Village Voice's Scores

For 10,431 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 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Porfirio
Lowest review score: 0 South of the Border
Score distribution:
10431 movie reviews
  1. It Felt Like Love is brilliantly, brutally tactile.
  2. Referents and identities are always slightly unfixed in Neruda, a film that reaches dizzying, exhilarating velocity by flouting the conventions of its hidebound genre.
  3. 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.
  4. That makes this the most rare of films: one that indisputably matters. And one that stuns.
  5. One of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The last real earthquake to hit cinema was David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" -- I'm sure directors throughout the film world felt the earth move beneath their feet and couldn't sleep the night of their first encounter with it back in 1986. (Review of 20th Anniversary Re-Release)
  6. Brazil might not want you to know it, but Aquarius is something special.
  7. Leigh, Spall, and cinematographer Dick Pope — who borrows lots of lighting tricks from Vermeer and Ingres and even Turner himself, to glorious effect — have gently atomized Turner's character, breaking it into small, potent fragments that affect us in ways we don't see coming.
  8. Before Midnight—visually stunning, in a late-summer way—is more vital and cutting than another recent marriage picture, Michael Haneke's old-folks-together death march Amour; it has none of Amour's tasteful restraint, and in the end, it says more about the nature of long-term love.
  9. Mike Birbiglia's Don't Think Twice stands as the best, most revealing film about comedy people and one of the best about artistic collaboration. It's a boisterous and sensitive work of many facets.
  10. The world the film describes is so vividly realized that it seems to spill over the edges of the frame, as if the lives of its characters will continue after the credits roll.
  11. Even the familiar elements of this particular family's drama are invested — through vigorous scripting, directing, and acting — with almost elemental power.
  12. Burshtein's lush visual sensibility, and the subtle performances of the excellent cast, create an aching portrayal of longing and interdependence that transcends the boundaries of the family's small world.
  13. Wang's film allows the public activist to be privately human, showing Ye at home with her lively daughter, sharing moments of friendship with other women activists or clearing brush and describing the hard rural lives of her family.
  14. One of the year's most hypnotic and fascinating films.
  15. Flight of the Red Balloon is in a class by itself. In its unexpected rhythms and visual surprises, its structural innovations and experimental perfs, its creative misunderstandings and its outré syntheses, this is a movie of genius.
  16. As excellent a documentary about politics as you will ever see.
  17. 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.
  18. This patient, beautiful, painful, engrossing film pits husband and wife against each other and their world in a series of extended conversations/confrontations.
  19. Writer-director Stephen Belber's inspiriting, generous Match is so good that it's like some kind of trick.
  20. The movie's sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up.
  21. [An] inspiring cinematic journey — full of overwhelming beauty, and ready to set the curious viewer's mind aflame.
  22. In today's digital bog of empty light and marketing deceptions, this is what early-millennium Euro art-film masterpieces feel like--lean, qualmish, abstracted to the point of parable but as grounded as a gravedigging.
  23. Newtown is an act of memorialization, a demand that this most distractible of countries look close and continue to care.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra is a bloody valentine attached to a bomb. It’s violent, brash, inventive and horrific, and perhaps the most romantic film of the year.
  27. Kaufman builds an emotional world we're nervous to enter, one we're already living in.
  28. Certain Women is a kind, loving, and deeply moving portrait of bighearted small-town people.
  29. 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.
  30. Watkins restages history in its own ruins, uses the media as a frame, and even so, manages to imbue his narrative with amazing presence. No less than the event it chronicles, La Commune is a triumph of spontaneous action.
  31. This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.
  32. As an action film — which in small bursts it is — Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
  33. Through the recollections of witnesses and victims, the film simultaneously builds a present-tense narrative while portraying the terrifying resilience of memory and trauma.
  34. Gradually, the old-world meticulousness of Gray's filmmaking gives way to something more abstract, a drifting impermanence, as if the director were trying to capture — without losing any of his visual grace or sweep — the wide, beautiful unknowability of existence.
