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Whatever Works Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Whatever. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Woody, please: Go back to the European locales that so energized you of late.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The fact that Allen wrote the script in the '70s explains something about why his newest movie feels so old.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Features enough genuine laughs to give it decent commercial traction.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Yellnikoff, played with perfect pitch by Larry David.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Tepid adult comedy is no Allen masterpiece.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tepid Woody Allen comedy tackles mature themes like threesomes, homosexual relationships, and infidelity, though there's little actual nudity or explicit sexual content. The main character tries to commit suicide (played lightly) but isn't successful. The language tends toward the insulting at times, but it isn't overly coarse; expect a little bit of drinking and smoking as well. The humor will most likely appeal to grown-ups or precocious older teens -- don't expect this to be on many kids' must-see list.

  • Families can talk about what the story says about relationships. Why does Melody seek the company of a much older man -- and vice versa? Is there anything wrong with a younger person taking up with a much older partner? How do movies usually portray that kind of relationship?
  • Fans of Woody Allen can also discuss how this movie compares to his other films. What do his movies tend to have in common?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Despite the fact that the movie deals with subjects like infidelity, a dismal worldview, and even suicide attempts, there’s also a lot of hope and humor.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Heated arguments, with yelling. A man jumps out of a window, and, on his second attempt, lands on a person.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Actual scenes are fairly chaste, but scenarios aren’t: A conservative married woman arrives in New York and transforms herself into an artist involved in a happy threesome (three people are shown under covers, but no body parts are revealed). Her estranged husband takes up with a man. Another married character cheats on her husband. Open discussions about sex. Some suggestive photographs are shown.

  • language false2

    Language: Insults aplenty, such as “stupid,” “cracker,” and “imbecile.” Also “goddamn.”

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Pellegrino labels.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking at a bar; a little bit of smoking.