Sideways

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 669 Ratings

User score distribution:
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. LindsayG.
    Feb 20, 2005
    7
    As a comedy, it's just not that funny. I laughed at the merlot scene...that's it. So I blame the advertisers for trying to bill this as a comedy when it comes across more as a drama. I'll let Blockbuster decide exactly what category it belongs in. The "critics" eat up movies like this. I don't know why. Maybe this one reflects on the things they'd like to As a comedy, it's just not that funny. I laughed at the merlot scene...that's it. So I blame the advertisers for trying to bill this as a comedy when it comes across more as a drama. I'll let Blockbuster decide exactly what category it belongs in. The "critics" eat up movies like this. I don't know why. Maybe this one reflects on the things they'd like to experience or have experienced before and reminds them of their own midlife crisis and trip through Napa....they identify with it somehow so they love it....Go see Clint's new movie....Very Good. Expand
  2. ThanasisP.
    Feb 23, 2005
    10
    Wow! People either loved it or hated it, 0 or 10. Not much in between. Well, I just saw it and I loved it!. I also understood why many hate it. This is one of those movies that you either get it or you don
  3. Jeff
    Feb 27, 2005
    10
    Perfect, a real movie, nothing compares!!! And to thonse who said it wasn't good, maybe you need to look up the definition of a true cinematic experience, you'd get a picture of Giamatti and Church!
  4. TimM
    Feb 3, 2005
    10
    Flawless and hilarious. if you have a low intelligence and are only entertained with explosions and slapstick (not to dis either of the two) then this is not for you.
  5. StaciL.
    Feb 6, 2005
    10
    Beautiful for wine lovers and budding wine lovers alike!
  6. RandyR
    Mar 16, 2005
    8
    I love that area and have actually stayed at that motel in Buellton when visiting there. Funny and offbeat humor about the human condition. The discussion about pinot grapes will forever go down as one of the best dialogues in a movie. Really enjoyed it.
  7. OlivierP.
    Mar 16, 2005
    10
    Amazing, funny and poetic road-movie.
  8. JoeF
    Mar 17, 2005
    10
    The low ratings portrayed are classic examples of an underground film for those intelligent few, and then the "average" movie audience gets wind of it, sees it, doesn't understand it, and doesn't like it, I guess ignorance isn't always bliss huh? Quit freaking out, it's a movie, go home and rent Independence Day, and don't forget to stop at Mickey D's on the way.
  9. JonathanShalfi
    Mar 26, 2005
    7
    This is very typical of slow, adult oriented "sophisticated " films which get huge reviews from the papers.. There are very few scenes that'll actually make you smile, and everything seems to follow an "Oscar-formula". Other than that, its a fairly interesting movie, as long as you have some patience.
  10. ReidM.
    Apr 16, 2005
    10
    A fabulous movie. The story is unique, the charachters are twisted and it made me laugh.
  11. JoeR
    Apr 19, 2005
    9
    This scenic little travelog through wine country is relaxed, insightful and frequently hilarious. You probably need to have been through a few serious relationships and disappointments to fully appreciate the subtle warmth, angst, bizarre acting out and needyness of the characters which probably explains why most users loved it but a few just didn't get it.
  12. Brian
    Apr 23, 2005
    10
    A critically acclaimed movie that lives up to its hype. Realistic, believable characters warts and all, beautiful scenery, moments of hilarity and I don't even care for wine. Strong, natural performaces, a script that reflects the way people talk rather than how screenwriters think they talk.
  13. PhilT
    Apr 24, 2005
    8
    This movie is more than a comedy. It's a comment on friendship, love, and the human condition. What I liked most about Jack and Miles was that their friendship could take the turbulence generated by their foibles. They stuck with one another, like true friends. It is also about love, courage, and healing. Looking for a yuk-yuk comedy? Look elsewhere. This film is more than that.
  14. ClintM.
    Apr 26, 2005
    8
    I would have to agree with reviewer "Joe R." when he said the reason a lot of users didn't care for this movie or "get" it was b/c you need to have been through a serious relationship or two and a few disappointments to really get the vibe of the movie. I thought it was really genuinely funny; not at all forced. The performances were all wonderful and natural. I would recommend this I would have to agree with reviewer "Joe R." when he said the reason a lot of users didn't care for this movie or "get" it was b/c you need to have been through a serious relationship or two and a few disappointments to really get the vibe of the movie. I thought it was really genuinely funny; not at all forced. The performances were all wonderful and natural. I would recommend this movie to anyone who can find laughter even when life seems to be at its lowest. Expand
  15. marcoc.
    Apr 28, 2005
    9
    A hugely enjoyable film with a great performance from Giamatti. The writing is first class. Overall it is an insightful, funny and moving picture.
  16. RickK
    Apr 30, 2005
    7
    Not everyone will enjoy this movie as much as I did - it's a bit of a guy-college-bud, what-has-become-of-my-life movie. It certainly made me feel happier and entertained.
  17. JamesL
    Apr 3, 2005
    9
    I think many of the people who reviewed this movie came out with a kneejerk reaction, without realy reflecting on the nature of the film and the emotional elements that played throughout. For someone on the same side of divorce as the movie portrayed, it was poignent and filled with the little pieces of life. The pieces that really matter. If you wanted humor there are several other mind I think many of the people who reviewed this movie came out with a kneejerk reaction, without realy reflecting on the nature of the film and the emotional elements that played throughout. For someone on the same side of divorce as the movie portrayed, it was poignent and filled with the little pieces of life. The pieces that really matter. If you wanted humor there are several other mind numbing options, just go see The Son of the Mask and pretend like the humor amuzes you, but think more deeply on the real meaning of this film and less on how much you laughed. Expand
  18. JohnS
    Apr 6, 2005
    10
    This was as perfect as movies get. It is very deserving of the 94 rating by the critics. I am not sure who these people (ie., users) are who did not get the movie. Why did they go, wasn't there a monster truck rally they could have watched?
  19. DavidK
    Apr 7, 2005
    7
    Very interesting and original are the highs. Also, great to see a low budget movie make big money. Maybe Hollywood will take notice and quit following a canned model of junk (for the most part). However, the movie is not worthy of a "94" or Academy Award Nomination - be serious.
