Village Voice's Scores

For 7,732 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 6.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Rubber
Lowest review score: 0 The War on the War on Drugs
Score distribution:
7,732 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I Wish makes us feel like we are watching these kids discover each new sensory pleasure of youth for the first time, or that we're experiencing it ourselves.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film feel[s] like a Bergman homage without earning the clunky label "Bergmanesque."
  1. A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    In their randomness, the bee words take on an oracular quality--shades of kabbalistic gematria, or the "Sortes Vergilanae," the supernatural attributed to symbols on paper.
  2. 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.
  3. His gift-and the film's-is to transform the seemingly banal relationship between pet and owner into something singular, inimitable, sacred.
  4. 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A mildly saccharine but kind-hearted movie.
  5. An extraordinary example of both art-historical interpretation and CGI as passport to unknown lands, The Mill and the Cross, based on a book by Michael Francis Gibson, is a moving-image tribute to the still image, with its ability to "wrestle the senseless moment to the ground."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The character is intentionally lightly drawn: Laura's suffering is symbolic, a surrogate for the suffering of a society helplessly caught in the crossfire.
  6. Miss Violence honors the thoroughly creepy work of Avranas's countrymen, but in his turn of the screw, Avranas marshals the abstract qualities of art cinema to comment upon concrete horror.
  7. An organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive.
  8. Karine Vanasse, as the protagonist Hanna, is perfectly cast because she has the body of a woman and the sweet, sexless face of a child.
  9. As news, it smokes CNN.
  10. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even if the theories don't persuade you, the film fascinates. It's revelatory about the nature of spectatorship in an era when technology allows audiences to watch films frame by frame.
  11. This is not so much a love story (and even less a story about love) than it is a movie of passionate loveliness.
  12. What makes Kuchu work as taut agitprop, and ultimately to devastating emotional effect, is that Wright and Zouhali-Worrall allow the enormity of the film's political concerns to be telegraphed through the stories, experiences, and astute analysis of ordinary queer folk and their hetero allies.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coraline Jones isn't the pluckiest or most ingratiating sprite ever to take center stage in a children's film, and her (mis)adventures aren't especially novel, but Coraline is still a consistent splendor to behold.
  13. Annotating excerpts from the movies with oral history, Kudlacek's film is a well-wrought introduction not just to Deren but an under-leveraged chunk of the art world.
  14. Berberian may sound like it's more fun to pick over afterward than watch, but it's also masterfully crafted.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kurosawa's abiding concern has always been the alienation of modern living, which he here merely transplants into a more recognizable domestic milieu, where subtle fissures in society's apparent order threaten to short-circuit people instead of their beloved technology.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Scherson, adapting Roberto Bolaño's novel, incorporates surrealistic, hyper-expressive visual techniques, resulting in a film that is excitingly unclassifiable.
  15. For all the on-set antics, appropriated Fellini music, and throwaway gags, the movie is most successful when Coogan is pulling faces for the mirror, aimlessly trading Pacino imitations with his sidekick Brydon, or riffing on the color of the latter's teeth.
  16. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell have done a commendable job of making Deep Water . . . well, not boring.
  17. The Dardennes retain a company of returning players: Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, and Olivier Gourmet. Such loyalty is rare and touching.
  18. Yet another first-rate film from a Middle East rich with them.
  19. The video stores are filled with examples of retro-noir and neo-noir, but Christopher Nolan's audacious timebender is something else. Call it meta-noir.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like "Father of My Children," Goodbye First Love loosely fictionalizes lived experience in order to capture the ineffable - in this case, emotional maturation or, as Sullivan phrases it, "becom[ing] a real person."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Like the shambling VW van its hapless characters steer from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach, Little Miss Sunshine is a rickety vehicle that travels mostly downhill.
  20. Sweetgrass reminds us of the stupefying magnificence of its setting—beautiful for spacious skies and mountain majesties—while never letting us forget its formidable perils.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    I haven't seen a film this year that so openly invited me to revile each and every one of its characters-and I reviewed "The Human Centipede."
  21. Grave, beautiful, austerely comic, and casually metempsychotic, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte is one of the wiggiest nature documentaries-or almost-documentaries-ever made.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    That makes this the most rare of films: one that indisputably matters. And one that stuns.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sven Nykvist's golden-hued cinematography perfectly suits Hesse's mind-expanding narrative of Buddhist enlightenment.
  22. Pawlikowski, whose background is in documentary film, has an eye for the menacingly forlorn and elegantly bleak. Last Resort, which was shot without a script and developed largely in collaboration with the actors, is a kind of verité fantasy.
