Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Follows a pair of married couples, Alfie and Helena, and their daughter Sally and husband Roy, as their passions, ambitions, and anxieties lead them into trouble and out of their minds. After Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine, Helena abandons rationality and surrenders her life to the loopy advice of a charlatan fortune teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome art gallery owner boss, Greg, while Roy, a novelist nervously awaiting the response to his latest manuscript, becomes moonstruck over Dia, a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window. Despite these characters' attempts to dodge their problems with pipe dreams and impracticable plans, their efforts lead only to heartache, irrationality, and perilous hot water. Taking its title from the prediction fortune tellers use to beguile their marks, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger illustrates with wry humor how easy it is for our illusions to make fools of us all. (Sony Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. Allen has been criticized for leaving some of the plot lines up in the air and several characters in the lurch. But he seems to be making a point: Neat Hollywood endings are as phony and dangerous as Cristal's ramblings.
  2. 75
    It offers the small delight of watching a master step back from more ardent work to put together a diverting miniature. And in the scheme of things, that's actually more of an accomplishment than it might sound. Minor Mozart, after all, is still pretty darned good.
  3. This kinder, gentler Allen is still clever, still amusing, and the film itself is a confection tempting enough to consider a taste. Yet there is that empty-calorie letdown after it's over. Maybe it's time to book another trip to Spain.
  4. 50
    That You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is not more dull is due in large part to the adorably flamboyant Punch (late of Dinner for Schmucks and Hot Fuzz).
  5. The movie ends just when complications start to set in, which makes you wonder how invested Allen really is in the little melodramas within this comedy.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Slight and only sporadically amusing.
  7. In practice, and played as farce, the characters are one-dimensional cutouts kept at a dogged remove. Their miseries are a bore – maybe to Allen, too, who abruptly ends the film, after so much inaction, when it finally catches some dramatic traction.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Dec 15, 2010
    "Not only there is no God, but try finding a plumber on weekends."

    Sally Naomi Watts / art expert and Roy Josh Brolin / physician and
    author, in truths that medical writer, surviving on "food" maternal. Roy and Sally are married. Sally is angry with Roy, wants a child, he was not. Roy after a successful first book, fails to finish second. E 'became an insecure, weak, maybe, but ... Even Helena Gemma Jones / Sally's mother, is "fueled" by her former husband, Alfie Anthony Hopkins /, which "feeds", the young and handsome escort Charmaine Lucy Punch /. Helena, after the collapse of marriage to Alfie, come in alcohol, or rather it is the alcohol that comes in her. The new goal of his life is crushing loneliness that creates deep inner reflection and behavioral concerns strange. Those who share his days, he received quite a few jolts Roy and Sally experienced this, every day /. In the life of Alfie, meanwhile, enters Charmaine, and with it the pill of the weekend for the moment are the erotic fool head off. But, you know, the sildefinal have any contraindication to Alfie, however, does not matter that he could not distinguish the green of a table, from red to a bank account to languish, he only interested in the pink. Group, are part Greg Antonio Banderas /, Dia Freida Pinto / widower and Jonathan Roger Ashton-Griffiths /. Greg, the famous art dealer, inadvertently fed the hopes of Sally, Dia, a scholar of the composer Luigi Boccherini, feeds off those dreams of Roy and his family. Jonathan, a widower and anthroposophy, sells books high and esoteric symbolism. Who more than he can feed the hopes of Helena? - A friend presumed dead, pregnant with the presumption of paternity, an alleged seer, do the rest. Unfulfilled needs and desires, create frustration, regardless of the primary causes. Aggression is just around the corner, the primal instincts take over. They jump the friendships, loves, marriages. Certainties become uncertainties, dreams become reality and reality is often an illusion. Love is not loving, not paint and draw, is not climbing up.
    Allan Stewart Konigsberg, aka Woody Allen that, like it or not. To see the faces of the audience, the show within the show, the thumb is toward, not once but twice. I do not agree. Why a man who says "Not only there is no God, but try finding a plumber on weekends." Or, "For starters you should start dying, and so Tricca tracchete trauma is already looking beyond that." Is a man who gives himself and not for stage fiction. And then, I do not agree because the film gave me the opportunity to reread the words of a famous Italian "Codest today we can only tell you what we are, what we do not want."

    Good Ciak!
