Village Voice's Scores

For 8,118 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Lincoln
Score distribution:
8,118 movie reviews
  1. Matching their superbly expressive computer-generated counterparts, the actors are all enjoyably hammy, but the real star of Antz is the art direction, a marvel of teeming detail wittier and more sophisticated than the script.
  2. The hyperbole can be predictable and the clichés earnest, but by and large, Charlie is a serious, often illuminating, and unavoidably entertaining account of the creature Downey calls "the most endearing superhero you might ever want to watch."
  3. Without the intrusion of voice-overs or interviews, Mylan and Shenk attained a remarkable intimacy with the strapping, earnest, startlingly beautiful teenagers.
  4. Actually manages a fresh perspective. The director, camera in tow, had unimpeded access to the devastation for a full day before being shooed away by officials, and the footage he captured (sans commentary) is both gut-wrenchingly familiar and disconcertingly foreign.
  5. This poignant, acutely observed movie is eloquent and suggestive in dramatizing a particular trauma in the context of an ordinary Haifa family.
  6. Warmhearted but unsentimental, touching but not mawkish, clever but never cute, Divan is almost miraculously modest.
  7. A fascinatingly mean-spirited erotic comedy.
  8. There's something refreshing about a pulp drama that turns on the notion that redemption is a sucker's fantasy. That knowledge may not have saved Goines, but it informs Dickerson's adaptation and results in stellar neo-noir.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In its ability to transform the drably mundane into something otherworldly, Marathon offers one of the most inventive reimaginings of the MTA since D.A. Pennebaker's 1953 cine-poem "Daybreak Express."
  9. Increasingly violent (although always distanced), The Outskirts is at once appalling and bleakly humorous.
  10. Chéreau's film is an unsentimental, almost uninflected, account of a preparation for death, told with a painful clarity that eventually bleeds into compassion.
  11. Far from a maxim-expounding sermon, the film is a fresh spring of irrational visual pleasure.
  12. Unpretentiously poetic and casually stylish, yet perversely precise. Reconstructing the past, Carri seems to suggest, is akin to grabbing the water in a flowing stream.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Baritone Howard Keel makes an impressive Hollywood debut as Hutton's leading man. During the nonmusical scenes, Betty Hutton gives a crude and strident performance, exhausting to watch, but she belts out the songs with an appropriately rowdy energy.
  13. Both resonant and skillfully devious.
  14. Because everything is funny and nothing provides a punchline, audiences may be too shell-shocked to laugh--you know you're in Maddinville when individual cackles detonate at unexpected intervals.
  15. Possibly the most Rorschachian film of all time, a symbol-only text that effortlessly conforms to any political present, and finds a foothold in your social sphere whether you're a free radical or reactionary wing nut.
  16. In one movie, at least, the ethical baseline (heisted, you could argue, from "Sweet Smell of Success") gave Fellini's roaming, cluttered mise-en-scène a chilling gravity he could never genuinely locate again.
  17. A fabulously fond and entertaining tribute to the quick-witted Lower East Side kid.
  18. As crass as it is visionary, Godzilla belongs with--and might well trump--the art films "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Dr. Strangelove" as a daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.
  19. Skin is less life story than luxuriant mood bath.
  20. Sometimes exerts the gross-out fascination of reality TV's muckier specimens--its arc suggests a slow-motion "Fear Factor," or "Extreme Makeover" in reverse.
  21. S21 is understated and unforgettable; in its modest way, this movie is as horrific an exposure to evil as Lanzmann's "Shoah."
  22. This absorbing, significant, and shamelessly entertaining movie not only goes through the looking glass but, no less significantly, turns the mirror back on us.
  23. Accurate enough as history to provide a potent reminder that black independent cinema did not end with Oscar Micheaux or begin with Spike Lee.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Dodgeball is the most satisfying comedy of the past year--at least among the ones starring Stiller.
  24. Thrusts us into a high school senior year like no other.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As in "The Bear," Annaud eschews animal voice-over and visual F/X in favor of live, almost wordless action. The result is the humanization of animals and the animalization of humans.
  25. Peralta has become a more relaxed filmmaker, and when he trusts the haunting sight of a giant wave breaking to speak for itself, the movie reaches the sublime heights of its subject.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite cloying narration, Fitzgerald's footage and interviews are fantastic.
  26. It's a remarkably assured and humane feature debut.
  27. It is an essay in film form with near-universal interest and a remarkable degree of synthesis.
  28. Demme, who works a clever permutation on the original ending, is more than capable of doing the thriller thing--even with material that will strike a good percentage of his audience as familiar. As an intelligent genre flick, the movie plays to his strengths. His direction of actors has never been better.
