Village Voice's Scores

For 8,548 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 59% 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: 55
Highest review score: 100 Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
Lowest review score: 0 I Am Sam
Score distribution:
8,548 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Manages to turn a highly dubious concept into a subtle and deliciously mordant comedy.
  8. The comic scenes arc into bleakness, and the bleak ones often collapse back into comedy.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Nicholas Stoller's hilarious Neighbors splashes into summer with the satisfying swish-plop-hooray of a winning beer pong serve.
  14. An inspired homage to his father's work, and a bracing, bittersweet testament of filial love mixed with pain and compassion.
  15. 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.
  16. Bergman locates a generosity and élan that make F&A feel like his youngest film.
  17. 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.
  18. The small miracle of the movie is that Simien finds so many laughs in what are genuinely bewildering issues.
  19. However familiar, it delivers like a shorted slot machine.
  20. Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By turns stupendously beautiful and grimly terrifying, and best appreciated in a movie theater.
  21. A love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. What's perhaps most moving in Waiting for August, a quiet film of weight and joy, is its sense of desperate normalcy.
  25. So far the funniest, headiest, most playfully eccentric American indie of the year, Bujalski's perceptive avant-garde comedy...teases out unanswered existential and behavioral questions about mankind's curious obsession with artificial intelligence and automation.
  26. It's fitting that this film of people making do with what they have should itself look somewhat humble, without lyricism, a work not of beauty but of work-which is the thing that makes it beautiful, no matter who directed it.
  27. Jack and Miles are male archetypes, as well as the two most fully realized comic creations in recent American movies.
  28. Nothing tops ILYPM's Jim Carrey ... in the most gloriously raunchy, unrepentant moment in the an(n)als of Hollywood A-listers doing gay-for-pay.
  29. It's an ominous, claustrophobic, unhappily sapphic work whose thunderclap of a climax instills terror and awe of the fates' petty, whimsical cruelties.
  30. Guy and Madeline is at once self-conscious and breezy, clumsy and deft, diffident and sweet, annoying and ecstatic. It's amateurish in the best sense, and it radiates cinephilia. No movie I've seen this year has given me more joy.
  31. Sweetgrass reminds us of the stupefying magnificence of its setting—beautiful for spacious skies and mountain majesties—while never letting us forget its formidable perils.
  32. Drug War might arguably be [To's] best film for this reason—it doesn't attempt to raise the stakes on its genre, but instead fully exploits what's there, piecing together an elaborate narc campaign tale out of classic clichés and tight-knot plotting, and letting the disaster of balls-out crime make its own statement.
  33. 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.
  34. Camus's film remains a revivifying experience - and a mid-winter oasis. Born and bred in France, Camus made other films, and lots of French TV, but Black Orpheus may still be the greatest one-hit-wonder import we've ever seen.
  35. The new film from Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger is a silent, black-and-white film so witty, riveting, and drop-dead gorgeous that moviegoers may forget to notice that they can't hear the dialogue.
  36. A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky.
  37. Ten
    Conceptually rigorous, splendidly economical, and radically Bazinian.
  38. For all its quasi-documentary materialism, The Son is ultimately a Christian allegory of one man's inchoate desire to return good for evil. The movie requires a measure of faith, and like a job well done, it repays that trust.
  39. 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.
  40. In the highly imperfect world of contemporary romantic comedies, What If is as close to perfect as anything we've got, not least for the way it captures the abject hopefulness of young people who'd like to be in love but don't know how to go about it.
  41. As ethereal, moving, and uncompromising as its subject.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Director Gabor Csupo of Rugrats "fame" steer clear of cutesy tween stereotypes, but it's Jess's relationship with his father, played by Robert Patrick, that elevates Terabithia from a good kids movie to a classic contender.
  42. The best film ever made about competitive surfing in Papua New Guinea (and Best Documentary of the year as per Surfer Magazine).
  43. Wise, warm, funny, open, and more interested in life as it's actually lived than any other to debut this summer.
  44. The greatest of all pulp fantasies.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Devastating, artful, and intelligent documentary.
