Village Voice's Scores

For 10,570 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 56% 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 La Commune (Paris, 1871)
Lowest review score: 0 Harold
Score distribution:
10570 movie reviews
  1. Carpenter isn’t a polished interviewer, but her candor and longstanding connections to the sport provide access that we wouldn’t see otherwise.
  2. McDormand could have carried this film all the way through a minefield of touchy topics, singed but with all parts in the right place, primed for a painful laugh. But goddamnit if the cops in this story didn’t ruin all the fun.
  3. For all the outrageous cosplay and assless trunks on display, director Tristan Ferland Milewski is more interested in exploring the interior lives of gay men.
  4. In Neil Berkeley’s documentary Gilbert, we’re gifted with intimate moments from the comedian’s life.
  5. Cristina Herrera Borquez’s elegant documentary No Dresscode Required is a masterful, layered story of commissar-crossed lovers.
  6. Most hilarious is the revelation that the first director assigned to the film Lumet eventually made, the manic John G. Avildsen, wanted the eccentric, bearded hipster ex-cop to play himself. On the basis of this exceptional portrait, he very well could have.
  7. Rose Marie was — and is — a fabulous talent, but this off-kilter documentary doesn’t completely make the case.
  8. The intoxicating A River Below contains elements of immersive nature documentaries and shocking wildlife exposes (like Blackfish and The Cove), but director Mark Grieco’s profile of two driven conservationists tells a more slippery tale.
  9. LBJ
    LBJ slips from an examination of a sometimes admirable leader into a hagiographic daydream, a fantasy of a father figure to save us all. That’s a matter of Reiner’s politics, of course, but even more so a matter of his instincts as a popular filmmaker: He’s offering us an American presidency to escape to.
  10. My Friend Dahmer is both sensitive and fascinating, distinguished by a stellar, mouth-breathing performance of insecurity from Lynch.
  11. This minute-by-minute rundown is priceless history, alive with the anxious textures of American life right then, a film that in twenty years will reward attentive viewing. It’s also, for many of us alive in the now, probably too much too soon, the tearing open of wounds that only are just starting to scab over.
  12. While the chemistry between Pinnick and Spence is sweet and familial, I couldn’t help but think so much of this film is just…nice. It’s that pretty feather you found in the grass. And maybe you’ll take it home, but will likely forget you did.
  13. Friends, family, and reporters offer invaluable insight in interviews, making this the somewhat rare documentary that’s actually as illuminating as good print reporting on the same case.
  14. Collaborating with DP Elemér Ragályi, Török also invests the movie with strong visual motifs, perhaps most prominently a consistency of shots that peer at characters through everyday barriers (windows, curtains). The resultant sensation of uncomfortable prying underlines the boiling suspicions that power the plot.
  15. Come for the gory swordplay, stay for the half-serious melodrama.
  16. As a rumination on the experiences of undocumented immigrants, Most Beautiful Island presents an extreme example of what people will do to scrape by — but it does so without belittling its vulnerable characters.
  17. It’s somber and respectful, and even has a couple of genuinely powerful moments, but none of that’s enough to transcend its oppressive dreariness.
  18. Seeing the breadth of Didion’s work and its impact on the culture represented cumulatively delivers an unexpected shock to the system.
  19. In his debut feature, Lee has crafted a mature love story centered on an immature man facing the fear of even admitting that he needs love at all. It’s a film to prize.
  20. A heartfelt coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the bittersweet transition from adolescence to dawning adulthood, Gerwig’s directorial debut is a joy from start to finish, a warm, generous snapshot of teenage vulnerability and exuberance.
  21. In its own weird little way, Thor: Ragnarok manages to poke fun at the constant churn of myth and entertainment of which the movie itself is a part. It’s a candy-colored cage of delights, but it is a cage nevertheless — and it doesn’t hide that fact.
  22. Gomis’s handheld cameras work to keep up with the actors, who seem to move with rare freedom, but he also stages some exquisite and complex flourishes.
