Village Voice's Scores

For 10,522 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 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Krisha
Lowest review score: 0 How to Rob a Bank
Score distribution:
10522 movie reviews
  1. What a world we'd live in if Argento's Hollywood counterparts -- say, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or even Christina Ricci -- had this much imagination and nerve. Few of them, at any rate, have Argento's reserves of lonesome passion and unspigoted woe.
  2. The fierce rigor of María Galiana's performance keeps this film from ever falling into sentimentality.
  3. Remains Chaplin's most sustained burlesque of authority.
  4. Buirski clearly shows that the spark that made her great couldn't be snuffed out so easily.
  5. While the astonishing street footage of "l'affaire Langlois"--perhaps more familiar to the French than to us--is where this exhaustive talking-heads portrait becomes beautifully, bafflingly surreal, the whole project, however conventional, has the allure of a communal embrace, a home movie of a motherland left irrevocably in the past.
  6. Takes its shape from (Viard's) performance, which is as big as life.
  7. What Dotan has to say — in arresting new footage — about today’s Hilltop Youth, a right-wing Jewish Israeli settler organization that unites and mobilizes young people to occupy territory in the West Bank, is crucial and, in the American context, frighteningly familiar.
  8. Rogosin was showing a vital culture on the brink, at the moment when it was calcifying into the form it would hold for more than three decades to come.
  9. It is an essay in film form with near-universal interest and a remarkable degree of synthesis.
  10. It's at once brilliant and inept.
  11. Kosashvili's camera is restrained, the better to render Late Marriage superbly brash, raunchy, and confrontational.
  12. For the most part, the narrative here feels generational, representative, rather than invested in the specific incidents of specific lives.
  13. Accurate enough as history to provide a potent reminder that black independent cinema did not end with Oscar Micheaux or begin with Spike Lee.
  14. Like many cult films, it is also less than the sum of its parts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The sequel trumps its predecessor for sustained doomsday gloom and suggests this might be the man to adapt Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel The Road.
  15. In its own pleasantly dreamy and lilting way, the film embodies what it preaches: As life gets rougher, people endure not by hardening themselves even further, but by continuing to find the freedom to be kind. In Istanbul, the chaos never really stops. Kedi slyly reminds us that the humanity, too, has always been there.
  16. Crouching Tiger's dramatic line is so blurry that the central character is only a bystander to the climactic fight between forces of good and evil.
  17. Damon and Kinnear are both pitch-perfect, inhabiting their ingenuous, codependent little universe together with the commitment of eight-year-old best friends. True to form, the Farrellys toss sophomoric spitballs at us, but nothing stems the rise of big-hearted generosity.
  18. From cinematographer Corey Rich's beautifully framed footage, Wampler's wife, Elizabeth, making her directorial debut, has assembled a stirring film that's part documentary, and part promotional tool.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite cloying narration, Fitzgerald's footage and interviews are fantastic.
  19. The film mesmerizes and alienates equally.
  20. The loose structure is bound by a thread of motherhood. Sonia’s children, two daughters and a son, are lively, intelligent, and deeply affected by their parents’ trauma.
  21. Postman Pat: The Movie is one of the best family films to come down the pike this year.
  22. This odd little wonder captures the delicate textures and shadowy half-secrets of family life, mapping them out in a mosaic of fragmented dialogue and half-poetic, half-prosaic images.
  23. Seeing the breadth of Didion’s work and its impact on the culture represented cumulatively delivers an unexpected shock to the system.
  24. An anguished and compassionate chronicle of Schein and Vishner's relationship.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Murphy has never been a typical rock star, and Shut Up is by no means a conventional rock documentary.
  25. The film is riveting from the start, with its ragtag multiculti heroines and heroes meshing multiple identity markers (activist, academic, refurbished hippie), often within individual selves.
  26. By journey's end, Yung has found, in the Yangtze, a brilliant natural metaphor for upward mobility in modern China: Whether they hail from the lowlands or the urban centers, everyone here is scrambling to reach higher ground.
  27. A 157-minute police procedural at once sensuous and cerebral, profane and metaphysical, "empty" and abundant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is closer to the Antonioni of "L'Avventura," and it elevates the 52-year-old director to a new level of achievement.
  28. Not to wax too serious here (since this is, after all, a movie in which two nearly middle-aged men beat each other over the heads with blunt instruments on their front lawn), but ticking away just beneath Step Brothers' freely associative surface is a fairly astute commentary on how we define such abstract concepts as "growing up" and "making something of yourself."
  29. Jia Zhangke is one of the world's preeminent filmmakers, an essentially contemplative director whose considerable talent is further amplified by the significance of his material--namely, everyday life in the most dynamic economy on earth.
  30. Chaiken ably balances real-time rhythms with propulsive incident -- she catches subtler interior strains, too.
  31. "A very odd thriller" is how Italian director Marco Bellocchio describes My Mother's Smile, his uncannily beautiful and deeply humanist exploration of the nightmares that resurface from a Roman atheist's Catholic childhood.
