Alan Scherstuhl
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For 225 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Scherstuhl's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 All Is Lost
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Lincoln
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 225
225 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The story's outline may be familiar, but its emphasis and quality are not.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Porter's film is dramatic, unsettling, despairing, and in the end thrilling -- at some point, it grows from a portrait of this country's problems into a celebration of a possible solution.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Demme has crafted yet another superb document of musicians at work, one as much about creation—and the sources of inspiration—as it is about performance. A wonderful film, as in, it's full of wonders.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This stellar, incisive slice-of-life doc centers on the kind of crowd-pleasing competition story that lures in audiences and then lays bare heartsick truths about small-town America today.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This is a film to see and then see again, to soak in and marvel at and -- like its director -- try to keep up with.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Levinson follows the ups and downs of bringing that beast of a collider online, but the movie's deepest thrill lies in what these men and women will theorize next, and how they will test it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This film, a great one, demands a follow-up.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Patient, observational film demands you surrender to it, that you keep your phone in your pocket, which means that movie theaters now sometimes offer a more unmediated look at the world than modern life itself.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    A pained and gorgeous summoning, Petra Costa's haunted doc Elena dances with death, memory, and family, seducing viewers and then breaking their hearts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The stirring new documentary The Case Against 8, showcasing the lawyers and plaintiffs who challenged California's 2008 gay marriage ban, is the best kind of popular history, a film that trembles with tears and hope, and I dare you to get through it without bawling some yourself.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film, while wrenching and audacious, is crafted with that humane and observational mastery of great Iranian cinema of recent decades.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    [A] strange, singular heartbreaker of a film about life still flourishing in the most inhospitable conditions.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Vital, illuminating, and terrifying, Rory Kennedy's Last Days in Vietnam probes with clarity and thoroughness one moment of recent American history that has too long gone unreckoned with.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Cutter Hodierne's gorgeous, harrowing debut feature, Fishing Without Nets, doesn't just ask you to feel a bit for Somali pirates, as Captain Phillips did -- Hodierne puts you in their shoes.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Vital, thoughtful, and deeply personal, first-timer Darius Clark Monroe's autobiographical doc stands as a testament to the power of movies to stir empathy.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The fights Virunga documents couldn't feel more urgent. This is one of the year's most compelling and important films.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Jennifer Kent's maternal nightmare The Babadook is the imperial stout of recent fright flicks -- it's the one that will have you walking funny and might rip into your sleep. It's hard to say that you'll enjoy this film, but it's hard not to admire it, if maybe with your eyes half shut.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The directors plant a camera in front of Roth and get him talking. To smooth over edits, they show us book covers and old photos—Roth was dashing, charming, a little dangerous, one of his college friends tells us, but she doesn't need to say it. It's manifest, and it's still true. The film is especially recommended to anyone who thinks they hate him.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Here's a movie with magic.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    With extraordinary access, Pahuja illuminates extraordinary conflicts and contradictions facing modern girls in a country even less ready for them than ours.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A spare and ravishing doc.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A marvelous film, stripped of false urgency.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The Attack is most avowedly "about" terrorism. But that's a subject, not the subject. The film, an arresting and upsetting one, is also about love, trauma, and trust, both within one particular marriage and within entire cultures.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The movie is revealing, wrenching, and important, a reminder that what feels wrong in our gut—the effort to turn free-roaming and unknowable beasts into caged vaudevillians—is always worth investigating.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Wise, warm, funny, open, and more interested in life as it's actually lived than any other to debut this summer.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Director James Ponsoldt gives us long, loose, single-shot courtship scenes, each a marvel of staging and performance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Prince Avalanche reconciles Green's twin modes into a whole no other director could have, deeply felt and light as laughter.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The final, moving, nerve-wracking reels are all sea, sky, and desperation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Despite the poetry its subtitle promises, the fascinating crows-in-the-skyline doc Tokyo Waka is more informative than lyric, which is not at all a complaint.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The key question is whether this procedural—as in, here we watch killers proceed—contributes to any greater understanding. I believe it does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A simple, solid, deeply affecting film.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    As a whole, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's wrenching, humane film is as convincing a brief as I can imagine in favor of that most controversial of all pregnancy-terminating procedures.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Even if you know this history already, A.K.A. Doc Pomus is vital and endearing, a celebration of a great artist, a great character, and the universality of great pop.