Andrew Schenker
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For 195 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 21% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 75% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Andrew Schenker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 100 Stray Dogs
Lowest review score: 0 Act of Valor
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 195
  2. Negative: 62 out of 195
195 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Andrew Schenker
    In Joshua Oppenheimer's extraordinary The Act of Killing, film becomes the medium for a bold historical reckoning--and in more ways than one.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Undeniably rousing, but deeply irresponsible, Argo fans the flames surrounding historical events likely to still remain raw in the memory of many viewers.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Andrew Schenker
    Order may be restored to the Circus, the "bad" elements weeded out, but in the jaundiced world the film has spent the last two hours so effectively delineating, the barriers between good and evil have been shown to be essentially meaningless.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Andrew Schenker
    Although the film remains continually fanciful, it always reminds us of the stakes in which precocious childhood rubs up against the possibility of a childhood denied altogether.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Andrew Schenker
    Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    To drive home the pathos of Nim's mistreatment, James Marsh frequently makes questionable use of the creature's apparent similarity to human beings, trading complex analysis for easy sentiment.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's shtick - a relentless verbal sparring comprised of dueling impressions, poetry recitations, absurdist riffing, and comic one-upmanship - works best in small doses.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Given the film's early promise, it's unfortunate how it turns into a largely reductive Freudian character piece in which the main character has to come to terms with his old man.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Joseph Cedar's Footnote is a sour, rather unpleasant affair that hinges on acts of Jews behaving badly.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Nuri Bilge Ceylan has to be the least kinetic of working filmmakers - and not simply in the sense of static camerawork or lack of narrative momentum.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Andrew Schenker
    Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley isn't only a study of the contemporary American university, but, like all of the filmmaker's best documentaries, a wide-ranging inquiry into the larger institutions and contradictions that define life in the United States.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    The director's clear-minded approach allows her subject's more challenging aesthetic-political mix to shine through, even if it's at the inevitable expense of her own filmmaking proclivities.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Andrew Schenker
    Béla Tarr is the cinema's greatest crafter of total environments and in The Turin Horse, working in his most restricted physical setting since 1984's Almanac of Fall, he (along with co-director Ágnes Hranitzky) dials up one of his most vividly immersive milieus.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The title of Susan Froemke's documentary is both an expression of aspiration and a statement of achievement.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    The film unfolds in unhurried dramatic terms that come to take on an almost fatalistic force.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    It's occasionally too icily removed, but it compensates through its perpetual concern with understanding its characters and their untenable situations.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    What emerges is a portrait of a fully committed band that could never quite make it and of the rock n' roll project as something between a (very serious) hobby and a full-time career.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Not only sets up the writer's life as representative of the transitions of early modern Jewish life, but posits his oeuvre as an ongoing chronicle of the shift from a vibrant, unified Yiddish culture to a fractured world-in-exile.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The film's inquiry into the artistic method remains somewhat at the superficial level, but the directors do a fine job of emphasizing both the circumstances that lead to the music's creation and the satisfying result of the irrepressible sounds.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    The mixture of different techniques and varied views results in a rich, multi-faceted look at one of America's most misguided policy initiatives.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Even as an "18 months later" epilogue ensures us that everything's hunky dory, this is one surprisingly grim celebration of a group Rapaport obviously loves.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Life lessons abound in Buck, most of them tied to endlessly reiterated comparisons between man and horse.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    A study of the this former mining region in both its de-industralized present and its past state as an active coalfield, The Miners' Hymns arranges its two parts as a set of binary oppositions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Much of the film's final act is given to alienated walking, which too often plays as an abstract study of triangular arrangements in which non-speaking figures move across a barren terrain.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Ralph Fiennes's film feels not so much rooted in the past as it is mired in conventions about how to portray that past.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    It gives a true sense of how the forces of a hypocritically religious country has burdened countless young women with a lifetime of misplaced guilt.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    A slick, entertaining offering, playing at times like a tarted up "E! True Hollywood Story."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Rather than bringing out the symbolic inner lives of the characters, these sequences seem like the intrusion of an aggressive authorial personality on a film whose subject-as well as the fact of Har'el's outsider status-demands that the filmmaker simply sit back and observe.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Alejandro Landes's Porfirio is an ugly movie to watch, but it's not without purpose.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Schenker
    The film never lingers too long on any one thing, instead functioning as a survey in which several fascinating cultural moments are vividly evoked, but then left insufficiently probed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The film scores all of its thematic points early, commenting intriguingly, if ultimately rather obviously, on the demands of Japanese patriarchy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The film wisely avoids giving its material a large-scale epic quality it can't sustain, but it also results in a project that lacks the complexity to register as more than a handsome little sketch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The surest sign that a filmmaker recognizes the insularity of his or her project is the presence of perfunctory attempts to hint at a wider political context.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The film is too tepid in its treatment of its central character and her situation to generate any real emotive charge.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Andrew Schenker
