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 West of Memphis
Lowest review score: 0 Jersey Guy
Score distribution:
8,531 movie reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Pitched at the risible level of Marco Kreuzpaintner's Trade, the film never quite recovers from writer-director Damian Harris's dithering way of shooting things.
  1. In this densely populated ensemble piece, Reeves stands out as the only actor whose damaged character evokes sympathy and avoids cliché. Pippa, played by Wright Penn in near-permanent Stepford Wife mode, isn't much more than a vehicle for false epiphanies and forced rapprochements.
  2. Racial tensions and bawdy humor carry the day, until, following an unfunny set piece at a fancy hotel and a street robbery, black and white (far too) easily come together to help their young charge.
  3. The exposition is thick, the characterization choppy, the wigs terrible.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Writer-director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) is about as skilled at storytelling as Walker is at acting, which is to say not very.
  4. Comes down to two sorely limited and rapidly tiresome characters.
  5. 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.
  6. This is a weirdly schizophrenic movie, one that's light on the murder mystery and heavy on the sermonizing.
  7. Live at the Foxes Den's heart is certainly in the right place, but its content is culled from so many different movies that it seems the end product of a particularly unfocused pitch meeting.
  8. Unlike the director's usual organic efforts--in which great style never results in overstylized--The Informant! feels overamped from start to shrugging finish.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    A huge problem with the whole shebang is that the impressions (all courtesy Cornwell and Sessions) are shaky at best.
  9. Surprisingly lacking in depth and overall political perspective.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The narrative doesn't arc so much as slope down at a 45-degree angle-from the high of innocent fun to the depths of absolute moral vacuity-with a break in the dead center for a visually stunning, perfectly weird acid-trip scene, something like an excerpt from "Inland Empire's" would-be nautically themed sequel.
  10. Raunchy dude comedy is hardly the sole province of American cinema, as Klown all too dispiritingly reconfirms.
  11. Anderson['s] lavish visual imagination is matched to a placeholder idea of character that's almost avant-garde in its generic stylization, dialogue buffed of personality by passing through 10,000 previous movies.
  12. As "Henry Fool's" belated sequel, Fay Grim seems nearly an act of desperation.
  13. Lushly photographed and meticulously sound-designed, Sin Nombre is visceral without being vital, researched without ever seeming lived-in.
  14. As earnest and smart-alecky as an entire season of Designing Women, Ya-Ya is sure to score with its redemptive family melodramatics and stock eccentric characterizations.
  15. Groove is less a work of subcultural ethnography than a curiously dorky act of hipster sincerity, less party movie than cheesy valentine
  16. Ultimately, however, People Like Us is infected with the "life-affirming" pox; this means making a narrative priority of redeeming everyone before adequately explaining them.
  17. Not just a walk in the park with Mel and the guys (in this case a large cast of mainly Mexican Indians speaking present- day Yucatec), this lavishly punishing picture is the third panel in Gibson's "Ordeal" triptych. The Martyrdom of the Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ have nothing on The Misadventures of the Jaguar Paw.
  18. Garvy has worked hard to weave the interviews into an exciting narrative, but the focus is perhaps too narrow for the film to be as politically effective as it could have been.
  19. Fewer cops and more full-tilt vampire batshittery might not have resulted in a more coherent movie, necessarily, but almost certainly would've made for a more captivating one.
  20. Segal's gearbox gets jammed between recession-era sports drama and brainless comedy, especially as Hart hollers pop-culture punch lines like he's the squirrel sidekick in a CGI kiddo flick.
  21. At its heart is a deep, unresolved ambivalence about child rearing.
  22. Unrelentingly mundane, as if made with the sole purpose of draining the topic of adultery of any prurient interest.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's complicated with superficial obstacles are treated with the subtlety of a hammer hitting a nail.
  23. Kapur and his screenwriter have little interest here in maintaining even a dollop of historical accuracy.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With perfunctory battle sequences, cardboard characters, and uncreative scare 'ems, Paul W.S. Anderson's monster mashup isn't quite terrible enough to be so-bad-it's-awesome, but his swift (if forced) plotting and amusingly shoddy costumes mean that there could be worse ways to enjoy air-conditioning.
  24. The Caller begins as a multinational corporate thriller more ambiguous and geopolitically senseless than "Demonlover."
  25. Levant and his screenwriting posse attempt to wring maximum hilarity from this setup, but it's just too schizoid.
  26. All the same, The Rider Named Death is curiously anemic; rather than passion, outrage, and danger, we're contemplating the sotto voce conspiracy love of a quaintly distant age, when results weren't quite as emotionally important as commitment and camaraderie.
