Village Voice's Scores

For 10,375 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Flags of Our Fathers
Lowest review score: 0 How to Rob a Bank
Score distribution:
10375 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A combination of "Barnyard Follies" and "Schindler's List."
  4. 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
  5. A well-wrought, enjoyably amusing inspirational drama that successfully humanizes, even as it pokes fun at, the House of Windsor.
  6. When the movie just sits with the characters on front porches or in backyards, Mackenzie's generous, hands-off approach with his actors — most of the conversation scenes play out in long takes with minimal camera movement — yields poignant rewards.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. Brazil might not want you to know it, but Aquarius is something special.
  10. Kaufman builds an emotional world we're nervous to enter, one we're already living in.
  11. The kitsch is back in full bloom.
  12. In Ramsay’s cinema, emotion is memory, and it feeds the present and the future.
  13. 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.
  14. It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."
  15. 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.
  16. Newtown is an act of memorialization, a demand that this most distractible of countries look close and continue to care.
  17. While acknowledging some missteps (such as jumping into a strenuous project too soon after surgery), Saffire and Schlesinger exhibit Whelan’s grace in dance and in life.
    • 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
  18. A rambling daydream that aims literally to supplant your life, it's in effect a serial, in eight ninety-plus-minute chapters, TV-ready but defined by Rivette as a consuming theatrical experience. It consumes, all right, like a drug that won't fade, but it's also a lark, a metafiction without any reality, a magnificent irrelevance.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. It soon becomes evident just how inane a film this is.
  22. The title almost suggests manhood as something trifling. The film, however, confirms it's a mighty hard ideal to reach.
  23. Funny (sometimes caustically so), rueful, and bracingly honest, Happy Hour is also a movie defined by an unshakeable belief that any encounter holds the promise of magic.
  24. Road movies don't get any purer.
  25. 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.
  26. This film is raw in the truest sense, yet refined in its sympathy and scope.
  27. This corrosive, slapdash, grimly exciting exposé of organized crime in and around Naples comes on like "Mean Streets" cubed.
  28. 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.
  29. The film serves as an authentic examination of the mid-twentieth-century immigrant experience — and an intimate exploration of one woman's attempt to understand who she is and where she wants to belong.
  30. Moving from cafés to poolrooms to movie theaters, it's the prototypical male ensemble film.
  31. The breach between these two worlds is part of Rosi’s formal and moral gambit.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. The key word in the title is My. Bertrand Tavernier’s three-hours-and-change film-essay is not a history lesson. It’s an invitation to take the seat next to a renowned director as he shares the movies that mean something to him.
    • 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.
  36. [Wiig's] great, but the film's in the pocket of Powley's rib-high corduroys from the second she struts onscreen — and long after she takes them off.
  37. 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.
  38. A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
  39. There's nothing quite like it in the world of Hollywood documentaries, though Riley's presentation of this rich material is at times a little discomfiting.
  40. Porter's film is dramatic, unsettling, despairing, and in the end thrilling -- at some point, it grows from a portrait of this country's problems into a celebration of a possible solution.
  41. 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.
  42. It's a remarkably assured and humane feature debut.
  43. 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.
  44. No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
  45. 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.
  46. The most straightforward love story--and in some ways the straightest--to come out of Hollywood, at least since "Titanic."
  47. As is his custom, Weerasethakul addresses his nation's martial history with the lightest of touches.
    • 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.
  48. 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.
  49. A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.
  50. What keeps Murderball from devolving into redemptive drivel is its insistence on treating the players it profiles as jocks first and disabled men second.
  51. James — the director of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters — gives us a sense of Ebert as a man who kept reinventing life as he went along — out of necessity, sure, though he also took some pleasure in adapting. It couldn't always have been easy, but that, too, is part of the story.
  52. The director invites us in, to play and dream.
  53. For many the question remains about how Treadwell's eventual death should be regarded--as a tragedy, as a fool's fate, or as comeuppance for daring to humanize wild predators and habituating them to human presence. Herzog's perspective is, of course, scrupulously nonjudgmental.
  54. As straightforward and plot-driven as any movie about life imitating art imitating life could possibly be.
  55. It really happened, it's really corny, and it's really great.
  56. Crewdson and others (including Russell Banks and Laurie Simmons) speak eloquently about his project, but it's the on-set agonies - to achieve the fleeting expression here, dark kiss of light there, and the peculiar relief they bring our maestro - that fascinate.
  57. Strickland builds the film, artfully, into a complex and ultimately moving essay on the privileges of victimhood and the nuances of what it means to suffer for love.
  58. There is serious pain in this movie — pain that endures throughout the years — but also a sincere love for life lived, and life remembered.
  59. With the plotting and the epigrams taken care of, Stillman seems liberated as a craftsman: Never before has one of his films been so crisp, so tart, so laugh-out-loud funny.
