Village Voice's Scores

For 8,681 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 6.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Festival Express
Lowest review score: 0 Followers
Score distribution:
8,681 movie reviews
  1. It's here that Melville fully achieved his notion of the sublime, applying "Le Samouraï's" "empty" compositions and near theatrical blocking, as well as its methodical suspense, cosmic fatalism, and sense of grim solitude, to a subject far closer to his heart, namely his own World War II experiences.
  2. Millions of lives have been saved - and extended - as the result of a tireless cadre of advocates who, as Eigo states, "put their bodies on the line."
  3. Holmes and Dale are ideal together, turning a polite courtship and charged relationship (including a sex scene that's both giddy and profound) into a twisted, compelling expression of unconditional love.
  4. Mann's exhilarating movie exists in a state of perpetual forward motion.
  5. 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.
  6. No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
  7. If Otar is, finally, a mite thin and predictably structured, that takes little away from the filmmaker and her cast, who work hard at fashioning the most outlandish special effect of all: believable human life.
    • Village Voice
  8. Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
  9. A triumph of documentary activism nine years in the making.
  10. This is the Julia Roberts performance her fans have been waiting for.
  11. Without deploying reductive backstory or simplistic psychology, this fearless movie -- easily the year's best debut feature -- illuminates Esther's pathology as an extreme response to the mind-body split.
  12. Our glimpses of what's already occurred and what will soon come are vivid and impressionistic, prophetic warnings about which everyone seems powerless to do anything other than silently observe.
  13. If White Reindeer's satirical elements feel off the rack, that's because what they're satirizing in our real lives is, too.
  14. Monk With a Camera hints at answers, but imposes nothing. Like a good photograph, or a wise abbot, it only presents the evidence and allows us to arrive at truth.
  15. Drawing on interviews with SLA co-founder Russ Little and amazing TV news footage, Robert Stone illuminates this fantastic narrative as vividly as it has ever been.
  16. The horror's a long time coming, but Goldthwait and company make the waiting worth it.
  17. The lovability quotient is as high as the altitude.
  18. Those more devoted to the genre can debate whether Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman is the best comic-book movie of the last few years. What's beyond argument, however, is that Vaughn has whipped up the most interesting one, the only to make ferocious, unsettling art out of the great contradiction of superheroic fantasy: jolly do-goodism and its brutalizing sadism.
  19. What a relief to watch this small, expert film — a pane of glass in a concrete wall — that whispers, that dares to stand still and witness ordinary human pain.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Two hours fly by -- opera's a pleasure when you don't have to endure intermissions -- and even a novice to the form comes away exhilarated.
  20. In Songs From the North, the South Korean–born, U.S.-based filmmaker Soon-Mi Yoo takes her camera to North Korea and, through a purposeful mix of on-location footage, poetic intertitles ("Is North Korea the loneliest place on Earth?"), and archival media, creates an empathetic snapshot of a country that is almost never depicted in such an accessible light.
  21. The Invisible Woman finds Ralph Fiennes proving as adept behind the camera as he is in front of it.
  22. The director invites us in, to play and dream.
  23. A very nutty fruitcake, Spirited Away is characterized by wonderfully detailed animation, packed with incident and populated by all manner of comic creatures.
  24. Innocence is not merely the year's best first film, but one of the great statements on the politics of being 'tween.
  25. Thrilling and ludicrous. The movie feels entirely instinctual. The rest is silencio.
  26. Grounded in Fessenden's handheld camera, stuttering montage rhythms, and time-lapse photography, the engagingly primitive animated special effects contribute to a mood that's sustained through the surprisingly somber conclusion.
  27. 12
    Miklahkov keeps 12 tops spinning at all times in the school gymnasium that serves as their deliberation room, and though the speech/conversion pattern grows a little pat, the movement toward consensus raises the further, richly complicated question of how to decide not only what is right, but what is best.
  28. Claire Denis's strongest movie in the decade since "Beau Travail," her tense, convulsive White Material is a portrait of change and a thing of terrible beauty.
  29. Passing Strange conjures a rare kind of theatrical magic with its emotionally raw, frequently euphoric portrait of the artist as a young man.
  30. There are many reasons to see this very difficult film, not least to face the grim realities in Liberia, and to wonder what more could be done to save lives and preserve the human spirit when it is so clearly yearning to burn bright given any small small chance.
  31. As Cash might say, it has the heart, and it has the blood, and by the time childhood chatter is played back again, feeling is soaked through it like the sweat in Cash's guitar strap.
  32. I can't remember a teenage romance this engagingly offbeat since "Lord Love a Duck."
  33. Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
  34. Norte tells a big story on a grand scale, but its emphasis, moment by moment, is on the quotidian. It's simplicity that resonates most deeply of all.
