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Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 8, 2013
    100
    Ms. Bell, who plays Carol with a perfect blend of diffidence, goofiness and charm, has written and directed an insightful comedy that is much more complex and ambitious than it sometimes seems.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Apr 23, 2013
    90
    To call Lake Bell a magnetic, intelligent, blithely screwball leading lady in the Carole Lombard tradition might be selling her short. With In a World… , a rollicking laffer about the cutthroat voiceover biz in Los Angeles, she proves herself a comedy screenwriter to be reckoned with.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 15, 2013
    88
    Before this movie, Lake Bell seemed to have a nice and comfortable career path ahead of her. She was an actress who always provided a spark, whether the vehicle was mundane or first-rate. Now, she’s a name that provokes keen anticipation. Can’t wait to see what Lake Bell the filmmaker does next.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 8, 2013
    80
    It’s hard to imagine the lives behind the voices that are part of the movies. But In a World ..., the debut feature from actress-turned-writer-director Lake Bell, not only gives the people who do movie voice-overs a closeup, it savvily and wittily uses what we hear as a metaphor for what we are.
  5. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 21, 2013
    78
    An ambitious comedy with not-negligible dramatic depth, but Bell, a first-time feature writer and director, is frankly too generous with her large cast.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 15, 2013
    75
    In a World . . . is a lot of fun, reflecting Bell’s own obvious love of piquant paradox and the music of the spoken word. But it also has a sharply observant streak that makes it as nourishing as it is endearingly nutty.
  7. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 6, 2013
    60
    With so many ideas to work with, why does Bell infantilize her elsewhere-confident main character as yet another disheveled woman-child?

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 6 out of 17
  1. Aug 9, 2013
    8
    Using the oft overlooked world of voice-over as a backdrop, Bell has delivered a film that is an important social satire without the snobbishUsing 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: http://bit.ly/17C0Gw1
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  2. Feb 23, 2014
    8
    In terms of freshness, this entertaining comedy is unique. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever explored the behind-the-scenes worldIn 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.
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  3. May 3, 2014
    7
    A perfect little movie with the good cast and performances. Many experienced actors taking chances in direction field and most of them hadA 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.

    6.5/10
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  4. Aug 25, 2013
    5
    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 featureNot 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.
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  5. Feb 25, 2014
    5
    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 theInteresting 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. Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2014
    3
    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 likeJust 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
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  7. Mar 24, 2015
    1
    Unwatchable. Turned off halfway through. The subject matter, the movie trailer voice over field, would be of interest only to someone inUnwatchable. Turned off halfway through. The subject matter, the movie trailer voice over field, would be of interest only to someone in that part of the industry and if it was a clever, funny, amusing script with good actors (like "The Holiday" had for example). This extremely weak film is not remotely that. Take the setting, that "world", which is about as mundane and uninteresting as could be imagined and done on the cheap not in the good indie way but in the you get what you paid for way, it's an incredibly boring space lacking both comedy and drama.
    It's cast with non-actors not counting the few filler cameos and the lead actor who plays the father who is about as disgusting a screen non-presence as there ever was despite his touted low
    voice (he is NOT one of the big trailer VO talents in the real business btw) and a writer-director-actress who doesn't know good comedy much less story-telling, much much less filmmaking.
    The attempted comedy is the kind of sleazy, distasteful banter that's both unfunny and offensive for lack of wit.
    The director is so inept as to have gone the extra-wide 2:40 aspect ratio for this basically straight to video title. All that does is diminish the effect for worthy large spectacle pictures while at the same time robbing the home video screen real estate for smaller ones. And again, it doesn't get any smaller than this! Jackass directors, producers, distributors have to stop over-using anamorphic widescreen on completely unjustified intimate junk like this! It doesn't fool anyone!
    Read the positive reviews next door on this lame excuse for a movie, then if you want to waste your time watch it and then go back and note those critics' names and never listen to them again. Better yet start a petition to get them FIRED! The morons are hopelessly out of touch with the audience and biased toward anything indie that they sniff as an underdog or is a stuffy subject because of their sickening pretentiousness. They are utterly, completely worthless!
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See all 17 User Reviews

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