Village Voice's Scores

For 10,034 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Spy
Lowest review score: 0 I Am Sam
Score distribution:
10034 movie reviews
  1. As excellent a documentary about politics as you will ever see.
  2. 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.
  3. This patient, beautiful, painful, engrossing film pits husband and wife against each other and their world in a series of extended conversations/confrontations.
  4. Writer-director Stephen Belber's inspiriting, generous Match is so good that it's like some kind of trick.
  5. The movie's sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up.
  6. [An] inspiring cinematic journey — full of overwhelming beauty, and ready to set the curious viewer's mind aflame.
  7. In today's digital bog of empty light and marketing deceptions, this is what early-millennium Euro art-film masterpieces feel like--lean, qualmish, abstracted to the point of parable but as grounded as a gravedigging.
  8. Newtown is an act of memorialization, a demand that this most distractible of countries look close and continue to care.
  9. Grave, beautiful, austerely comic, and casually metempsychotic, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte is one of the wiggiest nature documentaries-or almost-documentaries-ever made.
  10. Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra is a bloody valentine attached to a bomb. It’s violent, brash, inventive and horrific, and perhaps the most romantic film of the year.
  11. Kaufman builds an emotional world we're nervous to enter, one we're already living in.
  12. Certain Women is a kind, loving, and deeply moving portrait of bighearted small-town people.
  13. To an extent, Flags of Our Fathers is to the WWII movie what Eastwood's Unforgiven was to the western -- a stripping-away of mythology until only a harsher, uncomfortable reality remains.
  14. Watkins restages history in its own ruins, uses the media as a frame, and even so, manages to imbue his narrative with amazing presence. No less than the event it chronicles, La Commune is a triumph of spontaneous action.
  15. This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.
  16. As an action film — which in small bursts it is — Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
  17. Through the recollections of witnesses and victims, the film simultaneously builds a present-tense narrative while portraying the terrifying resilience of memory and trauma.
  18. For the reportedly painstaking labor it took to create, the film is a marvel to behold--with wonderful shifts in perspective, an intensely tactile design, and an intentional herky-jerkiness of motion that only enriches the make-believe atmosphere.
  19. This sparse marvel leaves the audience rattled by how small decisions lead to big consequences. Still, you're most likely to leave the theater gushing about the cast's bravura unbroken performances.
  20. Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
  21. To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An essay on storytelling and spectatorship within When Inanimate Objects Attack schlock - one infused with the haunting aura and disillusionment of a post–"Easy Rider" road movie - Rubber is some kind of miracle.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One cannot recommend this film strongly enough.
  22. Not just the year's most impressive first feature but also the strongest new movie of any kind I've seen in 2010.
  23. Plunging viewers into the thick of chaos, Leviathan explodes the antiquated paradigm of the documentary or ethnographic film, whose mission has traditionally been to educate or elucidate, to create something that seizes us, never letting us forget just how disordered the world is. This may be the greatest lesson any nonfiction film can teach us.
  24. A film that's both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate.
  25. Surprising, challenging, and never less than thrilling.
  26. 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.
  27. Spring Breakers seems to be holding a funhouse mirror up to the face of youth-driven pop culture, leaving us uncertain whether to laugh, recoil in horror, or marvel at its strange beauty. All I knew is I couldn't wait to see it a second time.
  28. Rohmer's 1986 masterpiece (being re-released with its original French title, which translates as "The Green Ray"), Le Rayon Vert centers on those themes, too, but delivers something much richer: an absorbing, empathic portrait of a complex woman caught between her own obstinacy and melancholy.
  29. The film serves as an authentic examination of the mid-twentieth-century immigrant experience — and an intimate exploration of one woman's attempt to understand who she is and where she wants to belong.
  30. 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.
  31. Queen of Earth is also a semi-comedy, often funny in an intentionally bleak way. And that, besides Moss, is what makes it work.
  32. It's all true--every magical, exhilarating, infuriating, dumbfounding, jaw-dropping second of Gordon's miniature masterpiece.