  35. A prototype of news-footage realism, the film makes shrewd use of handheld sloppiness, misjudged focus, overexposure, and you-are-there camera upset; the payoff is the scent of authentic panic.
  36. Tsai isn't without mischief — one key to this film's hypnotic power is humor so subtle it's practically subliminal — but his preferred takeaway is the pathos, the still-universal frustration, of an unanswered ringtone.
  37. What makes Kuchu work as taut agitprop, and ultimately to devastating emotional effect, is that Wright and Zouhali-Worrall allow the enormity of the film's political concerns to be telegraphed through the stories, experiences, and astute analysis of ordinary queer folk and their hetero allies.
  38. Takes us through reams of fascinating drama, from the first heroic forest-saving protests to the reactive police violence and resulting dead-of-night firebombs to the core group's implosion after the FBI tightens the net.
  39. Here's a movie with magic.
  40. Polanski orchestrates this cat-and-mouse game with devilish delight, dancing around Ives's play as if it were a pagan bonfire, jabbing at it with his figurative pitchfork.
  41. As Adenike, Gurira is wonderful: Her face is equally radiant whether she's channeling anguish or joy, and she captures the ways in which this woman, so old-country dutiful, also longs to join the modern world.
  42. Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
  43. At the film's center is Emily Watson's pitch-perfect performance as Margaret Humphreys, the real-life social worker who in 1986 stumbled over the hidden practice.
  44. Cast with both professional and novice actors (which results in uneven performances), the beautifully shot film is filled with exquisite moments.
  45. Remember the shitty crime comedies every Hollywood brat tried to make after "Pulp Fiction"? It took an Irish playwright to get it right. See it with an audience.
  46. Yet another first-rate film from a Middle East rich with them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hirsch edits segments together to merge disparate voices, showing how for this movement, music was no universal language -- it was specific, pointed, and almost paranormal in its power.
  47. It's a uniquely lonely film, and one of the year's most memorable.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Succeeds as the rehumanizing of a near mythical figure.
  48. A rhapsodic movie directed with considerable formal intelligence and brooding power from an original screenplay by Steve Knight, Eastern Promises is very much a companion to "A History of Violence."
  49. A highly entertaining adaptation of French dandy Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly's mid-19th-century novel Une vieille maîtresse.
  50. In the House is a mystery, but it investigates a far tougher riddle than what makes Claude tick—it's trying to figure out why, exactly, voyeurism and mystery delight us so. In the process, it delights us.
  51. The real star of this film is the crowded, neon-lit byways of the city itself.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Masterfully edited and cumulatively walloping, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight turns the well-known details of our monstrously bungled Iraq war into an enraging, apocalyptic litany of fuckups.
  52. Comedy seems to have liberated Gilroy, who directs Duplicity with the high gloss and fleet-footed hustle of a golden-age Hollywood craftsman.
  53. If you can forget the world-historic significance of the mass revolution that overthrew Europe's oldest absolute monarchy -- or rather, subsume it in the mysteries of personality -- The Lady and the Duke is the stuff of human interest.
  54. In remaking the 1966 South Korean film "Full Autumn" and setting it in America, writer-director Kim Tae-Yong uses the melancholic, gray backdrop of Seattle as both character and metaphor, crafting a film that's visually beautiful and incredibly moving.
  55. Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
  56. Like all of the best pop art, Tarantino's film is both seriously entertaining and seriously thoughtful, rattling the cage of race in America on-screen and off.
  57. The story matters only in that it creates opportunities for heaps of ridiculousness, and writer-director James Bobin (who also directed The Muppets), along with co-writer Nicholas Stoller, mines them skillfully and breezily.
  58. Force Majeure represents what is perhaps Östlund's most sophisticated thought experiment yet, at once provocative and wise. It is a penetrating study of that most ludicrous of social pretenses — masculinity, toxic and ubiquitous.
  59. If beauty and revelation is your bottom line, Anthony Powell's rhapsodic Antarctica: A Year on Ice will prove a grand time at the movies.
  60. This is a sure-handed, complex portrait of one woman's attempts to feel alive.
  61. At least we have this gem, the rare tease of what could have been that actually proves satisfying enough on its own.
  62. The Duel is the most successful literary adaptation I've seen since Pascal Ferran's 2006 "Lady Chatterley."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The audacity of making an inner-city drama in which the white-male authority figure is the crackhead finds its equal in Gosling's already legendary performance, a high-wire act that's gutsiest for its unconscionable charm.
  63. Valedictory and elegiac, Keach's film captures a performer who only truly seems to inhabit himself during the performances.
  64. Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy is exactly that: The Iranian modernist's first feature to be shot in the West is a flawless riff on our indigenous art cinema.