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The comic scenes arc into bleakness, and the bleak ones often collapse back into comedy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Tender, humane, and searing, How I Live Now stands as something all too rare: a movie about young people that young people may love — but not one that lies to them, and not one built for them alone.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Caucus is a lively, hilarious, upsetting crash-course in recent history. It's also revelatory at times, especially as it reframes infamous sound bites in their of-the-moment context.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Michael Winterbottom's wise and involving Everyday specializes in unscripted-feeling moments that ache of life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Ordinary life comes to look like a humiliation in the late reels of Lenny Cooke, yet another heartbreaker of a doc in which a compelling basketball story powers a discomfiting examination of a crisis facing young American men.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    If White Reindeer's satirical elements feel off the rack, that's because what they're satirizing in our real lives is, too.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Yet another first-rate film from a Middle East rich with them.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's sweaty, disorienting, thrilling. Rarely has a narrative feature so marvelously integrated a sequence of experimental filmmaking, and that sequence alone guarantees A Field in England should thrive on the midnight circuit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The documentary is stellar, despite some vague visual-metaphor stuff involving dioramas in an attic. Bring something you can punch, as you will be furious.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    At least we have this gem, the rare tease of what could have been that actually proves satisfying enough on its own.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Schimberg, in this debut, demonstrates rare assuredness in shooting and staging scenes, coaxing unexpected but true-feeling flourishes from his cast of mostly amateurs blessed with extraordinary faces.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Goldfine and Geller pace and structure The Galapagos Affair like the true-crime tale that it is, its mysteries rich and involving, its characters enduring in the imagination long after the film has ended.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's part caper comedy, part revenge tale, and part glorious whopper.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The horror's a long time coming, but Goldthwait and company make the waiting worth it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A Most Wanted Man is simply a complex tale superbly told, with time for nuance and to soak in its mysteries.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The movie's packed with minor incidents, all fresh, compelling, and funny. It also boasts two lengthy scenes that are touched with something greater.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Vital and vigorous even when its characters feel scraped of vigor/vitality, Philippe Garrel's latest finds boho Parisians facing the ends of marriages, affairs, and the feasibility of bohemian existence itself.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    We Are Mari Pepa is a sweaty, urgent, beautifully honest bliss out.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Dencik’s gorgeous, surprising, meditative film opens up one of the world’s last unknown places, and it will also make you want to befriend every Dane you can.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Sutton's Memphis framed in fascinating layers -- leaves and tree limbs, wig shops and overgrown gravel roads. It's a movie of a place and a character rather than about them.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    What's singular here isn't that the stars are playing brother and sister, or that they stir such sublime and anxious joy from each other. It's that the real love story isn't even between the damaged-but-lovable characters. It's between two profoundly depressed people and life itself.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Co-writer/director/proudly nude star Amalric cuts everything to the quick: Most shots have the feel of still photos, the camera firmly planted, and the movie always hustles us to the next, back and forward in time, the effect part Resnais and part staccato Kodak slideshow.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    What's perhaps most moving in Waiting for August, a quiet film of weight and joy, is its sense of desperate normalcy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Accomplishes the nearly impossible trick of updating viewers on the prevalence of genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries without rubbing our noses in our failure to stop it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Valedictory and elegiac, Keach's film captures a performer who only truly seems to inhabit himself during the performances.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Nothing in this film (and little in any other movie this year) compares to the scenes of Sandusky's adopted son, Matt, recounting his realization that the charges of pedophilia against Sandusky squared with the ways Sandusky had treated him, too — treatment he'd never been brave enough to admit.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The director invites us in, to play and dream.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    If beauty and revelation is your bottom line, Anthony Powell's rhapsodic Antarctica: A Year on Ice will prove a grand time at the movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Director Richard LaGravenese, who also adapted the novel, lavishes the material with greater wit than its demographic demands, and the central love story feels warm-blooded—the air prickles between the leads.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Despite its moral seriousness, the film's a crowd-pleaser, boasting tense set pieces, a raucous polyglot of voices and accents, beauty-in-poverty streetscapes, and two warm, brawling, big-hearted leads.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is like his life: scabrous, upsetting, kind of moving, funny as hell, alive with hints of how we've become what we are.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    If you somehow manage to stay dry-eyed through the concert numbers, the end should set you bawling.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is often beautiful and appealingly light. Every clear-eyed insight into why pushy people insist on pushing is matched by loose ensemble humor and lyric reveries.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The funny stuff outweighs the cock-ups, and supporting performances from Stephen Merchant and Minnie Driver kick the movie toward something grander.