Critics Consensus

One of Woody Allen's early classics, Manhattan combines modern, bittersweet humor and timeless romanticism with unerring grace.



Total Count: 65


Audience Score

User Ratings: 51,732
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Movie Info

Woody Allen combines witty dialogue, the music of George Gershwin, and atmospheric location shooting in one of his best romantic comedies. Isaac, a neurotic writer in his forties, is romantically involved with Tracy, a 17-year-old student. But things get complicated when he starts to date Mary, his best friend's ex-mistress.


Woody Allen
as Isaac Davis
Diane Keaton
as Mary Wilke
Victor Truro
as Party Guest
Tisa Farrow
as Party Guest
Helen Hanft
as Party Guest
Bella Abzug
as Guest of Honor
Gary Weis
as Television Director
Kenny Vance
as Television Producer
Charles Levin
as TV Actor
Karen Allen
as TV Actor
David Rasche
as TV Actor
Damion Sheller
as Isaac's Son, Willie
Wallace Shawn
as Jeremiah
Mark Linn-Baker
as Shakespearean Actor
Frances Conroy
as Shakespearean Actor
Bill Anthony
as Porsche Owner
John Doumanian
as Porsche Owner
Ray Serra
as Pizzeria Waiter
Raymond Serra
as Pizzeria Waiter
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News & Interviews for Manhattan

Critic Reviews for Manhattan

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (3)

  • What George M. Cohan did with the Stars and Stripes in 1919, Allen is doing with neurosis in 1979: waving it, telling us that as long as we're proud of it, we're all pretty damned OK. That's the real romance of Manhattan.

    Jan 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • With Manhattan, a sparkling romance about the overspecialized anxieties of overintellectualized New Yorkers, Woody Allen has bounced back from the sobriety of "Interiors" to an exhilarating new comic high.

    Dec 18, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The film should not come as a complete surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to Allen's doings lately. This is the movie that Annie Hall hinted at and to which last year's Interiors, flawed as it was, seems to have served as a necessary prelude.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Allen serves up a nostalgia that was utterly of its time; he incarnates an idea of the city that, even now, remains as strong as its reality and refracts his disappointed ideals into high existential crises.

    Sep 3, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Manhattan is not just Woody Allen's dream movie. Wistful as it is witty, it's his dream of the movies.

    Feb 4, 2009
  • Manhattan is a great film about love in and love for New York.

    Feb 4, 2009 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Manhattan

  • Dec 09, 2013
    It struggles to engage throughout, but it has a strong start, great acting, and is definitely worth seeing as so to experience the genius of Woody Allen's witty humor.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2013
    This classic's use of location is close to perfect, but unfortunately the story taking place in this romanticized metropolis is at its best standard and at its worst a bit creepy. If you've seen Annie Hall, the rambling wit and wisdom here is pretty much identical. If not for the beauty of the cinematography, I'd be hard pressed to find anything particularly special about this as opposed to more focused and more unique Allen movies.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2013
    Manhattan represents one of Woody Allen's greatest critical responses, widely considered to be among his best. It's a well conceived film, to be sure, with amazing cinematography, a unique story, and a script penned by Woody that is filled with his characteristic wit and dialogue, with good characterizations and an avoidance of clichés. Set against a beautiful backdrop of late 1970s New York, and filmed in black and white, it looks brilliant. The acting is as strong as most Allen pieces, with solid early performances from greats Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. All of this contribute to what feels like a very real story. This is what Allen is perhaps best at, injecting humor and comedy into realistic situations. My issue with Manhattan, however, is that the story isn't as involving or as engaging as his other works. It's also not nearly as funny. This is perhaps at least partly due to the dated nature of the film, not aging as well in humor as even some of his earlier works, such as the fantastic Annie Hall. It's enjoyable, but it never reaches the pinnacle of Allen's other work which are often more poignant, hilarious, and engaging. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2012
    Another hilariously wonderful Woody Allen movie, Manhattan is arguably Allen's second best movie, beaten only by Annie Hall, and it is very likely one of his most visually beautiful in gorgeous, rich black and white.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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