Short Cuts

Short Cuts

1993
Drama
3h 8m
While helicopters overhead spray against a Medfly infestation a group of Los Angeles lives intersect, some casually, some to more lasting effect. Whilst they go out to concerts and jazz clubs and even have their pools cleaned, they also lie, drink, and cheat. Death itself seems never to be far away, even on a fishing trip. Starring Andie MacDowell, Fred Ward, 'Jack Lemmon' , Julianne Moore, Matthew Modine, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Robbins. (imdb)
Your probable score
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Short Cuts

1993
Drama
3h 8m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 70.8% from 1902 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1902)
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Compact view
Rated 25 Jun 2008
9
93rd
I love ensemble casts and this is one of the best ones out there. Brilliant look at dysfunctional America in just 3 hours! Carver's characters have so much depth and Altman just takes them and makes magic. One of Altman's many masterpieces.
Rated 10 Jul 2009
10
97th
(2nd viewing) A rousing ensemble piece, every story is jazzy and unpredictable. PT Anderson (being the big Altman fan that he is) probably drew a lot of inspiration from this film. A true image of America (or La-La Land for that matter) ? I can't answer that since I don't live there, but it's an interesting, shocking and at times hilarious one. Together with "The Player", Altman's best. Plus, it's got Downey Jr. playing...Downey Jr., loving it !!!
Rated 18 Nov 2007
55
52nd
Direction and cast is real fine, but the movie is somewhat dry. Maybe the stories are better on paper, maybe interconnections would have been more worked. In this state, their main connections are place, depressed state characters are in and more or less progression phase of the stories.
Rated 29 Sep 2010
90
96th
A beautiful and clever story about life, love and lies. Superb use of the jazzy soundtrack and brilliantly shot. One of the best films I've seen in quite a while. It reminded me a bit of Magnolia - especially the ending.
Rated 11 Dec 2008
5
80th
Enjoyable for its entire run and none of the stories seem forced or irrelevant. In the end, the ordinary tone fails to leave an indelible mark & the sexual themes are tired.
Rated 14 Mar 2010
65
15th
Just didn't grab me. I can't argue that it's a bad film, because it's not. I can't argue that it didn't have unifying themes or interesting enough characters, because it does. It just didn't influence me to feel about any of the characters. Maybe people's lives are really like that, but it seemed to be a carefully selected group of oddities. Just normal enough to seem plausible, but underneath all that really existed was a hulking mass of weird and unlikeable.
Rated 08 Feb 2014
67
43rd
Too big for its own good, robbing itself of emotional heft and time for us to really get to know the characters. As such, everything comes across as broad and shallow. This isn't helped by some subplots disappearing for up to 45 minutes before we come back to them. Sure there's some great acting, and a bit of dry humor that really helps, but that doesn't overcome the inherent difficulty with some plots being more interesting than others. Finally, the ending just fizzles.
Rated 30 Apr 2017
88
88th
Slices of lives, all connecting in true '90s fashion, with a wonderful disregard for completing all these mini-narratives cleanly. Over the course of this brisk 3+ hours, we get just enough information from each of the many short stories adaptations, which seem to retain each of their individual narrative rules. Quite a smorgasbord of different stories, all housed in a very general dramedy tone, with a hell of a cast of different actors (though less rock stars would've improved this).
Rated 05 Sep 2011
95
93rd
The ultimate Altman film. So many great characters and performances in some of the quickest three hours I've ever experienced. Highly recommended.
Rated 15 Oct 2015
60
38th
A multiple character study of people who spend a lot of time up their own ar**s. Carver's short stories are much better. #1001Movies
Rated 23 Nov 2008
90
95th
Only Altman can pull of such an epic on human nature out of the everyday life.
