Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 16, 2014
    88
    Nearly every scene is contrived, but Melfi has a nice way with dialogue, and the cast is uniformly outstanding.
  2. Reviewed by: Gregory Ellwood
    Sep 7, 2014
    83
    This may not be his signature work, but it’s Murray at the top of his game in the type of role audiences want to see him in.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 9, 2014
    80
    Murray is always a delight, but his films with kids (“Meatballs,” “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”) give his unencumbered playfulness even more room to roam.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 7, 2014
    80
    With St. Vincent, the chief pleasure is comedy, which typically arises from waiting to discover what Bill Murray might do next.
  5. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 15, 2014
    78
    If you scratch the surface too deeply, a few things might not ring true, but there’s no greater pleasure to be had than the film’s opening and closing sequences during which Murray, alone on the screen, dances, then sings along to the music coming through his headphones.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 23, 2014
    75
    This is first and foremost Murray's show, and the shortcomings in Melfi's script and direction are strangely appreciated. They give this singular comedian, who doesn't do it often enough these days, the room to let his buffalo heart roam.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Oct 17, 2014
    75
    A funny and appealing film.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 17, 2014
    75
    Lieberher, a Philly native transplanted to L.A., is a reed-thin, wide-eyed wonder. There's none of that precocious Hollywood child-actor stuff going on; he's seriously thinking about what he has to say, assessing his words and their implications. It's rare to see any actor - let alone a novice, barely out of the single digits - so readily and naturally displaying inner thought in front of the camera.
  9. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 17, 2014
    75
    St. Vincent may be a little kinder and gentler than the likes of "Bad Santa," but there's enough inappropriate behavior and comedic friction to fuel an entertaining 103 minutes.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 16, 2014
    75
    The iconic actor may be too gruff for sainthood, but Murray still retains a secret stash of soul.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 16, 2014
    75
    For all the boozed and abusive amusement provided by the great Bill Murray in the good-enough St. Vincent, the moment I liked best was Naomi Watts as a pregnant Russian stripper, manhandling a vacuum across the Murray character's ancient carpet. In movies as in life, it's the little things.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 10, 2014
    75
    St. Vincent is a piece of very well-made cheese, a movie in which one can feel its manipulations and heart-string pulling, but the talented ensemble makes those critical talking points easy to dismiss.
  13. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 8, 2014
    75
    The crowd-pleasing St. Vincent provides Murray with his first comic vehicle in years. It’s a tour de force and a cause for major celebration.
  14. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Oct 8, 2014
    75
    Murray, of course, can play a redeemable misanthrope with one hand tied behind his back. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he has to do here because writer-director Theodore Melfi reins in his leading man with a script that doesn't know when to stop troweling on the sap.
  15. 75
    Murray and writer-director Theodore Melfi play us like a music box, manipulating and charming our socks off even as the Vincent for whom the film is named curses, gambles, drinks and cheats — all in front of an impressionable 10-year old.
  16. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 7, 2014
    75
    It's fascinating to watch Murray act circles around his existing appeal and play into it at the same time. Melfi's likable but utterly formulaic movie never rises to a similar level of ambition, which in this case actually works in its favor. It gives Murray room to play.
  17. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Sep 7, 2014
    75
    Formulaic, and at times a bit Sundance-by-numbers, it's still hard to deny that the charms of St. Vincent work even if you clearly can see the narrative machinery moving.
  18. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Oct 9, 2014
    70
    Naturally, Mr. Murray is a joy to watch. And he has brought so much joy to so many grumpy people he deserves whatever accolades he can accrue, even for a career-assessment comedy like St. Vincent.
  19. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 9, 2014
    70
    In a roundabout way, St. Vincent delivers, though less as a film than a platform for an object lesson by St. Bill in effortless acting.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 7, 2014
    70
    Melfi comes up with any number of good and effective scenes and there’s plenty to enjoy in the performances.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 24, 2014
    63
    Stay in your seat for the end credits, in which Murray waters a dying plant and karaokes to Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm." That alone is worth double the price of admission.
  22. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 16, 2014
    63
    Here’s how good an actor Bill Murray is. He does such a bristly, entertaining turn as a boozy curmudgeon in St. Vincent, that he saves first-time director Theodore Melfi’s obvious dramedy from sliding into a burbling sinkhole of schmaltz.
  23. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 16, 2014
    63
    As a showcase for Murray’s proven rapport with his audience, St. Vincent occasionally threatens to become a self-congratulatory victory lap. But as a celebration, it’s a chance to revel in the Murray personae — wiseacre, hipster, humble man of the street and hell of a nice guy — that has allowed him somehow to reach mass-media stardom while retaining his own idiosyncratic niche.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 9, 2014
    63
    A film in which precocious kids say things real kids never would, and larcenous drunks come off as adorable.
  25. Reviewed by: Elise Nakhnikian
    Oct 9, 2014
    63
    The actors create emotionally coherent and sympathetic characters from a collection of often contradictory, monumentally irresponsible, or just plain improbable actions.
  26. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Jan 9, 2015
    60
    The home stretch is drenched in sticky-sweet sentiment, but Murray’s fans will rejoice at the chance to see their idol in full-on grouch mode.
