Village Voice's Scores

For 10,375 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 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Neon Bull
Lowest review score: 0 Bless the Child
Score distribution:
10375 movie reviews
  1. Rumsfeld's impenetrability makes him fascinating, but only to a point.
  2. It's all rather familiar, but the key image of a glacier glazed over with something like gore proves majestic, and tension throbs throughout a scene of a scientist following his dog into a blood-veined tunnel inside that glacier.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Placing blame sorta misses the point in a world of matrixed self-interest where all is equally just and unjust.
  3. This is a serious movie and, gliding around the center of power, a stylish one. But, like its protagonist, The Walker is unable to close the deal.
  4. It’s too bad that Rosebraugh himself can be so off-putting. The data presented is horrifying enough without sarcastic narration, or his Roger & Me–style pursuit of an interview with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
  5. To be bewildered by Upstream Color is to be human; the story is obtuse by design, though the filmmaking is X-Acto precise. But it's a bloodless movie, and its ideas aren't as tricky or complex as Carruth's arch, mannered approach might suggest.
  6. Grass's relentless hard sell ultimately grows wearisome. Although only 80 minutes, it ends, and not a moment too soon, with a pot legalization rally that might well be reproduced outside the theater.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If Dolan is able to derive a certain comic tension from the simple threat of what could happen with these three in close quarters, he and his co-actors often spoil the mystery of the unsaid with the tells on their faces.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Alternating between impressive and pedestrian shot-making, professional and amateurish acting, the film aims for gravitas and entertainment but only occasionally achieves either.
  7. Willis is fine, both as his blond action figure (Zack Morris hair) and actual self, in trusty bruised palooka mode. Mostow does good meat-and-potatoes genre work, coherent even when reckless.
  8. The question of whether this is a movie about reincarnation or fate or middle-aged delusion remains unaddressed far beyond our capacity to care. Many of the admirably long conversational scenes are pointless; some, like Harden and Linney's climactic bitch-fest in a hotel room, are flat-out absurd.
  9. Berg might have proven that there's a circle of powerful creeps, but not that the blame for this goes straight to the top.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Since the codes of science fiction are different from horror's cant, the patented Williamson method doesn't make a perfect fit with the material; Faculty's fun, but less fun than it could be.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Outside of a final shot that's more poetically convenient than emotionally convincing, Avé follows a progression that feels intimate even as it mimics things iconic. They, we, move and are moved.
  10. The cynics will scoff and dismiss it all as manipulative, the heartstring-tugging machine on hyperdrive. But this movie isn't for them; did you not see the PG? It's a sweet, sincere, utterly affable kids' movie about how parents are all kinds of screwed up and unable to tell their kids what they want or show them how they feel.
  11. Sometimes Citizen Hearst feels as breezy and electric as the newsreels Hearst pioneered; other times it feels like the video they'll make you watch during orientation on your first day at 300 West 57th.
  12. Johnson establishes an understated, agreeable tone throughout that makes up for the movie's notable lack of hilarity, and in the outdoors sequences nicely captures how seemingly benign nature can turn nasty in an instant.
  13. I'd have welcomed more archival footage (Pennebaker did, after all, document Otis Redding's epochal performance at the Monterey Pop Festival), but that would be asking for another movie.
  14. The most fascinating moments in Hieronymous Bosch come from art historians once they’ve turned to the work of history: creating meaning and context, wrestling with these questions. The film renders this conversation beautifully, and in moments begins to feel urgent in spite of itself.
  15. The story proceeds with all the flighty unreality of a film unconcerned with real-world scientific rigor... but Cahill manufactures enough conspiracies, coincidences, and extraordinary turns of plot to keep his thinking audience too busy to care.
  16. Dark House is one nutty horror movie, but what's crazier still is how well it works — until it doesn't.
  17. In the central romantic push-pull, Elster and Harold achieve a rare, edgily hopeful chemistry amid emotional ruins.
  18. Framed in a series of casual chats, Taylor's subjects make interesting suppositions (invoking particle physics, higher consciousness, and the laws of geometry), but their credibility is sometimes undermined by editorial drift and a beseeching New Age soundtrack.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For the non-Czech audience, the overview may be patchy. Viewers who know heroes aren't saints deserve more information about the band's internal rifts, the main thing that kept them nonfunctional after 1988. With history this juicy, the music gets upstaged -- it's a limitation of the medium.