  20. DaveF
    May 14, 2005
    10
    Dangerously, intoxicatingly perfect. I'm afraid we have a classic on our hands.
  21. MichaelD.
    May 16, 2005
    8
    This is a great story. Everyone will see some of themselves in the characters, and the setting is so creative and fertile! On the other hand, for all the praise of Paul G's performance, I thought he was the weakest link. Oh well, if HE is the weakest link, you still knows its a damn fine movie.
  22. JohnM
    May 18, 2005
    10
    Simply enjoyable. Make sure you watch with a bottle of wine. I notice those who marked it poorly all seem to have trouble with spelling. So perhaps if you're an uneducated yak who doesn't understand story driven dialogue and prefers SFX to be the main character then this ain't for you.
  23. larrys.
    May 24, 2005
    10
    SUPERB! Unforunately not a movie for the avearge JOE who cannot appreciate a film that has 90 minutes of non stop action and violence. If you like Arnold movies, thought Titanic was a good movie or think Adam Sandler rocks don't bother seeing the movie, If you've seen Garden State, Crash and/or Assasination of Richard Nixon and loved them go see Sideways.
  24. chrissys
    Jun 3, 2005
    10
    Amazing, justsimply amazing.
  25. BrookM.
    Jun 4, 2005
    10
    How can anyone not warm to this film!
  26. AnthonyS
    Jun 6, 2005
    10
    Brilliant.
  27. FrankH
    Aug 22, 2005
    9
    Americans should not be allowed to comment on movies, but after this film I'm almost convinced they should still be allowed to produce them. Also, it would be really nice if you could see people's age here, as I'm sure alot of the harsher critics of the film on here are too young to actually know what a midlife crisis is. I rate this only 9/10 because the whole wine thing Americans should not be allowed to comment on movies, but after this film I'm almost convinced they should still be allowed to produce them. Also, it would be really nice if you could see people's age here, as I'm sure alot of the harsher critics of the film on here are too young to actually know what a midlife crisis is. I rate this only 9/10 because the whole wine thing was too emphasized for my tastes. Otherwise a truly brilliant and funny movie. Expand
  28. RyanM.
    Sep 12, 2005
    8
    Good movie, entertaining, but not great. Exceptionally well written, with some genuinely funny and whimsical scenes. The humor is not always obvious, though some people that reviewed this might expect that. Some cheesy scenes but overall entertaining and odd sometimes. Giamatti is great and the cinemetography makes you want to move to Napa.
  29. EC
    Nov 5, 2006
    10
    Possibly one of the smartest comedies thus far in this millenium. Anyone who doesn't like this movie is obviously too retarded to understand it.
  30. DanielM.
    Feb 26, 2006
    8
    The through and through cinemaphotography, the few moments of very humorous dialogue and facial expressions by the characters, and some intense subtlties and blatant follies make for a nice and amusing film. It may be over-rated indeed, but it attempts to speak to a person who cannot possibly appreciate it if he/she has not quite ammassed 30 years on this earth. P.S. don't read the The through and through cinemaphotography, the few moments of very humorous dialogue and facial expressions by the characters, and some intense subtlties and blatant follies make for a nice and amusing film. It may be over-rated indeed, but it attempts to speak to a person who cannot possibly appreciate it if he/she has not quite ammassed 30 years on this earth. P.S. don't read the "novel" that this film was based on...unless you live in S.B. County there will be nothing for you to recognize or appreciate. Bad stuff. Expand
  31. TonyB.
    May 30, 2006
    10
    i loved this movie i didnt see one thing wrong with it. I dont understand why people cant except realizm in movies this has excellent dialouge it was had some very funny moments i am glad i didnt listen to anybody when they told me this movie was bad, i enjoyed it greatly, deffinatly recommend for a viewing.
  32. MW
    Jul 31, 2006
    9
    I really enjoyed this film. I found my sympathies switching between all the characters sometimes loathing, laughing at or even finding them slightly lovable. The whole film felt so realistic and it was nice to see relationships that aren't sugar coated between beautiful people in the normal hollywood style. I didn't know that films this good and subtle were made outside of the I really enjoyed this film. I found my sympathies switching between all the characters sometimes loathing, laughing at or even finding them slightly lovable. The whole film felt so realistic and it was nice to see relationships that aren't sugar coated between beautiful people in the normal hollywood style. I didn't know that films this good and subtle were made outside of the EU and when I watched it got a buzz to know that not all films from the US have to be big budget, plotless romps. I plan now to see other Payne films and hope that I see more like this coming to the cinema soon. Expand
  33. NathanT.
    Aug 12, 2006
    10
    "Sideways" is inarguably the best film of our decade; a classic that can stand up to any great film from any era in cinema. [***SPOILERS***] This is film at its most intoxicating, its most poignant, and funniest. Paul Giamatti was screwed out of even being nominated for Best Actor, while Thomas Hayden Church and Virginia Madsen were justly nominated for their parts, even if they "Sideways" is inarguably the best film of our decade; a classic that can stand up to any great film from any era in cinema. [***SPOILERS***] This is film at its most intoxicating, its most poignant, and funniest. Paul Giamatti was screwed out of even being nominated for Best Actor, while Thomas Hayden Church and Virginia Madsen were justly nominated for their parts, even if they didn't win. The real genius of "Sideways" is that director Alexander Payne creates empathy for two guys that when you think about it, aren't really that sympathetic. Miles (Giamatti) is a grump, and usually drunk on wine from the night before. Jack is an aging sex addict. Not a lot of wiggle room to like these characters. But Payne makes us care and by the end of it they've both been through so many experiences that we can only hope they've learned. And the knock that ends the movie is pure bliss. Raise your glasses and treat yourself to a classic that is guaranteed to age better than "Memento" ever will. This is one that you savor. Expand
  34. FreddieL.
    Dec 1, 2007
    10
    To begin, this was a delightfully written and acted film. How anyone could not connect and feel for Paul Giametti's character astounds me. It saddens me how egotistical twerps attack this film, rating it badly simply on the grounds that it was rated highly by critics, though a films quality must always be percieved without the presence of a review, in my opinion. Therefore, I am To begin, this was a delightfully written and acted film. How anyone could not connect and feel for Paul Giametti's character astounds me. It saddens me how egotistical twerps attack this film, rating it badly simply on the grounds that it was rated highly by critics, though a films quality must always be percieved without the presence of a review, in my opinion. Therefore, I am slightly surpirsed by those who didnt enjoy the film for what it was; an intimate, warming tale of a man, whose life it seems can only genuinely be related to and understood by those with a conscious, and those who don't take life for granted. In conclusion, Sideways is a truly uplifting film which i recommend highly, regardless of the critics' reviews. Expand
  35. AlexM.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    One of the cleverest and funniest films that I have had a pleasure watching. A real delight, how all comedy should be - clever and edgy. All those who did not like this film are obviously lacking in intelligence and sense of humour!
