For 1,567 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ann Hornaday's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Man on the Moon
Lowest review score: 0 Splice
Score distribution:
1567 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, Boyhood isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Directed with superb control and insight by Jenkins, Moonlight achieves the near-impossible in film, which is to ground its story and characters in a place and time of granular specificity and simultaneously make them immediately relatable and universal.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    With this film, del Toro seems to have created his manifesto, a tour de force of cautionary zeal, humanism and magic. At this writing, Pan's Labyrinth is the best-reviewed film of 2006 listed on the movie review Web site Metacritic.com, and for a reason: It's just that great.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Anamaria Marinca delivers an utterly transfixing performance as Otilia, a young woman who helps a friend (Laura Vasiliu) obtain an illegal abortion in the waning days of Romania's communist Ceausescu regime.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Intense, unflinching, bold in its simplicity and radical in its use of image, sound and staging, 12 Years a Slave in many ways is the defining epic so many have longed for to examine — if not cauterize — America’s primal wound.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Manchester by the Sea is a film of surpassing beauty and heart. Even at its most melancholy depths, it brims with candid, earnest, indefatigable life.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Faces Places is a film of sheer joy, its exuberance surpassed only by its tenderness and purity of purpose.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Thanks to Cuarón’s prodigious gifts, Gravity succeeds simultaneously as a simple classic shipwreck narrative (albeit at zero-gravity), and as an utterly breathtaking restoration of size and occasion to the movies themselves.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    It’s possible to watch Carol simply for its velvety beauty, but chances are that, by that stunning final moment, filmgoers will realize with a start that they care far more about the problems of these two people than they might have realized.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Social Network has understandably been compared to "Citizen Kane" in its depiction of a man who changes society through bending an emergent technology to his will.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A brilliant piece of filmic writing, one that bursts with fierce urgency, not just for the long-unresolved history it seeks to confront, but also in its attempt to understand what is happening here, right now.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its ability to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    By and large, Zero Dark Thirty dispenses with sentimentality and speculation, portraying the final mission not with triumphalist zeal or rank emotionalism but with a reserved, even mournful sense of ambivalence.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Haigh knows how to thread a story in a way that makes it feel deliberate and spontaneous, so that when it reaches its climax, viewers feel that it’s both inevitable and utterly devastating.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    See Killer of Sheep, and see it again and again. It's one of those truly rare movies that just get better and better.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Through it all, Spall is equally enigmatic and transfixing: With his guttural croaks and barks, his Turner is often difficult to understand, but, thanks to Spall’s amazing physical performance and Leigh’s sensitive, information-laden direction, he’s never incomprehensible.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    When viewers are ultimately released from The Hurt Locker's exhilarating vice grip, they'll find themselves shaken, energized and, more than likely, eager to see it again.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This is that rare movie that transcends its role as pure entertainment to become something genuinely cathartic, even therapeutic, giving children a symbolic language with which to manage their unruliest emotions.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Toni Erdmann, it turns out, is Hüller’s movie all the way, with her character not just matching wits with the bumptious, often irritating father, but ultimately coming into her own with the genuine feeling he seems determined to deflect.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    For all of its modesty and dedication to process, Spotlight winds up being a startlingly emotional experience, and not just for filmgoers with intimate knowledge of the culture it depicts.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The real star in La La Land is the movie itself, which pulses and glows like a living thing in its own right, as if the MGM musicals of the “Singin’ in the Rain” era had a love child with the more abstract confections of Jacques Demy, creating a new kind of knowing, self-aware genre that rewards the audience with all the indulgences they crave...while commenting on them from the sidelines.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This soulful, unabashedly lyrical film is best enjoyed by sinking into it like a sweet, sad dream. When you wake up, a mythical place and time will have disappeared forever. But you’ll know that attention — briefly, beautifully — has been paid.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Thanks to Bauby's courageous and honest writing, and Schnabel's poetic interpretation, what could have been a portrait of impotence and suffering becomes a lively exploration of consciousness and a soaring ode to liberation.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    The French actor Alex Descas is mesmerizing in 35 Shots of Rum, where he plays a metro conductor.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In providing audiences a chance to bear witness to unspeakable suffering as well as dazzling defiance and human dignity, Sissako has created a film that’s a privilege to watch.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Magnificently acted, expertly crafted and unerringly sure of every treacherous step it takes, Leviathan is an indictment, but also an elegy, a film set among the monumental ruins of a culture, whether they’re the skeletal remains of boats, a whale’s bleached bones, a demolished building or a trail of lives that are either ruined or hopelessly resigned.