St. Vincent movie review

If ever there was a movie that lived and died by its cast, St. Vincent is that movie.  (And this movie lives.) 

Any time you give a child actor a major role in a movie, you’re taking a huge risk, but the kid works.  Jaeden Lieberher is great in this flick – his reaction in the trailer (“That’s a terrible comparison.”) is not cherry picking – he’s really that good in the movie.  You know you’re going to get greatness from Bill Murray and his grumpy old man routine paired with Lieberher works perfectly.

The excellent cast is rounded out by Melissa McCarthy, who, I think, is in the movie as much as much as she is in part because she’s Melissa McCarthy and she’s so talented; the story itself probably doesn’t need her to extent that she’s on screen.  Naomi Watts is completely unrecognizable.  I had no idea it was her while watching the movie… I have no higher compliment to offer!  Chris O’Dowd and Scott Adsit are doing their thing, which only they can do and which I love so much, but somehow, their characters almost make the movie feel crowded – like, I expect this movie to be small and intimate, but it’s not.  Or not to the extent that I expect.  Oh, and speaking of crowded…

Can Terrence Howard get a break?  And by that, I mean a decent role?  The guy can act, but this role stinks.  He makes it work but just barely.

And now for the part of the review called:


“Hey, what’s that on the ground? Is that the script?”
(I apologize if you don’t get the reference.)

The tree branch that jumpstarts the movie makes no sense; the movers are backing up the wrong way on the wrong side of the street toward Vincent’s driveway rather than the driveway to which they are delivering…  couldn’t they just hit his car with the truck?  Simple is better.  Or maybe interesting is better – it’s good start a movie off with an interesting incident rather that a convoluted one, but I guess I prefer forgettable to convoluted.  Later in the film, little Oliver runs into the bullies outside of school, who just happen to be in the same alley at the same time… “Hey, what’s that on the ground?  Is that the script?”

Things like this kept distracting me.

The surprises come from the character development, not the plot.  You don’t watch this movie to experience the situations but rather, to see how the characters react to them.  This isn’t a bad thing (especially when you have great actors), but I wouldn’t call it the most satisfying of experiences.

So while I did say that St. Vincent lives, I wouldn’t necessarily say it thrives.  I’m giving this a 6.5 out of 10; it’s a must see for Bill Murray fans and I think most folks could appreciate this flick once, but I can’t give it a solid recommendation.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on March 31, 2015, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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