Amy Nicholson

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For 232 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Amy Nicholson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Looper
Lowest review score: 0 3 Geezers!
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 232
  2. Negative: 38 out of 232
232 movie reviews
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt dominates this slight, worth-a-watch dramedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Like Brooke's dream business, a café/convenience store/hair salon, Mistress America is a mishmash of ideas — fortunately, Kirke gives a fantastic performance that quietly grounds the film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    [Whedon] wants to give us everything, and that he fits it all in is its own kind of feat. Age of Ultron is a middling film, yet it's so heavy with his sweat that it never feels like a lazy cash-in — which for a preordained summer megahit is an accomplishment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    By poking fun at the cliches, director Gluck thinks he can turn an inevitability into an in-joke. Eh, it'll do.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Demme's film plays out like a catnapping afternoon dream. We recognize the world, yet the logic is screwy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    If only Shepard's movie lived up to his leading man. It's merely a frame for a character portrait, with Shepard's camera screwing our eyes to Law's performance and pasting in supporting actors and situations for no larger purpose than to see his reaction to them.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    For all its empathy and equilibrium, The East has nowhere to go after the script backs itself into a corner.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Every bit of it is more advanced: The actors are better, the plot is tighter, the special effects sleeker, the messages more heartfelt. Yet it lacks Verhoeven's bloody, biting scream.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    It's dumb and consistently funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    It doesn't entirely engage, in part because it's so determined to correct the story that it can't let us explore it ourselves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Batkid Begins wants audiences to celebrate the everyday heroes who donated their time and energy to Miles's dream. Absolutely, we should. Still, take a minute to ask what the disproportionate investment and interest in Batkid's adventure says about our own maturity — and how the internet allows us to feel like champions for rallying for one afternoon, while overlooking the years of unglamorous doctor appointments before it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    It's a staggering film, but not a brilliant one — a superior version would have played more with the gulf between our senses and theirs.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Director Douglas McGrath's empathy rescues it from the brink of disaster porn - it's so good-hearted and optimistic that a swath of stressed out moms will feel the flick speaks directly to them, which it does.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Payne's book is more epic and shameless than Gustin Nash's tidy adaptation.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Won't Back Down makes grand drama of bureaucracy, positioning Gyllenhaal as the knight slaying 400 pages of government paperwork in order to wrest control of her daughter's elementary school. It's rousing - if not thrilling - stuff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Land Ho! feints toward pathos and perversity, only to decide that it's better off giving us abridged, postcard emotions.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Like us, the deft and merciless director Daisy von Scherler Mayer ("Party Girl") sides with the girls, and to stack the deck she's hired five tremendous actresses.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    A good romance can make us endure an implausible plot as long as the leads have heat. Luke and Sophia's connection feels true. Who cares about the mechanics? By the time The Longest Ride runs right off a cliff, we're already strapped in to the passenger seat. Give in and enjoy the plunge.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The film strips Fifty Shades of Grey to its essentials: a confident man, an awkward girl, and a red room rimmed with leather handcuffs. From there, Taylor-Johnson rebuilds. She constructs an erotic dramedy that takes its romance seriously even as it admits that Christian Grey's very existence is absurd.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The confident, female-driven sensuality of Kiss of the Damned anchors this handsome nonsense.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Almost as bad as we want it to be, which is to say, it straddles the line between campy and legit without winning over either audience.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    These ladies - even at their weakest - carry themselves with the confidence of winners, and we cling to their strength like a life raft.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The bad news is that if you haven't seen "Thor," "Captain America" and "Iron Man 2" - that's six hours and three minutes of homework - The Avengers won't make sense. The good news is if you're a human under the age of 45, you probably already have.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Neither disposable nor a long-lost masterpiece, she might not be loved by all the boys, but she's still worth a Friday night date.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The hard part will be convincing audiences to shake off their Depp fatigue and embrace a film that's daffy, dated, and precisely as intended.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The script is ridiculous, the bodies are great and the film skates so long on the line between knowingly bad and bad that by the time the body count hits 100 and the booby count hits 1000, we've lost track of the difference.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    A serviceable if silly B-movie.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Cross, who also wrote the script, is content to come across like a grumpy old man. His comedy is one-note, furious, and fun-enough.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Remake The Graduate today, and an adult might corner Benjamin Braddock and whisper, "Startups." Debut director Max Joseph gives that a good shot, though the result — the EDM-fueled, drug-laced dream-crusher We Are Your Friends — is so sweaty and silly people may not notice.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Like James in the ring, it doesn't pack a lot of power, but it comes out swinging and sweats for applause.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    This is an ugly part of an ugly war, and Ayer wallows in it. Instead of flags and patriotism, Fury is about filth.