Village Voice's Scores

For 7,732 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% 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: 54
Highest review score: 100 Ten Canoes
Lowest review score: 0 Patch Adams
Score distribution:
7,732 movie reviews
  1. The scenario eventually becomes so coincidence-choked that the filmmakers have no choice but to play it for mild snickers.
  2. Campanella, who overconfidently takes his time, outfits the film with ludicrous interrogation scenes, a drunken colleague who provides comic relief and redemptive tragedy, and a climactic flood of memories that plays like a trailer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    I haven't seen a film this year that so openly invited me to revile each and every one of its characters-and I reviewed "The Human Centipede."
  3. Remains simplistic and gimmicky in the context of Iranian cinema.
  4. As usual, though, the Coens have more venal satisfactions in mind. "The fun of the story for us," they crow in the notes for this loathsome movie, "was inventing new ways to torture Larry."
  5. 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.
  6. The carload of codgers in Fred Schepisi's Last Orders merely bellyache, philosophize, crack unfunny jokes, and ruminate simplemindedly about Death.
  7. The neophyte director has a tendency to pose his actors and musically overscore each new dramatic development. The combination can border on the ludicrous.
  8. It's a sign of how watered-down the movie is that only the supporting actors have any bite.
  9. Collapses in a heap of affirmational outbursts and metaphysical goop. The fond chemistry between the leads deserves a better movie.
  10. First-timer Dylan Kidd's film isn't Molièrian in its misanthropy, but rather as boneheaded as an hour of talk-radio hobgoblin Tom Leikis.
  11. The movie's only discernible purpose is as publicity for the book. An admitted egomaniac, Evans is no Hollywood villain, and yet this grating showcase almost makes you wish he'd gone the way of Don Simpson. Instead, he'll probably get an Irving Thalberg award.
  12. Since the central odd couple have no rapport, their bond never seems to progress past mutual usury.
  13. It's obvious that Nolan either can't articulate or doesn't believe in a distinction between living feelings and dreams--and his barren Inception doesn't capture much of either.
  14. 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.
  15. The movie neither inspires us to pine for what might've been nor makes Gilliam-style filmmaking seem like a noble pursuit.
  16. Audiard himself might have benefited from a simple reminder of left from right; his rudderless film confuses a pileup of preposterous, sentimental scenarios with genuine emotion.
  17. Bronson is essentially a faux-operatic, music hall turn--a larky, lumpen version of "Lola Montès."
  18. The visual subtleties don't come to bear on the storytelling, unfortunately -- the dialogue is cumbersome, the simpering soundtrack and editing more so.
  19. Shear away the film's pretensions, and it's a soap opera of assholes.
  20. Manipulative and cloying, Pieces of April turns into something altogether creepier, even pathological, whenever first-time filmmaker Peter Hedges (screenwriter of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "About a Boy") brings up race.
  21. Lars and the Real Girl wobbles in a slow, toneless no-man's-land between mawkish and schmaltzy while trafficking shamelessly in heartland stereotypy.
  22. Cannot help but be merely another debacle that Tammy Faye will survive, eyelashes and integrity intact.
  23. After simmering for an eternity, it derails, with spectacular, psychotic force, bulldozing its way toward an almost unwatchable theater of cruelty.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Dully overcomposed, the film evinces a Disneyed sense of palace life and reaches a laughable apotheosis when Henry and Becket's rendezvous on a beach is staged as a reunion between scorned lovers. In 1964, the film's innuendo might have seemed daring; today it's close to ridiculous.
  24. Were it not so soporific, Off the Map could easily drive you off your nut.
  25. Less Bollywood than Generic Asian Family Drama Lite, when it's not a flat-out sunset-choked infomercial for Ahmedabad and its annual rooftop kite-flying festival.
  26. An aura of dust and mothballs evidently leaves a capable cast feeling woozy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Flanders is, dontcha know, a state of mind, and Dumont is plain out of his.
  27. Something does have to give, and that's the nine-figure public patronage of this kind of anemic, wit-free entertainment. Meyers's shakin' moneymaker isn't the worst film of 2003 -- no cat suits, for one thing -- but something scarier: a standard-issue bog of glossy idiocy and audience disrespect.
  28. It is not, the filmmakers stress, a sequel to "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (which writer Richard Curtis was also responsible for), but it fits the latter-day Hollywood definition of the term -- same movie, only worse.
