Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Using the short stories of Raymond Carver as inspiration, Robert Altman revisits the formula of his 1975 film "Nashville," portraying various interlocking stories set against the backdrop of contemporary middle-class Los Angeles.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 100
    Part of the miracle of Robert Altman's triumphantly fierce, funny, moving and innovative Short Cuts is that you can't get this movie out of your head. You keep playing it back to savor its formula-smashing audacity, its peerless performances and its cleareyed view of blasted lives.
  2. 100
    Los Angeles always seems to be waiting for something. Permanence seems out of reach; some great apocalyptic event is on the horizon, and people view the future tentatively. Robert Altman's Short Cuts captures that uneasiness perfectly.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    100
    It is, finally, as a richly pulsating, hugely entertaining human comedy -- antic, wayward, glancing -- that Short Cuts bemuses, amuses and finally entrances us. [4 Oct 1993]
  4. 88
    It's a genuine pleasure to find a movie with such a deep and intelligent portrayal of simple human lives, with all their minor triumphs and tragedies.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    At first, it's hard to sort out who knows who and where the stories connect, but it eventually comes together, combining the gripping power of a soap opera with the skewed, unusual perspectives of Carver and Altman.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    Quirky, sometimes brilliant, and mostly ice-cold.
  7. 20
    A cynical, sexist and shallow work from cinema's premier misanthrope, Robert Altman, who here shows neither compassion for -- nor insight into -- the human condition.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Arhi
    Mar 8, 2006
    10
    This is a European film in America. Strong and copied many times (Crash, Magnolia).
  2. Feb 4, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Tripping Over Ourselves

    While there's no cinematic equivalent to the Mona Lisa, I submit a list of the top ten American movies of the last 50 years in no particular order:

    The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mulholland Drive, Tree of Life, Boyhood, Short Cuts.

    Whaaaaaa... Short Cuts? Is it even Altman's best work? Well, everything unique and original in the other movies on this list was done before... by Altman. (Is there anything the man hasn't tried?) And everything Altman achieved in his career can be summed up in Short Cuts.

    Five of the entries on my list are genre intact: gangster, war, bio, sci-fi, adventure. Lynch is a genre of his own (a master of hook and subvert), Pulp Fiction is pomo-noir with a swagger, Tree of Life, an audacious and transcendent poem, Boyhood, literally an epic achievement of dedication and commitment. Short Cuts doesn't seem to fit in as it is merely an observation of lives and love. But what observations! What lives! What heartbreaking affection. All underscored with a resonating heartbeat patching into so many paths, teetering on the brink of disaster and threatening to explode, which it does, in the form of a climactic planetary stroke. Nothing brings people together quite like a natural disaster. An earthquake, tremoring just enough to inform us of our place in history on the cosmic map. Enough to bring us down to earth, reboot our egos, and put multiple perspectives in perspective. Enough to appreciate the simple state of being.

    A larger-than-life baroque master is at the helm, warbling out contrapuntal narratives and swirling themes orchestrated to perfection. Multiple story-lines wavering under one very singular umbrella. And under Altman's protective cover the talent runs free and easy, playful and experimental, ironic and sincere. The key characters in one story become walk-throughs in another, paradoxically tethered and disconnected from the self, from family, community, and life. Boundaries are crossed and souls get lost. We're all the same if only by not knowing what our needs are or why we're even here. With nothing to say except everything is exceptional, infinite and empty. And life is short. Shorts Cuts of scenes stories words actions desire love loss lies lust faith wonder and devotion. Heck, I'd see it again only to watch Tom Waits and Lily Tomlin shack up.

    Some movies claim to be infinitely entertaining, some maintain they can be viewed repeatedly without losing their initial charm, some insist they never age, I know only one that can lay claim to all such conceits. Short Cuts is like falling in love. It delivers quietly, wonderfully, naturally, tenderly, simply and deeply.
    Expand
  3. Nov 2, 2010
    10
    I love this movie. It's a truly magnificent piece of art, and it changed the way I thought about movies. Perhaps it isn't everyone's cup ofI love this movie. It's a truly magnificent piece of art, and it changed the way I thought about movies. Perhaps it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you enjoy challenging, thought-provoking cinema, you must give yourself a chance to savor this masterpiece. Expand
  4. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    Sure many of the characters in "Short Cuts" are bad people, but that doesn't stop this ensemble film from being creative, funny, and tragic,Sure many of the characters in "Short Cuts" are bad people, but that doesn't stop this ensemble film from being creative, funny, and tragic, all at once. Robert Altman is the man to go to for films like this, and if "Nashville" left you stunned, "Short Cuts" will live your mouth open. He connects these characters, all portrayed excellently by the stunning cast, in such genius ways, and the stories themselves are all unique in some way or another. With standout performances from Andie MacDowell, Tim Robbins, and Julianne Moore, "Short Cuts" is one of my favorite films from the '90's. Expand
  5. ellenp.
    May 15, 2008
    9
    This film is brilliant. Many haven't realized that, what Altman did was to translate Carver's writing style into audiovisual This film is brilliant. Many haven't realized that, what Altman did was to translate Carver's writing style into audiovisual language. Dirty Realism into film. The characters meant to be shallow, because the meaning is dictated by the context. Expand
  6. KathleenH.
    Apr 22, 2008
    3
    Sure, the intertwining of stories is masterful and the cast incredible. But the characters are such terrible people. And worse than that, Sure, the intertwining of stories is masterful and the cast incredible. But the characters are such terrible people. And worse than that, from a movie point of view, they're boring people too. Why would I want to spend any time at all with any of them? They're shallow, pretentious, deceitful, manipulative, ridiculously unperceptive, and ... boring. Watching characters like that fumble through their empty lives and their pointless, nasty marriages isn't illuminating or interesting; it's just ... a boring waste of time. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

Trailers