  33. Primer unites physics and metaphysics in an ingenious guerrilla reinvention of cinematic science fiction.
  34. With Selma, DuVernay has pulled off a tricky feat, a movie based on historical events that never feels dull, worthy, or lifeless; it hangs together as a story and not just part of a lesson plan. The movie is at once intimate and grand in scope.
  35. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is the very best of gothic horror, that which needles at your insecure core and whispers in your ear what you already suspected: You will never be all right.
  36. Cronenberg's film is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story.
  37. The Dark Knight will give your adrenal glands their desired workout, but it will occupy your mind, too, and even lead it down some dim alleyways where most Hollywood movies fear to tread.
  38. The Intruder, is a decisive breakthrough--her (Claire Denis) most poetic and primal film to date, as thrilling as it is initially baffling.
  39. Chi-Raq is a marvel. It's Lee resurrecting his voice — angry, impassioned, and funny as hell — right when we need to hear it.
  40. 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.
  41. Landes's tone is never salacious or exploitative, nor for that matter pandering or sentimental. This is a sui generis work—warm, sporadically funny, deeply human, and altogether beguiling.
  42. 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.
  43. Detailed yet oblique, leisurely but compelling, perfectly cast and irreproachably acted, the movie has a seductively novelistic texture complete with a less-than-omniscient narrator.
  44. Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster.
  45. Warped keyhole-size images stack atop one another in a Frankenstein-ian collage that evokes the films of Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner. Seeing "the years [slip] out of [Bill's] head" in this 71-minute compendium is nothing short of revelatory.
  46. 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.
  47. Bertolucci's masterpiece--made when he was all of 29--will be the most revelatory experience a fortunate pilgrim will have in a theater this year is a foregone conclusion.
  48. This screen adaptation...is vital because it has the potential to reach marginalized communities. But it also stands as an aching, lyrical, performance-driven masterpiece in its own right, a film so intense and engrossing that movie houses really should screen it with an intermission.
  49. 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.
  50. Lang is uncommonly assured for a first-time director, capturing her scenes in fluid master takes, rarely cutting from one character to the next, letting things unfold at the pace of in-the-moment human feeling.
  51. One of the richest films of the past decade.
  52. A must-see documentary.
  53. Traffic is not just an ultra-procedural--it's the Big Picture, the Whole Enchilada, complete with a complicated war between two Mexican drug cartels.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Koreeda imbues the story with such specificity, tactility, and humanity that yet another movie about a dysfunctional family reunion becomes a cinematic tone poem.
  54. Rising from Ashes is not just about a cycling team; it's a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another.
  55. Despite the poetry its subtitle promises, the fascinating crows-in-the-skyline doc Tokyo Waka is more informative than lyric, which is not at all a complaint.
  56. Through photos and family lore, but mostly through Dayton's own eloquence, Mitchell assembles a biographical portrait that's inspiring in the best possible way.
  57. Bloody Sunday doesn't surrender its grip on the viewer even after the action shifts from the streets of Bogside to a local hospital where the weeping masses are still under the guns of the war-painted British soldiers.
  58. Perverse, funny, and ultimately profound.
  59. [A] studious, rigorous, and surprisingly tender documentary.
  60. Prince Avalanche reconciles Green's twin modes into a whole no other director could have, deeply felt and light as laughter.
  61. Lipper does an excellent job of using her film as a vehicle for the voices and concerns of Nigerians, and especially of Nigerian women, who are traditionally expected to stay at home while men operate in the public sphere. But Lipper does not limit her camera to political struggles.
  62. Corpse Bride never skimps on the sass (as a good folktale shouldn't). And the variety of its cadaverous style is never less than inspired; never has the human skull's natural grin been redeployed so exhaustively for yuks.
  63. With each of these movies, Klapisch reiterates a core sentiment behind all the romantic comedy: that lives are continuously pieced together, broken, and rearranged in different settings. All that screwing and screwing up in between? Totally necessary.
  64. Remarkable documentary.
  65. Va Savoir has its own unhurried pace and unpredictable humor. This is the sort of comedy Robert Altman could only dream about.
  66. Unknown Pleasures suggests a coolly formalist reinvention of neorealism. The film is both distanced and immediate -- a fiction with the force of documentary.
