Village Voice's Scores

For 7,959 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Up
Lowest review score: 0 Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back!
Score distribution:
7,959 movie reviews
  1. It might be the most lonesome film about a tropical vacation we've seen, and the greatest film ever made about the weird socioeconomics of tourism.
  2. Voyage to Italy is close to watching actual strangers suffer loneliness despite being together. It can leave an aching bruise, but only if you're paying attention.
  3. In Something in the Air, that past—a version of Assayas's own—is rendered in visuals so specific and evocative, it's perpetually alive.
  4. This wondrous, absorbing little picture covers a great deal of winding meta-territory, reflecting on the ways in which a single family's story can be told—or maybe, more accurately, examining the idea that there's no such thing as a "single story."
  5. A crash course in history, politics, and social science, Valentino's Ghost is both sobering and illuminating, and its execution is thrilling.
  6. Before Midnight—visually stunning, in a late-summer way—is more vital and cutting than another recent marriage picture, Michael Haneke's old-folks-together death march Amour; it has none of Amour's tasteful restraint, and in the end, it says more about the nature of long-term love.
  7. Burshtein's lush visual sensibility, and the subtle performances of the excellent cast, create an aching portrayal of longing and interdependence that transcends the boundaries of the family's small world.
  8. The film, a kind of hybrid between understated drama and essayistic tourism, approaches its subjects with uncommon patience and curiosity, lingering over objects and faces as if to savor their aesthetic qualities, eager to convey truths without authorial imposition.
  9. Porter's film is dramatic, unsettling, despairing, and in the end thrilling -- at some point, it grows from a portrait of this country's problems into a celebration of a possible solution.
  10. The world the film describes is so vividly realized that it seems to spill over the edges of the frame, as if the lives of its characters will continue after the credits roll.
  11. More terrifying than any horror film, and more intellectually adventurous than just about any 2013 release so far, The Act of Killing is a major achievement, a work about genocide that rightly earns its place alongside Shoah as a supreme testament to the cinema's capacity for inquiry, confrontation, and remembrance.
  12. With dexterity and care, Swanberg illuminates our muddled perceptions of our own relationships. He fixates on the minutiae of hanging out, the stuff of little loves and lies, the feints and thrusts we make in sorting matters of head and heart.
  13. It's a delicate yet passionate creation, modest in scope but almost overwhelming in its emotional intricacy, ambition, and resonance. Easily one of the best films so far this year, it's a nearly perfect blend of pimple-faced naturalism, righteous moral fury, nuanced social insight, and unsentimental but devastating drama.
  14. Gravity is harrowing and comforting, intimate and glorious, the kind of movie that makes you feel more connected to the world rather than less.
  15. If Secret can leave the viewer despairing, it's also hugely inspiring, thanks to Mino. She's one of the cinematic heroines of the year.
  16. Yudin pulls lovely philosophical grace notes from his subjects as they illuminate some universal truths from their very specific world.
  17. A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
  18. Demme has crafted yet another superb document of musicians at work, one as much about creation—and the sources of inspiration—as it is about performance. A wonderful film, as in, it's full of wonders.
  19. Kechiche and his actresses explore the in-between—ecstasy, exploration, the comfort and eventual boredom of domesticity—and the aftermath, the painful shards of feeling we cling to after something has shattered. And they don't mess around when it comes to the ferocity of love, sex, or, God help us, the two combined.
  20. What's remarkable about Dallas Buyers Club is its lack of sentimentality. The movie, like its star, is all angles and elbows, earning its emotion through sheer pragmatism.
  21. Each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative in its reach as it sets out to be.
  22. This stellar, incisive slice-of-life doc centers on the kind of crowd-pleasing competition story that lures in audiences and then lays bare heartsick truths about small-town America today.
  23. There's little sense in trying to resist the film's relentless boogie-woogie party vibe, its tumultuous visual banquet, its unpredictable sense of switchblade satire, its fools' parade of modern grotesques, or its river of startling melancholy, turning from a wary trickle to a flash flood by film's end. Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
  24. This is a film to see and then see again, to soak in and marvel at and -- like its director -- try to keep up with.
  25. Although the Coens are consummate craftsmen, they don't always show the lightness of touch or the depth of feeling they do here.
  26. Bolstered by performances that convey profound grief and remorse without look-at-me histrionics, The Past is steeped in the believable micro details of its scenario while also expanding to universals.
  27. Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling.
