Village Voice's Scores

For 8,255 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 7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Last Days
Lowest review score: 0 The Nutcracker
Score distribution:
8,255 movie reviews
  1. Happily, beneath the film's nostalgic veneer and tooth-rattling visual and aural effects lies a mature ambiguity that's unusual for a holiday blockbuster -- and all but unheard of in a Tony Scott movie.
  2. A magisterial film, but not quite a great one.
  3. Becalmed or bobbing along, they remain balseros -- but then, as this engrossing documentary suggests, so are we all.
  4. Nothing can redeem the movie's final 40 minutes. That may not be an ultimate horror, but it is a real one.
  5. Resuscitates the filmgoing summer with a vital jolt of pure piss and vinegar.
  6. There isn't a bankable Hollywood director with a flintier sense of aesthetic integrity.
  7. May be pumped-up, but it's rarely boring
  8. This fastidiously hyperreal neo-noir suggests a sadder but wiser remake of the Coens' rambunctious debut, "Blood Simple."
  9. The unnecessarily emphatic ending suggests that Secretary's makers are a bit anxious to demonstrate they've whipped a potentially grotesque, spanks-for-the-memories scenario into the season's most romantic love story -- which is, in fact, what they've done.
  10. Coppola looks beyond the seductive metaphysical puzzle and locates the core of Eugenides's allegory in an obsessive, almost forensic act of remembering, both futile and inexplicably essential.
  11. Remarkably unassuming, genuinely playful, and superbly executed, The Iron Giant towers over the cartoon landscape.
  12. What a world we'd live in if Argento's Hollywood counterparts -- say, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or even Christina Ricci -- had this much imagination and nerve. Few of them, at any rate, have Argento's reserves of lonesome passion and unspigoted woe.
  13. Panoramic yet cozy, enthusiastically glib.
  14. The kitsch is back in full bloom.
  15. Along with Raoul Coutard's radiant cinematography, what makes the film extraordinary is Karina, the pure curves of her face a contradiction to the marionette angularity of her body.
  16. A notably confident and achieved debut.
  17. A funny, relationship-driven ensemble piece that takes the chill out of the Danish winter with a snuggly blanket of humanism.
  18. Kim's movie rocks -- I saw it cold a year ago, and I don't think I've been as entranced and appalled by an Asian film since Shinya Tsukamoto's "Iron Man."
  19. Takes us inside the consciousness and the coded masculine world of a single character.
  20. Director Robert J. Siegel allows the characters to inhabit their world without cleaving to a narrative arc. It's a luxurious hangout; spaces burgeon with goofy love and generous confusion.
  21. Made with intelligence and formal sophistication.
  22. The movie takes shape as an entertaining psychological armwrestle between rank belligerence and blustery condescension.
  23. Like "Chuck & Buck," The Good Girl is a droll, well-acted, character-driven comedy with unexpected deposits of feeling.
  24. Bani-Etemad's generational melodrama observes a blue-collar dynastic collapse worthy of Lillian Hellman, but stays steadfastly fixed on the quotidian of Tehran life.
  25. Antoine Fuqua's propulsive, elegantly written police thriller, offers the unsettling spectacle of Denzel Washington.
  26. The result is a freakishly potent farce.
  27. Because stateside newspapers aren't enough, "The Battle of Chile" (possibly the most riveting and vital historical document ever put on celluloid) should be a prerequisite to Guzmán's new doc, The Pinochet Case.
  28. Easily the best teen movie of the year.
  29. One may not realize how truly sad this movie is until the forlorn final moments, when Payne resists an inspirational closer, and, with exquisite tact, averts his eyes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nilsson's handheld lensing is a blend of smooth home-movie closeness and expressive formal compositions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A surprisingly good-natured comedy.
  30. When it comes to stoopid fun, X-Men could be the summer movie to beat.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A professionally crafted family film that reserves all its challenging moments for its characters, letting the audience bask comfortably in the approach of a predetermined warm and fuzzy ending.
  31. Allen's funniest, least sour outing in nearly a decade is a small movie with a tidy payoff. The movie gives vulgarity a good name.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Confident and brash, Lagaan may be high-concept New Bollywood, but it plays like well-crafted Old Hollywood.
  32. Bana, who appears in nearly every shot, talking all the while, gives a remarkably mercurial performance.
  33. It's a small, unassuming movie grasping at whole-hog homo psychopathicus, with its feet planted squarely in Texan grave dirt and its head lost in the ether of Christian derangement.
