The Front - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Front Reviews

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December 26, 2011
Pretty good, but could have been much better.
December 21, 2011
awesome allen in a not allen directed movie
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2011
The Front is a worthwhile but flat film that combines a Woody Allen comic persona with an earnest desire to educate modern audiences (this was 76, it really feels like distant history now) with the Mcarthy Era witchhunts as they affected the enterainment world.Martin Ritt, himself having been blacklisted, assembled a strong cast who are up to the challenge, including Zero Mostel -also blacklisted-, in his most serious and touching (and almost last) screen appearance. However, this film feels weak and except for the last scene is not dramatic or high stakes enough to care. Woody Allen is a 'front' for some outcast Communist sympathizing writers. Until the last very effective scene, the movie wastes potentially dramatic betrayals by having eveyone be too nice and noble. The film would have been much more interesting, if, as the situation seems to lead to, someone would betray someone. Nobody does and the film doesn't live up to its promise. In any case, it's worth a rental if you can find it and are interested in the subject matter. George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck is a much more effective and dramatic movie about the same historical event, but if you want a bigger viewing list., give this one a look.
November 9, 2011
May not be one of Woody's more well known movies, but it is still a thought provoking and funny film. Zero Mostel turns in a terrific performance in a film on blacklisting made by people who were once blacklisted.
October 17, 2011
65%

"Fellas, I don't recognize the right of this committe to ask me these kinds of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves."-Howard Prince (Woody Allen)

I liked the subject matter and the fact that the writer, director and some of the actors were actually blacklisted.
½ April 6, 2011
Angry, bitter, and very funny; The Front is obviously a passion project for many of its cast and crew (who were themselves blacklisted), and it shows. This is the kind of movie that builds slowly and effortlessly until its hilarious final line.

Zero Mostel gives a fantastic performance as blacklisted actor Hecky Brown, and his desperation and hopelessness provide the emotional heart of the movie. Mostel manages to make Hecky sympathetic, but never hides his warts.

Woody Allen is actually the weakest link in the film, mostly because he's playing the same character he always does. It feels like this character needs a little more gravitas, especially in the final scene. Woody pulls it off, but pairing him with Mostel shows how out of his depth he truly is.

Lets face it, Mostel is basically playing a variation on his stock character as well, but he manages to dig deeper, to find an emotional weight to his scenes. Allen never feels grounded until the very end. The weight of the world never feels like its crushing down on his shoulders until the movie absolutely requires it to.

In the end, this is a very good movie, one that truly captures the frustration of the blacklist.
½ March 13, 2011
fantastic film about the blacklisting scandal
March 1, 2011
I dunno. I thought this was pretty good. I mean Zero Mostel is pretty much a comic god. It's a little too simple at times, not digging into the meat of the problem (or the potatoes) so we can't tell what's at roast beef in the film. I guess Woody Allen is in it as well, but I did not watch those parts. Solid running time. Four stars.
February 7, 2011
The Front is not a Woody Allen movie (in contrast with Casino Royale and Play It Again, Sam which he didn't direct but did take part in writing), nor is it - and I can't stress that enough - in any way a comedy; in fact, it's probably what drove Allen to more serious filmmaking (indeed he made his first straight drama two years later with Interiors). It's a strong political and social statement, even if it has some flaws as a film. The script is first-rate though, and Woody delivers an impressive performance - but it's Zero Mostel who steals the show in a performance that's both hilarious and tear-jearking.
½ December 29, 2010
Couldn't pay so much attention, and I'm a really big Woody Allen fan overall. I think the subject matter has just lots its amusement value to some degree at this point.
December 26, 2010
This film works because of its immediacy -- the fact that it was largely made by former blacklistees. Zero Mostel will break your heart in this. There's blood on your hands, HUAC.
½ December 11, 2010
Not the best McCarthy-era critique it manages to work mainly because of its supporting cast, namely Zero Mostel and Andrea Marcovicci.
½ October 19, 2010
A decent comedy starring (but not directed or written by) the great Woody Allen. It's a little slow and lacking the wit and intelligence of an Allen script, but the last line is a killer.
October 9, 2010
Una delle pagine nere della storia americana
September 7, 2010
Slow and simple and smart. I love how Florence won't date a guy who doesn't share her values. Where else did I recently see Woody Allen (or someone like him) do his best work in the service of someone else's project?
August 9, 2010
The Front is a bit messy in going back and forth between light romantic comedy, satire, and serious (often heavy-handed) dramatic moments. When playing stuff for comedy, mainly whenever Allen is onscreen, the film is a winning, sweet and often hilarious look at a part of the Cold War I had never seen or clearly imagined before. The serious moments carry some weight, thanks mostly to Zero Mostel, who finds the sad, broken core of his character without touting it in front of himself like a signpost. The majority of the rest of the cast (Ramsay, Bernardi and Marcovicci) seem to be in a different film, with performances that broadcast their actions and emotions so loudly they feel like they belong on a stage on not the screen. Still, the film succeeds when focused on Allen, someone I love as a performer and brings his nebbish charm to great use here. The film tries to focus on the injustice of the blacklists during the Cold War, and while it manages to squeeze some compelling drama from that scenario, more interesting themes on lies, mutually beneficial (and successful) relationships, and true friendship manage to come up for air.

Also, The Front has one of the most hilarious punch lines I've seen.
July 26, 2010
a movie about the blacklisting of communists in the entertainment industry during the fifties. its sluggish at times, but allens character keeps the film buoyed. not to mention the last line.
½ July 20, 2010
Watched this in my film class. Very enjoyable movie.
July 15, 2010
This is the first Woody Allen movie I've ever seen. I'm think I'm in love now. And amazing last line :)
½ July 12, 2010
Did you know that Zero Mostel was blacklisted in 1950? I didn't. I had never heard of this movie before watching it on Saturday. I've never heard an acquaintance mention it, or seen its name in print. It's a subtle, stylish little masterpiece about the injustice of the McCarthy era in Hollywood. It's not a Woody Allen film, but stars him in a nuanced and mature early performance. The dialogue is effervescent, organic, and seamless. The direction and cinematography are inspired. Thanks, Netflix, for the unexpected recommendation, via Sarah Gromko.
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