Pieces of April - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pieces of April Reviews

Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Laughter and poignancy go hand in hand in this DV debut whose comedy that may be standard, but never ceases to deliver sharp, dark laughs.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
Pieces of April is built around the tired premise of a dysfunctional family's Thanksgiving get-together, but -- surprise -- it's fresh.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
February 5, 2004
Longer on calculating sourness than on psychologically organic wit.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 14, 2003
It's in the cross-cutting between April's disaster-prone preparations and her family's turbulent journey that Hedges's movie finds its lively and likeable rhythm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 11, 2003
This is one of those quietly wonderful films that really deserves an audience.
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
November 7, 2003
The film more than earns its heartwarming finale by virtue of the skilled performances of the leads.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
November 6, 2003
It looks like what it is: a movie shot quickly, with digital cameras and on the cheap, but with enough talent on screen to keep the audience engaged.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 31, 2003
A charmer of mild surprises, heartfelt laughs and genuine humanity.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 31, 2003
Deftly captures the pressures that accompany holiday gatherings.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
October 31, 2003
The film grows on you, thanks to strong characters and the shrewd observational humor of writer-director Peter Hedges.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 31, 2003
A near-perfect holiday film about families and imperfection.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 31, 2003
While pleasant enough, Pieces is more a sweet snack than a feast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 31, 2003
A movie that goes a long way toward proving that we all really can get along and that it's possible for a director to put a lump in our throats without making us feel like saps.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 31, 2003
Too rare pleasure: an honest and sentimental journey.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 30, 2003
Few films manage to be this light and hopeful without being drop-dead dumb.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 30, 2003
Seamless blend of over-the-top farce with sincere drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 24, 2003
The film grows on you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
October 24, 2003
Avoids sentimentality at every turn and truly earns both its laughs and its tears.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 24, 2003
Despite its flaws, Pieces of April has a lot of joy and quirkiness; it's well-intentioned in its screwy way, with flashes of human insight, and actors who can take a moment and make it glow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 24, 2003
A shell game that replaces the comedy of observation it sets out to be with glib one-liners, shallow characterizations, and a sweet but naive vision of racial harmony.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 24, 2003
Pieces of April belongs, wholly and completely, to Clarkson, who delivers Joy's mordant asides and withering observations with a flawless balance of tartness and vulnerability.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
October 24, 2003
This film explores what low-budget films do best: the quirkiness of character, and slightly off-kilter comedy.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
October 24, 2003
We leave grateful that the filmmaker has taken the time to bring out not only the best in his characters, but also the best in us.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 23, 2003
For a movie about community and forgiveness, family and grace, Pieces of April is refreshingly unsappy.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 23, 2003
Clarkson alone makes April a feast.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 22, 2003
Hedges peppers it with enough wonderful moments that you can't help warming up to it.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 17, 2003
Economically paced and emotionally satisfying, Pieces of April is a good example of what small independent movies can do.
Top Critic
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
October 17, 2003
Hedges has crafted a warmhearted holiday film that stands as a small classic in its bittersweet illustration of the unbreakable bond of family.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
October 17, 2003
A delightful, funny surprise.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
October 16, 2003
[An] intelligent and touching farce.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
October 16, 2003
Funny-sober, high-brow situation comedy, about family, holidays and the perils of uncooked poultry, unpaid utility bills.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 16, 2003
An especially warm comedy with a hidden heart.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 16, 2003
The setup is appealingly small-scale, yet the film's tone is one of fake intimacy -- shtick parading as quirky truth.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 16, 2003
The ending of Pieces of April is conventional, but satisfying, and there's enough delightful weirdness up to the final moments that it's hard to fault Hedges for taking the easy way out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
October 14, 2003
A gluttonous buffet of Sundance clichés, with an acid-reflux aftertaste of condescension and unexamined racism.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 9, 2003
A playful comedy laced with heartbreak.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
February 6, 2003
A Thanksgiving family reunion comedy that sparkles with acerbic wit, original characters and genuine heart.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
January 30, 2003
It's juiced with recognizable family trauma and garnished with a quirky sensibility -- it's the portrait of a group of people we come to care about.