  34. As with Altman's best movies, Gosford Park is above all an entrancing hum of atmosphere and texture.
  35. Paranoid, hysterical, and programmatically subjective, the movie is in every sense a psychological thriller. Although the payoff is ambiguous, the experience remains in the mind. It's an absolutely restrained and truly frightening movie.
  36. If Hollywood were truly devoted to telling it like it is, Baker would win a special Oscar. To add to the creepiness, Solondz is (as he made clear in Dollhouse) an extremely sensitive director of kids.
  37. A movie of long, expressive silences, Divine Intervention articulates things that have never been articulated, at least on the screen.
  38. A work of leisurely development and tragic inevitability.
  39. Rampling has never been as beautiful, not to mention as emotionally naked, nuanced, and affecting as she is here.
  40. Bean has built a bonfire of contradictions and the ensuing conflagration illuminates a bit of the world.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Appropriately, Riedelsheimer shoots Goldsworthy's mini-megaliths with a landscape painter's eye; set to Fred Firth's modernist score, some images verge on Kubrick territory.
  41. Funny, reasonably crazy, and unpretentiously faithful to its source.
  42. (You) might be charmed by the film's blend of kineticism, car-culture rituals, and hilariously flat-footed dialogue.
  43. The entire unwieldy contraption rests on the shoulders of erstwhile "Queer as Folk" jailbait Hunnam: Bleached and bland, earnest and wooden, he's exactly what the film asks him to be.
  44. Gatlif's latest celebration of gypsy soul, sets a modest sliver of narrative in a fabulous widescreen landscape and surrounds it with a permanent party.
  45. Highly audacious, hugely enjoyable, exceptionally well-written, brilliantly edited, and exuberantly actor-driven extravaganza.
  46. A small, direct, tantalizing documentary.
  47. Kennedy takes pains to illuminate aspects and insights that buck cliché.
  48. I've never seen a movie that paid more heartfelt tribute to the power of artistic invention.
  49. Serry perfectly captures the peculiar climate, creating uncanny echoes with today's situation. Persian stars Shaun Toub and Shohreh Aghdashloo are extremely convincing as Maryam's parents.
  50. The fierce rigor of María Galiana's performance keeps this film from ever falling into sentimentality.
  51. Scenes from a marriage unfolding at the limits of love and personality.
  52. Jackson's adaptation is certainly successful on its own terms.
  53. The heartfelt use of extrasensory events as metaphors for a child's grasp of adult mysteries has a poetry to it, and the unblinking sympathy for kids struggling with evil and with the strange frequencies of prepubescent passion can, if your defenses are down, lay you out.
  54. Nolan, withholding master of disorientation in his previous non-linear films, allows far too easy access into the psychic tumult of Al Pacino's cop and Robin Williams's prime suspect.
  55. It's easily the most disarming and inventive movie made for genre geeks in years.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A deft, ambitious exercise in old-school socialist agitprop crafted with the precise multimedia flair of a corporate PowerPoint presentation, Travis Wilkerson's An Injury to One retells the gritty class struggles of the previous century through smoothly contemporary digital means.
  56. Skillfully directed and adroitly acted.
  57. Fast-paced feminist thriller and witty black comedy.
  58. The first punk tragicomedy, a chain-whipped cartoon meditation on Good, Evil, and Free Will that is as seductive as it is tasteless. That Kubrick misjudged the distance between comedy and cruelty seems to be unarguable.
  59. Complex, superbly rendered, and wildly eccentric anime-even by Miyazaki's own standards.
  60. Slesin's film is a profound meditation on the resilience of children -- their ability to take sustenance from whatever love is available -- and on the persistent presence of the child hidden within each grown-up.
  61. Forget "Irreversible," this is the season's most piercingly feel-bad movie.
  62. The rapid-fire satirical sophistication (scatology notwithstanding) and lovingly rendered pulp surrealism of this sequence should delight adults, while kids will get a charge out of the heroines' grown-up-defying chutzpah.
  63. Josh Aronson's thoroughly engrossing documentary Sound and Fury is as much about children's rights as it is about the impact of cochlear-implant technology on a family in which deafness runs through three generations.
  64. Noteworthy for its rich characterizations and startling plot twists, including a delightful surprise ending that is both a sexual double entendre and a matriarchal triumph.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The ultimate truth, though, is that certain, probably arrested, personalities (like mine) just find this kind of shit pretty funny and any attempt to talk your way around that is, as Cartman would say, blowing bubbles out your ass.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Brims with storytelling flourishes and gently deployed life lessons that even accompanying adults may dig
  65. The most offbeat studio comedy since "Rushmore."
  66. Crouching Tiger's dramatic line is so blurry that the central character is only a bystander to the climactic fight between forces of good and evil.
