Village Voice's Scores

For 10,662 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 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Leave No Trace
Lowest review score: 0 Kangaroo Jack
Score distribution:
10662 movie reviews
  1. Though visually expansive, however, the film feels emotionally intimate.
  2. Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia is a superbly balanced picture of Cambodia then and now, a nation in a sort of stupor of post traumatic stress syndrome, denial and survivor's' guilt.
  3. The ending is a joy and a heartbreaker, but what lingers from this revelatory life is that compact world Jeanne inhabits, and how each tragedy, each happiness, and each everyday gesture together accrete into the woman we discover again and again.
  4. Mell stages a climax that's thrilling and ridiculous in equal measure.
  5. Like Crazy seems content to coast on the contrast between Beatrice's abrasive energy and Donatella's quiet anguish, with neither character developed with depth sufficient to justify the time we spend with them.
  6. It's not for nothing that generation and generic share a root; the characters scan as vague, of-their-age types, despite having each been dressed up with superficial quirks.
  7. Jacobs lets casually observed details and offhand humor advance the story. There are no grand pronouncements in The Lovers, which smartly communicates its ideas about relationships during its long stretches of silence.
  8. The beauty of a single-location thriller is how the tension escalates in containment, but Moverman fails to seize that built-in advantage.
  9. Though it could benefit from less hopping around in time and space, and it bears the scars of Poitras’ multiple edits — she showed one cut to Assange, who hated it — if you care about what’s happening to the internet and to global politics, it’s essential viewing.
  10. [A] densely packed but occasionally facile documentary.
  11. It’s interesting that the most compelling parts of this film are the ones that convey how a taste of Hollywood can destroy a life, since this is yet another Hollywood film about that life.
  12. The film has plenty of unflinching truth and emotion and outrage, and it ends with a gut punch. It's the subtly unreal quality of what we're seeing throughout, however, that truly highlights the obscenity of war.
  13. Though the story has a predictable ebb and flow, the film includes some stunning moments
  14. Vol. 2 aims to please with breathtaking set pieces that’ll convince you to delete all your old diatribes about CGI ruining the movies. But no matter how funny writer-director James Gunn wants this film to be — the one-liners move at lightspeed — too many of the punch lines are referential.
  15. Ponsoldt’s film is caught between comedy and paranoid thriller. I fear he half-asses the latter.
  16. Rackstraw Downes: A Painter is glacial and mesmerizing, the documentary equivalent of droning Tibetan singing bowls, a work crafted to induce its audience into the same contemplative state as its subject at work.
  17. Green's doc — like the case at its center — defies resolution or easy answers.
  18. By focusing on Quade’s absolute respect for military service and authority, Salzberg and Tureaud miss an opportunity to explore her pragmatic conservatism, lyrically expressed in her profiles of unquestioning heroism.
  19. Linder possesses a compelling, Kurt Cobain-like androgyny, but neither she nor Krill can do much to save the portentous screenplay.
  20. Unlike in so many films, here the actors’ portrayals of psychiatric patients’ conditions — and their humanity — ring true.
  21. What Laurent and Dion do best is present pockets of progressive change as blueprints for idealism in action.
  22. Rambling in the best manner imaginable, it’s an amusingly heartbreaking (and hopeful) portrait of misery’s messiness.
  23. It’s science fiction that’s complex, thoughtful and funny, like 12 Monkeys or Primer run through a Fargo filter.
  24. As evocative as the production design and cinematography are, multiple cheesy scenes with one-dimensional characters undermine Howell’s efforts to spook, let alone redefine a genre.
  25. For an hour and a half, this charming little movie, with its chatty talking heads and its sweet-natured subjects, offers a glimpse into the lives of two fascinating people whom I had never heard of, and who shared an unlikely life filled with achievements and setbacks, wonder and pain.
  26. With naturalistic honesty, Ozerov and Gordon tap into their characters’ insecurities and sexuality (because, duh, teens). But Bezmozgis delves deeper than pubescent angst, exploring the immigrant experience through family dynamics, dinner-table debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and old-country dreams.
  27. Rupture is a sci-fi abduction thriller that leaves little to be thrilled about.
  28. The performances are strong and the scenecraft absorbing.
  29. Let’s cut straight to the chase: Black Rose is a bad film — amazingly, astoundingly, supercalifragilisticexpialidociously bad.
  30. Blending stock footage, vintage audio, re-creation, and many testimonials from heavy hitters from Ben E. King to Van Morrison, Berns' son Brett keeps things visually lively, and not as morose as may be implied.
  31. The director builds to one big, beautiful revelation. But the story he tells in the lead-up doesn’t distract so much as it politely asks you to stand up so that it can place the trick card under your ass.
