The Architect (2006)



Critic Consensus: A glum drama that's so self-affected it fails to affect.

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Leo Waters is an idealistic architect and patriarch of an affluent, suburban Chicago family. Tonya Neeley is a pragmatic activist who is trying to keep her family together while living in one of the city's most drug and crime-infested public housing projects. As part of her ongoing campaign to have the projects torn down and decent housing built in its place, Tonya decides that the one signature she needs more than any other on her petition is that of the projects' original architect, Leo Waters.
R (for language and some sexual content)
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Anthony LaPaglia
as Leo Waters
Viola Davis
as Tonya Neely
Isabella Rossellini
as Julia Waters
Hayden Panettiere
as Christina Waters
Sebastian Stan
as Martin Waters
Constance Wu
as Michelle
Serena Reeder
as Cammie Neely
Tijuana Ricks
as Bernice
Paul James
as Shawn
Eisa Davis
as Linda
Lillias White
as Geraldine
Julius Tennon
as Arthur
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Critic Reviews for The Architect

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (18)

Despite his obvious earnestness, first-time director and cowriter Matt Tauber is ill equipped to mine emotions this complex.

Full Review… | December 15, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Too many "big" moments are happening to too many people for the movie to feel plausible, and Tauber tries to tie many of those plots together in a way that seems contrived.

Full Review… | December 15, 2006
Denver Post
Top Critic

Occasionally a pallid film is salvaged by one wonderful performance. To the extent The Architect will be remembered, it will be for giving a starring role to the exceptional Viola Davis.

December 14, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Given the fact that The Architect is obviously a work in the tradition of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, not to mention Henrik Ibsen, it's disappointing.

December 14, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The Architect wears its heavy social consciousness like an albatross, and Tauber's plodding, earnest direction does little to wean the material away from its stage roots.

Full Review… | December 8, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Painfully portentous and more solemn than Santa's funeral, The Architect gets this year's prize for the movie most likely to spoil holiday cheer.

December 8, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Architect

The WORST movie I've ever seen! I could barely sit through it. The acting was awful and so was the story line. Do not waste 2 hours of your life watching this movie.. no matter how bored you are.

Kate Shevchik
Kate Shevchik

this movie is hard to rate. its very story driven which is good, and the stories that are presented are very good. the telling of the stories however is not good at all. this film follows the unfortunate indi film trend of leaving a story incomplete at the end. the problem is that this film is only 1hr and 11 min. they could have used another 30 min to finish telling the stories. much of the diologue is unexplained and doesnt seem to fit the story and some of the actions of the characters have no context so they dont make sense. i give it a decent rating on potential, hayden is good in this flick and the movie could have been great with more time.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Architect," a long time resident, Tonya Neely(Viola Davis), of the Eden Court housing projects on the south side of Chicago has come to the conclusion that the inadequately repaired, poorly built, gang infested buildings are beyond hope and wishes to see them torn down.(Her son commited suicide a few years back. One daughter, Cammie(Serena Reeder), lives elsewhere while attending high school. Another, Missy(Marsha Stephanie Blake) already has a baby of her own.) She even tries to get the original architect, Leo Waters(Anthony LaPaglia), to help but he declines, not seeing a problem...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Architect" is a slight but intriguing movie about the difference between reform and revolution. In this case, it is the difference between continually repairing the projects or tearing them down and starting from scratch.(Tonya never does say what she wants to replace the projects with.) If I remember my urban history right, housing projects were built with the best of intentions but they also destroyed the cohesion of neighborhoods. Leo does not admit that there is a problem with the buildings he designed while not noticing his family falling apart around him.(Thus, saving the movie from the dreaded "rich white folks have problems, too" syndrome.) But we never get a true sense of what it is to live in these projects. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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