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Husbands and Wives (1992)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 0

Husbands and Wives is a blistering, emotionally raw snapshot of two marriages self-destructing.

100

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 0

Husbands and Wives is a blistering, emotionally raw snapshot of two marriages self-destructing.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 13,490

My Rating

Movie Info

One of Woody Allen's most seemingly biographical films, Husbands and Wives opens with upper-middle class Manhattan couple Sally (Judy Davis) and Jack (Sydney Pollack) announcing to their best friends, the Roths, that they are splitting up. Gabe Roth (Allen) and his wife Judy (Mia Farrow) are taken aback by their casual revelation. Jack begins dating his dim, but sexy, aerobics instructor and Sally starts up a tentative romance with Michael (Liam Neeson). Gabe and Judy begin analyzing their

R,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Woody Allen

Apr 16, 2002

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Watch It Now

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (0) | DVD (12)

In all respects, this is a full meal, as it deals with the things of life with intelligence, truthful drama and rueful humor.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Allen's conception of character is as banal and shallow as ever, but the lively performances of some of his actors and the novelty of the film's style make this more watchable than many of his features.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It doesn't suffer from the compulsive tidiness of some of Allen's later movies -- the juices are flowing, the hysteria is closer to the surface -- and in this looser, more volatile atmosphere his extraordinary cast gets to soar.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With excellent performances (Davis and Pollack in particular), it's his finest film since Hannah and Her Sisters.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives is a very fine, sometimes brutal comedy about a small group of contemporary New Yorkers.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Husbands and Wives is a defining film for these emotionally embattled times; it's classic Woody Allen.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smart, sensitive and packed with quality performances.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Excellent performances from Pollack and Davis in particular, make this one of Woody's finest of the 90s.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

This last waltz between America's most prestigious film couple has a tone of muted regret, not confession or sensationalism.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Too bad that the Allen-Farrow scandal erupted before this movie for it's one of Allen's best serio comedies with wonderful performances (particularly Judy Davis), but questions of life imitating art or art imitating life are inevitable while watching it

October 26, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Bleak yet strangely compelling look at modern romance.

May 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

One of [Woody Allen's] greatest films.

November 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Allen in moderately experimental mode. Good, but not one of his best.

November 20, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The acting is top notch.

November 13, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

This is one of Woody Allen's best films to date, combining some of his finest serious writing about relationships, in the style of Hannah and her Sisters, with humor that's all the more effective thanks to its dark, edgy context.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Woody Allen's latest movie, Husbands and Wives, is one of his best films and is a fascinating look at the breakup of two people.

March 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Thought of as Woody Allen's artistic comeback. A wonderful exploration of relationships.

January 8, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Examines the ways the soul of a marriage can be sustained or shattered by change and conflict.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Husbands and Wives is a comedy that explores serious themes - or perhaps a drama that is at times hysterically funny.

June 15, 2002
Reel.com

Ten years ago, Husbands and Wives played second fiddle to Woody Allen's all-media split with Mia Farrow.

April 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

...A far more complex and satisfying essay on the subject of infidelity than the overpraised Hannah and Her Sisters.

March 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Husbands and Wives

The early nineties' shift from the ideal of true love to a boon in modernized romances is very clearly defined in this very real and poignant film from Woody Allen. The film looks at the lives of two couples, Jack and Sally (Pollack and Davis) and Gabe and Judy (Allen and Farrow), who each flirt with the ideas of separation, divorce, dating, and open marriage. Each character plays off all the others so well, and the amazing performances from Davis and Farrow especially lend authenticity and humanity to an otherwise maudlin tale. The film doesn't capture the attitudes of people with everything figured out, but instead these manic, often confused, and regularly volatile people who don't understand what they want, or how to get it. At the end, the characters' motivations become clear and we see what dispassion and animosity can grant in a relationship.
September 10, 2014
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

The mockumentary set-up is rather unnecessary, and some of the relationships make and break too quickly, but the script holds nothing back. These husbands and wives sure get ugly: from Sally's darkly comedic manic episodes during a blind date to Jack orchestrating an ill-timed reunion while making his new squeeze wait in the car.

What this movie is though is a tour de force showcase for the acting talents of Judy Davis and Juliette Lewis. I hesitate to call them "Woody's Women" - an endearing though patronizing moniker for his ingenues - because that implies ownership, and since this is purported to be a biographical film, Rain's criticisms of Gabe's patriarchal views of females in his book may hit close to Woody's own home.

Judy Davis is shrill and brittle, but sensuously so. I've never thought much of beady-eyed Juliette Lewis, but her wise-beyond-her-years creative writing co-ed steals every scene. Rain's gratitude is never insincere, and her flirtation is subtle. The long take of her placid face in the cab as Gabe insults her for being honest about his book is so great because she just takes it. She doesn't get upset; she knows she's worth it.
April 28, 2014
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

I would argue that story-wise, over half of Woody Allen's films aren't ones worth writing home about. What doubles their success is the very capable casts he manages to gather. The premise is simple, maybe that's where Allen excels, the ability to get much out of so little but it is the performances that are key to Husbands and Wives working. Ok, so the script, or each actors interpretation of it (that is woefully impersonated in his more recent films) that is key, Allen should take most of the credit for this, he get the best of his actors pretty much every time. He has the right cast here too, his collaborators from the beginning to around the mid to late 90s being the best. I'm hot and cold regarding Allen, for once I'm right down the middle with this one.
February 19, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Whether you are a fan of Allen or not, this film needs to be watched for the opening scene alone. When Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Sally Davis) come over for a dinner at their friend's Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy's (Mia Farrow) house, they inform the unexpecting couple that their marriage is dissolving. This is where Allen's genius comes in. Rather than focusing on Jack & Sally, he focuses on Gabe & Judy's reaction to the news and the implications it has on their own marriage. Using a handheld, Allen invasively follows Gabe and Judy. As the camera shakes and follows the disquieted couple, you really get the sense that this news has shaken their foundation. It is a brilliant scene and in my opinion, Woody's best.
February 25, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Husbands and Wives

    1. Sally: It was a huge blow to my ego. You know, I thought he loved me, that, uh, that we were experimenting, you know.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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