Village Voice's Scores

For 8,478 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 6.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Selma
Lowest review score: 0 88 Minutes
Score distribution:
8,478 movie reviews
  1. Rock-dumb Hong Kong thriller That Demon Within is exhausting, and only sometimes batshit enough to be engaging.
  2. Transcendence, written by Jack Paglen, is just more business as usual, one of those "control technology or it will control you" sermons that nonetheless enlists the usual heap of technically advanced special effects.
  3. Puenzo dramatizes her material with an overcooked sense of import that generates scant suspense.
  4. It may be a low bar, but Michael Tiddes's A Haunted House 2 is actually an improvement over its predecessor.
  5. As with many other WWII films, it takes genuinely stirring source material -- a young Hungarian man poses as a Nazi to find his dislocated family -- and reduces it to its most shopworn components.
  6. The Other Woman doesn't give these actresses much to do except look ridiculous, if not sneaky and conniving.
  7. There's a great story here, but Asante — who has made one previous feature, the 2004 drama A Way of Life — can't quite harness its power.
  8. At its best, this descent into madness plays out like a millennial stoner's take on Jacob's Ladder. More often, it recalls a sobering truth: Nobody likes listening to someone ramble while high.
  9. The story... could have worked well as a pitch-black comedy, but first-time director John Slattery (Mad Men's Roger Sterling) takes the material so seriously that the mood never changes much after leaving the funeral home.
  10. The director, Nicolas Mercier, has failed to grasp how repellent his own protagonist seems to us. By the end, he's tipped his hand, and what seemed an incisive portrait is revealed as oddly skewed.
  11. While the film isn't without charming moments -- the Derby sequence is entertaining -- the lack of narrative sophistication grates.
  12. A self-aware psychopath is a tough character to humanize, especially when he's mired in a stylized jumble of comedy and tragedy.
  13. With more actual grrrl power, Maleficent would be a bold redo. Instead, it's a beautiful snooze, a story that hints at the darkness underneath our fairy tales and tarnishes the idea of true love without quite daring to say what's really on its mind: that even the best of us might not live happily ever after.
  14. This is an almost scene-for-scene remake — but not a shot-for-shot remake, which likely would have been more enjoyable.
  15. The persuasive power of individual moments suggests that director William Eubank has a bright future — and could push himself harder when writing his scripts.
  16. One test for movies like this is whether they bemoan the inevitable gore or revel in it; The Human Race too often falls into the latter, amplifying and focusing on the bloodshed.
  17. The Rod Serling tension Byrkit is angling for never quite arrives, nor does any real Borgesian frisson. But thanks to its social setting, it does offer a vivid and perhaps intentional satirical portrait of L.A. culture.
  18. Certainly, a lot of blood is spilled in the name of laughs. There's only one problem with its broad attempts at grotesque comedy: Jackpot simply isn't funny.
  19. Bertolucci, despite his obvious affection for Lorenzo, can't help but seem out of touch, and his hero looks and sounds less like a modern-day teen than an old man's wistful idea of one.
  20. Falcone’s film is an unsteady mix of broad comedy and indie heart, asking us first to roar at Tammy’s ignorance and outrageousness and then to be moved at this lovable misfit muddling toward love, maturity, and a better life.
  21. Earth to Echo is a slender kiddie flick about a quartet of preteens and their palm-sized alien pal that's at once bland, well-intentioned, and utterly terrifying about the mental development of modern children.
  22. You may feel some anger if you pay to watch this. Or you may not, as Rage offers exactly what you think a Nic Cage movie called Rage would, except maybe for continually inspired lunacy.
  23. The film is dragged down by its awkwardly paradoxical story, which tries too hard to care too little.
  24. A time-killing kid-flick whose title is an exact summary of its plot.
  25. More problematic than its lack of a compellingly laid-out time line is the film's habit of hopping between points of interest, so that every one of its chosen treated with a few catchy sound bites.
  26. There's enough mumbo jumbo about space and time and cellular division to allow Lucy to feign depth, but what lingers is Besson's regressive belief that even the most intelligent woman on earth can't figure out how to get her way without a miniskirt and a gun.
  27. This film struggles to do justice to his many accomplishments, shortchanging his artistry.
  28. Too cartoonish to be cathartic, and too ghoulish to be honest fun, Into the Storm is mostly a somewhat uncomfortable sit enlivened by occasional hilariousness.
  29. More enervating than it is ambitious, Jake Squared is partly a romantic comedy and mostly a pseudo-philosophical apology for self-absorption.
  30. The final revelation of the big secret that haunts the family -- hinted at throughout the movie -- is more than a little maudlin, and the dedication feels like nothing so much as ass covering. Until then, After is a frequently absorbing miserablist family drama shot in appropriately chilly winter tones.