  36. AngusS.
    Apr 11, 2007
    9
    Superb comedy. Excellent characters. So much more to offer than the average 21st Century comedy.
  37. CraigP.
    Apr 30, 2007
    9
    Extremely funny movie about wine tasting!! Actually it's about alot more than that....wonderful performances as well.
  38. SvenS.
    May 16, 2007
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen...it's so fucking good!!! I don't understand why people dislike this movie... It made me feel very good!! And the humor isn't big like Naked Gun, but it's funny!!!
  39. NeilF
    Oct 19, 2009
    10
    Life-affirming. Anyone who doesn't get it has a black hole where their heart should be.
  40. DamonC
    Nov 12, 2004
    7
    Yes, it is well-directed, and yes, it is well-acted, but over 90 POINTS??? What are the critics thinking? Sure it is entertaining, funny, touching, but it is certainly not extraordinary. There are many better films this year. Unfortunately though, there are times when people suddenly all think alike (like when planets mysteriously align themselves) and this is one of them.
  41. DavidG
    Nov 12, 2004
    9
    The first truly great movie I have seen all year, and the first movie highly rated by this site that I think actually deserves superlatives. Funny, engaging, a touch of pathos, and a good story. I do think it is unlikely that either of the 2 major "romances" in the story are likely -- neither of the male characters (one of which an aging, neurotic, balding, flabby depressive) would The first truly great movie I have seen all year, and the first movie highly rated by this site that I think actually deserves superlatives. Funny, engaging, a touch of pathos, and a good story. I do think it is unlikely that either of the 2 major "romances" in the story are likely -- neither of the male characters (one of which an aging, neurotic, balding, flabby depressive) would attract such "catches", so believability suffers. But I consider this a minor complaint. Expand
  42. JimR.
    Nov 13, 2004
    10
    A real comedy. about real people, for real adults. loved the snowball rolling down a hill pace. give an 11 to the casting agent. i roared throughout.
  43. Triniman
    Nov 20, 2004
    8
    Sideways is receiving a lot of critical praise and it is one of the better films of the year, so far. Two friends head out to California's wine country, to spend a week together before one of, Jack, gets married. Jack is a former TV actor, still handsome in his forties, but now relegated to voice overs. He's intellectually lacking but also charming and fun in an immature, Sideways is receiving a lot of critical praise and it is one of the better films of the year, so far. Two friends head out to California's wine country, to spend a week together before one of, Jack, gets married. Jack is a former TV actor, still handsome in his forties, but now relegated to voice overs. He's intellectually lacking but also charming and fun in an immature, carefree way. Miles is a divorced English teacher who is obviously full of hang-ups, not the least of which relate to his divorce. He is a wine connoisseur and becomes even more driven to drink, when, on the trip, he discovers that his ex-wife remarried and will be bringing her new husband to the wedding. Jack's main mission for the week, though, is to get laid before he gets hitched. Along the way, they meet two ladies who appear to fit the bill for each of them. Stephanie (Sandra Oh) is a wild and free spirit, like Jack, while Maya (Virgina Madsen) is more laid back and happens to be another wine connoisseur. Madsen's character is also an intellectual like Miles and the two have an obvious but somewhat tentative attraction to each other. The camera loves Virginia Madsen. Seeing her through Miles' eyes, you can't help but be intrigued and captivated by her. In one scene, they both explain their attraction for some specific wine and through her explanation, she cleverly reveals how she's attracted to Miles. You can pretty much guess who the awkward Miles responds. What makes this film work is the realistic tension exhibited by Miles. He's tired of his job and is a hoping to be picked up by a publisher as a first time author. Paul Giamatti's performance is never dull because we can relate to his bruised self- esteem and he doesn't conveniently end up in unrealistic happy situations. The scenery in the valley was attractive enough to have some of the audience comment on how they would like to go there on a wine-tasting tour. This is another film where you're not positive what will happen next but you watch because the film stays within realistic parameters. There's nothing outrageously far-fetched about it, save for the wallet retrieval scene, which is really funny. Sideways isn't as funny as the trailers tried to suggest but it brings up bittersweet emotions without gratuitous "crutches" that most films rely on, in the absence of a quality script or direction. Expand
  44. JerryK.
    Nov 20, 2004
    9
    Painfully neurotic. Made me cringe with angst - the discussions of wine hit every nerve that allowed a totally uncomfortable man the opportunity to speak with sensitivity and conviction. Painfully funny. Wanted so much to leap into the film and shake Giamotti and get him on track. Have to see it!
  45. DerekR.
    Nov 3, 2004
    9
    As a wine neophyte, i found the movie dazzling, -as some also lost in this crazy world, the movie was a bitter sweet companion.
  46. TCarson
    Dec 13, 2004
    10
    Thank God there are movies like this being made!
  47. JonJon
    Dec 17, 2004
    7
    Not really superior, but good. Shouldn't get anything lower than a 6, or highter than a 9. So those add 15, so I'll give it a 6 or a 7. A 7!!
  48. BillyO.
    Dec 24, 2004
    9
    A very good film. One of the best of the year along with Eternal Sunshine. Very funny, yet very serious. An excellent character study. I highly recommend you see it!