  29. Splendidly entertaining.
  30. Ought to look pretty dated. Instead, Sidney Lumet's biopic of Frank Serpico, the virtuous cop who exposed a network of graft in the NYPD, feels depressingly relevant.
  31. French director Michel Deville has managed to preserve the work's great virtues--the intimacy, discretion, grace, and humor with which it speaks of both irredeemable disaster and the taste for life that survives it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Johnny's analysis and will carry the film. Of course they didn't get along--they were a rock group.
  32. A satisfyingly well-wrought, old-school thriller: Character drives the plot, literally.
  33. Spins in place with aplomb, generating exponentially more vertiginous doublings with each sweaty-palmed set piece.
  34. A deadpan, self-consciously prehistoric version of Jean Renoir's rueful idyll A Day in the Country, Blissfully Yours is unconscionably happy.
  35. Director Peter Berg, an actor himself, gets quietly excruciated performances from the team members.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    E J-Yong's transposition illuminates, with satisfying crispness, the hyper-Confucian high society of the time, as well as the underground Catholic movement.
  36. Built to outrage, appall, and indict.
  37. Gripping, strangely beautiful, and poignant.
  38. Like many cult films, it is also less than the sum of its parts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The ferocious fighting moves (adapted from ancient Muay Thai manuals by veteran Thai martial arts director Phanna Rithikrai) that constitute Ong-Bak's money shots are often truly astonishing.
  39. Revived (with vastly improved subtitles) some 14 years after it first stunned Hong Kong critics, Days of Being Wild is a sort of meta-reverie populated by a cast of beautiful young pop icons.
    • Village Voice
  40. Too touchy-feely for some hardcore Godardians, Notre Musique is the most lucid of the master's recent films.
  41. All the same, Eastwood's point of view has been seasoned enough to locate poignancy and respect for his protagonists where you least expect -- saying it's an old man's movie is a serious compliment.
  42. An engrossing study of a protagonist who variously inspires pity, clinical interest, fondness, and revulsion-sometimes all at once.
  43. A bracingly no-nonsense, highly professional policier—as proudly old-fashioned as its curmudgeon hero.
  44. Largely a showcase for Puri, and he rises to the occasion with a performance that bursts from the screen and tears into your heart.
  45. A spare, formally ingenious, journalistically acute piece of filmmaking.
  46. Manages to be not only consistently droll but cumulatively poignant and even scary.
  47. What finally makes Town Bloody Hall so compelling -- and unsettling -- is the impression that such serious, spirited debate is a thing of the past.
  48. Chaiken ably balances real-time rhythms with propulsive incident -- she catches subtler interior strains, too.
  49. Filled with purposeful, if absurd, activity rendered gravely hilarious through Tsai's deadpan, distanced representation of extreme behavior.
  50. You're paying for the view, and it's truly breathtaking.
  51. The cast never skips a beat, particularly Mark Margolis as the most obnoxious dinner customer in cinema history and Summer Phoenix as his unfazed waitress.
  52. It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."
  53. Made with considerable wit and style, Horn's thoughtful celebration of the era and its most uncanny diva could function as the show's ("East Village USA") supplement.
  54. "A very odd thriller" is how Italian director Marco Bellocchio describes My Mother's Smile, his uncannily beautiful and deeply humanist exploration of the nightmares that resurface from a Roman atheist's Catholic childhood.
  55. A work of great charm and bold aesthetic impurity, Agnès Varda's Cinévardaphoto is a suite of documentary shorts.
  56. Amid the muddy scrubbery of the camp and its hinterland surroundings, Ghobadi catches some striking compositions.
  57. The movie has the addictive episodic intimacy of great TV.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a perfectly realized grace note whose lack of any obvious message only reinforces the movie's abundant wisdom and patient humanism.
  58. The film is a model of precision and economy, from the scrupulous framing and editing to the dryly note-perfect performances.
  59. Steamboy doesn't have the deep melancholia or the visionary élan of last year's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Consistent in its graphic invention from first to last, however, it's a sensationally designed piece of work. (The retro stylistics are comparable to Brazil, David Lynch's Dune, and The Iron Giant.)
  60. Chow manages to have his cake and eat it too: Kung Fu Hustle is a kung fu parody that's also a terrific kung fu movie.
  61. This delightfully sensual documentary gets inside the artist's creative process while also treating viewers to glorious music by the likes of Wagner and Satie.
