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The Words

Romance . Mystery . Thriller . Drama

The Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There's only one catch - he didn't write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man's work, and for placing ambition and success above life's most fundamental three words.

Actors: Michael McKean , Ben Barnes , Zeljko Ivanek , John Hannah , J.K. Simmons , Olivia Wilde , Dennis Quaid , Bradley Cooper , Zoe Saldana , Jeremy Irons
Directors: Brian Klugman , Lee Sternthal
Country: USA
Release: 2012-09-07
More Info:
  • Steven Rea

    Amazingly, though, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, cowriters and codirectors of The Words, have the audacity - and the skill sets - to pull this all off. They wrest emotional truth out of hokum. They also wrest intelligent, nuanced performances from their cast.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The performances, excepting perhaps Olivia Wilde's odd turn, are solid, and the central story never loses our attention, but there's a lingering aftertaste of vague dissatisfaction.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    It's more or less a grown-up picture, and not bad at that, though its muted and patient style has both its merits and its drawbacks. Still, as I say: not bad.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    The Words founders on a spurious dichotomy between love and art. Which is a pity, because the movie is smart and persuasive on the casually incremental way in which plagiarism becomes an option for people like Rory - and perhaps for anyone.

    NPR Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    A clever, entertaining yarn that doesn't bear close scrutiny.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    A lush but fumbling literary melodrama outfitted with an attractive, generations-spanning cast and a puzzle box of three competing narratives.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Adam Litovitz

    The Words suggests that a story, whether true or not, can help get us through, if we believe it enough. Though this film can't quite pull it off, a good enough thief can get away with it.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    In the end - and every story needs one - The Words is a decent, ambitious, unoriginal film about a decent, ambitious, unoriginal writer. Both aim for greatness. Both fall short.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Ironically, the dialogue in The Words is its chief failing.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    The Words aspires to depths greater than the sex we never see these two have. There's nothing for the eye to do while the ear fills with the banalities of two streams of narration, one by Dennis Quaid, the other by Jeremy Irons, all of it built around a lie.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The fatal flaw of this screenwriting term paper is that Cooper's character is a boring jerk we're supposed to regard as a nice guy who made an honest mistake.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Watching the movie, I enjoyed the settings, the periods and the acting. I can't go so far as to say I cared about the story, particularly after it became clear that its structure was too clever by half.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Todd Gilchrist

    The Words fails to surpass dramatically the bland lack of specificity in its title while still offering a solid roundup of performances from its talented ensemble cast.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Rob Nelson

    A literary film that stands to work best for those who don't read, The Words is a slick, superficially clever compendium of stories about authors of uncertain talent and varying success.

    Variety Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Unfolds like the slow-motion dismantling of the world's most boring matryoshka.

    Slate Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    It's a snooze.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Though Cooper deserves credit for pushing beyond his comfort zone, he's clearly miscast in a role better suited to a young unknown.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    It's not atrocious, but it borders on it, thanks to Dennis Quaid's annoying narration and his even more irritating portrait of the self-loathing writer whose presence bookends the two main storylines.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    For a tale of thieving, The Words plods along. Not that a literary heist is as exciting as a bank robbery, but there's a remarkable lack of tension in this story.

    Time Full Review
  • A. A. Dowd

    The connections among the film's various plot strands are painfully obvious; by the time a grizzled Jeremy Irons saunters in, ready to dole out a comeuppance, perceptive viewers will have mentally flipped to the last page.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Ray Greene

    The Words is a movie for people who buy their novels at Starbucks, made by people who write their novels at Starbucks.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    A well-acted but narratively limp indie that's undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Adam Markovitz

    Cooper, who looks appealingly wolfish in his expensively tailored suits, plays the whole thing with a dutiful, earnest expression lacquered on his face, his eyes misting on cue at the exact same moments yours will be rolling into the back of your head.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Melissa Anderson

    Hoariest of all are the exhortations to make distinctions between "fiction" and "life."

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The movie, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, is desultory when it's not inept, but the set-up is so good that you can't help sticking it out to the (unforgivable) end.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The acting, script and direction - not to mention the syrupy score - conspire to make this a perfect storm of a hoot that will find its most appreciative audience among renters who have had a few glasses of wine beforehand.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    A nitwit story about a nitwit author who has written a nitwit novel about a nitwit author who has published a nitwit novel which, in fact, he has stolen wholecloth from another writer whose personal behavior, as fictionalized in the novel-within-the-novel-within-the-film, can charitably be described as...nitwit.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Even the story-within-a-story structure doesn't pay off. This material needed more substance and ideas - and less flash and sumptuous production values.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    The film folds narratives on top of narratives in a vain attempt to mask the fact that there's nothing to read between its graceless lines.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    The idiotic melodrama The Words is a maddening contradiction: a film about the publishing industry and a great literary fraud that doesn't have a literary bone in its body or a thought in its pretty, empty little head.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
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