Whatever Works

Whatever Works Image
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Woody Allen returns to New York with an offbeat comedy about a crotchety misanthrope and a naïve, impressionable young runaway from the south. When her uptight parents, arrive to rescue her, they are quickly drawn into wildly unexpected romantic entanglements. Everyone discovers that findingWoody Allen returns to New York with an offbeat comedy about a crotchety misanthrope and a naïve, impressionable young runaway from the south. When her uptight parents, arrive to rescue her, they are quickly drawn into wildly unexpected romantic entanglements. Everyone discovers that finding love is just a combination of lucky chance and appreciating the value of Whatever Works. (Sony Classics)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    No kidding: this is the feel-good movie of the year and a cinematic soul massage.
  2. Ends up being a pleasantly surprising blast from the past, a delightful and amusing touchstone to Allen's comedic prime.
  3. 75
    What makes Whatever Works so enjoyable, aside from the unusually high number of effective one-liners the script contains (this is Allen's funniest movie since Mighty Aphrodite), are its supporting characters.
  4. The result is Allen's weakest film in years.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Woody, please: Go back to the European locales that so energized you of late.
  6. While the film is slightly better than similar efforts Allen made between the ’90s and his recent time in Europe, it’s both too broad and too shallow.
  7. 0
    This toxic, contemptuous, unforgivably unfunny bagatelle finds Allen at his most misanthropically one-note.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 7 out of 36
  1. BrianF
    Jun 21, 2009
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this film! Yes it does seem like Mr. Allen wrote it originally as a play, but so what. Whatever Works worked for me.
  2. BillyS.
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    Any Woody Allen film is a guarantee that it's better than 90% of all the other films out there. He's back in New York and he's Any Woody Allen film is a guarantee that it's better than 90% of all the other films out there. He's back in New York and he's got Larry David in one of the most brilliant casting moves in his career, he's brought Patricia Clarkson back for another hilarious turn and with Harris Savides behind the camera how can it not be great! Come on, It's WOODY ALLEN! Expand
  3. HeyGuys
    Nov 10, 2009
    10
    When a mildly intelligent film comes to theatres, you can count on mediocre critics everywhere jumping at the chance to tear down something When a mildly intelligent film comes to theatres, you can count on mediocre critics everywhere jumping at the chance to tear down something smart in an effort to make themselves seem smarter. It's boring, doodz. And it's not constructive either. This is one of a very small handful of thoughtful movies to come out this year. And because you give pass after pass to shoddy action movies and palatable romances, your affected snobbery just comes across as anti-intellectual. And I'm not even saying this is a super duper intellectual movie! But compared to... everything else... well. Expand
  4. WendyS.
    Jul 14, 2009
    9
    Do not believe the critic reviews--judging from the roaring laughter in the theater, a good time was had by all!
  5. KathleenCm
    Sep 20, 2009
    8
    Time's review is correct, it is a life affirming film and very funny.
  6. billc
    Oct 29, 2009
    7
    Feels very woody allen like of course and with a dash of Larry davids Curb charactor. Certainly watchable if you enjoy Curb or Woodies works. NOTHING
  7. CharlieG
    Nov 1, 2009
    0
    Finally a movie that has made Cube look like quality entertainment. Perhaps like me you saw the previews and thought, hey, what a witty film! Finally a movie that has made Cube look like quality entertainment. Perhaps like me you saw the previews and thought, hey, what a witty film! Don't worry, you just saw the only four funny lines in the film. Whatever Works should have been advertised as lite porn for octogenarians, and even they might get turned off by the incessant yammering spewed from Bore_us that passes for...intellectual charm? There's only so much poorly phrased "quantum mechanics" based put-downs a person can tolerate from a liberal arts major. Perhaps Melody isn't the only one who could stand to benefit from some college courses. But don't misunderstand, it's not just bad wording this film suffers from. Nor is it the fact that the main character is an opportunistic pedophile, or that all of the women are just waiting to get it on with multiple men (and I use that term loosely as there is only one hot man in the entire film). It's the complete flaunting of religion, life purpose, and basic human decency responsibility. Instead of fathers being fathers you get sex crazed closet homosexuals; instead of mothers being mothers you get promiscuous pimps that are OK with their daughters being whores to older men but really would prefer shallower jerks with nicer exteriors. And instead of younger women being intelligent, responsible, or even mildly desirous of having children you get brainless ditzes who are not just OK with having sex, but have no other life meaning. This movie makes me want to join the American Riffle Association in case there are any zealous fans infesting my neighborhood. I'd be happy to help Woody achieve better results with these failed suicide attempts I hear he's struggling with. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews

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