Village Voice's Scores

For 8,739 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 6.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Brazil
Lowest review score: 0 Followers
Score distribution:
8,739 movie reviews
  1. This Lifetime-ready comedy is hardly provocative--let alone perceptive, funny, or fresh
  2. Discredit director John Luessenhop for giving us 3-D visuals reminiscent of "Jaws 3-D": That slab of meat's coming right for us! Try as he might to honor the original - flashbulb transitions, a skeevy (yet buff) hitchhiker, metal doors, and meat hooks - there's little of its mounting dread.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Strangely coy about its denominational allegiance.
  3. Mona Lisa Smile's only mysteries are the result of frenzied corner-cutting as Newell & Co. speed through the last reel, an exhausting cram session of hair-trigger speechifying and identity transformations bordering on the science-fictional.
  4. Tin-eared, corny attempt at fairy-tale interpretation.
  5. The Wedding Planner achieves the dubious but perversely impressive feat, for its 90-minute duration, of neutering Jennifer Lopez.
  6. The title is, to say the least, an understatement. Witchcraft has rarely looked more prosaic and less sexy than it does in Griffin Dunne's Practical Magic.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Gary Winick's flat direction does the material no favors: If Egan and Seyfried have any chemistry, it's framed out of their awkwardly staged climactic kisses.
  7. The ambitions are so paltry that our response should be too: Wolf Creek is unimaginative, light on the grue and heavy on the faux-serious desperation.
  8. 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.
  9. Saving Mr. Banks, a fictionalized account of two weeks Travers spent on the lot in Burbank, is proof that Walt has thawed and secretly reclaimed Disney's reins.
  10. Throughout, Knife Fight feels like TV, like a half-season of some promising cable show stuffed into a 98-minute film that never really builds or surprises.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Homies can make good hubbies, goes the moral of this January dump job, a tired send-up of hip-hop-isms that also aspires to be a Waiting to Exhale for men.
  11. As directed by John Lee Hancock, it's dull, talky, and sometimes maudlin.
  12. 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.
  13. Gilsig's transformation is quietly convincing, but the film itself is flatter and less cinematically gratifying than most television dramas.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Dynasty is less interesting as a film than as a winking gloss on hip-hop's assembly line of beats, beefs, and B-list lyricists. That said, Capone does a killer dancin' Dash, James Toback's Lyor Cohen is a riot, and multi-credited comedian Kevin Hart should have his own Chappelleian series.
  14. The movie is more effective as sports fantasy than as theology.
  15. Blind Mountain forces its way through numerous illogicalities and several plot lapses to a violently abrupt ending.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For better and for worse (at least for a story about a man struggling to behave like an adult), Full Grown Men feels and thinks with the heart and mind of a child.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This sketchily conceived and executed space yarn is one missed opportunity after another.
  16. The bigger problem: Quincy Rose, the opaque actor in nearly every scene, and the writer, director, and editor who doesn't distinguish between cinematic intimacy and revealing a character's inner life.
  17. This is an almost scene-for-scene remake — but not a shot-for-shot remake, which likely would have been more enjoyable.
  18. The doc is only about as revealing as a middling magazine article on the subject.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Ultimately everything feels one-sided and sanitized.
  19. 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film vividly portrays the obsessive landscape of Japanese table tennis, but the endless ping . . . pong of that teeny ball bouncing over that teeny net gets tiresome, especially in slo-mo.
  20. There's basically only one reason to see Olivier Assayas's self-consciously hypermodern, meta-sleazy, English-French-Chinese-language globo-thriller Boarding Gate, and her name is Asia Argento.
  21. Arriving just after the best year for animated film in recent memory, Fantasia 2000 doesn't play like a celebration. In its sentimental yearning for a golden age when another one's upon us, it feels a little like a rebuke.
  22. This showbiz Rashomon has continuity, as well as credibility, problems.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The seasoned actresses are grand enough, but what a waste: Rather than elevate the material, they amplify its banalities.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Lights in the Dusk derives scant excitement from its melodramatic plot, which satisfies a dismal, ineluctable formula with stultifying efficiency. Nor is it enlivened by the airless performances.
  23. A slick piece of pro-life propaganda, it has relatively luxe production values, painfully earnest performances, and a drippy "inspirational" score.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sporadically entertaining and utterly shallow, Steve + Sky answers the age-old question of whether a star's blinding beauty can justify an otherwise bland movie.
  24. It's hard to fathom why anyone would voluntarily endure a holiday family reunion movie -- a genre devised solely to demonstrate how grotesque and how heartwarming families can be--when actual holiday family reunions already exist for those very reasons.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As much as the film would like to blow the lid off immigrant misery, it deals only in caricatures.
