For 241 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.A. Dowd 's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 16 Left Behind
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 241
241 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    What’s uniquely remarkable about The Long Day Closes, Terence Davies’ 1992 return to his own childhood, is how gloriously disorganized its story feels.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    There’s a cumulative power here that transcends any rough patches. Boyhood isn’t perfect, but it’s an astonishing, one-of-a-kind accomplishment—and further proof that Linklater is one of the most daring, ambitious filmmakers working today.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    Two Days, One Night is a small miracle of a movie, a drama so purely humane that it makes most attempts at audience uplift look crass and calculated by comparison.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    Her
    Four films into a sterling career, the director’s made his most beguiling, profoundly human work yet.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    Just as swoon-worthy, and essential, as its predecessors, Before Midnight reveals the full scope of Linklater’s ambition. This is not just another stellar follow-up, but the latest entry in what’s shaping up to be a grand experiment — the earnest attempt to depict the life of a relationship onscreen, decade by increasingly tumultuous decade. In the process of justifying its own existence, Before Midnight redeems the very notion of sequels.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    More "Full Metal Jacket" than "Dead Poet’s Society," the film is an epic battle of wills between two fanatical artists, one doing everything in his power to painfully make a master out of the other.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    Fans of early John Carpenter will immediately identify the master’s influence — on the voyeuristic slink of the camera, the synth pulse of Rich Vreeland’s throwback score, and the transformation of “safe,” warmly lit residential environments into landscapes of dread.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Blue Ruin rarely resembles anything but itself. Much of the singularity can be attributed to the film’s atypical hero, surely one of the year’s great characters.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    If there’s any fault to find in this expertly directed, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego, it’s that Östlund basically arrives upon a perfect ending — one that brings the movie full circle, both dramatically and visually — and then bypasses it in favor of a more muddled one. But as climactic missteps go, it’s not exactly disastrous.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Polley’s fledgling foray into documentary filmmaking is also an investigative mystery, a real-life soap opera, and — most compellingly, perhaps — a searching “interrogation” (the director’s word) of the hows and whys of storytelling itself.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    In many respects, Adam and Eve are nocturnal cousins to the angels from Wim Wenders’ "Wings Of Desire": They’re secret observers of history, living records of the past with little control over the future. But Jarmusch has no interest in the kind of guilt and grief Wenders wove through his movie; Only Lovers comes in a hipper, sexier shade of melancholy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    The plight of this struggling family unit weighs more heavily on the heart with each passing minute, making Stray Dogs the rare marathon-length art film that seems to grow less oppressive the longer it goes on.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Easily one of the year’s best comedies, the movie thrives off the chemistry between its leads, with Pegg painting a very funny portrait of emotional paralysis and Frost demonstrating a heretofore unseen talent for intimidation.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Explicit lesbian lovemaking aside, Blue is, at heart, a somewhat ordinary coming-of-age romance, pulled and stretched nearly to its breaking point.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    There’s a cracked logic, a genius almost, to the film’s amped-up irreverence. Maybe laughter isn’t just the best medicine, but the only sensible response to this much brazen amorality.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    If there was any doubt that this is a horror movie, Hans Zimmer’s score pounds and roars with dread — the appropriate soundtrack for the madness of history.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Under The Skin is rich with menacing atmosphere, so much so that viewers could probably tune out the narrative and still get on the proper wavelength.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Burshtein shoots in extreme shallow focus, framing her actors against a sometimes-blinding blanket of white fuzz. It’s a decision that, coupled with Yitzhak Azulay’s stirring, chant-driven score, lends each conversation a near religious aura.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    American Hustle turns out to be a freewheeling party of a movie, one that never stops adding complications and wrinkles and hungry new players to the mix.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    In examining the man’s selfless service, Moss uncovers something greater than a vision of a divided community; he’s made a drama as prickly and surprising as any fictional character study.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    The Missing Picture might have felt academic, even coldly removed, were it not for its scathing narration, penned by Panh (with Christophe Bataille) and read by Randal Douc.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    There are some who have complained that C.O.G. ends too abruptly, but it has the bracing, devastating punctuation of a fine short story.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    The footage, edited by Actress director Robert Greene, coheres into what feels like one long, chaotic school day. You can practically feel the pulse of grown-up veins, the fraying of last nerves.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    The bloodshed is fast and brutal — the flash of a knife, a splash of crimson in a backseat, an opening robbery gone horrifically awry. There’s even a little Tarantino in the staging, as when a blood-splattered wallflower unleashes her Kill Bill-style vengeance straight into the camera lens.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Drenched in the evening glow of its urban and suburban backdrops, Darker comes alive in the dark, when its characters are drowning their sorrows in song, the sauce, or conversation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Believe it or not, though, the real horror of this superb Aussie monster movie has almost nothing to do with the title fiend and everything to do with the unspoken, unspeakable impulses he represents. Remove the Babadook from The Babadook, in other words, and something plenty terrifying remains.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    This is clearly the work of a master in the making, an artist on the cusp of greatness. Farhadi may be fixated on fibbers, but there’s almost no one working today who makes films so emotionally honest.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    At its core, Wild Canaries is a reminder that relationships require a sense of adventure, and maybe a little mystery, to keep the magic alive. Indie comedies, as the film proves, benefit from the same.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Identity is the film’s true subject: As much as he pokes fun at the foibles of a privileged white America, Simien is more interested in the ways his protagonists conform, or refuse to conform, to society’s idea of them.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Given the material, it’s fitting that Mr. Turner is the director’s most visually ravishing movie. With cinematographer Dick Pope behind the lens, every shot is gorgeous enough to hang in a museum.

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