  49. mikep
    Dec 31, 2004
    7
    This movie is pretty much made for the "over thirty-somethings". It's basically the same theme from "Swingers" but with middle-aged men. One guy is a loser and is not over his ex -wife and his best friend tries to help him get laid. Can't help but think of the "Swingers" plot. Add some "wine-humour" instead of "SEGA's NHL Hockey" and its the same movie. Still, this movie This movie is pretty much made for the "over thirty-somethings". It's basically the same theme from "Swingers" but with middle-aged men. One guy is a loser and is not over his ex -wife and his best friend tries to help him get laid. Can't help but think of the "Swingers" plot. Add some "wine-humour" instead of "SEGA's NHL Hockey" and its the same movie. Still, this movie DOES have its funny moments. Expand
  50. Jonathan
    Dec 30, 2004
    10
  51. SheldonG
    Dec 4, 2004
    10
    Most movies offer 90 minutes of escapism at best with more than a few making me wish I could escape the theatre. Once in a very long while a movie comes along that makes such an impression that days after viewing it I'm still remembering various scenes with great relish. I have not seen a better movie this year. Even as I write this I'm smiling as delectable moments from the Most movies offer 90 minutes of escapism at best with more than a few making me wish I could escape the theatre. Once in a very long while a movie comes along that makes such an impression that days after viewing it I'm still remembering various scenes with great relish. I have not seen a better movie this year. Even as I write this I'm smiling as delectable moments from the movie (of which there are many) come back to entertain me from my memory. This movie is about nuance, emotion, humour and pathos. To those other voters who gave this movie a one or zero I suggest they go back to their freightrains and 120 decibel explosions. Collapse
  52. FrancesM.
    Dec 6, 2004
    8
    Agree with Caroline E. about the aftertaste - it was a bit crass at times...nevertheless I was transfixed during the show.
  53. RubenH.
    Dec 7, 2004
    9
    On Sideways: Intelligently engaging Comment for those who?ve seen the film: In his novel, A Separate Peace, John Knowles writes: Gene writes: "I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family's strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in On Sideways: Intelligently engaging Comment for those who?ve seen the film: In his novel, A Separate Peace, John Knowles writes: Gene writes: "I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family's strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case??? The movie Sideways runs parallel to this novel (the above quote is used in the film), and like the novel, it describes a person(s) constitution and fallibility with equal precision and unabashed frankness rivaling that of the novels?. But that argument would be an essay, and I?m not here to bore you. Suffice it to say that the novel deals with ?adult? transformation, the transformation from adult codependency to self-dependency, and the inevitable internal war that?s brought about in said events. For our character, the transformation happens when the main character, Miles, realizes the consequences of his malicious, albeit ?mis?-directed, actions: the destruction of the peace he finds in others that he doesn?t find in himself. The character enveloping such qualities, Miles, finds himself isolated and remorseful; an internal conflict where self-loathing, fear, love and hate fight for dominance and control. The casualty of this film is Miles. He?s the character that refuses to identify the enemy within himself, unlike Jack at the end; to realize that his stance of non-assertion is nothing but a metaphor for his internal conflict. Expand
  54. AndrewT
    Oct 31, 2004
    10
    It's the greatest film of 2004 and will most likely not be surpassed.
  55. JamesM
    Nov 19, 2005
    10
    It's hard to believe that films such as Sideways exist: films that make the viewer laugh and cry, be shocked and be out of breath, and make them horrified and simultaneously unable to control their laughter. It's a film that takes the viewer in for two hours and drains them of energy as the events that befall the characters become increasingly unpredictable, severe, and often It's hard to believe that films such as Sideways exist: films that make the viewer laugh and cry, be shocked and be out of breath, and make them horrified and simultaneously unable to control their laughter. It's a film that takes the viewer in for two hours and drains them of energy as the events that befall the characters become increasingly unpredictable, severe, and often hilarious. Sideways is a film that should be seen by everyone. Regardless of the fact that it was made merely a year ago, it is one of the greatest films ever made. Expand
  56. AllisonE.
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    I loved this movie. It had complex characters, a simple story, was hilarious and at the same time deeply touching & profound. What a great film- It's going to be sweeping the award shows this year.
  57. JimmyS.
    Jan 13, 2005
    10
    Great movie! Don't listen to the negative reviews by the morally righetous. This movie depicts two charcters honestly. There might not be the "happy ending" (the bad guys in this film don't get their due turns), but life isn't like that.
  58. BradC
    Jan 13, 2005
    10
    Even though I don't drink wine, I could completely relate to this movie. I've a few friends who act exactly like both charcters and even though, I depise the way they act sometimes, I love them with all my heart. And I know, that's hard to grasp, loving someone whose certain traits you hate, but I suppose that's what true diversity is all about. I'm glad someone Even though I don't drink wine, I could completely relate to this movie. I've a few friends who act exactly like both charcters and even though, I depise the way they act sometimes, I love them with all my heart. And I know, that's hard to grasp, loving someone whose certain traits you hate, but I suppose that's what true diversity is all about. I'm glad someone tried making the lowlife the main charcter and showed him bumbling his way through the movie. I love that the supporting charcter didn't get in trouble for cheating on his woman. It's true to some people's life and I'm glad that people got to watch it on screen. I'm also glad that you got mad, but I'm sorry that you transitioned that anger into a negative rating. Expand
  59. PeterA
    Jan 14, 2005
    9
    I'm surprised this movie has faced backlash...if you go see it expecting nothing, you'll find this movie very disarming. POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: there's a scene when Giamatti is eating by himself and sneaks a drink from a bottle. I found myself suddenly breathless and weepy, not from any manipulation or tricks on the part of the director or actor, but from sheer good I'm surprised this movie has faced backlash...if you go see it expecting nothing, you'll find this movie very disarming. POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: there's a scene when Giamatti is eating by himself and sneaks a drink from a bottle. I found myself suddenly breathless and weepy, not from any manipulation or tricks on the part of the director or actor, but from sheer good storytelling and a very human moment. I'm surprised that on here people are saying its a movie about people that make bad decisions. I think its just a movie about human beings, their circumstances, and how they deal with them. I will say that people who tend to like summer blockbusters over all other types of movies may find this one a little slow, however. Expand
  60. joanm
    Jan 16, 2005
    10
    well acted/so funny so human! paul and thomas were the greatest team. have not enjoyed a movie so much in years. and touching to boot!! have a ball go see it!!! you will laugh on your way home. great talent!! need more movies like this!!
