The Front - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Front Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2011
The Front is a worthwhile but flat film that combines a Woody Allen comic persona with an earnest desire to educate modern audiences (this was 76, it really feels like distant history now) with the Mcarthy Era witchhunts as they affected the enterainment world.Martin Ritt, himself having been blacklisted, assembled a strong cast who are up to the challenge, including Zero Mostel -also blacklisted-, in his most serious and touching (and almost last) screen appearance. However, this film feels weak and except for the last scene is not dramatic or high stakes enough to care. Woody Allen is a 'front' for some outcast Communist sympathizing writers. Until the last very effective scene, the movie wastes potentially dramatic betrayals by having eveyone be too nice and noble. The film would have been much more interesting, if, as the situation seems to lead to, someone would betray someone. Nobody does and the film doesn't live up to its promise. In any case, it's worth a rental if you can find it and are interested in the subject matter. George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck is a much more effective and dramatic movie about the same historical event, but if you want a bigger viewing list., give this one a look.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2006
Not that great but the last line makes the movie well worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2012
An effective dramedy that works as an indictment of McCarthyism and the use of blacklisting during the Red Scare. I wish the film had opted to focus more on the nuances of blacklisting, such as exploring the political motives of the committees, but instead it decided to focus more on Allen's character, which worked well, it just didn't help the film make the large statement it intended to make. At the same time, it did do a good job of showing the effects on those targeted, as well as the great ironies involved.

3.5/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2014
The Front stars Woody Allen (not written or directed by) as a front for blacklisted writers. I didn't find much funny with this movie, and often the story is bland. Woody Allens characters moral transitions, while important for the film, happened to quickly. He does have great chemistry with screen partner Zero Mostel though. The film really did win me over with the ending, and the charming credits. Shows the issues with blacklisting, and the industry during the red scare.
February 14, 2015
I'm a big fan of Allen's earlier work. Very well-acted & intelligent rebuke of the McCarthy era & its overreach. What started out as a serious agenda against Communism went overboard like almost all social movements & agendas. The film is very smart & highly entertaining at the same time. This is probably Allen's best film out of what I have seen & his best satire. People who are concerned about history should see this.
½ December 8, 2013
Formulaic, maybe, but also full of heart. Felt more like a Mel Brooks pic than one of Woody Allen's.
½ April 16, 2012
Not Allen's best, even remotely. But the line "And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves" is still just as awesome as ever.
½ February 22, 2012
Not the best McCarthy-era critique it manages to work mainly because of its supporting cast, namely Zero Mostel and Andrea Marcovicci.
November 9, 2011
May not be one of Woody's more well known movies, but it is still a thought provoking and funny film. Zero Mostel turns in a terrific performance in a film on blacklisting made by people who were once blacklisted.
October 13, 2011

"Fellas, I don't recognize the right of this committe to ask me these kinds of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves."-Howard Prince (Woody Allen)

I liked the subject matter and the fact that the writer, director and some of the actors were actually blacklisted.
½ December 29, 2010
Couldn't pay so much attention, and I'm a really big Woody Allen fan overall. I think the subject matter has just lots its amusement value to some degree at this point.
March 28, 2007
This film works because of its immediacy -- the fact that it was largely made by former blacklistees. Zero Mostel will break your heart in this. There's blood on your hands, HUAC.
January 5, 2008
The Front is a bit messy in going back and forth between light romantic comedy, satire, and serious (often heavy-handed) dramatic moments. When playing stuff for comedy, mainly whenever Allen is onscreen, the film is a winning, sweet and often hilarious look at a part of the Cold War I had never seen or clearly imagined before. The serious moments carry some weight, thanks mostly to Zero Mostel, who finds the sad, broken core of his character without touting it in front of himself like a signpost. The majority of the rest of the cast (Ramsay, Bernardi and Marcovicci) seem to be in a different film, with performances that broadcast their actions and emotions so loudly they feel like they belong on a stage on not the screen. Still, the film succeeds when focused on Allen, someone I love as a performer and brings his nebbish charm to great use here. The film tries to focus on the injustice of the blacklists during the Cold War, and while it manages to squeeze some compelling drama from that scenario, more interesting themes on lies, mutually beneficial (and successful) relationships, and true friendship manage to come up for air.

Also, The Front has one of the most hilarious punch lines I've seen.
January 7, 2010
A comedy/drama about Communist blacklisting in the entertainment industry. It's not going to win any awards for subtlety, and I don't think I can be blamed for expecting more laughs from a movie with Woody Allen and Zero Mostel in it, but it's okay. The script is tight, if somewhat predictable. Some of the music is pretty bad, real heartstring-tugging stuff. Mostel is terrific.
September 26, 2009
Add this to the collection of Simpson's parodies I knew before I saw the real thing. It was a pretty good movie, a great ending, and a chance to see Woody outside of his normal role.
September 1, 2009
Woody Allen is really good, he plays a bit more layered and complex character here as a little departure from his usual shtick. This was obviously a pet project for many of the people involved, and they put a lot of heart into it. It's just lacking that little spark that would make is really good. It's really watchable though.
½ June 27, 2009
Incredibly well directed and written, the acting is fantastic. Woody Allen is great and Zero Mostel is superb in his best role. The story about blacklisting is so interesting and the film makes you think and wonder.
½ March 12, 2008
It has its share of flaws, no doubt. But, just as the character has to sacrifice personally to do the right thing, the film sacrifices artistically for its cause. I think the move works because it's done so earnestly and without dogmatism. Like the opposite of Rage Against the Machine.
½ January 27, 2008
A smart and insightful look at the Hollywood blacklist and the reach it had into the industry. Allen and Mostel give strong performances, and Allen's final line is a classic.
½ January 23, 2016
Good drama for Woody but not entirely in his style, at least it wasn't written/directed by himself.
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