  19. Like any self-respecting Ferrara film, 'R Xmas has its intimations of hellfire, yet it's a weirdly benign Christmas fable -- something like "Miracle on 134th Street."
  20. Take Me to the River takes a while to find its groove and capture what Charlie Musselwhite calls "that secret, Southern, Memphis ingredient."
  21. While his story is moving, Godspeed would perhaps have been more powerful if Barry spent more time balancing Jones's relative good fortune with the monumental hurdles faced by the less fortunate with similar injuries, instead of touching upon the issue in the film's final minutes.
  22. Mildly funny and about 15 minutes too long, Sex Ed has a funny cast, particularly a kid played by Isaac White, who gets some hilariously rude dialogue.
  23. HGBP too often relies on caricature.... Yet Cone, who is bighearted toward but not uncritical of his Bible-thumping characters, has a keen sense of seemingly incongruous details.
  24. The man who might be Robertson is both the point and the best part of the film. He comes across as sincere, his childlike vulnerability and the depiction of his life in Vietnam demanding sympathy.
  25. Or
    The scoreless Or (My Treasure) consists solely of stationary shots that, while sometimes awkwardly composed, build in organic momentum and bracing detail.
  26. Despite the choppy script and cartoonishly bad villains, what emerges is a compelling tale of the moral compromises a corrupt system demands of even its most unwilling participants.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Leguizamo finds the right mute for his trumpet, modulating his expenditure of emotion to the requirements of the scenario rather than overengaging his capable Mambo Mouth.
  27. Because the battle for legalization is still being fought in most other states, the lack of an up-to-date perspective is frustrating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Unsettling in spots, Princesa ultimately glosses over the futility of Fernanda's plight, her misery rapidly erased.
  28. Meyers can write a good zinger, and she has a knack for casting actors who not only look good in bed, but are talented enough to rise above the material and, in some cases, nearly transform it (save Diaz). But make no mistake: We're a long way here from Ben Hecht and Preston Sturges.
  29. Satisfying as it is to at last have Nixon as a Disney character, Hopkins's overheated, self-consciously self-conscious performance doesn't get the overall nuttiness of Nixon's unctuous rage, his iron-butt single-mindedness. [26 Dec 1995]
    • Village Voice
  30. Miscast, misguided, and often nonsensical, Minority Report is nevertheless the most entertaining, least pretentious genre movie Steven Spielberg has made in the decade since "Jurassic Park."
  31. Conveying, with a light touch, important lessons for kids on the necessity of civic engagement, the perils of edit-ad conflicts, and the need to honor difference, Miss Minoes is also an ailurophile's dream, featuring a fantastic array of tabbies, calicos, and Birmans that always hit their marks.
  32. Every bit of it is more advanced: The actors are better, the plot is tighter, the special effects sleeker, the messages more heartfelt. Yet it lacks Verhoeven's bloody, biting scream.
  33. Wish I Was Here is at least stretching toward something, and even if its reach exceeds its grasp, Braff's earnest determination as a filmmaker and performer helps smooth out some of the awkward bumps.
  34. Dead Before Dawn's best jokes are grounded in the warm, believable camaraderie between Casper and his friends, but Mullen is less confident with crowds. The zemon-horde attack scenes are a visual jumble.
  35. The Most Hated Woman in America suffers from tonal whiplash.
  36. The stories, shaped by anecdotal brevity, are often charmingly modest. Only an insistence on blandly inspirational rhetoric and a series of didactic interludes threaten to reduce the film to a PSA about the plight of young women in developing countries.
  37. Green seems to be asking: In the face of beasts whose scale and life cycles we can't begin to grasp, how can we allow our fellow human beings to be so unknowable?
  38. Picasso and Braque's primary merit is its archive-raiding evocation of the period discussed through vintage nitrate images.