  31. I Am Happiness on Earth's script is mostly filler between explicit, intensely choreographed sex acts.
  32. Step Up All In cuts too fast, the way an MTV hack does when forced to disguise that a starlet can't move.
  33. Green is sexy, funny, dangerous, and wild -- everything the film needed to be -- and whenever she's not on-screen, we feel her absence as though the sun has blinked off.
  34. The movie is more effective as sports fantasy than as theology.
  35. Like many docs with activist undertones, Second Opinion tells a potentially interesting story in a bland way.
  36. As far as escapist fluff laced with totally unnecessary real-world horror goes, The November Man isn't wretched.
  37. There are too many vaguely defined interpersonal dynamics and marginal characters (hi, Liv Tyler and Judy Greer!) that distract needlessly from the earnest tone of an outrageous set-up.
  38. Hilary Brougher's YA-ish horror satire/romance/whatzit Innocence, adapted from Jane Mendelsohn's novel, boasts a wicked setup, some strong performances, several gloriously bloody spook-out images, and a movie-wrecking hypoglycemic listlessness.
  39. It sounds like a recipe for comedy (and Kline seems to think so too, waltzing and prat-falling through Mathias's alcoholic foibles), but Horovitz's screenplay guns instead for an emotionally and financially tangled melodrama, and ends up feeling aggravatingly inconsistent.
  40. "I wanted to make something energetic, optimistic, universal, and real," Bailey announces in voiceover as the movie begins. She's certainly accomplished that, but it's too bad she didn't also aim for vital, illuminating, or consistently compelling.
  41. The Man on Her Mind has a terminal case of the cutes.
  42. Alumbrones's creators talk up their work's restorative value, but never go into great detail about the world beyond their canvases. Donnelly's vague, circuitous questioning is to blame.
  43. Any movie is improved at least 10 percent by the presence of Scottish actor Brian Cox, even mushy sports drama Believe.
  44. Co-writer/director Matt Rabinowitz doesn’t artfully withhold information so much as lay it all on the table a bit earlier than he might have.
  45. The performances often enliven the stale material... But the script's naïveté is galling.
  46. The film's surface naturalism and visual grit simply cover up a screenplay that's as full of crap as the average recent Hollywood comedy.
  47. The Maze Runner is so bleak that it almost convinces us to take it seriously.
  48. If you’re not expecting too much, Drive Hard is mindlessly entertaining, but it lacks that spark of madness that might have made it truly fun. At least Cusack is able to shed some of his usual overseriousness.
  49. Bolivar is eye-rollingly romanticized as a wonderful lover and an even better fighter in Alberto Arvelo's lushly produced, dully reverential The Liberator.
  50. It’s strongly anti-prohibition, and the film’s structure favors that bias.
  51. While it has its moments, Miguel Arteta's comedy relies too much on gender-shaming and emasculation jokes.
  52. Automata has moments of tremendous visual and storytelling elegance which are punctuated with ham-fisted characterization and thunderingly terrible acting.
  53. Too much of the last hour is a muddle of unconvincing, hard-to-read nighttime action scenes.
  54. The Judge has its funny moments but is far more serious at heart, and much more of a slog, too.
  55. In a film that pits the heroine directly against the sexualization of young women, the camera's gaze itself feels awfully exploitative.
  56. The directors demonstrate confident technique in most of the scare scenes, but their uncertain touch with actors and dialogue makes a cock-up of the climax.
  57. Green Dragons wants to be spaghetti with marinara, but it's closer to egg noodles and ketchup.
  58. Aside from some inspired uses of chiaroscuro lighting, the movie around Depardieu is mostly derivative.
  59. Most oppressively, every inch of Horns is choked in religious metaphor that strangles the fun from the film. Aja clutters the movie with golden crosses and Garden of Eden snakes, but doesn't dare wrestle with the theology behind them — this is a snapshot of a steak, not a full meal.
  60. Matthew VanDyke, Point and Shoot's hero/subject, can't forget the mediated, imitative nature of his adventures even when he has dedicated himself to a grand cause.
  61. If anything unites On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter's cyclists, it's Brown and Rousseau's inability to highlight their subjects' most singular qualities.
  62. If you're in the bag for werewolves (or have a thing for hairy dudes smoking distinctive pipes), Wolves is a beckoning howl in the night. As an action movie, however, it's surprisingly tame.
  63. The misfires, including a strange menstruation gag, far outnumber the hits. Dumb and Dumber To is mostly just a kick in the nuts, and not the good kind -- provided there is a good kind.
  64. Each propulsive segment features a handful of disturbing sequences... But such pleasures barely compensate for the vapidity of V/H/S: Viral's sketches.
  65. Directors Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado present a study of two eccentrics without pushing too hard against their premise.
  66. The Barefoot Artist, co-directed by Yeh's own son, veers too close to hagiography, and as a result makes Yeh look not so much like a well-meaning global citizen as a bona fide saint.
