Village Voice's Scores

For 8,531 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 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Lowest review score: 0 Followers
Score distribution:
8,531 movie reviews
  1. The Boxtrolls is a kiddie charmer that makes you laugh, cower, and think of Hitler. That’s an unusual trifecta, but then again, this is an unusual film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A "gritty" historical drama overwhelmed by its love of Hollywood as an inventor of imaginary narratives with real consequences, a great generator of American bedtime stories whose magic works on suburban kids and foreign enemies alike.
  2. The Dance of Reality may be Alejandro Jodorowsky's best film, and certainly, in a filmography top-heavy with freak-show hyperbole and symbology stew, the one most invested in narrative meaning.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A beautiful tale of life, love, music, and family, of things not working out but also working out just as predicted.
  3. Plenty of moments in Melancholia are painfully funny. Some moments are even painful to watch, but there was never a moment when I thought about the time or my next movie or did not care about the characters or had anything less than complete interest in what was happening on the screen.
  4. A riot of technical tricks, Daisies shifts between color, black-and-white, and tinted images and includes a scene in which the two Maries, wielding scissors, essentially turn themselves into paper dolls.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beautifully acted and handsomely mounted, this gorgeous period piece is an intelligent and intriguing exploration of "the dark arts" -- less dependent on mere hocus-pocus than on the convincing journey of the soul undertaken by its hero.
  5. There are big crowd scenes, intimate close-ups, and lots of bug’s-eye point-of-view shots. Call me gullible: I believed every second of it.
  6. Replete with superb performances led by a paranoid Sackhoff and unhinged Cochrane, it's the rare horror film to know how to tease malevolent mysteries and deliver satisfyingly unexpected, unsettling payoffs.
  7. Mixing techniques as surely as it mixes class (graceful dolly shots are placed side by side with the handheld photography), the picture's clever formalist juxtapositions evoke the hysterical confusion of a culture in upheaval.
  8. An extraordinary example of both art-historical interpretation and CGI as passport to unknown lands, The Mill and the Cross, based on a book by Michael Francis Gibson, is a moving-image tribute to the still image, with its ability to "wrestle the senseless moment to the ground."
  9. A fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.
  10. Caucus is a lively, hilarious, upsetting crash-course in recent history. It's also revelatory at times, especially as it reframes infamous sound bites in their of-the-moment context.
  11. Michael Winterbottom's wise and involving Everyday specializes in unscripted-feeling moments that ache of life.
  12. Wong is sensationally expressive and projects a modern, coolly appraising sexuality. Visually eloquent and often dazzling, the movie is no less terrific. Piccadilly is both evidence of silent cinema at its rudely aborted peak and Wong's frustrated potential to have been among its greatest stars.
  13. It's an admittedly hagiographic film, an unabashed celebration of the man and his work and worldview. The few mild naysayers are largely set up to be knocked down, but as such the film is invigorating.
  14. The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
  15. The final, moving, nerve-wracking reels are all sea, sky, and desperation.
  16. Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz connects the dots of Swartz's past, assembling a vivid portrait of a sensitive genius with a strong moral sense.
  17. It's both a perceptive dual character study and, that rarity of rarities, a large-scale action movie for grown-ups, one worth leaving the house for.
  18. Gordon-Levitt's worth the admission all by his lonesome. He's that good--the proverbial young man with an old soul who brings unexpected depth, complexity, and sincerity to what could have been just another damaged-guy role. He's the one to look out for.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a film of startling insight and grace.
  19. A must-see for opera lovers and a snappy diversion for cinephiles.
  20. A tender and hilarious vision of female adolescence.
  21. Ida
    Ida unfolds partly as chamber play and partly as road movie, following the two women on a search for their dead beloveds' anonymous graves.
  22. It's Kline who anchors the movie, swan-diving into Flynn's complexities without making excuses for him.
  23. The film ends on up notes, but its strength is that it's not really a feel-good movie, instead shining a light on both how far we have come in terms of race in America and how very far we still have to go.
  24. The existence of The Gatekeepers is its own chief statement. You don't get the sense that it's any easier for these men to question Israel's leadership from the safety of retirement.
  25. A work of unostentatious beauty and uncloying sweetness, at once sophisticated and artless, mysterious and matter-of-fact, cosmic and humble, it asks only a measure of Boonmeevian acceptance: The movie doesn't mean anything-it simply is.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Almodóvar isn't what he used to be (who is?), but he's a master of the medium nevertheless, deploying color and light and shadow not merely to express emotions but to tap into ours, directing the blood flow of the audience as much as he directs the movie.
  26. Darwin's Nightmare strings together cruel ironies into a work of harrowing lucidity. It illuminates the sinister logic of a new world order that depends on corrupt globalization to put an acceptable face on age-old colonialism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Among the many pleasures are the lively intelligence of the artists and their perceptiveness about their own situations.