  67. On one hand a seat-o'-pants digital-video quickie designed for blunt trauma, and on the other a veritable index of classic genre-stuff, Boyle's film creates an acute sense of movie-viewing danger.
  68. Based on a memoir by a grown daughter of the eldest girl and rarely digressing from the journey itself, the movie is a dusty, calloused, primal Odyssey, as forceful and single-minded as a bullet train.
  69. What's not recognized enough is the indelible, self-sickened performance of William Holden as Desmond's boy-toy/hired hack.
  70. The most audacious debut feature of the year.
  71. In 1974 a director, a screenwriter, and a producer (Robert Evans, who for once deserves a few of the plaudits he's apportioned himself) could decide to beat a genre senseless and then dump it in the wilds of Greek tragedy. [Review of August 8, 2003 re-release]
  72. As sweet and unassuming a film as they come, embraces both perspectives -- it's sympathetic to the batty throes of a first infatuation, but affably demurs at indulging them.
  73. In a flawless performance, Bacri lets us glimpse the tender desperation beneath his character's harsh, curmudgeonly exterior.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Stuffed to the gills with surprises.
  74. Roth never fully exploits the woods around him, and the homes of the locals are far too middle-class, but because so many clichés are discarded amid the flesh rot, even the patented "Night of the Living Dead" coda feels sharp-edged and genuine.
  75. Full of observed life, the movie is also a bit of a vacuum, and once we register our admiration for Lopez, we can hardly help contemplating the cold equations of the students' futures, their uneducated families, and the rapturously desolate farmland around them.
  76. Jack Black is consistently hilarious--and not just in his dreams of moshpit glory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Both a heartwarming tribute to the late Beatle and a study of hair patterns in the aging British male, Concert for George, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall a year to the day after Harrison's death, manages both reverence and joy.
  77. Zeta-Jones is merely ravishing, but Clooney owns the film. Ordinarily best at sardonic, man's-man confidence, he strides through Intolerable Cruelty with fantastic screwball zest. To see Clooney tenderize, season, grill, and serve this ham hock of a role is to see an old-fashioned virtuoso in perpetual motion.
  78. It can feel a bit slight and, given the epic sweep of its subject's life, somewhat underplotted. But there's no denying the incendiary power of Ramos's performance -- he's present in nearly every scene. The movie is as much the story of his transformation into Madame Satã as it is João Francisco's.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gripping, relentlessly tragic retelling of life in revolutionary times.
  79. Despite similar excess, Garbus's follow-up to 2002's "The Execution of Wanda Jean" provides another powerful glimpse inside the American justice system.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though Natasha Lyonne as bratty daughter and Philip Baker Hall as the disposable spouse impress, it's Busch's heartfelt Joan Crawford homage that enthralls. Busch can transcend even the smog, making hazy camp seem fresh.
  80. In addition to reporting a scoop, Bartley and O'Briain do an excellent job in deconstructing the Venezuelan TV news footage of blood, chaos, and rival crowds.
  81. John H. Smihula's compelling video documentary aims for both hearts and minds.
  82. Basically an experimental psychodrama, Epidemic has a pleasingly slapdash, underground quality that recalls early Fassbinder and Wenders -- although, with its cynical premise and frequent infusions of Wagner, it exudes the prankster snarkiness characteristic of von Trier.
  83. Largely sidesteps sentiment in favor of a tentative hopefulness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Atlas allows Bowery's genius to retain, in the words of one admirer, "a big bundle of contradictions," not unlike his shocking designs themselves.
  84. Contemporary audiences may not see why, even in its toned-down simplification of the novel, From Here to Eternity was the most daring movie of 1953, but it remains an acting bonanza.
  85. A fascinating and painful account of an entertainer trapped not only by his Jewishness but by his overwhelming need to make theater.
  86. Damon and Kinnear are both pitch-perfect, inhabiting their ingenuous, codependent little universe together with the commitment of eight-year-old best friends. True to form, the Farrellys toss sophomoric spitballs at us, but nothing stems the rise of big-hearted generosity.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like the best documentaries, this one raises questions instead of providing pat answers. If only Devlin had taken his intrepid reporting a few steps further.

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