Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. A caustic comedy of Hollywood manners.
  2. A caustic, funny, low-budget treat, shot on digital video.
  3. 80
    I can't recall the last time a picture left me feeling so caffeinated.
  4. Despite its shortcomings, this smart, caustic movie is easily the most incisive and realistic comedy of manners to emerge from Hollywood in quite a while, and that's saying a lot.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Everyone in the cast has his or her solo, and all rise brilliantly to their occasions, notably Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, Mina Badie and a divinely neurotic Jane Adams.
  6. Although the movie -- falls occasional prey to pretension, it's a classic guilty pleasure.
  7. Some of The Anniversary Party's titillation factor rests on the awareness that these are actors playing actors, in roles written specifically for them that at times appear awfully close to home.
  8. 75
    What makes The Anniversary Party intriguing is how close it cuts to the bone of reality--how we're teased to draw parallels between some of the characters and the actors who play them.
  9. Has a loose, improvisatory feel that rings true.
  10. 75
    For all its superfluous and self-conscious moments, the picture is a draining kick.
  11. 70
    They turn what could have been an acting stunt into an intimate and compelling study of bruised emotions.
  12. Cumming and Leigh -- bring to their stylish, incisive and compassionate film an immediacy and a bracing snap.
  13. Energetic, often very funny comedy filled with sharp, vivid performances by a terrific ensemble cast.
  14. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Isn't what you'd call a probing film, but it's a slick and savvy one.
  15. A cautionary tale, a warning not to gather all of your neurotic friends in one room - or better yet, not to have so many neurotic friends.
  16. 60
    The overlapping dialogue and the comedy of famous people playing self-variations is pure Altman (Leigh, not surprisingly, has worked in three Altman films).
  17. As a work of art, the movie, shot quickly on digital video, is genial enough if unrefined.
  18. 50
    If nothing else, the movie proves even the rich and famous make boring home videos.
  19. If one of its points is to show that underused thirtyish actresses still are attractive, it succeeds with Leigh and Cates -- and Jennifer Beals, who also provides a flashback feeling playing Cummings' ex-squeeze.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's a good thing that Cummings and Leigh have such talented friends: They may overstay their welcome, but it's the entertaining guests who end up saving this poorly planned party.
  21. 50
    It's no great surprise that the best part of The Anniversary Party is the acting, even if Leigh and Cumming don't always direct themselves as well as they do some of their co-stars.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Feels more like a backyard relaxation than a movie.
  23. A celebration of the actor's art – but not the dramatist's.
  24. When it's all over, one is less compelled to applaud than to give each "character" a sympathetic hug.
  25. Watchable, if at times familiar.
  26. 40
    The film's greatest failure, however, is the absence of any convincing emotional or sexual relationship between Sally (Leigh) and Joe (Cumming).
  27. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Too familiar in its basic trajectory to be fresh or compelling.
  28. Like so many parties, this one goes on too long.
  29. A heavy dose of movie-colony narcissism posing as warts-and-all honesty.
  30. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    I had a hard time maintaining interest in (let along liking) any of these self-involved Hollywood twerps, and scene after scene is a grating mixture of self-aggrandizement and masochism.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jun 12, 2012
    There's something really attractive about Anniversary Party. I remember when I was about 11 or 12, I used to wake up really early to catch some of the movies I wasn't allowed to watch on Starz. This was one of those. It wasn't until I was much older that I finally sat down and watched the whole film and I still have moments where I just want to revisit it. It really is like a small get together with actors and every time you watch the movie, you relive those moments and meetup with your old friends. Each of the performances are spot on and the writing is entertaining. The characters are narcissistic yes, but you still want more of them. I wouldn't suggest this film to many as it isn't for everyone. But perhaps a theatre actor or someone who's working in university to become an actor would benefit from it. Full Review »