  27. Frances Ha is a patchwork of details that constitute a sort of dating manual—not one that tells you how to meet hot guys, but one that fortifies you against all the crap you have to deal with as a young person in love with a city that doesn't always love you back.
  28. The artificial look of the added footage, counterpointed by the commentary of inmates and survivors, only underscores the unending shock of the film's unadulterated images, even though we have seen them in other Shoah documentaries.
  29. The haunting final image suggests how quickly such stories can be lost...which makes Beyond the Hills, above all else, a powerful and necessary act of reclamation.
  30. Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini are lovely together, though her character is the sharper-edged of the two. It's Gandolfini's Albert, soft-hearted and soft-bellied, who suffers more. Gandolfini takes the movie's small, offhand jokes and intensifies them.
  31. The Cove is properly enchanting, horrifying, and rousing, but it comes dangerously close to making the narcissistic case that dolphins deserve to be saved because they're cute and breathe air like we do.
  32. A spare and ravishing doc.
  33. Baroquely sinister and grotesquely funny, the latest overstimulated bout of dark comic mayhem from writer-director Álex de la Iglesia (Common Wealth, The Day of the Beast) is a stunning funhouse-mirror allegory of Franco-era Spain that makes "Pan's Labyrinth" look like "Sesame Street."
  34. Ballet 422 is more visually sumptuous than most narratives you're likely to see this year, featuring careful compositions that make watching the film an aesthetic experience as much as an intellectual one.
  35. Weaving numerous influences into a rich emotional tapestry, Alain Guiraudie's The King of Escape skillfully absorbs and updates its assertive cinematic forebears.
  36. Thoroughly researched and packed with phenomenal archival footage, it's a rousing tribute to a mesmerizing performer that forgoes blind hero worship.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is an intellectual history of Warhol, bucking the trend toward the star-studded VH1-ization of biodocs and constructed with a mission to dispel the artist's own self-created image as high-fashion hobnobber in favor of a more profound depiction. Burns argues for a cogitating, agitating Warhol: deep thinker, cultural barometer, and world changer.
  37. Bill and Turner Ross - the directors, producers, camera operators, and troublemakers behind Tchoupitoulas - could do posterity a service if they simply resigned themselves to replicating this one-night-in–New Orleans documentary for each of the world's great cities.
  38. Treeless Mountain is skillfully unsentimental--because of, but also despite, the presence of two irresistible, unself-conscious performers in virtually every scene.
  39. '71
    [An] excellent, tensely controlled thriller.
  40. The movie is as eloquently uninflected and filled with quirks as its star.
  41. They Came Together is one joke repeated until you're broken down by the giggles. It shouldn't work as well as it does, and wouldn't if it weren't perfectly cast with America's Comedy Sweethearts.
  42. As a whole, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's wrenching, humane film is as convincing a brief as I can imagine in favor of that most controversial of all pregnancy-terminating procedures.
  43. Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood entertainment--rich in fantasy and blithely amoral.
  44. Denis Villeneuve's shared dream of a film takes the simple premise of a man glimpsing his doppelganger while watching a movie and mines every bit of tension and oddity from it — there's hardly a scene that doesn't exude menace.
  45. With extraordinary access, Pahuja illuminates extraordinary conflicts and contradictions facing modern girls in a country even less ready for them than ours.
  46. Co-writer/director/proudly nude star Amalric cuts everything to the quick: Most shots have the feel of still photos, the camera firmly planted, and the movie always hustles us to the next, back and forward in time, the effect part Resnais and part staccato Kodak slideshow.
  47. Old Dog has the look and feel of a documentary, which adds senses of urgency and immediacy to a tale that moves at a languid, but never boring, pace.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Expertly crafted documentary.
  48. Like many of the best movies about war and its lingering echo, The Hunting Party is full of dark humor. Writer-director Richard Shepard, maker of 2005's "The Matador," is becoming a master at finding the right tone, balancing the seriousness of his characters' purpose with the madness of their intentions.
  49. Textually, the setting's brutalist conflation between the far future and the distant past makes the film timeless, an elusive fable told with the viscous immediacy of a life on the diseased edge of civilization.
  50. Leisurely yet streamlined film, brilliantly adapted by British filmmaker Terence Davies from Edith Wharton's most powerful novel.
  51. Terror is existential in this highly intelligent, somewhat sadistic, totally fascinating movie.
  52. Like so much of his celebrated work, documentarian Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery is long, leisurely paced, wide-ranging, meticulously crafted, intellectually intricate, and touched with profundity.
  53. The smartest, funniest cheap monster-movie import this side of June's "Trollhunter," Attack the Block is a near-perfectly balanced seasonal trifle: Anchored in social realism yet determinedly goofy, it's neither too eager for laughs nor overtly preachy.
  54. Road movies don't get any purer.
  55. The results are extraordinary. As understated as it is, the movie is both deeply absurd and powerfully affecting.
  56. The film is striking, at times even piercing, for the way it infiltrates some universal realities of marriage.
  57. This is one scary movie, not because we see ghosts or monsters, but because Kidman makes us feel her fear as our own.