  67. Sam Esmail’s first film has a visual assurance that suggests the arrival of a gifted director, but the characters he’s created are so off-putting that viewers aren’t likely to appreciate the beauty surrounding them.
  68. It's sort of a fascinating mess, a jagged, dark jumble of a thing anchored by Cage's anguished, moony-eyed obsessiveness. It's not bad enough to be fun, but maybe just bad enough to be intriguing.
  69. For a film whose central motif is dance, there's remarkably little dancing done onscreen, and though Rowland and her co-star share moments of tender, revealing conversation, the movie is ultimately underwhelming, its emotional range as limited as that of its characters.
  70. It presumes that children care a great deal about cellphone towers, political campaigns, and Twitter. Still, Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, is raw, charismatic, alive, and unpredictable.
  71. The humble Kyle onscreen is Kyle with his flaws written out. We're not watching a biopic. We're watching a drama about an idealized soldier, a patriot beyond reproach, which bolsters Kyle's legend while gutting the man.
  72. Grand in its aims but tepid in its conclusions, A Most Violent Year burns slow and gives off very little heat. It's not really that violent. But it sure feels like a year.
  73. On-the-nose monologues on the cyclical nature of centuries-old blood feuds ultimately feel more like stuffy lectures than living history; ditto the film as a whole.
  74. This is an indifferently filmed, sloppily conceived story that finds infrequent life through resourceful production design (Gigi's house is strewn with Modelo, Red Bull, and scribbled-on note cards) and on-edge work from Tomei and Rockwell.
  75. When it's all over, Still Life feels disembodied and perfunctory, like a very respectful eulogy for no one in particular.
  76. This blatantly big-hearted product isn't half as vibrant as the original 2005 Wired article on which it's based, and myopically neglects to address Arizona's troubling anti-immigration legislation through even a splash of hindsight.
  77. Occasionally, the film rouses into something thoughtful, even daring.
  78. Bernard Rose's elegantly staged but tonally flat biopic embraces the myth, even underscoring Paganini's rising fame, scandalous hedonism, and womanizing as an anachronistic form of rock-star fantasy.
  79. Overstuffed and distractible, this episodic redo feels like a couple episodes of some Showtime series stitched into a feature.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite the cast's genuine charm, Suburban Gothic's script and characters are too familiar and sophomoric to sustain half its runtime without the gross-out death sequences that define its genre.
  80. An unappealing, conventional, and somnolent piece of work in which, as glumly directed from David Levien and Brian Koppelman's corny script, every scene feels like it's being played for the second time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Draws a belabored association between romance and hip-hop, and it's hard not to wish the parallel lines would hurry up and converge.
  81. The visual subtleties don't come to bear on the storytelling, unfortunately -- the dialogue is cumbersome, the simpering soundtrack and editing more so.
  82. Sadly, most of Lombardi's movie is too doggedly mediocre to cut loose, overheated (and quite lovely) cinematography notwithstanding.
  83. The wall-to-wall rap score is as kinetic as the acrobatic fight choreography, and nothing else matters.
  84. Brown's saga, like many before his, makes for snappy prose but a stumblebum of a movie.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Intent on proving that five tough guys in suits walking towards the camera in slow motion really is the coolest thing ever.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    You spend a lot of time wondering, "Better or worse than Glitter?" You think if the projectionist cranked the volume a little you could actually sort of get into this.
  85. It's a campy, juiced-up ker-splat, busy with clumsy pyrotechnics and never nearing the vicinity of satire.
  86. This is a movie about the nature of acting -- or, more specifically, the nature that creates an actress -- centered on what appears to be a spectacularly unconvincing title-role performance.
  87. CQ
    Endearing but pointless, at once cluttered and tinny, this film-dork fantasia suggests a shopping spree at a high-end vintage emporium underwritten by Daddy's blank check.
  88. Amid numerous identical skirmishes with leapfrogging arachnids, trace elements of black comedy and intentional camp are discernible but utterly extraneous.
  89. It is not, the filmmakers stress, a sequel to "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (which writer Richard Curtis was also responsible for), but it fits the latter-day Hollywood definition of the term -- same movie, only worse.
  90. A vaguely absurd epidemiological thriller filled with elaborately superfluous setups and shamelessly stale James Bond riffs.
  91. Intermittently, in attempts to articulate a coherent argument, Collateral Damage shifts from pulse-pounding mode to something more migraine-conducive.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    If The Last Man were the last movie left on earth, there would be a toss-up between presiding over the end of cinema as we know it and another night of delightful hand shadows.
  92. A story that splits at the seams with plot holes and bloat.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The pat reconciliations among family members start to pile up like so much driftwood along the beach.
  93. At its most indulgent and posturing, Piñero plays like a movie the man himself might've made, between scores.
  94. Like a visual concussion.

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