Rated 31 Dec 2016
60
48th
Altman returned to the innovative multi-narrative style that he pioneered in the 70's with Nashville, only with far less interesting results. A mosaic of ordinary middle class life set in LA featuring an all star cast, Short Cuts functions as a showcase for the who's who of indie film of the early 90's, along with a few surprises (Lovett) and old staples (Lemmon). Altman juggles the multiple stories effortlessly, and it's well performed, but it's stuck in cruise control.
Rated 25 Jan 2018
98
96th
Short Cuts... this movie is fuggin' long, should be goddamn Long Cuts. good as shit tho
Rated 13 Nov 2007
50
9th
Altman can often be brilliant, but this was just bad. Lazy Californians and their juvenile emotional lives, who cares? Featuring Huey Lewis pissing on a corpse and Julianne Moore's ginger minge.
Rated 09 Aug 2022
83
87th
That this ambitious film actually works is quite an amazing achievement by all involved. Something with so many characters for the most part operating in unconnected narratives should be far more confusing and disinteresting but the 3 hours runtime just flies by as the viewer is completely drawn in by these characters and their little slices of LA life in the 90s.
Rated 08 Nov 2016
4
74th
Everything expected of Robert Altman: a kaleidoscopic ensemble piece which deftly balances absurdity and pathos. Non-event slice-of-life portraiture somehow unfolds organically, nearly unperceived until it's all said and done, into a profound and resonant commonality. It is typical of this filmmaker's material, but Short Cuts is top shelf. The eclectic cast has not one sore thumb, the jazz score is lovely, and its epicenter evocation of Los Angeles is shot with a natural eye.
Rated 03 Aug 2009
85
84th
I have to see this movie once more. The stories are moving and enjoyable at the same time, but I feel 3 hours are a bit too much. Sometimes less is more. (Imagine Trainspotting had three hours too, with 10 more characters - would it make it more classic? I think not.)
Rated 29 Jan 2013
40
12th
a very,very,very,very long film about nothing.Nothing at all. Well....that's unfair, stuff does happen it's just that you dont care about any of it. Utterly unengaging. And very long. Did I mention that before? That it's long? Well if I didnt, let me tell you this - it's very long.
Rated 04 Feb 2010
96
89th
A personal human drama focusing on the dynsfuctional and contemporary side of America. The jazz soundtrack really adds to your overall inclination of the film in the end. Altman amplifies and proliferates the overall perspicuity of Carver's already profilic characters until they overflow with realism and individuality. All of the stories are enjoyable and adequately crafted, not one dull moment in the entire length of the film. A true masterpiece and a high point in Altman's career.
Rated 13 Nov 2011
91
99th
More than anything else, this creates a sense of space unlike anything I have seen before. On their own, the stories are curious at best, interesting portraits of people at various places in their lives and in different situations. But when blended together you create something that is more that just a portrait. You turn them into real human beings. A wonderful work of art.
Rated 24 May 2014
30
18th
An almost random collection of small shorts tied together by a very thin thread. I was left wondering why this movie was made, and what the message was. I really can't recommend it, was impressed by the heavy cast, but the story is poorly held together and ultimately rather pointless. There are a few interesting scenes, but as a whole it falls far short of something complete and meaningful.
Rated 21 Mar 2015
95
96th
A real treat when you have a 3 hour movie that feels like 90 minutes.
Rated 27 Apr 2008
90
91st
A smart and hysterical mix between the deeply tragic and absurdly humorous. Sad and funny, exaggerated and genuine: Fucking fantastic.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
38
23rd
Hard to shake the feeling that there's a sly misanthropy hiding beneath the acute observations. Also hard to pick up any rhythm in this roundelay. For my money, Magnolia corrected all of its faults.
Rated 03 Feb 2024
75
72nd
bazı sahnelerin hangi öyküden geldiğini tanıyabildim, hatta benim carver okurken kafamda yarattığıma benzer sahneler de vardı. yine de serbest bir esinlenme bu, uyarlama değil. kadro çok güçlü, oyunculuk genel olarak iyi, içlerinde jack lemmon'u ayrı bir yere koyuyorum. belli ki pta'nın magnolia'sının esin kaynağı ama ondan her anlamda daha iyi.
