films seen
29
average score
2.67*
nationality
USA - 88 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The man who became one with his oeuvre. Neurotic, antsy, a little posh and artsy, but always with a self-aware wink and nudge. If you love Allen the actor, you'll love his films. If not, it's probably best to stay clear from his work altogether.

Movies


Anything Else

2003 / 108m - USA
Comedy, Romance
3.5*/5.0*
Anything Else poster

Everyone Says I Love You

1996 / 101m - USA
Comedy, Romance, Musical
3.5*/5.0*
Everyone Says I Love You poster

Husbands and Wives

1992 / 108m - USA
Comedy, Drama, Romance
3.5*/5.0*
Husbands and Wives poster

Take the Money and Run

1969 / 85m - USA
Comedy, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Take the Money and Run poster

Allen's second film is a full-on comedy, stacked with absurd and cheesy gags. It's probably a bit of a surprise for those only familiar with his later films, but his earlier work was a lot more straight-forward in that sense. No endless monologues or artsy references, just laugh after laugh.

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Virgil is quite the criminal, he's just not very good at what he does. From a young age, things have been going wrong for him. He finally tries to rob a bank, but that lands him in prison. His girlfriend is willing to wait for him, but when he gets out their lives don't get any better. And so his tragic life continues.

The pseudo-documentary style is perfect, Allen fits the lead like a glove, most of the jokes hit and there's practically no downtime at all. Add the frantic pacing and a short runtime, and you have a fun and entertaining comedy. Most importantly, it never tries to add drama, which is the biggest win of all. Good stuff.


Café Society

2016 / 96m - USA
Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Café Society poster

A solid Allen flick, but really just a rehash of his usual tricks, hang-ups and interests. The '30s Hollywood jet set setting is fun, but the pull of New York is forever there and once the film shifts from mood piece to narrative-driven romance it starts to stumble a little. Not a bad film, but once you've seen a couple of Allen films it does get a little predictable.

Magic in the Moonlight

2014 / 97m - USA
Comedy, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Magic in the Moonlight poster

A fun but somewhat pedestrian Woody Allen flick. I'm close to having seen 30 of his films, and it's a director with a very recognizable signature. So much in fact that after a while some of his films start to blend together. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you are able to appreciate his style.

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Magic in the Moonlight goes back to the 20s, exploring the relationship between a gifted magician and a supposed psychic. Stanley travels to France to see Sophie in action, hoping to reveal she is a con artist. When he sees her in action though, Stanley is stumped, and slowly his cynical demeanor starts to make way for wonder.

The setting is lush, the cinematography romantic, and Colin Firth and Emma Stone make a nice on-screen couple. The film is pretty predictable though and the secondary characters aren't quite as charming, but the jolly dialogue and light-hearted romance make up for that. Pleasant, though somewhat forgettable.

To Rome with Love

2012 / 112m - USA
Comedy, Romance, Music
3.0*/5.0*
To Rome with Love poster

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

2010 / 98m - USA
Comedy, Drama, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger poster

Whatever Works

2009 / 93m - USA
Comedy, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Whatever Works poster

Scoop

2006 / 96m - USA
Comedy, Mystery, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Scoop poster

Melinda and Melinda

2004 / 99m - USA
Comedy, Drama, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Melinda and Melinda poster

Deconstructing Harry

1997 / 96m - USA
Comedy
3.0*/5.0*
Deconstructing Harry poster

It's quite interesting that despite all the narrative frivolities, dream sequences and blurred lines between dream and reality, Deconstruction Harry still feels like a pretty regular, run-of-the-mill Woody Allen film. His character and dialogues pretty much overshadow everything else in his films. I generally appreciate his work, but I'm not a true fan.

Manhattan Murder Mystery

1993 / 104m - USA
Comedy, Mystery
3.0*/5.0*
Manhattan Murder Mystery poster

Classic Allen, though I didn't quite expect to see a real murder mystery. In the end it doesn't even add that much, this is still the big Woody Allen show, with rattling dialogues, cultural references and a light-heartedness that suits the film. I found it quite nice, but like most of his work, it all depends on whether you can stomach Allen's trademark style.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

1989 / 104m - USA
Comedy, Drama
3.0*/5.0*
Crimes and Misdemeanors poster

Typical Allen film. If you've seen a couple, especially the famous ones, you'll know what to expect. A jazzy soundtrack, Allen's neurotic self, tons of dialogue and some sly comedy. He also toys with the plot structure, but that wasn't too interesting, neither were all the obligatory references to established artists. Fun though.

Annie Hall

1977 / 93m - USA
Comedy, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Annie Hall poster

Bananas

1971 / 82m - USA
Comedy
3.0*/5.0*
Bananas poster

A pretty mixed bag. I quite like Allen's absurd comedy, I'm not such a big fan of his pandering to classic slapstick. A film like Bananas keeps going back and forth between the two styles, which gets a little tiring after a while. Especially when the soundtrack doesn't seem to know when to quit.

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Allen plays Fielding, a somewhat kooky, uncertain loser whose girlfriend urges him to take an interest in the political situation of a small South-American state. Fielding thinks it is best to visit the place personally, but finds himself in the middle of a coup, in which he soon takes on a lead role.

The chaotic structure of the film is a definite plus, Allen's dedication to comedy is also nice and there are some pretty funny gags. But the slapstick moments are pretty annoying, and the score was pretty grating. A film with many ups and downs, though the good bits do tend to linger just a little longer.