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The ending is a bit of an audience-pleasing cop-out, a retreat into formula after 80 minutes or so of upending it. But those upendings are memorable, the cast dishy fun, and Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale's breeze of a script (based on Hale's novel) is smart about the allure of fictional romances.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    David M. Rosenthal's sturdy, nasty rural noir, based on Matthew F. Jones's novel, is so sharp and rusted through that, after taking it in, you'll likely need a tetanus shot.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Dark Touch, like much of the best horror, works the fears that connect to real life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Greg "Freddy" Camalier's engaging new doc Muscle Shoals stands as a winning tribute to the coastal Alabama studio, musicians, and engineers who laid down some of the greatest pop tracks of the late '60s and early '70s.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The movie is involving, the romance affecting, the sex sound, and the catch-as-catch-can handheld camerawork smartly appropriate for the scenario.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    For the most part, the narrative here feels generational, representative, rather than invested in the specific incidents of specific lives.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Kudos to the filmmakers for so adeptly laying out the history of American evangelicals' Ugandan mission, and for noting that HIV infection rates there have gone up since the abstinence-only education started.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    This is squirmy, hilarious fun.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Newell's film doesn't supplant Lean's, of course. The yearning is more vague, the gloom less consummate. But it's the best since, rich in feeling and dark beauty, alive with the superior scenecraft, chatter, and imagination of the most beloved of novelists.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Sure, all the studios offer anymore are big, dumb adventure spectacles, but that's not a knock against the achievement of this one, which at least parades wonders before us, not the least being the greatest dragon in the history of movies.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film stirs richer, truer feelings once it becomes a one-man show. This is due both to Heisserer's and Walker's skill — the tension is strong, the scenario elemental, and Walker's harried, urgent hero is compelling — but also the fact that the movies are really good at dudes doing things, especially when those things are scrappy, desperate, and heroic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The kind of movie fans will be quoting for the rest of their lives, Shoot Me, from director-producer Chiemi Karasawa, is as much a playdate as portrait, a jumble of salty highlights attesting to the pleasure of her company.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    In Secret boasts vigor and thematic richness, that feeling of artists expressing something vital.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The old footage — newsreels, scraps of home movies — is entrancing, and even those familiar details eventually accrete with the fresh ones into something grand and stirring, especially near the conclusion.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Credit this spirited, uncommonly effective found-footage thriller for breaking the templates promised by its genre and title.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    The Double, with its inviting alienation, nails a curious mood that's been too long absent from contemporary film: the anxious admission that the world might be weighted against the plucky individual, and that prickling you feel just before such thoughts make a sweat break out.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    A restless, sunnily shot, one-thing-after-another travelogue of the peculiarities of American worship and belief.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    That patience of Reichardt's, and her dedication to showing us exclusively the things that we must see, makes the scenes of preparation — boat parking, fertilizer buying — hypnotic and suspenseful and practical all at once.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    For all the hurtling plot, and its occasional workaday scenecraft, Burning Bush proves an engrossing historical drama, low-key but in its final moments devastating.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    A major achievement in sunny wretchedness, Álex de la Iglesia's splatter-comedy Witching & Bitching projectile pukes its outrages at you with a gusto recalling the early days of those (sadly) reformed upchuckers Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Eastwood may never show us his boys discovering themselves under that street lamp, but he gives us a clutch of moments worth treasuring — and mostly without overdoing it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    There's much in Born to Fly to thrill to, dream with, flinch from: dancers leaping from a great whirling wheel and smacking onto mats far below; dancers ducking and leaping a wickedly spinning I-beam or cinderblock.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    A Walk Among the Tombstones is an uncommonly well-made thriller.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's part Live at Birdland, part Boy in the Plastic Bubble, all warmly thrilling.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Scherstuhl
    Poitras shows us history as it happens, scenes of such intimate momentousness that the movie's a must-see piece of work even if, in its totality, it's underwhelming as argument or cinema.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    Milos's film pulses with f#*!-it-all abandon and chintzy eastern-Euro club beats.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    The performance and filmmaking are invigorating.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film's heady buzz is invigorating, and there are substantial pleasures—and laughs—to be found in all its real-life-just-gone-sour strangeness.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's not enough to call this the rare franchise action movie to bring the goods; it's the even rarer one whose creators seem to understand what the goods even are.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    Everyone involved at last seems to understand that the mode here is comic. Previous entries suffered from self-important glumness that gummed up the fun whenever the cars weren’t racing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    A flawed, fascinating testament to a time of discovery in Hollywood: of how stories could be told onscreen, of what great actors might find within themselves, of just what in the hell this country had become in the late-'60s crackup.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Scherstuhl
    Directors Tom Bean and Luke Poling never shy away from the possibility that Plimpton at times was more a personality than a serious writer.

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