  28. It's charming, gently humorous, and beautifully attuned to the interior lives of children.
  29. Stranger abounds with precision and detail, evinced not just in the spectacular visual composition but also in the observation of behavioral codes in carnally charged spaces.
  30. Levinson follows the ups and downs of bringing that beast of a collider online, but the movie's deepest thrill lies in what these men and women will theorize next, and how they will test it.
  31. This film, a great one, demands a follow-up.
  32. Ernest & Celestine -- a contender for this year's best animated film Oscar -- is pure delight.
  33. It Felt Like Love is brilliantly, brutally tactile.
  34. The Missing Picture is so immediate, so vital, it practically breathes. Not all memoirs need to exist. But the gentle urgency of Panh's story is right there in the filmmaking. This is a story that had to be told. Even in its stillness, it moves.
  35. Very little in Under the Skin is clear at all. Its secrets unspool in mysterious, supple ribbons, but that's part of its allure, and its great beauty.
  36. Only Lovers Left Alive is silly and deeply serious at once, an elegy with a light touch and more than a dash of hope.
  37. Among the many remarkable qualities boasted by Manakamana, perhaps the most surprising is its humor.
  38. Surprising, challenging, and never less than thrilling.
  39. As an action film — which in small bursts it is — Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
  40. Kieran Turner's Jobriath A.D. is an exceptional example of this subgenre, a cubist portrait of an unknowable man and a dramatic whodunit about an artist-victim who died by a thousand cuts.
  41. The movie perfectly captures the vibe of late high school, in a way that's both of its time and timeless.
  42. Chris Teerink's superb film documents the work of artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), whose legacy lies not only in past accomplishments, but in the work he left for others to complete.
  43. But the directors elevate the picture to a level of emotional genius by filming the children's play as a full-on cinematic adaptation, shot and edited with seriousness and polish.
  44. Gray has a knack for wrapping big themes into an intimate embrace, and The Immigrant feels both epic and fine-grained.
  45. Patient, observational film demands you surrender to it, that you keep your phone in your pocket, which means that movie theaters now sometimes offer a more unmediated look at the world than modern life itself.
  46. A pained and gorgeous summoning, Petra Costa's haunted doc Elena dances with death, memory, and family, seducing viewers and then breaking their hearts.
  47. Brash and sweet, We Are the Best! captures perfectly the aimlessness of adolescence, the waiting to become something that's so often intertwined with the desire to make something, to leave your mark on the world in some small way.
  48. The stirring new documentary The Case Against 8, showcasing the lawyers and plaintiffs who challenged California's 2008 gay marriage ban, is the best kind of popular history, a film that trembles with tears and hope, and I dare you to get through it without bawling some yourself.
  49. Subtle emotional intelligence has always distinguished Bellocchio's filmmaking, and Dormant Beauty is constructed from fine-grained layers of it, the filmmaker's equivalent of a master cabinetmaker's craft.
  50. The film, while wrenching and audacious, is crafted with that humane and observational mastery of great Iranian cinema of recent decades.
  51. [A] strange, singular heartbreaker of a film about life still flourishing in the most inhospitable conditions.
  52. The Rohmer touch consists of nonchalance and effortless sensuality, not just in the people, but also in the landscape, somehow even in the air.
  53. Ignacio Ferreras's traditionally animated Wrinkles is a beautiful, subtle horror movie about the rigors of old age, made all the more horrifying because it will happen to all of us fortunate enough to live a long life.
  54. Boyhood had the curious effect of making me feel lost, uneasy, a little alone in the inexorable march forward — and also totally, emphatically alive.
  55. Probably more terse than it needs to be, but the dramatic line has an elegance and drive that reinforces the unexpected turns of the story.
  56. This is the Julia Roberts performance her fans have been waiting for.
  57. It seems like a more witty, wise, and succinct "Magnolia."
  58. Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
  59. Unstintingly funny -- far more so than the wince-worthy trailer -- owing to Chan's pairing with droll indie eccentric Owen Wilson, as his would-be gunslinger sidekick.
  60. Rich in detail, vivid in characterization, leisurely in exposition, this 207-minute epic is bravura filmmaking -- a brilliant yet facile synthesis of Hollywood pictorialism, Soviet montage, and Japanese theatricality that could be a B western transposed to Mars.
  61. An impressively coordinated enterprise that lasts three hours, manages a large cast, and covers a period of 30-odd years while successfully unfolding as a series of scenes from the life of a single character.
