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Heights (2005)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 102
Fresh: 65 | Rotten: 37

Yet another movie about relationships in the Big Apple, Heights is never dull thanks to a competent cast.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 13

Yet another movie about relationships in the Big Apple, Heights is never dull thanks to a competent cast.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 5,426

My Rating

Movie Info

A handful of New Yorkers find their paths crossing in ways that force them to examine their lives in this contemporary drama produced by Ismail Merchant. Isabel (Elizabeth Banks) is a twentysomething photographer who is supposed to marry her boyfriend, Jonathan (James Marsden), in a month. But Isabel has found herself wondering if marriage is the right thing for her. Meanwhile, her mother, Diana (Glenn Close), a well-known film actress, has learned her husband has been seeing another woman, and



Amy Fox, Chris Terrio

Nov 1, 2005


Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (112) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (37) | DVD (13)

If the plot is thin, at least the characters are interesting, and the performances are consistently strong.

July 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Amy Fox's play, with New York clichés for characters, was never going to hit, ahem, the movie heights. But cut loose in the middle of a comic-book summer, Heights is just different enough, just adult enough, to warrant a climb and a look.

July 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

None of it rings true, nor do precious affectations such as having one couple communicate with each other via walkie-talkies.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terrio may use such accelerating devices as a handheld camera and split-screen editing, but his movie still feels as inert as the piano chords in Martin Erskine and Ben Butler's score.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sufficiently enjoyable and intelligent to erase unpleasant memories of Merchant-Ivory's last foray into Manhattan ... it lacks the energy and vibrancy of the best films to come out of the city in the past few years.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An intelligent and perceptive film, neither unique nor earth-shattering, but still worthwhile.

April 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

This emotional jigsaw puzzle is cannily constructed.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Though car chases and explosions are kept to a bare minimum here, I daresay you won't be bored.

November 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Fantastica Daily
Fantastica Daily

Heights is a New York genre film....keeping our interest with adroit story telling and excellent technicals

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

...makes some subtle observations about insecurities and preconceptions, and the script unfolds its big twists in a way that's surprising without turning manipulative.

August 29, 2005 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

A noteworthy ending to Merchant's career and a solid beginning for the film careers of Terrio, Fox and Banks.

August 25, 2005 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

According to this film, New York is a joyless place where people live only to drop names, attend parties, cheat on loved ones and brood.

August 19, 2005 Full Review
Kansas City Star

...well-designed but somewhat airless

August 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Though good in parts not good as a whole.

August 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

What happens to these not-so-interesting people isn't nearly as compelling as writer Amy Fox and first-time feature director Chris Terrio intended.

August 5, 2005
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The ties that bind this drama's often-smug and off-putting characters are contrived, and the plotting rarely goes deeper than soap opera surface. And that's a shame, considering the caliber of its cast.

July 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The dance these filmmakers have created is the sort that makes viewing a joy.

July 22, 2005

Feels like a stage work - a self-important and self-consciously lofty one at that - and first-time director Chris Terrio does little to make it come alive.

July 22, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

The material isn't strong enough and the first-time director isn't experienced enough to make it work.

July 21, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The story defies the convention of its genre by actually going somewhere.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

They work like little jigsaw puzzles, seducing us into the lives of characters via little slivers, then keeping us guessing about how they will collide and change one another.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

[B]ottled-up angst somehow isn't as attractive when it's not pining away by the canals of Venice in the 19th century but rather over the... skyline of 21st-century New York...

July 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Unconvincing Heights. Ensemble piece pretentious and slow-handed.

July 19, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Heights

Quite fine drama tale of five smart, touchy New Yorkers try to figure out the meaning of love.
June 19, 2007
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Heights" takes place over a 24 hour period in October in New York City. Isabel(Elizabeth Banks) and Jonathan(James Marsden) are living in Manhattan and are engaged to be married. Isabel is a professional photographer(weddings and the such) and I'm not sure what Jonathan does but involves something about sitting in an office all day. Isabel cannot escape the very long shadow of her very famous mother, Diana(Glenn Close). Diana is a very busy woman - she is not only rehearsing to star in a gender reversed MacBeth but is also directing an unknown off-broadway play. Thrown into this mix is an underemployed actor and an English journalist investigating the life and loves of an infamous photographer.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Heights" is a drama of intersecting characters but this sort of thing only works when you have strong characters to work with. Here you don't. Isabel who is the center of attention is mostly a blank slate. The movie as a whole is totally contrived beyond belief, especially the final revelation.(Yes, Manhattan is a small place but there are too many people to be able to randomly run into each other with any kind of ease.) Glenn Close who became a better actress when she learned the meaning of the word "nuance" a few years ago again gives a very good performance. But most of the other talented actors in this cast - Isabella Rossellini, George Segal, Eric Bogosian and Michael Murphy(where have you been?) are limited to cameo appearances. It is strange for a movie that photographs New York City with such loving care, to be so derisive towards photographers. Oh, and the occasional split-screen is definitely overkill.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
July 3, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Yet another pastiche of mostly unhappy and boring New Yorkers and how their lives change over the course of a day. Amy Fox could use a spark of creativity in her screenplay to distinguish hers from the glut of similar films. (I knew an Amy Fox in college, could she be the same? I hope not ) Some good performances from Glenn Close and something of a revelation from Elizabeth Banks, but for what?
January 13, 2012
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

James Marsden is exceptionally good and Glenn Close is better than I've ever seen her.

This film is beautifully written and shot.
October 10, 2009

Super Reviewer

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