Full Frontal Reviews

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Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 6, 2008
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 11, 2002
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.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
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.
| Original Score: C
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 8, 2002
A boring, amateurish, incomprehensible and stupefyingly pretentious pile of swill.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 8, 2002
Mr. Soderbergh's direction and visual style struck me as unusually and unimpressively fussy and pretentious.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 5, 2002
Full Frontal is like the 'Special Features' disc of the DVD without the original movie.
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
August 3, 2002
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 2, 2002
A movie whose ultimate point is precisely nothing.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 2, 2002
Adds up to less than its admittedly entertaining parts.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 2, 2002
See this movie for its humor and talented cast and you won't be disappointed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
August 2, 2002
Full Frontal is perhaps the ultimate expression in upscale slumming passing for indie art.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 2, 2002
Those who enjoy experiment may be happy here -- director Steven Soderbergh, even at his most mystifying, is rarely dull, some of the performances are terrific, and the movie's likely to fuel some intriguing late-night debates. Watch your step, though.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2002
Think of the picture as 107 entertaining minutes from a very smart director who has decided to come out and play.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
August 2, 2002
It's not that the film's subject is too 'inside-baseball' to be understood by non-Hollywoodians. It's that there doesn't seem to be much point to the whole thing, other than the usual real/reel gambit.
| Original Score: 2/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
August 2, 2002
Audiences are going to be irritated if not simply befuddled by the film, although it is not a movie to be easily dismissed, and certainly not for lack of ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
August 2, 2002
Watching it is exasperating at first, but it grows more engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
August 2, 2002
Cineasts will revel in those visual in-jokes, as in the film's verbal pokes at everything from the likes of Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein's bluff personal style to the stylistic rigors of Denmark's Dogma movement.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 2, 2002
It is initially confusing, willfully so, and Soderbergh takes obvious delight in teasing the viewer and upsetting his or her preconceptions, breaking down the wavery wall between movies and real life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
August 2, 2002
The video work is so grainy and rough, so dependent on being 'naturalistic' rather than carefully lit and set up, that it's exhausting to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 2, 2002
Despite the complicated trappings -- a film within a film within a film, shot both on film and video -- Full Frontal is mostly a pedestrian look at sex, race, and desperation in the movie business.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 2, 2002
Boasting a title saturated in irony, Full Frontal is about as oblique as a picture gets.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Arizona Republic
August 2, 2002
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 2, 2002
Like the calculatingly misleading title and most of Full Frontal, it's little more than a tease, a private joke by a director winging it between more important jobs.
| Original Score: 2/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 2, 2002
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 2, 2002
A film so amateurish that only the professionalism of some of the actors makes it watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 2, 2002
The whole thing feels like a ruse, a tactic to cover up the fact that the picture is constructed around a core of flimsy -- or, worse yet, nonexistent -- ideas.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 1, 2002
A clever conceit that works in some sequences, mostly those involving Keener, and less well in others, mostly those involving Roberts and Underwood.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 1, 2002
Full Frontal, which opens today nationwide, could almost be classified as a movie-industry satire, but it lacks the generous inclusiveness that is the genre's definitive, if disingenuous, feature.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 1, 2002
When a set of pre-shooting guidelines a director came up with for his actors turns out to be cleverer, better written and of considerable more interest than the finished film, that's a bad sign. A very bad sign.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
August 1, 2002
Several of Steven Soderbergh's earlier films were hailed as the works of an artist. Sadly, Full Frontal plays like the work of a dilettante.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
August 1, 2002
If Soderbergh's name weren't attached to this project, I'd swear it was by some recent film-school grad who hadn't progressed beyond Navel Gazing 101.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 1, 2002
What's surprising about Full Frontal is that despite its overt self-awareness, parts of the movie still manage to break past the artifice and thoroughly engage you.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
August 1, 2002
Fragmented, elliptical and overplotted to the point of being hard to track. Still, it's worth hanging in for the finish ... [when] Soderbergh pulls off a delicious trick, a gesture of pure, tender, unabashed movie love that makes up for everything.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 1, 2002
A weird little movie that's amusing enough while you watch it, offering fine acting moments and pungent insights into modern L.A.'s show-biz and media subcultures. But it doesn't leave you with much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 1, 2002
Smart, fun, intricate and full of itself in a wonderful way.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
August 1, 2002
If Ocean's Eleven was a high-priced banquet of popular guys toasting one another's hard-earned coolness in a pointless caper, Full Frontal is the after-party.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 1, 2002
Even those who are used to art house films will likely be underwhelmed by the bareness of Full Frontal's menu.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 30, 2002
Unlike Magnolia or Mulholland Drive, it doesn't offer an audience much incentive to tease out its ambiguities.
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Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
July 29, 2002
Fails to cohere on a thematic level, but restless formal experimentation doesn't get much more accessible and entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 69/100
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 25, 2002
Is it a total success? No. Is it something any true film addict will want to check out? You bet.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2002
The whole movie is a riff on movie reality and unreality. Nothing is truly new here, though.