Amy Nicholson
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For 191 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Amy Nicholson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Looper
Lowest review score: 0 3 Geezers!
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 191
  2. Negative: 33 out of 191
191 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    Nebraska is the antidote to other family charmers about goofballs in matching sweaters.
    • 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."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Amy Nicholson
    Red Army is a riveting look behind the Iron Curtain.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Amy Nicholson
    '71
    [An] excellent, tensely controlled thriller.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Foxcatcher is merely a very, very good character study with acting so fine that it's frustrating it's not in the service of a real, emotional wallop.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    For the small but enthusiastic documentary crowd and the comic's diehard fans, it's a must-see.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    In its small moments, say when Walhberg sighs that his robe misspells "Micky," The Fighter feels clued-in to the very small, very tough world of a man trying to make his way out of his block-and after getting to know his family, you want to help him pack his bags.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Big Hero 6 is easier to admire than to love. It veers from chipper to noisy to dark stretches where it grapples with adult-sized grief.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Joe
    Joe is Cage's periodic reminder that he's one of his generation's great talents.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Cumberbatch, a tweedy Brit with an M.A. in Classical Acting and a face like a monstrous Timothy Dalton, has beefed up to become a convincing killer. He's brutal and bold, and the film around him isn't bad either.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    The raw ingredients of Raid 2 are superb. But the overall effect is gluttonous and queasy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Smart, empathetic and wholly believable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    The Wile E. Coyote fatalities are fun, but it's that repetitive moment of horror that holds this bipolar stunt together: Cruise, bug-eyed and gasping for breath as he shakes off his fear and grimly prepares for the next suicide mission.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    The script is solid, and the fight scenes are excellent.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie is as fair a portrayal the weak-chinned warrior will get — and fairer than he deserves.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Like Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There"-which never once came out and said the name "Bob Dylan"-Nowhere Boy bites its tongue and refuses to say "The Beatles."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    The best parts of Sparling's script play like an absurdist snuff film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    It's dumb and consistently funny.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    If you break the script down into plot points, it sounds a little silly: The narrative thrust is simply Katniss shooting several pro-revolution commercials. But it works because we're fascinated by media fights — thousands occur online every day.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Justin McMillan and Christopher Nelius' rah-rah documentary is most alive when it unearths old '80s footage of the friends partying it up with blond groupies — talk about thrilling curves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Like its actress, it's an ambitious knockout that doesn't quite live up to its potential. But its argument is worth hearing: Instead of crying for the collapse of one actress, Folman is crying for the collapse of civilization, the triumph of the synthetic over the real.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Payne's book is more epic and shameless than Gustin Nash's tidy adaptation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Fortunately for Burton, Big Eyes is actually good. Not great, but good enough -- the perfect middlebrow portrait of the ultimate middlebrow artist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    Lone Survivor just reads like a quasi-political exaggeration of a slasher film: the cellphones that don't work, the rescuers just out of reach, the killers chasing our victims through the woods.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    Apatow has drifted further and further from comedy with every film, but This is 40 is the first where he hasn't even bothered to write any jokes. Instead of snappy dialogue, we get lazy exchanges.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    The Voices is a perfect film that's hard to watch.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Eclipse has its cheesecake and eats it, too.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    You'd expect more yucks from the country that bequeathed tentacle porn unto the world.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    Just because a film holds back the truth doesn't make the truth suspenseful. It merely shortchanges the filmmaker and the audience from exploring what that truth means.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz's script captures the girls' relationship in fine detail.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    The cast keeps us invested in Filly's furious resurrection.
    • 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").
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    There's no honor among thieves, but there is dignity in Focus's ambition. And if the final film is more vodka ad than all-time classic, there's still no shame in pouring another cocktail and rewinding the tape.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    The Maze Runner is so bleak that it almost convinces us to take it seriously.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Stiller balances his big ambitions with small, grounded truths.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Mood Indigo is bitter candy, a heartbreaker that uses sugar as a trap.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Is the result - a slapstick, bizarro melodrama where Ferrell plays the Mexican born and bred scion of a wealthy farmer - meant more for Spanish speakers or stoned and giggly Americans? It's a tough call.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    Labor Day is so self-conscious and phony, it must be the work of a pod person. Humans, film lovers, and fans of Reitman's till-now-flawless filmography: We've gotta fight back.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    Linsanity doesn't—and shouldn't—hide its star's religious beliefs. But the doc should have the courage to explore them.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Two hours of femmepowering wish fulfillment.

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