Whatever Works - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Whatever Works Reviews

November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
June 24, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 15, 2009
All rather mellow and predictable.
July 3, 2009
After the fiercely enjoyable Vicky Christina Barcelona, this return to New York City is a letdown, though not without a few charms.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 3, 2009
The result is a witty, well-played work without an adequate center. If you can get past that, Whatever Works does.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
July 3, 2009
Whatever Works isn't topnotch Woody Allen, but it's still immensely funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 3, 2009
Whatever Works isn't deep, but with Grandpa Woody, you accept the warmed over, the recycled, just relieved he hasn't made a spectacle of himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 3, 2009
It's a movie that feels assembled from the leftovers Allen found in his fridge.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
July 3, 2009
30 years after he wrote and shelved this script, the conceptual creakiness of Whatever Works might have been redeemed only by the director in the starring role.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 2, 2009
This toxic, contemptuous, unforgivably unfunny bagatelle finds Allen at his most misanthropically one-note.
June 26, 2009
The dialogue is forced and stagey, the actions as predictable as they are improbable and the insights little more than dusty clichés.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
June 26, 2009
It never registers as more than a writer's conceit.
June 26, 2009
We've seen this kind of May-December setup in many Allen movies, but this one follows a less predictable path and with more amusing secondary characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 26, 2009
Allen and David do stuff in Whatever Works that shouldn't work but does.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 26, 2009
Woody Allen had a nice winning streak going for him, and then he brought in his younger self to screw things up.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 25, 2009
Coming off last year's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the freshest Allen film in more than a decade, Whatever Works plays like a hoary old Broadway stage comedy yanked, reluctantly, into the present.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
June 25, 2009
As Whatever Works creaks along, the attention-getting nastiness of the first half dissipates and it turns into just another Woody Allen overacted sex farce.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 25, 2009
Coming off last year's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the freshest Allen film in more than a decade, Whatever Works plays like a hoary old Broadway stage comedy yanked, reluctantly, into the present.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
June 25, 2009
Whatever Works would have only worked if its director had written his trademark self-caricature out of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 25, 2009
Larry David is the mind of the enterprise, and Evan Rachel Wood is the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 22, 2009
It's consistently very funny, sharp and observant.
June 22, 2009
It's no secret that I am a lifelong Woody Allen fan.
June 19, 2009
It's good to have Allen return to the city he grew up in. Can the grown-up Woody come back now, please?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
June 19, 2009
For now, [Allen] has given up making films that are about anything bigger than a quirky theme and a few dozen one-liners.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
June 19, 2009
As a holding pattern until Allen gets a new, better movie together, this works for now.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 19, 2009
Except for brief moments, Whatever Works does not involve.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
June 19, 2009
A belabored trifle that's occasionally amusing but often just bewildering, beginning with the movie's intentionally outlandish setup.
June 19, 2009
The idea of wedding Woody Allen's comic persona (the introverted nebbish) to Larry David's (the entitled jerk) sounds promising on paper, but as Boris portentously observes just before his unsuccessful suicide attempt, life doesn't take place on paper.
June 19, 2009
My problem with Whatever Works is not that the premise is a wee bit familiar. Rather, it's that the delivery is off.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
June 19, 2009
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 19, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 18, 2009
One would think Allen had worked though his on-screen fascination with the older man-young girl scenario by now. This latest exploration just feels derivative and musty.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
June 18, 2009
Whatever Works feels like something out of time and, worse, out of step.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 18, 2009
Dusting off an ancient script intended for Zero Mostel three decades ago, Allen tweaks the material enough to supply David with bilious rants about the stupidity and meaninglessness of man and the universe.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
June 18, 2009
Whatever Works is a slapdash composition built around a single note.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 17, 2009
The fact that Allen wrote the script in the '70s explains something about why his newest movie feels so old.
Full Review | Original Score: C
June 17, 2009
The movie was emblematic of his output of late -- slight plots, slighter characters, lackadaisical storytelling that recycles enough of the neuroses-fueled charm of his earlier films to keep the Woody Allen machine in business.
June 17, 2009
Whatever Works is a dubious idea at best, but when nothing works, it's time to throw out the script and move on to omething that does.
June 16, 2009
Whatever Works illustrates, even as it names, Allen's artistic limitations.
June 15, 2009
This is pretty broad stuff, but Clarkson is so much more vital and amiable than anyone else that you instantly root for her.
June 8, 2009
In small doses, [David] turns the narcissistic jerk into a hipster. But as an actor he has no equipment for suggesting a conflicted inner life: It's all just straight to the camera, uninflected bombast.
April 24, 2009
The Woodman's return to New York after a four-year European sojourn finds him working very familiar territory much less fruitfully than in the past.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 24, 2009
Though stuffed with witty one-liners and wondrously convoluted tirades, this far-fetched, deliberately artificial game of musical chairs...feels forced, often losing itself in excess verbiage.
April 24, 2009
While Allen's screenplay features plenty of amusing one-liners...its tired handling of so many overly familiar themes eventually proves enervating.