    • Village Voice
  65. It's part caper comedy, part revenge tale, and part glorious whopper.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fukunaga has made his Jane Eyre an intimate, thoughtful epic, anchored by strong lead performances and the gorgeous, moody 100-shades-of-gray cinematography of Adriano Goldman.
  66. Tyson is more like a particularly riveting therapy session, with Tyson as both analyst and patient.
  67. A vivid exercise in hokum that more or less invented the idea of French film noir...and not just for Americans.
  68. A transfixing Cold War thriller set in the East Germany of 1980, Christian Petzold's superb Barbara is made even more vivid by its subtle overlay of the golden-era "woman's picture," the woman in question being Dr. Barbara Wolff, brilliantly played by Nina Hoss in her fifth film with the writer-director.
  69. It's a must-see for anyone interested in art.
  70. To these eyes, Into the Wild is an unusually soulful and poetic movie that crystallizes McCandless in all his glittering enigma, and allows us to decide for ourselves whether he was the spiritual son of Thoreau, Tolstoy, and John Muir, or the boy most likely to become Theodore Kaczynski.
  71. The roles of affect and artifice in mediating the realities of racism, homophobia, and poverty are perhaps the true subjects of Shirley Clarke's landmark doc.
  72. Even if you know this history already, A.K.A. Doc Pomus is vital and endearing, a celebration of a great artist, a great character, and the universality of great pop.
  73. It's utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it's completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold.
  74. Trembling throughout on the verge of a tearful breakdown, but far too dignified to allow her character to choke up, Williams delivers a sensationally nuanced performance that, were it not so resolutely undramatic, would constitute an aria of stoical misery.
  75. Naomi Watts is a tremendous movie actress. She need only sidle on camera and glance over the terrain to claim the scene. What's her secret? Like the great Isabelle Huppert, Watts doesn't radiate feelings so much as she absorbs them.
  76. With elegant restraint the film subtly intimates the wintry dead end-twilight years bereft of love, partner, or vocation-that may be in store for its aged lover man. (Payne's "About Schmidt" did too, when not gorging snidely on idiot Americana.)
  77. A rigorous, agile, scathingly funny reckoning with a city and society in the last stages of decline.
  78. Filled with vivid and likable characters, The Opportunists could be the basis for a TV series as captivating as "The Sopranos."
  79. What's most stunning about Raging Bull is the tension between 19th-century melodrama and 20th-century psychodrama, the narrative form brought into being by the conjunction of Freudian theory and the mechanics of the movie camera.
  80. The finest Western you'll see this year is set in aristocratic 16th-century France, in the heat of Counter-Reformation.
  81. [A] pitch-perfect, deeply affecting film.
  82. Breillat's impressive film is a study of bodies and how we carry them, and it explores the manner in which weakness seeks out strength on an almost primal level, bypassing the higher modes of human thought.
  83. Valley of Saints is a marvel of neorealism, with nonprofessional actors facing the same hurdles as their characters and writer/director Syeed improvising in shifting circumstances.
  84. The biggest suspense: As everything gets worse for everyone, will this consummate director's outraged worldview afford anyone any pity? At first you'll seethe — then your heart will ache.
  85. A simple, solid, deeply affecting film.
  86. It really happened, it's really corny, and it's really great.
  87. It's a small gem with a killer rock soundtrack, well worth seeking out amid all the awards-season Sturm und Drang.
  88. 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.
    • Village Voice
  89. The masterstroke of Frank, the film ex-Sidebottom collaborator Jon Ronson has now co-written, is that this time the man in the mask is a modern Mozart. And, unsparingly, Ronson has written himself as the jealous goober who risks everything, with the delusion that he's the smart one.
  90. Craig, excellent in both art house endeavors (The Mother, Enduring Love) and blockbuster think pieces (Munich), has both a nasty streak and a soft side never before seen in the series; Fleming would recognize him as most like his literary creation: damaged goods in a tailored tux.
  91. Keep your "Lara Croft" and your "Shrek": For me, the summer's reigning icons are Enid, Thora Birch's geek goddess in Ghost World, and her action-movie analogue.
  92. Forget its generic title, its breakup setup, and its indie-standard Brooklyn walk-and-talks: Writer/director Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behavior is the freshest comedy of life and love in the city since Obvious Child.
  93. Allen has crafted a wry and thoughtful film about the peculiar stirrings of the heart that is certainly his most accomplished piece of work since 2005's "Match Point" and arguably his funniest in the eight years since "Small Time Crooks."
  94. Vital and vigorous even when its characters feel scraped of vigor/vitality, Philippe Garrel's latest finds boho Parisians facing the ends of marriages, affairs, and the feasibility of bohemian existence itself.

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