Critics Consensus

Yet another movie about relationships in the Big Apple, Heights is never dull thanks to a competent cast.



Reviews Counted: 104

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User Ratings: 5,487


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Reviews Count: 0
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Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

A handful of New Yorkers find their paths crossing in ways that force them to examine their lives in this contemporary drama produced by Ismail Merchant. Isabel (Elizabeth Banks) is a twentysomething photographer who is supposed to marry her boyfriend, Jonathan (James Marsden), in a month. But Isabel has found herself wondering if marriage is the right thing for her. Meanwhile, her mother, Diana (Glenn Close), a well-known film actress, has learned her husband has been seeing another woman, and while they have an open relationship, Diana finds this hurtful. Over the course of the day, Diana meets Alec (Jesse Bradford), a handsome young actor, and Isabel is introduced to Peter (John Light), a journalist, and both women begin to question their current relationships. The first feature for director Chris Terrio, Heights also stars Michael Murphy, Eric Bogosian, Thomas Lennon, and Rufus Wainwright.

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Critic Reviews for Heights

All Critics (104) | Top Critics (32)

  • If the plot is thin, at least the characters are interesting, and the performances are consistently strong.

    Jul 28, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • Amy Fox's play, with New York clichés for characters, was never going to hit, ahem, the movie heights. But cut loose in the middle of a comic-book summer, Heights is just different enough, just adult enough, to warrant a climb and a look.

    Jul 22, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • None of it rings true, nor do precious affectations such as having one couple communicate with each other via walkie-talkies.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Terrio may use such accelerating devices as a handheld camera and split-screen editing, but his movie still feels as inert as the piano chords in Martin Erskine and Ben Butler's score.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Sufficiently enjoyable and intelligent to erase unpleasant memories of Merchant-Ivory's last foray into Manhattan ... it lacks the energy and vibrancy of the best films to come out of the city in the past few years.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • It's duly considered, absolutely serious, self-consciously modern and, unfortunately, fairly dull.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: D+

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Heights

Heights is an urban drama with intersecting lives and stories. It is a relatively light film where one observes the interactions between the characters, has insights, and is not so much engaged with them; it is more pensive than emotional. The acting and filmmaking are good and I recommend it for those who are in the mood for this kind of film.

Robert Brogan
Robert Brogan

Super Reviewer

Yet another pastiche of mostly unhappy and boring New Yorkers and how their lives change over the course of a day. Amy Fox could use a spark of creativity in her screenplay to distinguish hers from the glut of similar films. (I knew an Amy Fox in college, could she be the same? I hope not ) Some good performances from Glenn Close and something of a revelation from Elizabeth Banks, but for what?

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

Quite fine drama tale of five smart, touchy New Yorkers try to figure out the meaning of love.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"Heights" takes place over a 24 hour period in October in New York City. Isabel(Elizabeth Banks) and Jonathan(James Marsden) are living in Manhattan and are engaged to be married. Isabel is a professional photographer(weddings and the such) and I'm not sure what Jonathan does but involves something about sitting in an office all day. Isabel cannot escape the very long shadow of her very famous mother, Diana(Glenn Close). Diana is a very busy woman - she is not only rehearsing to star in a gender reversed MacBeth but is also directing an unknown off-broadway play. Thrown into this mix is an underemployed actor and an English journalist investigating the life and loves of an infamous photographer.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Heights" is a drama of intersecting characters but this sort of thing only works when you have strong characters to work with. Here you don't. Isabel who is the center of attention is mostly a blank slate. The movie as a whole is totally contrived beyond belief, especially the final revelation.(Yes, Manhattan is a small place but there are too many people to be able to randomly run into each other with any kind of ease.) Glenn Close who became a better actress when she learned the meaning of the word "nuance" a few years ago again gives a very good performance. But most of the other talented actors in this cast - Isabella Rossellini, George Segal, Eric Bogosian and Michael Murphy(where have you been?) are limited to cameo appearances. It is strange for a movie that photographs New York City with such loving care, to be so derisive towards photographers. Oh, and the occasional split-screen is definitely overkill.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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