The Secret Lives of Dentists - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Secret Lives of Dentists Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 14, 2003
Rudolph's fondness for angular, oblique characterization is ideally suited to the movie's incidental story of sublimated feelings and contradictory impulses.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 14, 2003
Domestic scenes with the kids are drawn with letter-perfect naturalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
September 11, 2003
There are movies that have a way of hitting you at a certain time in your life, and this study of being married with young children speaks in satisfying ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Davidson
Orlando Sentinel
September 5, 2003
It's funny, honest enough to make you squirm and a film that may make you feel a little bit of the pain on the other side of that shrieking drill.
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
September 3, 2003
Rudolph's past work has been spotty, but his stress here on familial sovereignty is moving, as is his direction of the three children.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 28, 2003
A faultlessly constructed, artistic look at love, loss and truths we can't ignore.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 22, 2003
Director Rudolph and writer Craig Lucas ... use a wry and compassionate touch as they present this X-ray vision of a relationship long past its annual checkup.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 17, 2003
A muted but engrossing look at marriage at a crossroads.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 15, 2003
Although this movie is highly watchable as a story, it's the wonderfully loose and believable everyday business -- overworked parents, avoided topics at dinner, precocious children -- that really solidifies the film.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 15, 2003
That most extraordinary of achievements, the small, quiet movie that imperceptibly takes its viewers by their throats and doesn't let go until its emotionally explosive -- and equally small and quiet -- final moments.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 15, 2003
Scott and Davis keep you interested in the Hursts' dilemma as a couple wondering when the flame in their romance blew out, and whether or not there's any hope of rekindling it.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 15, 2003
Mr. Rudolph's opus is already guaranteed a place on my year's 10-best list.
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
August 14, 2003
A smart, understated, emotionally penetrating drama that tempts one to forgive Breakfast of Champions and Trixie.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 8, 2003
Rudolph's sharpest work in years.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 8, 2003
Dentists may not be the best movie ever made about the perils of family life, but it is among the most ruthlessly comic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
August 8, 2003
The filmmakers manage to jazz up Smiley's tempo without losing her melancholy tone; and they find a way -- without being untrue to the book -- to make the stubbornly recessive protagonist seem a dynamo on the screen.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 7, 2003
Director Alan Rudolph shows a fine sensitivity to the loneliness that can haunt a close marriage, but it's Scott's Walter Mitty-style antihero who gives the affair its aching heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 6, 2003
Empty, minuscule and pointless.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 4, 2003
[T]his is a superb examination of a suburban marriage on the brink of collapse.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 1, 2003
The film presents a realistic and artful treatment of a subject not often dealt with in cinema -- and rarely with honesty. Davis and Scott respond with heartfelt, edgy performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 1, 2003
An interesting, and sometimes bitterly amusing film.
Top Critic
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
August 1, 2003
Lacking a solid narrative beyond the worsening marital crisis, this humor-flecked domestic drama ends up relying heavily on directorial tricks such as splashes of magic realism, giving it a self-satisfied air that quickly becomes grating.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
August 1, 2003
It's a compassionate view of marriage and its stressors. But the filmmaker and actors do their jobs only too well. Watching Secret Lives can be as uncomfortable as sitting in the dentist's chair.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 1, 2003
The Secret Lives of Dentists tries hard to be a good film, but if it had relaxed a little, it might have been great.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
July 31, 2003
The movie [diverts] into a domestic sub-trauma, and Rudolph is never able to bring it back.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
July 31, 2003
It's the adult tone that Mr. Rudolph brings to the movie ... that makes this picture more than a pile of nuked clichés.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 31, 2003
An excellent adaptation of a wonderful work of fiction that sheds light on the complexities and emotional truths of married life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2003
A stylish work from an accomplished, sophisticated filmmaker that bristles with intelligence and gleams with Scott's and Davis' multifaceted, astutely judged portrayals.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
July 31, 2003
The Secret Lives of Dentists may be a hard movie to like and a harder movie to love, but it knows itself so well that it's an impossible one to dismiss.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
July 31, 2003
As misshapen as the movie sometimes seems, it ultimately evokes true, uncompromised emotions.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 31, 2003
Scott and Davis could not be better. You're in for something special.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
July 30, 2003
While it's Dave's madly humming brain that propels the film, Davis, whose every glance is a short story in itself, makes Dana's internal crisis equally resonant.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 30, 2003
Don't let unpleasant personal dental associations stand in the way of seeing a luminous specimen of independent filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 29, 2003
Unlike the majority of movies in which a thousand digital extras are sacrificed upon the altar of commercial catharsis, The Secret Lives of Dentists gives the impression of acknowledging the existence of garden-variety human suffering.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 12, 2002
Neither the story nor the characters exerts enough pull, and the fantasy bits are more annoying than revealing.