Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 14 out of 21
  1. The movie is short on wisdom, but it might have gotten by if it had had better filth.
  2. Ragged, uneven and potholed with some dire dialogue and performances.
  3. Impossibly arty and, at times, narratively incoherent, Filth and Wisdom still has its goofy charms.
  4. 50
    A pointless exercise in "shocking" behavior.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Madonna's directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, feels more like a collection of scenes than a fully drawn film.
  6. It's rather sweet to think of Filth and Wisdom as Madonna's reconnection to her own boho Manhattan striver self a generation ago, and I did enjoy the last five minutes or so, when the movie essentially stopped and Hutz's band, Gogol Bordello, took over.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Worst of all, the movie's simply not very shocking. Madonna has made a career out of toying with image and ego, but this is a vanity project in the smallest sense possible.
  8. 25
    An irredeemably dull tale.
  9. Filth & Wisdom is dead in the water, an excruciating bore even at a compact 84 minutes.
  10. 0
    Thoroughly inept in just about every aspect.
  11. With Filth and Wisdom, the Material Girl has now spliced the title of film writer and director into her list of accomplishments, but the result is, well, immaterial.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    There's an undeniably funky charm and abiding can-do spirit to this loose-knit portrait of three London flatmates trying to make their way in the world.
  13. 50
    A charming but silly love letter to a vanished era of urban bohemia?
  14. 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.
  15. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Ineptly written and helmed story of three Londoners, although quite bad, does have a few redeeming features.
  16. Reviewed by: Neely Tucker
    The only thing this movie should lead you to is the nearest exit.
  17. 10
    Madonna's mess of a movie grabs at the rub and rancor of multiculturalism, which it proceeds to squash into a litter of clich├ęs, or, more simply, insults.
  18. 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.
  19. Reportedly, the movie began life as a short film, and if it actually ran for 22 minutes with a few commercial breaks, like a good sitcom should, Filth and Wisdom could be bearable. At 84 minutes, the movie feels both overpadded and underdeveloped.
  20. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    Madonna, making her directorial debut, aims for the romping irreverence of Richard Lester's 60s comedies, and though she lacks the formal control to pull it off, this is a charming mess.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User 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. Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. 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. Full Review »