Rated 07 Apr 2008
60
41st
I actually seem to prefer Altman's studies on individual characters than his ensemble pieces. Weird.
Rated 24 Jun 2014
80
85th
In my book, a big improvement over "Nashville" and, along with "The Player", Altman's finest. He retains the incredible detail and subtle social satire of "Nashville" and diffuses it into a myriad individually compelling story threads. One thinks that it could have been more eventful and PTA's "Magnolia" works as the enlarged, more hard-hitting version of it (although that one owes much to "Short Cuts") but, as a whole, it's a pretty impressive achievement. Love the non-judgmental soundtrack.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
91
75th
Really long, but genuinely worth the while. Well made film. Engrossing and powerful. Better than Crash in my book.
Rated 16 Oct 2011
70
45th
Linking Carver's stories through the locations is a clever idea and piece by piece I think the movie achieved what it set out to do. However, it is a bit overworked and by trying to clump in 10 stories in 3 hours , all stories lost their punches a bit. Carver stories catch this awkward moments of life perfectly, but when it flutters before you it is just not as effective. Instead of 10 stories and 3 hours maybe the idea would have been better served with 5 stories in 2 hours.
Rated 25 Oct 2011
86
96th
It's not a success on all fronts - Matthew Modine is weak, and when you take the ending of "A Small, Good Thing" out of the wee hours it loses some of its power - but it's a hell of an ambitious success overall.
Rated 18 Mar 2017
75
69th
sinemanın televizyon estetikli, hikaye odaklı hali. ama olumlu anlamda. o jenerasyonun filmi olması sayesinde de "artık böyle filmler yapmıyorlar"daki filmlerden olduğu söylenebilir.
Rated 03 Mar 2011
86
94th
How does Altman do it? This is one of those rare films that is just so engrossing and effortlessly watchable that its 3-hour running time means absolutely nothing. No lie: I watched this for the first time one night, then again the next night. The night after that, I watched half of it and would've finished it had my friend not wanted to. I rarely ever re-watch films so frequently, certainly not 3-hour ones. I repeat: effortlessly watchable. Altman was some kind of genius.
Rated 03 Dec 2019
87
86th
A sprawling, uneven but consistently intriguing stroll through Raymond Carver's suburban hell-scape that you won't want to leave. It is long, and some of the interweaving stories burn less brightly than others, but Carver's dry tone is nailed more often than not by the most gutsy (and most 90s) of casts. A highly fuck-upable, surprisingly solid adaptation.
Rated 21 Sep 2010
82
95th
Excellent cast and sharp writing make this a pretty entertaining multiple character study.
Rated 02 Oct 2023
70
69th
Despite its big runtime, "Short Cuts" is engaging from beginning to end. Thematically-wise, it's dense and layered, and it boasts great performances from its incredible ensemble cast. Its biggest achievement is the way all the different stories and characters are balanced and interconnected. Even though they don't all receive the same attention, they remain interesting and realistic throughout and they play their part in the - hilarious, upsetting and thought-provoking - grand scheme of things.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
70
52nd
# 605
Rated 22 Jan 2010
80
30th
Altman does a hard movie, not many will understand, but I did.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
5
91st
Masterpiece. My favorite Altman movie.
Rated 18 Jun 2007
95
84th
Another multiple-story-line extravaganza, here told with incredible skill. Each story is as entertaining as the last, even if the 90's setting is outdated.
Rated 30 Dec 2007
78
55th
Some of the stories are great, some could have been cut altogether, but I can't really complain. Jack Lemmon's monologue, and the circumstances of Jennifer Jason Leigh's character were my favorite parts, along with a shocking ending that wasn't exactly out of nowhere.
