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Match Point (2005)

tomatometer

77

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 207
Fresh: 159 | Rotten: 48

Woody Allen's sharpest film in years, Match Point is a taut, philosophical thriller about class and infidelity.

87

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 6

Woody Allen's sharpest film in years, Match Point is a taut, philosophical thriller about class and infidelity.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 249,039

My Rating

Movie Info

A clandestine love affair sends one man's charmed life into a tailspin in this dark, disturbing drama written and directed by Woody Allen, his first film set and shot in Great Britain and one his few films sans any humor. Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is an Irish tennis player with an impoverished background. Just accomplished enough to make his way onto the professional circuit, but not skilled enough to be a consistent winner, he now works as an instructor at a London tennis club. The

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Woody Allen

Apr 25, 2006

$23.1M

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All Critics (217) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (159) | Rotten (48) | DVD (20)

... a nifty little crowd pleaser ...

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Match Point isn't one of his truly great films, like Annie Hall or Manhattan, but it's a very good one; a sign that a career that seemed stalled is purring along once more.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Match Point is airless, repetitive.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Match Point has a coiled, taut energy that's unusual for Allen.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In every scene, Allen's direction is unflinchingly clear-eyed, and it's a pleasure being walked through London at the same unhurried pace that he's taken through Manhattan all these years.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Johansson finds her own speech rhythms in Allen's arch dialogue, and in the process, gives his film a quality that his recent work has often lacked, the recognizable flutter of a heart beat behind the façade of the character.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

But, perhaps, the greatest parallel between Woody's Match Point and Hitch is duality. It's a brilliant device.

September 14, 2013 Full Review Source: tonymacklin.net
tonymacklin.net

This lean, mean, surprisingly sultry thriller about fate, luck, greed and guilt is Woody Allen's best since "Mighty Aphrodite." Plus, it boasts a vintage-Allen metaphor of a bobbling tennis ball that, in a great gotcha scene, becomes a damning motif.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

There's no ground here that Allen hasn't gone over before, but as a treatment of upper crust mores and, eventually, as a thriller, it's compulsively watchable and generally well acted.

August 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Allen merely regurgitates his shrunken vision in veddy-British padding

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Just when you were about to give up on Woody Allen, he reinvents himself with a taut tour de force of a film that is unquestionably the best thing he's done in decades.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

... retools the resolution of Crimes and Misdemeanors so its hero, instead of losing his grasp on morality, never even had a hold on morality in the first place.

September 12, 2007
Looking Closer

Proves to be an intriguing enough adventure, provided you haven't seen Crimes and Misdemeanors and don't mind rooting for a despicable, amoral philanderer.

May 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

Match Point proves that Allen, at 70 years old, is very much still in the game.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Extremely disappointing.

January 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comments (6)
Observer [UK]

The acting is as impeccable as Remi Adefarasin's lensing is gorgeous.

January 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

This is Allen at his best. And with three Oscars at home already, and seventeen other nominations, that is saying a lot.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

His most absorbing picture in years.

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

What makes Match Point, a coolly deliberate murder mystery from Woody Allen, so startling is that it feels as if the director himself has been done away with.

November 4, 2006 Full Review Source: CBC.ca Arts

A filmmaker out of touch with his own neuroses, making a final bid for recognition by exacerbating lives beyond his reach.

October 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Stylus Magazine

The plotting lacks a necessary sense of tragic propulsion; it feels dutifully schematic, its ironies polite and tidy when they should be bitter and merciless.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound | Comments (3)
Sight and Sound

By developing his characters so superficially, Allen makes it impossible to feel the depth of the horror that he is clearly aiming for.

September 27, 2006 | Comment (1)
Christianity Today

Allen back in shape since a really long time

September 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Game, set, match ... Allen wins with slow-moving English drama ...

July 27, 2006 Full Review

Woody Allen regresa a su mejor forma con un oscuro drama sobre la ambición, el deseo, la obsesión, y el papel que juega la suerte en el destino de las personas.

