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The quirky Novocaine flirts with both dark comedy and noir suspense, but the result is a jarring mix of tones which never quite mesh.
All Critics (107)
| Top Critics (30)
| Fresh (41)
| Rotten (66)
| DVD (9)
The casting is peculiar, the tone is off, the plot is uninteresting and the ending is sorry.
Plays like the sort of silly shared fantasy that a group of dental students might come up with late one night, after too much coffee and cramming for finals.
This movie was not effective.
A coarse, witless and stunningly violent black comedy.
Atkins never finds the right tone for Novocaine. It's not dark enough to be either viciously funny or unsettling.
With Bonham Carter's been-there, done-that performance and a plot that spins out of control, we end up with a movie that you can't quite sink your teeth into.
This dark, stylish tale isn't for kids.
It is entertaining enough to arouse imagination of post-Tarantino audience.
Prejudicado por um roteiro previsível e que jamais opta por um gênero claro, o filme traz uma ótima atuação de Steve Martin, que deveria fazer mais filmes "sérios".
The film and site offer an offbeat trip, but this is certainly not recommended for anyone who's currently thinking about major dental work.
To say this is black comedy is to understate the case, but the fun parts really are a hoot.
While the plot does work in mechanical terms, its multiple ins and outs never achieve more than plodding motion.
Odd but strangely alluring, Novocaine is a suspenseful back comedy. After being seduced by a femme fatale, Dr. Frank Sangster finds himself caught up in a web of lies, sex, and murder. Starring Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern, and Scott Caan, the cast is quite good, as are the performances (especially Carter's). Additionally, the writing balances the dark themes with light humor rather well. Still, the film does have some problems, as the tone's a bit uneven at times and most of the characters aren't fleshed out. Novocaine has some rough spots, but overall it's an entertaining film that's full of intrigue.
Martin took a chance in being in this little known, little seen, conspiracy thriller. It has an interesting concept and the plot is definitely worth following, but the ultimate villain isn't all that impressive or frightening. What makes this film especially unseemly has to be its reliance on black humor, which comes off less funny and more grotesque. There's this scene near the end that is so disgusting and gross that I don't even want to think about it, and that quickly veers it away from being interesting gumshoe mystery and into weird existential quandary. If the ending were a little less slovenly this film would probably be lauded for its intricate story and the great performance from Helena Bonham Carter as the drug dealer's (Caan) sister and the seductress of the dentist (Martin). Martin feels misplaced in the film, mostly because we're used to either subdued serious performances or out of control wackiness in comedies. It's just a little too all over the place to make it as memorable as it should be.
This has been a quite entertaining movie. Not really a top notch movie, not really working as a comedy, but still pretty entertaining. It started out veeery slow and boooring - it took a little too long for it to evolve. But when it started to it got better and better. There's that very freaky story and a wrecked Bonham-Carter (she's good playin such characters ;-) adding most to this film. However the ending was a little too fantastic since it shouldn't be a problem for the forensics to ... no, I won't spoil hehe.
My favourite scene was Martin's call where he spoke to that guy who answered the phone with "barbie's bakery. it's mr. muffin man speakin." LOL
My overall rating is: 6.5/10 - if you're not sure what to watch, try this one. It works pretty well as entertainment
While I'm not going to say I'd defend this movie to the death, I will say that if you like Steve Martin, you might be willing to see everything he tries. This like, say, The Spanish Prisoner , is something different for Martin, and while it is not an entirely successful movie, it is not unwatchable. Big points to Carter and Laura Dern for enhancing the experience with memorable characters. The ending is a bit much, it's true, but the story of lies compiling and coming back to bite you is told in an unusual, sometimes surprising and sometimes entertaining way.
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