Rated 28 Feb 2013
75
35th
its entertaining and it really gives you the impression, that every single person has more to it, than it seems on first glance, but thats about it. its something, but thats about it.
Rated 22 Mar 2013
75
56th
So, so frustrating. I mean, in terms of cinematic craft and thematic exploration this film is quite incredible. Altman manages to make these characters cross paths in such an exquisite way, and the whole thing has that same feeling as the jazz that makes up the film's soundtrack. But he really messes up in one major regard: he presents these characters without compassion. At times the film feels like Altman is making a check-list of these character's failings, and it is all the worse for that.
Rated 22 Oct 2008
92
60th
An eclectic collection of short stories that is delightful and intriguing to watch.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
62
49th
Wonderfully shot film featuring two dozen people or so, showing how their paths connect and part again over the course of about a week. I always like it when a film maker manages to make quite ordinary lives and daily events fascinating to watch.
Rated 14 Aug 2010
76
95th
#00s#, liked!, oldies(2) }*{ #94#, reviews!, story
Rated 02 Dec 2007
95
70th
It's rare that a film has a profound affect on your life - this one did for me. Altman is fabulous -- he picked a great writer in Raymond Carver, whose short story was the genesis for this movie. Biting, quirky social critic of modern life in America.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
29th
I love the filmmaker (Altman) and the author (Carver) but this film left me cold. There are some incredible moments (Tom Waits dancing around the living room with Lily Tomlin) but the subtle complexities of Carver's stories were never meant for the silver screen.
Rated 30 Aug 2010
45
85th
I really enjoyed this movie, very funny, touching, tense and (sometimes) twisted. I guess you can touch a bunch of emotional nerves with a film made up of intersecting vignettes.
Rated 26 Jan 2010
95
94th
It's not exactly Raymond Carver, but it'll do. Besides, it's a great film in its own right. One of Altman's best.
Rated 04 Jun 2023
89
91st
Accomplishes quite a remarkable feat of being fairly cynical while also spreading empathy in every direction, giving significant depth to an absolute ton of characters. A plea for understanding, full of genuine heart-rending emotion and sly humour. Having one of the greatest ensemble casts of all time doesn’t hurt, either.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
69
38th
627
Rated 12 Mar 2011
71
35th
needs MOdine
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
93rd
A long time since I saw this, but my recollection is that it was very very good.
Rated 14 Jul 2008
100
96th
I adore this film. Opened me up to Altman who I now love. Short Cuts is 2 hours and 40 minutes but flies by. An interesting study of people and their own personal battles and victories.
Rated 14 Apr 2007
80
68th
One of the few good Altman films. Good chronicle of the suffering and messiness of apparently together lives
Rated 21 Jun 2008
90
78th
Pretty masterful piece of work. Depressing though.
Rated 17 Feb 2024
60
26th
Wowhitboymightdie+francessohot+lmaojulianne'scasualbush/pussy+omgherfreakoutISTHATWHATYOUWANNAKNOW-hedidntcuminme!lmao+whydidhekillherlol
Rated 18 Apr 2024
100
96th
Rated 22 Apr 2014
3
36th
time to just admit that i enjoy the cast and the sheer verve of this thing so much that i can't stay offended about carver being transposed to L.A. of all places. i still don't really believe altman has affection for some of these characters and the attempts to find humanism beneath the snide surfaces are patchy at best, but when you've got e.g. tom waits growling "you're the one chippin' away at our mansion of love, baby" to lily tomlin it's hard to give a shit.
Rated 21 Aug 2007
65
60th
Good
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
46th
Not a bad movie but its about an hour too long
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
97th
Very few filmmakers can do the ensemble drama like Robert Altman and this is my favorite one from him. All of the storylines are interesting and it's an amazing cast.
Rated 09 Jul 2021
30
59th
Rated 23 Jan 2022
82
81st
Coexistence.
