Village Voice's Scores

For 9,041 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Enzo Avitabile Music Life
Lowest review score: 0 House of the Sleeping Beauties
Score distribution:
9,041 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Comedy seems to have liberated Gilroy, who directs Duplicity with the high gloss and fleet-footed hustle of a golden-age Hollywood craftsman.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Winter on Fire's thrilling rebellion is neither the beginning nor the end, but it is at least a truly heartening middle.
  7. Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. This is a sure-handed, complex portrait of one woman's attempts to feel alive.
  13. At least we have this gem, the rare tease of what could have been that actually proves satisfying enough on its own.
  14. 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.
  15. Valedictory and elegiac, Keach's film captures a performer who only truly seems to inhabit himself during the performances.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. It's a fault of feminism, of artistry, of generosity, for the older woman to envy one younger. And yet. How do we escape the myths into which we are born? We tell them, and show the hard work of telling.
  19. Tyson is more like a particularly riveting therapy session, with Tyson as both analyst and patient.
  20. A vivid exercise in hokum that more or less invented the idea of French film noir...and not just for Americans.
  21. 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.
  22. It's a must-see for anyone interested in art.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.)
  30. A rigorous, agile, scathingly funny reckoning with a city and society in the last stages of decline.
  31. Filled with vivid and likable characters, The Opportunists could be the basis for a TV series as captivating as "The Sopranos."
  32. 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.
  33. The finest Western you'll see this year is set in aristocratic 16th-century France, in the heat of Counter-Reformation.
  34. [A] pitch-perfect, deeply affecting film.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. A simple, solid, deeply affecting film.
  39. It really happened, it's really corny, and it's really great.
  40. It's a small gem with a killer rock soundtrack, well worth seeking out amid all the awards-season Sturm und Drang.
  41. 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
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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."
  47. 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.
  48. The special power of Eastwood's achievement is that, save for one indelible moment, the mutual recognition between sworn adversaries happens not on-screen, but later, as we piece the two films together in our minds.
  49. Wild Tales is loose-limbed, rowdy, and exhilarating — in its vibrant lunacy, and with its cartoonishly brash violence, it's a little bit Almodóvar, a little bit Tarantino.
  50. Haunted by death-obsessed men of action, Un Flic (A Cop) is a fitting final act for noir master Jean-Pierre Melville
  51. 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.
  52. Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
  53. Cronenberg's movie manages to have its cake and eat it--impersonating an action flick in its staccato mayhem while questioning these violent attractions every step of the way.
  54. We Are Mari Pepa is a sweaty, urgent, beautifully honest bliss out.
  55. There are no jump-scares in this sensuous thriller, and the lack of anything corporeal on which to focus our unease only makes Butter on the Latch more darkly exhilarating.
  56. In essence, the film is a lecture, but Zizek's associative thinking and understanding of the applicability of psychoanalysis makes it a lecture like no other.
  57. The faults and merits of the free-school movement are elucidated with a steely, journalistic rigor. More surprising is that this candid glimpse plays as exhilarating drama.
  58. A quiet, raggedly beautiful mini-epic, Eden isn't a success story; it's a failure story. But it's also a glittering acknowledgement of the fact that failing is the only path toward growing.
  59. Without forcing the material into facile uplift, Bloodworth-Thomason still edges it into the realm of inspirational, never overplaying the anguish or soft-pedaling the bigotry at the heart of the story.
  60. The retro photos and footage are also bountiful and, natch, jazzily edited enough that the standard talking-head techniques are instantly forgivable.
  61. One of the best titles in movie history and a cast to match.
  62. 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.
  63. It's an astonishing Kidman who contributes the film's -- and maybe the year's -- most inspired turn.
  64. Beyond its rare visions of remote vistas, Camel's great charm lies in its seeming simplicity. The camera records the events of the day -- from a little girl's tears to an afternoon sandstorm -- with a childlike clarity and curiosity.
  65. Keane is a painfully specific figure but at the same time a totem, lean and frightening, for a morass of modern anxieties. That might be this phenomenal film's emergent achievement: Its raw hopelessness is its universality.
  66. The lovely ball-&-socket meeting of the two artists' sensibilities is what makes the doc sing, even if it is a chronicle of a death foretold.
    • 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.
  67. Reichert and Zaman level a perceptive, justly withering eye at the state of healthcare in the United States, careful to remind, if only implicitly, of the tragedy that necessitates these commendable acts of charity.