  35. For the reportedly painstaking labor it took to create, the film is a marvel to behold--with wonderful shifts in perspective, an intensely tactile design, and an intentional herky-jerkiness of motion that only enriches the make-believe atmosphere.
  36. In his sympathetic and intelligent Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, Terence Davies honors his subject by remaining true to this observation from the poet herself: "To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations."
  37. In Ramsay’s cinema, emotion is memory, and it feeds the present and the future.
  38. This sparse marvel leaves the audience rattled by how small decisions lead to big consequences. Still, you're most likely to leave the theater gushing about the cast's bravura unbroken performances.
  39. Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
  40. To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An essay on storytelling and spectatorship within When Inanimate Objects Attack schlock - one infused with the haunting aura and disillusionment of a post–"Easy Rider" road movie - Rubber is some kind of miracle.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One cannot recommend this film strongly enough.
  41. Not just the year's most impressive first feature but also the strongest new movie of any kind I've seen in 2010.
  42. Plunging viewers into the thick of chaos, Leviathan explodes the antiquated paradigm of the documentary or ethnographic film, whose mission has traditionally been to educate or elucidate, to create something that seizes us, never letting us forget just how disordered the world is. This may be the greatest lesson any nonfiction film can teach us.
  43. A film that's both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate.
  44. Surprising, challenging, and never less than thrilling.
  45. The film, a kind of hybrid between understated drama and essayistic tourism, approaches its subjects with uncommon patience and curiosity, lingering over objects and faces as if to savor their aesthetic qualities, eager to convey truths without authorial imposition.
  46. Spring Breakers seems to be holding a funhouse mirror up to the face of youth-driven pop culture, leaving us uncertain whether to laugh, recoil in horror, or marvel at its strange beauty. All I knew is I couldn't wait to see it a second time.
  47. Rohmer's 1986 masterpiece (being re-released with its original French title, which translates as "The Green Ray"), Le Rayon Vert centers on those themes, too, but delivers something much richer: an absorbing, empathic portrait of a complex woman caught between her own obstinacy and melancholy.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. Queen of Earth is also a semi-comedy, often funny in an intentionally bleak way. And that, besides Moss, is what makes it work.
  51. It's all true--every magical, exhilarating, infuriating, dumbfounding, jaw-dropping second of Gordon's miniature masterpiece.
  52. Primer unites physics and metaphysics in an ingenious guerrilla reinvention of cinematic science fiction.
  53. 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.
  54. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is the very best of gothic horror, that which needles at your insecure core and whispers in your ear what you already suspected: You will never be all right.
  55. Cronenberg's film is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story.
  56. The Dark Knight will give your adrenal glands their desired workout, but it will occupy your mind, too, and even lead it down some dim alleyways where most Hollywood movies fear to tread.
  57. The Intruder, is a decisive breakthrough--her (Claire Denis) most poetic and primal film to date, as thrilling as it is initially baffling.
  58. Chi-Raq is a marvel. It's Lee resurrecting his voice — angry, impassioned, and funny as hell — right when we need to hear it.
  59. This stellar, incisive slice-of-life doc centers on the kind of crowd-pleasing competition story that lures in audiences and then lays bare heartsick truths about small-town America today.
  60. Landes's tone is never salacious or exploitative, nor for that matter pandering or sentimental. This is a sui generis work—warm, sporadically funny, deeply human, and altogether beguiling.
  61. Voyage to Italy is close to watching actual strangers suffer loneliness despite being together. It can leave an aching bruise, but only if you're paying attention.
  62. Detailed yet oblique, leisurely but compelling, perfectly cast and irreproachably acted, the movie has a seductively novelistic texture complete with a less-than-omniscient narrator.
  63. Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster.
  64. Heineman’s film urges us not to take any horrors for granted. It is invaluable, as both moral instruction and documented history.
