Alan Scherstuhl

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For 523 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Scherstuhl's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Lowest review score: 0 The Red Pill
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 523
523 movie reviews
    • 87 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Colombian director Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent is a legitimate stunner, a river-trip that will mesmerize and jack with you, leaving you not quite certain, at its end, how to go about the rest of your day.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Sachs, a clear-eyed humanist, honors all his characters' pained perspectives.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The story's outline may be familiar, but its emphasis and quality are not.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Raw and insistent, bold and brawling, Girlhood throbs with the global now, illustrating the ways an indifferent society boxes in the people who grow up in project-style boxes.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This film, a great one, demands a follow-up.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This is a haunting puzzle of a movie, one to pick at, to unpeel, to see a second time through eyes that have adjusted to it. It's also alive with tender, tremulous feeling.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The movie, wry and melancholy, doesn't linger over its artistry.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is restful and exhausting, inviting us into contemplation: of Tibet's epic-scale natural beauty, which has rarely been filmed with such you-are-there patience and intimacy, each new horizon these pilgrims reach a reward for their perseverance — and yours.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    With the plotting and the epigrams taken care of, Stillman seems liberated as a craftsman: Never before has one of his films been so crisp, so tart, so laugh-out-loud funny.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    [A] strange, singular heartbreaker of a film about life still flourishing in the most inhospitable conditions.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Perhaps the best film yet set against the mess of the ongoing Middle Eastern wars, Tobias Lindholm's latest is a scrupulous, unglamorized examination of battlefield decision-making — and its potentially devastating impacts, both there and back home.
    • 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.
    • 86 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Some critics find Andersson's latest redundant, arguing that its sketches lack the freshness of those in Songs From the Second Floor. I found it the fullest flowering yet of his approach, with Andersson orchestrating his finest dada — and even risking tenderness and horror.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is richly detailed, and its acting seems almost invisible — the performers just seem to be these people. Court is one of the strongest debut features in years.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    No matter how rigorously worked out each shot and its action might be, Neon Bull always honors the chaotic looseness of everyday living — the way that, unlike in the movies, few of the moments we inhabit seem to be about just one thing.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Few films shake and astonish like this one, even though nothing in it should be a surprise.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    A commanding indictment of the exploitative nature of geopolitics, and of Europe's and the U.S.'s abuse of native peoples around the world.
    • 88 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film, a hard jewel of beauty and reportage, demands and rewards that second viewing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    One of the year's best films, Mary Dore's She's Beautiful When She's Angry is an urgent, illuminating dive into the headwaters of second-wave feminism, the movement that — no matter what its detractors insist — has given us the world in which we live.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Serge Bozon's smart, surprising, marvelously realized French crime-and-sex police drama/comedy distinguishes itself with trenchant plotting, inspired framing, and performances that honor true human feeling even as they lunge into the screwball.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Collin and company are after climate, not weather. They steep us in our awareness that Morgan and his New York have been lost, that our glimpses of it must either be through memory or hazed-up photography — or the music itself.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Mike Birbiglia's Don't Think Twice stands as the best, most revealing film about comedy people and one of the best about artistic collaboration. It's a boisterous and sensitive work of many facets.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Even the familiar elements of this particular family's drama are invested — through vigorous scripting, directing, and acting — with almost elemental power.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    As excellent a documentary about politics as you will ever see.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    This patient, beautiful, painful, engrossing film pits husband and wife against each other and their world in a series of extended conversations/confrontations.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Newtown is an act of memorialization, a demand that this most distractible of countries look close and continue to care.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Scherstuhl
    Lang is uncommonly assured for a first-time director, capturing her scenes in fluid master takes, rarely cutting from one character to the next, letting things unfold at the pace of in-the-moment human feeling.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    [A] studious, rigorous, and surprisingly tender documentary.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The comic scenes arc into bleakness, and the bleak ones often collapse back into comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    If you can work up interest in such meager material, the film is a chilling, stirring, experiential immersion in what life-and-death drama might actually feel like.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Get Out is fully surprising in both concept and craft, with the scares never coming just when you expect them and the secrets more audacious than you might be guessing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Granik, director of Winter's Bone, captures scenes of rare power.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's rare that a film this outraged is also this calm.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    There's something wonderful in how these scenes, so breezy and funny, reveal so much.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    This is a Macbeth to sink into and shrink from, not one to parse.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A 45-minute proto-hip-hop bliss-out, a masterpiece of train- and tag-spotting dedicated to memorializing the extravagant graffiti on its era's MTA trains and how those trains rumbled across Brooklyn and the Bronx, bearing not just exhausted New Yorkers but gifted artists' urgent personal expression.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The world needs to see this spare, revelatory film and hear these girls' pained and sometimes proud confessions.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Time Out of Mind is an experiment in empathy, an examination of bureaucracy and streetlife mundanity, and a movie that many will find a tough sit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Israel's willingness to honor Frank's own vision powers the film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Marczak has captured the specifics of these young folks as they reel through a city that’s been born again, but the film should stir something true in the chest of anyone who ever was lucky enough to run free in their youth, even if only for a night.
    • 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
    He may not be likable, but he remains fascinating. The film is on firm ground when examining Knievel's actual measurable impact: the action/extreme sports that have flourished since his retirement.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The final, moving, nerve-wracking reels are all sea, sky, and desperation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's always political when regular people speak plainly about their circumstances — here, it's also moving, revelatory, and often funny, offering plenty to mull over during the long shots of train workers trundling their food carts.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's a work of community portraiture that slowly develops into collective drama
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Cooper's interest is in the collaboration between the talent and its managers, in the way the duo urged their charges to begin to conceive of their sound, look, marketing, and live performances as all expressive of a singular vision.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Whiskery and restless, grooving and grotesque, the documentarian Les Blank's long-suppressed film A Poem Is a Naked Person plays like your memories of some mad, stoned last-century summer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is fascinating, even if you're resistant to this dark star's gravity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A spare and ravishing doc.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The Seven Five makes for a fascinating character study, but the doc's drama is also compelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is novel-rich, so bristling with life that you might not notice how familiar it is in its contours.
    • 73 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    This marvelous, mostly animated doc/drama hybrid couldn't have come along at a better time.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    It's squirrelly, surprising, and elusive, but this beaut of a debut is no curio.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is a wonder of desert skies, slick tunnels, bumptious fence- and wall-climbing, and occasional staged reveries.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Garbus's film is a portrait of a soul torn apart by forces beyond it and within it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The performances are strong, the imaginary visions are suggestive and fleeting, and the film as a whole is swoony, tender, skittish, a little scary — in short, this is what young love feels like. More Meyerhoff, please!
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Its central journey lives up to the title: Maclean finds time to savor rivers and starscapes and layers of light and mountainous land. The dialogue is flighty yet weighty, each line like some delicate woodcut.
    • 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.
    • 65 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Anna Biller's ripe, vibrant The Love Witch is an act of reclamation — and love.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    Zero Motivation opens as bleak, rebellious comedy but grows into a smart and moving story of entering adulthood.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    The film is brisk, brief, well acted, smartly crafted, and shrewdly judged.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    A marvelous film, stripped of false urgency.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Scherstuhl
    This superb, suspenseful film, completed in 2009, opens as a playful comedy of vacationing couples and awkward romance, one that might be set in the French countryside, but by the end has become a moral drama likely to corrode your certainties.
    • 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.

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