  62. Chilling and thoroughly engrossing documentary.
  63. Soberly entertaining documentary.
  64. The final scene is as close to perfection as any Amerindie has come in recent memory--in a single reaction of Marnie's, we see a small but definite shift in perspective; abruptly, Bujalski stops the film, as if there's nothing more to say. It's a wonderful parting shot for a movie that locates the momentous in the mundane.
  65. Not the least remarkable thing about this deadpan, deceptively haphazard ensemble comedy, a movie as much choreographed as directed, is the way that--at the final moment--the mist simply evaporates.
  66. With remarkable directness and composure, it shatters the myth of childhood innocence and the deathless taboo of prepubescent sexuality.
  67. Its title an acknowledgment of the reality of evil, Shake Hands With the Devil touches on the unanswerable hows and whys, but its ultimate subject is the terrible burden of command.
  68. An all-access fan's valentine as artfully scrappy and likably wide-eyed as its subjects.
  69. Having emerged from his new German cinema heyday as one of the world's most guileless and original documentary filmmakers, Herzog has slowly been crafting a four-dimensional fresco of the planet, its most human-resistant landscapes, and our dubious dramas in confronting the chaos.
  70. Pitch-perfect performances and a light-handed but razor-sharp script keep this satire brisk and biting.
  71. Exquisitely understated.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Weisberg, whose stripped-down style seems refreshing amid the current spate of super-produced docs, gives you what you want, if what you want are dismally deferred American Dreams and harsh economic realities. And you should.
  72. Like "Blissfully Yours" and Apichatpong's first feature, the exquisite-corpse road movie "Mysterious Object at Noon" (2000), Tropical Malady promotes new ways of seeing.
  73. On a first viewing, the movie seemed a dilution of the formal strategies Jia had perfected-at once less dispassionate and less empathetic. After a repeat viewing, it still strikes me as Jia's fourth-best film (that it's one of the year's best says plenty about the level at which he's working), but it's more apparent that The Worl d's muffled emotional impact should be understood as a function of its setting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a stunning sight inside this notorious jail compound, which is better known for violence and corruption.
  74. It's an exhilaratingly decentered tale, with the perspective shifting around so there's no character with whom we totally identify throughout.
  75. Broad and pleasantly idealistic, and the evident ardor for 150-year-old graphics (especially Dore's Ancient Mariner masterstrokes) is hard to argue with. But is it a movie or the best-designed episode of "Nova" ever?
  76. An engrossing quartet of hour-long films by British documentarian Adam Curtis, doesn't so much challenge Freud's theories of the unconscious as shadow them through the corridors of corporate and political power. What emerges is nothing less than a history of 20th-century social control.
  77. Just as fabulously cartoon-Gothic as "Sleepy Hollow."
  78. Although le Carré's story may seem predictable and unduly focused on the plight of a pale, wealthy Old Worlder adrift in a sea of needy East Africans, the movie's human material is masterfully manipulated.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Subtle, elegant documentary.
  79. It's rare that a documentary conveys an artist's worldview so compellingly, but then Glennie is no ordinary musician.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A love letter to New Orleans, Make It Funky! reminds us of what has been lost in the flood, and of an artistic spirit that will never dissipate.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Akira Kurosawa once said that Toshiro Mifune could give him in three feet of film the emotion any other actor would take 10 to deliver, but in a single flash of Fonda's electric turquoise orbs, Leone (Kurosawa's first and sincerest flatterer-imitator) managed to say as much about John Ford, the devil, and the corruptions of the Way Out Western world as the genre ever would.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wolfe's anecdotal musicology succeeds precisely because of its bare-bones, bawdy yet beautiful approach--just like the music Vargas makes.
  80. Tender, cruel, and very funny, Baumbach's fourth feature turns family history into a sort of urban myth.
  81. Good Night, and Good Luck's primary handicap is history itself -- the toe-to-toe televised dialogue between McCarthy and Murrow was, however arguably vital to the Wisconsin senator's eventual retreat, brief and less than epochal. Even so, the wonderfully mustered context wins out.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    This latest and biggest installment is a whimsical success of a very high order: The pace never lags, the invention is incessant, and it makes you want to have a bite of cheese afterward.
  82. While the astonishing street footage of "l'affaire Langlois"--perhaps more familiar to the French than to us--is where this exhaustive talking-heads portrait becomes beautifully, bafflingly surreal, the whole project, however conventional, has the allure of a communal embrace, a home movie of a motherland left irrevocably in the past.
  83. The Passenger is a relic of that moment in international co-production when famous European auteurs hitched their wagons to hip and eager Hollywood stars.

Top Trailers