Village Voice's Scores

For 8,531 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Lowest review score: 0 Followers
Score distribution:
8,531 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Story of My Death is a singular work, and its originality is apparent in every frame.
  3. Directed by anyone else, Masculine Feminine--one of three movies that Godard made in his peak year, 1966--would be a masterpiece. For the young JLG it's business as usual.
  4. More terrifying than any horror film, and more intellectually adventurous than just about any 2013 release so far, The Act of Killing is a major achievement, a work about genocide that rightly earns its place alongside Shoah as a supreme testament to the cinema's capacity for inquiry, confrontation, and remembrance.
  5. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is more than just another bid for respectability, like "13 Assassins" -it may well be Miike's best film, a patient, ominous piece of epic storytelling that conscientiously rips the scabs off the honorable samurai mythology.
  6. The movie perfectly captures the vibe of late high school, in a way that's both of its time and timeless.
  7. Chris Teerink's superb film documents the work of artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), whose legacy lies not only in past accomplishments, but in the work he left for others to complete.
  8. Kechiche and his actresses explore the in-between—ecstasy, exploration, the comfort and eventual boredom of domesticity—and the aftermath, the painful shards of feeling we cling to after something has shattered. And they don't mess around when it comes to the ferocity of love, sex, or, God help us, the two combined.
  9. Gravity is harrowing and comforting, intimate and glorious, the kind of movie that makes you feel more connected to the world rather than less.
  10. The film's finale is wild and daring and so perfectly executed that it marks Wright as one of the film year's most audacious new voices.
  11. The movie grabs hold and runs you through the wringer.
  12. Bolstered by performances that convey profound grief and remorse without look-at-me histrionics, The Past is steeped in the believable micro details of its scenario while also expanding to universals.
  13. It remains one of the most wrenching films about adolescent angst, thanks largely to the performance of Phil Daniels.
  14. Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling.
  15. Police, Adjective is a deadly serious as well as dryly humorous analysis of bureaucratic procedure and, particularly, the tyranny of language. Images may record reality, but words define it.
  16. You can call me fanboy, but this is the best anime I've ever seen.
  17. Laughton, of course, is elegant rotundity in motion, a naughty, moonfaced cherub in his drunk scene, later sweetly surprised when finding himself elevated into a man by the Gettysburg Address, a recitation of which is the film's palpitating heart.
  18. Solaris achieves an almost perfect balance of poetry and pulp. This is as elegant, moody, intelligent, sensuous, and sustained a studio movie as we are likely to see this season -- and in its intrinsic nuttiness, perhaps the least compromised.
  19. A superbly balanced piece of work, addressing the passion of Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands.
  20. Charlie Is My Darling captures the quintet at their most impossibly vernal and beautiful.
  21. There's little sense in trying to resist the film's relentless boogie-woogie party vibe, its tumultuous visual banquet, its unpredictable sense of switchblade satire, its fools' parade of modern grotesques, or its river of startling melancholy, turning from a wary trickle to a flash flood by film's end. Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
  22. It remains a stunning achievement, if nearly as exhausting and frustrating as the Tex Avery bureaucracy it roasts, but Gilliam's stylistic dysfunctionalities, art-directed out of junkyards, are what still percolate in the forebrain.
  23. Another unforetold career acme: Christopher Guest's seductive and brilliantly modulatory A Mighty Wind, which trains its laser-sight on the decaying legacy of Peter, Paul and Mary-style pop-folk.
  24. Each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative in its reach as it sets out to be.
  25. One of the year's best films.
  26. The Leopard is the greatest film of its kind made since World War II—its only rivals are Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and Visconti's own "Senso."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This monumentally pointless movie is best summarized by a line from Planet Terror: "At some point in your life, you find a use for every useless talent you have." Rodriguez, Tarantino, and Co. aim for nothing more noble than to freak the funk, and it's about godd--- time. Go wasted, go stoned, go without your parents' permission. In paying homage to an obsolete form of movie culture, Grindhouse delivers a dropkick to ours.
  27. 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.
  28. In narrative terms, not that much happens, but as for Harry's emotional journey--well, that's nearly epic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Vincere, though, is the veteran director's stylistic knockout, a movie whose audacious editing fully captures the hot and heavy relationships between past and present, sex and politics, reality and, yes, cinema.
  29. With dexterity and care, Swanberg illuminates our muddled perceptions of our own relationships. He fixates on the minutiae of hanging out, the stuff of little loves and lies, the feints and thrusts we make in sorting matters of head and heart.
