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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Stuffed to the gills with surprises.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a political statement, an act of defiance, a master class in one auteur's body of work and process, and a document of a life unseen. But above all, it's a gripping entertainment.
  1. Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
  2. The most offbeat studio comedy since "Rushmore."
  3. Summer sequelitis is upon us, but the season is unlikely to bring anything more remarkable than Richard Linklater's sweet, smart, and deeply romantic Before Sunset.
  4. Unfortunately, the delicious snatches of reflexive wit function as mere intermissions between the distended action sequences and Michael Bay–style megatonnage, which have earned Pixar its first ever PG rating.
  5. Panoramic yet cozy, enthusiastically glib.
  6. Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
  7. This film, a great one, demands a follow-up.
  8. As with Altman's best movies, Gosford Park is above all an entrancing hum of atmosphere and texture.
  9. Best understood as a memorial…Like most memorials, it is respectful, premised on competing obligations to the dead and the living, and eager to stress that the deaths were not in vain. It not only tells us we should never forget but also illustrates how we should remember.
  10. A masterpiece of poetic horror and tactful, tactile brutality.
  11. I've seen only a few films in my lifetime that so potently express the golden hopes of childhood and parenthood, as well as the inevitable decimation of that hopefulness -- that forward-looking bliss -- at the hands of catastrophe, or merely age, spite, and exhaustion. Or, as for the Friedmans, all of the above.
  12. There may not be much behind the sparkling tinsel curtain of David O. Russell's extraordinarily entertaining American Hustle. But what a curtain!
  13. 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.
  14. Persepolis is a small landmark in feature animation. Not because of technical innovation--though it moves fluidly enough, and its drawings have a handcrafted charm forgotten in the era of the cross-promoted-to-saturation CGI-'toon juggernauts--but because it translates a sensitive, introspective, true-to-life, "adult" comic story into moving pictures.
  15. More terrifying than any horror film, and more intellectually adventurous than just about any 2013 release so far, The Act of Killing is a major achievement, a work about genocide that rightly earns its place alongside Shoah as a supreme testament to the cinema's capacity for inquiry, confrontation, and remembrance.
  16. As bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic "Before Sunrise."
  17. The movie has the addictive episodic intimacy of great TV.
  18. Jesse Moss's documentary The Overnighters is a heart-wrencher about the clash between economics and ethics. Its story sounds like the sort of dry news blurb you'd skim over in the Sunday paper but unfolds into an epic tragedy.
  19. A compelling thriller but an unsatisfying character drama.
  20. If only this epic had enough substantial melodramatic hooks to hang this woman's beauty on; emotional traction is most often buried under acres of carefully coordinated vistas and CGI-hued flora.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Petri's visually flamboyant film turns into a heady mix of Marx, Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and Brecht, with a bit of Dashiell Hammett thrown into the blender.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While largely lighthearted, Petit's walk and Marsh's film take on new meaning post-9/11. Man on Wire never mentions the events of that day, but the Trade Center's collapse continues to weigh on Petit, as if its destruction was every bit as tragic as the human lives lost that day.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Koreeda imbues the story with such specificity, tactility, and humanity that yet another movie about a dysfunctional family reunion becomes a cinematic tone poem.
  21. Indeed, the man who invented Borat is a masterful improviser, brilliant comedian, courageous political satirist, and genuinely experimental film artist. Borat makes you laugh but Baron Cohen forces you to think.
  22. What anchors Two Days, One Night, and eases its gaps, is Cotillard's extraordinary performance.
  23. For all the ways the movie feels singular and impossible, like something the studio suits couldn't possibly have signed off on, Fury Road also feels entirely of its era. I admire its craft and cruel wit, and its willingness to trust us to work out the particulars of its world, but it lulled me into that familiar state of summertime action fatigue, of being worn down by the violence rather than geared up, of waiting the mayhem out rather than tracking it.
  24. The original story was called "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter," but Takahata's title puts the focus where it belongs.
  25. The killing is bloody, the power struggles involving, the history-class examinations of the relations between mines and unions and gangsters fascinating, and the tough-guy routines, while sometimes tiresome, never less than credible.
  26. Like so much of his celebrated work, documentarian Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery is long, leisurely paced, wide-ranging, meticulously crafted, intellectually intricate, and touched with profundity.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Masterfully edited and cumulatively walloping, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight turns the well-known details of our monstrously bungled Iraq war into an enraging, apocalyptic litany of fuckups.