  23. The movie is a superb riff with a boffo finale, a terrific, cynical punch line, and a crazy closing image of Bob's Plymouth on an empty beach.
  24. The Last Bolshevik, considered by some to be Marker's masterpiece.
  25. Miscast, misguided, and often nonsensical, Minority Report is nevertheless the most entertaining, least pretentious genre movie Steven Spielberg has made in the decade since "Jurassic Park."
  26. Visconti's film remains a Euro-culture touchstone, though not nearly as convincing or visually stunning as its reputation insists.
  27. Frost/Nixon's main attraction is neither its topicality nor its historical value, but Langella's re-creation of his Tony-winning performance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Regardless of intent, Cargo 200 is beautifully filmed and completely disturbing for its entire running time.
  28. A triumph of maximalist filmmaking. And you won't look at your watch once.
  29. Visionaries' heedless montage brought back the sense of crazy possibility that excited me when, as a teenage kid from Queens, I first encountered Mekas's world.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's gloriously, hilariously offensive, including all manner of racist and sexist jokes and one sequence of WTF? grotesquerie worthy of John Waters.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The terrific documentary 12th & Delaware gets its name from a volatile intersection in a small Florida town: On one side of the street is an abortion clinic, while on the other sits a pro-life facility that counsels pregnant women to keep their unborn children while encouraging protesters to harass the neighbor's business.
  30. Solnicki's spliced-together, back-and-forth approach at first seems a jumble, but of course his choices are deliberate, and they pile up into revealing art.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While some of the workers' chitchat is translated via subtitles, long passages of it are not. Oreck's imagery of the forbidding Arctic landscape through its seasonal transformations (the movie covers roughly a year) is eloquent enough.
  31. The aura of a life lived in extremis, undergirded by faith, clings to the film. Even nonbelievers in Senna's sport and church will find it difficult to visit Kapadia's cinematic shrine without emotion.
  32. The haunting final image suggests how quickly such stories can be lost...which makes Beyond the Hills, above all else, a powerful and necessary act of reclamation.
  33. Hawkes and Hunt nobly tackle the physical demands their roles require.
  34. The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.
  35. Nelson has fashioned a compelling movie around an unfathomable mystery. To see Jones's face, eyes hidden behind trademark aviator shades, is to experience the last shock in Psycho. His is the blank stare of living death.
  36. A fairy tale that presents love as a case of mutual enchantment, Two Family House is not only uniformly well acted, superbly designed, lovingly lit, and sensitively scored, it's as romantic as it is funny.
  37. The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
  38. Nothing if not confrontational.
  39. Like the film, Pai's character is muddily conceived and ill-focused, but the coltish, tremulously delicate Castle-Hughes is a hypnotic camera subject.
  40. Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
  41. 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.
  42. The first 10 minutes of Dee Rees's funny, moving, nuanced, and impeccably acted first feature, in which coming of age and coming out are inseparable, sharply reveal the conflicts that 17-year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) faces.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Redmon and Sabin carefully tease apart the insidious process of American deindustrialization, and by the end of the film the threads they unravel reveal how the free market can choke like a noose.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Yet even when the movie is at its most schizoid, Precious still packs a wallop.
  43. It's a gut-twisting story handled, largely and predictably, with asbestos mitts.
  44. Alternating between time periods and geographic locations, all of it connected by McElwee's narrated thoughts, the film proves a bracing and sometimes uncomfortable peek into private fears and regrets about mortality and missed opportunities. It's also, in its portrait of wayward Adrian, further proof that there's nothing more difficult, frustrating, messy, and insufferable than teenagerdom.
  45. For all the frenzied activity, Joan Rivers is less informative dish than infomercializing cliché.
  46. Im's movie approaches a seething, primitivist beauty that evokes Makhmalbaf and parallels the contrapuntal textual investigations of Resnais.
  47. Remains simplistic and gimmicky in the context of Iranian cinema.
  48. It may seem perverse to fault a movie for being too accurate, but when surface accuracy is coupled with tunnel vision about self and society the result is a wee bit irritating.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In the case of Ralph Fiennes's adaptation of Coriolanus - the transposition to present day is confusing and counterproductive, dulling the impact of an otherwise fierce, often unbearably immediate production.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Because the filmmakers were unable to enlist anyone from the NYPD or the DA's office to participate, we are left with the sense that mistakes of this magnitude require those in error to hide from them.
