For 343 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.A. Dowd 's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Long Day Closes
Lowest review score: 16 Left Behind
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 343
343 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    If nothing else, Gravity makes the case for throwing immense resources at true visionaries; the blockbuster craftsman as adventurer, Cuarón expertly blends the epic with the intimate. For every stunning 3-D setpiece involving a dangerous hailstorm of metallic debris, there’s a moment of small tenderness.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    A small film of big insights, heavy on dialogue but light on speeches, 45 Years often seems closer in spirit to a ghost story: Nothing goes “boo” or rearranges the furniture, but there’s a unmissable sense that we’re watching two people haunted by a specter from another lifetime.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Bucking the current company mandate of churning out lesser sequels and prequels, it’s not just a brilliant idea, but maybe the most conceptually daring movie the Bay Area animation house has ever produced. And that’s really saying something, what with "WALL-E" on the books.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Like "All The President’s Men," it’s a muckraker movie that celebrates the power of the press by actually showing journalists doing their job, pen and notebook in hand.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Beautifully shot by Amélie cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis is instantly recognizable as the work of its sibling auteurs. But it’s also something of a departure — looser and more rambling than the average Coen concoction, with a lovingly recreated period setting.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    The Look Of Silence is a powerful gesture of political rebellion, one whose boldest action isn’t damning mass murderers to their faces, but being willing to believe that their stranglehold on country and history could be broken.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Every new movie by Jafar Panahi is a miniature coup, an act of fearless political defiance.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Ida
    Over an efficient 80 minutes, no shot feels wasted, and no one says much that couldn’t be better communicated through their placement in the artfully arranged frame.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    Her
    Four films into a sterling career, the director’s made his most beguiling, profoundly human work yet.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    For all the chaos erupting at all times, we never lose track of what’s going on, because it’s been staged not just with diabolical mischief, but also total clarity. What a movie.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    No film set over a single day at Auschwitz is going to be an easy sit, and there are moments here, like a mass midnight purging, that threaten an audience’s capacity to keep watching. But Son Of Saul, for all the enormity of its subject matter, is an oddly gripping experience — a vision of intense purpose found in what may be the final hours of a life.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 A.A. Dowd
    For what it sets out to accomplish, across a brisk 98 minutes, Petzold’s film feels perfectly judged. And it builds to an ending that’s just plain perfect.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    As cinema, Selma is commendable; as cultural barometer, it’s beyond reproach.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Anderson’s latest invention, The Grand Budapest Hotel, may be his most meticulously realized, beginning with the towering, fictional building for which it’s named.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    For Michael Keaton, Birdman is some kind of gift from the movie gods, a license to have his cake and messily devour it too.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    At just 82 minutes, Krisha wouldn’t have hurt for a little more meat on its bones; the last act blows through a shitstorm of confrontation almost too abruptly.
    • 87 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 58 A.A. Dowd
    Payne, who never met pathos he didn’t feel inclined to puncture with slapstick humor, has somehow made his best drama and his worst comedy rolled into one.

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