  32. As tight as the parallel homo sapiens storylines are lax, Caesar's prison conversion to charismatic pan-ape revolutionist is near-silent filmmaking, with simple and precise images illustrating Caesar's General-like divining of personalities and his organization of a group from chaos to order. All of this is shown in absorbing, propulsive style, as Caesar broodingly bides his time like a king in disguise awaiting restoration.
  33. Spare yet tactile, a mysterious mixture of lightness and gravity, Alexander Sokurov's Alexandra is founded on contradiction. Musing on war in general and the Russian occupation of Chechnya in particular, this is a movie in which combat is never shown.
  34. Increasingly violent (although always distanced), The Outskirts is at once appalling and bleakly humorous.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Centipede plays on the notion that the only thing more frightening than death is a state bridging life and death, in which, though one's body is no longer his own to control, the mind remains conscious.
  35. Michael Glawogger's rather majestic Workingman's Death takes a symphonic structure to document some of the ugliest and most dangerous shit work on the globe.
  36. You're Next streamlines the gory stuff for something truly shocking: good characters. Not deep, mind you. But characters who are crayoned in bright enough that they're interesting even while alive.
  37. Scenes from a marriage unfolding at the limits of love and personality.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kuenne lovingly assembles home-movie footage and new interviews, while deftly borrowing a narrative trick from fiction--the plot twist--to create a true-crime story so gripping, devastating, and ultimately unforgettable that it easily trumps any thriller Hollywood has to offer this year.
  38. Exquisitely understated.
  39. We see Phil's sons honoring him while going their own ways in a years-long effort to find the right pitch.
  40. A shaggy, appealing parable involving two lovers, some gorgeous heifers, gentle Maori gangster-golfers, and a dilapidated suitcase packed with used baby shoes, The Price of Milk throws itself onto the magic-realist sword with aplomb.
  41. Lee Isaac Chung's modern-day retelling of a Korean fairy tale is an experiment in space, narrative and physical.
  42. Resuscitates the filmgoing summer with a vital jolt of pure piss and vinegar.
  43. Lee seems less interested in capturing how people of color talk than in capturing how people talk. He coaxes us to step in and listen, and the very casualness of his invitation is the key to the joyousness of The Best Man Holiday, flaws be damned.
  44. In Logan, we have an example of a superhero story taken to new extremes and a franchise to a spare, sad, apocalyptic finish (or “finish”), with R-rated action scenes that are both rousing and unbearably violent.
  45. Every shot and edit in Wiseman's film also suggests without over-explaining, allowing a viewer to lose herself in pleasure.
  46. The force of the acting alone almost compensates for some of the more difficult (and realistic) questions about not giving birth that García willfully sidesteps.
  47. An austere and fascinating documentary.
  48. A dark and unsparing study of female masochism and a brittle sex comedy of manners, Romance is unsettled in tone, to say the least.
  49. The World's End is a big, shaggy dog of a thing, a free-spirited ramble held together by off-kilter asides, clever-dumb puns, and seemingly random bits of dialogue that could almost become catchphrases in spite of themselves.
  50. Not only a nifty late noir but a model of economical filmmaking--well-sketched atmosphere, deft characterizations, and a 78-minute running time.
  51. The Double, with its inviting alienation, nails a curious mood that's been too long absent from contemporary film: the anxious admission that the world might be weighted against the plucky individual, and that prickling you feel just before such thoughts make a sweat break out.
  52. The film's sweetness, its story line, and the script's cartoony characters recall Raising Arizona, though Gone Doggy Gone isn't as tightly structured. But, being looser, it has a little more room to breathe.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More than a vibrant experiment in ethnomusical cross-pollination, it's just great fun.
  53. [A] powerful, exacting depiction of Egypt's struggle for meaningful change.
  54. Forget "Irreversible," this is the season's most piercingly feel-bad movie.
  55. Full of observed life, the movie is also a bit of a vacuum, and once we register our admiration for Lopez, we can hardly help contemplating the cold equations of the students' futures, their uneducated families, and the rapturously desolate farmland around them.
  56. 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?
  57. This poignant, acutely observed movie is eloquent and suggestive in dramatizing a particular trauma in the context of an ordinary Haifa family.
  58. Chéreau's film is an unsentimental, almost uninflected, account of a preparation for death, told with a painful clarity that eventually bleeds into compassion.
  59. The film is often beautiful and appealingly light. Every clear-eyed insight into why pushy people insist on pushing is matched by loose ensemble humor and lyric reveries.
  60. Buoyant with quiet smiles and unpretentious fondness.
  61. He (Wolens) captures Crayola-vivid images of both the unspoiled forest canopy and denuded expanses of slash-and-burned landscape -- a bleak summation, perhaps, of the area's past and future.
