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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Brian Cox
Scarlett Johansson
Emily Mortimer
James Nesbitt
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Matthew Goode
Rose Keegan
Penelope Wilton.
Directors
Woody Allen.
Screenwriters
Running Time
124 minutes

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Match Point
Woody Allen asks 'is it better to be good or lucky?'


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Plot
One-time tennis pro Chris (Rhys-Meyers) is working as a coach when he meets wealthy posh bird Chloe (Mortimer). After they marry he embarks on an affair with his brother-in-law’s fiancée, Nola (Johansson), forming a love triangle that has violent consequences.


Review
Match Point

In a recent interview, Woody Allen, who turns 70 this year, remarked that, “All that crap they tell you about getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years — it’s all tripe.” But if the advancing years have given Allen nothing in the way of wisdom, they have equipped him with a newly stoked fury at the randomness of life. Match Point is a pleasingly sour shaggy-dog tale about how almost no-one ever gets what they deserve, that plays like an episode of Tales Of The Unexpected directed by, well, Woody Allen.

The most obvious departure for Allen is the relocation from his beloved Manhattan to London, or at least, the more photogenic bits of London. (For the most part he manages to avoid the tendency to travelogue that most directors face when filming off familiar turf, so thankfully there are few red double-deckers or shots of Piccadilly Circus with the caption “London”, though characters do have an unnerving tendency to ostentatiously announce the chic locations for their rendezvous — “Let’s meet at the Tate Modern!”) But there are other distinctly un-Woodyish elements: a sex scene that’s certainly one of the most graphic
he’s ever filmed, together with some genuinely shocking violence. But its key distinction is the air of fatalistic irony that pervades this tart tale of hubris denied. (A biographical musing: would Woody have made this treatise on the essential unfairness of the universe before he was denied access to his children by a New York court?)

Both Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers are well cast as the pillow-lipped love-birds, the former playing tennis coach and social climber Chris with just a tinge of Ripley-style ambivalence, and there’s solid support from, among others, Brian Cox as the blissfully unaware paterfamilias, the actor here exercising his legal right to be in everything.

For fans of ‘the earlier funny ones’, it’s worth pointing out that Match Point is certainly not a comedy in the conventional sense, but it is a recitation of the great cosmic joke: justice and fairness have nothing to do with where you end up — it’s all about the breaks. Our good fortune is that with Melinda And Melinda and now Match Point, Allen seems, after nearly half-a-dozen disappointments, finally to be back on track.


Verdict
Woody’s best for ages. Even for non-Allen fans this has all the appeal of a good story well told and capped with a deliciously vicious little twist.


Reviewed by Adam Smith


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Match Point
Empire Star Rating

4 stars...seems a bit generous

I saw "Match Point"for the first time recently and i have to admit this is NOT among the best films Woody Allen has ever made. Sure the cast(Scarlett Johansson,Johanthan Rhys Meyers,Brian Cox,Alexander Armstrong ,James Nesbitt and League of Gentlemen" stars Mark Gattiss and Steve Pemberton) is really good as is Remi Adefarsin`s camerwork but the film is let down by it`s poor script and some raher indifferent direction by Allen. I think this film is best put in the file marke... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stephen35 at 10:13, 02 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

Quite a clichéd film to begin with so we have lots of shots of ScarJo looking pretty; JRM’s fiancées middle class family going to the opera; lounging around in their country pile (as you do).  The worst bit was the love scene in the rain.   The film only picks up half way through when ScarJo starts to get jealous and JRM’s character turns nasty.    It definitely works better as a thriller than a drama.   ... More

Posted by princessa at 13:55, 07 March 2011 | Report This Post


It's terrible, a ridiculous portrait of London that treads old paths for Allen. Character's behaviour doesn't ring true and it involves a crime of such momentous risk of failure that it could be a double bill with Flightplan. Fun to see so many British actors popping up in bit parts, until you see the performance that follows. File under 'rich people who need a punch' next to Melinda and Melinda. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by enemysprout at 20:49, 28 February 2011 | Report This Post


Match Pointless

Shit ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stestecamara at 17:33, 06 September 2008 | Report This Post


Match Point--good but not great

Well acted and written. The moral vague ending is good. Best Allen movie in a while. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 00:37, 03 July 2008 | Report This Post


Match Point--good but not great

Well acted and written. The moral vague ending is good. Best Allen movie in a while. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 00:37, 03 July 2008 | Report This Post


Not funny, but good

It wasn't funny, but I still enjoyed it with no real expectation of what it was about. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Filmbuffed at 16:42, 01 August 2007 | Report This Post


Match Point

Clumsy and lazy at times but with some interest. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by qualidad at 13:29, 01 August 2007 | Report This Post


Really disappointing

I went in with no expectations, but found this film overly melodramatic and felt very distanced from the events and charaters. I think some of the performances were strong given what material they had to deal with. I really didn't feel the piece enhanced the fate vs luck debate at all and I found the tennis connection a bit random and just an excuse for him to have somewhere to put the shotgun! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by poisonivy_175 at 11:59, 08 January 2007 | Report This Post


Really disappointing

I went in with no expectations, but found this film overly melodramatic and felt very distanced from the events and charaters. I think some of the performances were strong given what material they had to deal with. I really didn't feel the piece enhanced the fate vs luck debate at all and I found the tennis connection a bit random and just an excuse for him to have somewhere to put the shotgun! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by poisonivy_175 at 11:59, 08 January 2007 | Report This Post


Woody’s best for ages- but thats not saying much- it dose decend into a mess towards the end. Not bad. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:31, 04 January 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Match Point

