The Words (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Words (2012)



Critic Consensus: Neither as clever nor as interesting as it appears to think it is, The Words maroons its talented stars in an overly complex, dramatically inert literary thriller that's ultimately a poor substitute for a good book.

Movie Info

Starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and ZoŽ Saldana, the layered romantic drama The Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There's only one catch - he didn't write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man's work, and for placing ambition and success above life's most fundamental three words. -- (C) CBS Filmsmore
Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language and smoking)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 24, 2012
Box Office: $11.4M
CBS Films - Official Site


Bradley Cooper
as Rory Jansen
Jeremy Irons
as The Old Man
Dennis Quaid
as Clay Hammond
Zoe Saldana
as Dora Jansen
Olivia Wilde
as Daniella
Ben Barnes
as Young Man
John Hannah
as Richard Ford
Michael McKean
as Nelson Wylie
J.K. Simmons
as Mr. Jansen
James Babson
as Dan Zuckerman
Vito DeFilippo
as New York Apartment D...
Ron Rifkin
as Timothy Epstein
Brian Klugman
as Jason Rosen
Gianpaolo Venuta
as Dave Farber
Brent Skagford
as Soldier #2
Andrew T. Mackay
as Soldier #3
Zeljko Ivanek
as Joseph Cutler
Gloria Cooper
as Rory's Mother
Weston Middleton
as Nick Weinstein
Lee Sternthal
as Brett Cropsey
Holden Wong
as Fordham's Assistant
Daniel Gervais
as Fordham's Assistant
Anders Yates
as Clay Hammond's Assis...
Leni Parker
as Journalist
Sebastien Pilotte
as Celia's Husband
Emile Rivard
as Celia's Child
David Gow
as Hotel Desk Clerk
Kathleen Fee
as Woman on the Bus
Keeva Lynk
as Cynthia
Jeanie Hackett
as Joyce Weinstein
Gordon Masten
as Elderly Man
Jude Beny
as Elderly Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Words

Critic Reviews for The Words

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (36)

"The Words" is an elegant piece of entertainment, replete with an understated but sweeping score, unexpected period piece vignettes, and melodramatic but universal themes.

Full Review… | April 17, 2016

The Words is a solid drama that's anchored by one of Cooper's very best performances...

Full Review… | January 3, 2016
Reel Film Reviews

This tedious and needlessly convoluted drama ... just meanders aimlessly.

Full Review… | July 17, 2013

A movie about a bad author who steals the book of a good author, and I'm pretty certain that The Words, if pressed, wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

It's nothing you haven't seen before in films about struggling artists spending more time obsessing than working.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

Its long, dry patches of colourless storytelling suggest it makes more sense as a book, one to read before you fall asleep to dream of better movies.

Full Review… | May 2, 2013
Total Film

Audience Reviews for The Words

There is virtually nothing that works in this convoluted, nonsensical and terribly-written drama in which not even its visuals escape the artificial and clichťd. Everything is a total failure, from the expository narration to the ridiculous story-within-a-story-within-a-story structure.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

The ability to write should be first among the qualifications required to write a movie about a writer... but all through this film, all I could think was, "No one involved with this film has ever written anything!" And the attempt to lean on narration - it's like the book you're reading! - falls completely flat, as it's never quite clear who is supposed to be narrating, or (of course) who would read a book were it this badly written. I'd recommend You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger well before this one, which has a similar plot but comes from Woody Allen, who may have written a thing or two before the present movie.

I really like the premise, and the talented cast does its best with this disastrous script, but unfortunately The Words is much more about the idea of being a writer than it is a believable story of anything a writer might think/want/do.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

People didn't like this much. Why?..because of the story, inside of a story, and partly inside another story? or because of the ending that left you wondering what was really true? I found this movie mesmerizing. There isn't one bad actor in this, that is for sure. The story was heartbreaking, and intriguing. It was beautifully done, and left me with a feeling of awe. Usually, endings like this one make me really mad. For some reason, this ending seemed to fit the movie...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

The Words Quotes

Clay Hammond: You have to choose between life and fiction. The two are very close, but they never actually touch. They're two very, very different things.
– Submitted by Adrian H (23 months ago)
The Old Man: We all make difficult choices in life. The hard thing is to live with them.
– Submitted by ?????? ? (3 years ago)
The Old Man: Was he a writer? [in reference to Hemingway]
– Submitted by Ron S (3 years ago)
The Old Man: We all make choices. The hard thing is to live with them, and there ain't nobody that can help you with that.
– Submitted by Cezar P (3 years ago)

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