The Village Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 339 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 40
  2. Negative: 10 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Made with such elegance, atmosphere and wonderfully mannered performances it will nestle deep inside your head, refusing to budge. The more you ponder it, the better it becomes.
  2. The Village is a better movie (than Signs) --probably his best since "The Sixth Sense"--but it indulges Shyamalan's penchant for messianic uplift.
  3. It doesn't take a genius IQ to figure out the movie's final twist far in advance, leaving the attentive viewer to wonder only about how Shyamalan will pull it off and to hope the movie doesn't turn silly.
  4. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    When the secret is finally divulged, it’s such a letdown that it feels unfairly manipulative to have sat through such agonizing tedium.
  5. 40
    The film's gotcha! payoff doesn't justify the gloomy journey.
  6. 30
    It's exasperating watching so much top-drawer talent wasted in a film that wraps itself up with one of the most preposterous (not to mention obvious) endings the genre has ever seen.
  7. It's bad enough to make parable a four-letter word.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 220
  1. Aug 4, 2012
    I'd like to say two things about myself before starting this review. First of all, I almost always agree with critical ratings for movies. Second of all, I like to go into movies without knowing anything about them except their critical ratings and/or Oscar/Golden Globe performance. I watched The Village because of a friend's recommendation, knowing nothing about it or its director, M. Night Shyamalan. Halfway through the movie, I knew it was great. After it was over, I was certain it was one of my favorite movies ever. Much to my surprise, I found out later that it had mixed critical reviews at best. To this day, however, this is by far my favorite film of 2004. My theory is that too many people went into this movie knowing at least one of two things: the director of the movie and everything in the trailer. Shyamalan is known for making movies with silly twists and awful dialogue, so I think too many people failed to give this movie a fighting chance. And the trailer made this movie look like a cruddy horror movie. I certainly wouldn't have watched it after watching the trailer, and if I had liked what I saw in the trailer, the movie probably would have been disappointing. So to those who haven't seen it, know that this movie tells a love story. The setting of the movie does not make the movie. The plot twists (though very well done I think) do not make the movie. The suspense/mystery helps make the movie engaging, but does not make the movie. As it should be with any great movie, the characters make the movie, and the three main characters (acted superbly by Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Adrien Brody) are interesting, believable, and imperfect. Expand
  2. marshallm.
    Nov 5, 2005
    I was saddend when i saw how bad the reviews were of this movie. i loved how it played out, it shocked me. i was glad it didn't turn into a monster-slasher movie. it deserved better rattings. Expand
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    This is one of the most misunderstood and misjudged films that I have ever seen. It's a powerful story and an incredibly fascinating study of human nature, the psyche, and of society. The main reason for poor reviews centers around disappointment over the fact that the film isn't about what people thought it would be about going into it. People who are big lovers of slasher and horror films saw the trailers and thought that this was going to be one of those. It is not. So, if you're looking for those kinds of thrills, you may be disappointed. If you watch this with an open mind and don't set yourself up with expectations, you may be pleasantly surprised by a powerful film.

    The acting is superb. William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Adrian Brody, Joaquin Phoenix, and newcomer Bryce Dallas Howard all deliver outstanding performances. Their characters are both believable and engender empathy from the audience. They are deeply human portrayals.

    The story, while requiring some suspension of belief, is plausible. It's a fascinating story about what happens to people who try to escape the sorrow and pain of their past by living in an idyllic, "innocent" society, only to discover that the very crimes and fears they sought to escape are lurking right in their their own society and in their own hearts. This is a thriller with a very realistic human dimension, if you are willing to enter into it and see it.

    The music is superb and fits the tone of the film very well. It's dramatic and emotive. I thought M. Night Shyamalan did a fantastic job with writing and directing this film. His curse is the huge success he achieved with The Six Sense and then having to live up to and exceed that stellar success. If you can set aside your preconceived notions of what one of his films is "supposed" to be about, you will enjoy another of his classic films. I think this is one of his best.
  4. j30
    Nov 9, 2011
    This had the premise of a great movie if M. Night Shyamalan didn't screw up the ending. The film leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This is when Shymalan's writing and directing begins to slip. Expand
  5. Jul 3, 2013
    Boring. Pretentious. Slow. All words that describe this travesty of a movie. The biggest problem with The Village is that it tries so obviously hard to be smart, and that everyone involved thinks they're being really clever. The sad truth is, they aren't. And what the hell was that ending? Really, guys? THAT"S the best you've got? Expand
  6. Jon
    Mar 4, 2006
    i gave it a 3 because at least its a movie, but in short. It sucked. no plot no storyline.
  7. RottenC.
    Aug 5, 2006
    Unbearbly lame, unwatchable tripe; one of the worst "films" I have ever seen.

See all 220 User Reviews