  27. Chen's attention to character over spectacle pays minimal dividends and is compounded by the fact that his battles - full of standard-issue slow motion and hacked-off limbs - are as dull as an overused blade.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Its roundelay of shallow types (played by beautiful movie stars) treating one another badly, and having whiny conversations about said treatment, is such a whisper-soft version of social critique that it makes the autobiographical films of Nicole Holofcener (Please Give, Friends With Money) look as cutting as the films of Jean Eustache.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A cautionary eco-doc so earnest and moth-eaten it should properly be seen on filmstrip during fourth-period social studies.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Fletcher ably blends ballet and hip-hop, but the filming itself is often clumsy, and Tatum's relentless African American impersonation quickly wears out its welcome.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The pacing is slightly off, with the action switching between the imprisoned men and the police who are trying to find them, and what should be a mounting sense of urgency inside the warehouse (think Reservoir Dogs) falters and goes slack.
  28. A combination of "Barnyard Follies" and "Schindler's List."
  29. Good intentions can be deadly: Benoit runs into the common tripwire of caring more about pitching her cause than she does about movies. Scenes illustrate simple social-injustice points, and the characters are one-dimensional sufferers.
  30. Bumrushed onto American screens like late-breaking news, the Japanese TV doc Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times is a relatively thin slice of Chomskiana -- a chapter from any of the man's many interview volumes, or even an hour of his C-SPAN dialogues, has more political substance.
  31. Life of a King isn't setting out to reinvent cinema, or even a genre, but rather just to be a moderately uplifting tale that makes watching chess interesting.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Viewers must get in touch with their inner child to fall for Belle's eventual love for Beast. The film seems somewhat aware of this, casting an ambiguous hue on its happily-ever-after conclusion.
  32. The further this series drifts into corporate-franchise territory and away from Peli's inventively cheap, slyly psychosexual conception, the more reasons there are to just stay away.
  33. Anand manages to work in shamelessly exploitative September 11 footage between numbers, but aside from this sequence, Love couldn't be more giddily benign.
  34. Good-natured and completely forgettable.
  35. While making a priority of squeezing in every usable bit of celebrity face-time, Mansome passes by potentially interesting digressions without more than a wayward glance.
  36. Everyone in the film is a walking cliché.
  37. Reservation Road itself may twist and turn into the New England night, but emotionally and dramatically, the movie that bears its name is a dead end.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie wrong-foots Zellweger from the start. She's not enough the ice queen, like Sigourney Weaver in "Working Girl," for us to accept her transition into adorable Melanie Griffith.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Heavy ironies like that drop regularly, undermining both the film's intentions and the drama.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite a rousing fourth act (out of five), this disappointing adventure movie plays more like: "Dead Poets Goes to Sea." [06 Feb 1996]
    • Village Voice
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Emphatically acted, ponderous, and ultimately a little silly.
  38. This wan rebooting of the Christ tale has decent acting, serviceable if familiar visual effects, a few jump-in-your-seat moments, and the always crowd-pleasing gimmick of a senior citizen cussing up a storm. But the down time between action scenes is deadly dull and the film's hoary cinematic shorthand (i.e., a young Black man enters the film to the sound of hip-hop and fights with his baby mama) is more terrifying than anything else served up.
  39. The tone fits the material and the performances are surprisingly measured, but Saitzyk's sappy pontifications on loss, redemption, and zealotry don't register as headily as they're meant to (every character gets at least one melodramatic speech), and the spirituality invoked feels about as sincere as the Christian who only attends Christmas mass.
  40. The trajectory for all four characters is toward acknowledgment of the emptiness their indulgences can't fill. It's kind of heartening that Becky has that all worked out, pretty much, even if the film doesn't quite get there.
  41. As usual, Figgis coaxes moon-shooting performances, but all the furious improv lacks any sort of map.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie comes across as desperately, even irritatingly contrived, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it overcame my naturally complacent instincts--which would be to watch something (anything) else, to not get haunted by that closing litany of websites for global action.
  42. No "Triplets of Belleville," this French animated feature was hatched as an idea for a video game, and it shows.
  43. First Daughter is less amusing than Jenna and Barb at the RNC, and dumb enough to make last January's presidential scion, Mandy Moore, look electable.
  44. The movie is a sloppy amalgamation of animated instruction, dramatic vignettes (starring actualization-starved single gal Marlee Matlin), and talking-heads interviews.
  45. Too bad Prosserman can't trust his material: Overloading the screen with aesthetic dross, the director offers up tiresome symbolic imagery of blood-soaked hands, burning money, and out-of-focus documents. Rather than amping up the intensity, these fast-cut sequences prove disastrously distracting.
  46. Clerks II can't bear the strain of its amateur-hour theatrics, no matter how big its heart or how many crocodile tears it manages to squirt. The dramatic moments become melodramatic; the bawdy moments turn icky. The fans will eat it up.
  47. Possible resulting "fun" is only slightly mitigated by contemplation of the wearisome decadence of American popular culture.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Tortilla Soup feels instantly dated, distinguishable from EDMW only by some attractive close-ups of avocado.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Home's improvisatory aura proves more believable than "The Anniversary Party's" annoying contrivances, but it does little to hide the obvious fact that watching a rather dull party can be, well, rather dull.