  27. Bahrani possesses a disciplined sense of composition and form, a vision of the world that extends beyond the boundaries of his own navel, and the understanding that it is possible to make films about class and race in this country without pandering to the audience.
  28. With Selma, DuVernay has pulled off a tricky feat, a movie based on historical events that never feels dull, worthy, or lifeless; it hangs together as a story and not just part of a lesson plan. The movie is at once intimate and grand in scope.
  29. A perfectly paced and performed character study of a woman raising a child on her own who must contend with a heinous act of violence.
  30. The Artist is movie love at its most anodyne; where Guy Maddin has used the conventions of silent film to express his loony psychosexual fantasias for more than a decade, Hazanavicius sweetly asks that we not be afraid of the past.
  31. It's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The visual style has an expressionistic undertow, rich in shadowy chiaroscuro compositions.
  32. Wong is sensationally expressive and projects a modern, coolly appraising sexuality. Visually eloquent and often dazzling, the movie is no less terrific. Piccadilly is both evidence of silent cinema at its rudely aborted peak and Wong's frustrated potential to have been among its greatest stars.
  33. 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.
  34. The special power of Eastwood's achievement is that, save for one indelible moment, the mutual recognition between sworn adversaries happens not on-screen, but later, as we piece the two films together in our minds.
  35. Yet the magic of the movie is how utterly wrenching it renders these songs, which thrive alongside the film's simple, eloquent, dusky narrative.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz proves Andrew's point by gathering so much talent into one theater that the stage buckles and the subject drops out of sight.
  36. Barnard makes the psychological mayhem Dunbar endured and inflicted tangible.
  37. Keep your "Lara Croft" and your "Shrek": For me, the summer's reigning icons are Enid, Thora Birch's geek goddess in Ghost World, and her action-movie analogue.
  38. It remains a stunning achievement, if nearly as exhausting and frustrating as the Tex Avery bureaucracy it roasts, but Gilliam's stylistic dysfunctionalities, art-directed out of junkyards, are what still percolate in the forebrain.
  39. It has the charm of the original American road movies, feasting on the gorgeous, ramshackle landscape of the filmmaker's motherland.
  40. In the bell jar that is Capote, Hoffman bogarts the oxygen; everyone else asphyxiates.
  41. In every respect, this unclassifiable movie is an amazing accomplishment.
  42. If Whiplash doesn't quite hang together, Chazelle has still managed to pack it with some wonderful ideas.
  43. It's still a feat of period filmmaking. More than that, Overlord's revivification of a wasteland Europe offers up a powerful whip lesson for the postwar complacent: that the waging of war, even this most romanticized of conflicts, means bringing a corpse-mountain hell to someone's home neighborhood.
  44. The artificial look of the added footage, counterpointed by the commentary of inmates and survivors, only underscores the unending shock of the film's unadulterated images, even though we have seen them in other Shoah documentaries.
  45. Grand Budapest is Anderson's most mature film, and his most visually witty, too. It's playful without being self-congratulatory, and somehow lush without being cloying.
  46. This patient, beautiful, painful, engrossing film pits husband and wife against each other and their world in a series of extended conversations/confrontations.
  47. Kechiche and his actresses explore the in-between—ecstasy, exploration, the comfort and eventual boredom of domesticity—and the aftermath, the painful shards of feeling we cling to after something has shattered. And they don't mess around when it comes to the ferocity of love, sex, or, God help us, the two combined.
  48. Poitras shows us history as it happens, scenes of such intimate momentousness that the movie's a must-see piece of work even if, in its totality, it's underwhelming as argument or cinema.
  49. Dietrich is the movie's primary cannon: Her amused eyes, open face, and relaxed sensuality monopolize our sympathies.
  50. Recoing's meta-performance is an unemphatic marvel, his placid countenance stretched tight over telltale flickers: a quickly suppressed smirk of incredulous delight, a nervous twitch of chagrin, an abrupt pang of guilt.
  51. 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.
  52. Like many cult films, it is also less than the sum of its parts.
  53. It's a precociously assured and mature work, at once humble and bold, that keeps faith with Munro's precise, graceful prose while tailoring its linear progression into shapely cinematic form.
  54. Alberto Lattuada's tricky-to-parse Mafioso dates from 1962 but, with its abrupt tonal shifts and disturbing existential premise, this nearly forgotten dark comedy could be the most modern (or at least modernist) movie in town.
  55. The Fallen Idol has been overshadowed by the noir comedy, giddy style, and Cold War thematics of Reed and Greene's subsequent sensation "The Third Man," but (in similarly dealing with the nature of betrayal) The Fallen Idol is actually a superior psychological drama.