  58. Jeremy Kagan's excellent adaptation of William Gibson's stage play.
  59. As straightforward and plot-driven as any movie about life imitating art imitating life could possibly be.
  60. There are long stretches in Sexy Beast that are so exhilarating it feels churlish to dwell on its flaws.
  61. Exactly the sort of mysterious and almost holy experience you hope to get from documentaries and rarely do, Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol is something like a homegrown slice of Herzog oddness, complete with true-crime backfill and juicy metafictive upshot.
  62. 35 Shots is Denis's warmest, most radiant work, honoring a family of two's extreme closeness while suggesting its potential for suffocation.
  63. Nymphomaniac is a jigsaw opus, an extended and generally exquisitely crafted riff. Story, theme, and character (despite Gainsbourg's captivations) bow to von Trier's gamesmanship, which makes his own promiscuities the film's true subject.
  64. Excavated from the deep '50s, Michelangelo Antonioni's Le amiche (known in English as "The Girlfriends") is an unexpected treasure.
  65. If Simon Killer's tragic drift is predictable, the seedy particulars still engross. And the storytelling is first-rate.
  66. 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.
  67. A scrupulous and impeccably acted account of the fallout from a family secret.
  68. What saves the film—and grandly—is Nance’s wildly ambitious visual imagination. Teetering somewhere between film school precocity and impressively assured audaciousness...It’s almost hypnotic in its style and genre promiscuity.
  69. Mann has done something transformative with Farrell: The Irish actor has never had this much charisma and natural authority in a role, and as he navigates that gray area between Crockett's real identity and his fabricated one, revealing subtle fissures in the character's cocksure facade, he's fascinating to watch.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's as weird and whimsical an invention as Guest's "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show," or "A Mighty Wind."
  70. Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him. He contrives a shock ending that, as measured as everything else in this engrossing, supremely assured movie, acknowledges one last blood sacrifice on the emperor's altar.
  71. The key question is whether this procedural—as in, here we watch killers proceed—contributes to any greater understanding. I believe it does.
  72. It’s a classic espionage plot shot through with a typically heady mix of art and literary references: Klee and Velázquez, Bach and Haydn, Bernanos and Musil.
  73. What's left to be said about Marcel Carné's towering intimate epic of early 19th-century love and the lives of performers, often heralded as the greatest French film of all time?
  74. Ronit's remarkable sensitivity makes Gett a tough but essential melodrama.
  75. [A] gorgeous and unsettling documentary.
  76. Adult World captures beautifully, and with a great deal of self-deprecating humor, what it's like to feel trapped in a place you think is too small to hold you.
  77. The filmmaker uncovers a foul, lurid, corrupt, and perversely compelling conspiracy--which is to say, he successfully turns The Night Watch into a Peter Greenaway film.
  78. James — the director of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters — gives us a sense of Ebert as a man who kept reinventing life as he went along — out of necessity, sure, though he also took some pleasure in adapting. It couldn't always have been easy, but that, too, is part of the story.
  79. Schwarz's juxtaposition of the human cost of the drug war alongside the glamorization of its henchmen and their brutality is sobering, even depressing.
  80. We the Parents is a must-see civics lesson, an example of the power of grassroots organizing and of having a good lawyer, and of how seemingly small ideas can make big waves.
  81. In a remarkably subtle, assured debut performance, Compston evokes Billy in Loach's "Kes" and, in the heartbreaking final seaside shot, Antoine in Truffaut's "400 Blows."
  82. The documentary is stellar, despite some vague visual-metaphor stuff involving dioramas in an attic. Bring something you can punch, as you will be furious.
  83. As unhinged as it is hilarious.
  84. Nothing in this film (and little in any other movie this year) compares to the scenes of Sandusky's adopted son, Matt, recounting his realization that the charges of pedophilia against Sandusky squared with the ways Sandusky had treated him, too — treatment he'd never been brave enough to admit.
  85. There may not be much behind the sparkling tinsel curtain of David O. Russell's extraordinarily entertaining American Hustle. But what a curtain!
  86. The Fallen Idol has been overshadowed by the noir comedy, giddy style, and Cold War thematics of Reed and Greene's subsequent sensation "The Third Man," but (in similarly dealing with the nature of betrayal) The Fallen Idol is actually a superior psychological drama.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nicholas Jarecki's The Outsider is among the great docs about moviemaking.
  87. At once robust and ethereal, this is an existential ghost story, with fresh blood pulsing through its veins.
  88. Medalia, as an Israeli, knows this bumpy territory well and serves up her story sensitively, but with its difficulties unvarnished and unsolved. She focuses on a few children whom we get to know well enough to care very much about their progress.
  89. Goldfine and Geller pace and structure The Galapagos Affair like the true-crime tale that it is, its mysteries rich and involving, its characters enduring in the imagination long after the film has ended.
  90. 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.

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