  23. The frank ways in which Thompson and Beatriz channel Bonnie make it clear that there’s a lot of respect for this complex character navigating life-altering trauma.
  24. Is Maya Dardel serious? The regal Lena Olin plays her with frank ferocity and arrogant certainty, but so much about the grandiose poet borders on parody.
  25. It’s not always effective drama, but as an example for thousands of struggling American families, it’s a serious breakthrough.
  26. After a lifetime of routine punctuated by loss, these aging adults fall back into roles as children and siblings. Treading common ground, they seek comfort in the suffocating succor of family, afraid to release the burdens that grief will unleash.
  27. There’s a lot of great filmmaking in Novitiate, but there’s also quite a bit still missing.
  28. It defeats expectations, but it’s far more arresting and captivating a romance because Forster infuses it with suspenseful urgency. I have to admire the guts of a director who portrays the dissolution of a mismatched marriage with the dread of a murder mystery.
  29. Östlund is specific and exacting as a writer and director, and within The Square’s empty spaces, we’re forced to confront our own values, and our own visions of ourselves.
  30. The filmmakers observe rather than interview or investigate, and much of the film is footage of actual church-sanctioned exorcisms.
  31. Campillo’s focus on these charismatic characters, who bicker constantly but pick one another up the second they fall (sometimes literally), makes their present so thrilling that we don’t focus on what bleak future may await them.
  32. Unfortunately, the film has nothing much to say other than that the enterprise is inherently complicated — which isn’t point enough for 111 minutes of screen time.
  33. It has some interesting visuals, but A Silent Voice demands investment in the redemption of someone who’s impossible to root for.
  34. Up through the ambiguous ending, Thoman withholds the story’s bigger puzzle pieces, which is satisfying when the focus is on Miranda’s quietly traumatic unraveling. Yet as a mystery, Never Here teases too much naturalism to get away with the haunting abstruseness Lynch does in his masterful return to Twin Peaks.
  35. It’s little more than a diverting sketch, but its characters justify its ninety minutes, and Killam’s unremitting enthusiasm is occasionally contagious.
  36. While the horror director successfully distills Ghinsberg’s spare prose into a succession of terrifying images, McLean can’t seem to help straying into the tackier elements of horror.
  37. If Scream and Heathers shacked up and had murderous, millennial offspring, it might look a lot like Tragedy Girls.
  38. The film is a nuanced and moving illustration of the dilemma facing doubting members of the growing Hasidic community in New York City.
  39. Huezo’s approach situates us right there beside Miriam — it’s as if a new acquaintance is unburdening herself to trek south together.
  40. The film is jammed with incident and detail but there’s little flow to the storytelling.
  41. The film lives up to its own characters’ thesis: that disability need not define a person — or even the film about that person.
  42. There is so much packed in here; Wonderstruck is simultaneously the densest and loosest film Haynes has made. And, like many stories based on books for children, much of it makes more emotional than logical sense.
  43. You’re right not to trust a film critic who calls a movie “stunning.” But let me say this about Human Flow, the epic new documentary surveying the scope of the global refugee crisis, from Chinese artist-activist Ai Weiwei: It stunned me, in the truest sense of the word.
  44. There are no loose ends or wasted time; everything builds to a rising crescendo that makes you feel like your heart is going to burst. The immense strength of this remarkable woman is on such powerful display that, twenty minutes into the film, tears welled from my eyes and did not stop, even after I left the theater.
  45. As with many recent environmental documentaries, the filmmakers’ call to action is simple and upbeat: This isn’t so hard, people, we can do it if we try!
  46. Nathan Frankowski’s biopic has the saccharine, deliberate feel of a Hallmark movie, that doesn’t make the woman at its center any less inspirational.
