User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 39
  2. Negative: 10 out of 39
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  1. 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, 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 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
  2. No,MrMulroneycakes,IExpectYouToDie!
    Dec 2, 2002
    10
    What a great little ensemble drama this is. The only criticism anyone can come up with is that "it's not set anywhere near where Carver set his stories" - I don't think Carver could care less (in the English sense), to be honest, he wasn't especially dead when they started making it, and he gave his blessing then - and "It's sexist" - primarily because it shows women What a great little ensemble drama this is. The only criticism anyone can come up with is that "it's not set anywhere near where Carver set his stories" - I don't think Carver could care less (in the English sense), to be honest, he wasn't especially dead when they started making it, and he gave his blessing then - and "It's sexist" - primarily because it shows women not being perfect. It shows men being just as imperfect as well, you know. Ingrate. Altman is the master. Collapse
  3. YoonC.
    Sep 15, 2003
    7
    Ambitious and bighearted but also sprawling and diluted, it's a rather pale shadow of Altman's masterpiece Nashville. As a whole, lively and engaging but weighed on their own, the mini-stories don't hold much water, which can't be said for several powerful narratives in Nashville.
  4. RyanM.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    One of my favorite movies ever. If you step back and look at "Short Cuts", it's hard not to realize this one bundles up all the great things about all the great films and puts them together. Not just one of the greatest films of all-time, but one of the greatest pieces of fiction ever, right up there with "War and Peace" and "Citizen Kane".
  5. [Anonymous]
    Apr 29, 2005
    1
    Horrible!!! Wasted 3 hours of my life :(((
  6. Arhi
    Mar 8, 2006
    10
    This is a European film in America. Strong and copied many times (Crash, Magnolia).
  7. PatC.
    Dec 10, 2003
    4
    Altman's later movies capture people doing real-life personal things - almost like we're eavesdropping on them. The Player, Magnolia, Gosford Park, the list goes on. He does this very well. But such scenes and his juggling of large temperamental casts does not in itself make a good show. I've got to think critic loyalty is present in the metascore of this 3-hour monstrosity Altman's later movies capture people doing real-life personal things - almost like we're eavesdropping on them. The Player, Magnolia, Gosford Park, the list goes on. He does this very well. But such scenes and his juggling of large temperamental casts does not in itself make a good show. I've got to think critic loyalty is present in the metascore of this 3-hour monstrosity more than quality. There's too much clashing. Why is there dialogue when it is drowned out by music or background noise? We try to hear. We assume a story is being told and try to follow. Altman challenges us to see how much we can stand before we are allowed to glean a nugget of pleasure or truth from a movie that, in the final analysis, substitutes intricacy for plot. Another splendid story gone awry under this director's clumsy pretentious handling. Once again we sense important worthy concepts, but ceaseless obstructive devices block comprehension, and the experience for most of us, who are not stupid by the way, will be exasperatingly tedious. Expand
  8. 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 language. Dirty Realism into film. The characters meant to be shallow, because the meaning is dictated by the context.
  9. 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 of tea, but if you enjoy challenging, thought-provoking cinema, you must give yourself a chance to savor this masterpiece.
  10. 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, 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, andSure 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
  11. 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.
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Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 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]
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Exploding Raymond Carver's spare stories and minimally drawn characters onto the screen with startling imagination, Robert Altman has made his most complex and full-bodied human comedy since "Nashville."
  3. Altman shakes the camera like a two-bit horror director, and it seems a different sort of signature - less masterful than weary, less signed than resigned. Zero-sum, indeed.