  56. There's not much sense that the system can be voted out-not least because Barack Obama, shown campaigning on the crisis and elected in part to change the game, recruited his economic advisers from those who enabled the disaster.
  57. Jackson's movie is one portentous happening after another -- not unreasonable in that his source, J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, is basically the fantasyland equivalent of a world war against absolute evil.
  58. A combination of "Barnyard Follies" and "Schindler's List."
  59. Obsessives will be familiar with the "new" material (almost all available on the original DVD), which elaborates on the time-travel metaphysics and tightens the emotional screws. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) shares one additional tender exchange with each family member
  60. A well-wrought, enjoyably amusing inspirational drama that successfully humanizes, even as it pokes fun at, the House of Windsor.
  61. Up
    The first 10 minutes of Up are flawless; the final 80 minutes, close enough. (Though, note this: Do not see Up in 3-D. It's inessential to the tale and altogether distracting.)
  62. The result is a poetic documentary of quiet American surfaces and intimately eavesdropped people.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A road movie using undeveloped land as a blank screen on which to project a dark deconstruction of masculinity and manifest destiny.
  63. The kitsch is back in full bloom.
  64. Birdman is a marvelously entertaining picture, a work of "look at me!" bravado that's energized every minute. Its proficiency, the mechanically fluid kind, works against it in some ways.
  65. It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."
  66. Above all, this is an action film--or, better, a transaction film. It's not just that the Dardennes orchestrate an exciting motor scooter purse-snatching and a prolonged hot pursuit. L'Enfant is an action film because every act that happens is shown to have a consequence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new Little Women, directed with grace by Gillian Armstrong, adapted with tact by Robin Swicord, and starring an extraordinary ensemble, has made my holiday.
    • Village Voice
  67. Beehive is a graceful and potent lyric on children's vulnerable hunger, but it's also a sublime study on cinema's poetic capacity to reflect and hypercharge reality.
  68. It soon becomes evident just how inane a film this is.
  69. The title almost suggests manhood as something trifling. The film, however, confirms it's a mighty hard ideal to reach.
  70. Road movies don't get any purer.
  71. The Missing Picture is so immediate, so vital, it practically breathes. Not all memoirs need to exist. But the gentle urgency of Panh's story is right there in the filmmaking. This is a story that had to be told. Even in its stillness, it moves.
  72. This corrosive, slapdash, grimly exciting exposé of organized crime in and around Naples comes on like "Mean Streets" cubed.
  73. 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.
  74. Moving from cafés to poolrooms to movie theaters, it's the prototypical male ensemble film.
  75. Textually, the setting's brutalist conflation between the far future and the distant past makes the film timeless, an elusive fable told with the viscous immediacy of a life on the diseased edge of civilization.
  76. Brash and sweet, We Are the Best! captures perfectly the aimlessness of adolescence, the waiting to become something that's so often intertwined with the desire to make something, to leave your mark on the world in some small way.
  77. The roles of affect and artifice in mediating the realities of racism, homophobia, and poverty are perhaps the true subjects of Shirley Clarke's landmark doc.
    • 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.
  78. All of this builds into the film's last image, Elena's family finally welcomed into Vladimir's apartment, as the cautious, controlling, abstemious bourgeoisie are overtaken by the heedlessly fertile lower orders, the temporary inheritors of a terribly weary earth.
  79. A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
  80. 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.
  81. It's a remarkably assured and humane feature debut.
  82. Fateless has a remarkable absence of sentimentality. The movie is obviously artistic, but there are no cheap or superfluous effects. It's almost mystically translucent.
  83. No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
  84. A work of unostentatious beauty and uncloying sweetness, at once sophisticated and artless, mysterious and matter-of-fact, cosmic and humble, it asks only a measure of Boonmeevian acceptance: The movie doesn't mean anything-it simply is.
  85. The most straightforward love story--and in some ways the straightest--to come out of Hollywood, at least since "Titanic."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Kid With a Bike seems to unfold in a different world than that of previous Dardenne joints, one with a wider range of spiritual and practical possibilities.
  86. This superb, suspenseful film, completed in 2009, opens as a playful comedy of vacationing couples and awkward romance, one that might be set in the French countryside, but by the end has become a moral drama likely to corrode your certainties.
  87. Levinson follows the ups and downs of bringing that beast of a collider online, but the movie's deepest thrill lies in what these men and women will theorize next, and how they will test it.
  88. A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.

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