  25. Self-Medicated reveals itself as a narcissistic fantasy about the misunderstood kid with a heart of gold who finally figures out how to get his shit together: "Good Will Hunting" with a side of Capracorn.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    From the tax debate, the documentary suddenly gets scattershot, going after the Patriot Act, laws against vitamin sales, election fraud, and Hurricane Katrina response (apparently a plot to grab people's guns), building to the standard New World Order line, which discredits any valid points Russo may have.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Pretty much everything here -- tow surfing, hydrofoil boards, token bit on women surfers -- already appeared in this summer's equally halfass "Step Into Liquid."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With just enough art-lack and speak-for-itself whiz (call me cheesy), this doc understands the famoustorical Philly park's appeal: Hot girls sunbathe there, and the bums are ka-razy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Only true opera diehards will appreciate the backstage psychodrama, a catalog aria of the singer's multiple neuroses.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The only joy to be extracted from Sun Kissed is voyeuristic: watching Teddy and Leo's taut bodies as they frolic in the sun-drenched surf. To music you like.
  26. Initial strangeness inexorably gives way to rote sentimentality and mystical tenderness becomes narrative expedience.
  27. Jig
    Bourne's lengthy chronicle of the World Championship is severely under-contextualized, leaving us in the dark about the competition's structure and frustrating our efforts to take a rooting interest in the proceedings.
  28. The feature itself remains a grotesquely enjoyable turn through the pulp-cinema wringer; hell, it could prove to be Mansfield's most enduring work.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Only Noah Wyle, as Adam's unreadable dad, rises above the muck; he deserves his Tarantino-aided resurrection sooner rather than later.
  29. There's no breathing life into a formula that ought to have bowed out gracefully while the going was good.
  30. The persuasive power of individual moments suggests that director William Eubank has a bright future — and could push himself harder when writing his scripts.
  31. Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, and True Blood's Ryan Kwanten co-star in this glossy, lifelessly paced edition as three of the criminals, though their underwritten personas and motivations are fairly interchangeable.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film betrays an eager crowd-pleaser's impulse toward on-the-nose dialogue and resolution on command.
  32. The inevitable all-you-can-eat orgy of zombies pulling stringy mouthfuls away from red, wet rib cages may satisfy gorehounds, but big set pieces showing how atrophied Romero's cutting and tactical framing have become is depressing to anyone who has valued his films for more than just splatter.
  33. Might as well be bad TV...Splendor is what happens when a director whose natural mode is subversion runs out of things to subvert.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Messina's characters gripe at being typecast as goombah hit men, yet the director seems blissfully unaware that he dooms them to the very fate they protest by painting them with such prosaic, uninspired strokes.
  34. Elling is nothing if not carefully controlled hokum -- both actors, the director, and screenwriter all worked it through first as a stage adaptation of a novel by Ingvar Ambjornsen.
  35. The most compelling thing about Friend 2 is its trifurcated plot, a structural gimmick borrowed from The Godfather Part II.
  36. To understand Apart's Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown tommyrot any better, one would need a psychic bond to first-time writer/director Aaron Rottinghaus, for his movie doesn't do much of a job explaining it.
  37. While the film isn't without charming moments -- the Derby sequence is entertaining -- the lack of narrative sophistication grates.
  38. A clever but aesthetically murky remake of Haskell Wexler's scorching McLuhan pastiche "Medium Cool" (1969).
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    So flat, dull, and off form that it seems to have been conceived in a fog. It not only lacks the verve and energy of Allen's best New York–based work, it feels culturally adrift, like some bewildered tourist trying to read a city map held upside down.
  39. It's the kind of thing you feel you should laugh at through a phlegmy, hacking cough-and it does get laughs, if inconsistently, predictable given the circumstances of production.
  40. Making Viktor a Middle Eastern, a South Asian, or even a Bosnian tourist would have given this trite exercise an edge--and a measure of human pathos.
  41. John Whitesell's extraordinarily witless movie operates as a checklist for cultural and racial clichés.
  42. In many ways reminiscent of "Mesrine" but suffers greatly in comparison. It hits many of the same marks -- but the scenes unfold almost elliptically, never really building or illuminating character, and never sparking narrative momentum.
  43. Because the metaphysics driving it are so fuzzy, this is the rare horror film where even sludgy viscera elicit only yawns.