  27. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    Dec 1, 2014
    60
    Murray’s finest, funniest, meatiest performance since "Lost In Translation" — just a shame it’s contained in such a lightweight dramedy.
  28. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 16, 2014
    60
    Melfi, who also wrote the script, goes for broke on the sappy front. It's a credit to Murray's skill — or maybe the strength of his personality — that he never submits completely to all the heart-string tugging.
  29. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Oct 10, 2014
    60
    The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.
  30. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 9, 2014
    60
    The actors don’t do all the heavy lifting by themselves. The uniformly good performances make it clear that Mr. Melfi knows how to handle actors, and there are some funny bits.
  31. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 7, 2014
    60
    St. Vincent has nothing on Rushmore, an obvious forebearer, even though it strains for the same egalitarian spirit of thrown-together family, one that includes a pregnant Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and a sympathetic but firm Catholic schoolteacher (Chris O’Dowd).
  32. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Sep 7, 2014
    60
    There is a contrivance to both story and script that grates, rubs up against Murray’s appeal as a loose cannon.
  33. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 10, 2014
    58
    Schmaltz this thick requires a director who can at least make us feel that our tears are not being shamelessly jerked. But St. Vincent is too clunky to hide its tear-slicked tracks. Maybe that’s a good thing. At least that’s more endearing than being worked over by a smooth operator who knows exactly which buttons to press.
  34. Reviewed by: Jesse Hassenger
    Oct 8, 2014
    58
    St. Vincent goes down easier than it probably should. It helps that Lieberher, though saddled with some cutesy movie-kid dialogue, makes a sweet and empathetic sidekick for Murray (he calls him “sir” constantly, like Marcie in old Peanuts strips), and that McCarthy, like so many gifted comedians, proves capable of playing it straight as needed.
  35. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 16, 2014
    50
    So it is with St. Vincent, which might be Murray’s “Gran Torino” if you squint at it from one angle, or “Old Meatballs” if you come at it from another.
  36. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 16, 2014
    50
    The problem on which the movie turns is this: Bill Murray’s natural quality as an actor exudes self-knowledge and knowledge of the world. If he looks depressed, the aura suggests, it’s not because he knows less than we do. He knows more. Murray brings that quality to bear in St. Vincent, but it doesn’t fit.
  37. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 9, 2014
    50
    Murray, as always, supplies any number of small, memorable moments — he ultimately relies on the same defanged sentimentality.
  38. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 8, 2014
    50
    St. Vincent is even sappier and more committed to yanking heartstrings and manipulating emotions than Hyde Park On Hudson or The Monuments Men, and ultimately even more precious and treacly.
  39. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 8, 2014
    50
    Lazy, eccentric, chain-smoking and accident-prone, Mr. Murray gives ’em what they clamor for. His eventual redemption as a saint in disguise is predictable. The direction is negligent and the jokes are mild. It’s an O.K. little picture that doesn’t really go anywhere, but it has a resonance that is easy on the heart.
  40. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Oct 7, 2014
    50
    Some moments still work after the movie grows mawkish.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 51
  2. Negative: 2 out of 51
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    9
    I'll watch pretty much anything with Bill Murray in it but I went to see this with lowish expectations having read some lukewarm reviews. ItI'll watch pretty much anything with Bill Murray in it but I went to see this with lowish expectations having read some lukewarm reviews. It just goes to show you shouldn't be influenced too much by reviews. This is a great film IMHO, possibly one of Murray's best. The whole cast is great and while it may be a bit mawkish and predictable it hits all the right notes with both the comedy and the drama.

    Highly recommended.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2014
    10
    Run don't walk to see this wonderful movie. Bill Murray's acting should earn him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor as it may be his finestRun don't walk to see this wonderful movie. Bill Murray's acting should earn him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor as it may be his finest work ever! If you are coming to see Bill Murray doing strictly comedy then this isn't for you. He does have deadpan comedic lines in his performance but this is not what this story is about. Murray plays a Senior Citizen where life has beaten him to a pulp. As a result, he's turned his back on humanity. He's a totally broke down on his luck gambler, alcoholic, deadbeat, liar, buys sex, thief, and is short tempered. Not exactly your typical Saint. But underneath this complex man, with all his failings, lies the still beating heart of a warrior. He befriends a small boy who is acted superbly in this masterpiece. He teaches him about life and never to settle for ordinary. Murray's character hides a secret which explains why he's become this miserable old person. Melissa McCarthy plays it straight as the mother of Oliver {the boy}. She is outstanding in a supporting role as she demonstrates she can really act besides just doing comedy. The entire ensemble cast is just terrific. The movie continues to build until it finally reaches its crescendo. If you have blood pumping thru your heart you should really enjoy this movie. This is Murray's showcase movie. Go see and enjoy! Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2014
    10
    The best kind of movies are the ones which make you laugh and cry. Bill Murray has discovered another great new writer/director to follow. TheThe best kind of movies are the ones which make you laugh and cry. Bill Murray has discovered another great new writer/director to follow. The movie makes you care about all the characters: the troubled, grouchy old man who does kind deeds, the Russian pregnant prostitute, the adopted son with the divorcing parents and the priests who are told why the mother couldn't get pregnant is absolutely hilarious. It's a touching story and very well written and laid out. This is why we go to the movies! Full Review »