44 Inch Chest 2009

Critics score:
40 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, At the Movies: I just felt like it was not going anywhere after a while and I did feel like I was trapped in a play that wasn't really working for me. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The effect is to clobber you with lines that were already clobbersome and needed no extra emphasis. It starts to feel less like a thriller than an actors' workshop. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: The frequently profane dialogue suggests David Mamet on an off-night (so does Malcolm Venville's claustrophobia-inducing direction), though the first-rate cast works hard. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Is this a documentary about a porn professional? Or a gym rat? Neither. It's a stagy, half-entertaining, half-tedious acting competition between five excellent Englishmen. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: Malcolm Venville, in an assured directorial debut, builds suspense with steady effectiveness. Read more

Melissa Anderson, L.A. Weekly: [An] often sharp, nasty expose of masculinity. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: A very strange, often terrible affair that is nevertheless mesmerizing, in a limited way. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Even a great British cast and obscenity-laden gangland dialogue aren't enough to make what amounts to an extended acting exercise into much of a movie. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: If you value your I.Q., avoid a horror called 44 Inch Chest like V.D. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The whole thing feels like middle-period Mamet with English accents, and not much to say. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: There's a difference between exposing misogyny and crassly exploiting it. Read more

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle: It's an interesting spectacle, but not enough to carry a movie. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: All moody buildup and no -- I mean no -- real suspense. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: After a while you can see why the wayward wife moved on to fresher prospects. Our man Ray is all talk, no bloody action. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With violence on the menu, it's a guilty pleasure to watch these stage-trained hambones unleash a rapid-fire roundelay of righteous indignation. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: The cast to die for is almost entirely wasted in this machismo-marinated slab of Brit-crime nastiness. Read more

Wally Hammond, Time Out: Aiming for black comedy and a redemptive satire on self-deluding male machismo, ham fisted debut director Malcolm Venville instead gives his cast enough rope to hang themselves rather than the characters they play. Read more

Leslie Felperin, Variety: Could easily elicit accusations of misogyny -- especially given its percussive, unrelenting but eminently realistic use of the C-word -- but it's actually, at its best, an acute, unblinking portrait of misogyny in practice, not a misogynistic text itself. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: It's sometimes difficult to discern whether the filmmakers are dissecting male bonding, ritualized aggression and sexual anxiety or celebrating it. Read more