Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 19
  2. Negative: 6 out of 19
  1. 90
    A very important film that is as sad as it is uplifting. After viewing it you may just have a whole new appreciation for life.
  2. 70
    Writer-director Thom Fitzgerald -- his previous feature was "The Hanging Garden" -- has managed to make a comedy about assisted suicide that hardly feels black at all.
  3. Has such quiet power that it is actually not depressing, and the cast follows suit with Dukakis, Carver and Posey, rising to the occasion.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    There's a lot of talent on display here: Dukakis has never been better and once again Fitzgerald proves himself to be a filmmaker of unfailing sensitivity, capable of transforming what could have been distastefully flip or overly lachrymose into something humorous but deeply heartfelt.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Brown
    58
    Aggressively drab and granular, the movie feels like a late-'80s AIDS passion play given an ill-fitting post-Sept. 11 makeover.
  6. Reviewed by: Allison Benedikt
    50
    Just sit, feel a little blue and watch Parker Posey wander through New York in an ugly conservative suit. In "Blade," at least she'll get a snazzier wardrobe.
  7. The topic is thought-provoking, the flashback-based structure is interesting, and there are surprising twists near the end. But there's also an overdose of sentimentality that badly dilutes the picture's impact.
  8. Other than the terribly miscast Posey, the cast is solid, with Dukakis wrenching the heart as a mother tested to the max by her son's request. But the movie didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
  9. 50
    A good edit would have allowed the film's worthy, obviously heartfelt, message to shine.
  10. It's a movie about a nice guy with a lot of friends who dies. It's not really about the wider tragedy the film aspires to represent.
  11. A dawdling affair that never finds its own rhythm. Early on, it gets lost in its own earnestness and never finds its way back.
  12. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    Middling drama about euthanasia, worked out through a sprawl of underdeveloped characters.
  13. 50
    Intelligent, moving, but annoyingly self-satisfied.
  14. 38
    Dukakis gets off some of the film's best lines and keeps the worst from sinking the whole affair; Polley's role is limited, but her character's audition for a feminine hygiene commercial is by far the best thing here.
  15. 30
    As reasoning, this is manipulative -- as filmmaking, it’s dull.
  16. 30
    A deadly earnest, relentlessly solemn affair.
  17. Despite its impeccable acting and subtle backdrop of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, The Event lets its message overwhelm its emotion.
  18. Heartfelt but interminable movie.
  19. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    20
    Shot on crummy DV and told via flashbacks, the film largely plays out like a Reagan-era "Citizen Kane." Common sense wrecks even the film's funniest bit, and the director's nausea-inducing camera observes the hysteria in perpetual pan-and-scan.

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