Simpatico (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Simpatico (1999)



Critic Consensus: Critics say Simpatico's lengthy plot is too unfocused; the movie becomes confusing and tedious to watch.

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Movie Info

Old rivalries lead to new betrayals in this Sam Shepard drama with comic undertones. Vinnie (Nick Nolte) and Carter (Jeff Bridges) have known each other for years, but their relationship has grown less than cordial. Many years ago, the two men, along with Vinnie's girlfriend Rosie (Sharon Stone), were making good money in a con game at a racetrack until Simms (Albert Finney), the local racing official, got wind of their ruse. Vinnie and Carter hatched a blackmail scheme that ended Simms' career and ruined his life. Years later, Vinnie is an alcoholic low-life who still makes a living from blackmail; Carter is now a successful horse breeder, married to Rosie, and Vinnie has incriminating information about him that he uses to get Carter to pay his living expenses. Carter gets a call from Vinnie one night as he's finalizing the sale of his prize-winning stallion Simpatico; Vinnie is in jail on a morals charge regarding a woman he's been seeing named Cecilia (Catherine Keener). Vinnie makes Carter an offer: if he comes to California to help him out of this mess, he'll hand off the documents that he's been using against him for years. Carter agrees, but when he arrives, it turns out that Vinnie's not in jail, Cecilia has filed no charges against him, and this is just part of a larger scam with Carter as its target. Director Matthew Warchus made his screen debut with this film; he also adapted the screenplay (in collaboration with David Nicholls) from the play by Sam Shepard.
R (adult situations/language, sex)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Nick Nolte
as Vinnie
Jeff Bridges
as Carter
Shawn Hatosy
as Young Vinnie
Liam Waite
as Young Carter
Bob Harter
as Louis
Angus T. Jones
as Five-year-old Kid
Ken Strunk
as Charlie
Jose Maria Carretero
as Airport Attendant
Nicole Forester
as Female Flight Attendant
Brigitta Simone
as First Class Flight Attendant
Christina Cabot
as Waitress
Doug Norwood
as Derby Reveler
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Critic Reviews for Simpatico

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (18)

Much effort and expertise have gone into the making of Simpatico, but, while it's entertaining, it's not as persuasive as it needs to be to succeed fully.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It's a confounding and unsatisfying film.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Another example of when bad movies happen to good actors.

January 1, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Simpatico never pulls together long enough to amount to much more than a series of prematurely aborted encounters, scenes from a movie sketched but unfinished.

January 1, 2000
Toronto Star
Top Critic

First-time feature director Matthew Warchus can't keep the plot from bewildering and even distancing the viewer.

January 1, 2000
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Stone doesn't show up until the film is half over and seems to be trying rather hard to make up for the lost time.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Simpatico


***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Not a good movie - it suffers from the usual play-translated-to-film issues - but the performances are all good and it has horses and a Sam Shepard script.


Starring: Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone, Catherine Keener, and Albert Finney. Directed by Matthew Warchus. Written by Matthew Warchus and David Nicholls. Rated [b]R[/b] (for some strong sexuality, and for language). Running time approximately 1 hour 46 minutes. [center][img][/img][/center] [center][i]This was a truly beautiful scene.[/i][/center] Matthew Warchus' [i]Simpatico[/i] is a victim of its own unfocused ambitions. I'm not sure the creators of the film even know what or why it is, and that, in itself, is enough to make you wonder. The cast is great, the performances fine, but the story (?) is so incredibly twisted, one cannot possibly remain properly engaged throughout the seemingly endless 106 minutes. I really wanted to like this but, sadly, I did not. [b]*1/2 (out of ****) C-[/b]

Christopher Lozier
Christopher Lozier

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