  45. Housebound is a tad long, and its murder mystery a bit of a muddle, but that doesn’t matter. The final third is virtuoso.
  46. It seems like a more witty, wise, and succinct "Magnolia."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cloverfield never stops to identify the why, whence, or whereto of its rampaging meanie—this relentless thriller stops for nothing—but as for what to call it, behold . . . al-Qaedzilla!
  47. A heady plum pudding of a movie--studded with outsized performances and drenched in cinematic brio. The concoction is over-rich, yet irresistible.
  48. 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.
  49. A 45-minute proto-hip-hop bliss-out, a masterpiece of train- and tag-spotting dedicated to memorializing the extravagant graffiti on its era's MTA trains and how those trains rumbled across Brooklyn and the Bronx, bearing not just exhausted New Yorkers but gifted artists' urgent personal expression.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Let's Get Lost stands as a gorgeous gravestone for the Beat Generation's legacy of beautiful-loser chic.
  50. Above all, it feels like a summation of everything he (Eastwood) represents as a filmmaker and a movie star, and perhaps also a farewell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A dreamlike travelogue that transforms a mundane world into something strange and new.
  51. Mommy is first and foremost a mother-and-son story, but it's also a surprisingly delicate exploration of lonely lives, and the temporary islands of companionship that make them bearable.
  52. Accomplishes the nearly impossible trick of updating viewers on the prevalence of genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries without rubbing our noses in our failure to stop it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tabu manages to be both classical and modern, ironic and heartbreaking.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The conflicts, truths, and, ultimately, grace and dignity that bind these three together are brought to authentic life, without Hollywood-style exaggeration, through the quiet little miracles of performance that Hammer coaxes from his non-actors, especially the heartrending Riggs.
  53. 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.
  54. Nebraska is the antidote to other family charmers about goofballs in matching sweaters.
  55. Grand Budapest is Anderson's most mature film, and his most visually witty, too. It's playful without being self-congratulatory, and somehow lush without being cloying.
  56. Even if the theories don't persuade you, the film fascinates. It's revelatory about the nature of spectatorship in an era when technology allows audiences to watch films frame by frame.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Zoo
    The beautiful and beguiling new film by Robinson Devor meditates on the Enumclaw incident through a hypnotic blend of original reporting, staged reenactment, testimony of involved parties (both zoophiles and local law enforcement), and pervasive, somewhat precious lyricism.
  57. Moormann's film transcends A&E hagiography, and Dowd's spry egoism and science-hipster joie de vivre provide piquant icing. Recalling trends, technical advances, artists, and landmark sessions (one where he suggests the rhythm for "Sunshine of Your Love"), Dowd conjures the excitement that helped coax so many iconic performances.
  58. For many the question remains about how Treadwell's eventual death should be regarded--as a tragedy, as a fool's fate, or as comeuppance for daring to humanize wild predators and habituating them to human presence. Herzog's perspective is, of course, scrupulously nonjudgmental.
  59. Charles Bukowski, the bard of post-war L.A.'s working-class underbelly, was no ordinary cult writer, and John Dullaghan's thorough, compelling doc Bukowski: Born Into This does a credible job of showing why.
  60. A movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence.
  61. For anyone who loves language, this cut-and-thrust is a heady delight, so rich and free-flowing in its rhythms that it's hard to decide whether what we're seeing is a vérité-style documentary or a realist drama.
  62. Urgent, deeply painful yet lovely in its aesthetics.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Kid With a Bike seems to unfold in a different world than that of previous Dardenne joints, one with a wider range of spiritual and practical possibilities.
  63. Enriches a deceptively anecdotal plot with a combination of observational camerawork, strong narrative rhythms, and deft characterization.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    A horror story, told with Dickensian compassion, permeating outrage, and little hope.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Leonard Retel Helmrich's third documentary about the same Indonesian family is a dazzler in at least a couple ways.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Directing with a light comic touch and a palpable affection for the characters, Selim draws pitch-perfect acting from a large cast and achieves breathtaking levels of color and clarity from old-fashioned 35mm.