  49. It remains a rousing portrait of creative renewal and, specifically, the way in which - by attempting something daring and new in the face of an opera culture deeply invested in tradition - Lepage proves that classic art can survive and flourish in a marriage with modern technology and imagination.
  50. Opening too late for the election but still one the year's most politically relevant movies, Condon's earnestly middlebrow biopic is an argument for tolerance and diversity.
  51. At once robust and ethereal, this is an existential ghost story, with fresh blood pulsing through its veins.
  52. It seems like a more witty, wise, and succinct "Magnolia."
  53. The photographer's show-don't-tell stance is admirable, but it can make him a problematic documentary subject. War Photographer infers the psychological and physical toll of his peripatetic existence, but provides scant insight into his technique.
  54. There are long stretches in Sexy Beast that are so exhilarating it feels churlish to dwell on its flaws.
  55. An unclassifiable film-school exercise--one part documentary, one part psychodrama, and one part mock manifesto--The Five Obstructions mainly serves to illuminate the game-like nature of Lars von Trier's aesthetic project.
  56. This may or may not be the greatest instance of college football ever played, but "Brian's Song," J"erry Maguire," and "The Longest Yard" notwithstanding, Rafferty's no-frills annotated replay is the best football movie I've ever seen: A particular day in history becomes a moment out of time.
  57. With elegant restraint the film subtly intimates the wintry dead end-twilight years bereft of love, partner, or vocation-that may be in store for its aged lover man. (Payne's "About Schmidt" did too, when not gorging snidely on idiot Americana.)
  58. A modestly satisfying tale of sisterly love weighed down by a history of family betrayal and mendacity.
  59. Walker never has Pearce explain why he wants to return the lifts, and he never has to. The heights speak for themselves.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Quietly shocking, The Order of Myths is a deft, engrossing cross-section of Mobile life, heavy on local color and insight.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    To an extent, Flags of Our Fathers is to the WWII movie what Eastwood's Unforgiven was to the western -- a stripping-away of mythology until only a harsher, uncomfortable reality remains.
  60. Continuing the autobiographical torrent begun nearly 30 years ago, Bright Leaves is an utterly mundane miracle, a sampling of gentle insight and poetic retrospection quietly at odds with the exploitative culture around it.
  61. Reprise--a masculine story whose women come off best--is less a hermeneutic finger in your face (though it aims wonderfully low blows at literary celebrity) than a savage, funny, tender, tragic, and strangely beautiful riff on growing up in a broken world.
  62. Filled with purposeful, if absurd, activity rendered gravely hilarious through Tsai's deadpan, distanced representation of extreme behavior.
  63. As usual, though, the Coens have more venal satisfactions in mind. "The fun of the story for us," they crow in the notes for this loathsome movie, "was inventing new ways to torture Larry."
  64. Little in a Jaoui film is particularly original, but it's all perfectly convincing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The director is at his best portraying the dingy dorms and vivid idealism of college life; his film stalls when it meanders away from these particulars toward a sweeping but empty attempt at the epic.
  65. It plays as a "Rocky"-fied fairy tale for our time: Consigned to Palookaville, a sweet, unassuming boxer with more heart than brains steps up-all the way to the top of the world.
  66. Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini are lovely together, though her character is the sharper-edged of the two. It's Gandolfini's Albert, soft-hearted and soft-bellied, who suffers more. Gandolfini takes the movie's small, offhand jokes and intensifies them.
  67. Anyone expecting the decorous serenity of the Ang Lee film should be aware that Iron Monkey strives for no more or less than comic-strip thwack and thump.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    McCarthy unquestionably means well, but he's made one of those incredibly naïve movies that gives liberals a bad name, and which does more to regress the sociopolitical discourse than advance it.
  68. The imagery has all the solemn ravishment of Béla Tarr's similarly darkening "The Turin Horse" with none of the epochal portentousness, while Rivers's work owes more to Billy Bitzer than most gallery art contemporaries.
  69. For all its jarring sound design and herky-jerky pacing, founded on sudden incidents or shocking accidents, Mother is deftly plotted, applying Hitchcockian suspense with a Hitchcockian sense of fair play.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Iron Man, too, is something that people will see regardless of the reviews, but here is the point: Where Michael Bay (Transformers) has mastered a kind of sensory-assaulting pop art, Favreau is a born storyteller who engages the audience's imagination rather than crushing it in a tsunami of digital noise.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Visually rich yet numbingly formulaic.
  70. This film is solidly built, faithful to its material, and utterly lacking in pretense, but its maker is still running in place.

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