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. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    No kidding: this is the feel-good movie of the year and a cinematic soul massage.
  2. 75
    It's a slight-but-enjoyable effort, and it features something a little on the surprising side: an optimistic ending.
  3. 75
    Yellnikoff, played with perfect pitch by Larry David.
  4. 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.
  5. Easily one of the loosest, most satisfying comedies to hail from the prolific writer/director in a while.
  6. 75
    At one and the same time it feels like a decent-but-not-great film of his '70s period and a perky and tart entry in his modestly successful revival in the last half-decade. Neat trick.
  7. Ends up being a pleasantly surprising blast from the past, a delightful and amusing touchstone to Allen's comedic prime.
  8. 67
    Though Clarkson acquits herself reasonably well in a terribly conceived role, her entrance interrupts David’s hilariously twisted mentorship of Wood and sends the movie careening in a far less promising direction.
  9. 63
    Whatever Works feels like something out of time and, worse, out of step. Hell, Allen wrote the script back in the 1970s for Zero Mostel.
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 »