Village Voice's Scores

For 8,727 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 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Brazil
Lowest review score: 0 Followers
Score distribution:
8,727 movie reviews
  1. If only verisimilitude equaled quality. But unfortunately, schmaltzy music and drab melodrama drag down the otherwise graceful moves of Five Dances.
  2. Somewhere in Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo's awkward debut feature is a macabre and almost quaint Gothic mystery begging to be left alone.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While Suo's original was hardly a masterpiece, it featured a subtle performance from Koji Yakusho. Gere doesn't even compare, playing the part of a despondent lawyer with the empathy of a mannequin.
  3. Rosenfeld's film doesn't have much of a story to tell and tells it rather routinely.
  4. The trio's mourning feels more like immature self-absorption.
  5. The screenplay is by Variety editor Steven Gaydos, and it combines a working knowledge of on-set dynamics with corny cinephile in-joking, frequently elevated by the fresh evidence of Hellman's craft in the tranquil, largely nocturnal atmosphere, until the closing-credits song ruins everything.
  6. Subplots are introduced only to be resolved within minutes, characters jettisoned at a moment's notice. Those who can't do, teach; those who settle apparently end up pretty happy.
  7. If you’re not expecting too much, Drive Hard is mindlessly entertaining, but it lacks that spark of madness that might have made it truly fun. At least Cusack is able to shed some of his usual overseriousness.
  8. It's this strategy (however unconscious), and not simply a lack of directing talent, that makes Hedwig so relentlessly assaultive, heavy-handed, and emotionally monochromatic.
  9. It's easy to get lost in the natural beauty of Vermont, and Mosher (who worked on the film with several students as part of a Marlboro College program) clearly takes joy in doing so. The liveliest counterpart to that striking landscape isn't Dern, but rather Jessica Hecht as his wayward daughter, who hits all the grace notes the rest of the film tends to miss.
  10. An honorable but dull attempt to translate a neglected literary source to the screen.
  11. For a while Degan's serious charisma also kind of makes Islamic extremist fundamentalism look cool and badass, which could have been hilariously subversive if director Stéphane Rybojad had pushed it further.
  12. The unmitigated disaster of the camping trip just stays disastrous, the story never really finding its way from adversity to heroic redemption.
  13. Has a customarily jovial air but a deficit of flim-flam inventiveness.
  14. It's like the entire season of a sitcom whittled down to a single episode. There's no time for characterization, no room for emotion, no interest in anything other than moving the story forward. It's all action, no reaction. One minute they're miserable; 90 minutes later, aww better.
  15. [An] eager-to-please but creaky and shambling movie.
  16. As a work of narrative fiction, the film is too little invested in character to make the occasional intrusions of plot meaningful, while its editing is overly elliptical and its actions too perfunctorily observed to make it work as a documentary study of human activity.
  17. Little more than a cartoon, and not a funny one at that.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Much of this is tedious--no more or less exciting than surveillance-cam footage of a regional sales manager, even if this one's desk offers a glimpse at one point of a legless baby doll.
  18. Rock-dumb Hong Kong thriller That Demon Within is exhausting, and only sometimes batshit enough to be engaging.
  19. Gainsbourg is virtually incidental to her mate's screeching navel-serenade, which maintains a stranglehold on the declarative first-person mode of its title.
  20. Hobbles a likable cast with dialogue flatter than Bollywood's cheesiest.
  21. Gonick's visceral impulses have drawn comparisons with John Waters, but the starry-eyed collision of gross-out gags and candy-sweet sentiment owes as much of a debt to the Farrellys as Bruce LaBruce.
  22. Almost desperate to show it gets its own point. What's funny is that the joke--"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" reconfigured as anti-feminist backlash--was scarcely fresh when Bryan Forbes shot the first movie version nearly 30 years ago.
  23. In the end, however, Ramchand Pakistani sadly negates its intentions with frequent TV producer Jabbar's soapy storytelling and too-clean production values.