  61. RileyB.
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    The problem with 'Sideways' is not the acting, story, direction, or production. But it's all the positive reviews that it's getting. Traditionally, when a movie gets a great review - regardless of the topic - John Q runs out to see it. Then John Q hates it because it (the film), even though it was great, was not his sort of movie. Feeling let down by the critics - and The problem with 'Sideways' is not the acting, story, direction, or production. But it's all the positive reviews that it's getting. Traditionally, when a movie gets a great review - regardless of the topic - John Q runs out to see it. Then John Q hates it because it (the film), even though it was great, was not his sort of movie. Feeling let down by the critics - and having wasting so much money - John Q rips the movie to shreds in his own mind, badmouthing it whenever he gets the chance. This happened to 'Sideways'. I have many friends who went out saw, rented, or bought this movie - based on Metacritic and other review sites. They aren't exactly ones to sit through a movie like this, and I told them that. But no, they didn't want to read up on the plot or anything else about the movie. They went and watched it, and hated it. Now they rant about how "ghey" it was. I saw this film and loved it. Why? Because I like movies like this. This was a grade 'A' film with a great story. What I'm trying to say is read up on a movie before you see it, if you've never sat through a movie like this before - just because it gets good reviews doesn't mean you can sit through this one. It a matter of education, that's the only reason this movie has a 6:9 (+/-) ratio with critics to readers. A matter of education. Oh, and Richards - hate to bother you and all but I'm not a natural borne "American" nor do I follow "American" humor (I despise films like 'Eurotrip', childish s...). But, I loved this film. So go ahead and ostracize me from your chic-Euro-click. Expand
  62. PhilipJ.
    Dec 11, 2005
    10
    Original and entertaining, i can't see why people give this film below 6.
  63. LoriV.
    Jan 28, 2005
    10
    This was a masterpiece of total delight!! Loved it from beginning to end.
  64. KenK.
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    This film is a beautiful collision of humor and poignancy. All of the actors deliver compelling performances, but Giamatti's effort transcends the medium of "acting" as he simply becomes, "Miles", the central character in this drama. It is unconscionable that the Academy overlooked Giamatti for a Best Actor nomination.
  65. BobB.
    Feb 19, 2005
    10
    "This film was offensive"... "should have been an NC17" ... "totally inappropriate" .... You people make me sick! This was a GREAT movie and deserves a much higher score than most of you conservative wackos gave it. In the future, please do us all a favor and abstain from tarnishing the image of wonderful movies because of your own personal insecurities. I highly recommend this movie. Two "This film was offensive"... "should have been an NC17" ... "totally inappropriate" .... You people make me sick! This was a GREAT movie and deserves a much higher score than most of you conservative wackos gave it. In the future, please do us all a favor and abstain from tarnishing the image of wonderful movies because of your own personal insecurities. I highly recommend this movie. Two thumbs up! Expand
  66. WAKOJAKO
    Feb 21, 2005
    7
    Not the overwhelming filmgoing experience critics want you to believe it is, but an altogether well-made film you would enjoy much more on second viewing, especially with a glass of Pinot on hand...
  67. JoseM.
    Feb 23, 2005
    9
    Real acting... Real script... NO TRICKS.
  68. MarkB.
    Feb 24, 2005
    9
    How would you like to be the manager of a major league baseball team and have Alexander Payne in YOUR lineup? With writing partner Jim Taylor, Payne has slammed it out of the park every time he's been at bat, and if you think it's not that difficult to maintain a solid .1000 with only four efforts, just ask Wes Anderson and David O. Russell, who both stumbled badly this past How would you like to be the manager of a major league baseball team and have Alexander Payne in YOUR lineup? With writing partner Jim Taylor, Payne has slammed it out of the park every time he's been at bat, and if you think it's not that difficult to maintain a solid .1000 with only four efforts, just ask Wes Anderson and David O. Russell, who both stumbled badly this past year with THEIR films, just how difficult maintaining 4 out of 4 can be. Much has already been said about Payne's deeply poignant, hilarious and insightful road movie about two very unlikely buddies on the loose in search of wine, women and a final series of pre-nuptial oat-sowings, so just to summarize: Paul Giamatti wuz robbed AGAIN (note to Academy: yes, he once played a character nicknamed 'Pig Vomit' in a Howard Stern movie. Get over it!) Sandra Oh, as a feisty pickup the boys encounter en route, was equally deserving of a nomination if only for her hugely satisfying response to having been lied to. Thomas Haden Church, as said liar and groom-to-be, is so goofily likable that his brazen infidelities before marrying what seems to be a perfectly nice woman inspire a certain amount of empathy if definitely not forgiveness. And the tremendous, career-rejuvenating response given Virginia Madsen's thoroughly lovely, lived-in turn as a world-weary waitress and possible new lease on life for alcoholic would-be published writer Giamatti, just narrowly aces Fahrenheit 9/11's #1 box office debut as 2004's most gratifying piece of movie-related news. Working for the first time with a setting outside his beloved Midwest, Payne displays his remarkably specific gift of minute observation and detail as powerfully as ever--if any American filmmaker's work deserves to go into a time capsule so that generations in future centuries can learn as specifically as possible just how we lived our lives and did everything we did, it's Payne. (As with Citizen Ruth, Election and About Schmidt, Sideways is crammed with literally hundreds of wonderful idiomatic touches in set design, background and dialogue; obviously too many to list, but my favorite here was the little wave that serves as a trademark logo for the low-rent apartment complex we see Giamatti living in during the early scenes.) I don't see why a small contingent of moviegoers continue to believe that Payne patronizes his characters and their milieu: all four of his films are certainly critical of his characters' flaws but elso extremely affectionate toward them as well. I don't think Payne and Taylor have ever created an all-out villain yet; even the biker couple that terrorizes Church and Giamatti near the end obviously enjoys their bizarre sex life so much that the most negative emotion I felt toward them was utter bemusement. The filmmakers know that Giamatti's overfondness for and dependence on the grape and Church's needless womanizing are deserving of sympathy because both are the actions of scared men who are terrified that certain doors are closing for them forever. (One of 2004's most-discussed TV phenomena was Desperate Housewives; you could retitle Sideways Desperate Middle-Aged Single Guys.) The futility of their attempts to deal with this are revealed in 2004's single funniest sight gag: both Giamatti and Church staggering through the traumatic consequences of their actions covered in different kinds of red stuff. And as in About Schmidt (which also deals with a trip of self-discovery taken by a deluded character headed to a wedding that probably shouldn't occur), Sideways ends with a crystallizing moment of clarity for the main character that's so simultaneously sharp, tender and hopeful it just breaks your heart. Again, Payne proves himself that rarest of birds and most precious of jewels: a truly compassionate satirist. Expand
