Village Voice's Scores

For 9,165 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 We Are the Best!
Lowest review score: 0 Muck
Score distribution:
9,165 movie reviews
  1. Amid the complacent a bizarre reactionary bent.
  2. The Mystical Laws is an (un)holy mess, a religious tract masquerading as a paint-by-numbers hero's journey.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The not-exactly-long-awaited movie version is here, trading in stereotypes just as ineptly as the original.
  3. Locker 13 brings the hurt, and not in a good way.
  4. What's worth noting is how much greater deliberation was given to the marketing than the screenplay of this cursory dud, rushed to theaters exactly a year after its amusing predecessor.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    As it is, Witherspoon's sweet-as-peach-pie Southern accent only grates and writer-director Bright's incessant winking at the audience bespeaks a project that was running on empty before shooting started. [22 Oct 1996, p.88]
    • Village Voice
  5. Even Crowley, who seems to have a knack with overloaded material, can't quite bring the thing in for a safe landing in all the slush.
  6. Secret trials and buried atrocities are no match for a plucky (and rich, and svelte) young heroine, least of all Ms. Ashley Judd, who eyebrow-cocks her way through Carl Franklin's witless High Crimes.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A case of provocative issues at the mercy of unskilled execution, Zerophilia is a psychological-horror comedy that pokes its toe into dangerous sexual waters but then scurries away.
  7. Writer-director Francesco Lucente's overconfident, emotionally forced 160-minute opus offers trite antiwar platitudes--at best--in chronicling the anguished existence of a soldier who can't shake the horrors he experienced in Fallujah.
  8. Bornedal's fondness for punctuating abrupt cuts to black with a solitary piano-key note is so pathological that it soon turns risible.
  9. Every other line is a coy Oirishism, and Brosnan, despite being Irish, isn't any more convincing than twinkly-eyed barmaid Julianna Margulies.
  10. The scare tactics are rather ho-hum—suffocation nightmares, disappearing necklaces, loud noises—and the ending is incongruously sentimental. You'll be more frightened walking through a graveyard at dusk.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The threadbare plot gets considerable padding from alternately psychotic, lecherous, and greedy Caucasians.
  11. The narrative is so formulaic as to feel immediately contrived, with seemingly every plot device taken from another film.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Her every gesture exaggerated, Blair acts as if she's performing in a silent film, but unfortunately, the film itself isn't silent -- the jam-packed alterna-rock soundtrack further emphasizes the obvious.
  12. Airy, pseudo-folkloric gibberish at best.
  13. An extended riff on marital infidelity, this is the rare omnibus film that isn't just a mixed bag -- it very nearly succeeds at being uniformly bad.
  14. The film's rote right-makes-might fantasy wouldn't be so obnoxious if pandering to the lowest common denominator wasn't its default mode.
  15. Smug with timely zingers like "The only thing the French should be allowed to host is an invasion," the movie's recommended strictly for Bush advisers.
  16. Could Dave Foley prostitute his talent to amuse any further without actually becoming a prostitute? In a plunging step down from emceeing celebrity poker, Foley provides a recognizable face to Jameel Khan's picked-over Goodwill bin of workplace comedy, The Strip.
  17. It's no return to rock, this, but rather Ritchie's soporific, proggy-conceptual Film of Ideas, with Vivaldi interludes, fussbudget set design, recurrent references to chess, and a hit man inexplicably got up as Tati's Mr. Hulot.
  18. More like an on-the-nose parody of Lee Daniels directing an episode of Oz, K-11 is a pulpy, tone-deaf mess of confused directorial intent—exploitation laughs one minute, somber tragedy the next.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    For its ever shifting attitudes toward men, women, and murder, Waist Deep is one of the sloppiest movies ever to reach the screen.
  19. Mickey Rooney's own ordeal of being swindled by his wife's son gives the material a tiny bit of star power, but his mismatched interview clips merely exacerbate the earnest but graceless documentary's editorial clumsiness, aesthetic flatness, and endless repetition.
  20. Though lazily mocking hyper-vigilant parenting, the film treats the moldiest clichés - as gospel.
  21. Eisenstadt has nowhere to go with her catalogue of relaxed urban crazies, and at 79 minutes, the movie is padded out by four song interludes too many.
  22. So committed to its by-the-numbers banality you wonder why it isn't part of the fall TV lineup.
  23. The film doesn't demonstrate belief in much of anything except that audiences must be so desperate for a peek into these stars' private lives that we'll invest energy in their mopey fictional counterparts, who can't even invest in themselves.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Intent on proving that five tough guys in suits walking towards the camera in slow motion really is the coolest thing ever.
  24. Director Vicente Amorim's dramatic instincts evoke after-school specials (most of the drama entails the clan's brooding teenager chomping at the parental bit), and his visual ideas are restricted to aping "City of God's" fish-eye ambience and hectic editing.
  25. It's uncertain whether or not Taranto and debuting helmer Anders Anderson looked at the "Law & Order: SVU" and "Cold Case" episodes that also used the crime as a plot thread; the sub-televisual incompetence of their film suggests not.
