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Overall Rating
3.93

Awesome46.43%
Worth A Look: 25.79%
Average: 13.1%
Pretty Bad: 3.57%
Total Crap: 11.11%

16 reviews, 156 user ratings


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V for Vendetta
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by Matt Seaver

"Political? Absolutely? Ass-kicking fun regardless? Damn skippy."
5 stars

This movie scared the pants off of me. It’s really, really, really, REALLY relevant to today. In a very frightening way. As the final scene of the film played, I was gripping the armrests of my seat, wondering if any real situation could ever force the public’s hand in such a way. Would we, as a people, ever be forced to march against our own government in such a vehemently defiant fashion?

Like the current government or not, that’s a terrifying prospect. And yet, let me back up.

This film is fantasy (and thank heavens for that). It’s a futuristic dystopia that bears a more thematic resemblance to 1940s Berlin than it does modern-day London. And boy, does James McTeigue milk that imagery for all it’s worth, as well he should. If we avoid anything else in our volatile global political situation, we need to avoid anything resembling the rebirth of Nazism. McTeigue draws parallels between Adolf Hitler and Adam Sutler (an infuriatingly good John Hurt) as often as he can, with a very effective result. Sutler is the chancellor of the fascist regime that has taken over London, and rules with every suppression technique and brute force method marginally necessary.

Set against him is V (Hugo Weaving), a masked vigilante with a scarring past who is systematically taking down every member of the government who was involved in the incident that left him crippled and scarred. He’s the equivalent of a Zorro character, but without the personal history. His mask is a reference to Guy Fawkes, who unsuccessfully tried to blow up Parliament in 1605 – known as the “Gunpowder Revolution.” V saves Evey (Natalie Portman) from uncertain punishment at the hands of corrupt cops, and develops something of an obsession. Through repeated encounters, and gradually with V’s prodding and guiding, Evey becomes involved in the revolution to unseat the fascist leaders.

What is particularly inspiring and chilling in the film – and what McTeigue and the Wachowskis capture very well – is the political environment that MUST exist for events to transpire as they do. The government has become so heavily controlled by five or six people that the everyman has no say or real interest in politics any more. People are kidnapped from their homes, often violently and brutally beaten in the process, and yet… the apathy shown by the British citizens is remarkable… and familiar. As powerful as the government is, however, the appeal of this idea that V embodies is much more potent than any propaganda they might muster, and it is that force that rallies the citizens to recognize their plight, and in turn call them to action.

What’s even better is that V is not a particularly likable character. He is charming, smooth-talking, and AMAZINGLY expressive despite lacking the use of his face and eyes. But he’s really an awful person. Some might say his actions are justified as acts of war, but he’s not looking for war. He’s looking for revenge for what was done to him. True, there are glimmers of patriotism that shine through his vengeance, but at no point did I feel that was his real driving motivation for killing.

V is backed up by an incredible supporting cast. Stephen Rea plays Portman’s counterpoint within the government, a skeptical detective investigating V; Stephen Fry as a friend of Evey with some secrets to share; Roger Allam as the manipulative, propaganda-spewing “Voice of London”; Tim Pigott-Smith as the leader of Sutler’s secret police – everyone fits so very, very well.

The movie is very, very pretty as well. London looks great, though the limited exteriors could use some improvement. It was hard to get a grasp on being in London until the very end – until that point, the only thing that screamed London were the accents. Special credit goes to the Wachowski brothers for actually doing something new with Bullet Time. Since they featured it in The Matrix, it seems like ever action movie and video game has latched onto it, never improving it. Most of the changes are visual or aesthetic, but they help make the battles look a little more polished and distinctly stylish. It gave the underground station “fight” a nice look to it.

