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Nine Lives (2005)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 21

Nine Lives is bolstered by a strong cast and features many insightful glimpses into the lives of women.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

Nine Lives is bolstered by a strong cast and features many insightful glimpses into the lives of women.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 21,482

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmaker Rodrigo García takes an unusual look into the lives of nine different women in this episodic drama. Each of the film's nine sequences has been staged as a single shot, using the Steadicam system to allow the camera to follow the action fluidly and without cuts. In these short episodes (lasting between ten and 14 minutes), Holly (Lisa Gay Hamilton) has a brief moment of reverie while confronting the specters of her past in her old neighborhood. Maggie (Glenn Close) escorts her young



Rodrigo García

Feb 14, 2006


Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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January 4, 2006:
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All Critics (85) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (21) | DVD (11)

The stories are sketches, often without resolution, and while individual segments succeed admirably, taken together the portraits are a fitful match.

October 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If only every women's movie had Nine Lives' fire, intelligence, and conviction, they wouldn't have such a shaky reputation in the first place.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some parts are stronger than others, but as a fleshed-out artistic vision, Nine Lives works remarkably well.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nine Lives is an elegant film of quick, tour-de-force acting turns, a simple actor's gesture that tells you more than four pages of dialogue, a movie that demands concentration but that rewards the viewer willing to pay attention.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Garcia] leaves you thinking deeply about these people. And leaves you wanting more.

November 4, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Composed of nine short films, each starring some of the best female actors working, though many of them aren't working enough.

November 4, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nine Lives, zero truth

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Each woman has to turn herself inside out in continuous time. It has the demands of theatre and the intimacy of cinema.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Loss is the common thread that binds the women in these nine snapshots that involve us in their intricate lives. Some stories work beautifully, while others are dull and hardly capture our interest

April 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

In the end, all of the pieces in Nine Lives fit together perfectly. If one story doesn't quite resonate for you, the next one likely will in this small but beautiful film.

October 1, 2007
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Kathy Baker deserves and Oscar nomination for juggling so many different feelings during her slow, reluctant acquiescence to the drugs that may likely save her life.

October 1, 2007 Full Review Source:

Nine Lives had me tense, engaged, sometimes disgusted, sometimes moved, and always interested. Garcia is an ingenious and eloquent storyteller.

September 27, 2006
Christianity Today

A truly amazing film.

April 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's as if we're randomly eavesdropping on the private concerns of one particular neighborhood ... a neighborhood that sure has its fair share of heartache.

March 28, 2006 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

Nine Lives isn't a master work, but it's still a fascinating piece of filmmaking.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

...a remarkably powerful little film.

February 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

You won't find ensemble acting much better or writing more incisive than that in Nine Lives ...

January 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Certain characters and their particular pains become so engrossing in their 10-minute bits that it's sad to see them go.

January 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

What saves Nine Lives is a first-rate cast, which includes Oscar-winning actresses Sissy Spacek and Holly Hunter.

January 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It's unclear why Garcia continues to choose to limit himself to these diluted portraits, rather than the layered and textured worlds that his writing and directing hint at.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source:

Just as we're growing fond of someone, the vignette ends and we're on to the next woman. It's nine orphan scenes desperately in need of movies to take them home.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source:

Each vignette is tantalizing but so short as to be stillborn, leaving the impression of an acting class exercise.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

... the first third of the film is marred by a tendency to be morbidly serious and overly dramatic.

December 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Nine Lives

The concept is not original at all, that's probably why it has such a low average. If you've seen Crash and Magnolia and you liked it, than I don't see why you wouldn't like this one. Some good solid acting and 'drama for your mama'.
December 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

i'm a huge, huge fan of multiple storyline, vignette movies, and some of them have been executed really well - crash, paris je t'aime, amores perros (or anything alejandro gonzalez inarritu, to tell you the truth.). and so it's not that i don't like this style of moviemaking. it's just that this particular film's ideas were so half-baked, so underdeveloped, so cliche. i mean, the one story with the deaf guy and lorna was perhaps the only original one that truly captured me. some were well-acted but the story was very very poor. and the so-called "connections" are a joke. it's like...geographical proximity is the only thing they have in common. i like to have a parallel drawn between the stories, not some, "oh! i vaguely recognize this character. oh yes, i remember, from the last story! yay!" i mean, i get it, it's about 9 women's lives and their difficulties dealing with loss or love or whatever. it wasn't a bad idea for a movie and garcia did admirably under the circumstances but he really should've thought this through more.
July 13, 2007

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, "Nine Lives" is a collection of nine short films that serve as snapshots into the lives of nine women in southern California. All of the segments are shot with a handheld camera without any edits.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]1. Sandra(Elpida Carrillo) is an inmate in a jail.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]2. Diana(Robin Wright Penn) is very pregnant when she runs into an old flame, Damien(Jason Isaacs), in a supermarket.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]3. Holly(Lisa Gay Hamilton) returns home to make up with her dad.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]4. Sonia(Holly Hunter) visits a friend's swanky apartment with her husband.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]5. Samantha(Amanda Seyfried) is a teenager who is deciding whether to go away to college or stay home to take care of her invalid father(Ian McShane).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]6. Lorna(Amy Brenneman) attends the funeral of the wife of her ex-husband, Andrew(William Fichtner).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]7. Ruth(Sissy Spacek) is at a motel for a tryst with another man(Aidan Quinn).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]8. Camille(Kathy Baker) has breast cancer and is in the hospital for an operation.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]9. Maggie(Glenn Close) visits a cemetary with her daughter, Maria(Dakota Fanning).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Nine Lives" is an interesting experiment but it is not an entirely successful one. There really are no overall themes and while some of the stories do connect with each other; it is done in such a half-hearted matter as to be totally ineffective. The movie does provide some insight into the lives of these women but it would have been improved with a more diverse group of characters. The cast is great but I think a better decision would have been to go with less name actors in the cast. Of the large cast, Robin Wright Penn and William Fichtner especially stand out. [/font]
December 17, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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