Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
Jagged and gentle, shocking and sweet, Life During Wartime finds the King of Cringe more concerned than usual about forgiveness: who deserves it, and who is capable of bestowing it. True to form, though, he's not telling. Read full review
In a staring contest with his audience, Solondz never blinks. He picks and picks at the themes that consume him, and he doesn't care who stays and who leaves. Me, I'm rapt. Read full review
The common problem of Solondz's characters is an inability to see the world in shades of grey, which is fitting in a film where color-garish, boring or just plain ugly-is so important, and the actors are working off palettes of such extreme emotions. A few of them-notably Ms. Rampling, Mr. Hinds and Ms. Sheedy-are as good here as they've ever been. Read full review
A heady mix of deadpan humor that boldly uses such topics as pedophilia, race and terrorism to plead the need for forgiveness at a personal and national level. Read full review
Charlotte Rampling goes for broke as a sexually rapacious older woman. So does Ally Sheedy as a rich woman. They're memorable, and yet equally satisfying is Ciaran Hinds' sadness and restraint as a paroled sex offender with deviancy in the blood.
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While it obviously isn't for all tastes, this is a big, thematically rich step forward -- mostly it's about tolerance and forgiveness -- from the empty provocation of Solondz's "Storytelling" and "Palindromes." About time. Read full review
Dark to a specific point of dullness or even opacity, Solondz requires patience, as always, but indulgence as well. He relies on your remembrance of his other films and characters but also on your willingness to overlook his redeployment of tactics that range from puerile to mildly -- and somehow always self-skeptically -- profound. Read full review
Too many of the sequences are two-character dialogues that take place in restaurants; after a while, the film starts to resemble sketch existentialism. Read full review
Thanks to the evocative cinematography of Ed Lachman, it is bathed in a celestial light that cannot penetrate the existential darkness of its characters.
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You will find a few glimmers of humanity in Todd Solondz' latest exercise in acerbic observation. But Solondz continues to mistake judgment for honesty, and empathy for weakness. Read full review
Happiness 2: Even Less Happiness
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War Is Hell. And So Is Suburban Life With These Folks
Basically, it's an intentionally messy movie that dares you to stick through its uglier aspects to consider the broader issues - what are the limits of tolerance and forgiveness?
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