  67. Bahrani possesses a disciplined sense of composition and form, a vision of the world that extends beyond the boundaries of his own navel, and the understanding that it is possible to make films about class and race in this country without pandering to the audience.
  68. Garrone's film grows in your head afterward, making royal hash out of a cultural paradigm we'll be loath to remember years from now—if, by then, everything hasn't become "reality."
  69. The movie's ending may be less satisfying than that of "Slumdog Millionaire"--a film you can love for its infectiously wishful exuberance, but never fully believe in--but Kisses is truer to the tragedy of a generation of children whom we have utterly failed. If they're anything like Kylie and Dylan, they'll be back to let us know.
  70. Colors and angles and sound levels don't match from one cut to the next. The movie is ugly as sin to look at. But it's all intentional on the part of von Trier.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new Little Women, directed with grace by Gillian Armstrong, adapted with tact by Robin Swicord, and starring an extraordinary ensemble, has made my holiday.
    • Village Voice
  71. An almost ridiculously ebullient Bollywood-meets-Hollywood concoction--and one of the rare "feel-good" movies that actually makes you feel good, as opposed to merely jerked around.
  72. I hurt myself laughing at this amazingly inventive mockumentary, and because it's so good, I refuse to give away much more than an insistent recommendation.
  73. Manages to turn a highly dubious concept into a subtle and deliciously mordant comedy.
  74. The comic scenes arc into bleakness, and the bleak ones often collapse back into comedy.
  75. Lord and Miller do great work within constraints, taking pre-made pieces and fashioning them into feats worthy of applause. It's no wonder they made a Lego movie — and it's no wonder it's so good.
  76. This affecting eulogy underscores not only Demme's own tribute to Dominique but also the film's homage to radio. This is a motion picture that's in love with the magic of airborne speech.
  77. Gleeson is one of the finest actors we have, and in casting him as the lead, McDonagh stacks the deck so that regardless of our own religious reservations, we're forced to care about Father James as a man.
  78. 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.
  79. Nicholas Stoller's hilarious Neighbors splashes into summer with the satisfying swish-plop-hooray of a winning beer pong serve.
  80. An inspired homage to his father's work, and a bracing, bittersweet testament of filial love mixed with pain and compassion.
  81. It's sweaty, disorienting, thrilling. Rarely has a narrative feature so marvelously integrated a sequence of experimental filmmaking, and that sequence alone guarantees A Field in England should thrive on the midnight circuit.
  82. Bergman locates a generosity and élan that make F&A feel like his youngest film.
  83. The movie is revealing, wrenching, and important, a reminder that what feels wrong in our gut—the effort to turn free-roaming and unknowable beasts into caged vaudevillians—is always worth investigating.
  84. The small miracle of the movie is that Simien finds so many laughs in what are genuinely bewildering issues.
  85. However familiar, it delivers like a shorted slot machine.
  86. Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film.
  87. If you can work up interest in such meager material, the film is a chilling, stirring, experiential immersion in what life-and-death drama might actually feel like.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By turns stupendously beautiful and grimly terrifying, and best appreciated in a movie theater.
  88. This film does not pander. Rather, it demands that the viewer rise to the occasion.
  89. Loving downplays the historical significance of its subject in favor of a quiet humanity.
  90. Lenny Abrahamson's shattering drama Room borrows its fictional plot from the tabloids and strips it of sensationalism.
  91. A love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.
  92. Get Out is fully surprising in both concept and craft, with the scares never coming just when you expect them and the secrets more audacious than you might be guessing.
  93. Amy
    A surprisingly seamless biographical documentary, one that, even though it's been constructed largely from found elements, feels gracefully whole.
  94. It remains a rousing portrait of creative renewal and, specifically, the way in which - by attempting something daring and new in the face of an opera culture deeply invested in tradition - Lepage proves that classic art can survive and flourish in a marriage with modern technology and imagination.
  95. The video stores are filled with examples of retro-noir and neo-noir, but Christopher Nolan's audacious timebender is something else. Call it meta-noir.

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