  26. Admirable only for its sincere responsibility-over-selfishness message and for giving "The Wire" alums Chad Coleman and Jamie Hector some big-screen work, Life, Love, Soul otherwise proves to be just a low-rent Tyler Perry–style melodrama.
  27. As it stands, Child of God is brazenly, outstandingly bad, as vague, pretentious, and pointless as its sorry title. But it's certainly memorable, full of inadvertent howlers and destined to create a whole new subgenre of burlesque, audience-torturing cinema.
  28. The results are irritating, occasionally educational, and frustratingly insight-free.
  29. Beyond his technical clumsiness, Caleo seems convinced that real men exert power by being A-type jerks and all women are sluts. If nothing else, this film serves as a troubling psychological profile of a filmmaker who feels scornfully cynical toward nothing in particular.
  30. Since the central odd couple have no rapport, their bond never seems to progress past mutual usury.
  31. A tiresome film that itself knows nothing but other rom-com plots.
  32. David John Swajeski, who directed, produced, and edited this documentary on the fledgling fashionista, snags his film on clichés, poor pacing, and an unwillingness or inability to push his subject beyond talk-show pop-psych babble when the topic is interior life and wounds.
  33. You have to, if not love, at least not mind a movie in which the very act of Ashton Kutcher reading is enough of a cosmic trauma to rip a hole in the fabric of space-time.
  34. Louder Than Words obviously means well, but its brand of cheap uplift is the kind of cheese that actually breeds cynicism.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It's all gleefully over the top, but neither particularly campy nor scary. For those who like a little t&a with their blood and gore, however, Flesh for the Beast serves up ample portions of each.
  35. Performance seems more like eye candy than castor oil in the brave new world of "Freddy Got Fingered."
  36. Screenwriters, take note: Unless your story is a whodunit, it's an unforgivable flaw to telegraph early and often that, sometime during the final act, we should anticipate the proverbial rug to be pulled.
  37. The nomenclature varies slightly, but there's little new or exciting in City of Bones. For strong female role models and unique fantasy settings, stick with The Hunger Games.
  38. Stage Fright's lopsided tone wouldn't be so confounding if the horror elements worked or if writer-director Jerome Sable's music, co-composed with Eli Batalion, weren't so forgettable.
  39. Over the course of the film, Koenig, a sallow, heavy-lidded youth who looks like he could be aged anywhere between 19 and 36, is revealed to be both an unspiring artist and an odious protagonist.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    RRH veers between monotonous, soapy seriousness and camp.
  40. Not only is the dialogue's like driving behind a 15 mph geezer on a one-way street.
  41. Blue Jasmine is so relentlessly clueless about the ways real human beings live, and so eager to make the same points about human nature that Allen has made dozens of times before, that it seems like a movie beamed from another planet.
  42. There's nothing but skin-deep warmth to Least Among Saints, a film in which any authority figure who can't magically sober up and play surrogate daddy for a spell is treated as either a meddler or a well-meaning, do-nothing skeptic.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The movie becomes a lesbian amalgam of "Walking Tall" and "Billy Jack." Relentlessly clumsy and predictable, A Marine Story is set in late 2008, just as a new political breeze is blowing. But its abrupt, wishful postscript is still just a fairy tale.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Breaking Point is so dry you may wish it had the good sense to be a campy hoot.
  43. The wall-to-wall rap score is as kinetic as the acrobatic fight choreography, and nothing else matters.
  44. The result is a lumbering attempt at sweet-and-saucy romance, all affected emotion and strained bad-boy humor.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This flat-footed male weepie musters an insurance ad's worth of clichés about the importance of busting a move in middle age-and it strains so hard to do so that it's almost perversely compelling.
  45. A show about nothing—its jokes based on stick-figure stereotypes, its lunges at humanism premised on imbecilic pity.
  46. Open Water is simply a stunt--hopelessly literal-minded and cheap in every sense.
  47. Greenspan and Harmon's paltry song of themselves concludes with five minutes of outtakes, capping the self-love.
  48. Roos forecasts and explains every development with a title card, a device not unlike having someone yammering in your ear throughout the entire feature run time. In a more self-effacing director's commentary, he might have asked us, at least, to forgive the pun.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    What you remember when it's over is the impact of Aguilera's voice, but not what she's singing; montages of body parts, but not the choreography; and Aguilera's face, music-video-trained to hold a close-up so emotionally exaggerated, you might even call it a burlesque.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    The only possible surprise in The Tuxedo would be an extended demonstration of what was once Chan's trademark, the daffily choreographed kineticism forbidden of late by either his own age or the scruples of story editors.
  49. Stupefyingly benign.
  50. Takes a potential hot-button premise--the callous indifference of the Indian medical bureaucracy toward the lower classes--and dramatizes it in the most shameless way possible.
  51. Part cautionary tale, part moral-uplift saga, Brokedown Palace is as dull as it's absurd.
  52. Too lazy to be a comedy, too conventional to be a head movie.
  53. 10 on Ten is less illuminating than pedantic, as well as tediously self-absorbed.
