Sideways 2004

Sideways

Critics Consensus

Charming, thoughtful, and often funny, Sideways is a decidedly mature road trip comedy full of excellent performances.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 233

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 197,688

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Movie Info

Struggling writer and wine enthusiast Miles (Paul Giamatti) takes his engaged friend, Jack (Thomas Haden Church), on a trip to wine country for a last single-guy bonding experience. While Miles wants to relax and enjoy the wine, Jack is in search of a fling before his wedding. Soon Jack is sleeping with Stephanie (Sandra Oh), while her friend Maya (Virginia Madsen) connects with Miles. When Miles lets slip that Jack is getting married, both women are furious, sending the trip into disarray.

Cast & Crew

Paul Giamatti
Miles Raymond
Sandra Oh
Stephanie
Marylouise Burke
Miles' Mother
M.C. Gainey
Cammi's Husband
Patrick Gallagher
Gary the Bartender
Alex Kalognomos
Alex Erganian
Rex Pickett
Writer (Novel)
Rolfe Kent
Original Music
Phedon Papamichael
Cinematographer
Kevin Tent
Film Editor
John Jackson
Casting
Jane Ann Stewart
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Sideways

Critic Reviews for Sideways

All Critics (233) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (225) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Sideways

  • Oct 19, 2018
    Paul Giamatti gives a brilliant performance in this film. I laugh a little at the pretentiousness of his character as he samples wine and detects the "faintest soupçon of, like, asparagus", but I secretly wish I had his palate and expertise. It's funny to hear him express his strong opinions, e.g. "No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!" And then his soft, touching comments on Pinot Noir, reflecting the rewards of patience and care with the grapes, that we relate to patience and care with people. His character is unlikeable at the start - a bitter, depressed, morose killjoy who seems to only one interest, wine, which he drinks in extreme amounts. He seems like an alcoholic and a drag to Thomas Haden Church's character, who is getting married in a week and wants to party on a road trip to wine country. However, as the story unfolds, we see just how much he's been hurt, and how much of a friend he really is to Church, who turns out to be quite a profligate. There are some hilarious moments between the two of them, and the women they meet, played by Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen create romantic and moral tension. Sandra Oh is fantastic, and I especially love her sassy first scene, when she's pouring wine samples and after putting up with Giamatti's attitude, pours him a giant amount on his third glass. Virginia Madsen has her moments too, such as when she tells Giamatti how she connects to wine, thinking of it as a living thing, from the year the grapes were growing to the people who tended and picked them, and then constantly evolving in the bottle. Director Alexander Payne gives us touching moments, and a nice balance of comedy, darkness, and romance in the film. There are nice shots of the wine country and small towns they're in, like Solvang, sure, but how he shoots the scene were Giamatti drunk dials his ex-wife is wonderful, amplifying the feeling of intoxication. Well done.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2015
    Giamatti's manic self-loathing is the films' greatest aspect, but Payne has written and directed a mature and humorous drama.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2014
    Engaging, well-paced, and ultimately satisfying, Sideways is an enjoyable, well-acted comedy that features tender moments, strong writing, and subtle humor.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer

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