    A boldly conceived assemblage of diverse and seemingly random fictional materials, Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg is concerned with nothing less than those hardy perennials: sex, death, and modernity. And coming of age a little too late.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    As far as films about couples dealing with the female partner losing her mind go, Still Mine is pretty pedestrian.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    The film successfully positions its point of view with the developing countries that suffer the most immediate consequences of global warming rather than the developed countries most responsible for climate change and from whose citizenry Jon Shenk's prospective audience is likely to be drawn.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    It not only makes for riveting cinematic drama (all the more impressive given that it relies so heavily on recounted words rather than illustrated actions), but for first-rate muckraking.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    One is left wondering what exactly the now moldy "anything is possible" sentiments of our 44th president have to do with a music whose history and cultural meaning we've just spent the last two hours not learning nearly enough about.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The film too often undercuts its goals by indulging its director's need for self-affirmation at the expense of the movie's far more compelling central subject.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The slightly dour tone is the perfect backdrop for the director to skillfully weave together his varied narrative strands in a surprisingly entertaining medley.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 25 Andrew Schenker
    Not everyone's life is compelling enough to warrant the documentary treatment, but whether this truism applies to master puppeteer and current Sesame Street producer Kevin Clash is a question that Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, Constance Marks's fawning portrait of the Muppet- master fails to answer.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Battle for Brooklyn brings up larger quandaries about urban development which it doesn't begin to address.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Mozart's Sister is too often just one more rehashing of the "Aw, didn't women have it tough then" thematic that never forces the viewer to acknowledge that maybe they haven't got it as great as we'd like to think today.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims refuse to use their subjects as test cases for any sort of larger thesis.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    James Marsh carries forward the mood and menace of the opening into the balance of the work, perfectly matching his aesthetic strategies to the story's shifting moral terrain.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Expressionistic rather than analytical, Passione, John Turturro's cinematic ode to the music of Naples, Italy, unfolds as a compendium of tuneful performances bracketed with the barest of contextualization.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Nothing here is wrong, but beyond pointing out that sexually charged teenage girls are likely to be misunderstood in an oppressive small town, there's nothing that's especially insightful here either.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    A nose-to-the-ground crime thriller that also doubles as a wide-ranging portrait of official corruption in the Philippines, On the Job has little trouble delivering the genre goods.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Boy
    Less concerned with rendering the specifics of its setting (a small Maori town on the New Zealand coast) than in calling on bouts of whimsy and superficial cultural signifiers to approximate the headspace of its central characters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The film works best when it focuses viewer attention most acutely on the story, deflecting it away from the director's manipulations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Offers up little more than a tired morality play about the dangers of power, rehashing stale insights about the narcissism of the documentary impulse.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    There's no coddling the audience in Vibeke Løkkeberg's verité heave of disgust as the full consequences on the Palestinian people of Operation Cast Lead are made sickeningly clear.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    A typically anodyne rom-com given a certain poignant piquancy by the paralyzing shyness of its romantic leads.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    This schizophrenic conception of Gosling's character is indicative of the film's largely dichotomous view of romantic relationships.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    While everything here is mostly unspoken, and the film itself hints at a broader set of concerns than simply two lost souls meeting on foreign ground, Here too often feels like a jumble of ideas that don't quite cohere.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 12 Andrew Schenker
    It seems as if Craig Zobel wants to implicate the audience in these proceedings, but he doesn't have a very clear idea how to go about it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The first four of the film's 1980s-set episodes are shorter in length and more anecdotal in nature than the last two and deal primarily with the pageantry and inflexible customs behind the regime with a perspective at once amused and bemused.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    In its refusal to bring an easy understanding to its main character's behavior, it comes dangerously close to presenting her as a willing perpetrator in her own victimhood.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Far more concerned with indulging a slightly less glossy Slumdog Millionaire-like aesthetic than dealing with the frayed relationships of its characters.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Rachid Bouchareb casts his account of the horrifying aftermath of tragedy on an intimate scale, allowing the halting words and frightened faces of his two leads to tell us as much as we need to know about the uncertainties of those faced with tracking down their lost loved ones.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Of all the vaguely philosophical, calculatedly left-of-center dialogue that peppers Miranda July's The Future, no line is more telling than the writer/director/star's late-film declaration, in the guise of her character Sophie, that "I'm saying okay to nothing."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    For all of the director's willingness to explore his characters' unexpected depths, he's still hamstrung by his perpetually tasteful cinema-of-quality aesthetic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut does for porn-dependence what Shame did for sex addiction by offering a surface-level look at the effects of its specific pathology on its lead male character.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Proves how invigorating genre filmmaking can be in the hands of a savvy, perpetually inventive director.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Jason Moore's film is more or less successful in inverse proportion to the degree that it plays its material by the book.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Walks a fine line between empathetic treatment of its characters and voyeuristic freakshow gazing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Andrew Schenker
