Sideways - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sideways Reviews

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March 5, 2017
Sideway's mixture of comedy, drama, and romance is wholly unpredictable and profound.
½ February 26, 2017
Paul Giamatti is a real life Charlie Brown. Witty, true-to-life semi-romantic comedy.
February 6, 2017
A must watch for wine lovers and fans of Giamatti. The art of film-making doesn't get much better than this.
February 1, 2017
It's good movie to watch
December 24, 2016
A unique character study of a complex and troubled person working through past grievances from a failed marriage. The theme throughout the film is wine and takes place in the Napa Valley region. Single adults and new age wine aficionados will enjoy this film as it deals with cabs, merlots, zinfandels, etc. in almost every dialogue. Better suited to the novice wine up-and-comer though as they can use this film as a mirror to how they sound to other people.

Well acted and carried by Paul Giamatti, the film literally depicts 4 people moving "sideways" in their lives, much to their chagrin. This film can also find an audience with the older single adult crowd, who may relate to the challenged of finding a suitable life partner.
½ December 11, 2016
Paul Giammatti is wonderful in this film. The Ned & Stacy guy is also well cast as the jerk. A nice comeuppance morality tale.
Never was able to work out where the name comes doubt a viticulture reference I don't get...
November 25, 2016
Very smart smart and quirky down to earth and original. This movie had me from start to finish and yet another great performance from Paul Giovanni.
½ August 24, 2016
This film was both rubbish and stupid. Why are these people drinking wine all the time ? If I was rich enough, I would buy all the wine in the world and destroy it all so that nobody has to sit through a film like this again. P.S it isn't funny
August 13, 2016
Very exciting but needed more wine tasting
½ July 31, 2016
A journey through midlife crisis with pathos and humor in equal doses.
July 24, 2016
This struck me as the quintessential Boomer film. It also cemented my view that Giamatti is one of the most gifted actors working today.
July 23, 2016
Compelling story. A little depressing, but I think the wine complexity parts helped. There was also some comic relief and the writing was good.
½ July 5, 2016
Leave it to Alexander Payne to create such a moving and masterfully funny movie. Sideways centers on two characters, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church), who embark on a weeklong road trip through the wine country of California, unknowingly at the peak of their midlife crises. Miles recently got out of a divorce, and his struggle with depression has held him back from connecting with new women in his life. Jack is about to get married, on the weekend after the end of the road trip, and is looking to empty out the last of his promiscuous instincts, before sealing the deal. Miles, a wine enthusiast, introduces Jack to the art of wine tasting, along the way running into old friend/fellow wine enthusiast Mia (Virginia Madsen) and a younger wine maid and friend to Mia, Stephanie (Sandra Oh). Jack sees this as an opportunity for double date action, while Miles sees this as a distraction from the greater problems that each one has to confront in their lives. Payne's depiction of how depression manifests in Miles hit home for me, how flashes of what will likely happen next interrupt the present and lead to one dwelling on painful thoughts. Payne uses this for tragic effect in some scenes, and comedic in other scenes. Giamatti's performance works perfectly with the script, showing great value in holding onto preconceptions of particular wines, yet, when life is at stake for other reasons, such preconceptions are altogether sacrificed. What happens to all of that disposed wine, anyway?

While Giamatti is the primary performer, he certainly does not outperform the other actors. Haden Church's character Jack is not as likable or sympathetic as Giamatti's, which is perfect for Haden Church to nail what it is like to act almost exclusively on instinct. Jack as a character, and his relationship with Miles, seem quite distant to the audience, up until one scene where Haden Church, inevitably reveals how helpless he is to his instinctual habits and begs Miles for a steer in the right direction. His 180-degree turn is still rooted in instinct and an objectively unsympathetic cause, however, which means the scene is much funnier than how I am explaining it now. Virginia Madsen has unmatched passion for everything that she says and hears. Relating to Miles on varying levels of depth, I can understand why he might be so strongly attracted to Mia. Madsen is always listening, no matter how blinded she might be by other emotions. This separates her noticeably far from all of the other main characters, especially Stephanie. What Sandra Oh might lack in passion (mind you, with full intention), she makes up for in how much fun she has in every scene. Even when Oh is ruthlessly furious, I see the fun that she is having in bashing someone with a motorcycle helmet. To all four actors, a phenomenal job, truly.

Payne understands life. He is mature enough to recognize that life forces one to move forward, no matter how much we want to dwell on the past. Ultimately, there is no hope or despair. There is only progress. He draws a parallel to his own craft through Miles' novel, pending publishment, AND the finale of the movie. Still... *SPOILERS* I wish that he had cut the last five or so minutes of the movie. My Hollywood-raised heart had wanted Miles and Mia to get together, but after the wedding and the special occasion to which Miles opened his ancient wine, that would have been enough to explain the growth of Miles' character. The ambiguity of the ending, as it is, is nevertheless welcomed. Nothing felt forced. Really, I feel bad for calling out the ending as out of line, for it worked anyway. It's just that the story is more about personal growth than it is about the growth of relationships, and what happens between Miles and Mia is not relevant. Look, don't mind that. I really love this movie. I love how it skewers the BS of wine-tasting through humour so subtle that outside research revealed a shadowy satirical side to Sideways. I love how scenes jump from one to the next, some with smooth sound transitions and others with sharp interruptions. And I love, love, LOVE the cast. A near-perfect comedy, at the least.
½ July 3, 2016
A wine tasting road trip to salute Jack's final days as a bachelor careens woefully sideways as he and Miles hit the gas en route to mid-life crises. The comically mismatched pair, who share little more than their history and a heady blend of failed potential and fading youth, soon find themselves drowning in wine and women. Emerging from a haze of pinot noir, wistful yearnings and trepidation about the future, the two inevitably collide with reality.
½ June 11, 2016
I'd actually give this a 9.5/10, not a 9/10. This is one of my favorite movies, somewhere in the top 25. Let's get my gripes out of the way first. There were several tone shifts, and most were pretty jarring. That resulted in making the movie not flow quite as well, and feel a little long. But only because if they would have fixed the tone shift or cut the scene. And there was some bad editing, and they used fade transitions which don't seem very professional, and used them way to much. Alright, the performances are all pitch perfect. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church have great chemistry. Everyone else, even the really small parts, are all great and all work. Sandra Oh's character wasn't even supposed to matter, but she made you care. The score is terrific, and I wish I could buy it or download it. The cinematography is great, they get some really great shots that really make the movie look great! The direction is excellent, Alexander Payne is one of my favorite directors. The writing is very good, but not perfect. It's not really as much a comedy, but there are laughs, and they all work!
April 26, 2016
Another Alexander Payne road trip journey that offers nothing new in plot.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2016
Not exactly life-changing but it had its moments. And Paul Giamatti.
March 28, 2016
Aside from a few good performances by Giamatti, Haden Church and Madsen, I think what drives this movie is the writing. This is some pretty darn good screenwriting right here.
March 22, 2016
I appreciated Sideways unpredictablity and performances more with a second viewing. Its a funny and well written film that mixes comedy and seriousness really well.
March 5, 2016
Alexander Payne masterfully blends dark humour with introspective drama in this well acted road trip.
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