  32. Obit rarely strays from the anodyne tone of the advertorial.
  33. In those days after the misbegotten verdict in the trial of the four police officers who kicked and beat Rodney King, these Angelenos discovered what they and their neighbors were capable of. Ridley’s patient, humane approach allows us, over his film’s 145 minutes, to discover it, too.
  34. LA 92 is about what this all looked like on TV, a sort of Los Angeles Burns Itself.
  35. Olli Mäki isn't a knockout, but it does go the distance.
  36. Slack Bay is nothing if not anti-authoritarian, and while its anarchic energy is appealing in small doses, it becomes tiresome when it turns toward cruelty.
  37. Just like high-wire showman Philippe Petit, Tower is a brilliant, dedicated artist who has spent most of his life wowing people with his talents — but is ultimately always out there by himself.
  38. As drama and spectacle, it’s not quite first-rate — I rarely feared for these characters or believed that I knew their souls, and George is too much of a humanist to wring real-life tragedy for cineplex suspense. But as a moral corrective and a call to decency it moved me.
  39. 10 minutes early to the Free Fire press screening, I grew restless as “Annie’s Song” played on a continuous loop in the theater; the gimmick filled up my senses with the quickly confirmed fear that Wheatley’s film would rarely rise above the dopey and obvious.
  40. Tyrnauer transforms what could be a staid profile film into an urgent story about the dangers of “urban renewal,” something Jacobs herself would admire.
  41. Gere jabbers amusingly, and there's something touching in his Norman's persistence.
  42. It's a film, a rather gorgeous one, of glances and ephemera and delicate metaphors.
  43. In this stylish documentary, Cattelan talks effusively on camera about his career, his work, and his private life in unexpectedly candid interviews.
  44. Suffern strikes a respectful, not entirely hopeless tone throughout.
  45. It’s hard not to wish, as Scheinfeld's restless film hustles along to touch its next base, that we could just sit and listen to more from Shorter, who actually has insight to share. Lord knows the movie won’t make time to let us hear some John Coltrane.
  46. 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."
  47. 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.
  48. At once sorrowful and optimistic, Heal the Living captures the terrifying fragility of life, even as it also recognizes the strength derived from the many connections — organic, emotional, and associative — that bind and define us.
  49. While racist slights remain unfortunately common, Little Boxes doesn't exactly use them to illuminate the nuances of suburban life.
  50. Golf's become such a ridiculously well-heeled pastime that it's refreshing to see it portrayed in its infancy, when clubs were carried like a bunch of kindling and the desolate greens of St. Andrews were more like the hazards of today's game.
  51. Sinking Into the Sea is fun, but an hour of just Rudolph and Watts in the recording studio would be no less buoyant.
  52. The biggest show is, naturally, saved for last.... Nothing in all of the Fast & Furious movies has ever felt bigger or more ridiculous — two things F8 rightfully thrives on. It’s exhilarating. Now how will they top this one?
  53. Herzog has previously thrived on madness, so the failure here proves even more curious.
  54. Marczak has captured the specifics of these young folks as they reel through a city that’s been born again, but the film should stir something true in the chest of anyone who ever was lucky enough to run free in their youth, even if only for a night.
  55. The talking heads (lower case) are fine, but the dream-drama music-video theater piece of Rock on a gurney while nurses and doctors consult around him takes too much time away from the reason people want to see this: what Rock saw.
  56. The film is restrained and observational, its impact cumulative.
  57. It's difficult to label Arnow's cinematic voice, and this particular film, or why anyone would even want to watch something so personal, but i hate myself :) is never not fascinating.
  58. The twisty story and imaginative monsters are enough to overcome the relatively humdrum leads.
  59. Director Dan Harris (Imaginary Heroes) structures Speech & Debate like a musical comedy that's building up to a cathartic final number, but scene after scene just falls flat.
  60. Despite the bad acting, self-importance and general Herzogian ridiculousness, the director actually has a deep sense of beauty and a genuine talent for communicating humanity’s scale against immense natural forces and the absolute howling vastness of time.
  61. The dancers in Alive and Kicking all share a rapturous expression, and Glatzer makes the case for this Depression-era diversion as a modern tonic for isolation.
  62. The co-director/co-writer team of Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro are none too subtle, and their reliance on hallucination sequences suggests a (misguided) lack of faith in Hammer to pull this off by himself.
  63. If Fluk’s film has any impact at all, much of it is thanks to Dan Stevens, who brings an empathy to James that occasionally complicates the director/co-writer’s two-dimensional view of the character.
  64. The Transfiguration gradually reveals itself to be a coming-of-age tale, one whose central figure reaches a point at which he’s forced to reckon with the evil lurking within himself.
  65. The film is wallpapered with beatings, shootings and bloodshed, so its genuine sensitivity to trans issues is welcome and surprising.
  66. Makoto Shinkai's lush mindbender Your Name has many elements that are familiar on their own but here combine to create something unique.
