JCVD (Van Dammage) Reviews

Top Critic
June 10, 2013
Think of it as Sunset Bloodsport with Jean-Claude as Norma Desmond.
Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
September 14, 2010
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
January 30, 2009
Unpredictable, engaging and even challenging, 'JCVD' is an intriguing oddity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
January 29, 2009
Van Damme is so good, and El Mechri's storytelling so entertaining, that JCVD takes its place alongside The Wrestler as one of the unlikeliest but most welcome comeback vehicles in ages.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 12, 2008
This is not only a Van Damme movie that will make you laugh -- on purpose -- it could very well make you cry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 4, 2008
If you know Van Damme's work in the least, if you have any sympathy for the plight of the third-rate action screen hero whose days come to an end, JCVD will amuse and touch you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
November 21, 2008
There's something seductively clever about the way French director and co-writer Mabrouk El Mechri has fractured chronology ( la Pulp Fiction) to examine JCVD's plight from various perspectives.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Washington Post
November 21, 2008
It's hard to resist: Here's a battered superstar who has occupied so many fantasies, but in his fantasies he's just like us.
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
November 21, 2008
JCVD has points of interest, but it may leave you feeling like you've just slowed down to look at a car wreck.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 20, 2008
A clever art-imitates-life-imitates-art send-up of celebrityhood and the state of the action-hero genre, JCVD juggles humor with whomping martial-arts moves and a kind of melancholy star turn from the melancholy, muscular star.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
November 17, 2008
Rreally inventive.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
November 17, 2008
What if I told you that one of the coolest and most creative films of the fall starred.... Jean Claude Van Damme?
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 14, 2008
JCVD is what you might get if a French deconstructionist decided to make a drive-in flick: It reverse engineers the mayhem until it locates the humor, the sadness, and the insecure void at the heart of the genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 14, 2008
Put JCVD into the category of films that no one saw coming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2008
It might be the most impressive stunt of his career.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 14, 2008
JCVD is not an action movie but a shrewd satire about stardom and the cult of celebrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rob Salem
Toronto Star
November 14, 2008
The film's odd conceit is its primary strength, with Van Damme in a nakedly honest, bravely candid turn that for the first time in his career can be commended as 'acting'.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 14, 2008
Written and directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, this functions perfectly well as a Van Damme vehicle, but it's also a funny and poignant look at a man trapped by his own ridiculous reputation.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 14, 2008
I sorta enjoyed myself. I could have done without the scene where he floats in anguished reverie, making Hamlet sound like an extrovert.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 13, 2008
The film sags in the middle section, and it's more a novelty item than a fully formed work. But it's very entertaining. And Van Damme proves himself a brave, possibly foolhardy actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 7, 2008
Instead of being a spiffy spoof, the movie gives its star little to do.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 7, 2008
This may well be the most memorable Jean-Claude Van Damme movie ever, but I'm afraid that's not saying much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
November 7, 2008
A canny piece of autobiography that looks at the man behind the legend and the legend behind the man.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 6, 2008
With JCVD, Van Damme proves he could make a viable career shift into humorous or dramatic character roles that hinge more on brains than brawn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 6, 2008
Self-referential projects are tricky territory, but Van Damme handles himself with such likable humor, this could be a career-changer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 6, 2008
Seagal, it's your turn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 5, 2008
The clever, stylish perception-teaser of a comic drama JCVD -- a reality-twisting cousin to Being John Malkovich -- showcases a Van Damme who's sly like a fox about his own image.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
November 5, 2008
Part career-resuscitation attempt and part serious cry for help, Mabrouk El Mechri's Damme Day Afternoon rebranding effort is an incredibly intriguing failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 5, 2008
No one will ever mistake these backstage shenanigans for Irma Vep. But as a self-regarding expression of masculine angst, it's a Damme sight more fun than Synecdoche.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 3, 2008
The film itself doesn't rise above the level of a good try. In the absence of Godardian wit, JCVD needs more kickboxing.
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Variety
November 3, 2008
Incalculably superior in tone, attitude, intent, and intellect to bulk of bodybuilder vehicles, shrewdly produced pic limits limber star's acrobatics to first and last scenes without great detriment to whole.