  29. Me You Them can't find a rhythm or a consistent tone.
  30. It's not easy to endure, despite -- or due to the embarrassment of -- an all-star cast.
  31. Only silent Becks himself rises unstained from this reheated ethno-niche stew.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    This plodding serial-killer procedural grafts hand-me-down malevolence onto a standard rookie-veteran police yarn, the results of which yield nary a fright, let alone a goose pimple.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This slog adds up to nothing other than the shocking truism that average people will do horrible things primarily because someone tells them to.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Rodrigo Cortes keeps the action bound to the box, limiting his lighting to naturalistic approximations, so that much of Reynolds's performance consists of him grunting and heaving in the dark.
  32. Wanders all over the map thematically and stylistically, and borrows heavily from Lynch, Jeunet, and von Trier while failing to find a spark of its own.
  33. It's hard to tell whether Spielberg and Lucas are trying too hard or trying at all--the thing's such a mess, such an unmitigated disaster, that damned is the scholar stuck with the unfortunate task of deciphering this cynical, clinical gibberish in decades to come.
  34. The director knows how to apply textural gloss, but his portrait of sex-as-war is strictly sitcom.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A cameo from an old-school X-Man only serves to remind how stylish and witty the first installment was a decade ago. Lacking a single memorable joke or striking image, First Class is as perfunctory and passionless as would-be franchise resurrections get.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A slapdash piece of work totally indebted to second-hand rhetorical strategies.
  35. An insufferable exercise in cutie-pie modernism, painfully unfunny and precious to a fault.
  36. With everything so wrong, how can there be anything right about Cadillac Records?
  37. Cédric Klapisch has been compared to Truffaut, but the new-waver's weakness for glib sentimentalism seems to have left the biggest impression on L'Auberge Espagnole.
  38. The Pillow Book's pretentions are boundless, for all its desperate fashion and layered imagery, it's a staggering bore-as vacantly petulant as Kate Moss's stare. [10 Jun 1997]
  39. For all the tumultuous entrances and flouncing exits, the eight principals manage maybe three laughs among them.
  40. Blackboards is both shrill and soporific, and because everything is repeated five or six times, it can seem tiresomely simpleminded.
  41. The ultimate cliché of plot-twist implausibility, the crucial revelation is so outlandishly fatuous it might have given Donald Kaufman pause.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The past decade has been less kind to Dahl, and though his latest, called You Kill Me, has the outward appearance of a return to form, it may in fact be the worst thing he's ever done--an inert, tone-deaf mélange of "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under."
  42. Pale by comparison to an action thriller like "Children of Men" or gross out eco-catastrophe like "Land of the Dead," squandering its ready-made zombie scenario.
  43. Throughout, Tykwer reaches for mysteries he has no idea how to evoke, relying instead on his actors' empty stares.
  44. Plays like something crafted in a lab by 54-year-old hucksters trying to sell shit to the kids under the cheerless guise of "alternative." The only thing it's an alternative to? Good.
  45. Airy, pseudo-folkloric gibberish at best.
  46. Amy Goodman's narration, though correct, has a petulant, Spanish Inquisition ring to it, only made more childish by the film's cheap idealization of the senator from South Dakota as some kind of pacifist Savonarola, overdue for canonization.
  47. Baggy and overbroad, He Loves Me is notable only as a corrective to cinema's promiscuity with fabulous destinies.
  48. Unoriginal and mired in bad jokes.
  49. Somehow the U.K. film industry can always scrounge enough loose change from the cushions to foot the bill for a pre-chewed lump of sickly saltwater taffy like the mawkish Scottish-seaside postcard Dear Frankie.
  50. What's most crushing is witnessing what should have been the dream pairing of Kunis and Timberlake - both foxy, loose, confident performers - here generating zero chemistry.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Even when things start to go awry for our group (thanks to jealousy, illness, a dwindling food stock) Dickinson's anti-dramatic methodology proves ill-suited to the task of generating narrative interest.
  51. Open Water is simply a stunt--hopelessly literal-minded and cheap in every sense.
  52. 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.
  53. The film has exhausted itself with fits of glib hysteria long before its truly stupefying final twist, a stunning betrayal of audience trust.
  54. Koyaanisqatsi was a marvel of smeared and kaleidoscopic light; Visitors is a dull etch of digital blacks and grays.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Unmotivated jitters and flash-zooms abound, needlessly complicating a flagrantly elaborate premise.
