Amy Nicholson
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For 151 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Amy Nicholson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Blue Ruin
Lowest review score: 0 3 Geezers!
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 151
  2. Negative: 28 out of 151
151 movie reviews
    • 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."
    • 82 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    Obvious Child is perfect for those who want more honesty in fiction.
    • 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
    • 40 Amy Nicholson
    Torn between making sense and arguing that the world itself makes no sense, Prisoners is a captive of its own ambitions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Joe
    Joe is Cage's periodic reminder that he's one of his generation's great talents.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Payne's book is more epic and shameless than Gustin Nash's tidy adaptation.
    • 62 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Amy Nicholson
    Even calling the film a documentary feels deluded.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Amy Nicholson
    The only reason to root for Riddick is that his name is on the ticket stub. But he's so dull and the hunters so weird that we're literally cheering for the movie to kill off its personality, one throat slash at a time.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Amy Nicholson
    Adam Green's inventively gruesome slasher is the widest unrated release in 25 years.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    The confident, female-driven sensuality of Kiss of the Damned anchors this handsome nonsense.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    An odd little film that aims only to please itself.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    [Aselton's] disregard for her male characters causes Black Rock to spiral into dudette "Deliverance."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    This is a curio that demands to be seen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Amy Nicholson
    Taken 2 is 91 minutes of "See Neeson kill-kill, Neeson kill!"
    • 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.
    • 45 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Amy Nicholson
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt dominates this slight, worth-a-watch dramedy.
    • 45 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Amy Nicholson
    Country Strong is a charmer that makes you forgive all of its false notes simply because the talent plays them with conviction.
    • 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.
    • 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.