Whatever Works

Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Features enough genuine laughs to give it decent commercial traction.
  2. 60
    There was always a dreaminess in his vision of the city, but now it feels as distant as the polished floors and the Deco furnishings of the Fred Astaire movies that Boris finds--of course--whenever he turns on the TV.
  3. It's hard to get past the primitiveness of Allen’s fantasies.
  4. 50
    It isn't the laugh riot of the year.
  5. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    50
    This far-fetched, deliberately artificial game of musical chairs -- in which mismatched characters encircle, attract and repel each other -- feels forced, often losing itself in excess verbiage.
  6. The fact that Allen wrote the script in the '70s explains something about why his newest movie feels so old.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Woody, please: Go back to the European locales that so energized you of late.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Whatever Works is very minor Woody, querulous, fitfully funny, and removed from any shared reality.
  9. As Whatever Works creaks along, the attention-getting nastiness of the first half dissipates and it turns into just another Woody Allen overacted sex farce. Of all the insults hurled about in the film, perhaps the worst is its pandering conclusion. What exactly does Allen take his audience for? A bunch of mindless zombies?
  10. The result is Allen's weakest film in years.
  11. 40
    None of it works. Or it works too hard. Whatever.
  12. 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.
  13. A sour romantic comedy, only sporadically amusing.
  14. 40
    A belabored trifle that's occasionally amusing but often just bewildering.
  15. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    40
    Most disheartening of all is that, after shooting four films in a row abroad, Allen seems to have lost his feel for New York locations.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 7 out of 36
  1. 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. Full Review »
  2. JasonP.
    Jul 13, 2009
    1
    Perhaps the worst Woody Allen movie ever. Plot points make no sense: Larry David takes in a homeless girl for no conceivable reason; another Perhaps the worst Woody Allen movie ever. Plot points make no sense: Larry David takes in a homeless girl for no conceivable reason; another man falls and stays deeply in love with her without cause; a woman falls in love with David's character because he falls on her while trying to commit suicide . Southerners are caricatures not characters. And it is unfunny throughout. Even the philosophy and physics he references is more or less out of date. As a number of reviewers mention, _Whatever Works_ is a return to his roots, but this has more to do with Allen's being out of ideas then it is about him updating his classics. Full Review »
  3. Cat
    Jul 3, 2009
    3
    Stale retread of previous films, the humor and the characters feel dated. The only surprising thing was listening to such banal dialog Stale retread of previous films, the humor and the characters feel dated. The only surprising thing was listening to such banal dialog issuing from the mouth of Larry David, who I associate with much sharper and fresher observations. Full Review »