  69. DaniellaD.
    Mar 12, 2005
    10
    The best movie of the year for me...When is it out on DVD as I will be first to buy. Great acting and in my opinion deserved to win all the Oscars! See it now if you have not.
  70. Nick
    Mar 25, 2005
    9
    An excellent movie, on occassion the vino speak was a little over-saturating, but as a whole this is one of the better movies you could see, although its speed is slightly slow for some viewers it kept my interest, and if you dont like watching characters that would actually exist in real life then you wont enjoy this, there is no candy coated image - it is what it is, and its great.
  71. KateC.
    Apr 11, 2005
    10
    Just a great movie!
  72. Sonja
    Apr 14, 2005
    10
    One of those movies that's so good, you wish you could keep on seeing it for the first time!
  73. evert
    Apr 14, 2005
    9
    It seems like theres a lot of morons here that went the wrong way and ended up watching sideways instead of Alexander.
  74. RobertL.
    Apr 29, 2005
    8
    A good, solid movie. It starts slowly, 'til it grabs you by the balls and you are totally immersed in its plot and rich characters. A real winner.
  75. PatC.
    May 16, 2005
    7
    I did not think the characters in this film are really exemplary as having much to offer people. The critical adulation leads me to view our film establishment as animals without backbones. As for the film itself, the presentation is precise and involving. The side commentaries, especially wine appreciation, helps give the show some specialness. Giamatti's maladaptively insecure I did not think the characters in this film are really exemplary as having much to offer people. The critical adulation leads me to view our film establishment as animals without backbones. As for the film itself, the presentation is precise and involving. The side commentaries, especially wine appreciation, helps give the show some specialness. Giamatti's maladaptively insecure character, as the male counterpart for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, was extremely well played and deserving of what recognition he received. I'll concede some personal bias, but it appears I'm not alone in wondering what the hoopla is all about. Expand
  76. J.RyanG.
    May 23, 2005
    9
    A perfect little movie. It is about a critic, which is what draws the critical type into its gentle, simple narrative. And what makes us love the movie is that the critic character--who is a tight bundle of failures, weaknesses, and pain--is ultimately deserving of love. Paul Giamatti plays the greatest alcoholic in the history of the cinema. He is a drunk in each and every scene, though A perfect little movie. It is about a critic, which is what draws the critical type into its gentle, simple narrative. And what makes us love the movie is that the critic character--who is a tight bundle of failures, weaknesses, and pain--is ultimately deserving of love. Paul Giamatti plays the greatest alcoholic in the history of the cinema. He is a drunk in each and every scene, though he is not always drunk. His dependency can be concealed until he bursts, and then it shows itself as a big red devil during moments when, to the sufferer of the malady, there is no such thing as self-control. Alexander Payne writes (with Jim Taylor) and directs the best film of his career. His 1999 film "Election" is one of the most underrated films of the last twenty years, but 2002's "About Schmidt" is one of the most overrated. This is a swift, graceful, uncomplicated movie, and one that hurtles like a brilliant meteor in the right direction. Expand
  77. Harry
    Jul 14, 2005
    9
    A touching, humorous, and fair film. It is a believable portrayl of four interesting characters and how they interact. Good flick!
  78. Steve
    Jul 15, 2005
    7
    Does the movie have good acting? Yes it does. Does the movie have a good storyline? Most certainly. Does the movie cater to my need to have something to think about during the film? Yes, thank god, it does have that. But what
  79. JamesE.
    Oct 12, 2006
    10
    Fantastic. Alexander Payne is one of the best filmmakers alive.
  80. IanM.
    May 15, 2006
    7
    Very good movie...but not great. Users giving this film low scores are probably only impressed by cutting edge special effects or a constant stream of pyrotechnics.
  81. EricG.
    Aug 27, 2006
    10
    This movie brings out the emotion of the everyman. The ups and the downs of life crashing and rising one day to the next.To understand this movie would take nothing more than knowing the compassion of mankind.
  82. BenW.
    May 23, 2007
    10
    Its totally unfair to complain about this movie. I loved it!!!!! it was just so great all the way through. Im only 16 so i dont know if that has anything tgo do with it but its really fantastic
  83. PlanR
    Jun 25, 2008
    8
    I didn't know much about this movie before seeing it so i didnt really know what to expect... This is one great little movie. This is a buddy- road trip movie that works on many levels. Not that unlike Midnight Run (minus the action) or Y Tu Mama Tambien (minus the subtitles). I've never understood the need to have likable characters in a movie like this, this isn't I didn't know much about this movie before seeing it so i didnt really know what to expect... This is one great little movie. This is a buddy- road trip movie that works on many levels. Not that unlike Midnight Run (minus the action) or Y Tu Mama Tambien (minus the subtitles). I've never understood the need to have likable characters in a movie like this, this isn't Spiderman. All the characters need to be is interesting, and these guys are nothing if not interesting. The humor here is mostly subtle but there are several laugh out loud moments. If you have any sort of attention span and can appereciate a well acted, smart, grown-up script, then this might become one of your favorite movies, it certainly is one of mine. Expand
  84. SamS.
    Nov 17, 2004
    9
    The movie is great. I don't know what the "0" and the "3" reviewers were expecting when they went to see an Alexander Payne movie but those scores are akin to vandalism. Were they having bowel cramps during the scene where Miles and Maya talk about why they love wine? That great scene with the connection between the actors has not been in Payne's movies before this.
