Once in the Life Reviews

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.
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.
January 1, 2000
While the line-readings are often dead-on, Fishburne's movie suffers from the usual one-room claustrophobia and Mametian repetitions.
January 1, 2000
Needlessly convoluted storytelling, talkiness and misplaced narrative emphasis.
January 1, 2000
Serves only to demonstrate that Fishburne, a talented, inventive actor, is, unfortunately, not ready to write and direct motion pictures.
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.
January 1, 2000
A hit-and-miss effort.
January 1, 2000
Despite numerous cutaways to juice things up, a movie that once moved becomes static and verbal in the stretch.
January 1, 2000
Without a coherent story to hold our attention, the mood of somber, lower-depths desperation soon becomes monotonous.
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.
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.
January 1, 2000
Absorbing and edgy.
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.
January 1, 2000
Talky in the best sense.