Rated 10 Jul 2022
70
46th
Top badass moment? Including an infectious disease, purely so we can see pretty helicopters. A film about loads of dull, flawed people with self-inflicted, First World problems. Also features jazz; (shakes head like I’ve just tried to eat a bumblebee by mistake). A voyeuristic but strangely unemotional watch. 1 chainsaw; (a poncy, electric version that any real chainsaw operator with tell you is little more than an electric carving knife. Still, it gets the job done). No cats or decapitations.
Rated 01 Apr 2017
5
91st
Like Carver's written work, finds the core of humanity in its characters even during their weirdest, most selfish, or more mundane moments. The ending is a bit of an anticlimax, but I'm really not sure how it should've ended; I would've been happy to spend another three hours with these people.
Rated 04 Oct 2013
70
35th
With the immense ensemble cast it's a bit confusing at first, but luckily becomes progressively easier to follow as it goes along. The multiple stories are sewn together nicely by Altmans flawless direction and great acting from the parties involved (especially Jack Lemmon stands out in my mind). My really big gripe here though, is that it never reaches a satisfying conclusion. In that way it stays true to the source material, but unfortunately it just doesn't transition very well to film.
Rated 15 Aug 2022
65
31st
Probable score 87: must be good, I thought. But50 min. in and I haven't yet witnessed any interesting dialogue, not anything even a tiny bit interesting. Just shallowness all the way. Pointless. Well, I am not gonna finish it, so maybe I am not in my right to judge the film, but life is too short watching random multi-storylines that do not engage you in ANY way and which they made a lot of in the 90s. Z-z-z-z-z-z-z
Rated 21 Nov 2014
5
70th
not in the same class as nashville. less of a political patchwork, more of an extended neighbours-at-war drama, and not as much of altman's trademark chatter as usual. wasn't that keen on the music either, too light and jazzy. nevertheless, this is still a tightly woven panorama of love, life and death in LA. paul thomas anderson could learn a thing or two from this about long, intertwining storytelling.
Rated 13 Feb 2007
95
95th
Short Cuts estreava há 30 anos no Festival de New York. O ápice da narrativa costurada no cinema, Altman já tinha feito Nashville 20 anos antes, mas foi aqui que atingiu a perfeição. Plus: Ainda tô putaça que o Downey falou que Oppenheimer foi o melhor filme de que participou quando esteve em Short Cuts e Zodíaco. YTS.
Rated 02 Nov 2010
81
86th
Excellent ensemble piece. There is a real underlying tension running through the film, and I found it quite depressing. Are ordinary people really this twisted and weak?
Rated 29 Jun 2017
50
39th
I don't know how generous a mood this movie can conjure, but having allowed myself the long delay until I felt I could watch and waste three hours time, I felt gratified and entertained. The slice of life style narrative combined with the editing, and the particular nuances reached with this medly of actors really felt like a pay-off. Also: This film is now forever a premier nineties time capsule of fashion, attitudes, colours and shapes.
Rated 05 Dec 2010
80
61st
It's not easy to keep the attention of the audience for three hours, especially when the plot is so sprawling and there are so many characters that we're supposed to care about, but Short Cuts does a good job of it. Still, the ensemble getup can get tiring. It's a double-edged sword really. With so many well-conceived stories, you're bound to enjoy at least some of what's going on. But the flipside of the coin is that you never feel like you're getting to the bottom of any single one of them.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
75
89th
Excellent film.
Rated 02 Apr 2013
8
60th
Very ambitious. I really loved the collection of short stories that this film is based on. The tone and mood of the film reflected that of the stories really well. I felt the characters were under-developed though and felt distant from them in the film, which wasn't the case in the book. Altogether very well done though. Cool, syncopated and dissonant, just like the jazz music that punctuates the stories.
Rated 22 Feb 2017
88
94th
This is a great film by Robert Altman. It involves several different characters. Most of the characters are interesting. The script is really well done, it handles multiple characters with ease. I highly recommend this film.
