Gloria - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gloria Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2013
I like "non-studio film Cassavetes" much better.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2007
An ass-kicking Gena Rowlands is the major force behind this riveting, one of a kind gangster film from the unique vision of American new wave's craftsman John Cassavetes. direct precursor of Leon: The professional.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2007
a real sense of the grittiness of new york and gena rowlands is outstanding as usual
Super Reviewer
½ July 10, 2008
Although the re-make is not that bad, I prefer this version of "Gloria" with Gena Rowlands.
July 16, 2014
Holy shit, what a movie. Gena Rowlands is a goddamn queen- amazing layered and flawed female lead, say no more. Thrilling and surprisingly touching, all in the backdrop of New York City in 1980. I can't ask for more.
½ December 9, 2011
Weird movie. Felt it could have been better. The kid annoyed the hell out of me. The logic of the characters is baffling. It feels like a then contemporary (1980) film, but with it's heart set in the 30s or 40s (the kids actually say "dames"). I guess it was trying to go for a noir feel; the dialogue seems way too stilted/stylized. I admire the strong, matter-of-fact action heroine that they were going for; ultimately I feel the movie fails more than it succeeds.
½ January 19, 2008
This should really be an embarrassment for Cassavetes and Rowlands. It's the worst performance I've seen from her and the worst script I've seen from him. Goes nowhere and it takes its time. The direction is uncharacteristically ordinary and unashamedly manipulative. It seems they sold out to Hollywood, but fortunately they were able to follow up with the much more fulfilling "Love Streams".
June 3, 2007
This strange look at the life of a mob lady, is the best ever and I dare say, the ONLY one of its kind. The acting is impeccable (Gena Rowlands is BRILLIANT and totally deadly, as Gloria), the action and story are absorbing. HIGHLY entertaining and a VERY riveting film, with many intimately epiphanal moments.
April 18, 2007
I saw this in a theater as a kid in Chicago. I can still remember the opening scenes. I'm surprised to see it listed as PG. I guess it's PG like parts of the Godfather are PG. Good film by Cassevetes.
April 17, 2007
Gloria was a BAD Lady, worth the watch especially to Sharon Stone's lame version. The little boy is funny too.
March 1, 2015
Gloria Swenson's a gun moll all growed up. The mob ain't got time for her no more, and instead of gettin' her kicks like she did in the good 'ole days, she lives alone with her cat in a crappy joint in the slums of New York. It ain't much, but it's something, and she's gotta live, ya know? Now get lost.
Gloria may have a sordid past in her wake, but she is certainly not a floozy with a few wrinkles too many. She is a tough-as-nails presence that has been around the block plenty of times, unafraid of anything except maybe the cold eyes of death. Gloria is also portrayed by Gena Rowlands, and "Gloria" is directed by John Cassavetes, her husband.
Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes are national treasures, but when your finest pieces of work are confined to ambitiously outlandish independent films, you're bound to only be remembered by the critics who don't have much fun watching Vin Diesel's newest vehicle. They teamed up seven times, but "Gloria" is the closest thing they ever got to the word "conventional." Despite a slightly over-the-top soundtrack, possibly a quirk added by the mercurial Cassavetes, gone are his usual touches of slapped around camerawork and obvious improvisations. With "Gloria," he's an auteur taking a vacation, and it makes for one of his most entertaining, if not one of his deepest, projects.
The movie begins in ruins; Jack Dawn (Buck Henry) has made the mistake of double-crossing the mob. Not only has he been skimming money from the profits of their various crimes, but he has also been acting as an informant for the FBI. He, along with his family, are barricaded in a crammed apartment, attempting to hold off hired guns for as long as possible. Then Gloria, a neighbor, comes knocking on their door. She wants to borrow sugar, but instead gets Jack's son, Phil (John Adames). Then the inevitable happens: Phil is orphaned, and Gloria, reluctantly, is forced to take him in. Problem is, the mob knows about it. After this set-up pulls through, the rest of the film acts as a punchy and darkly funny game of cat-and-mouse between Gloria, her newfound Puerto Rican child friend, and, well, the mob.
"Gloria"'s only downfall is that it becomes a little monotonous after a while - you can only handle Phil running away and Gloria having to chase after him for so long - but it's much too lovable to really get on your nerves. For once, Cassavetes backs off and lets Rowlands be the star of the show; in the past, it was as if Cassavetes and Rowlands were headlining together (not a bad thing), looking like the cool boho versions of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But even Ginger Rogers had to have "Kitty Foyle" all to herself.
Everything about Rowlands - her light but steely Wisconsin accent, her big hair, her hastily put-on red lipstick, her cheap high heels - is dynamite. In her other films with Cassavetes (1974's "A Woman Under the Influence," 1977's "Opening Night"), she has had to pour out every emotion she's ever felt, as if she were stripping naked in front of a crowd. But in "Gloria," it's clear that she's having fun. Rowlands carries a gun with imposing authority, like a street tough that surprises you with their scrappiness. Even better is her chemistry with the loud and unintentionally funny Adames, who spits out every line with bracing liberation. Gloria is engaging but intimidating, but Phil doesn't much care, and when she can't turn her usual tricks to get him to behave, the playfulness of the film climbs every mountain and fords every stream.
"Gloria" runs a little long at two hours, but it isn't without its charms. Rowlands is a wonderful, wonderful actress, and there isn't a second of the film where we don't ask ourselves what we did to deserve a talent this great in the movie business. I adore Cassavetes with just as much fuss, but this time around, it isn't his show. It's hers, and that's not a bad thing.
March 1, 2015
Rowlands kills it(literally)and the interaction between her and the kid works.Very good chase movie.
December 25, 2014
I will always love Gena Rowlands because of this movie.
November 9, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
February 5, 2014
A very gripping entry into the filmography of director John Cassavetes, "Gloria" put a blueprint for the kick-ass heroins that Hollywood is starting to become more acquainted with in the modern age.

Portrayed by Gena Rowlands, Gloria is a former mistress of a mobster who is forced to protect a precocious 6 year old child (honestly, the character is one of the most grating I've watched, even for his age) after his family were brutally murdered by the mob in New York.

Cassavetes' style means the emotional journey taken by Gloria and the child, as they go from full-blown contempt to a loving and caring relationship, but in the odd scenes containing the mobsters, Rowlands holds her own as a strong woman who wasn't afraid of firing a few rounds - something that was, and still is to an extent, notably absent in Hollywood.

Overall, this is a great old film and well worth a watch, although it takes a strong will to get past the annoying child that drives the plot.
½ September 19, 2013
Gena nails it. An excellent thriller, with caveats: The young lad doesn't as much act as merely recite lines. And the slo-mo scenne at the end is embarrassing. Other than that...
June 6, 2013
I love it. I have watched it multiple times because of the wonderful interaction between Gena Rowlands and Juan Adames. Gena really elevated the sophistication of this movie with her powerhouse acting.
March 23, 2013
A tag too commercial and not Cassavetes' strongest script, but Gena Rowlands is magnificent in the title role.
Page 1 of 8