Amy Nicholson

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For 328 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 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Amy Nicholson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Handmaiden
Lowest review score: 0 3 Geezers!
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 328
328 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    With The LEGO Batman Movie, a shiny, irresistible delight, blockbuster flicks have perfected their ideal form.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Cartel Land is interested in how idealism becomes corrupt.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is a jaw-dropping, pulse-quickening mash-up.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    As we switch sympathies from scene to scene, Muylaert forces us to think big about the clash between idealism and acceptance, a philosophical war that spills beyond the walls of this small story into every corner of our own lives.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Most docs are lucky to have one wild character. The phenomenal Finders Keepers has two.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Barry's questions are powerful whether asked by a future president or a future janitor. The script is great no matter who it's about — it's just that fewer curiosity-seekers would give it a watch were it about someone else.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Raw
    Ducournau has made a beautiful film about terrible horrors.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Jesse Moss's documentary The Overnighters is a heart-wrencher about the clash between economics and ethics. Its story sounds like the sort of dry news blurb you'd skim over in the Sunday paper but unfolds into an epic tragedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Spy
    It's a comedy of exasperation where, for once, the joke isn't on McCarthy, but on everyone who can't see her skills.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    A transcendent comic chiller, when The Guest's characters are in peril we actually care, and Wingard respectfully makes the kills clean and quick.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Red Army is a riveting look behind the Iron Curtain.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Jenkins has made something astonishing: a film with immaculate craft that, at the same time, feels spontaneous, even tentative, as if it could panic that it’s revealed too much and close the curtains.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Casting JonBenét, my favorite film at this year's Sundance, shows a director in full control.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Most astonishingly, with the franchise's powerful climax, Lawrence has managed to align her parallel Hollywood lives and reinvent the prestigious popcorn flick, a crowd-pleaser with intelligent class.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra is a bloody valentine attached to a bomb. It’s violent, brash, inventive and horrific, and perhaps the most romantic film of the year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Kaufman builds an emotional world we're nervous to enter, one we're already living in.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    As an action film — which in small bursts it is — Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Director Rian Johnson's resulting film, a cornfield neo-noir, is the coolest, most-confident sci-fi flick since 2006's "Children of Men."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    In the first film, his rhythmic overkills felt brutal. Here, they're more like a dance, and the best bits of the movie have a lightness that made me giggle with delight.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    This sparse marvel leaves the audience rattled by how small decisions lead to big consequences. Still, you're most likely to leave the theater gushing about the cast's bravura unbroken performances.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Sausage Party is ballsy and dumb and brilliant all in one bite.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Chi-Raq is a marvel. It's Lee resurrecting his voice — angry, impassioned, and funny as hell — right when we need to hear it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Amy Nicholson
    Logan is the rare action flick in which the quiet moments are as compelling as any of the fights.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Amy Nicholson
    It's thrillingly, fiercely female. It takes the same neighborhood-boy-turns-hoodlum story we've seen for a century and simply flips the script.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Amy Nicholson
    Peele is so attuned to the tiny ways race sneaks into conversations that we hear it in every line. Our suspicions are so heightened, we start to second-guess our own senses.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Amy Nicholson
    The Love Witch, by writer/director Anna Biller, is a feminist film about a character who thinks feminism is bad news. It's delightful.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Lord and Miller do great work within constraints, taking pre-made pieces and fashioning them into feats worthy of applause. It's no wonder they made a Lego movie — and it's no wonder it's so good.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Gleeson is one of the finest actors we have, and in casting him as the lead, McDonagh stacks the deck so that regardless of our own religious reservations, we're forced to care about Father James as a man.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Nicholas Stoller's hilarious Neighbors splashes into summer with the satisfying swish-plop-hooray of a winning beer pong serve.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Lenny Abrahamson's shattering drama Room borrows its fictional plot from the tabloids and strips it of sensationalism.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Nebraska is the antidote to other family charmers about goofballs in matching sweaters.