  64. Crewdson and others (including Russell Banks and Laurie Simmons) speak eloquently about his project, but it's the on-set agonies - to achieve the fleeting expression here, dark kiss of light there, and the peculiar relief they bring our maestro - that fascinate.
  65. It stuns, and what's missing doesn't compare to what it shares.
  66. Saleem, a Paris-based Kurd, displays the visual confidence and subtle screwball rhythms of a master, exploiting offscreen space, deadpan compositions, and deft visual backbeats, as well as attaining a breathtaking fidelity to real light and landscape.
  67. If Binder has a considerably heavier hand when it comes to metaphor, his movie nevertheless remains buoyant because the feelings in it are immutable, and because Sandler has never before held the screen with greater intensity.
  68. Miss Violence honors the thoroughly creepy work of Avranas's countrymen, but in his turn of the screw, Avranas marshals the abstract qualities of art cinema to comment upon concrete horror.
  69. The Belgian Roskam, making only his second feature film, and his first in English, displays remarkable assurance, with both the actors and the film’s very American setting. He creates an escalating sense of dread, tinged with Lehane’s brand of mordant humor.
  70. As he did in "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", Wright immerses his heroes in pop culture's detritus and diversions, but doesn't drown them in it. You don't have to be dazzled or tickled by the movie, or get every joke, to be touched by it, too.
  71. In a remarkable performance that won her a special award from the world cinema jury at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Chilean television vet Saavedra goes through one of the most uncanny psychophysical transformations I've ever seen in a movie without the benefit of obvious makeup or other prosthetics.
  72. Robust, engrossing, and surprisingly restrained in saving most of its effects for the grand finale, the first Chronicles of Narnia installment eschews Harry Potter's satanic subtext and "The Lord of the Rings'" Wagnerian cosmology. It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get.
  73. Firmly rooted in everyday particulars — primarily the transactions (business, emotional, or otherwise) facilitated by the time- and space-obliterating devices to which we are constantly tethered — Ferran's movie dares to venture, for much of its second half, into fantasy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Based on an autobiographical novella by Portland "street poet" Walt Curtis, Mala Noche (1985) was the 33-year-old Van Sant's debut feature. Shot on 16mm for $25,000, it was the first of his bittersweet odes to tender outcasts and remains the simplest and least burdened.
  74. Münch's characters are given to a certain rapt, unwieldy thoughtfulness, and accordingly, his films cultivate a mood of almost trancelike introspection.
  75. It could be described as the most gripping political thriller to hit the big screen in many years, although given the events it depicts through interviews, photographs, and news footage, the words "gripping" and "thriller" have inappropriately frivolous and commercial associations.
  76. Exquisitely sad, idiosyncratic film à clef about an aging gay gigolo grasping at the embers of memory before they--and he--turn to ash.
  77. What's singular here isn't that the stars are playing brother and sister, or that they stir such sublime and anxious joy from each other. It's that the real love story isn't even between the damaged-but-lovable characters. It's between two profoundly depressed people and life itself.
  78. Adaptation's success in engaging the audience in the travails of creating a screenplay is extraordinary.
  79. Archambault is fluent in small, self-contained moments. Even as their guardians are forced into difficult conversations, Gabrielle and Martin's private exchanges ring true.
  80. While Hall and Shepard nail their parts, Don Johnson, still magnetic after all these years, steals the film as a sardonic private eye with a vintage cherry-red convertible.
  81. Dencik’s gorgeous, surprising, meditative film opens up one of the world’s last unknown places, and it will also make you want to befriend every Dane you can.
  82. 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.
  83. Iron Man, too, is something that people will see regardless of the reviews, but here is the point: Where Michael Bay (Transformers) has mastered a kind of sensory-assaulting pop art, Favreau is a born storyteller who engages the audience's imagination rather than crushing it in a tsunami of digital noise.
  84. A triumph of maximalist filmmaking. And you won't look at your watch once.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Keillor's modest subservience to Altman's group dynamic feels downright gallant, and in the context of the veteran director's most humanistic movie by a wide margin, it certainly has its rewards.

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