  39. The Fault in Our Stars doesn't quite capture the discreetly twisted humor, or the muted anger, of Green's book, and its problems can be attributed to a constellation of little annoyances rather than any one serious, North Star–size flaw.
  40. In his rousing — if at times syrupy — documentary, director Tommy Reid captures this stranger-than-fiction feel-good tale and bottles it in rosy glass.
  41. Caan and Farmiga give more to the material than it can return, but it sure is fun to watch them tangle.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film does have a canny appreciation for how ghetto realness is acted out.
  42. Martin Rejtman's 1999 "Silvia Prieto" fashioned a deadpan farce from the aimless circulation of objects and identities around its unsmiling title character. The Magic Gloves, the Argentine writer-director's 2003 follow-up, is a similarly absurdist smart-com featuring another depressed protag navigating a yuppie Buenos Aires milieu.
  43. Seraphim Falls has decent pep in its step till the final 30 minutes, when it's finally revealed why Neeson's bounty hunter is after Brosnan's surly mountain man. The flashback finale and all that comes after (and keeps on comin') drags on so long even the leads look exhausted. Till then, it's yet another replay of "The Most Dangerous Game," and Brosnan and Neeson are game for it.
  44. The most spot-on scenes show passive-aggressive hipster clerks snorting at Keith's flyers for a comeback fundraiser rave and a city suffocating on its own cool.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    City of Lost Children is so extravagantly cluttered, so packed to the portholes, it's hard to sort out, or even see, what's there. Under the overload, however, it has some perfectly lovely elements. [19 Dec 1995]
    • Village Voice
  45. All the shell-shocked wryness, irredeemable remorse, and unaccountable will to survive that the movie attempts to embody are realized in Gyllenhaal, and the actor makes it possible to root for Moonlight Mile despite its flaws.
  46. Rigorous and outrageous, Greenaway's defiant approach to narrative only offers insight into his character, not Eisenstein's.
  47. Can be enjoyed in all its endearing awfulness, as a loony "High School Musical" with posher accents and a lot more going on upstairs.
  48. Khalfoun makes the audience privy to Frank's memories, migraines, and jarring hallucinations of his mother's recalled abuses.
  49. If the movie stops short of exploring its own baggage, the actors still make for unforgettable company.
  50. The most authentic thing about Redacted is the rage with which it was made.
  51. [A] densely packed but occasionally facile documentary.
  52. Director Lone Scherfig’s stagings of these suspenseful set pieces are masterful, but the rest of the thriller is a fairly predictable manifesto against Britain’s de facto oligarchy.
  53. Deconstructing Dad might be a messy biography, but it is a fascinating primer on Scott's work.
  54. A lingering, mildly lyrical look at village life, Sleep Furiously does for the mobile librarians of Wales what "Sweetgrass" did for the shepherds of Montana.
  55. This is a fascinating and often tumultuous story, which Haupt chronicles through a mixture of interviews with the real Ostertag and Rapp (now married, they appear as a pair) alongside dramatized vignettes that, as the film wears on, feel like annoying interruptions.
  56. First Saturday isn't exactly a winner, but it places.
  57. Leguizamo, working at a scramble, gets more on-screen traction than in recent memory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Richard LaGravenese peppers his directorial debut with the narrative trickery (fantasy sequences, flashbacks) that often tangles his sceenplays ("The Fisher King," "Beloved").
  58. These flashes push Dig! beyond recording-industry kvetch, causing it to stay with you longer than either band's ephemeral music.
  59. When Boote gets out of the way, the film is illuminating and infuriating.
  60. Shamelessly manipulative, it's a highly effective if not very good film, its success entirely due to the talents of its cast. They bring heart to a script that is unabashedly about pushing buttons.
  61. The pleasure of Jacquot's film is in watching various strains of discreet, heated, and deluded passionate attachment performed.
  62. A movie more to be prescribed than recommended.
  63. The film proves that closely sketched specificity can trump pedestrian plotting. At least, that is, until steroids rears its ugly and inevitable head and the film veers into morality play and, finally, inspirational uplift.