  67. It's enjoyable spending some time with dreamy Vivek and Shveta (Melanie Kannokada, also known as Melanie Chandra), who are lovely together despite their clumsy communication.
  68. The story necessitates ceaseless sadness, which can grind, but for the most part Aftermath glides just above the wreckage with its leads’ performances. Lester, however, can’t resist throwing in some easy, cheesy symbolism to slop it up.
  69. The combined charms of Britishness and nostalgia often prove a potent blend for American moviegoers, but Their Finest could have delivered something more.
  70. Engaging ideas bubble up every so often in Colossal, a film that carries out magical thinking to its extreme. But the audacity of its conceit is inexorably tamed, becoming an all-too-familiar lesson on saying no.
  71. Ghost in the Shell looks great, sounds great and has a gaping hole at its center — where its emotional core should be.
  72. Aside from the slightly fresh take on a familiar concept, The Boss Baby is barely a moderate success as a kid's flick. Perhaps it will come as good news to studio and audience alike that it works much better as an existential horror movie.
  73. So tasteful it’s torturous, Despite the Falling Snow is a Cold War espionage thriller for those who like their period-piece action airless and derivative.
  74. Few horror debuts unnerve and fascinate as much as this one.
  75. Delicately balanced between grandeur and absurdity, Serra's film maintains this tricky equilibrium largely thanks to the icon whose face fills the screen.
  76. Although writer David Ebeltoft's post-apocalyptic story feels familiar at times (reminiscent of parts of Stephen King's The Stand), the scenery and Blackhurst's direction make Here Alone a verdant, suspenseful treat.
  77. Unconstrained by the need for a neat-and-tidy dramatic arc, All This Panic opts for messy honesty — and, in the process, finds hope for all of its subjects, in ways both big and small.
  78. In her directorial debut, Susan Johnson balances the character's haughty brilliance and aimless privilege with an underlying vulnerability.
  79. The film gains power in the final wishes Thompson had chosen to view the great artist's lives through the eyes of the women who loved (and tolerated) them
  80. The need to tell a story and the desire not to collide in Live Cargo, the narratively uneven but visually exquisite debut feature from writer-director Logan Sandler.
  81. The Widers opt for much footage of the still-empty house itself, inside and out, shot by gently gliding cameras. This conveys an appropriate lonely stillness, a sense of a soul wandering a static world, especially in early scenes, but by the end the footage seems repetitious – yes, we’ve nosed around this sad doorway before.
  82. True to form, Caro seems unbound by her audience’s expectations of a WWII picture; she delivers a singular, thrilling portrait, filled with surprises and moving performances.
  83. While the film is ambitious, with enough intrigue and uneasy moral quandaries to keep my attention rapt in the end it just doesn’t make the leap to the other side.
  84. As too often happens in nonfiction movies, their exploration of these concepts is undermined by ill-considered execution.
  85. CHIPS is so all-around masturbatory, it’s hardly a surprise when we learn that Ponch has to constantly pull over because he needs to find a bathroom and rub one out. Much like him, this revved-up orgy of raunch and sweet rides never stops jerking itself off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A top performance for this year so far, Olszanksa's Olga is standoffish, frequently smoldering, rarely smiling, and she toes the line between intelligence and insanity.
  86. History and politics are present in this film, but over at the kids table.
  87. Dig Two Graves isn't the most original horror film, nor is it the scariest, but most of its short runtime offers passable suspense and an engaging protagonist.
  88. Siff gives a modest but poignant performance that rings true for women of a certain age and career.
  89. The problem — aside from the movie being simple and gimmicky — is in the execution — Schulze's, not the villain's.
  90. The Most Hated Woman in America suffers from tonal whiplash.
  91. Powell can be evasive and embarrassed at times — who wouldn’t be, faced with the worst of your own youthful mind? But Siskel seems to think this film is exposing a monster in the now rather than witnessing a man wrestle with his past selves.
  92. Inevitably, his generic disgruntlement will soften: Amerindie dyspeptic-comedy formula dictates that the man who rants two times too many against the addiction to phones and the internet will, by film’s end, have a heart-stirring video chat.
  93. Toward the end, the filmmakers relent on all the grieving sightseeing and offers up a couple plot developments, plus colloquies on matters geo- and theological. None of this proves as arresting as Iceland’s cliffs and horses, or those first moments of a city depopulated.
  94. Collin and company are after climate, not weather. They steep us in our awareness that Morgan and his New York have been lost, that our glimpses of it must either be through memory or hazed-up photography — or the music itself.
  95. Batra kills the mystery part of the story and instead pushes the adaptation toward that humanism, which renders a good chunk of the plot a wash. Good thing Batra’s really adept at the human portraits, though.
  96. P.S. Jerusalem is as modest as a home movie but profoundly captures the conflict between individual conscience and national identity.
  97. Connect with the kineticism of Song to Song, and it might just leave you breathless.

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