  62. Subtly visualizing the connection shared between the land and its people (and their interior conditions), Tanna proves rich in both sociological detail and roiling emotions.
  63. It's an often gut-wrenching viewing experience in which the triumphs of the hero are hard won.
  64. Like everything Jarmusch, The Limits of Control is calibrated for cool.
  65. Pacific Rim is big and dumb in a smart way.
  66. Respectful, loving, but never lionizing, Carl's thorough investigation transcends his personal catharsis to become an enduring treatise on how character flaws affect policy.
  67. Contemporary audiences may not see why, even in its toned-down simplification of the novel, From Here to Eternity was the most daring movie of 1953, but it remains an acting bonanza.
  68. Jerichow forgoes the prolonged double-crosses of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," its simpler ending made all the more powerful--and a little heartbreaking.
  69. There are so many ways Despicable Me 2 could have gone wrong, and so many things it does right.
  70. Quintana's emphasis on Jungian dream logic gives his otherwise spartan parable a compelling mythic dimension. The Vessel may bring Malick to mind, but it also feels like a major work by an exciting new talent.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Under Ted Demme's accomplished direction, the film unfolds with a kind of ruthless simplicity, observing, rather than stating, the neighborhood's intricate social connections.
  71. It's a remarkably assured and humane feature debut.
  72. Brahmin Bulls focuses on the individual choices made by Ashok and Sid, but just as Gingger Shankar subtly weaves traditional Indian instrumentation throughout her lovely score, Pailoor touches upon how cultural expectations inform their relationship.
  73. The most audacious debut feature of the year.
  74. It's immediate and vital, and it doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve got all the right answers.
  75. Although le Carré's story may seem predictable and unduly focused on the plight of a pale, wealthy Old Worlder adrift in a sea of needy East Africans, the movie's human material is masterfully manipulated.
  76. Kaufman's earnestly overblown celebration of the Marquis de Sade.
  77. Happily, beneath the film's nostalgic veneer and tooth-rattling visual and aural effects lies a mature ambiguity that's unusual for a holiday blockbuster -- and all but unheard of in a Tony Scott movie.
  78. You Don't Like the Truth focuses on the pathetic manipulations of Canadian intelligence officers as they interrogate Toronto-born Omar Khadr, the youngest prisoner held in Guantánamo Bay.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Resnais is now 84 years old; perhaps it takes eight decades of living to make a movie this compassionate, this confident--and this young.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Because the filmmakers were unable to enlist anyone from the NYPD or the DA's office to participate, we are left with the sense that mistakes of this magnitude require those in error to hide from them.
  79. The film is wallpapered with beatings, shootings and bloodshed, so its genuine sensitivity to trans issues is welcome and surprising.
  80. A highly entertaining evisceration and celebration of the milieu. It's also a fascinating, probably one-sided view of the artist herself.
  81. Revived (with vastly improved subtitles) some 14 years after it first stunned Hong Kong critics, Days of Being Wild is a sort of meta-reverie populated by a cast of beautiful young pop icons.
    • Village Voice
  82. Unabashedly personal and uncool...but between you and me, dear reader, I love it to death.
  83. Moments of pain and revelation keep coming, all varied and surprising. These accrete into a mountain of evidence for Sauper's thesis: South Sudan might be new, but the forces shaping it are the same that have damned Africans for centuries — the rest of the world's lust for resources and conversions. That everything is beautiful just makes it hurt all the more.
  84. While it achieves its goal of being thoroughly unpleasant, Henry could have used a touch more humor (beyond its one knee-slapper about the Chicago Bears). Still, it’s a gruesomely riveting sucker punch of a movie.
  85. Footage of the now-wealthy Smiths being deposed is damning, the brothers' legal jiujitsu is appalling, and the stories of deaths are heartbreaking.
  86. Highly audacious, hugely enjoyable, exceptionally well-written, brilliantly edited, and exuberantly actor-driven extravaganza.
  87. Faust is not your great-granddaddy's selling-your-soul fable, but something new, a dreamy immersion into the messiness of myth, where hubris and desire can get lost in the chaos of time and retelling.
  88. Like his onetime mentor Luis Buñuel, Ripstein favors sparse, naturalistic settings populated by pathetic-yet-zany characters and eschews anything that might be considered traditionally beautiful. Instead, he unearths beauty in the mire of his characters' social conditions and in their dedication to each other.
  89. On one hand a seat-o'-pants digital-video quickie designed for blunt trauma, and on the other a veritable index of classic genre-stuff, Boyle's film creates an acute sense of movie-viewing danger.
  90. The line between creative ambition and risky obsession is sharply drawn—or rather, carved out of New Mexico sandstone—in the life and work of wholly motivated artist Ra Paulette.
  91. Just when you think you’ve pinned down what precisely Shakespeare Wallah is, it becomes something else before your eyes.

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