  62. A wondrously perverse movie that not only evokes a lost moment in time but circles around an unrepresentable subject. Mood is the operative word. A love story far more cerebral than it is emotional.
  63. One of the best titles in movie history and a cast to match.
  64. A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky.
  65. A fairy tale that presents love as a case of mutual enchantment, Two Family House is not only uniformly well acted, superbly designed, lovingly lit, and sensitively scored, it's as romantic as it is funny.
  66. A must-see for opera lovers and a snappy diversion for cinephiles.
  67. The lovability quotient is as high as the altitude.
  68. Karine Vanasse, as the protagonist Hanna, is perfectly cast because she has the body of a woman and the sweet, sexless face of a child.
  69. Filled with vivid and likable characters, The Opportunists could be the basis for a TV series as captivating as "The Sopranos."
  70. The movie is as eloquently uninflected and filled with quirks as its star.
  71. As smooth and powerfully packed as its protagonist.
  72. The film's ephemeral, semi-evasive lyricism ultimately works as a modest frame for Bardem's tender, deft portrait, which is in turn suitably expansive and rooted in the most concrete details -- Arenas's pride and anger, his unsentimental wit and defiant vitality.
  73. Although dense with incident and motif, the movie has an effortless flow.
  74. However familiar, it delivers like a shorted slot machine.
  75. As fascinating as it is discomfiting and as intelligent as it is primal. From first shot to last, France's foremost bad girl has made an extremely good movie -- and maybe even a great one.
  76. Leisurely yet streamlined film, brilliantly adapted by British filmmaker Terence Davies from Edith Wharton's most powerful novel.
  77. The real star of this film is the crowded, neon-lit byways of the city itself.
  78. Manages to turn a highly dubious concept into a subtle and deliciously mordant comedy.
  79. More concentrated and svelte than its precursor, Once Upon a Time II also has the benefit of fights staged by Master Yuen Wo-Ping that show Jet Li -- another camera-age hero -- to even greater advantage.
  80. Enriches a deceptively anecdotal plot with a combination of observational camerawork, strong narrative rhythms, and deft characterization.
  81. As straightforward in narrative as it is gut-wrenching in effect, A Simple Plan is a sort of slow-motion skid down an icy blacktop— it's a movie you watch with a mounting sense of dread...[It's] an extremely credible thriller and an affecting brother-story.
  82. Redoubtably hilarious as always, Zahn also lends his character unpredictable flashes of anger, pathos, and faint psychosis, even when the movie jumps the median from ticklishly discomfiting black comedy into by-the-numbers horror jolts.
  83. Downey, who radiates more energy doing nothing discernible than most other actors do when they let it all hang out, takes the film to another level.
  84. At once subtle and visceral, the film never succumbs to the trap of the maudlin or tearful, offering instead with its unflinching gaze a measure of faith in the future.
  85. As chilly a spectacle as you're likely to see. It's like watching a comeback in an empty stadium.
  86. The 7Up series is thus one of the rare documentaries to have had a positive practical effect on the life of at least one of its subjects.
  87. The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
  88. A film of rare tenderness and mystery.
  89. Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
  90. From first shot to last, Dworkin's movie is a continuously absorbing, sometimes revelatory, frequently moving experience; as documentary filmmaking it's not only amazingly intimate but also characterized by an unexpected lyricism.
  91. May not be the movie of the year, but it is a seasonal gift to us all. Sweet and funny, doggedly oddball if bordering precious.
  92. Suzuki has made the ultimate meta-movie, a self-parodying, surrealist gangster daydream as intoxicating and insubstantial as an absinthe swoon.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Devastating, artful, and intelligent documentary.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Petri's visually flamboyant film turns into a heady mix of Marx, Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and Brecht, with a bit of Dashiell Hammett thrown into the blender.
  93. A scrupulous and impeccably acted account of the fallout from a family secret.
  94. Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film.
  95. The lead performances could hardly be better: Gosling, having stolen and propped up entire movies last year ("Murder by Numbers" and "The Believer"), crackles with the economical intensity of a young Tim Roth. Morse, who has racked up decades worth of idiosyncratic character parts, is monumental in this career-peak turn.
  96. Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
  97. Norway's hallucinatory, edge-of-the-world beauty imbues the story with a woozy, alcoholic haze and a sense of the marginal spaces into which the messiest aspects of private life are shoved.
  98. Va Savoir has its own unhurried pace and unpredictable humor. This is the sort of comedy Robert Altman could only dream about.

Top Trailers