  65. Warped keyhole-size images stack atop one another in a Frankenstein-ian collage that evokes the films of Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner. Seeing "the years [slip] out of [Bill's] head" in this 71-minute compendium is nothing short of revelatory.
  66. 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.
  67. Stranger abounds with precision and detail, evinced not just in the spectacular visual composition but also in the observation of behavioral codes in carnally charged spaces.
  68. Bertolucci's masterpiece--made when he was all of 29--will be the most revelatory experience a fortunate pilgrim will have in a theater this year is a foregone conclusion.
  69. This screen adaptation...is vital because it has the potential to reach marginalized communities. But it also stands as an aching, lyrical, performance-driven masterpiece in its own right, a film so intense and engrossing that movie houses really should screen it with an intermission.
  70. The film is gently thrilling, often revealing, alive with talk and scenic beauty and well-observed vignettes.
  71. In Something in the Air, that past—a version of Assayas's own—is rendered in visuals so specific and evocative, it's perpetually alive.
  72. Lang is uncommonly assured for a first-time director, capturing her scenes in fluid master takes, rarely cutting from one character to the next, letting things unfold at the pace of in-the-moment human feeling.
  73. One of the richest films of the past decade.
  74. A must-see documentary.
  75. Traffic is not just an ultra-procedural--it's the Big Picture, the Whole Enchilada, complete with a complicated war between two Mexican drug cartels.
    • 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.
  76. Rising from Ashes is not just about a cycling team; it's a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another.
  77. Despite the poetry its subtitle promises, the fascinating crows-in-the-skyline doc Tokyo Waka is more informative than lyric, which is not at all a complaint.
  78. Through photos and family lore, but mostly through Dayton's own eloquence, Mitchell assembles a biographical portrait that's inspiring in the best possible way.
  79. Bloody Sunday doesn't surrender its grip on the viewer even after the action shifts from the streets of Bogside to a local hospital where the weeping masses are still under the guns of the war-painted British soldiers.
  80. Perverse, funny, and ultimately profound.
  81. [A] studious, rigorous, and surprisingly tender documentary.
  82. Prince Avalanche reconciles Green's twin modes into a whole no other director could have, deeply felt and light as laughter.
  83. Lipper does an excellent job of using her film as a vehicle for the voices and concerns of Nigerians, and especially of Nigerian women, who are traditionally expected to stay at home while men operate in the public sphere. But Lipper does not limit her camera to political struggles.
  84. Corpse Bride never skimps on the sass (as a good folktale shouldn't). And the variety of its cadaverous style is never less than inspired; never has the human skull's natural grin been redeployed so exhaustively for yuks.
  85. With each of these movies, Klapisch reiterates a core sentiment behind all the romantic comedy: that lives are continuously pieced together, broken, and rearranged in different settings. All that screwing and screwing up in between? Totally necessary.
  86. Remarkable documentary.
  87. Va Savoir has its own unhurried pace and unpredictable humor. This is the sort of comedy Robert Altman could only dream about.
  88. Unknown Pleasures suggests a coolly formalist reinvention of neorealism. The film is both distanced and immediate -- a fiction with the force of documentary.
  89. 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.
  90. Garrone's film grows in your head afterward, making royal hash out of a cultural paradigm we'll be loath to remember years from now—if, by then, everything hasn't become "reality."
  91. The movie's ending may be less satisfying than that of "Slumdog Millionaire"--a film you can love for its infectiously wishful exuberance, but never fully believe in--but Kisses is truer to the tragedy of a generation of children whom we have utterly failed. If they're anything like Kylie and Dylan, they'll be back to let us know.
  92. Colors and angles and sound levels don't match from one cut to the next. The movie is ugly as sin to look at. But it's all intentional on the part of von Trier.
    • 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
  93. 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.
  94. I hurt myself laughing at this amazingly inventive mockumentary, and because it's so good, I refuse to give away much more than an insistent recommendation.
  95. Manages to turn a highly dubious concept into a subtle and deliciously mordant comedy.

Top Trailers