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St. Vincent

7/10
Comedy . Drama
 

A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.

 
Actors: Dario Barosso , Nate Corddry , Lenny Venito , Kimberly Quinn , Jaeden Lieberher , Terrence Howard , Chris O'Dowd , Naomi Watts , Melissa McCarthy , Bill Murray
Directors: Theodore Melfi
Country: USA
Release: 2014-10-24
More Info:
  • Richard Roeper

    Nearly every scene is contrived, but Melfi has a nice way with dialogue, and the cast is uniformly outstanding.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Gregory Ellwood

    This may not be his signature work, but it’s Murray at the top of his game in the type of role audiences want to see him in.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Murray is always a delight, but his films with kids (“Meatballs,” “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”) give his unencumbered playfulness even more room to roam.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    With St. Vincent, the chief pleasure is comedy, which typically arises from waiting to discover what Bill Murray might do next.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    If you scratch the surface too deeply, a few things might not ring true, but there’s no greater pleasure to be had than the film’s opening and closing sequences during which Murray, alone on the screen, dances, then sings along to the music coming through his headphones.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    This is first and foremost Murray's show, and the shortcomings in Melfi's script and direction are strangely appreciated. They give this singular comedian, who doesn't do it often enough these days, the room to let his buffalo heart roam.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Stephen Whitty

    A funny and appealing film.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Lieberher, a Philly native transplanted to L.A., is a reed-thin, wide-eyed wonder. There's none of that precocious Hollywood child-actor stuff going on; he's seriously thinking about what he has to say, assessing his words and their implications. It's rare to see any actor - let alone a novice, barely out of the single digits - so readily and naturally displaying inner thought in front of the camera.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    St. Vincent may be a little kinder and gentler than the likes of "Bad Santa," but there's enough inappropriate behavior and comedic friction to fuel an entertaining 103 minutes.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The iconic actor may be too gruff for sainthood, but Murray still retains a secret stash of soul.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    For all the boozed and abusive amusement provided by the great Bill Murray in the good-enough St. Vincent, the moment I liked best was Naomi Watts as a pregnant Russian stripper, manhandling a vacuum across the Murray character's ancient carpet. In movies as in life, it's the little things.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    St. Vincent is a piece of very well-made cheese, a movie in which one can feel its manipulations and heart-string pulling, but the talented ensemble makes those critical talking points easy to dismiss.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The crowd-pleasing St. Vincent provides Murray with his first comic vehicle in years. It’s a tour de force and a cause for major celebration.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Murray, of course, can play a redeemable misanthrope with one hand tied behind his back. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he has to do here because writer-director Theodore Melfi reins in his leading man with a script that doesn't know when to stop troweling on the sap.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Murray and writer-director Theodore Melfi play us like a music box, manipulating and charming our socks off even as the Vincent for whom the film is named curses, gambles, drinks and cheats — all in front of an impressionable 10-year old.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    It's fascinating to watch Murray act circles around his existing appeal and play into it at the same time. Melfi's likable but utterly formulaic movie never rises to a similar level of ambition, which in this case actually works in its favor. It gives Murray room to play.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Kevin Jagernauth

    Formulaic, and at times a bit Sundance-by-numbers, it's still hard to deny that the charms of St. Vincent work even if you clearly can see the narrative machinery moving.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • John Anderson

    Naturally, Mr. Murray is a joy to watch. And he has brought so much joy to so many grumpy people he deserves whatever accolades he can accrue, even for a career-assessment comedy like St. Vincent.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    In a roundabout way, St. Vincent delivers, though less as a film than a platform for an object lesson by St. Bill in effortless acting.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Melfi comes up with any number of good and effective scenes and there’s plenty to enjoy in the performances.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Stay in your seat for the end credits, in which Murray waters a dying plant and karaokes to Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm." That alone is worth double the price of admission.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Here’s how good an actor Bill Murray is. He does such a bristly, entertaining turn as a boozy curmudgeon in St. Vincent, that he saves first-time director Theodore Melfi’s obvious dramedy from sliding into a burbling sinkhole of schmaltz.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    As a showcase for Murray’s proven rapport with his audience, St. Vincent occasionally threatens to become a self-congratulatory victory lap. But as a celebration, it’s a chance to revel in the Murray personae — wiseacre, hipster, humble man of the street and hell of a nice guy — that has allowed him somehow to reach mass-media stardom while retaining his own idiosyncratic niche.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    A film in which precocious kids say things real kids never would, and larcenous drunks come off as adorable.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Elise Nakhnikian

    The actors create emotionally coherent and sympathetic characters from a collection of often contradictory, monumentally irresponsible, or just plain improbable actions.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • James Mottram

    The home stretch is drenched in sticky-sweet sentiment, but Murray’s fans will rejoice at the chance to see their idol in full-on grouch mode.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Simon Crook

    Murray’s finest, funniest, meatiest performance since "Lost In Translation" — just a shame it’s contained in such a lightweight dramedy.

    Empire Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Melfi, who also wrote the script, goes for broke on the sappy front. It's a credit to Murray's skill — or maybe the strength of his personality — that he never submits completely to all the heart-string tugging.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    The actors don’t do all the heavy lifting by themselves. The uniformly good performances make it clear that Mr. Melfi knows how to handle actors, and there are some funny bits.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    St. Vincent has nothing on Rushmore, an obvious forebearer, even though it strains for the same egalitarian spirit of thrown-together family, one that includes a pregnant Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and a sympathetic but firm Catholic schoolteacher (Chris O’Dowd).

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Catherine Shoard

    There is a contrivance to both story and script that grates, rubs up against Murray’s appeal as a loose cannon.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Schmaltz this thick requires a director who can at least make us feel that our tears are not being shamelessly jerked. But St. Vincent is too clunky to hide its tear-slicked tracks. Maybe that’s a good thing. At least that’s more endearing than being worked over by a smooth operator who knows exactly which buttons to press.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Jesse Hassenger

    St. Vincent goes down easier than it probably should. It helps that Lieberher, though saddled with some cutesy movie-kid dialogue, makes a sweet and empathetic sidekick for Murray (he calls him “sir” constantly, like Marcie in old Peanuts strips), and that McCarthy, like so many gifted comedians, proves capable of playing it straight as needed.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    So it is with St. Vincent, which might be Murray’s “Gran Torino” if you squint at it from one angle, or “Old Meatballs” if you come at it from another.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The problem on which the movie turns is this: Bill Murray’s natural quality as an actor exudes self-knowledge and knowledge of the world. If he looks depressed, the aura suggests, it’s not because he knows less than we do. He knows more. Murray brings that quality to bear in St. Vincent, but it doesn’t fit.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Murray, as always, supplies any number of small, memorable moments — he ultimately relies on the same defanged sentimentality.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    St. Vincent is even sappier and more committed to yanking heartstrings and manipulating emotions than Hyde Park On Hudson or The Monuments Men, and ultimately even more precious and treacly.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Lazy, eccentric, chain-smoking and accident-prone, Mr. Murray gives ’em what they clamor for. His eventual redemption as a saint in disguise is predictable. The direction is negligent and the jokes are mild. It’s an O.K. little picture that doesn’t really go anywhere, but it has a resonance that is easy on the heart.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    Some moments still work after the movie grows mawkish.

    Village Voice Full Review
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