User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 66
  2. Negative: 10 out of 66

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  1. Sep 3, 2013
    Bell has a future writing bad sitcoms for television, as that is what this movie felt like to me. People do not converse normally and although it had a few laughs, most fell flat for me. As an example, the conversation between the neighbor who needs to borrow the shower (she had plumbing problems) and Gary had me moaning it was so unrealistic and silly and LONG. Still, I did think the acting was good throughout and the pacing was good. If you hate silly madcap TV sitcoms, you won't like this movie. Expand
  2. Feb 14, 2014
    This film is completely destroyed by its painfully "quirky" sense of humor that deflates any points it tries to make about sexism and gender equality, and the main character is pretty much a copy of Frances Ha with all the charm and depth removed.
  3. Aug 9, 2013
    Using the oft overlooked world of voice-over as a backdrop, Bell has delivered a film that is an important social satire without the snobbish condescension which that designation may imply.

    Read the full review here:
  4. Feb 2, 2014
    Pretentious. In a World is a movie involving a universe where every successful person in the film industry happens to be a jew without exception. A film filled with endlessly annoying characters whom are constantly arguing, talking over one another, and fellating themselves as self made gods. This elitist film should come with a warning. The hypocrisy is overwhelming considering the underlying message of inclusivity. Only Jews Are Welcome would have made for a more accurate title. Expand
  5. Lyn
    Jan 29, 2014
    Not a whole lot of plot here, but it's an enjoyable chick flick. I think of Lake Bell as a glamour girl-type actress, but she plays down the glamour here and inspires sympathy. Gave it an extra point just because it was so darned nice to see a film set "in a world" (the field of voice-overs) that was so refreshingly different from the usual lurid crimes, icky thrillers, "almost true" dramas, dumb comedies, and competitions to set the next new record in F-words. Expand
  6. Aug 25, 2013
    The voiceover business is largely a man's world, esp. for movie trailers. Lake Bell wrote/directed/stars as a woman who's trying to break in. It doesn't help that her father (Fred Melamed) is one of the leaders in the biz and unsupportive of her efforts. Although the overall mood is upbeat, there aren't a lot of outright laffs. The cast in enjoyable and the energy never wanes. This inside look at show biz with a healthy dose of relationship challenges could almost be a Woody Allen satire. Not especially memorable, but fun. Expand
  7. Oct 24, 2013
    I found the movie entertaining, even if the ending was a bit pat. The premise was interesting, it had some funny lines, and the acting was believable. The scene in the ladies' room between Geena Davis and Lake Bell near the end of the film was worth the price of admission. And Eva Longoria's cameo was a hoot.
  8. Aug 25, 2013
    Not at all bad, but not great or memorable. Given her talents and experience, it seems that Bell might have done better with her first feature if she'd made a sketch-driven comedy, and saved a comedy with a serious side for a later outing. As it is, there aren't enough of the funny bits, while more or less everything about the serious side falls flat.

    The dramatic elements, the depth of
    the character and writing, the framing and composition, the social satire; they're all pretty slight. The tone shifts back and forth between a sort of pure-laughs comedy [Anchorman etc] and a serious comedy or satire [some Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach etc]. The clash inherent in this tone shift undercuts the serious side rather forcefully. If that weren't enough, the serious elements in themselves are pretty sophomoric.

    However, it is enjoyable and warm-hearted, and Bell shows some chance of a better outing in the future.
  9. Feb 23, 2014
    In terms of freshness, this entertaining comedy is unique. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever explored the behind-the-scenes world of the voice-over artist. Many films have shown the trials and tribulations that thespians have to bear when the camera is rolling, but rarely do we see what goes on inside the sound booth. Lake Bell is the director, screenplay writer, and star of this film. She is a gifted mimic who can do a number of authentic-sounding accents, and has apparently been experimenting and practicing since childhood. This film provides her with a perfect vehicle to showcase her prodigious talents.

    The story focuses on a young voice actress (Bell), who is trying to make a name for herself in the male-dominated world of voice-over. Her own father (Fred Melamed) is a living voice-over legend, and although he patronizes his daughter and encourages her to continue with her activities as a voice coach, he is extremely critical of her talent and dismisses the idea that she can ever achieve the same stature as her father. The film opens with dad telling his 30-year-old daughter, who is still living at home, that his young mistress is moving in, and he would appreciate it if she moved out that evening. She can't afford her own place, so she packs up and moves in with her married sister (Michaela Watkins). She then begins the daunting task of competing with the best male voice-over artists in Hollywood, stealing jobs from under their noses, but her real challenge is when she has to compete against her own father.

    The movie is inspired by the late Don LaFontaine, who, unknown to most moviegoers, is the most legendary voice-over artist who ever lived. He is famous for his melodious baritone voicing the introductory words, “In a world...,” a phrase that is said to be owned by his estate, although it is unclear how such a mundane phrase can be owned by anyone. In the invisible realm that exists within the sound booth, we see a world that parallels the more famous and familiar side of Hollywood. The voice artists have their own superstars, their own casting calls, their own awards ceremony—and, as depicted in the film, they even give out their own lifetime achievement award. It's a universe onto itself, and one that is largely hidden from the public.

    Being a master of one's voice involves taking care of one's voice the way a ballerina would take care of her feet. The film shows voice actors doing exercises that are almost comical, such as putting a cork in one's mouth and repeating all the vowels. Bell's character, Carol, is an ambitious, nervous, and hyperactive young woman whose antics are highly amusing—every time she lands a job and makes progress with her career, she does a little dance of joy that involves twirling her hoodie in circles while she gyrates hilariously, sticking her rear end in and out in a manner that may well be inimitable. Bell's character has a real gripe with young women whose voices are misused to be seductively childlike, an accent that Bell has a problem with in real life as well. She calls it the “sexy baby squeak.” It must be a southern California thing, because I have never met a teenager or a grown woman who talks like that, although I have occasionally heard this accent in Hollywood comedies (and there is a demonstration of the baby squeak in the film). Bell has said in interviews that she strongly objects to this accent, which she calls a dialect, because it makes intelligent women sound stupid.