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    We get the broad strokes of how the hippies corrupted their own movement, but there isn't a single lead character we'd give a dollar to on Haight Street.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    More of a stunt than a script, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) should get a modest amount of I-dare-you ticket sales, but it's about as mass market as a dogfight.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    It's clear that Straight Outta Compton is at once too padded and too thin. It's as if the story of these real-life legends was so unruly and dangerous that the filmmakers became the cops, forcing it into submission.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    The result is as sugary as a fatal toothache, though it's hard to hate a film that merely wants to give the world a hug.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Aniston gives the character personality and heft, but the script gives the character nothing to do.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    [Singh's] film is good with physics and lousy at philosophy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Future Past starts fast and never slows down. There's not a line of dialogue that isn't exposition... What fun there is slips in through director Bryan Singer's visuals.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    The funniest Madea film in a fair stretch... It's also, of course, not good by any definition.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Johnson doesn't seem to trust her star to unclench and act... In contrast, the rest of the cast, down to the gossipy local bank teller (Christine Lahti), feels electrically human.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Shadyac spins cooperation in a different direction. I Am takes the sharing instinct as proof that all living beings are interconnected.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Get Hard is most comfortable — and funny — when Cohen gets back to skewering class warfare.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Karas showcases the actors' surprisingly good tennis skills, like the continuous volley they do while reciting the lyrics to "Bust a Move" and the deft way Sisto spins his racquet. But rather than develop these two as characters, Break Point tries to score too many points.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Of course, the movie doesn't work. But Costner does. No matter now nonsensical and uneven 3 Days to Kill gets, he's miraculously consistent.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Alas, the flick can't resist overheating. Paradoxically, when people finally do jump in their cars, curl their fists and grab their guns, we wish they'd retreat to the safety of their monitors.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    By Jackass standards, Bad Grandpa is benign—it’s neither as fun nor as thrilling as watching Knoxville play tetherball with a beehive.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Chef is so charmingly middlebrow that it's exactly the cinematic comfort food it mocks: Favreau has made not a game-changing meal to remember, but a perfect chocolate lava cake.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Funnier, sharper and sweeter than expected.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Laguionie's animation is a lovely jumble of thick lines and saturated pastels...But while the artist-as-deity concept was flattering enough to get The Painting nominated for a 2012 Cesar Award, its big ideas about equality and friendship are flatly 2-D.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    This is a soap opera that stands at a distance from its characters (that distance being the length of a lawyer's briefcase) and, though handsome and capable, feels as inert as mannequins in a shop window.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    This movie believes that true love isn't supposed to be hard. A fine ideal, but it feels as flat as a pizza.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    From the Head settles into an enjoyably miserablist episodic rhythm.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    For a story that's pro-poor and anti-wealth, every frame of it looks like it cost as much as human life itself — and that, more than any bludgeoned battle cries for freedom, is the pleasure of the film.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Hector is trying to say something true about a generation of quietly dissatisfied demi-adults who are terrified to take emotional risks. At least it left its comfort zone and tried.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    As ever, he has the last laugh. This is How Stella Got Her Groove Back, for the Pop-Tart crowd, a wish-fulfillment weepie that not only narrowly clears Perry's low bar, thanks mostly to McLendon-Covey and Brown, but has already sold the TV sitcom rights to Oprah.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Oddly, that extra star power makes Black November look cheap. It's threadbare for an action flick... The story Amata wants to tell is much simpler, and he might have been more successful sticking to his own guns and staying with his sturdy, empathetic heroine.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    You'd expect more yucks from the country that bequeathed tentacle porn unto the world.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Taken 3 isn't brilliant, but it's a hell of a lot of dumb, head-smacking fun.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Diana is a Lifetime movie in sensible pumps, at once too silly to be taken seriously, yet so self-serious it rarely allows us to giggle.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Like so many meathead action thrillers, it's too busy fogging the windows with hot air to see the big picture.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Tyldum has robbed his own film of emotional depth — this Turing is as simple as Morse code. Rather than a complex human portrait, this is an assemblage of triumphs, tragedies and tics.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    There's freedom in facing the truth. There would be even more freedom in a heroine finishing the film in her favorite ugly overalls, but we haven't gotten there yet.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Unbroken wants it all: the big cinematography, the close-up grit, the postcard flashbacks, and the grisly Götterdämmerung that earns directors awards. But it aches for a lighter touch -- the facts of Zamperini's life more than stand on their own.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Parents with restless, animal-loving children may as well throw it a bone.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Taken 2 is 91 minutes of "See Neeson kill-kill, Neeson kill!"