  2. Mar 28, 2011
    Classy Woody Allen...funny, witty and nice story. However it could be a little longer, and i wish ending to be bit more transparent. Always nice to see Josh Brolin - Goonie celebrity... Expand
  3. Oct 29, 2010
    This review contains spoilers. You will meet a grown-up Lloyd Dobler in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway". It's after hours, but David Shayne(John Cusack), the man, has an urgent question he needs to pose toward the woman he still loves. Ellen, who had supported her bohemian lover through thick and thin, waiting patiently for him to pop the question, now lives with Sheldon, David's best friend, after the sham playwright left her for his leading lady, the legendary Helen Sinclair. From outside their apartment, on the stage of real life, a deserted borough street, with the moonlight, a spotlight suffused with humility, shining down on him, he asks Ellen, after running all the way home from the theater, in the wake of his first Broadway success, if she loved him "as the artist or as the man?" The long-suffering girlfriend replies, "I could love a man if he's not a real artist, but I couldn't love an artist if he's not a real man." If that's the case, then David is her man; he's no artist, albeit a better man than the one we meet at the film's outset, who had seconded Sheldon's bombastic assertion, with all the hubris of an intellectual living amongst other intellectuals, sounding boards all, in Greenwich Village, insulated from the great unwashed: the philistines and the illiterate, whose lives, were one of them caught in a fire, wouldn't be assigned the same value as the original of a Shakespeare manuscript, and not worth saving, if it came down to either/or, in both men's estimations. Presiding over a collection of writers, painters, and other assorted a**holes, Sheldon proclaims, "The artist creates his own moral universe." How has this manifesto changed over the years. "Bullets Over Broadway", when released in 1994, was still very much a fruitful period for this longtime writer/director, who followed-up the well-received drama "Husbands and Wives" with a black comedy that more than sustained his reputation as America's pre-eminent auteur. Prolific then as he is now, but without the drawback of diminishing returns, the filmmaker, as a slightly-less older man, at a juncture in his career, brimming with confidence that his muse would never desert him, had the luxury of being magnanimous, and it trickled into his writing, as is the case, when David castigates Cheech, the mafia goon with a gift for dramaturgy, for killing Violet, the gun moll, who in the ghost writer's estimation, deserved to die because she was a terrible actress. It's Cheech, not David, in the long-run, who, ironically enough, champions Sheldon's credo. Fifteen years later, after a string of lukewarm offerings, the beleaguered filmmaker, now 74, subconsciously addresses this enduring creative slump in "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger", by revisiting the central theme from "Bullets Over Broadway", where Roy, a novelist with only one good story in him, plays like an inversion of Cusack's playwright. Like David Shayne, Roy(Josh Brolin) discovers that an outsider, a regular at his weekly poker game, Henry Strangler, just happens to be a naive artist of the highest order, a genius. (Don't forget that Cheech liked to shoot crap.) Strangler is a ghost writer too, literally, when Roy gets wind of his friend's involvement in a fatal car crash, therefore giving him the licence to create his own moral universe, and in this universe of compromised ethics, he steals the naive artist's masterpiece. The novel-to-be, according to the people in Roy's publishing house, is a return-to-form, after the disappointment of his last manuscript(criticized for being so similar to another in-house book they were reading, just as overfamiliarity is a cavilling objection to this filmmaker's late-period body of work), an assessment which pleases the novelist. The writer-director, under the microscope, even now, since the scandal broke around the time just before "Husbands and Wives" hit theaters nationwide, to some degree, must be at wit's end to deliver another "Annie Hall", or "Manhattan", films with the sort of insight into human nature that may be forevermore out of this once-heroic filmmaker's reach. The lavish praise accorded to Roy's new novel is the sort of buzz that the three-time Academy Award-winner hasn't experienced in decades. The new novel is a metaphor, Roy's transgression is a metaphor, when both translated into filmic terms, plays like a black fantasy in the recess of the filmmaker's mind that covets the opportunity to shoot another zeitgeist movie, over anybody's dead body. As it turns out, there was a mix-up. Strangler is alive, in a coma, and there's a good chance that he'll be alive and kicking, soon enough. When Roy leaves the hospital room, there's no telling what the artist with his own moral universe will do. The title, which doubles as a prophecy, may be Strangler's prophecy, who may indeed meet a tall, dark stranger, and that stranger may be death. Collapse
  4. Oct 25, 2010
    Lucy Punch is the highlight of the film, but there is not a whole lot of appeal in the rest of the performances. The stories feel contrived, and the tone of the film is inconsistent throughout. Very disappointing. And Josh Brolin's hair is ridiculous-looking and distracting. Expand
  5. Mar 21, 2011
    The worse Woody Allen film I have seen for years, lacking both the venomous and pungent humour he is known for, or the atmospheric and mysterious feel he has developed in his more recent features. The crescendo/irony falls flat and no clear resolution is given to almost all the substories apart from that of Helena. However, a bad Woody Allen film, still has many enjoyable moments and clever twists. Expand
  6. Nov 1, 2010
    The classic definition for a comedy is not jokes, but a happy ending. The latest from Woody Allen doesn't have much of either. It's a well-told tale that follows two couples (Anthony Hopkins/Genna Jones and Josh Brolin/Naomi Watts) through the tribulations in the relationships. While the are almost no laughs, the characters and their situations amicably pass the time. A cinematic trifle. Expand
  7. Apr 26, 2011
    The only reason why I'm watching this 'cause I'm curious with Woody Allen's movie. Well predictable; boring. At least it's not pointless and has famous star. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews