Once in the Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once in the Life Reviews

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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz
January 1, 2000
While this cautionary tale of brotherhood gone wrong doesn't exactly break new ground, it certainly shows off its writer-director-star's triple-threat filmmaking potency.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
Talky in the best sense.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
January 1, 2000
Would easily qualify for an Oscar nomination if it were in a movie that was a bit less like canned theater and more cinematic.
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Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
A hit-and-miss effort.
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
January 1, 2000
Absorbing and edgy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
While the line-readings are often dead-on, Fishburne's movie suffers from the usual one-room claustrophobia and Mametian repetitions.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
January 1, 2000
In opening up his play for a filmed version, Once in the Life, Fishburne may have only succeeded in magnifying the flaws of his original.
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Henry Cabot Beck
Film.com
January 1, 2000
The film doesn't have a lot to offer that hasn't been done better -- and worse -- in hundreds of ghetto-sink shoot-em.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
January 1, 2000
Despite numerous cutaways to juice things up, a movie that once moved becomes static and verbal in the stretch.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Billy's meltdown provides a real-time reality check, but for most of the time we're waiting for the payoff, and when it comes, I'm afraid, it's not very satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2000
Fishburne is able to create such an effective balance between humor and anxiety that the movie survives its familiarities of character and language.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 1, 2000
Without a coherent story to hold our attention, the mood of somber, lower-depths desperation soon becomes monotonous.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
January 1, 2000
Serves only to demonstrate that Fishburne, a talented, inventive actor, is, unfortunately, not ready to write and direct motion pictures.
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Needlessly convoluted storytelling, talkiness and misplaced narrative emphasis.