  55. Neither as lively nor as tough as the original, and compared to the hardcore punk of "Border Radio," the score for Sugar Town sounds like Muzak.
  56. Sputters to a dead halt right out of the gate. One labored scenario follows another.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The doc these kids would make with flea market camcorders couldn't possibly be as ugly as this absurdly hypocritical critique of the far right's role in escalating the culture war. The classier indoctrination to which Gap-shopping urban Democrats subject their kids might look damn spooky, too, but it probably wouldn't sell.
  57. A tediously childish exhibition.
  58. Ivey hits the turf pitching and catching dialogue like a pro, but nothing could have saved What Alice Found from a fundamental cinematic illiteracy.
  59. See it if you must, but don't forget to pack the Air Wick. These breezy doings are mustier than a Glitter Gulch casino at 4 a.m.
  60. Washington directs with proficient blandness charged only occasionally by organic acting moments.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A mess of a film.
  61. A numb, oddly dispassionate trudge toward predestined doom, inevitable in all the wrong ways.
  62. It's an indie about indies--meta, right?
  63. An overwhelming portion of Saved! is wall-to-wall Jesus-Jesus-Jesus talk, closer to dead air than social spoof. At times, the screenplay (including Mary's voluminous narration) has the monotonous cadence of a recruitment sermon.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    The film has that made-for-UK-TV-but-theatriucally-released-inthe-US look, The shots are claustrophobic and grainy for no reason. [27 Dec 1994]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Furiously intent on celebrating male love, Gibson and company try to refuse the erotics of friendship and miserably, wonderously fail. [[31 Aug 1993]
  64. This smoothly odious piece of work, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Michael Winterbottom, posits the self-consciously repellent Plummer as a sort of Valerie Solanas-inflected version of the Florida serial killer Aileen Wournos. [7 May 1996]
  65. Overproduced as a Super Bowl soft-drink commercial, so much so that even its potentially insightful moments seem like movie fakery.
  66. It's hard to say if this devastating, nakedly exploitative work has a larger point beyond the evocation and infliction of trauma. A repeat viewing might clear that up, but it's an experience I'd rather not relive -- and one that I cannot in good faith recommend to anyone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Less a film, more a series of ragtag gags.
  67. The nitty-gritty science of global warming is tough enough to evaluate without the sort of hard-sell Ondi Timoner pushes on behalf of her subject, Bjørn Lomborg.
  68. I'd take the stakes driven right through my platform pumps over listening to Bruce Vilanch jokes, but that's me.
  69. The movie is monotonous, storyless, and at under 100 minutes, interminable.
    • 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]
  70. The story is little more than overdetermined trials and triumphs. Kids won't care, but they won't fall for it either; unsurprisingly, it doesn't stand a chance of providing them with the memories the book provided their parents.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Though filled with violent smackdowns, slackjawed interviews, and bizarre characters, Hough's doc never rises above the level of first-year student project, hobbled by scattershot editing, badly written intertitles, and useless directorial voice-over.
  71. Videocracy is hopelessly infected with the very prurience it means to expose--again and again, Gandini returns to images of pretty women grinding away for the camera in hopes of scoring their 15 minutes.
  72. Mancini, who served as an executive producer, is glorified and exonerated, yet it's his inability to render either process interesting that ultimately sinks the picture.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Moore created a movie; Greenwald gives us a cinematized blog.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Neel is a compelling subject, but she's more alive in one of her paintings than in all of the voluminous video footage her grandson thrusts upon us.
  73. A vaguely absurd epidemiological thriller filled with elaborately superfluous setups and shamelessly stale James Bond riffs.
  74. Watching the film is like reading a Times Portrait of Grief that keeps shifting focus to the journalist who wrote it.
  75. Grim going.
  76. Drake Doremus's Breathe In is a star-crossed romance where your enjoyment level will depend on your tolerance for what feels an awful lot like potential statutory rape.
  77. The Governess is too dirty-minded to fit the Merchant Ivory mold but not salacious enough to qualify as bodice-ripping laff riot. [04 Aug 1998]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The result packs all the hilarity of a museum installation on The Semiotics of Silent Comedy.
  78. The actors all function as best they can as glowering clichés, though the narrative's temporal jump presents difficulties.
  79. Red Dragon's formula is so risible and rote by now that the natural reaction to scenes of peril, torture, and suffering is flippant laughter.

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