  44. The chaos is convincing, but, less ruthless than Steven Spielberg, Bay eschews D-day panic and mutilation.
  45. Not without its moments of elemental dread, Apocalypse is also obviously padded, too long on action, and painfully short on irony. The satirical element still packs a minor jolt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, what could have been a superficially amusing IFC reality series was stretched into a thin, overlong feature that follows the rocky integration of this very New York clan into a somewhat ruffled island society.
  46. Slack, saccharine script.
  47. As a Lips completist, it's at least worth enduring for its homegrown resourcefulness, all General Electric stoves and found industrial objects, but that's the thing about experimentation: Sometimes it's destined to fail.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Aside from cameos by Jim Broadbent (as the drunken major) and Peter O'Toole (as Nina's reclusive, eccentric father), much of the acting strains for a sophistication that quickly becomes annoying.
  48. The Machinist has no meat on its bones, and we've seen it all before.
  49. High-buffed, low-rack pulp.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As sincere as a three-legged puppy.
  50. Pushing Tin pivots on our dubious fascination with professional erection duels, which are a sad substitute for dramatic conflict.
  51. The usual pop-culture jokes, disco tunes, and sarcastic narrator are on hand to prevent atrophy, but by the time the sky really does start "falling"--courtesy of an alien invasion-- Chicken Little's frantic efforts to stay farm fresh have started to wear on the nerves.
  52. It's a lot of plot but none of it is particularly funny or compelling. What keeps the film chugging along and also gives it a depressive aftertaste is a middle-aged male sexual anxiety subtext that intermittently sputters to the surface.
  53. Spanish director Isabel Coixet's hushed and understated Elegy is a flat, joyless affair.
  54. Beautifully filmed but written without the psychological depth or sleight of hand of the best thrillers.
  55. Dissolving four characters' lives into the dank smoke of the bitterest of torch songs, Gloomy Sunday fashions an apocryphal, pretty, and somewhat pat biography of the title ballad.
  56. In the grand finale, Abramoff fantasizes about using a Senate hearing to blow the whistle on the entire corrupt establishment. His rant offers a clue to how this otherwise pointlessly manic movie might have honed its political edge.
  57. Lebanon, Pa. begins as a tale about male, middle-aged self-discovery, but soon becomes something quite different: a clear-eyed if crassly manipulative take on the culture wars.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Bones splits the difference between horror and social commentary, with pallid returns.
  58. Party never gets rolling.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The miscasting of Fletcher--still a forbidding screen presence--as a kindly grandmother is only one of many missteps that director Michael Landon Jr. (yes, it's his son) makes in The Last Sin Eater.
  59. Carolla's stilted screen presence and groan-worthy zingers neuter any humor from Bruce's needy quest to return to the spotlight.
  60. A nonstop carnival of murder, rape, and mutilation .
  61. Banal big-budget adaptation of Robert Ludlum's 1980 espionage thriller.
  62. A couple of modestly effective shocks lie in store.
  63. Writer-director Thomas Verrette's thriller grapples with the foundational relationship between memory and self-identity. It's a well-trod path of exploration, and Verrette-- largely competent, often pedestrian-- doesn't bring much new to the investigative process.
  64. The Lone Ranger has it all, but what you end up with is not much. It's an extravagantly squandered opportunity.
  65. Hysterical but inorganic, lacking blood, sweat, or tears.
  66. There's nothing wrong with a little creative license, but the abundance of self-serving fabrication in City by the Sea not only diminishes LaMarca's experience and cheapens McAlary's work, it all but desecrates the memory of the real murder victim.
  67. As a whole, Cold Turkey is too busy and offers no fresh insight on the inner hysteria of seemingly upright WASPs. The actors work hard, but their roles are mostly one-note. It's Witt who generates the laughs and the pathos.
  68. Dieckmann nails the look of a certain niche of urban neo-middle-class living, but the film's hyper-earnest tone and reliance on "day-from-hell" New York clichés overwhelm those details.
  69. Rather than viewing moral chaos from the eye of a storm, director David Pomes watches his movie blow off into the storm itself.
  70. The pleasures of genre depend on invention within margins, not just prop department scavenger hunting.
  71. Zach Gilford's game performance is still no match for the film's catalog of easy ironies, awkward framings, and advice on how to play Blanche DuBois.
  72. Writer-director Clément Michel can't escape the usual infant-related movie pitfalls.
  73. It'd be easier to root for lead Tris's (Shailene Woodley, the go-to girl for drab roles with grit) quest to escape her Abnegation roots and those ghastly gray skirts to prove herself a worthy Dauntless if director Burger felt committed to the concept.
  74. Wittily conceived but clumsy as a newborn calf.

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