Manhattan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Manhattan Reviews

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September 11, 2017
I don't think that there's any other movie that captures the essence and the beauty of what New York really is. Sure Taxi Driver does a marvelous job at showing New York but it's more so the underbelly of New York. Here, your getting to see how marvelous New York really is, and it's not even in color. Woody really nailed it to the tee.

What a fantastic movie! Everything. The acting, the charm of the characters, the location, the writing. Everything.

Definitely deserves a re-watch.
½ August 1, 2017
An oddly satisfying commentary on the nature of love. Carried by Woody Allen's zany persona, along with phenomenal supporting actors, witty satirization, historical plot tangents, and verbose yet never dull dialogue. Not to mention a moving encapsulation of New York City's soul.
June 26, 2017
Good story,everybody plays very well in that movie,except Woody Allen absolutely disaster
May 16, 2017
Grade - B+
'Manhattan' is a highly enjoyable addition to Woody Allen's filmography, with great performances and a witty script, all helped along by an excellent score by George Gershwin.
½ May 6, 2017
Aptly employing George Gershwin's music and filming in black-and-white, Woody Allen composes a love serenade to the titular borough and its neurotic romanticists in one of his adored productions.
April 30, 2017
The ultimate cinematic love letter to a given city. Woody Allen talks about the city life with an almost reluctant love at times. For all his neurotic tendencies, Allen loves this city, because he sees exactly as the audience does. Thanks to the lensing of Gordon Willis and the great writing and directing of Mr. Allen, we see New York like a grand cityscape filled with impossibly weird and complex people, and a painterly landscape that moves and breathes.

This is also a celebration of unrequited love, missed connections, and ambiguity. For all his musings on how pointless life ultimately is to him, Allen is a man who keeps coming back to "fate" or purpose, and that's all over this film.
April 22, 2017
I love Manhattan even more than I do Annie Hall. I think this has incredible themes off love, regret and maturity. The movie also looks beautiful, the cinematography of New York in black and white was truly stunning. The performances were terrific from the whole cast. Woody Allen is his usual negative self but more lovable and his comic timing is spot on here. As is Diane Keaton's, you can't take your eyes off here in this movie. Mariel Hemingway shows real maturity in her performance, similarly to her character. Michael Murphy and Meryl Streep also do some good work here in the scenes that they are in. This doesn't take the regular route of a romance film luckily, it is actually very unpredictable and has no set path, like love itself.
January 4, 2017
Director/screenwriter Woody Allen strikes gold once again in this glamourized, self-satisfying depiction of several lives and their relationships with one another in contemporary (late 1970s) Manhattan. Cast includes Woody Allen at his most neurotic and hyperanalytical, Diane Keaton at her most abrasive and concealed, Meryl Streep at her most fed up and antipathetic, Mariel Hemingway at her brightest and most easygoing, and Michael Murphy at his most cocksure and seesawy. Fragile, dry humour deflates the grandest romantic gestures committed in this story, and, without ever coming close to preaching, confronts the viewer with a necessary deconstruction and reconstruction of romance, commitment, and separation.
January 4, 2017
Woody Allen is arguably one of the finest screenwriters in the history of cinema, and whilst I respect him as both an actor and director, his writing ability is second to none. His way with words is uncanny, his confidence in crafting characters that reek of charisma, in providing a raw and visceral study on the city and the people within. 'Manhattan' is just one stellar example of this, and whilst the film does trail off here and there into a depth of boredom, the witty and charismatic study present makes for a fantastic viewing experience.

"Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat." Opening to this enthralling monologue from the hands of Allen, we are instantly cast into a world that implements a raw and detailed look into a New York of yesteryear. Allen provides us with an intricate character study that addresses subjects like adultery, drug addiction and sexual prowess, whilst examining the effects on each individual and the city around them.

Each acting body present gives their utmost best in regards to performances with Allen and Keaton leading the way, each captured stunningly by utterly gorgeous black and white cinematography that captures the hustle and bustle of the city in elaborate detail. Whilst the film does thin towards the middle, the confident screenplay and witty humour make up for the minor flaws that exist, thus giving us one of the most self-assured films in cinema.
January 3, 2017
Insightful and filled with symbolic atmosphere for modern problems and relationships, but almost too cliche, as i can see why Woody was "surprised he got away with that"
December 26, 2016
If you ever wish to study cinema in any area, watch "Manhattan", it's a true movie lesson. First, its visual, the cinematography is so stunning that if this was a silent movie, the film would remain equally beautiful. The lighting in this movie is the greatest work done since The Godfather(1972). The way that Woody Allen shoots widely in closed places makes you feel inside the room. The chemistry between the actors, the naturalness of the dialogue and narration make this film completely unique and amazing. This is one of the greatest movie ever made.
½ December 25, 2016
Near-perfect film that is both enthralling and comedic.
November 23, 2016
This really make me want to return to NYC. Brilliant dialogue and Allen and Keaton are wonderful together. I seem to be one of the few people that finds Mariel Hemingway to be...well kind of annoying.
October 30, 2016
even though woody allen is a creeper i liked the movie.
September 25, 2016
Always great to see NYC back in the day, as it arouses a certain nostalgia in me. 
Lots of wit and banter, which sometimes seems to be the ultimate ground of the film. 
People driven by self-destructive impulses due to a lack of maturity and direction, which leads to forest fires that they then try to put out with more fire causing a downward spiral of self-absorbed ever-escalating drama.
It was best summed up by Woody Allen's ex-wife in her book telling all of their marriage and divorce. My rendition of it is my own observation. 
And then at the end there's a excellent summation of the lunacy of it all with the great simple wisdom, "It's very important to have some kind of personal integrity." 