Midnight in Paris

2011 / 94m - USA
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
2.5*/5.0*
Midnight in Paris poster

Cassandra's Dream

2007 / 108m - USA
Drama, Romance, Crime
2.5*/5.0*
Cassandra's Dream poster

New York Stories

1989 / 124m - USA
Comedy, Drama - Anthology
2.5*/5.0*
New York Stories poster

I was a bit surprised to bump into this film. With names like Scorsese, Coppola and Woody Allen directing, you'd think the film would be better known. Honestly, I'd never heard of it before. Anthologies are rarely seen as worthwhile films though, so that's probably what's been holding this one back.

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Scorsese's short is pretty decent for a Scorsese film, but his attempts to be a bit more artistic feel rather forced and Nolte's performance is too over the top (2.0*). Coppola's entry is probably the weirdest of the bunch as it seems to be targeted at kids (2.0*), luckily there's Allen's film to give this anthology a needed quality boost (3.5*).

Allen's short is by far the most interesting and funny of the bunch. It's also the film that feels the most like "New York". While not a terrible anthology, considering the names involved people would be excused for expecting a bit more. Apart from Allen, the other directors disappoint.

Hannah and Her Sisters

1986 / 107m - USA
Comedy, Drama
2.5*/5.0*
Hannah and Her Sisters poster

A pretty recognizable Woody Allen film. I've seen quite a few now, and I'll say that the more I get used to his particular style, the less special it becomes. That's not too out of the ordinary, and I may need to revisit some of his other films to make a fair comparison, but Hannah and Her Sisters felt like a run-of-the-mill Allen.

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Hannah is married to Elliot. It's her second marriage and they're happily married, but that's about to change. Elliot falls for one of Hannah's sisters, who is in a relationship herself. Hannah feels something is off in her marriage, meanwhile, Hannah's other sister hooks up with Hannah's first husband.

There's a lot of neurotic banter, the setup gets increasingly more complicated, and the mix of drama and comedy isn't too bad. There's not too much to set the film apart from his other work though, and it lacks certain cinematic qualities to stand out. But if you like Allen's films, you won't be too disappointed with this one.

Zelig

1983 / 79m - USA
Comedy
2.5*/5.0*
Zelig poster

A cute little idea, but it's not quite enough to fill 80 minutes of celluloid. Zelig is a typical Woody Allen comedy but presented as a documentary. It's a setup I tend to enjoy and Allen works in some fun gags, but it does get pretty repetitive and the dramatic and romantic elements don't work that well.

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Zelig is a peculiar man. He popped up out of nowhere but gained fame for impersonating the people he frequented with. It's a rare condition that has doctors stumped. He is taken to a mental asylum, where he is treated by a psychiatrist. The two have a strong connection and she tries to cure Zelig of his affliction.

Allen is decent as Zelig, but it's the narrator who gets the best lines, whereas Allen's performance is mostly relegated to physical comedy. I had a few chuckles here and there, it's also funny how Allen merged his story with US history, but 80 minutes is too long for a one-trick pony that is only occasionally funny.

Manhattan

1979 / 96m - USA
Comedy, Drama, Romance
2.5*/5.0*
Manhattan poster

Sleeper

1973 / 89m - USA
Comedy, Sci-fi
2.5*/5.0*
Sleeper poster

A goofy and ridiculous Woody Allen comedy. I've mostly seen dramatic/romantic comedies from Allen so far, so I was quite curious to see how he would fare making a more straight-forward comedy. The result is a very typical Allen film really, one dominated by his typical cynical and nervous ramblings.

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Miles is taken into the hospital after an unfortunate incident, only to awake 200 years later. The future is not quite as rosy as Miles had hoped. Scientists awoke him from his cryostasis to fight an evil dictator. He needs to infiltrate their base, but a romantic fling with a female poet changes his course.

The main attraction of the film is Allen himself. If you don't like him, stay as far away from this as possible. If you love him, there are some good chuckles up ahead. I wasn't a big fan of the cheesy sci-fi elements though, also some of the more slapstick-like scenes didn't really do it for me. A decent laugh, but certainly not his best work.


A Rainy Day in New York

2019 / 92m - USA
Comedy, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
A Rainy Day in New York poster

Cookie cutter Allen film. Another love letter to New York, another romance between some neurotic young ones, another bombardment of cultural reference. Only the cast is slightly different. Chalamet is decent but not remarkable, Fanning is a complete fluke, Gomez is surprisingly decent. One of Allen's less relevant films.

Blue Jasmine

2013 / 98m - USA
Drama
2.0*/5.0*
Blue Jasmine poster

I generally like (but rarely love) Allen's films, but for some reason he had a pretty bad spell during the mid 00s to early 10s. Blue Jasmine is part of that series of disappointing films, lacking the wit and comedy that makes his work stand out. The result is a mediocre drama that is plenty neurotic, but never funny.

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Jasmine is a New York socialite who sees her cushy life go up in smoke when her relationship with her husband goes sideways. She moves to California to live with her sister, who is her polar opposite. Jasmine needs time to adapt to her new life, but when she Dwight, things are finally looking up again.

I'm not quite sure whether it is Blanchet's performance or her character that failed to keep me interested, but I just didn't care about her situation. The dialogues are rather drab, the friction with her sister feels a bit too scripted and none of the secondary characters manage to add much. There's still a bit of Allen charm left, just not enough to save the film.

Match Point

2005 / 124m - UK
Drama, Romance, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
Match Point poster

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

2008 / 96m - USA
Drama, Romance
1.5*/5.0*
Vicky Cristina Barcelona poster

Another Woman

1988 / 81m - USA
Drama
0.5*/5.0*
Another Woman poster