Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Like many Altman movies, this is less a dramatic story to follow than an atmospheric environment to visit.
  2. 100
    It is sheer brilliance and testament to the vitality of an old master.
  3. 90
    Robert Altman's surpassingly beautiful ballet movie feels lighter than air -- but in fact it's the great director's most tender and memorable film in years.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    This is an absolutely miraculous movie.
  5. 88
    Altman, showing the ardor and assurance of a master, pulls us into his film with seductive power. You won't want to miss a thing.
  6. 88
    Why did it take me so long to see what was right there in front of my face -- that The Company is the closest that Robert Altman has come to making an autobiographical film?
  7. A funny valentine by an old master, woos us into the dance.
  8. 88
    Director and dancers catch the audience up in a web of imagination.
  9. The key to The Company is the quiet, focused rapture of Neve Campbell, who formally trained in ballet and performed all of her on-screen dances. The tranquil delight she takes in her body becomes its own eloquent form of acting.
  10. A wonderfully vivid and engaging theatrical experience.
  11. 80
    It should be a personal triumph or a personal tragedy, but it's neither: just another moment between curtain-rise and curtain-fall in the glorious business of creating beauty.
  12. Makes the world of ballet, seen by so many as rarefied, accessible and exciting, a rigorous art that yields breathtaking results.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Robert Altman takes an elegant, appealingly unemphatic look at the world of ballet.
  14. Clearly Mr. Altman was enthralled by the company's work process, an alchemy through which sweat and muscularity on the rehearsal-room floor become exquisite abstractions on stage. His pleasure is infectious.
  15. Knowing that the director is Robert Altman gives you a good idea of what to expect: a demimonde of locker-room chatter, catty sniping, backstage politics, high art and low self-esteem. Altman constructs the movie with the same cross-currents of his other ensemble movies.
  16. 75
    Campbell is a sweet presence and a capable dancer, featured in a theatrical pas de deux on an open-air stage during a wild thunderstorm that is one of the film's visual highlights.
  17. A love letter to performers who put their egos and bodies on the line.
  18. 70
    Though the ballets themselves are beautifully shot, they lean heavily in the direction of gimmicky and prop-heavy pieces; they're visually interesting but, by and large, they're not great dance.
  19. 70
    On the plus side, The Company is directed by Robert Altman, who's clearly drawn in by the rare opportunity of putting ballet on film, and who responds brilliantly...The rest of the time, the film fails to catch us up in the workaday intrigues of its characters (most of whom are played by real Joffrey dancers) the way Altman can when he's working in top form.
  20. 70
    Enjoyably lithe and droll yet somehow almost water-soluble; it seems to dissolve onscreen.
  21. Neve Campbell, who cowrote the story with scenarist Barbara Turner, plays one of the dancers; although her character isn't especially interesting, her story furnishes a minimal narrative thread to hold the rest together.
  22. Dedicates itself to the beauty and thrill of bodies and motion and in doing so upstages Altman's cinematic conduit. The medium ultimately surpasses its messenger.
  23. The good thing about The Company is that nothing much happens. The bad thing about The Company is that nothing much happens.
  24. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Robert Altman's gossamer, tension-free meditation on the ballet life, never quite recovers from a performance scene that arrives about 20 minutes in.
  25. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    Dramatic disappointment aside, there is a feel for the unglamorous, demanding lives of the real dancers.
  26. It's plotless. It fits no category -- "docudrama tone poem" probably comes closest.
  27. Lacks what could kindly be called coherence.
  28. 50
    This is a dull, lifeless production that will find favor only with those with an insider's perspective or who feel compelled to praise the acclaimed director's every film, no matter how out-of-touch and pretentious it may be.
  29. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    50
    Ramshackle one minute, pointlessly deliberate the next.
  30. Not a farce, or comedy or drama, but essentially a doodle interrupted by nouveau ballet performances, the entire contraption assembled to please the ego of Neve Campbell.
  31. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    50
    No character other than Antonelli is developed enough to register. Worse, the minor characters, most of whom are played by Joffrey dancers, are simply not actors.
  32. When The Company owns up to what it is -– a performance piece -– it’s glorious. Everything else -– the window-dressing of a fiction film -– just gums up that gloriousness.

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