  30. The brilliant concluding chapter in the death trilogy that inspired Gus Van Sant's artistic rebirth.
  31. Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold is an anti-blockbuster--a deceptively modest undertaking that brilliantly combines unpretentious humanism and impeccable formal values.
  32. The hard-charging originality of the screenplay—the equivalent of turning "The Hot Zone" into a Farrelly comedy—suggests a deficient legacy of credit to Terry Southern's corner.
  33. 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.)
  34. A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
  35. Gray has a knack for wrapping big themes into an intimate embrace, and The Immigrant feels both epic and fine-grained.
  36. Summer sequelitis is upon us, but the season is unlikely to bring anything more remarkable than Richard Linklater's sweet, smart, and deeply romantic Before Sunset.
  37. A full-throttle body shock of a movie. It gets inside you like a virus, puts your nerves in a blender, and twists your guts into a Gordian knot.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The performances, culled from seven shows on the “Vertigo” tour from Mexico City to Buenos Aires, burn with the old unforgettable fire.
  38. Only Lovers Left Alive is silly and deeply serious at once, an elegy with a light touch and more than a dash of hope.
  39. It's a delicate yet passionate creation, modest in scope but almost overwhelming in its emotional intricacy, ambition, and resonance. Easily one of the best films so far this year, it's a nearly perfect blend of pimple-faced naturalism, righteous moral fury, nuanced social insight, and unsentimental but devastating drama.
  40. Demme has crafted yet another superb document of musicians at work, one as much about creation—and the sources of inspiration—as it is about performance. A wonderful film, as in, it's full of wonders.
  41. Leisurely and digressive, this generally exhilarating saga ("a storm of misadventures" per Ruiz) variously suggests Victor Hugo, Stendhal, and (thanks in part to the unnatural, emphatic yet uninflected, acting) Mexican telenovelas. The score is richly romantic; the period locations are impeccable.
  42. Sachs and his performers know that the perfect marriage is a thing of phantom beauty — it doesn't exist, yet we persist in believing that someone out there must have it.
  43. When Guadagnino focuses solely on the primal, the effect is spellbinding. Only the words get in the way.
  44. Ignacio Ferreras's traditionally animated Wrinkles is a beautiful, subtle horror movie about the rigors of old age, made all the more horrifying because it will happen to all of us fortunate enough to live a long life.
  45. Safe Conduct -- a rangy, irreverent, episodic odyssey through French filmmaking during the Occupation -- is one of the very best movies ever made about the life of moviemaking.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This work of gorgeous fury, about the virtual imprisonment of millions of Hindu widows in the years before independence, transforms Mehta's feminist rage into an eloquent testament to the hunger for freedom.
  46. 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.
  47. This Ain't California is a masterful lie that illuminates a little-known reality.
  48. A movie so tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing that the purposefully oblique and languid narrative is all but eclipsed.
  49. But the directors elevate the picture to a level of emotional genius by filming the children's play as a full-on cinematic adaptation, shot and edited with seriousness and polish.
  50. Kieran Turner's Jobriath A.D. is an exceptional example of this subgenre, a cubist portrait of an unknowable man and a dramatic whodunit about an artist-victim who died by a thousand cuts.
  51. The Rohmer touch consists of nonchalance and effortless sensuality, not just in the people, but also in the landscape, somehow even in the air.
  52. To watch this movie (shot in breathtaking widescreen by cinematographer Ian Jones) is to enter into a whole new language of symbols and meaning, the likes of which I have rarely encountered in cinema outside of the African tribal films of Ousmane Sembene.
  53. The pleasing circularity of Gus Van Sant's masterful Paranoid Park is not only a function of the film's narrative structure but reflects the arc of its maker's career. Few directors have revisited their earliest concerns with such vigor.
  54. This is an unsparing picture, one whose violence, though deftly handled, is bone-crunchingly rough. Yet its emotional contours are surprisingly delicate, thanks, in large part to O’Connell’s performance.
  55. The story's outline may be familiar, but its emphasis and quality are not.
  56. 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.
  57. The year's most ingenious and original animated feature.
  58. This wondrous, absorbing little picture covers a great deal of winding meta-territory, reflecting on the ways in which a single family's story can be told—or maybe, more accurately, examining the idea that there's no such thing as a "single story."
  59. Laughton understood Agee's proximity to Grimm vaudeville, and fashioned the most intensely expressionistic movie of its day.