I admit it. I bought into the film’s symbolism and themes almost entirely. But I get the impression a lot of people have been feeling the same. This film plays on every unsettled emotion anyone might have about the current global political situation, and it certainly struck me as relevant. Not bad for something written in 1988, eh? Even if you don’t buy into the political messages, the movie is still tons of fun to watch. I was skeptical after Alan Moore swore the project off, fearing another "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" fiasco, but I am very happy to say that everyone involved nailed this one on the head.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13855&reviewer=412
originally posted: 04/20/06 02:42:09
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
DC Characters: For more in the DC Characters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2013 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell not bad at all 4 stars
3/11/15 Nik The story was built around its message, not vice versa 3 stars
7/05/11 Dr.Lao Entertaining but undistinguished entry into the done-to-death "future dictatorship" genre 3 stars
5/29/11 Shaun A Powerful vision that left me breathless and thoughtful. 5 stars
5/28/11 Toni I love this movie - definately one for our times 5 stars
3/27/11 Lenny Zane Ordinarily Natalie Portman could fascinate me for hours picking her nose, but THIS...Ugh! 1 stars
9/24/10 art V reminded me of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! 3 stars
3/03/10 KGBproduced Have I just seen a film or a Soviet reel leveling all ills on religion and the bourgoisie? 1 stars
1/30/10 art V FOR VERY BAD!,is more like it! 1 stars
11/23/09 Jeff Wilder Entertaining and frightening futuristic thriller. 5 stars
6/03/09 Tom Good Day. Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Help m 3 stars
4/03/09 Gorgon Zola An unbelievably clunky snoozer. Angst driven, poorly scripted and painful acting by Portman 1 stars
2/13/09 Peter North I'd like to drop my dynamite in Evey's V....... 5 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
8/03/08 Samantha Pruitt deep and awesome movie with a great story and acting! 4 stars
6/20/08 thismoviesucks most pretentious movie I've seen, terrible waste of time 1 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT VERY MUCH NON-RECOMMENDED 1 stars
5/26/08 zenny zestfully sticking it to the man 4 stars
3/25/08 emissario666 Good, but not as deep as the original 3 stars
2/29/08 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne How low hath Queen Amidala sunk -- unto sucking her own turds in this muck! 1 stars
12/08/07 yýlmaz perfect 5 stars
11/10/07 g webster not what I expected,extremely well done all around! 5 stars
11/09/07 il-Palazzo V is such a badass. 5 stars
7/10/07 Jubei Greatly written,one man's revenge turns a country against its dictators.Makes politics cool 5 stars
7/06/07 Greg Terrible movie 1 stars
7/04/07 Rocko Livingston Very very very nicely done! 5 stars
6/30/07 Mark Leonard Very surprised! Very well acted, superb music, gripped me all the the way through. 4 stars
6/19/07 rishy one of the greatest movies ever made. thought-provoking 5 stars
5/06/07 WCC Complete liberal propaganda. pot calling kettle black. 1 stars
4/13/07 Nessus Impressive, an action movie with a message 5 stars
2/26/07 Donny M People are stupid. Best story drivin movie in the last 5 years. 5 stars
2/22/07 Bitchflaps Peurile garbage, a 15 year old Maoist's wet dream I expected it to be bad but Jesus Christ. 1 stars
2/08/07 Andre urbani S for shit - too preachy and assumes the audience are stupid 1 stars
2/07/07 The chode Badass, the dialouge was so good its rediculous. 5 stars
1/11/07 Jake This movie is the complete and utter shit. 5 stars
1/09/07 Gerard Revengeful ! 5 stars
1/07/07 Quicksilver Interesting thoughts on totalitarianism married to long sequences of boredom 4 stars
1/02/07 Todd Fucking cool as hell, not what I was expecting 5 stars
12/12/06 Angela Saunders One of the most thought provoking films of the year. Surprisingly great!!! 5 stars
12/06/06 mel watkins a movie for our times 5 stars
11/19/06 lou a.m.a.z.i.n.g. one of the best films ever. 5 stars
10/29/06 R.W.Welch Paranoid and propagandistic but some good perfs. C+ 3 stars
10/20/06 MP Bartley Interesting ideas, awful dialogue, clumsy execution. 3 stars
10/15/06 Kristina Finally a film that is set out of america and with love and blood at the same time 5 stars