The one with the greatest wisdom is the 17-year old played Mariel Hemingway.

Loved hearing of the psychoanalyst that goes into a coma due to a bad acid experience. There were some very funny scenes.  Listening to that and hearing of EST really grounded it in its time. Despite it being a 1979 New York film, it fortunately isn't weighted down with too many references of its time. Also, the deep emotional and behavioral themes it deals with has it be entered into the cinematic annals as a timeless work of art. 

Presenting it in black and white works really well as a nice artistic touch. 
September 4, 2016
Well, petty distractions turned watching this movie into an 8 hour extravaganza of rewinding and replaying, but it delivered despite how I watched it. Woody Allen makes me feel better about life. Always. I love his masterful delivery of moving art, I love his storytelling, I love his depth, I love that I can always relate to him and like him no matter what horrible things people are doing to each other in the movie, and I love that he gives that perspective to acknowledge that people are just people and are going to be fallible but can still be beautiful and loveable and worthy full fledged humans, flaws and all. I loved the movie in its entirety, but as always with me it comes down to the ending being what makes or breaks a movie, and this ending was beautiful. When I'm at my lowest, multiple Woody Allen movies have reminded me that life is still worthwhile, and I'm glad this was one of those. I needed it. It's weird when someone speaks to your soul and you know you'll never get the opportunity to thank them.
August 24, 2016
Essentially Annie Hall 2 but more complex and shot in glorious black and white.
August 13, 2016
Isaac (Woody Allen) is a twice-divorced 42-year old TV screenwriter, dating a 17-year old girl, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway). His best friend is Yale (Michael Murphy) who is married to Emily (Anne Byrne Hoffman) and is having an affair with Mary (Diane Keaton). Isaac finds himself drawn to Mary and when Yale and Mary split up, they start seeing each other. Things seem to be going swimmingly, but...

Okay but not overly engaging, interesting or profound. Really just a romantic-drama, and nothing more. The clever humour which usually typifies Woody Allen movies is very few and far between and what there is generally doesn't quite have the some intelligence and zing as his usual stuff.

So that just leaves it as a drama, and, as mentioned, it's just a romantic drama, so nothing too profound can come from it. There are some decent intrigues to sustain the movie, but that is about it.

The 42-year-old-with-17-year-old was also a bit creepy. This aspect of the movie seemed to be explained well and the issue gotten past, but then the conclusion wrecks that. Very unsatisfactory ending, and undoes a lot of the progress that came before it.

On the plus side, there were some good jabs at the pretentiousness of New York society. The cinematography is great too: filmed in black and white with some wonderful, loving, lingering shots of New York skylines and landmarks.

Can't fault the performances either. Woody Allen does what he does best - playing himself. Diane Keaton is the pick of the bunch as the intelligent, over-analysing, knowingly-beautiful, self-obsessed Mary. Meryl Streep, in only her third feature film (her second was The Deer Hunter), is great in a supporting role.
August 12, 2016
A brilliant romance between New York (Diane Keaton) and Allen, who masterfully portrays both one's natural love for, and natural longing to leave New York City. Allen's use of black and white filming and Rhapsody in Blue in the beginning underscores the idea of people over romanticizing the city, and also explains the unanimous love for New York City. However, just like in his relationship with Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) Allen wants to break away, and move on. A beautiful parallel. Allen also accurately portrays the personality of many New Yorkers.

"Well, I don't get angry, okay? I mean, I have a tendency to internalize. I can't express anger. That's one of the problems I have. I-I grow a tumor instead."
- Woody Allen

As somebody with a father who grew up in New York City, this line couldn't be more accurate. Truly the New Yorker way.

Allen makes few mistakes in this film -- it was very deftly done. Definitely one of my top films of all time.
½ July 25, 2016
I'm starting to doubt my ability to understand what ends cinema is actually supposed to achieve. When films such as Manhattan and Citizen Kane are regarded as great achievements, I begin to feel as if some mechanism is not functioning in my brain, or perhaps is over-functioning in everybody else's.

This is the story of a bunch of boring, unlikable, over educated but under-scientific privileged white people trying to create sexual relationships with each other. Who cares? Why do people enjoy these movies? It didn't teach me anything, none of the character's behavior seemed admirable or interesting.

This movie reminds me of weak and asinine people, and doesn't do George Gershwin's music any justice. (Although the brief dialogue about Gustav Mahler being overrated is the only thing that I resonated with in the film).

I'm going back to studying physics and listen to Beethoven now. Bye.
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