  47. Instead of finding one answer to his question, Ruspoli takes the film’s title to heart, ending Monogamish on a big ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
  48. Birney and Audley have an impressive visual sense — the smart framing and thrifty, ingenious production design (by Peter Davis) at times suggest a Wes Anderson–directed installment of Between Two Ferns — and also the good sense to lean on Birney’s nuanced physical performance.
  49. Even in this glossy pulp fictionalization, Marshall is filled above all else with truths that still demand telling.
  50. B&B
    Ahearne deftly builds the suspense, raising the stakes before steering the story into surprising new directions. Despite its modern premise, B&B feels classic — a Hitchcockian nail-biter without a platinum blonde in sight.
  51. Maybe this is a mood more than a movie, but it is a haunting one.
  52. Wilson’s film, a quiet wonder, emphasizes the courage it takes to choose the hard work of living.
  53. This immersive, richly detailed snapshot of hoarders undergoing a mandated apartment cleaning is equal parts horror film and existential howl.
  54. This doc could have been a mess, frankly. But Philippe has put the film together smartly, taking us from the general to the particular.
  55. Levine and Van Soest (who are both white) deserve credit for eliding or treating obliquely a number of seemingly obvious narrative beats.
  56. The most exceptional element of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women might actually be its comforting, radical normalcy.
  57. Only the Brave is a visually splendid, spellbinding, and surreal movie that also happens to be an emotionally shattering, over-the-top ugly-cry for the ages.
  58. Lynch has crafted an almost proudly minor work, a hangout movie whose reason for being is Stanton’s presence.
  59. Though Moonee’s story may not have a Hollywood happy ending when she’s grown and the world has been cruel, Baker has created an indomitable character who’s at least got a fighting chance.
  60. Una
    There’s nothing wrong with stylization and opening things up (usually, these are good things), and Andrews has impressive command of his frame. But here, the extra-cinematic adornments seem somewhat unnecessary, as Una’s chief power lies in its two striking lead performances.
  61. Despite some frightening (and effective) scenes of slippery slopes and aggravated wildlife, the film’s heart lies in watching these characters discover in themselves and each other the will to press on.
  62. It’s only October, but Christmas has come early for horror fans.
  63. It’s a beautiful movie about unthinkable things.
  64. This is the type of lightly educational, aesthetically appealing, big-hearted nature film that makes for ideal family viewing.
  65. Such is the case of The Osiris Child, a series of scenes that cut away from interesting developments to flashbacks with a vengeance, as though “interesting developments” killed director Shane Abbess’s dog.
  66. This film is unusually slow-paced for its genre, but Zahler’s screenplay is driven by a solid central character and dialogue that might have made Elmore Leonard sit up straight.
  67. What begins as revolting and off the rails peters out into a weak-sauce final payoff presented as an intervention-themed reality show, so tired and quaintly stupid it no longer offends.
  68. Both a thriller and meditation on the loss of innocence, Super Dark Times is rich with the minutiae of a bygone era...but Phillips and screenwriters Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski press hard against the instinct for nostalgia.
  69. As amateurish as its 1990-grade VHS title graphics, Surviving Peace is possibly the clunkiest — and most one-sided — film ever made about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  70. Take My Nose…Please! rescues plastic surgery from Hollywood’s “did they or didn’t they?” gossip and reality television’s odious voyeurism with a nuanced, empathetic (and often funny) introduction to a few women, mostly comedians, who’ve had work done or are considering it.
  71. The horror film of 2017 is AlphaGo, a documentary about an artificial intelligence program designed to play Go – the oldest and most complex board game in the world – that feels like it’s sounding the alarm for the human race’s impending extinction.
  72. Curiously drab and airless, tinted to a distracting bluish miasma that suggests an advertisement for antidepressants, Peter Landesman’s Mark Felt is the wrong movie at the right time.
  73. Dina is a story about resilience and a woman’s indomitable will to seek out her best life.
  74. Careful, dutiful, and beautiful, Blade Runner 2049 cannot achieve the sublime slipperiness of Scott’s masterpiece. Whether it even needs to is up to you.