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Grand Budapest is Anderson's most mature film, and his most visually witty, too. It's playful without being self-congratulatory, and somehow lush without being cloying.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    [Wiig's] great, but the film's in the pocket of Powley's rib-high corduroys from the second she struts onscreen — and long after she takes them off.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    The Boxtrolls is a kiddie charmer that makes you laugh, cower, and think of Hitler. That’s an unusual trifecta, but then again, this is an unusual film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Bird layers on plenty of dazzle... But his heart is what keeps the story motoring and the ending is perfectly engineered, including a coda that encourages all of us to try harder.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Gibney dissects Jobs's image with the calm curiosity of a coroner.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    '71
    [An] excellent, tensely controlled thriller.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    They Came Together is one joke repeated until you're broken down by the giggles. It shouldn't work as well as it does, and wouldn't if it weren't perfectly cast with America's Comedy Sweethearts.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Rebel Wilson is the peroxided Aussi who stole scenes as Kristen Wiig's roommate in "Bridesmaids," and this is the role that will turn her into a star.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    The Rover might not be about anything at all, but the dust it stirs up sticks to you after you leave the theater.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Obvious Child is perfect for those who want more honesty in fiction.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    The masterstroke of Frank, the film ex-Sidebottom collaborator Jon Ronson has now co-written, is that this time the man in the mask is a modern Mozart. And, unsparingly, Ronson has written himself as the jealous goober who risks everything, with the delusion that he's the smart one.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    It's impossible to watch The Punk Singer and not ask if feminism is dead. That's a fair starting question. But a better one is what if it isn't — what if we've just stopped recognizing it?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    The Wolfpack is more like a diorama of the Angulos' unusual childhood than an explanatory documentary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    Adams’s clear-eyed, open-minded doctor forces us to ask how much we’re willing to communicate.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    At a time when judgment and self-righteousness outrank forgiveness and empathy, Nadine is the heroine we need.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    Colossal has no patience for piety or punishment. Even when Gloria gets punched in the face, the film refuses to sob. Instead, it's oddly heroic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    It's possible to watch Silence and see a story about saints martyred by an oppressive government. It's also possible to see a told-you-so parable about imperialists who should have stayed home. I suspect Scorsese would be a little disappointed by either conclusion. But he stays quiet because he wants to challenge the audience to go deeper inside themselves, to separate our own religion (or lack of one) from the faith that guided us to it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    Like most coming-of-age flicks, Morris From America tries too hard to make friends. At least its scenes of unearned triumph are balanced by embarrassing bits that hit emotional bullseyes. It’s so likable I wondered if I was a sap for enjoying it, so I watched it again and liked it more.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    Kong: Skull Island is an offering to the hungry mouths at the multiplex who want to cheer a movie that doesn't insult, or tax, their intelligence.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    Don’t Breathe is a small delight, like stumbling across a shiny silver dollar.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    It’s a hero story for wonks and scientists, people who spend their days surrounded by dry-erase boards inked with numbers and grids and yet go to work in a jumpsuit, their faces smeared with muck.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    At times, Wonder Woman feels like watching Splash with a shield — another babelicious naïf breaking all the rules. Yet the joke isn't on her. It's on all the men mistaking unsophistication for weakness. To be uncultured is to be mentally free; no one's put on a yoke. That's what makes Wonder Woman a knockout.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Amy Nicholson
    For the first time, a Marvel movie draws that pencil line from dream to screen. Where the earlier films felt hard and shiny and steel-colored — the look of bashing action figures on a sidewalk — Strange is ink-smudged and obsessive. It's defiantly old-school — not the cozy, apple-scented nostalgia of the first Captain America film, but that cold, back-of-the-library whiff of eraser nubs and mold.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Jaden Smith is destined to be a star by the force of will (and wallets) of parents Will and Jada Smith, both producers on The Karate Kid. But he's also got the raw material.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    You're Next streamlines the gory stuff for something truly shocking: good characters. Not deep, mind you. But characters who are crayoned in bright enough that they're interesting even while alive.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    For all the distractions and gags, Inside Out argues a more complex idea: that sometimes, Sadness deserves to steer, and that as we age, our happy memories deepen when tinted a wistful blue.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Ford is hilarious and brooding, deeply wrinkled and deeply intimidating. He's got the best lines, courtesy of screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (of the repellent "27 Dresses" and the much better "The Devil Wears Prada").
