The movie is actually a softer treatment of the similar sibling anguish in Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." Allen isn't enough of a great dark artist to pull off a full-scale tragedy the way Lumet does.
  4. After making his best and smoothest drama (Match Point) in England, Woody Allen returns there for one of his most clueless and awkward, outfitted with a standard-issue Philip Glass score.
  5. 50
    The identical premise is used in Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," which is like a master class in how Allen goes wrong.
  6. Allen is obsessed with the notion of getting away with murder, mulling over which personalities can shoulder the psychological burden of killing without remorse, while others crumble under the pressure. The problem is, you don’t feel the human sweat and strain in Cassandra’s Dream, despite game work from Farrell and McGregor.
  7. What we get are themes and variations on previous good work, to lessening effect.
  8. Allen's latest, Cassandra's Dream, is one of his debonair ''small'' entertainments, the closest that he has come to doing a tidy, no-frills, down-and-dirty genre thriller.
  9. 50
    An uninspired if perfectly watchable drama.
  10. 50
    A psychological thriller in serious need of both psychology and thrills, Cassandra's Dream is a wan, exceedingly minor drama by Woody Allen, who has started to recycle himself in London the way he had long been recycling his New York City pictures.
  11. The Coen brothers might have pulled this off, but it's out of Allen's faltering reach.
  12. 88
    It's a pulp story pinned to the screen with an ice pick of conscience in a manner that would have pleased Allen's idol, Ingmar Bergman.
  13. There's not a believable character, nor line of convincing dialogue to be found.
  14. 67
    It's not Allen's weakest work, not by far. But its impact is shockingly superficial.
  15. Reviewed by: Eric Alt
    25
    Takes a long time to say nothing new, which is a shame because it wastes fine performances across the board (it's a nice reminder that Farrell, can, in fact, act), and, well, a really effective score by Philip Glass.
  16. 50
    This is a lame psychological thriller with an obvious story trajectory. It's a wannabe film noir with no atmosphere whatsoever.
  17. 63
    Allen, who stays behind the camera, brings too little wit and too much contrivance to material that quickly dissolves into warmed-over Dostoevski.
  18. 30
    Cassandra's Dream, an earnest meditation on greed, desire, murder and class struggle, is one of Woody Allen's funniest movies in years -- except Allen doesn't know it.
  19. In thematic terms, Cassandra's Dream could be looked at as a rebuttal to "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
  20. This 38th Allen film (and third in a row to be set in London) is a drama about two brothers that's so heavy in tone it seems inspired by Greek tragedy and the grimmest '40s film noir.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    40
    Cassandra's Dream is not unredeemably bad. MacGregor and Farrell hack away at their implausible dialogue with admirable intensity (though when Terry starts to descend into mental illness, Farrell touches his limits as an actor).
  22. 58
    Like so many late-period Allens, it leaves behind the feeling that he's made this movie before, but better.
  23. As writer, Allen offers lazy plotting, poor characterization, dull scenes and flat dialogue.
  24. Woody Allen’s latest excursion to the dark side of human nature, is good enough that you may wonder why he doesn’t just stop making comedies once and for all.
  25. 70
    Ewan McGregor’s bright-eyed Ian, following in the footsteps of characters in Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point,” is a study in guilt-free violence. But Colin Farrell’s Terry is something new. Terry is a decent guy with many weaknesses, and, after the crime is committed, Farrell gives him a piteous self-loathing that is very touching.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    It is a talkative film, rather earnest in its tonalities, not at all a deft, witty or well-paced. On the other hand, it is, for Allen, a comparatively rare excursion into lower-class life.
  27. 38
    The thrills are few and the expository dialogue tediously overwhelming in this preachy cautionary tale about getting too big for one's britches.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    38
    Farrell is quite good, though it's hard to buy the Scottish McGregor and the Irish Farrell as brothers. But mostly, the film feels rudderless, almost as if it's been directed on autopilot.
  29. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Like a tragic overture played at the wrong tempo and slightly off-key, Woody Allen's London-set Cassandra's Dream sends out more mixed signals than an inebriated telegraphist.
  30. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    50
    Feels like one of Allen's laziest pieces of writing and direction, leaden with heavy metaphor and characters who rarely make it beyond the archetype--marionettes in a miserablist puppet theater.
  31. Instead of offering a perspective that, at the very least, laments a world where the flow of money hurts otherwise good people, Allen simply pushes the movie into an uncertain sinkhole between morality play and black comedy.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    9
    A steady, captivating movie. There is no dizzying action, explotions, or dazzling special effects, but the movie manages to be one of the best I've watched recently.

    The characters are introduced well, as are their lives and patterns. They grow thorough the movie - especially the brothers Terry (Farrell) and Ian (McGregor). In the beginning the first is a gambling man living on his luck, while the latter dreams big but it keeping his feet safely on the ground.

    When the game gets tough, though, it is almost surprising who is going to grow a conscience, and who will bury their fellow men for their dreams.

    Drama, love between brothers and family, and dreams close to coming true mingle in this film. Blood is thicker than water, they say; family is everything, they say here. 'How far; how long; how deep?', I ask.

    I loved the ending, especially. After all the drama and hard (impossible) decisions, it all comes down into such basic things. Our big struggles in life are such a small thing in the eyes of the world.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 5, 2012
    9
    I recently rewatched this film and though I remember liking it the first time it was ( I certainly can't say lovlier) better the 2nd time around.
    It works on so many levels the classic story, the acting, perfect Hitchcokian score courtesy of Philip Glass and finally it is beautifully shot. I agree with Manahlo Dargas maybe Woody should abandon comedies all together? I especially feel that after seeing "From Rome with Love". Cassandra's Crossing is one of those movies you want to rescue the characters, save them from themselves somehow. The two leads, Colin Farrel & Ewan McGregor have such chemistry and Farrel gives a truly poignant performance makes a gambling addiction understandable in a way I've not seen before on screen.
    Please see this film
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2010
    2
    Brothers buy boat after winning on horses, one brother meets actress, falls in love, other brother gambles & loses lots of money, ask rich Uncle for help, zzzzzzzzzzzz. It is pretty dreadful & not Woody Allen's finest hour. The accents are all over the place, McGregor & Farrell's acting are awful & not even the great Tom Wilkinson can save it. Didn't help that the ending was rubbish too! Full Review »