  85. MikeG.
    Nov 22, 2004
    7
    For me, it was somewhere in between the greatest movie of 2004 and the total disaster some think it was. Alexander Payne is a great director, and has an incredible ability to draw the extraordinary out of the mundane. He can take a generic winery or a boring church and make it look like a world class painting. He's also deft with the dialogue and characters. So, yeah, it should make For me, it was somewhere in between the greatest movie of 2004 and the total disaster some think it was. Alexander Payne is a great director, and has an incredible ability to draw the extraordinary out of the mundane. He can take a generic winery or a boring church and make it look like a world class painting. He's also deft with the dialogue and characters. So, yeah, it should make for a great flick, but somehow it just never adds up with Payne. This is his most cohesive film yet, but it never passed the level of entertaining for me. Payne paints a pretty picture, but he never convinces me to care about or loathe these characters. I can't help wondering if the actors didn't feel the same way. God, I love Giamatti as much as anyone here, and think he's to the 00s what Penn was to the 80s, but he doesn't own the film the way he's owned so many films. There's no there there. This is an entertaining movie with some laughs, and I had a good time with it. But it's not an Oscar film. It's an entertaining movie that has grand ambitions but never quite gets there. Expand
  86. MarcK.
    Nov 24, 2004
    7
    I strongly disliked "Election", and thought that "About Schmidt" was decent but overrated. I'd say this film was also decent, very well-acted, but vastly overrated. I guess I just don't "get" Alexander Payne like everyone else seems to.
  87. StanleyJ.
    Nov 27, 2004
    10
    Reviewers are absolutely right, film just leaves a good taste in your mouth. No cheap movie stuff here, just a good simple story with great actors. Well done.
  88. ThomasM.
    Nov 28, 2004
    9
    What a surprise! I sat down to watch "Sideways" knowing nothing about the film, other than Payne's pedigree and the presence of Giamatti, enough to expect something well above average. Nonetheless, I was blindsided by what may be the best film of the year. Some of the dialogue was absurdly hilarious, and then suddenly, there would be a verbal exchange more real, more beautiful than What a surprise! I sat down to watch "Sideways" knowing nothing about the film, other than Payne's pedigree and the presence of Giamatti, enough to expect something well above average. Nonetheless, I was blindsided by what may be the best film of the year. Some of the dialogue was absurdly hilarious, and then suddenly, there would be a verbal exchange more real, more beautiful than anything I'd come across in a long while. QUESTION--How long will Giamatti's considerable talents go relitively unappreciated. I've watched him steal scenes from Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jim Carey, but still, most would not recognize his name. Hopefully, this is about to change. Cheerio! Expand
  89. JoeyM.
    Nov 29, 2004
    10
    I went into this movie with low expectations. From what I had been told by friends, the critics were wrong - it was long and dull. of course, these are friends who liked "Garfield," but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Anyhow, turns out, my opinion of the movie matched the critics more closely than my negative friends. "Sideways" is a movie, IMO, about dealing with the I went into this movie with low expectations. From what I had been told by friends, the critics were wrong - it was long and dull. of course, these are friends who liked "Garfield," but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Anyhow, turns out, my opinion of the movie matched the critics more closely than my negative friends. "Sideways" is a movie, IMO, about dealing with the disappointments of middle age as seen through the adventures of two guys who haven't really fully grown up. Over the course of the film, we see that the kind of adolescent games they probably used to play when they were freshmen year roommates in college have some pretty major real world repurcusions when played by adults. Paul Giamatti is typically excellent as Miles, a writer and alchoholic who has found himself stuck in a mind numbing job with only a failed relationship and unpublished novel to show for his 30 odd years of life. I have rarely empathized so much with a character in a movie. Howver, I think many people will have had to have experienced what he is experiencing to feel the same way. Outstanding performances by all the leads made for some scenes I found unforgettable - notably one where Giamatti has to recover a lost wallet. Sure, the movie won't be for everyone - what movie is? None-the-less, I found it to be one of the finest I've seen this year. Expand
  90. VinceH.
    Dec 13, 2004
    10
    I am a huge Alexander Payne fan (all his previous films have been on my Top Ten lists each year I saw them) and he continues a remarkable streak of films that are so humane and warm and funny and real and adult that any filmgoer should thank their lucky stars Payne is making movies for us to enjoy. Don't get me wrong, there are many great American filmmakers currently at work, but I am a huge Alexander Payne fan (all his previous films have been on my Top Ten lists each year I saw them) and he continues a remarkable streak of films that are so humane and warm and funny and real and adult that any filmgoer should thank their lucky stars Payne is making movies for us to enjoy. Don't get me wrong, there are many great American filmmakers currently at work, but none as consistent as Payne. He has yet to make ONE SINGLE WEAK film yet. He has not made many, granted, but they are all good. There are so many miracles contained within this film that an in-depth review would take up this whole page, so I will just say that it is one of the best movies of the year and one of the best movies ever made about male friendship. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who has had a close male friend for a long time and dare them not to walk away from this film having not related to either Jack or Miles. Payne perfectly capture the frustration, jealousy, anger, love, appreciaton, and dependence that two friends can have. Jack and Miles are the two fully realized male characters portrayed in a film in years, and it would be a TRAVESTY if this didn't win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (no other movie comes close, and if Marber wins for "Closer" I will kill someone). All the acting is great, but top honors go to Thomas Haden Church who is FANTASTIC every moment here, as well as Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. This is clearly the best ensemble acting of the year for sure. Enough from me, just forget about "Alexander" or "Christmas with the Kranks" or "Blade: Trinity" and find a local indie theater playing this. You won't regret it. Expand
  91. Boybees
    Dec 14, 2004
    10
    This is a beautiful, wry, evocative film. It radiates more humanity than any film I?ve seen in quite a while. The reviewers below who have given it ?1? and ?0? are idiots, plain and simple. I?d like to see an IQ comparison between those who appreciate this film, and those who label it a ?mess? and a ?bore?. There?d be a huge gap, favoring the former group.
  92. JohnA.
    Dec 16, 2004
    9
    Endearing film in which we feel compassion and understanding for the foibles of the characters.
