Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An edgy, unpredictable crime thriller, starring Steve Martin as a prosperous dentist whose well-ordered existence is thrown into turmoil when an alluring new patient draws him into a seedy underworld of sex, drugs and murder. (Artisan Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Quite apart from wringing the last molecule of vividness from his freewheeling roster of loose cannons, he brings to his direction of Martin a finesse shared by only a few of the directors who have worked with the comedian-actor.
  2. 75
    Martin's most adventurous film in many years, may be next best thing to a quick shot of nitrous oxide.
  3. Novocaine is neither funny enough to be a comedy, nor dark enough to be a true film noir. Like the drug of the title, it just kind of leaves you numb and anxious to taste the good stuff once again.
  4. 50
    Martin seems uncomfortable and oddly waxen (the orange Al Gore makeup doesn't help), injecting Frank with neither restless anger nor wry humor.
  5. There are many things wrong with Novocaine, but the film's most gnawing pain is its clodhopper farfetchedness.
  6. 40
    Given his lackluster performance, even Martin, who is no stranger to sardonic humor, seems unsure about the film's tone.
  7. A coarse, witless and stunningly violent black comedy.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4