Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced toThe Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man’s work and for placing ambition and success above life’s most fundamental three words. (CBS Film) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 30
  2. Negative: 9 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 6, 2012
    75
    Amazingly, though, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, cowriters and codirectors of The Words, have the audacity - and the skill sets - to pull this all off. They wrest emotional truth out of hokum. They also wrest intelligent, nuanced performances from their cast.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Sep 7, 2012
    60
    The Words founders on a spurious dichotomy between love and art. Which is a pity, because the movie is smart and persuasive on the casually incremental way in which plagiarism becomes an option for people like Rory - and perhaps for anyone.
  3. Reviewed by: Adam Litovitz
    Sep 7, 2012
    50
    The Words suggests that a story, whether true or not, can help get us through, if we believe it enough. Though this film can't quite pull it off, a good enough thief can get away with it.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Sep 6, 2012
    40
    For a tale of thieving, The Words plods along. Not that a literary heist is as exciting as a bank robbery, but there's a remarkable lack of tension in this story.
  5. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 6, 2012
    38
    A well-acted but narratively limp indie that's undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 5, 2012
    16
    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.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. Sep 18, 2012
    10
    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 ofMy 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. Expand
  2. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    OMFG Critics give 37% to this film Just 3 good critics ...
    They have in the eyes or what !
    This is a very good film, with a good story,
    OMFG Critics give 37% to this film Just 3 good critics ...
    They have in the eyes or what !
    This is a very good film, with a good story, good casting !
    Need more of that ?
    The actor is sexy for girls, Olivia Wilde is very lovely with more weight and all actors play well ...
    And critics give 37% 1/3 and this guys have been pay for this ...
    The world turns upside down
    Expand
  3. May 6, 2013
    9
    It was an intelligent movie that only someone like Brad Cooper could put off as lead role. Such a relief from the mindless hollywoodIt was an intelligent movie that only someone like Brad Cooper could put off as lead role. Such a relief from the mindless hollywood dumb-you-down movies that kept me in suspense. I didn't want the movie to end. We need more movies like these..... Expand
  4. Sep 2, 2013
    7
    Panned by critics, I didn't hold out much hope for The Words, a three generation story filled with nuanced characters and some truly greatPanned by critics, I didn't hold out much hope for The Words, a three generation story filled with nuanced characters and some truly great dialogue that brings out a wonderfully creative story that may make you cringe from time to time but mainly it will make you ponder how moral you really think you are. When an acclaimed author Clay (Dennis Quaid) is introduced to Daniella (Olivia Wilde), a young woman who wants to hear his latest story about a down on his luck writer Rory Bradley Cooper) who steals an old man (Jeremy Irons) story and must deal with the consequences, Daniella and Clay must decide what lives they want to live and who they want to be moving forward. An in depth look into love and obsession but most of all the power of admiration and the lengths we will take to give and receive it. The Words is understandably obsessed with paying tribute to the power of the written word and the great words that come from writers with something to say and maybe that's why the script by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal is so good as every story has a personality while they play into each other. The performances are mostly great except for the constantly awful Zoe Saldana as Rory's irritating partner. The standouts are Quiad and Irons as two haunted men, one wrapped up in his own guilt and success, the other mourning the life he once had and failed to find again. It's a complex story that is filled with emotion, some overplayed but most of it hitting the mark making for a wonderful, if not a little upsetting movie that really gets to the centre of peoples wants and desires as it tells us its alright to dream of becoming more. Expand
  5. Sep 16, 2012
    6
    A weak 6 not a strong one. It has the worst ending in Hollywood history! You are sitting there mildly enjoying this movie and then barf! TheA weak 6 not a strong one. It has the worst ending in Hollywood history! You are sitting there mildly enjoying this movie and then barf! The movie just stops. This movie has one redeeming quality that maintains my attention and makes this movie worth watching. That is the Dennis Quaid factor. That man is the worst actor I have ever seen! I just love watching his movies just like I like watching train wrecks. I have seen that man march across frozen tundra, get punched by schizophrenic aliens, even get eaten by Jaws. I can surely watch him do what he does best... stand up in front of a podium like a stiff board and read from a teleprompter. Expand
  6. Sep 11, 2012
    6
    "The Words" is by no means a great film, but it is not a dreadful film either. It tells the story of a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper), who"The Words" is by no means a great film, but it is not a dreadful film either. It tells the story of a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper), who is faced with the choice to pass off another writer's novel as his own. Because so much of the story rests on the writer's thoughts and not on his external actions, the material does not lend itself well to a visual medium like film. Also in a day and age where publishing is dominated by nonfiction, novelizations of movies and genre fiction, it's hard to image someone risking so much in the pursuit of wealth and fame as a novelist of literary fiction. Rather than pass a novel as his own, more likely someone would use a novel as the basis for a screenplay, where it could be potentially sold for a substantial amount of money. With rare exceptions, the goal from the sale of literary fiction would more realistically lead to a professorship at a prestigious university.

    However, given the limitations of the story, the filmmakers do their best to make it visual and to subvert expectations. In other words, the story doesn't always go into an obvious direction, but without going into specifics, it doesn't always follow a logical path.

    For those yearning for something a bit smarter than the average mass market pictures, "The Words" is worth consideration. The cast including Cooper do a good job given the limitations of the material. Zoe Saldana is totally underutilized in the film. She is relegated to the "supportive wife" role where most of her scenes involve her either flirting or encouraging her beau in some way.
    Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2013
    1
    This is one of the worst films I have ever seen. I had to watch it to the end to see how bad it would be and it really was terrible. Not oneThis is one of the worst films I have ever seen. I had to watch it to the end to see how bad it would be and it really was terrible. Not one of the portrayals rang true. Every major player looked like they were out for an easy payday. The post war locales in France were laughable. The storyline was totally unbelievable. All of the players have done some fine work in the past, but this really stinks. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

Trailers