June 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

It all looks suspiciously like the kind of movie Allen used to make fun of 30 years ago.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Audience Reviews for Match Point

The twist at the end was quite thrilling and unexpected but on reflection it is a bit of a cheat really, a misdirection if you will. It reminded me of a Patricia Highsmith story, I wonder if she was an influence as apart from the ridiculous notion that all us Brits are posh, play tennis and have country club memberships, it doesn't feel like a Woody Allen film at all. I can't say that any of the performances really impressed me either, in fact apart from seeing some favorite TV actors in cameo roles I didn't think much of it at all.
December 20, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

This film features what is probably my favourite Scarlett Johansson performance, darkly sexy, and the film takes full advantage of the emerging (at the time) actors in its cast, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer and Matthew Goode. In addition to its noirish plot, there's an engaging story about social class that bubbles to the surface, and the movie's tone is consistent, amping up the drama of each successive action. Many called Match Point a return to form for Allen, (after his moribund late-90s), and I have to say, I agree; the hunger with which this film was produced shines through, leaving a primal document, in the end, with a climax that's (overused word alert) riveting... actually riveting. It's a film unlike pretty much anything else Woody has done... so even if you're not a fan, you should probably see it.
January 19, 2013
danperry17

Super Reviewer

The opening sequence is probably one of the most philosophical ones director Woody Allen has created over the years. Its smart and stands apart from Allen's other films. For a different Woody Allen, congrats.
August 2, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

If I'm not mistaken, I do believe this this is my first time seeing one of Woody Allen's purely dramatic films. And I must say, I'm not disappointed. My viewing experienced was a bit tarnished by a few unfortunate interruptions, so perhas I should rewatch it, but nonetheless, I found this to be a really engrossing film.

Chris is a recently retired tennis player who fidns himself among the upper crust of British society after he mankes friends with a guy named Tom. Chris begins a relationship with Tom's older sister Chloe and eventually begins an affair with Tom's fiancee Nola- an American who's a struggling actress. That's the basic set up: guy has an affair and tries his best to keep his life from unraveling as a result of all that is going on around him such as his becoming a workaholic and him and his wife havign difficulty conceiving a child.

While the broad plot is nothing new, the way it is done feels fresh and seems spectacular, because that's how strong of a filmmaker Allen is. The film seemed very literary and operatic toi me, and indeed opera palys a huge role, as does literature, as research tells me this is Allen's take on Crime and Punishment, as well as a call back to his earleir film Crimes and Misdemeanors. When this came out, it marked a change of pace for olel Woody as it was his first time working with a predominately non-American cast, his first time working with Scarlett Johansson, and his first film done in the U.K.

It's also rather dark, and frankly rather nihilistic, especially towards the end. This caught me off guard a bit, but I think this was a neat way to handle things. It also comes off as more classy and intelligent than most films that deal with this sort of subject matter, but it could just be because it's Woody. Who knows?

The cast are quite good. Johansson is terrific as always, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is really wonderful, and Emily Mortimer and Matthew Goode are both pretty decent. Putting in a nice little supporting role is Brian Cox, and he's always a good choice, so props there as well. I've never really found Allen's films to be all that showy or stylistic from a cinematic perspective a la Mann or Scorsese, for example, but the sequence involving murder and the escape really floored me, and is a nice little stirring and rather brilliant piece of work in and of itself. In fact, besides getting interrupted a few times, my only real complaint is the inclusion of the dream sequence stuff near the end. It's not bad, but it inda took me out of the moment and I don't think it worked as well as it should have. Maybe it should have just been left out or that sort of thing should have been done throughout the whole film.

All in all, this is quite a film. Here's to hoping Allen's previous dramatic works (or predominately dramatic ones like this) and any he does from now on are as strong as this. Definitely give this one a look.
November 16, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Chris Wilton: The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Nola Rice: He saw me across the room and he honed in on me like a guided missile.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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