Smoke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Smoke Reviews

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August 2, 2017
The action is talky and philosophical but in sweet celebration of everyman going nowhere. A showcase for Wang's greatest strengths as a film maker: a chance to explore friendships, connections and random serendipities. The delight of the movie is Keitel, who finally gets to play someone who doesn't look like he's about to mug you.
½ July 18, 2016
This film reminds me a lot of Barbershop and one of my favorites--Six Degrees of Separation, which also had Stockard Channing in an eve n more wonderful role (she is one of my favorites). Smoke is the kind of a film not often seen outside of major urban areas or at film festivals, but very appealing and more available today, thanks to premium channels, (even though we pay up the wazoo for them) for those of us who don't want to live in the big cities. The view of New York seen here may be rather a glossed over one, but this is more of a story about people than anything else. People and their various stories of love and family, loss and gain and what we learned from it all--that we have to help each other when we can.
½ July 5, 2016
A whole mess of involutional story vignettes tied closely together by one smoke shop.
½ June 8, 2016
Smoke is a decent film. It is about a Brooklyn smoke shop that is the center of neighborhood activity. William Hurt and Stockard Channing give good performances. The script is a little slow in places. Wayne Wang did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the humor and drama.
January 5, 2016
One of those stories with multiple facets, like watching 3 or 4 films at once. Good cast, funny, and emotional.
June 6, 2015
I wanted to visit this corner of Brooklyn after seeing the movie.
April 19, 2015
poignant art-house movie about melancholic characters with uplifting stories who like nothing better than telling a story and having a smoke. A surprising performance by Harvey Keitel in an unfamiliar role for him, also strong performances by Hurt and the rest of the cast. A film worth seeing for anyone who likes to hear a good story.
November 20, 2014
a disappointing follow-up to the amazing Joy Luck Club, this tapestry film is poorly woven with bland threads.
½ April 18, 2014
The cover they chose to advertise this film is very misleading. 4 white people. Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing were in the movie probably for a combined 15 minutes. Guess they needed two blondes posing with cigars to appease a white audience. Keitel and Hurt definitely headline the movie with Forest Whitaker and Harold Perrineau making the story meaningful.

Harvey Keitel seemed very comfortable in his smoke shop, swearing, screaming, and bossing people around in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY. Cameo's from Stockard Channing and Forest Whitaker were very well acted and powerful. Everyone played their part well and helped the story piece together. This was a well written story adapted well to the screen.

My take away from this story is that everyone needs someone to love. This is a character study that follows lives that have been broken, devastated, and heartbroken as they search for hope through companionship with friends, former loved ones, and complete strangers. Each of these characters in an attempt to repair or build a family has lots of work ahead of them. We are left with a heartfelt story told by Keitel as he traced a thief into his blind grandma's project housing. Posing as her grandson, old, white Keitel and the elder black woman had dinner and wine together and laughed and socialized as if they knew each other their whole lives. The human need for love and company was apparent to Keitel and his heart kept him there in high spirits. It made her night and may have eased her pain of loneliness and disappointment. The experience seemed to humble Keitel and usher some form of forgiveness for the thievin' grandson.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2014
Paul Benjamin: if you're gonna die, what's more important, a good smoke or a good book. So he smoked his book.

"Where there's smoke... there's laughter!"

Smoke is a very good movie and wasn't quite what I was expecting. I'm not too familiar with Wayne Wang's work, only having seen Anywhere But Here before, but I was thoroughly impressed with this film. What we have here is basically an unstructured story, which was extremely popular in the nineties, centered around a cigar store in Brooklyn. The story follows a variety of characters from the cigar store owner, one of his customers, a young kid, an unknown father, and a woman from the past. It all melts together really well. This isn't a film for anyone. It's a conversational movie that has a lot of long monologues and storytelling, but for fans of these type of movies, it's heaven. I can't really think of better actors for the movie either. The main two, Harvey Keitel and William Hurt give terrific performances as always. 

Smoke is a movie for the person who likes quiet movies that stay away from action and bullshit, that remain real and are just telling the story of human beings. That's what this is to me and that's why I like this movie, and movies like it so much. There's nothing flashy about the characters, there's no big twists, no action to speak of; it's just real life. Smoke blends comedy and drama together really well as well. It's too bad that this isn't a more well known film, but in the end it doesn't really matter. A great film is a great film.
February 19, 2014
Evenly paced, captivating, wonderfully told. Don't miss Ashley Judd's early-career performance.
September 26, 2013
This 90's film slipped through the radar of many viewers. It's episodic, very moving and free from cliche. William Hurt and Harvey Keitel give honest and humorous performances. The photo album scene is particularly touching. It's a film about storytelling; about the "smoke that gets in our eyes" and the way people lie to each other and tell stories to get through everyday situations. But in the end, this little gem celebrates the beauty and art of telling a good story. As Tom Waits sings, "We're innocent when we dream." And what is cinema but a dream? Criminally under-seen, it's a perfect little film.
June 22, 2013
I saw this movie years ago, but it has stayed. With me thru the years as an excellent movie. It's one of those rare movies in which most of the "action" takes place in the smoke shop and the action is talking. Nonetheless, it immediately pulls you in and keeps your attention while making you reflect on your life and those close to you. Keitel was superb.
½ May 26, 2013
A nice, quiet film, light years away from the mainstream cinema--A beautiful depiction of humanity!!
April 24, 2013
Wow. just wow. #ACQ_Review ----> SMOKE >>
April 10, 2013
straight up drama, not my fav genre. solid movie though
½ March 27, 2013
Wonderful writing and acting. An excellent, entertaining cast. I recommend this film.
½ January 22, 2013
Real solid film with a damn fine cast, Smoke manages to find human traits in every single character, even if they are distressing individuals (Auggie's daughter, for example) by simple use of storytelling. I've seen this for school a few times and I like it a bit better each time.
Damn fine acting.
January 22, 2013
Pretty good film. Another 90s indie film that's like every other 90s indie film. But the 90s was the best decade for indie films in general, so screw it.
½ January 13, 2013
I can't stand this movie at all. Completely uneventful and boring. William Hurt acts like a paint can in this snoozer.
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