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Full Frontal

Full Frontal (2002)

tomatometer

38

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 142
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 88

An confusing movie made worse by the poor camera work.

39

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 23

An confusing movie made worse by the poor camera work.

audience

28

liked it
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 6,059

My Rating

Movie Info

Described as a modern-day Hollywood version of Day for Night, director Steven Soderbergh's first digital video production was also shot employing a modified version of the frills-free Dogma 95 rules set forth by Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, allowing a relatively small budget of about two million dollars. Julia Roberts and Blair Underwood star, respectively, as Francesca and Calvin, actors performing in a motion picture directed by David Fincher and co-starring Brad Pitt (who play

R,

Drama, Comedy

Coleman Hough

Feb 11, 2003

$2.4M

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All Critics (158) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (88) | DVD (20)

Soderbergh is so busy trying to create his movie-within-a-movie -- and, in at least one instance, his movie-within- a-movie-within -a-movie -- that he botches the enclosing movie.

August 11, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best you can say about Full Frontal, an ensemble piece that flirts with ideas about illusion and reality, is that the movie qualifies as a failed experiment.

August 9, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A boring, amateurish, incomprehensible and stupefyingly pretentious pile of swill.

August 8, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Soderbergh's direction and visual style struck me as unusually and unimpressively fussy and pretentious.

August 8, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Frontal is like the 'Special Features' disc of the DVD without the original movie.

August 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When improv is done well, it sheds a unique light on the human condition. When it is done adequately, as it is in Full Frontal, it simply makes you long for a good script and pricey production values.

August 3, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some vivid moments, but overall, just so-so.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The most dense, fascinating collage of notions and meta-narrative references and formal tinkering in Soderbergh's whole career.

February 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

It's a doodle movie, a sketchbook. I was held by the tinkering quality of it, though.

February 13, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Soderbergh's movie likely will appeal more to filmmakers than filmgoers.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Click to read review

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

a dizzyingly convoluted exploration of sex, art, identity and reality

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Gazette

The meta-elements never hamper the central appeal of the film, which are the rich and flawed characters who are simply searching for a connection with another human being.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

...Soderbergh has essentially gone full circle and made his artiest flick yet. Trouble is, it's just not terribly interesting.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Should've been released as a lowkey DVD.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

I sort of enjoyed it, but the movie plays amateurish and doesn't tell us anything new.

July 6, 2003

Somewhere under the layers of pretentiousness and in-jokes and cleverness and reflexivity and artsiness and talk, there is probably a film lurking. I didn't find it.

February 18, 2003
Movie Metropolis

The whole thing comes off as a bunch of rich actors slumming it for kicks in a faux low-budget flick.

February 17, 2003 Full Review

While it does beat watching paint dry, at least watching paint dry gives you a sense of something having been accomplished.

December 14, 2002 Full Review

None of it makes much sense, but most of it is fun, some hilarious.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

The story is so unmoored and the characters so ill-defined that the overall effect is vacuous.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Little more than a Dogme 95 film with Julia Roberts looking like a baboon.

October 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

This is a meaningful film trapped inside a half-baked film.

September 23, 2002
Billings Outpost (Montana)

...feels like a featurette in a better movie's DVD.

September 16, 2002
NutzWorld

A raw, emotional tapestry that may have benefited from the no-nonsense atmosphere Soderbergh provided, but I doubt that.

September 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

What may have been a nice diversion from the norm in Hollywood ends up as dull trip into the lives of ordinary, self-involved Angelenos.

September 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Beach Reporter (Southern California)
Beach Reporter (Southern California)

Audience Reviews for Full Frontal

When you have been working for many years, and are one of the most versatile and prolific filmmakers out there, it only seems inevitable that eventually you'll produce a work that's bad, if not almost totally awful.

That is the case here with this mess from Steven Soderbergh.

Shot primarily on digital, this is a loose ensemble piece executed in a manner loosely based on the Dogma 95 movement, as well as the French New Wave to an extent.

We get multiple threads following a bunch of people all invited to the party of a mutual friend. We weave in and out of these various subplots, but the one that seems to linger the most involves an actor and actress working on a movie directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt (who both appear as themselves). Throughout the movie we are treated to this film within a film as well.

I really wanted to like this, not just because it's Soderbergh, but because of its reputation. I'm sorry to say that I'm going with the crowd on this one. Sometimes I like loose, breezy plot-light films ,but here it's just dull, meandering, and pretentious. It also really looks like crap, being shot on digital and all, and it's more frustrating since the film within the film is shot to look like a regular movie, making it distracting.

I'm also okay with movies that blur the line between reality and not, but here it's just an incoherent mess.

The actors make it worth it, hence why my grade isn't lower, and I do like the playful jabs at Fincher's obsessive compulsion to shoot take after take, but bottom line, I'm just gonna chalk this one up to being a nice idea that just fell apart.

Some of this is interesting, and if it were shorter, it'd be a little easier to swallow, but in the end, I'm just gonna thank everyone from trying, and hope they learn their lesson.
January 28, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I'll never understand the universal hate of Full Frontal; it's a good movie.
September 21, 2007
YLOWBSTARDreturns

Super Reviewer

If you're in the mood for random weirdness look no further.
October 27, 2006
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

Comes across as trying a little too hard to be edgy. I did however find myself drawn to some characters and situations in particular. I especially liked the scenes with David Hyde Pierce and the veterinarian.
November 29, 2009
streamofconsciousness

Super Reviewer

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