Whatever Works


Whatever Works

Critics Consensus

Based upon a script written in the 1970s, Woody Allen's Whatever Works suffers from a lack of fresh ideas.



Reviews Counted: 163

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,696


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

An eccentric New Yorker abandons his upper class life to lead a more bohemian existence. He meets a young girl from the south and her family and no two people seem to get along in the entanglements that follow.

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Critic Reviews for Whatever Works

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (46)

  • This is fun, but it turns Boris's doomsday neurotic rants into mere cartoon caterwauling. Levant, who never got a happy ending, would no doubt sneer.

    Feb 6, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Woody Allen is always exploring new avenues. While Whatever Works isn't close to his best films, it is far better than most of the current crop of romantic comedies, most of which are schlock.

    Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • It won't win Allen new converts, but for those of faith, it offers consolation.

    Jun 25, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • For all its wobbles, Whatever Works is rooted in an agreeable sensibility: life favours fate over luck more than we'd like to think, so grab whatever chances of happiness come your way.

    Jun 24, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • All rather mellow and predictable.

    Oct 15, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Whatever Works is funnier than anything he's done in a long time -- funny in the robust vaudevillian manner of Groucho Marx.

    Oct 15, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Whatever Works

Larry David may not be the best choice for the role of Woody Allen's alter-ego, but the film's script, written in the 1970s, is a refreshing return to the first half of Allen's career and to his beloved New York after the movies he made in London and Spain.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Hardly Woody at his best. Larry David is annoying almost beyond endurance.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This film teaters on the fine line between interesting and strange. I may have a different outlook on this movie than other because I am a huge fan of Larry David, but overall the movie was just okay. It is a decent watch if you are in a cynical mood, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it. It has a few moments of intrigue and humor, but it is hardly worth anyone's time.

Sanjay Rema
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

I feel like fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm would see nothing in this film that they haven't before, but thankfully, I'm not one of them, so the misanthropy of Larry David (as channeled through the character he plays) was a bit of a revelation to me. But more importantly, I found myself unable to take my eyes off Evan Rachel Wood's character throughout - she's just so sweet, and she's a perfect foil for the curmudgeon that reluctantly lets her live in his apartment with her. A simple story that's really about learning how the other side lives, and about opening your mind and trying new things, it's not quite as lovably madcap as Allen's best but it's still rather enjoyable... if you can get through the opening tirade from David. Using an actor to externalize the worst aspects of the cranky old man Allen (may fear he) is turning into was a smart choice, and it allows for a particular wink and nod in the last scene that I won't reveal, one, because I don't want to spoil it, and, two, because I waited too long between watching this and writing up the review, so I don't remember it exactly, only that I really liked it, which I suppose means I'll have to watch the film again. There are worse movies to have to sit through twice... many of them. It can't be Manhattan every time out, but Allen's still got it. See this film. See all his films.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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