  54. No one in the movie rises above the level of a stock character, so over-the-top in their familiar jokes as to barely even register as satire.
  55. After simmering for an eternity, it derails, with spectacular, psychotic force, bulldozing its way toward an almost unwatchable theater of cruelty.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Ultimately, the film's view of female self-loathing and girl-on-girl exploitation is woefully reductive and painful.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This Phantom's an overblown mess of ostentatious razzmatazz. Sure, all the ingredients of camp are there (oh, the hubris!), but this isn't a so-bad-it's-good classic. It's worse.
  56. While his images have been composed with care, Nelson's screenplay is a far less impressive invention.
  57. Andrei Zagdansky's tedious time capsule of the event makes peculiar assumptions about audience familiarity with Ukrainian politics beyond what trickled into the headlines, blowing past potentially fascinating footnotes and story threads for 72 minutes of pure B-roll.
  58. Graynor is a muddle of kooky indie girlfriend and materialistic fortune hunter; Hanks has neither threat nor pathos at his command.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Rather than creating believable characters engaged in nuanced conflict, Boy proffers a pair of obvious symbols and hopes that they'll make a statement about the personal and the political.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Made with $980 and about as many brain cells, Cupid's Mistake is more cute than clever.
  59. Theron and Woody Harrelson provide vitality against the film's heavy load, but they aren't around long enough to keep it from collapsing under its own portentous weight.
  60. The fanboys will find room in their heart to forgive the desecration. Everyone else won't care at all.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    There are many dreadful elements in this chronicle of aging gay male porn star Colton Ford's quest for crossover success in the music industry: sub-amateurish camera work, a maddeningly repetitive score, and a listless narrative.
  61. Disney misfire.
  62. The film's engagement rests on the viewer's interest in observing—and while the kids are wildly charming at first, like a tired babysitter, one may find their antics growing repetitive and trying. Clocking in at just 51 minutes, Crazy and Thief nevertheless could have been a great deal shorter.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Long-winded, jokingly self-deprecating, and clichéd.
  63. Purportedly about a quest for spiritual enlightenment and the question of what binds global religions, In Search of God is instead defined by simplistic philosophizing and rampant narcissism.
  64. The best one can say for Christopher Hampton's dispirited adaptation of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent is that this weirdly sentimental movie might direct new attention to Conrad's corrosive novela satire. [12 Nov 1996]
    • Village Voice
  65. The film, directed by Jesse Baget, aims to be a satiric look at racism but at every turn flaunts the laws of logic and believability.
  66. Since the conversation is unfocused and there's no real thesis, we get a girl and a gun but not really a movie.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Rock capably directs a screenplay graced with one or two chuckles ("You stare at a soccer mom too long and they'll post your name on the Internet") and soured by a whole lot of misogyny.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Straining to put his own stamp on this stale-from-the-crypt material, Zombie falls back on the twitchy visual grammar of his videos, splicing in dream sequences and grainy porno-snippets apparently purchased at Bob Crane's estate sale. The violence eventually becomes more inhuman than human.
  67. Schmaltz served in a hand-painted cup, Happy Times culminates in a Chekhovian complement of two narrated letters that have a mutually corresponding force the rest of the film only hints at. By then, our hopes have fatally diminished.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Faced with a long and miserable road on which they make each other sorry or crazy, both Brooke (Aniston) and Gary (Vaughn) dig in hard on the least appealing parts of their stock characters.
  68. A lackluster screwball comedy.
  69. It sacrifices its voice to the premeditated non-style of a first-person pseudo-documentary, a form that often has the paradoxical effect of making everything it shows us seem more fake than usual.
  70. The comedy preaches tolerance... But using hate crimes—even cartoonified ones—as a source of humor is troubling, and the mincing stereotypes on display bring to mind a little kid pointing and shouting, "Homo! Homo!"
  71. LaBeouf and Wood don't clang, but they don't quite click, either. That's not enough for the film to persuade us of its message, that love is worth any sacrifice.
  72. Jessica Alba gets plain-Jane crazy for An Invisible Sign, a syrupy "A Beautiful Mind" redux in which the starlet sports big brown bangs and Pippi Longstocking pigtails.
  73. The only reason to root for Riddick is that his name is on the ticket stub. But he's so dull and the hunters so weird that we're literally cheering for the movie to kill off its personality, one throat slash at a time.
  74. Amateurish direction and generic characterization make a light premise — serial killers slaughter a rural carnival's haunted-house patrons while pretending to be carnies — feel like a slog.
  75. As a gloves-off Erin Brockovich, Ryan never makes it into the ring.
  76. Furry Vengeance isn’t really a movie at all; it's a message provided by the good people at Participant Media.
  77. There's little in Slugterra: Return of the Elementals to interest nonfans of the show, and the sheer laziness would be more forgivable if not for the equally lazy use of broad ethnic stereotypes. But at least it's over in an hour.

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