    The making of The Way must have been a nice moment for father and son, but why must the rest of us suffer?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    A not insignificant act of oral history, Gabor Kalman's There Was Once… makes for considerably less compelling cinema whenever it turns its focus away from the talking-head testimony of the Holocaust survivors of Kalosca, Hungary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    As in Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel's 2009 film, La Pivellina, modesty is the key to The Shine of Day, and sometimes to the detriment of audience involvement and focus.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Nanni Moretti's latest is a mixed bag that too often settles for easy, superficial laughs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Both an informative bit of agitprop and an ultra slick and slightly self-satisfied bit of entertainment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    A (relatively) tasteful and restrained approach to potentially lurid subject matter isn't necessarily any better than one that gives in freely to what might be seen as a filmmaker's baser impulses.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    As director Liza Johnson understands, simply being over there changes someone, no matter if anything unusually traumatic happened to the person.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Alternating between self-consciously offbeat comedy and existential J-horror, It's Me, It's Me never quite satisfies in either mode.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The film is less corporate parable than intricately crafted revenge drama whose intensively detailed plotting can't hide the fact that the whole thing seems like a lot of work for a glaringly modest payoff.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    The film contains far more passion and a tad more complexity than the dominant and typically more staid model of middlebrow costume drama.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    For a film that had once made some pretense toward exposing such dangerously submissive attitudes toward Hollywood romance, Friends with Benefits's conclusion can't help but seem more than a wee bit disingenuous.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    What Puiu seems to be suggesting is that the complexities of human behavior and relationships are beyond the power of the law to comprehend, but are they also beyond the power of the cinema?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    It too often feels like just one more aesthetically uninspired documentary that gives way in the end to a special round of pleading for its specific cause.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Even as it takes pleasure in imagining the wheeling and dealing that politicos make when no one is looking, it never offers as much insight into the process by which a president is made as its premise would seem to promise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Dreams of a Life succeeds in making its point about the unkowability of the people in our lives, but there isn't quite enough substance here to fully sustain the film.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    The film proves that neither gross-out gags nor pseudo-sophisticated Woody Allenisms are necessary to make a smart, funny comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    The film lacks the immediacy of the Dardenne brothers' pictures, the electrifying sense that anything might happen, while also avoiding their penchant for redemptive resolutions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Andrew Schenker
    High school creative-writing-class ironies of all kinds abound in The Help.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Chockfull of ideas in a way that's both scattershot and more than a little exciting.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Haney's movie is not great cinema, nor was meant to be, but as an introduction to one of the myriad dangers threatening our earth, it serves its cause well enough. And that, after all, is the whole point.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    Peter Ho-Sun Chan and Deonnie Yen Chan are too resourceful to let things remain dull for long.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Thanks to Melanie Lynskey's performance, the movie feels like a believably worked-out, sympathetically presented study in thirtysomething uncertainty.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Steven Meyer's documentary treads a middle ground between illumination and cheap waterworks.
    • Slant Magazine
    • 61 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Director Erik Canuel fails to deliver us from the inevitable hermeticism of the material.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    Essentially the film aims to trade in the awkwardness of teen sexuality, but too often settles for the gross-out gag instead.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Andrew Schenker
    Shat makes Our Idiot Brother work is the endless appeal of watching Rudd's lovable idiot run roughshod over the sophisticated New York mini-universe while winning the confidence and admiration of everyone around him.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    For the most part, this is a boys-will-be-boys movie that excuses everything its pair of protags do in the name of some sort of cosmic order.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Andrew Schenker
    In Jay and Mark Duplass's film, the fragile middle-aged male ego is indulged, massaged, and, finally, critiqued.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    The film is so careful to avoid the luridness that would seem inevitably to accompany an excavation of child kidnapping, forced labor, and rape, that the result is a plodding, overly tasteful procedural that holds up its hero as an incorruptible embodiment of goodness.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Schenker
    It's all very tastefully handled by Ben Sombogaart, shot in plenty of staid compositions whose denuded color scheme suggests a historical remove, but it rarely generates any heat, even during a pair of graphic, but not particularly erotic sex scenes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Andrew Schenker
    With the film, Melissa McCarthy definitively cements her status as a legitimate comic talent, leaving her co-star stumbling behind in her wake.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    A cursory history lesson with no interest in probing the deeper or more complex implications of Mandela's positions and their relationship to his country's shifting landscape.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Andrew Schenker
    Sarah's Key becomes a musing ("meditation" would be too generous) on the importance of uncovering the past that fails to honestly contemplate why such an act is significant.

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