10/06/06 Lance Bush combined with Orwell....Great, timely lessons throughout this deep film of conscience 5 stars
10/02/06 Louise Couldn't get a handle on it at all - gave up after an hour ... 2 stars
10/02/06 Dr. Fishopolis ...and Anastasia Beaverhausen can go eat a dick. 4 stars
9/21/06 daveyt what a load of old tosh... 1 stars
9/17/06 Open/Eyes Fear & Control or Fear of Control? Fair warning... 4 stars
9/14/06 Patrick Petty I found this film great, very thought provoking, reminds me of the times we live in. 5 stars
9/07/06 Indrid Cold Obviously above average, but too much politics and not nearly enough excitement. 4 stars
9/03/06 JeromeBosch Superb Orwellian tale with great acting and FX. 5 stars
8/26/06 james burke Best of 2006 thus far, visually well rendered, superb cast, great material, and relevant 5 stars
8/24/06 AnnieG Very good adaption of the graphic novel. 4 stars
8/24/06 Freedom Loved the movie. "WOW" Could that be our Gov.? This movie could be a BIG eye opener. 5 stars
8/21/06 Gene Awesome 5 stars
8/19/06 ALDO A few good scene but mostly way 2 boring.. TOO much Blah blah blah 2 stars
8/19/06 Mary Beth great on Imax 5 stars
8/17/06 matt a few good parts but mostly just dull 3 stars
8/14/06 Ryan_A Exceeded my expectations. Weaving's vocal delivery is worth 1 star by itself. 4 stars
8/09/06 Lisa Loved it!! Captivated all the way through. Kook LIberal Paranoid & Proud of it!! 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist I can't believe my well tasted uncle loved it, Me? BORING, YAWNFEST,SNORESVILLE!!!! 2 stars
8/09/06 Charles Stroud V for Vendetta is move than a movie, its a conception that fans the flames of liberty. 5 stars
8/09/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Finally, kook liberal paranoids get their film 1 stars
8/08/06 Viper Did Michael Moore write this preposterous rubbish 2 stars
8/07/06 TreeTiger Good movie - go rent it..! 5 stars
8/06/06 davood dreadful,rubbish,awfull,waste of time 1 stars
8/06/06 Charles Strout For all who love freedom, and risk their lives for it. This movie will embrace you're soul 5 stars
8/04/06 philby john Impressive 5 stars
7/30/06 flloyd pretentious, boring, thinly drawn characters that you dont care about in the slightest 1 stars
7/29/06 Robert Maleman Very bad acting and story, boring too. 1 stars
7/16/06 Reklc It appeals to me so I'm an idiot (and proud to be one)! 5 stars
7/13/06 Aaron Dumb, really dumb bad film 1 stars
7/10/06 Lee Fantastic actors. Great dialogue. Brilliant film. Amazing. 5 stars
7/07/06 william zoran Would appeal to an idiot. 1 stars
7/03/06 Another fan disappointed by NP The once superb Natalie Portman would be more appealing engaging in autocoprophagy. 1 stars
6/26/06 Chris Fawkes What a dog of a film. Bored me crapless. V looks like Joan Rivers and who would want to loo 1 stars
6/23/06 LAUREANO VERY MEANINGFULL AND ORIGINAL 5 stars
6/23/06 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Parts that make sense are good, just not enough of 'em. Pretty bad.... no wait...... 1 stars
6/11/06 Jim F. Great, thought-provoking, scary. 5 stars
6/02/06 Hellen It is a great movie, very political 5 stars
5/18/06 Alfred Guy Tried to be different and that's a good thing. 4 stars
5/16/06 TyrantisTerror More like V for OMFG AWESOME! Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. Shut up. 5 stars
5/15/06 Jonny K Excellent Film on every level 5 stars
5/11/06 zaw Great movie, I came from a Socialistic country. Top of my list too! 5 stars
5/11/06 Will Nitschke www.capitaloffice.com.au Based on a comic book but wants its ideas taken seriously, and some can be. 4 stars
5/10/06 Cory Randolph Action-wise, it was boring, though it had interesting topics discussed... 3 stars
5/09/06 aadil fantastic movie... a must see 4 stars
5/09/06 Tranquil Better than I expected, engrossing story and plot development. 4 stars
5/06/06 Freeze Real cliche, nothing new, bored till the end. 2 stars
5/03/06 Alice I dont get it, to me it was boring and VERY average ! 2 stars
5/03/06 liz amato awesome movie, best i have seen 5 stars
5/01/06 lauram Fantastic!!! Made me want to go out and overthrow our liberal old farts government! 5 stars
4/26/06 The Grinch Unfuckwithable! Far exceeded my expectations. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
4/26/06 Clayton Smith this movie is at the top of my list 5 stars
4/23/06 Mase Long in the tooth, not entirely engaging. But has a bold vision. 3 stars