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Entertainment is a painful, poetic watch.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Every frame of silent, lip-biting, pent-up tension in the series has been holding its breath for this -- a 600-minute soap opera suddenly exploding into a Grindhouse slasher.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Joe
    Joe is Cage's periodic reminder that he's one of his generation's great talents.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Why is Emmerich elbowing his way into the conversation about Shakespearean authorship? Because the debate is explosive - and he can't resist packing on a few more pounds of dynamite on his confident drama of incest, greed and beheadings.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    This over-the-top sequel caters to the lowest common denominator in the best possible way, and it's so fully committed to brainless bombast that it muscles audiences to applaud by sheer force of will.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    What makes Forte so funny is that he stalks through the flick cocksure and utterly deadpan.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    It's less interesting watching them do what they both feel they have to do -- talk about their craft -- especially as both give off the prickly energy of artists who would rather create than explain. They're more comfortable asking one another questions, even though the answers are shrugged off humbly.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    This movie is a narrow character piece that shows Pacino wrestling to reveal layers in a man who's worried he might actually be hollow. He and Fogelman string together dozens of small, perfect moments.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    The script is solid, and the fight scenes are excellent.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    The Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs franchise takes its comic cues from The Muppets and Pee Wee's Playhouse, kids' shows that ripen as their audience matures.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Mood Indigo is bitter candy, a heartbreaker that uses sugar as a trap.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Though it ticks on too long, watching Fujitani's fascinating sleuth overestimate her skills is as satisfying as a mug of hot matcha on a soul-chilling night.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    What lingers in Nathan's documentary isn't the swaggering trails of diesel fumes. It's the sadness of watching Pug narrow his options.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Smart, empathetic and wholly believable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Though this movie waltzes to its own strange rhythm, del Toro hits every note.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    It's a smart film about the shrinking divide between man and robot. It's also a hoot, an anti-comedy where all of the jokes double as threats, and vice versa.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Meet the new face of superheroes: Marc Webb's totally teenage and totally fun take on the Spider-Man franchise.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Stiller balances his big ambitions with small, grounded truths.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Gold is merely the conduit for the film's real focus: Like his own reviews, City of Gold is a love letter to L.A.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Theron proved her comedy chops in the underrated Young Adult, and here she and MacFarlane get along like two eager puppies. If MacFarlane indulges in self-flattery by keeping in all the times this babe bursts into laughter at his jokes, he's forgiven; at least we feel like the characters are actually listening to each other.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    If the off-kilter pleasures of Volume I is von Trier enticing us to watch the rest, consider me seduced.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Esparza's cast of unknowns is so fresh and raw that the drama could be mistaken for a documentary if the camera work weren't so controlled.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Gebbe never asks us to believe in Tore's god, but she asks us to honor his beliefs. She's found an incredible conduit in Feldmeier.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    This documentary on one of the most universal, photographed, analyzed, opined upon and slavered over human experiences manages to astound.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    For the small but enthusiastic documentary crowd and the comic's diehard fans, it's a must-see.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Adam Green's inventively gruesome slasher is the widest unrated release in 25 years.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Despite all the boobs, The Change-Up is very fair to its female characters-well, at least to Mann and Wilde, who both ring true, even if Wilde is almost too good to be true...It sounds like a trifling detail, but those details are sorely missing from most "date movies," in which even the women laughing in the audience exit feeling like they're the butt of the joke.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    This solid genre pic salutes its touchstones.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    Split has to satisfy both audiences that believe in trigger warnings and the camp crowd that just wants to see McAvoy pull the trigger. And so, Shyamalan trickily asks us to redefine victimhood.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    This is the type of fantasy that admits its characters get sunburned and dirty and need to, er, use the bathroom. It takes a female director to allow her female star to be this un-vain. Amirpour would rather be bold than beautiful.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    Dillard's not interested in the Zing! Pow! Bam! Sleight is quiet, almost naturalistic, even when Bo is stopping bullets with his bare hand. To Dillard, none of this is cool.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    The big CG sequences are less captivating than simply watching the four ladies kick it with a pizza. Wiig and McCarthy nestle into their comfortable roles as the soft-spoken priss and the bustling madwoman, leaving room for Jones to barge in with her big punch lines. But keep your eyes on the background. That’s where Jones’s Saturday Night Live costar McKinnon lurks, quietly transforming herself into a movie star.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    Where Dory was saccharine, Pets is anarchic. It’s the difference between Mickey Mouse and Looney Tunes or The Muppets, where crazy creatures take aim at each other with cannons. That sense of play infects the animation, which favors fun over photo-realism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    It’s candied history. The timeline is all wrong, the soundtrack is too cheery, the movie is too eager to please. Yet at the end, I found myself tearing up anyway.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    [Davis's] insistence on shaking hands and showing respect — the opposite of the behavior you see on Twitter — patiently chips away at their preconceptions about race. It's like he's trying to carve the Lincoln Memorial with a scalpel.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Amy Nicholson
    Scott still has a talent for lovely details... He's always used awe as a tool. Scott's art direction is so precise we assume he also obsessed over the script. Surely a spectacle like this has gotta mean something. Like the intelligent-design argument, his eye is too advanced to be an accident.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Jones delivers her line readings so robotically that even her truths sound like lies. She's got the look of a Hitchcock blonde, and the movements of a deer in the headlights. Even her kisses look fake.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Toni Collette rages through Catherine Hardwicke's cancer weepie Miss You Already like a fire in a chain restaurant. The film around her is good, welcoming fare, the kind that snobs always underestimate.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    He's selling nonsense fantasy in a movie that's nonsense fantasy, but boy is Tatum the real deal.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    There's plenty of atmosphere and awe, even if it's in the service of a story that starts rote and finds its sea legs only when half the divers have sunk their bones to Davy Jones.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Kimberly Peirce changes almost nothing in her rallying remake of Brian De Palma’s classic about a troubled telekinetic teenager. She doesn’t have to.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Eclipse has its cheesecake and eats it, too.

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