Woody Allen's Scoop is familiar in the best sense of the word. A return to comedy after having his biggest success in quite some time with the drama Match Point, this comedy finds the director falling back on many elements and themes familiar to those with an affection for his work. He uses magic, a topic that the real Allen has always been interested in, and his obsession with the afterlife in order to create his most appealing comedy in almost a decade. Allen's on-screen persona has become little more than a collection of tics, but that is not to say he doesn't know how to use that persona for great comic effect. In this film his third-rate magician's endless stage patter, a patois he maintains even when not on-stage, allows him to poke fun at show business insincerity in a number of funny ways. Scarlet Johanssan does a fine job with her line readings managing to make Allen's signature dialogue her own while still respecting the familiar timing. Solid performances by Ian McShane and Hugh Jackman help keep the film humming along, and Allen cooks up a dozen or so one-liners that are worthy of his reputation. While none of this will win over those who don't care for Allen, fans will warm easily to this enjoyably silly enterprise.
by Perry Seibert review