  60. Force Majeure represents what is perhaps Östlund's most sophisticated thought experiment yet, at once provocative and wise. It is a penetrating study of that most ludicrous of social pretenses — masculinity, toxic and ubiquitous.
  61. This lusty, heartfelt movie has a near Brueghelian visual energy and a humanist passion as contagious as its music.
  62. Dazzling dance to the music of time.
  63. What exactly does it all mean? I’m not sure, but it does make for a disturbing and occasionally absorbing watch.
  64. This Lincoln, stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool.
  65. More concentrated and svelte than its precursor, Once Upon a Time II also has the benefit of fights staged by Master Yuen Wo-Ping that show Jet Li -- another camera-age hero -- to even greater advantage.
  66. To my mind, the greatest film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.
  67. What's not recognized enough is the indelible, self-sickened performance of William Holden as Desmond's boy-toy/hired hack.
  68. The Tillman Story goes deeper, exposing a system of arrogance and duplicity that no WikiLeak could ever fully capture.
  69. Lenny Abrahamson's shattering drama Room borrows its fictional plot from the tabloids and strips it of sensationalism.
  70. Nebraska is the antidote to other family charmers about goofballs in matching sweaters.
  71. An almost ridiculously ebullient Bollywood-meets-Hollywood concoction--and one of the rare "feel-good" movies that actually makes you feel good, as opposed to merely jerked around.
  72. Patient, observational film demands you surrender to it, that you keep your phone in your pocket, which means that movie theaters now sometimes offer a more unmediated look at the world than modern life itself.
  73. The 7Up series is thus one of the rare documentaries to have had a positive practical effect on the life of at least one of its subjects.
  74. Sunny as The Straight Story appears, Lynch is still defamiliarizing the normal.
  75. I can't remember a teenage romance this engagingly offbeat since "Lord Love a Duck."
  76. 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.
  77. Even the familiar elements of this particular family's drama are invested — through vigorous scripting, directing, and acting — with almost elemental power.
  78. All this could have easily become a cacophony of disconnected sights and sounds, but Cameraperson unfolds with beauty and purpose — mixing the fluidity of a dream with the acuity of an essay. Johnson teases out themes and finds echoes across the years.
  79. Jennifer Kent's maternal nightmare The Babadook is the imperial stout of recent fright flicks -- it's the one that will have you walking funny and might rip into your sleep. It's hard to say that you'll enjoy this film, but it's hard not to admire it, if maybe with your eyes half shut.
  80. Vital, illuminating, and terrifying, Rory Kennedy's Last Days in Vietnam probes with clarity and thoroughness one moment of recent American history that has too long gone unreckoned with.
  81. Sachs, a clear-eyed humanist, honors all his characters' pained perspectives.
  82. Serious comedy, powered by an enthusiastic cast and full of good-natured innuendo, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right gives adolescent coming-of-age and the battle of the sexes a unique twist.
  83. Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
  84. Among the many remarkable qualities boasted by Manakamana, perhaps the most surprising is its humor.
  85. For better or worse, the movie does for Chauvet what Baudrillard complained an on-site replica did for Lascaux-render the real thing false.
  86. Millions of lives have been saved - and extended - as the result of a tireless cadre of advocates who, as Eigo states, "put their bodies on the line."
  87. The film is a devastating success, moving in its beauty and wrenching when that beauty withers: Acres of coral waste away to chalky ash before our eyes.
  88. Restrained, precise, and unobtrusively wry.
  89. Increasingly unconvincing, In the Bedroom turns genteel rabble-rouser. Field's leisurely buildup forestalls but doesn't prevent his movie's mutation into a granola "Death Wish."
  90. Ten
    Conceptually rigorous, splendidly economical, and radically Bazinian.
  91. 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]
  92. A transfixing Cold War thriller set in the East Germany of 1980, Christian Petzold's superb Barbara is made even more vivid by its subtle overlay of the golden-era "woman's picture," the woman in question being Dr. Barbara Wolff, brilliantly played by Nina Hoss in her fifth film with the writer-director.
  93. Beauvois's film is cool while Denis's is hot-but the main difference is that where "White Material" is knowingly postcolonial, Of Gods and Men aspires to the timeless.
  94. In a sense, Varda has done for herself what she did for Demy--creating a work, as charming as it is touching, that serves to explicate and enrich an entire oeuvre.
  95. This is a movie of blunt juxtapositions-death accompanied by the sound of raucous street musicians-as well as awkward flashbacks. Still, the strategy works.
  96. Berg by no means excuses Father O'Grady, but she offers evidence of a devastating childhood that explains his pathology. For the ambitious creeps who allowed him to indulge it, and who still sit in office, there's no excuse.

Top Trailers