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    The raw ingredients of Raid 2 are superb. But the overall effect is gluttonous and queasy.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    [Aselton's] disregard for her male characters causes Black Rock to spiral into dudette "Deliverance."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    The film's anthropological interest in Indonesia is the smartest thing in an otherwise familiar scramble of kidnapped babes, expensive jewelry and millions of bullets.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Lovelace, ahem, blows it. The narrative rewind gives us new facts and a whole heap of crying scenes, but no added insight into Linda's mind—she's still as empty as an inflatable toy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Earth to Echo is a slender kiddie flick about a quartet of preteens and their palm-sized alien pal that's at once bland, well-intentioned, and utterly terrifying about the mental development of modern children.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    While the plot is a non-starter, the margins of Gold and co-director Tammy Caplan's debut feature are scattered with other real-life magicians who make quarters vanish every time our attention does the same.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Step Up All In cuts too fast, the way an MTV hack does when forced to disguise that a starlet can't move.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Frost can play lovable losers in his sleep, but to succeed, Cuban Fury has to make him dance. A fat man falling down gets a cheap laugh; a fat man with magic feet makes us cheer. Director James Griffiths splits the difference between ridicule and respect, and the resulting comedy is as trite and cloying as a rum and coke.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    The Maze Runner is so bleak that it almost convinces us to take it seriously.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Green is sexy, funny, dangerous, and wild -- everything the film needed to be -- and whenever she's not on-screen, we feel her absence as though the sun has blinked off.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    [Paquet-Brenner] squanders Dark Places' icky setup for a rote investigation to find the real killer, a revelation greeted not with a "What?!" but with a "Whatever."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    There's no credibility to Arielle and Brian's romance. We get why he likes her — who wouldn't? But what does she see in this nine-years-younger naif she treats like a slow child?
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Torn between making sense and arguing that the world itself makes no sense, Prisoners is a captive of its own ambitions.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Madec and Ben's showdown becomes a battle to see which type of man is best equipped for survival: the well-funded scoundrel or the honest grunt. The film is too honest itself to always give us the answer we want. It's also too dully on-the-nose to entertain.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Fun Size isn't good enough to ascend to those John Hughesian ranks, and its small holiday window means it won't scarf much box office. But at least first time feature director Josh Schwartz can expect a minor slumber party hit on DVD.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    In 1994, 16-year-old surfer Jay Moriarity braved the biggest waves ever seen off the coast of Northern California. His biopic, Chasing Mavericks, gets that fact right but changes everything else about his life in order to bowl audiences over in a saccharine tsunami.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Saving Mr. Banks, a fictionalized account of two weeks Travers spent on the lot in Burbank, is proof that Walt has thawed and secretly reclaimed Disney's reins.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    There's enough mumbo jumbo about space and time and cellular division to allow Lucy to feign depth, but what lingers is Besson's regressive belief that even the most intelligent woman on earth can't figure out how to get her way without a miniskirt and a gun.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Free Samples is a film about wasting time, and it feels like it. Despite clocking in at 79 minutes, Jay Gammill's comedy drags by no fault of its delightfully sour lead.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Jack and Jill is a barrage of fart jokes and fat jokes and mean jokes that sincerely thinks it deserves to end with a hug. It doesn't deserve awwwws - and it doesn't deserve your money.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    It'd be easier to root for lead Tris's (Shailene Woodley, the go-to girl for drab roles with grit) quest to escape her Abnegation roots and those ghastly gray skirts to prove herself a worthy Dauntless if director Burger felt committed to the concept.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    It presumes that children care a great deal about cellphone towers, political campaigns, and Twitter. Still, Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, is raw, charismatic, alive, and unpredictable.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Most oppressively, every inch of Horns is choked in religious metaphor that strangles the fun from the film. Aja clutters the movie with golden crosses and Garden of Eden snakes, but doesn't dare wrestle with the theology behind them — this is a snapshot of a steak, not a full meal.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Director Steven Spielberg doesn't have a steady grip on War Horse's careening tone, but he'll be damned if there's not 15 minutes in there for everyone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Despite Brody and Polley's reasonable efforts, they can't compensate for a script that undermines its curiosity about humanity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    With more actual grrrl power, Maleficent would be a bold redo. Instead, it's a beautiful snooze, a story that hints at the darkness underneath our fairy tales and tarnishes the idea of true love without quite daring to say what's really on its mind: that even the best of us might not live happily ever after.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    It's a handsome nothing, at least until you get sick of the screaming.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Lacking Iron Man’s wit, the Hulk’s brains, and the Captain’s ideals, he’s in peril of going poof himself if the franchise doesn’t figure out how to capitalize on its most glorious hero.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    The humble Kyle onscreen is Kyle with his flaws written out. We're not watching a biopic. We're watching a drama about an idealized soldier, a patriot beyond reproach, which bolsters Kyle's legend while gutting the man.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Genisys is all bullets and bombs, action without pause, as though if the ride stops the whole thing will collapse under its own weight.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    A movie that overrules logic irritates its audience; we don't like to be reminded that there's a writer pulling the strings. And here, the POV horror is a conceit as well as a distraction, a crutch to create suspense from shaky, dark footage.

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