Rated 28 Mar 2009
90
79th
Live and let die in L.A. !
Rated 11 Nov 2008
86
93rd
8
Rated 15 Dec 2009
81
84th
Wonderfully shot film featuring two dozen people or so, showing how their paths connect and part again over the course of about a week. I always like it when a film maker manages to make quite ordinary lives and daily events fascinating to watch.
Rated 08 Feb 2013
92
96th
the policeman is the exact same character as dwight schrute in the office
Rated 06 Feb 2013
90
91st
During quarantine I saw this film thrice in one sitting with the Criterion features, each time with a different soundtrack; the regular mix, the surround mix, and the isolated score. I felt so enraptured by these people's lives every time, whether they were clear as crystal or obscured by the jazz-soaked soundtrack. Aesthetically drenched in the lighting and colour palette of an after-school special.
Rated 03 Jan 2013
84
75th
Half the fun is keeping track of how everyone is related. Who knows who? Who's cheating on who? Which one is he/she married to? It's fun. But even better is how entertaining the writing is. What the film lacks in plot it makes up for in rich, dense dialog and funny situations. A very enjoyable movie from a very talented director and cast.
Rated 08 Nov 2007
100
99th
Every time I watch this movie, something new pops up. It's a masterpiece and certainly much better at getting the stories together than Magnolia did later.
Rated 15 May 2021
63
60th
Another immense ensemble drama from Altman featuring an all-star cast, and now based on Raymond Carver. Meandering as it may be, it never gets boring - but also never achieves a strong emotional impact. Its relative realism is frequently traded for awkward comedy or mild shock. My appreciation of it slowly waned toward the ending, where the interlocked storylines just sort of grind to a halt. I think many have tried to copy these particular Altmans, but it remains quite distinctive.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
70
40th
594
Rated 29 Oct 2010
84
93rd
The only strike against this great film (with a great jazzy soundtrack from Mark Isham) is that when everything was finished, I actually wanted to see MORE--I wanted not only to know more about these characters' futures, but about their pasts as well. After 180 minutes, the movie somehow manages to live up to its name by being too short. That I was just shy of being satisfied with it all ending says perhaps more about how much I enjoyed the ride than about any sort of shortcoming by Altman.
Rated 26 Jan 2007
98
95th
Everything about this film is perfect, with the exception of Tim Robbins, who (Just like he does in The Player) plays his character completely one note the entire time. Whereas the other actors (Particularly Anne Archer, Lily Tomlin and Chris Penn, who are, in my opinion, the MVP's of this absolutely stellar cast) provide layers and depth to their characters, Robbins is just angry! He's angry all the time!
Rated 19 Jun 2013
100
97th
A lot of mind blowing shit going off in your face every few minutes. I love how crude and dirty all of the dialogue is, yet it feels like things people would say. The depiction of sexuality is also done in a way that respects the audience's intelligence and acknowledges that most are aware of stuff like this. Every character's got some piece of shit flaw about them, yet I was so entertained by them. Each storyline ranged from absolutely brilliant to very memorable.
Rated 06 Dec 2022
73
49th
This is one of that subgenre of movies where an impossibly deep ensemble cast acts out 7 or 8 different occasionally intersecting stories. I've always thought that there are exceptionally difficult to get really right, but there's also usually enough to not make them total wastes. I'd say this one is in that category. I don't think everything works, but a lot of it does, and what doesn't doesn't drag it down all that much.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
69
38th
#621
Rated 15 Oct 2011
90
84th
A fantastic cast is beautifully directed in this slice of capital-L-Life epic, and Tim Robbins in particular is brilliant as the sleazy, womanizing, dog loathing, cop.
Rated 04 Jun 2017
50
29th
A lot of great actors at their best in a film about human frailty, ego and dysfunction. Made me feel terribly ill to think that many people live like this in real life.

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