  68. Nélisse, with her tough, Courtney Love puss, and Néron's portrayal of a boy's well-defended torment are extraordinary, as is the film's realization of the small, temporary world that surrounds them. Hitting upon that kind of specificity - of a moment and its emotion - makes for strong memories and a really great movie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a film of breathtaking cinematic romanticism and near-complete denial of conventional catharsis. You might wish it gave you more in terms of comfort food pleasure, but that's not Anderson's problem.
  69. The triumph of Still Alice is that it’s not about an illness; it’s about a person.
  70. It's impossible to watch The Punk Singer and not ask if feminism is dead. That's a fair starting question. But a better one is what if it isn't — what if we've just stopped recognizing it?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shot on Super 16mm, the visible grain giving each image a wonderfully tactile depth and life, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom is, in a lot of ways, the ur–Wes Anderson film.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A film that forges identification with its victimized heroine like none I've seen in decades. (The Nova Scotia–born Page, a Molly Ringwald type who was only 15 when the movie was made, leaves little doubt as to whether a kid can play a grown-up's icky game and win.)
  71. Beehive is a graceful and potent lyric on children's vulnerable hunger, but it's also a sublime study on cinema's poetic capacity to reflect and hypercharge reality.
  72. This Lincoln, stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool.
  73. Genuinely unnerving movie.
  74. As with Téchiné's best work, Strayed is a peculiar, lingering blend of robustness and delicacy--a movie with hardly a single wasted frame, incongruous word, or false gesture.
  75. Part of what makes writer-director Rick Famuyiwa's Dope so fresh and joyous is that in many key ways it's not new at all.
  76. Director James Ponsoldt gives us long, loose, single-shot courtship scenes, each a marvel of staging and performance.
  77. Ratatouille is as much a feast for the senses as it is food for thought.
  78. Yamada shoots his movie with a grandfatherly expertise, never squeezing the drama for juice or distancing us too far from the characters -- it's a pleasure to see a movie that makes every shot count, narratively and emotively.
  79. The directors plant a camera in front of Roth and get him talking. To smooth over edits, they show us book covers and old photos—Roth was dashing, charming, a little dangerous, one of his college friends tells us, but she doesn't need to say it. It's manifest, and it's still true. The film is especially recommended to anyone who thinks they hate him.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [Fukasaku's] genius is finding the overlap between teenage dreams and nightmares, between the intensity of first love and the terror of extinction.
  80. It seems easily the most valuable piece of film to emerge about the war in all of its three-plus years.
  81. But real-life hard-knock plot twists, as well as some tweaking of form (there's no narrator or voiceover of any kind; the film's subjects outline their grim realities largely through their rhythmically upbeat songs) make the film absolutely riveting, as does the fiercely rousing music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A slow-motion-enhanced kiss scene, with Corinealdi in top I-don't-give-a-f--- strut, is a startling example of DuVernay's ability to conjure drama that at once takes place in a character's head and in a recognizable real world. It's beautifully nuanced and confidently ambiguous - and so is the movie.
  82. District 9 whizzes by with a resourcefulness and mordant wit nearly worthy of its obvious influences: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Starship Troopers."
  83. One marvel of the film is how it conveys so much information so quickly, and with such accessibility.
  84. 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.
  85. To use a phrase from the film, The Armstrong Lie is a "myth-buster." It's wholly necessary, brilliantly executed, and a complete bummer.
  86. The Wolfpack is more like a diorama of the Angulos' unusual childhood than an explanatory documentary.
  87. His gift-and the film's-is to transform the seemingly banal relationship between pet and owner into something singular, inimitable, sacred.
  88. A sustained immersion in gorgeously austere street photography and casual portraiture, the images punctuated by bits of black leader and gnomic intertitles, the action propelled by sweetly pulverized music and an effortlessly layered soundtrack of enigmatic conversations. Poetry is really the only word for it.
  89. What anchors Two Days, One Night, and eases its gaps, is Cotillard's extraordinary performance.
  90. A mischievously hedonistic, Chaplinesque farce, the film buoyantly but seriously traverses the horrors of World War II with a subtlety and sophistication that most American comedies cannot grasp.
  91. With striking visuals reminiscent of Matisse and Chagall and a refreshingly (for domestic animation audiences) grown-up storyline, The Painting is almost reminiscent of, well, a work of art.

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