  24. The Color Wheel is funny, but it has a dark streak that takes it into increasingly creepy territory as the siblings face down a procession of people who are even more screwed-up than they are.
  25. The Motel Life too often revisits the same emotions and sentiments, leaving us with a portrait that feels frustratingly simple.
  26. She (Dunst) provides the only major element of Bring It On that plays as tweaking parody rather than slick, strident, body-slam churlishness.
  27. The cast detracts, too: Fiona, a flighty loner in the book, is a grating twit in Nichols's hands, and Hurst, while likeable, is flat and too hunky. The bird's got more charisma, which in a better movie would've been the point.
  28. The problem with ensemble films, and this one in particular, is that they often flit instead of float between story arcs. With deep lags in momentum, it is this lack of cohesion that nearly cancels out what can be great about ensemble films: the performances.
  29. Feels like a rough draft at best.
  30. Gigandet fills every close-up with flirtatious face wrinkles, embarrassed smiles, and anything else he can think of, to the point where Jake seems downright spastic; although not terribly good at acting, Gigandet seeks to compensate for this fact by doing a lot of it.
  31. This is intended as one of those kid's comeuppance stories, in which a new maturity is won through contact with salt-of-the-earth types and honest labor but is done with an almost total lack of charm.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The execution lacks the whimsical charm and nuance of similarly plotted Moonrise Kingdom as well as the power and clarity of 2011 documentary Bully.
  32. The movie should have been more like Rickman: sparkling and light, with just a hint of acid. Instead, it's a huge gulp of vinegar.
  33. It might be the most maturely conceived role in Burns's films, but the plot around it is flimsy, the visual storytelling simpleminded, and the general ideas for character one-note. At 78 minutes, the movie says howdy, rewards little, and does not test its welcome.
  34. Bolivar is eye-rollingly romanticized as a wonderful lover and an even better fighter in Alberto Arvelo's lushly produced, dully reverential The Liberator.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Directors Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis fail to plumb their subject's frustrations or any other insightful biographical details.
  35. Despite some deadpan, Jacques Tati-like orchestration and occasional sight gags, there's no real pleasure in the game -- Songs From the Second Floor is more absurd than funny.
  36. Cohabitation "commandments" and talk of "chick flicks" further send the material into a cutesy tailspin, with the script's low point an egregious scene featuring Nate sneaking a peek at a silhouette of Jenny undressing behind a curtain.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    LTB offers a fresh (if grimy) contribution to kitchen-sink realism, but little to the tiresome persistence of vicious British gangster chic.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Amid all the cameos (Anna Paquin, Usher, Lil' Kim), only Prinze, who has the ethereal, gentlemanly quality of a young Anthony Perkins, gets enough screen time to really make an impression.
  37. The film is as lightweight as the ganja-puffing is plentiful, little more than a vanity project that allows its subject to wax philosophical on his past triumphs, tragedies, and spiritual development (aided by Louis Farrakhan) from gangland pimp to nonviolent family man.
  38. What makes the film fascinating is the anguished dance around hagiography performed by two of his daughters, who wrote, directed, and narrated the movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This is middling TV material, almost comforting in its bland predictability - the kind of stuff you want on the seat-back screen when there's turbulence on a plane - but rarely actually laugh-out-loud funny, and never truly dark or daring.
  39. In the end, Ted Bundy's only justification is the director's common but unexplored fascination with the frustrated maniac; there's no larger point, and little social context. "Badlands" this ain't.
  40. Lee's trickery is dazzling in flashes but also monotonously strenuous -- the derangement factor is high but there's little evidence of authentic lunacy.
  41. Mistaken for Strangers doesn't reveal anything about Tom but his own insecurity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie is too middlebrow to show us the superman-type sexual heroics they must've engaged in, or even allow the illicit subtext to float to the surface (as Sokurov does in Father and Son)--instead we get tepid moralizing on dehumanization in the military.
