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The Words Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Words fail... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Adam Markovitz

    Cooper, who looks appealingly wolfish in his expensively tailored suits, plays the whole thing with a dutiful, earnest expression lacquered on his face, his eyes misting on cue at the exact same moments yours will be rolling into the back of your head.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Ironically, the dialogue in The Words is its chief failing.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Watching the movie, I enjoyed the settings, the periods and the acting. I can't go so far as to say I cared about the story, particularly after it became clear that its structure was too clever by half.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The performances, excepting perhaps Olivia Wilde's odd turn, are solid, and the central story never loses our attention, but there's a lingering aftertaste of vague dissatisfaction.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It's more or less a grown-up picture, and not bad at that, though its muted and patient style has both its merits and its drawbacks. Still, as I say: not bad.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Teen-friendly romance is thoughtful but falls short.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Words, some of which takes place in an earlier time period, leans heavily on the idea of consequence, a subject that can be weighty but is also of value for young teens learning to consider the impact of their decisions and behavior. Expect a bit of swearing (one "f--k," a few "s--t"s, etc.) and kissing/making out. There's also some drinking, mostly in social settings (though occasionally to excess), and smoking (accurate for the earlier era that some of the movie takes place in). An infant's death is devastating to his parents.

  • Families can talk about choices. What are the consequences of the decisions we make? Why do you think Rory makes the choice he does? Is it understandable? Excusable?
  • What is The Words saying about the price of success? Is this a popular theme in movies? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: You can't run away from the past or bury it. Neither should you co-opt another person's history; you should instead embrace it and own it and try to learn from it. Every choice has a consequence.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Rory makes a choice that could haunt him forever. But at heart, he's a good man, a caring husband, and an impassioned writer. Most everyone in the film is sincere and decent; they may be flawed and sometimes hurtful, but it's not borne of malice.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Couples have heart-wrenching arguments; an infant dies from illness, leaving his parents devastated. A man throws his belongings around in a fit of anger.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Couples kiss and make out, but there's no nudity.

  • language false3

    Language: Relatively infrequent swearing includes one "f--k," plus "s--t," "goddamn," "hell," "ass," and "bulls--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mostly social drinking by adults at parties and restaurants, though a few scenes show characters drinking and upset while inebriated. Lots of period-accurate smoking in the scenes set in the past.