Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Madonna's directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, is a hilariously sexy tale of three roommates who must delve into mischievous and naughty behavior in pursuit of bigger and brighter futures. A Ukrainian immigrant, A.K., finances his dreams of 'trans-continental superstardom' with his band, Gogol Bordello, by turning tricks as a role-playing cross dresser. As A.K. literally whips the privileged of London into shape, he also secretly pines for the object of his affection, Holly, an aspiring ballerina looking for her big break while moonlighting as a slippery stripper. Meanwhile, Juliette steals medicine from her pharmaceutical job in hopes of quenching her dreams of helping Africa's youth. Filth and Wisdom is every bit as erotic and playful as it is poignant and touching, revealing the universal struggles we all face in our pursuits of happiness. (IFC Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 14 out of 21
  1. Impossibly arty and, at times, narratively incoherent, Filth and Wisdom still has its goofy charms.
  2. The movie is short on wisdom, but it might have gotten by if it had had better filth.
  3. 50
    A pointless exercise in "shocking" behavior.
  4. Not that Madonna has gone in for originality, which isn't really her thing: rather, instead of repurposing a genre, she has riffled through the art-house catalog for inspiration, as evidenced by the film's intentionally grubby visual texture, jumpy editing, direct-address commentary, freeze frames and other tricks.
  5. Filth & Wisdom is dead in the water, an excruciating bore even at a compact 84 minutes.
  6. 25
    Madonna presents the three leads as flawed but essentially decent and redeemable, but they're bound up in a story that's meant to affirm a vague set of values. If she needs to justify the "Sex" book by charting her own contrived path from filth to heavenly wisdom, that's fine. But she should do it on her own time.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 3
  2. Negative: 2 out of 3
  1. JayH
    Feb 26, 2009
    Very unusual, but the film is a bit of a scattered mess. The cast is quite good and rather fascinating though. Curiously interesting film, but on the whole it doesn't work. Expand
  2. EdA.
    Nov 11, 2008
    As a seasoned movie goer, I have seem some schmuck before, but this film was beyond the pale. I took my parents to see The Duchess, but we turned up 30 minutes late...the only other offering was a film called Filth and Wisdom. cut a long story short, my Father (only 61) actually fell asleep 20 minutes in, about a third of the few people actually watching the film, walked out. Plot...what plot? Dialogue....toe curlingly bad. Absolute nonsense and the biggest steaming pile of....drivel, that I have ever seen. With all the media intent on the forthcoming Ritchie zing bang...Madonna should focus on being a good Mother to her children. How the hell does she have any time for them!! As my Mother said when she read the paper announcing the Ritchie split....''So, she has fired him form the job of Husband?'' Hysterical. Expand
  3. paddya
    Nov 11, 2008
    Absolute S**T. Really. Please, avoid this at all costs. The woman has as much celluloid creativity in her whole body that I have on my fingernail...and that's my LITTLE finger..nail. You can't outdo Guy here Madgonna, lose. Read the Reviews...they suck...bad. Expand


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