Gloria - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gloria Reviews

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January 15, 2016
I despise the child. She was great, though. Kind of roughly thought out. But it keeps the suspense going. When he ran from Gloria, I prayed the mob found and shot him. He ruins the movie. Wherein it could have been great, he makes it just decent. In a way, the child's despicability makes it perversely intriguing. lol. But, realistically, makes me care way less about what happens to him.
November 15, 2015
The mob puts a kill order on a six year old Puerto Rican kid whose father entrusted him with a hot potato of accounting ledgers. Rowlands is strong but this goes on forever. Remade in 1999 wisely using a more adorable child.
March 1, 2015
Gloria Swenson's a gun moll all growed up. The mob ain't got time for her no more, and instead of gettin' her kicks like she did in the good 'ole days, she lives alone with her cat in a crappy joint in the slums of New York. It ain't much, but it's something, and she's gotta live, ya know? Now get lost.
Gloria may have a sordid past in her wake, but she is certainly not a floozy with a few wrinkles too many. She is a tough-as-nails presence that has been around the block plenty of times, unafraid of anything except maybe the cold eyes of death. Gloria is also portrayed by Gena Rowlands, and "Gloria" is directed by John Cassavetes, her husband.
Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes are national treasures, but when your finest pieces of work are confined to ambitiously outlandish independent films, you're bound to only be remembered by the critics who don't have much fun watching Vin Diesel's newest vehicle. They teamed up seven times, but "Gloria" is the closest thing they ever got to the word "conventional." Despite a slightly over-the-top soundtrack, possibly a quirk added by the mercurial Cassavetes, gone are his usual touches of slapped around camerawork and obvious improvisations. With "Gloria," he's an auteur taking a vacation, and it makes for one of his most entertaining, if not one of his deepest, projects.
The movie begins in ruins; Jack Dawn (Buck Henry) has made the mistake of double-crossing the mob. Not only has he been skimming money from the profits of their various crimes, but he has also been acting as an informant for the FBI. He, along with his family, are barricaded in a crammed apartment, attempting to hold off hired guns for as long as possible. Then Gloria, a neighbor, comes knocking on their door. She wants to borrow sugar, but instead gets Jack's son, Phil (John Adames). Then the inevitable happens: Phil is orphaned, and Gloria, reluctantly, is forced to take him in. Problem is, the mob knows about it. After this set-up pulls through, the rest of the film acts as a punchy and darkly funny game of cat-and-mouse between Gloria, her newfound Puerto Rican child friend, and, well, the mob.
"Gloria"'s only downfall is that it becomes a little monotonous after a while - you can only handle Phil running away and Gloria having to chase after him for so long - but it's much too lovable to really get on your nerves. For once, Cassavetes backs off and lets Rowlands be the star of the show; in the past, it was as if Cassavetes and Rowlands were headlining together (not a bad thing), looking like the cool boho versions of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But even Ginger Rogers had to have "Kitty Foyle" all to herself.
Everything about Rowlands - her light but steely Wisconsin accent, her big hair, her hastily put-on red lipstick, her cheap high heels - is dynamite. In her other films with Cassavetes (1974's "A Woman Under the Influence," 1977's "Opening Night"), she has had to pour out every emotion she's ever felt, as if she were stripping naked in front of a crowd. But in "Gloria," it's clear that she's having fun. Rowlands carries a gun with imposing authority, like a street tough that surprises you with their scrappiness. Even better is her chemistry with the loud and unintentionally funny Adames, who spits out every line with bracing liberation. Gloria is engaging but intimidating, but Phil doesn't much care, and when she can't turn her usual tricks to get him to behave, the playfulness of the film climbs every mountain and fords every stream.
"Gloria" runs a little long at two hours, but it isn't without its charms. Rowlands is a wonderful, wonderful actress, and there isn't a second of the film where we don't ask ourselves what we did to deserve a talent this great in the movie business. I adore Cassavetes with just as much fuss, but this time around, it isn't his show. It's hers, and that's not a bad thing.
March 1, 2015
Rowlands kills it(literally)and the interaction between her and the kid works.Very good chase movie.
December 25, 2014
I will always love Gena Rowlands because of this movie.
November 9, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
July 23, 2014
Love this movie; i watch it every so often. One of the first movies i ever saw growing up.
July 16, 2014
Holy shit, what a movie. Gena Rowlands is a goddamn queen- amazing layered and flawed female lead, say no more. Thrilling and surprisingly touching, all in the backdrop of New York City in 1980. I can't ask for more.
February 5, 2014
A very gripping entry into the filmography of director John Cassavetes, "Gloria" put a blueprint for the kick-ass heroins that Hollywood is starting to become more acquainted with in the modern age.

Portrayed by Gena Rowlands, Gloria is a former mistress of a mobster who is forced to protect a precocious 6 year old child (honestly, the character is one of the most grating I've watched, even for his age) after his family were brutally murdered by the mob in New York.

Cassavetes' style means the emotional journey taken by Gloria and the child, as they go from full-blown contempt to a loving and caring relationship, but in the odd scenes containing the mobsters, Rowlands holds her own as a strong woman who wasn't afraid of firing a few rounds - something that was, and still is to an extent, notably absent in Hollywood.

Overall, this is a great old film and well worth a watch, although it takes a strong will to get past the annoying child that drives the plot.
January 30, 2014
Recommended in I magazine
½ October 21, 2013
A surprising sidestep for the master of confrontational independent cinema, yet not a total diversion from his poignant view on human relations. The film is full of thrilling sequences that come as the main surprise for us Cassavetes fans. They are done skillfully, which in itself is cool, but the real power lies with Gena Rowlands' performance in the scenes with the little boy. The actor who plays the little boy seems not to understand he's in a movie at times, but it's passable when you have Gena Rowlands right there reacting. A fascinating gem from an incredible oeuvre.
½ September 19, 2013
Gena nails it. An excellent thriller, with caveats: The young lad doesn't as much act as merely recite lines. And the slo-mo scenne at the end is embarrassing. Other than that...
June 6, 2013
I love it. I have watched it multiple times because of the wonderful interaction between Gena Rowlands and Juan Adames. Gena really elevated the sophistication of this movie with her powerhouse acting.
April 24, 2013
Watch the Tilda Swinton movie, 'Julia' instead. It takes the same basic premise and shifts it into a much more engrossing direction. I often find John Cassavetes movies extremely dry.
March 23, 2013
A tag too commercial and not Cassavetes' strongest script, but Gena Rowlands is magnificent in the title role.
March 23, 2013
I actually like the movie. I remember seeing when I was a kid and I just watched it again tonight on TMC. I don't get why the little boy got such bad reviews. I thought he was adorable and he did a good job. He was a kid and I think some of the reviews were harsh. I don't think he was "dead weight" in this movie. He made the movie to me. Although I think Gena Rowlands was very good I think he did pretty well along side her. That's my opinion.
March 23, 2013
Holy cats what a good movie, although kind of a depressing story. Gena Rollins as knockout works in this one.
March 18, 2013
This is dam great film. And I want to see it again
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2013
I like "non-studio film Cassavetes" much better.
February 10, 2013
The archetypal hard nosed dame who's seen it all. Great fun and keeps you entertained.
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