  75. An engrossing exploration of the artist’s final days rendered in his signature painting style.
  76. Realive’s greatest strength is that it takes its premise so seriously, engaging with its moral and spiritual questions.
  77. The film ends with a riff on the final moments of The Graduate, a frustrating suggestion of a much better work.
  78. With rasps and desperate eyes, Gugino communicates Jessie’s thinking and planning so powerfully that cutaways to that other Jessie, the chatty vision, egging her on, prove redundant.
  79. It’s gently comic, a touch naïve, and somewhat moving: These idealists are ready to fight to keep creepy-crawlies farm to table.
  80. An excellent, intuitive study of American wanderlust.
  81. American Made is his first effort in a long while that feels like an honest-to-god Tom Cruise movie; suddenly, his smile means something again. But there’s one huge, beautiful catch: Doug Liman’s electric film is clear-eyed about the cynicism and corruption beneath its hero’s anxious grin. It voraciously breaks down both the star and the country he has symbolized for so much of his career.
  82. Over the course of its simple, unadorned 82 minutes, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Hissein Habré: A Chadian Tragedy wrecks you in ways you might not have known were possible.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Bobbi Jene gives you a taste of how a choreographer works, but mainly registers how she feels. The mostly-female production team stays rigorously focused on her effort to have it all, and on the price she pays.
  83. Stone and Carell ace both the warmth and the competitive camaraderie of that relationship. But when Billie and Bobby interact with anyone else in this story — love interests in particular — woo, boy, does Battle of the Sexes whiff the serve.
  84. The gun-control message is so rote that it’s of secondary interest to the film’s ambitious structure.
  85. Even though this dusty bit of true crime is limp and flimsy as hell, Last Rampage does give a few seasoned actors the opportunity to chew all the scenery they can in a 93-minute movie.
  86. Boston, Jon Dunham’s film about that city’s marathon, is a contender — an emotional comeback story, interspersed with thrilling moments in its history, without gloss, cliche or even nostalgia.
  87. The film is handsomely mounted, traditional in its scenecraft, superbly acted, and much less ham-handed than you might expect from a historical drama about a great man’s great moment.
  88. It’s almost as if, in their fascination with trauma, the filmmakers have forgotten entirely what everyday life looks like.
  89. It’s all a curious humanist experiment with anecdotal surprises and whimsy, but its motives aren’t in sharp focus like Doyle’s hotshot imagery.
  90. Immigrant stories certainly don’t demand tragedy to be legitimate, but The Tiger Hunter, with its pastiche of fish-out-of-water comedy and pointy collared shirts, ultimately feels weightless.
  91. Elizabeth inspires empathy, but it often feels like we’re being told to feel a certain way by being shown so much rather than being allowed to naturally warm up to her.
  92. The movie has its moments, but the bloat and the blandness take their toll.
  93. Folklorist Alan Govenar has dedicated himself to exalting their work in dozens of books and films. His knowledge and affection are contagious, but this enjoyable documentary is a sampler plate crammed with bite-size pieces that only hint at the original fare’s distinctive flavors.
  94. Brad’s Status remains grounded in reality — it’s gentle, human and unresolved. I loved it, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch it again.
  95. Palansky had the good sense to let the performances elevate the material, never letting this turn into another cheesy, predictably twisty yarn.
  96. Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia is the unscary film’s only source of spookiness.
  97. The film deserves some credit for not becoming a weepie or, conversely, making Sherry the butt of a joke, but while Dhavernas’s performance and director Adam Keleman’s penchant for soft colors in a harsh world add intrigue, it leaves a frustrating aftertaste.
  98. In the end, this relentlessly scenic travelogue/valentine is Willer literally giving her old man peace of mind.
  99. It’s all rather implausible, as is how all those cinema luminaries Barenholtz once nurtured seem to have no impact on his style-free storytelling.

Top Trailers