I've said it once before, I'll say it again. 'I saw this  movie with my girlfriend ages ago with no expectations. I knew Woody Allen as the white-haired old dude from Everyone says I love you and other films. I was surprised at how dark the film turned out to be. What a sudenn spin it took for the worst. Accompained by the gothic opera music and it's a neat little film. Bring on his next and possibl much lighter film with Hugh Jackman. ... More

Posted by mysterious_director at 06:07, 16 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Good

fantastic film. one of my fave allen films (i am a big fan) and his best in quite a while. Nice to see something different from him and proof of how good a director he is. I found it quite old-fashioned especially with the dialogue and - leading from that - the performances that takes a little adjusting to, but i found it thoroughly gripping all the way through when i thought at first that it was gonna be something that was gonna go on too long.. No bullshit hollywood ending and i really like ... More

Posted by boot at 19:50, 13 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Good

Probably the least Woody Allen-ish film Woody Allen has ever made.  Rhys-Myers is blank and emotionless throughout - it took me a while to appreciate his performance, but he does hold the attention.  Johanssen was supremely irritating, however, and Emily Mortimer was tediously wet.  The best performance in the film was Matthew Goode, who was terrific. Its no classic, and pales next to the magnificent Crimes and Misdemeanours, the Woody film it's closest to in theme and tone.... More

Posted by rudeboy at 13:45, 11 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Good

An unusually dark and quite callous film from Woody Allen, featuring none of his trademark humour. Jonathon Rhys-Meyers gives a credible performance as an unlikeable social climber forced to take drastic action when he puts himsel in an awkward situation. Scarlett Johansson looks lovely and London backdrop is used to good effect. The pace is slow, though and the first hour in particular drags by. The tension never really grips even as the pace ups in the second half and there's perhaps a bit to... More

Posted by MOTH at 13:13, 10 July 2006 | Report This Post


Good

Possibly Allen's best film ever. It's long, slow, but the ending is worth it and quite dark for him. One for Agatha Christie fans. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 15:16, 22 June 2006 | Report This Post


Something different.

Woody Allen has never been a particular favourite of mine - even the famed 'Annie Hall' didn't do it for me. However, this film is definitely something different from this certainly gifted film maker. I liked the storyline, the less grimier than usual shots of London and the chemistry between the major players. Slow in the telling, it nevertheless benefited from the rather leisurely way the plot unfolded. And the final scenes certainly had an 'edge' to them. A good effort, Woody. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Greynomad at 12:35, 10 June 2006 | Report This Post


Solid Woody

Well done, Mr. Allen. While I would definitely not include the word "brilliant" in this review, it is most certainly his best work in a dog-year. (7 years, I think) I thought all of the performances were strong, (including Brian "I enjoy more each time I see him" Cox). I perticularily enjoyed the non-hollywood ending although my fiance didn't much care for it. Must be a "no reprocussions for infidelity involving your wife" thing. Crisp dialogue, solid performances, ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by losbastardos at 14:17, 01 June 2006 | Report This Post


Wody Allen back in business. This is an amazing film with a wonderful script exceptional direction and a magnificent Scarlett Johanson.Jonathan Rhys Meyers was very good too. Definetely a must-see ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by taz_e at 16:57, 17 May 2006 | Report This Post


absolute rubbish

Only reason I kept watching this was because girlfried liked Rhys-Myers. He was appalling!! Don't think I've ever seen a worst performance by a lead actor. This was virtually unwatchable, the dialogue was embarassing, and its almost as bad as that Ewan MacGregor thing, Can't Buy love . 2 hrs of my life I'llnever get back. Rubbish Rubbish Rubbsih! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blakes at 13:04, 15 May 2006 | Report This Post


Adam Smith - what are you talking about? Just five words sum this up 'appallingly bad, bad, bad, bad'. 'Mr Allen (sir)' Has reached new lows - never mind boring, it made me want to scream in pain. Don't whatever you do go to see it. The script is from the 1920s (but still bad) and the acting is from... I just don't know where. Minus 20 stars and that is being generous. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alimck at 10:15, 03 May 2006 | Report This Post


Woody's worst

I mean, WTF? Two excruciating hours of endless long takes where completely un-interesting people, played by actors sounding like they're just reading their lines, walk around talking about nothing. The so called brilliant script is a mess of every cliche ever put to film, horrendous dialogue (I dare you to find two people that actually talk like that), and a plot that is dependent of every single character being an idiot. After five minutes I was bored, after half an hour I wanted to cry, and to... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jexxon at 07:35, 11 April 2006 | Report This Post


Woody is officially the greatest film writer!

I'm a fan of Woody Allen and when I saw this it reaffirmed why. This was something totally different script and story wise. Because of this, he actually had to prove that he could direct with the drama outshining the dialogue. Scarlett Johansson is sooooooo hot! This is one of her best performances. Good twists and I finally get the title. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by KieranB at 18:06, 21 March 2006 | Report This Post


Finally!!!

The thing with Woody is that you either love him or hate him, There is no in-between. Personally I think this is his best film in 12 years. After years of the same old story, this is a really good gripping drama. All the typical Allen-esque gimmics are absent, making this a powerfull film. The best part is that it does not have a happy ending/morale cleansing part (see Munich), but actually goes out of its way to send a "negative"/unpleasant ending. Btw Scarler is amazing! The lense l... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by greekandy at 11:16, 10 February 2006 | Report This Post


RUBBISH!

A terrible film. The stroy line is a jumbled mess, the lead performance by Rhys-Meyers is lamentable. Only Johansson gets any credit from this film. Boring, unfunny, not half as clever as it tries to be, unlikeable, wooden actors (johansson excepted) playing unlikeable characters, pretentious and overall a shameful pile of sh*t from an over-rated director. Do your self a favour and go watch paint dry, you'll have more fun! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by avfc999 at 08:45, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post


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