  42. A musty ghost story that morphs into a sluggish serial-killer mystery, Nicholas McCarthy's film tries to distinguish itself by minimizing dialogue and settings, a stripped-down approach that extends to sketchy characters and a script rife with convenient, easy-to-assemble clues.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The coolest thing about Monster House is that Kathleen Turner's face was actually motion-captured to create the house's movements, but actual human beings on-screen might have ratcheted up the tension, of which there is none.
  43. However flavorsome though, The Good German is seriously deficient in the stars' star power and narrative excitement. The movie is lovingly framed, carefully lit, and fatally insipid. The direction is slack; the pacing is perfunctory.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Like the hashish-laced pastries the ladies make to sedate the male population, the film feels like it has been dosed with sugar to mask its distressingly bitter taste.
  44. It manages to be both ponderous and silly.
  45. Blood wants to be a Greek tragedy about family loyalties, guilt, and the fall of a dynasty, but the characters never manage to connect with one another, separated by gulfs of melodramatic angst and the plot demands of a boringly unspooled police procedural.
  46. Obvious, simplistic, and never funny, Johnson's movie may be useful only as real estate porn--Cornwall and the Isle of Man never looked so super cute.
  47. There are hints of greatness, one or two artfully constructed scenes that remind you why you look forward to new Scorsese films in the first place. But as a highly detailed portrait of true-life corruption and bad behavior in the financial sector, Wolf is pushy and hollow, too much of a bad thing.
  48. This is sugary-sweet stuff--pop instead of rock.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Though director Oppenheimer has a nice comedic touch, an achronological structure and distracting vignettes thwart the film's emotional designs.
  49. Even at its well-meaning best, Refuge is listless.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Reviewed by
      Ed Park
    At best harmless, if not quite fun.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The authenticity baked into the production doesn't redeem the absurdly improbable premise, the attractive actors don't do anything to make the caricatures they're playing feel real, and the aggressive hipness of the film is queasily dated - it's the cinematic equivalent of the clearance corner at Urban Outfitters.
  50. As de-mythologizings go, Trollhunter has neither the wit, nor art, nor social insight to honor the legacy of George A. Romero's "Martin."
  51. Damon is as buff as ever, maybe even more so... But watching him lumber through Elysium's bramble of lofty ideals is no damn fun.
  52. The cheerful how-to aspect ("cut and file your nails!") adds to the sense that the whole thing seems to have drifted in from some late-night infomercial netherland.
  53. Screenwriter Christopher Landon, along with co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, make a truly lame attempt at establishing a supernatural mythology to explain all this, but their real energies go to amping up the jarring sound cues, darting shadows, and last-shot shocker (so goofily weird this time that you'll laugh out loud) that make this franchise a perennial crowd-pleaser.
  54. Solemn, flashy, and flabbergasting, The Fountain--adapted by Darren Aronofsky from his own graphic novel--should really be called The Shpritz. The premise is lachrymose, the sets are clammy, and the metaphysics all wet.
  55. Aside from some inspired uses of chiaroscuro lighting, the movie around Depardieu is mostly derivative.
  56. Like so many movies from the SNL factory, there are perhaps 10 to 15 minutes of good, gag-worthy material here stretched out to interminable lengths. Or to put it another way: It's a very small dick in an oversized box.
  57. Amid the complacent self-congratulation...is a bizarre reactionary bent.
  58. 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.
  59. Locker 13 brings the hurt, and not in a good way.
  60. 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
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Bornedal's fondness for punctuating abrupt cuts to black with a solitary piano-key note is so pathological that it soon turns risible.
  65. Every other line is a coy Oirishism, and Brosnan, despite being Irish, isn't any more convincing than twinkly-eyed barmaid Julianna Margulies.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. Airy, pseudo-folkloric gibberish at best.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Though lazily mocking hyper-vigilant parenting, the film treats the moldiest clichés - as gospel.
  77. 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.
  78. So committed to its by-the-numbers banality you wonder why it isn't part of the fall TV lineup.
    • 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.

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