  64. Director Ruby Yang doesn't even try to upend the clichés that practically define the kind of inspirational documentary she's made about art transforming the lives of at-risk and disabled students. She embraces them while pushing the film toward an eye-misting ending you'll see coming from the opening moments.
  65. The film is playful throughout... Unfortunately, the shoddy treatment of the film's sole LGBT character and a tendency to use people in wheelchairs as punchlines mar this otherwise delightful gruesome confection.
  66. LeBlanc and Larter carry the day with a spectrum of charm missing from too many entries in this shaky, persistent genre.
  67. Like burlesque itself, Exposed is at its best when it shows rather than tells.
  68. It's occasionally imaginative, and, most importantly, never boring.
  69. Game Over's brazen lopsidedness may diminish its credibility, but it taps into the essence of all conspiracy theories-the desperate desire to believe.
  70. The filmmakers' focus is fleeting. Factoids about the origins of names like Haas avocados, Macintosh apples, Clementines and Bing cherries feel like patches of solid ground, while interludes of terrible acting to illustrate fruit-related historical moments leave a bitter taste.
  71. Slight though it may be, Lace Crater's mix of Andrew Bujalski–style naturalism and Roman Polanski–style body horror is at least off-kilter enough to keep one absorbed throughout.
  72. Duma turns out to be surprisingly flat, with little of the child's-eye imagery that gave "The Black Stallion" its poetic thrust and too much of the narrative gear-grinding that grounded stretches of "Fly Away Home."
  73. If Moon Shadow does sometimes overcome its sentimentalism and faulty parallels, it's because the film is altogether unburdened by cynicism.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    Despite a late-inning swoon of pat emotional generosity, Game Six is a gratifying playground of high-wire language.
  74. Koechlin, a striking woman with a slim frame, horse mouth, and big turbulent eyes, has screen presence enough to kick along the frequently-stalling psychodrama up to an ending that seems like a tossing up of hands.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As visually rich and heartwarming as the documentary is, director Serene Meshel-Dillman struggles with pace: The interviews with the young dancers sometimes drag, while the final dance performance is frenetic.
  75. The performances are strong and the scenecraft absorbing.
  76. Befitting a doc about a data-intensive struggle, the movie benefits from a wealth of resources.
  77. All My Children's Brittany Allen proves herself a big-screen presence as the lead earthling; her commitment to each scene's emotional truth is all the more impressive considering that the schoolboyish Vicious Brothers introduce her character ass-first.
  78. A mere hour long, the movie could stand to be more discerning with its material.
  79. In this study of keeping up appearances while everything falls apart, the stakes never seem as high as the title suggests.
  80. I walked away from After Love feeling like I knew precious little about these characters. Lafosse gets so many critical things right about this decaying relationship that, at first, I did not wonder too much about the lack of specificity or detail about them as people. But later, it gnawed at me.
  81. Schumer, writing and performing a character close to the one she’s been presenting to the public, may never be this funny again, but funny she is.
  82. For King Kong is an accountant's movie at heart. Given the excessive length and bombastic F/X, there's too much action and precious little poetry.
  83. If Lloyd's performance is the film's near-fatal flaw, Unger's is its saving grace.
  84. An enjoyably overwrought meditation on the consequences of celebrity and the vicissitudes of fandom, Backstage stars Le Besco as the schoolgirl acolyte of Emmanuelle Seigner's pop diva, a singer-songwriter and high priestess of cheese.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Shine a Light's only point seems to be: You try this at 60. One would hope that, after "The Last Waltz" and "No Direction Home," Scorsese might venture beyond making a glossy episode of "Ripley's Believe It or Not." Nope, and we're not supposed to question it: Like the Stones, Marty's earned the right to coast, especially in his senior years.
  85. C&C hardly coalesces, but then again, it doesn't try to--never more or less than what it appears to be, the film is a slow honky-tonk thud-beat, only intermittently punctuated by a joke or idea.
  86. For better or worse, the movie does for Chauvet what Baudrillard complained an on-site replica did for Lascaux-render the real thing false.

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