4/22/06 Pat Frederick Totally enjoyed the movie! It was really engrossing! 5 stars
4/21/06 Anthony G Best movie of the year. 5 stars
4/21/06 Hilary 5-star!! Absolutely awesome!! 5 stars
4/21/06 T I thought it was a great movie. I reflected on our own US gov't. 5 stars
4/20/06 malcolm too long. heavy-handed. 3 stars
4/19/06 Koitus Interesting movie, "for OUR time" of "W.' Was expecting more action, though. 4 stars
4/16/06 Furuta The best film i saw this year 5 stars
4/10/06 M Meaningful,Well Written and Couageous. 4 stars
4/10/06 Ty awesome!! awesome!! 5 stars
4/10/06 the untrained eye This is a movie, not a comic book. Repeat. Then enjoy. 4 stars
4/07/06 T loved the flow of words and deep thought. seen it twice already and will purchase it later 5 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych I went in thinking "Matrix," but got Shakespeare instead!! 5 stars
4/02/06 ajay saw it in the IMAX today, pretty good stuff. 4 stars
3/31/06 kaz on the edge of my seat 5 stars
3/30/06 M. Dido It's quite good, but I've yet to see a film adaptation that does justice to Alan Moore. 3 stars
3/29/06 Titus A few rough edits, needs a bit more spit-and-polish, but came off real well overall. 4 stars
3/29/06 John extremly entertaining, well made and applicable - good stuff 5 stars
3/29/06 Lord Jiggy V 4 very tedious, very obvious, and verbose 2 stars
3/28/06 sweetgrrl1972 It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that I've enjoyed this much. 5 stars
3/28/06 Danny Johanson This movie was very entertaining and did deliver everything i thought it would. 5 stars
3/28/06 Riki Slow in the beginning, but picks up 4 stars
3/28/06 herkos akhaion Complex story is not clearly delivered 3 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer V for Victory! This movie entertains in spades! 5 stars
3/27/06 bullit16 Pretty impressive 4 stars
3/26/06 Alex A BORING waste of time. 1 stars
3/25/06 Eevil Wolfie Gave me chills. Needs more action though. 4 stars
3/25/06 Phil beyond my expectations, wonderfully acted, great acting, little different, screw the world 5 stars
3/24/06 pw chong zzzz expected more 2 stars
3/23/06 Anthony G Very Very good. 5 stars
3/23/06 AE Smart thought-provoking cautionary fable 4 stars
3/22/06 Bullwinkle Worth the $5 matinee, def. needed more action though 4 stars
3/22/06 Ole Man Bourbon The world through the eyes of a paranoid schizophrenic? Had its moments though. 3 stars
3/22/06 Persona Surprisingly powerful and absorbing. A great film, period. 5 stars
3/21/06 Kankasaur "V" celebrates victory over tyranny like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture or V-E Day. Good stuff 5 stars
3/21/06 maxomai Damn impressive. 5 stars
3/20/06 Jannie entertaining, truth, Nartalie, ah..masked man, action, fun 5 stars
3/20/06 Mark A nice surpise--good anti-state message 5 stars
3/20/06 gui awesome 5 stars
3/20/06 Rocky Intelligent flick, fiercely anti-authoritarian...really makes you think 4 stars
3/20/06 PeterV2 The parrallels may be updated, but they are still intriguing. 5 stars
3/20/06 Doug Good 4 stars
3/20/06 Matt Very enjoyable, even better on the IMAX. 4 stars
3/20/06 your worst goddamn nightmare This flick was better than the original comic book!!! Not shittin' you.... 5 stars
3/19/06 Agent Sands More creative and inventive and fresh than it thinks it is. 4 stars
3/19/06 mary oh boy i liked this..so much fun , truth, wonderful acting, great message, prophetic, soon 5 stars
3/19/06 great portman was excellent but the film was just average, boring ending 2 stars
3/19/06 Jesse Excellent thinking movie with some nice plot twists. 5 stars
3/19/06 Vicious Uncomprimising, intelligent, visually adept and all around excellent. 5 stars
3/19/06 Chomp Outstanding movie. 5 stars
3/19/06 Heather Great movie 5 stars
3/19/06 Lazlo Simply excellent! Alan Moore FINALLY done justice on the big screen! 5 stars
3/18/06 BrianWilly Very good stuff. 5 stars
3/18/06 um yeah Can I see N.Portmans boobies please!! 5 stars
3/18/06 KingNeutron Definitely worth seeing. 4 stars
3/18/06 julia wonderfully entertaining and fun 5 stars
3/18/06 drone brilliant adaptation 5 stars
3/17/06 jcjs wowsa, not what i expected..at least as wow as 'Fight Club', band, boom yes indeedie, fine 5 stars
3/17/06 djacosta Mind blowing! 5 stars
3/17/06 brian damn awesome 5 stars
3/15/06 archie Masterpiece! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 01-Aug-2006

UK
  17-Mar-2006

Australia
  30-Mar-2006



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