  48. For a film about a stand-up comedian to be mirthless is dispiriting; more problematic, however, is that The Stand Up doesn't make up for that absence of humor with any legitimate drama.
  49. Shows Rock suffering from premature Robin Williams syndrome. He's yet to express the full ferocity of his comic talent on the screen and he's already doing penance by going for the warm and fuzzy.
  50. Flashbacks integrate with scenes from her films, and it becomes difficult to discern between the two -- cinema is equated with memory. Unfortunately, the trippy disorientation ultimately devolves into outright confusion.
  51. If it sounds all so pale and predictable, it is.
  52. Witherspoon's oft charming perkiness is merely patronizing here, but mid-'90s MTV staple Donal Logue steals every scene he's in as an ethically challenged therapist.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Scrappy college-age filmmakers Chris Faulisi and Matt Robinson do a commendable job of establishing tone and tension in their debut feature, but things fall apart when words and feelings start to flow.
  53. Roughly splits the difference between "Six Days, Seven Nights" and "9 1/2 Weeks." Which is something like the nth-order derivative of an infinite regression.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie's hyperactivity eventually yields to such revelations as Life Isn't a Game and The Biggest Dare Is Love, but the ultimate measure of its conventionality is its soundtrack.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With its eager-to-please congeniality, it almost works, but with a pacing that is at once comfortably assured and frustratingly slack, like holding exactly to the speed limit on a stretch of open road, Larry Crowne never quite comes to life.
  54. In keeping with his apparent ambition to play each character more berserk than the last, Pacino can't discuss wine choice without sounding on the brink of aneurysm.
  55. There are more tears than the title lets on, and even more blood, but it's a reason to truly be invested that's missing from No Tears for the Dead, which is rarely any better or worse than serviceable.
  56. Thin as it is, Family Tree is no slog - the droll, attentive performances by Davis and Mulroney are endearing, and the extraneous guest-star bits (including Christina Hendricks as a secretary, no less) and rambling B stories aren't overly distracting.
  57. 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.
  58. A self-aware psychopath is a tough character to humanize, especially when he's mired in a stylized jumble of comedy and tragedy.
  59. The raunchy, feminist-revenge jokes are the best part of this feel-good, you-go-ladies sports comedy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Given that Spider-Man 2 was twice as fun as the first, it's triply disappointing what an overwrought bore S3 turns out to be.
  60. The resolution is as surprise-free as it is improbably sunny.
  61. The three stars are all perfectly naturalistic, but their roles are too bloodless and their patter too dry.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Stuffed with cheap effects and devoid of tension, this French-Japanese-U.S. co-production contributes exactly zilch to the rich film history of those three nations; the most horror-crazed teen may be hard-pressed to find any authentic thrills here.
  62. The performances often enliven the stale material... But the script's naïveté is galling.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Perry's indifferent direction flattens everything out: You might fall asleep if his heavy-mitted music cues didn't keep cattle-prodding your ass.
  63. Seymour returns to the Spokane Indian Reservation after a 16-year absence for a friend's funeral. The predictable conflicts ensue, often in histrionic dialogue declaimed through clenched teeth.
  64. The movie's argument only occasionally transcends its oozy nonspecificity and feel-good bleeding-heart vibe.
  65. Each segment feels more like an extended trailer for itself than a sound narrative unit. Maybe this incompletion is purposeful, but it's a problem when what's invariably elided or taken for granted is the very human connection and commiseration that is supposedly the most vital force in the universe.
  66. First-timer Nick Tomnay has expanded his movie from a short, and the point where he ran out of ideas looms like a cliff edge.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sluggishly paced and stiffly animated, Hoodwinked pulls out all the stops to keep its attention-deficient audience occupied, but the snowboarding, skiing, hang-gliding, and kung fu sequences will still be a lot more fun in the Hoodwinked video game.
  67. Not a movie that can afford to take itself seriously.
  68. Like nearly all of Lehmann's post- "Heathers" work, it's lazy and disinterested--a hack-for-hire job any number of film-school grads could have put through its uninspired paces.
  69. [A] clever but emotionally unengaging movie.
  70. Peter Wingfield delivers an engagingly oily Claudius, and Lara Gilchrist's Ophelia is radiant. But Ramsay's Hamlet's madness never really overcomes the character's traditional emo temperament.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film lacks the guiltily pleasurable panache (and punch) of other recent chickadee flicks posited as protofeminist fairy tales.
  71. Robert De Niro's only good at playing a dad in movies starring Ben Stiller? It's all so much raging bull.
  72. 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.
  73. Too flimsily built and baldly unfunny to bolster Cruz's charms, but Almodóvar's blessed Virgin is, as usual, winning and guilelessly seductive.
  74. Beauvois, who co-wrote, seems hellbent on making the most realistic cop film of all time, shruggingly consumed with downtime, small talk, minor incident, and dead ends, and he's succeeded--the narrative wouldn't have cut it in a Kojak story meeting.

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