Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 30
  2. Negative: 9 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 6, 2012
    A well-acted but narratively limp indie that's undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience.
  2. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    Sep 8, 2012
    Cooper, who looks appealingly wolfish in his expensively tailored suits, plays the whole thing with a dutiful, earnest expression lacquered on his face, his eyes misting on cue at the exact same moments yours will be rolling into the back of your head.
  3. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Sep 9, 2012
    Hoariest of all are the exhortations to make distinctions between "fiction" and "life."
  4. 30
    The movie, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, is desultory when it's not inept, but the set-up is so good that you can't help sticking it out to the (unforgivable) end.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 7, 2012
    The acting, script and direction - not to mention the syrupy score - conspire to make this a perfect storm of a hoot that will find its most appreciative audience among renters who have had a few glasses of wine beforehand.
  6. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 6, 2012
    A nitwit story about a nitwit author who has written a nitwit novel about a nitwit author who has published a nitwit novel which, in fact, he has stolen wholecloth from another writer whose personal behavior, as fictionalized in the novel-within-the-novel-within-the-film, can charitably be described as...nitwit.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 6, 2012
    Even the story-within-a-story structure doesn't pay off. This material needed more substance and ideas - and less flash and sumptuous production values.
  8. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 5, 2012
    The film folds narratives on top of narratives in a vain attempt to mask the fact that there's nothing to read between its graceless lines.
  9. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 5, 2012
    The idiotic melodrama The Words is a maddening contradiction: a film about the publishing industry and a great literary fraud that doesn't have a literary bone in its body or a thought in its pretty, empty little head.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Sep 7, 2012
  2. Sep 18, 2012
    My wife and I saw the "The Words" today. There are no sex scenes, no fantastic chase scenes, no animation, no cutseu little kids. None of these...just a great story, with great dialog and characters so real they came out of the screen to share the popcorn. Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, and Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, and Zoe Saldana earned every dime they were paid for bringing these characters, and this story to life. Full Review »
  3. Jan 3, 2014
    These people are out of their minds. This movie was hands down one of the best films to come in a long time, without use of special effects or fancy gimmicks...pure genius storywriting. As an avid reader and film watcher, I have to say anyone who didn't give this at least an 8 has the attention span of a 5 year old. Full Review »