    One has to admit that Bell's vocal tones are resonant and silvery, although you might ask why an intelligent performer such as she would make YouTube videos that show her prancing around in her underwear. Should she not be as concerned about looking stupid as she is about sounding stupid? It would seem that in a world where actresses have to show off their wares, even the brilliant ones are willing to do anything to attract the attention of [male] directors.
  10. Aug 28, 2013
    Interesting that all the male (white) roles in the film are caricatures, and all (save one) of the female roles are heroic/tragic despite severe character flaws. I wonder how the screenwriter would have portrayed a male that was an immoral thirty-something couch-surfer, or a philandering hotel employee who sleeps with the paying guests? Feminist indeed! This won the screenwriting award at Sundance? hmmmmm Expand
  11. Sep 2, 2014
    An incredible debut on several fronts for Lake Bell. A top notch comedy-drama that is both fresh and exciting. A few folks are sure to walk away from this one and pursue a career in voice-over work.
  12. Sep 3, 2013
    When was the last time you heard a female voice over on a trailer for a coming attraction? Okay, let’s go for an easier question like when was the last time you saw a film with a father who is a male chauvinist whose thinks daughters should be seen and not heard? How about an easier question like when was the last time you saw a film starring a person who also, wrote and directed that film? Did you think it was a vanity production or that person couldn’t find anyone better to do any of the 3 jobs or possibly they couldn’t afford to pay someone?

    “In The World...” stars Lake Bell as Carol, her debut feature as a writer and director and who has played secondary roles in movies and television. In this film she explores the world of voice overs and the people, mainly men, who make a living at that job. Carol finds herself in competition with her father Sam (Fred Melamed) who has recently taken over the mantle as the man with the best voice after the recent star Don LaFontaine has passed away and Gustav Werner (Ken Marino) his prodigy. Carol, who had been living with her father, has to move in with her sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and brother-in-law Gary (Rob Corddry) because dad has moved in his much younger, and supposedly ditzy, girlfriend Jamie (Alexander Holden) while let’s not forget the guy Louis (Demetri Martin) that is pining after Carol and, of course, is the last to know it.

    There is no faulting Lake Bell as an actress as she comes across trained to be a loser but endearing to all, including the audience. As the screenplay writer she tries to cover too much ground in a 93 minutes film but it is as a director that she makes too many mistakes with uncalled for dark shots, holding the camera on the wrong person in many scenes and not focusing the story with her actors. There is a lot going on here besides the father-daughters situation, the competition, sister and husband having a marital crisis, Carol getting unnecessarily involved with Gustave, the lack of good jobs for women in an industry that exploits them plus showing Carol giving voice lessons to various actresses including Eva Longoria. It is very seldom that I have seen a bad performance by an actor---hey, I liked Russell Crowe in “Les Miserables”!--in a film and there isn’t one here.

    The main fault of “In a World...” is that it takes 90 minutes in a 93 minute film to get to the payoff and getting there is very slow and unfunny though those last 3 minutes are touching.
  13. May 3, 2014
    A perfect little movie with the good cast and performances. Many experienced actors taking chances in direction field and most of them had tasted the success. Good story won't do everything, managing cast, crew and the locations are the key to bright best out of them. It was not a smash hit movie, but Lake Bell should be proud and happy for carving a movie like this in her first attempt as a director. She really did a wonderful job here in all the three departments, including as a writer and in a lead role.

    Well, when it comes to the concept, it was simple as well good enough to entertain the audience. The movie was about the dubbing artists, especially who render their voice for the movie promos. As far I remember in those movies I had watched I never saw a story belong to people from this field, it was first. So that might a another reason the movie to cause interest in me.

    The movie revolves the story of father-daughter relationship. A father who never stood for her and a daughter who fought hard to claim a better position in life. Apart from these two, subplots like romance and relationship between two sisters played a crucial role in the movie's main plot. Well materializes from the women's perspective and their issues in the world of men. A woman oriented movie that can deliver inspiration for many.

  14. Feb 25, 2014
    Interesting but talky. If you like a lot of dialogue this is your movie. It's a slice of life with an interesting point of view and the dialogue is written and delivered well. More of an "I've got some friends who are kind of interesting but it gets old after a while" kind of feel.
  15. Jan 24, 2014
    Lake Bell's film is surely one of the most charming comedies to come around in recent memory. The writing is snappy, the performances are surprisingly nuanced (Bell, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Fred Melamed, and Robb Corddry should be praised), and the premise is fresh. Most impressively, it manages to stay quirky and sharp without being overtly pretentious. It's an auspicious debut from an apparently very talented writer/directer/actress. Expand
  16. Apr 2, 2014
    Just wrote this to get the score down, because this is probably one of the few movies I don't agree with the critics. Watched this movie like 2 weeks ago and can't seem to remember much of it, this tells me this movie isn't all that great... If you like your movies sci fi and a lot of action don't watch this movie, it really just bored me...

    Just my opinion

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Kermode
    Sep 15, 2013
    A cameo from Geena Davis is particularly tart, and all the better for it.
  2. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Sep 10, 2013
    Bell goes easy on the preaching and heavy on the laughs without losing her feminist message.
  3. Reviewed by: Ali Gray
    Sep 9, 2013
    Sweet, witty and exquisitely observed, In A World... sees the emergence of an exciting talent: any agents looking for a new triple threat should ring that Bell.