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Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his spare time with drink versus the art ofPrep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his spare time with drink versus the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche)—an abstract painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. From the start, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish. With a performance review looming and his teaching job on the line, Jack hatches an inspired plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 5, 2014
    88
    A thoughtful film about ideas — creativity, the power of language and the eloquence of visuals — it features two impeccable performances full of vitality.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 23, 2014
    75
    Words and Pictures is a minor effort from Schepisi, but minor Schepisi still trumps most of what’s out there.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 6, 2014
    63
    A kind of Tracy/Hepburn rom-com with a "Dead Poets Society" backdrop and dollops of human failing for added drama, Words and Pictures stars Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche - a matchup that makes you want to like Fred Schepisi's film, even when it becomes impossible to do so.
  4. 50
    Words and Pictures is the cloying title of a cloying little comedy made by talented people who, not that long ago, deserved better than this, and knew it.
  5. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 4, 2014
    50
    The story is rather creaky, but who cares when the actors Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche are so sublime together? Even though the film creates an artificial construct that rings hollow, the two central characters generate great heat and interest. Their presence is enough to keep the film’s nattering foolishness at bay.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 22, 2014
    40
    In the end, the only question of consequence that the story poses is whether superior acting can prevail over inferior writing. The answer lies not in the stars.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 21, 2014
    25
    Clive Owen stumbles around the scenery doing unfortunate drunken-writer shtick in Words and Pictures, a formula movie whose script is yet more unfortunate.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jun 21, 2014
    10
    This is an updated version of the kind of movie Hepburn and Tracy used to star in--a romantic comedy in which competition and hostility turnsThis is an updated version of the kind of movie Hepburn and Tracy used to star in--a romantic comedy in which competition and hostility turns into love. The updating is darker, less breezy--both are wounded animals--her ability to paint compromised by rheumatoid artrhritis; his ability to write compromised by alcoholism, The movie is distinguished by a smart, literate script and stunning performances. Juliette Binoche, either carefully made up or with n o makeup at all, is a beautiful sight, and sher catches the toughness, warmth, and humor of the character to perfection. But it is Clive Owen's movie--a late scene when he apologizes to his son is a study in shame and Owen shrinks to half his size. It's the achievement of his or of anyone's career--simply remarkable work. Schepisi's direction is flawless. Expand
  2. Jun 16, 2014
    7
    Clive Owen is the prep school English instructor with demons, including alcohol. The new art teacher (Juliette Binoche) has her ownClive Owen is the prep school English instructor with demons, including alcohol. The new art teacher (Juliette Binoche) has her own challenges, but as you expect, they end up together. Meanwhile, they inspire their students with a battle between writing and art. Despite that fact that the script is predictable and spends too much time selling its intellectual points, all of the performances are engaging, especially Owen who is compelling & Binoche who is enchanting. Combine that with crisp direction and this slight little romance takes on an agreeable slant. Expand
  3. Jun 8, 2014
    7
    Despite a few plot devices that don't work, as well as some cliched narrative elements that could have used a little tweaking, "Words andDespite a few plot devices that don't work, as well as some cliched narrative elements that could have used a little tweaking, "Words and Pictures" is a charming slice of life, battle-of-wits rom-com that's a cut above the typical fare of this genre. The pairing of Owen and Binoche is terrific, and they have great chemistry together, elevating the material to a level that lesser performers would not have been able to do. Expand
  4. Jun 17, 2014
    7
    Juliette Binoche is charming as the handicapped art teacher who handles a huge paint brush suspended from the ceiling with aplomb (the creditsJuliette Binoche is charming as the handicapped art teacher who handles a huge paint brush suspended from the ceiling with aplomb (the credits state that she is the actual artist). Clive Owen plays the alcoholic writer with conviction. The word games are entertaining. And the romance is convincing, even though the competition among the students isn't always (most of them are in both classes). Expand
  5. Sep 21, 2014
    5
    If you set a film at a prep school and picture basically obedient, ideally brought up students, this is about as good as you can manage toIf you set a film at a prep school and picture basically obedient, ideally brought up students, this is about as good as you can manage to get. The debate, although kind of fudged at the end, was reasonably good (given the setting and all those unrealistically nice young people), but the main symbolic characters, other than the one played by Juliette Binoche, were pretty cliché. I admire Clive Owen for trying, but his drinking was not really convincing and frankly as a former English major, I found him a bit insulting and over the top. Not all – or most of – literature is edifying. Much of it is very dark actually. Binoche had the far easier character – she was made cold by real physical suffering – something no one made much of – no one asked why this great painter was stricken (told you there were very few dark thoughts in here), but Binoche was convincing in her depiction of the pain and frustration of her disease and also quite good at being curt and insulting, but after all, she is French. It is to Schepsi’s discredit that he chose this setting for his debate, but to his credit that the film worked at all and nobody threw any shoes at the screen. I guess we felt sorry for the actors who did a great job considering what they had to work with. Expand
  6. Lyn
    Sep 28, 2014
    4
    Love Clive Owen. Love Juliette Binoche. Would love to see them in a film worthy of their talents. Each makes a valiant effort to enliven theLove Clive Owen. Love Juliette Binoche. Would love to see them in a film worthy of their talents. Each makes a valiant effort to enliven the "words vs. picture" premise, though the basic plot is so minuscule it could be covered in a sitcom. For me a big problem is that their two characters are not evenly matched, talentwise. Binoche is presented as a brilliant artist (and she actually did the art in the movie!) while Owen's character mostly quotes others. And as a boozing, tormented writer, his life itself is a literary cliche. Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2015
    4
    بعد الحرب بين الصور و الكلمات ليس هنالك من سبب لإطلاق ضحكة غبية في نهاية الفيلم ، هذا ليس منطقيا و لا يمكن للمشاهد أن يتقبل هذه النهاية الغبيةبعد الحرب بين الصور و الكلمات ليس هنالك من سبب لإطلاق ضحكة غبية في نهاية الفيلم ، هذا ليس منطقيا و لا يمكن للمشاهد أن يتقبل هذه النهاية الغبية ، أداء الممثلة جولييت جميل ما عدا ذل لا أجد أيّ شيء يستحق المشاهدة في هذا الفيلم الغبي Expand

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