  60. The fights Virunga documents couldn't feel more urgent. This is one of the year's most compelling and important films.
  61. Raw and insistent, bold and brawling, Girlhood throbs with the global now, illustrating the ways an indifferent society boxes in the people who grow up in project-style boxes.
  62. To my mind, the greatest film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.
  63. Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking.
  64. Nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable, Warm Water may well be the year's best and most unpredictable comedy.
  65. A crash course in history, politics, and social science, Valentino's Ghost is both sobering and illuminating, and its execution is thrilling.
  66. The film is consistently visually stunning in a way that's ever more rare, and Sissako's bravura moment of filmmaking is embedded in a scene on a river that seals the Tuareg patriarch's fate.
  67. This film, a great one, demands a follow-up.
  68. It might be the most lonesome film about a tropical vacation we've seen, and the greatest film ever made about the weird socioeconomics of tourism.
  69. In every respect, this unclassifiable movie is an amazing accomplishment.
  70. For passion, originality, and sustained chutzpah, this austere allegory of failed Christian charity and Old Testament payback is von Trier's strongest movie--a masterpiece, in fact.
  71. Yudin pulls lovely philosophical grace notes from his subjects as they illuminate some universal truths from their very specific world.
  72. 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.
  73. Ultimately, what makes Knocked Up a terrific film--one of the year's best, easily--is its relaxed, shaggy vibe; if it feels improvised in places, that's because Apatow trusts his actors enough to let them make it up as they go, like the people they're playing.
  74. This is a film to see and then see again, to soak in and marvel at and -- like its director -- try to keep up with.
  75. Ernest & Celestine -- a contender for this year's best animated film Oscar -- is pure delight.
  76. Very little in Under the Skin is clear at all. Its secrets unspool in mysterious, supple ribbons, but that's part of its allure, and its great beauty.
  77. Thanks to Lynch's expert pacing and modulation of narrative tension, even viewers who already know the outcome of the film's central incident will likely be pulled to the edges of their seats.
  78. Vera Drake puts the passion in compassion. Building up to a shattering conclusion, Leigh's movie is both outrageously schematic and powerfully humanist.
  79. The film's genius is how completely it tunes in to his 
experience, delicately outlining Joey's private moments of shame, elation, despondency, and pride.
  80. Extraordinary, groundbreaking documentary.
  81. If Secret can leave the viewer despairing, it's also hugely inspiring, thanks to Mino. She's one of the cinematic heroines of the year.
  82. The most measured, classical film of their (Coen Brothers) 23-year career, and maybe the best.
  83. [A] strange, singular heartbreaker of a film about life still flourishing in the most inhospitable conditions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Zodiac exhausts more than one genre. Termite art par excellence, it burrows for the sake of burrowing, as fascinated by its own nooks and crannies as "Inland Empire."
  84. The Canadian painter-photographer-filmmaker-musician gives full vent to his genius in this exhilarating perceptual vaudeville, titled for the "central region" of tissue that acts as a conduit between the brain's two hemispheres.
  85. Jesse Moss's documentary The Overnighters is a heart-wrencher about the clash between economics and ethics. Its story sounds like the sort of dry news blurb you'd skim over in the Sunday paper but unfolds into an epic tragedy.
  86. What's truly extraordinary about this movie--which strikes me on two viewings as Maddin's masterpiece--is that it not only plays like a dream but feels like one.
  87. 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
  88. Cutter Hodierne's gorgeous, harrowing debut feature, Fishing Without Nets, doesn't just ask you to feel a bit for Somali pirates, as Captain Phillips did -- Hodierne puts you in their shoes.
  89. 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.
  90. Not only does this Star Trek proffer smart thrills and slick kicks, but it builds upon the original's history–from its very first pilot episode to Robert Wise's 1979 "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and beyond–while creating an entirely new future.
  91. 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Robin Hood is movie pageantry at its best, done in the grand manner of silent spectacles, brimming over with the sort of primitive energy that drew people to the movies in the first place.
  92. Vital, thoughtful, and deeply personal, first-timer Darius Clark Monroe's autobiographical doc stands as a testament to the power of movies to stir empathy.
  93. Although the Coens are consummate craftsmen, they don't always show the lightness of touch or the depth of feeling they do here.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bravura doesn't begin to describe Greengrass's skill in mounting these complex sequences...This is, simply put, some of the most accomplished filmmaking being done anywhere for any purpose.

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