  93. PatrickC
    Dec 17, 2004
    9
    There is so much to this movie that goes unnoticed because of the fact that is is boring as hell. Though never really drags, it is so steady that you find yourself just going through the motions of a slight chuckle every 5 minutes or so, and a sign here and there. The the film can not escape the fact that the comic relief is in a creepy unlikeable character, and the main character is a There is so much to this movie that goes unnoticed because of the fact that is is boring as hell. Though never really drags, it is so steady that you find yourself just going through the motions of a slight chuckle every 5 minutes or so, and a sign here and there. The the film can not escape the fact that the comic relief is in a creepy unlikeable character, and the main character is a downer who never reaches redemption. And when you finally think that something could possibly go right for him, the movie ends. YET, once you get over the fact that you have to wait until Saturday for it to end, it is actually a wonderful piece of art. The movie's wine theme is actually pretty interesting and not only do you learn about all sorts of wine, each character takes on their own type. The movie refers to the patience and hard work that needs to be put into "pinot" to truly extract its true potential. That is exactly what needs to happen for someone to appreciate this film. Oh, and what is it with Payne always putting naked old people in his movies? Expand
  94. KathleenS
    Dec 22, 2004
    8
    I didn't want to see this movie at first because, who cares about a couple of guys in Wine Country getting drunk? But the rave reviews drew me to it; and I found a film unlike any other I've seen. It's like that "Dinner with Andre" -- a film full of words that make you think, and then something new is said or happens, and you forget everything before, and are "in the I didn't want to see this movie at first because, who cares about a couple of guys in Wine Country getting drunk? But the rave reviews drew me to it; and I found a film unlike any other I've seen. It's like that "Dinner with Andre" -- a film full of words that make you think, and then something new is said or happens, and you forget everything before, and are "in the moment." At first I didn't understand why TH Church was nominated and not Paul Giamatti, but I guess it's bec. he really becomes the egomanic lump (not just an actor). Paul almost doesn't have to speak much for us to feel he's perfect for the part (and I apologize and am not saying he must be that way off screen). But we've seen him elsewhere, and he plays these kinds of parts superbly. The script is just sparkling and one of the finest ever written; you never know what's happening next -- which just might be an educational experience for the viewer! but served with a fine wine, so we don't notice it. One thing no one seems to have mentioned is the ordinariness of the set-locations and minor actors. Take a camera to the local oldest cafe in your town, and film the old decor and ordinary people, and you'll see what I mean. I believe this is the first time I've seen such a frumpy film (but it's a perfect setting). I think if I liked more than 3 out of the 4 characters, I would have rated this higher; maybe that's not right, but that's how it is in my book. But the ending was great (and not necessarily in ways you'd expect). Expand
  95. JoeA.
    Dec 25, 2004
    9
    A funny, slightly off-beat comedy that really hits on some poignant human elements. The performances are quite wide in range. A good ending too that fits the movie and its intentions.
  96. ChadS.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    So how did these two guys end up being friends? When(Miles) tells us, I thought to myself, of course. It's a perfect detail, one of many in this "Odd Couple" for the millenium. "Sideways" is cathartic. The laughs this film elicits are genuine. You have to laugh, unlike other films where you laugh just to prove you're not humorless. "Sideways" is the rare film that has characters So how did these two guys end up being friends? When(Miles) tells us, I thought to myself, of course. It's a perfect detail, one of many in this "Odd Couple" for the millenium. "Sideways" is cathartic. The laughs this film elicits are genuine. You have to laugh, unlike other films where you laugh just to prove you're not humorless. "Sideways" is the rare film that has characters who are knowledgable about something. Even if it has to be wine, it's great to eavesdrop on other people's passions. "Sideways" is vaguely similar to "Almost Famous". Like the Crowe film, there's a road movie element and Payne has a lot to say about the decline of contemporary culture in its secondary narrative. Almost by default, "Sideways" is the best American film of 2004. Expand
  97. JoeB
    Dec 22, 2005
    10
    This is what movies should be: well-acted, well-directed, and with great pacing. Though not laugh-out-loud funny, it had subtle humor for the real thinker. Not the 'every man's movie,' but the best movies never are. Certainly worthy of its reviews. An excellent character study.
  98. Jun 4, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The way I see Miles and Jack is as Sideways in their own lives. At a point where it's kind of a midlife crisis, but they're both at completely different relationship places, with an impending wedding and a semi-recent divorce. Their story is told in such a way that they both seem pretty screwed up. This is Payne's way – telling the most screwed-up story possible with it still being funny and he definitely succeeds once again this time around.

    One of the most striking relationships to me was that of Miles and his mother. He only went to visit her to steal her money and she was more interested in his washed-out actor friend than her own son. Mutual disinterest? Anyway, Miles seems to use wine as a crutch in his friendships, his relationships, and he's so obsessed that this is the way Payne shows the humor. Jack's humorous side is the constant desire to ruin the real relationship in his life by multiple different affairs right before his wedding. They're screwed up and we all know it. Miles's "relationship" with Maya is so odd because neither of them is straightforward to talk about anything other than wine, yet they both want it. This transpires throughout.
    Miles is so into his wine, that we kind of see this parallel between life and wine (or Pinot) because there is a peak, a certain complexity to each bottle, and an eventual decline. It reminds me of Miles's life, but everyone else's as well. There's really only one thing that Miles wants other than Pinot. That's to get published. But it ends up that it doesn't work out and "The world doesn't give a **** what I have to say. I'm unnecessary." Same. And what else should we expect with Alexander Payne – everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Stephanie finds out about the wedding, Jack gets his face busted up, Miles has a mental breakdown. They're just trying to survive and get their consolation prizes. A wedding (built on lies) and a call from Maya, yet the ending is uncertain, just like the end of his book.

    I think Sideways was impeccably executed, the cinematography was gaudy and accurate, and the characters were unique and intriguing. As always, intelligently funny & exactly my sense of humor.
    Expand
Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    A beautifully observed, small-scale study of personal foibles, romantic uncertainty and two sides of the sadly predictable male animal.
  2. Hysterically funny yet melancholy comedy.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    In Sideways, Payne has created four of the most lived-in, indelible characters in recent American movies. This deliciously bittersweet movie makes magic out of the quotidian.