Fay Grim

Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Watch On
  1. 83
    Plotwise, the film seems actually designed to repel logic, almost a parody of a spy film. But it's played with such verve and dash and confident flair that you'll have a grand time.
  2. 75
    Clever, fast-paced and surprisingly moving.
  3. You won't see another film like Fay Grim this year, and we should give Hartley credit for making it work on his own terms.
  4. 70
    A sophisticated, sometimes intentionally silly spy thriller of international intrigue, Fay Grim charts the history of American foreign policy while commenting on current global complications with wink and a nudge.
  5. Hartley is very adept with actors, though – or at least some of them. Posey, for her part, displays a pert quizzical quality that's very charming and very funny. And Goldblum is tailor-made for Hartley's minimalist patter.
  6. 67
    There's no other woman acting today that even remotely resembles Parker Posey. For that matter, there's never been anyone quite like her that I can think of. She has the dynamite improvisational instincts of a born grifter who wandered too far from one con and ended up in another – acting – and her tricky-risky game of onscreen three-card monte is, again and again, a jewel in indie filmmaking's oft-tattered crown.
  7. Strikes me as something of an elaborate mistake, a wasted opportunity and a script Hartley should have discarded. But I liked it anyway.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The movie opens with wit and dash, then devolves into a rather generic spy thriller.
  9. While Fay Grim is too uneven to win Hartley many converts, it is laced with enough intelligence and wit to remind longtime fans why they were drawn to his unique vision in the first place.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Fay Grim falls victim to its own worried hyperactivity; it shuts you out with chattery paranoia. Hartley wants us to see the big picture, but he forgets we need artists like him to bring it into focus.
  11. It's not that Fay Grim isn't amusing. It is, in that deadpan, skewed way that indie auteur Hartley's pics always are. But there's not much else going on here.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. IanI.
    Dec 6, 2009
    5
    LOL @ the camera angles. There was literally not a single level frame in the entire film...I can get artsy camera angle choices...but when LOL @ the camera angles. There was literally not a single level frame in the entire film...I can get artsy camera angle choices...but when the same 45% angle is repeated with every frame it stops being a creative choice and starts being annoying. Full Review »
  2. RitterS.
    Sep 2, 2009
    8
    Briefly, I also really like this film- or should I say I am one of the few it seems that did . The imbalance of the whole project (drama Briefly, I also really like this film- or should I say I am one of the few it seems that did . The imbalance of the whole project (drama and/or farce,) appealed to me. But I recommended it to 3 people and they unanimously hated it. Hated. The acting is extraordinarily uneven but PP and GB are stellar, with good support from JU, LA and SB. I've added it to my watch once a year list. Full Review »
  3. GL
    Sep 14, 2007
    8
    This film got a bad wrap. Not as good as Henry Fool or the PowerBook, but nonetheless clever, witty, and visually fresh.