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Lasseter and his team plunge the audience into a collective case of empty- nest syndrome, with a dash of mortal terror thrown in for grins. And again, they make it work.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Dafoe delivers his finest performance in recent memory, bringing to levelheaded, unsanctimonious life a character who offers a glimmer of hope and caring within a world markedly short on both.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    A lyrical, mysterious and provocative meditation on the power of memory and narrative, After Life is a fascinating speculation on life and death -- until its plot takes a turn so melodramatic that the spell is broken. [20 Aug 1999, p.3E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Chomet's vision is singularly strange and somber, and one of enormous originality and promise.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Preserves and resuscitates the hard-boiled genre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    With its ingenious structure, seamless visual conceits and mordant humor, Stories We Tell is a masterful film on technical and aesthetic values alone. But because of the wisdom and compassion of its maker, it rises to another level entirely.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Crammed, cheek to jowl, with bleak moments, high hopes, sweetness and naked emotion.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Gracefully moving between the infinite and the practical, the celestial and the implacably grounded, Guzman has created a sensitive, richly textured portrait of time and place that transcends both those conceits.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Ida
    Each and every detail accrues to create a vivid, unforgettable portrait, and all are absorbed and reflected by Anna, portrayed by Trzebuchowska with the transparency and wonder of a woman for whom not just history but secular life itself is almost totally abstract.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    A tough movie to love.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    A glamorous, alluring entertainment that revels in the artifice of Hollywood while exposing its corrupt heart, L.A. Confidential pays stylish homage to some of the great film noirs of the distant and recent past.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Her
    What’s surprising is that Jonze has taken what could easily have been a glib screwball comedy and infused it instead with wry, observant tenderness and deep feeling.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The great joy of watching a Pixar production is how it rewards not only younger viewers but their older companions as well.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Anything that inspires that many whoops, gasps and groans with only two actors and a few choice words has earned its place at the summertime box office trough.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This smart, fanciful and brilliantly staged comedy takes a truly one-of-a-kind premise and makes it, of all things, a weirdly profound meditation on consciousness, identity, fame, gender and reality.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Audiard delivers on and exceeds the promise he evinced in that earlier film, drawing viewers into the densely layered, ruthless ecology of a French prison and, against all odds, making them not mind staying there awhile.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    Has the sentiment and sweetness of a good coming-of-age movie but lacks the drive and pulse that makes for a great rock and roll movie.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In addition to her exquisite eye for casting, Holmer knows how to film actors and environments in ways that are expressive enough to make up for her minimal dialogue.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    United 93 unfolds with the terrible inevitability of a modern-day "Battle of Algiers," with Greengrass exerting superb control of tone, structure and pace...United 93 may be the best movie I ever hated.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Jarecki has created a tour de force of narrative ambiguity, and in doing so has made one of the most honest reality shows ever.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    The warmth that courses through American Hustle makes it irresistible, with Russell’s affection for his characters and his sharp-eyed evocation of their recessionary times, honoring their struggle, however dishonest, rather than denigrating it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    What becomes clear in the course of the movie is that Jarmusch has constructed his own version of a poem, with recurring images and themes that allow him to delve into the nature of commitment, artistic ambition and how inner life is shaped by the tidal pull of place and history.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Act of Killing is a must-see.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Thanks to Marsh's sensitive storytelling, Man on Wire manages to put Petit's performance into another, more ineffable realm: What began as a caper turned into poetry, and poetry became a prayer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The result is a perfect combination of slapstick and satire, a Platonic ideal of high-and lowbrow that manages to appeal to our basest common denominators while brilliantly skewering racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and that peculiarly American affliction: we're-number-one-ism.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    Elle would be too clever by half — not to mention fatally offensive — were it not for Huppert, who in her portrayal of Michèle owns the movie from its opening moments to its bizarre, but not entirely surprising, denouement.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Thanks to his taste, rigor and superb sense of control, Nemes manages to create images that are both discreet and graphic, respectful and confrontational, inspiring and unsparing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    As a parable on karma, capitalism and Darwinian corporate politics, Two Days, One Night can often feel brutal. As a testament to connection, service, sacrifice and self-worth, it’s a soaring, heart-rending hymn.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Goodbye Solo is visually simple and stunning, especially the haunting nightscapes of Solo's perambulations. But more important, Goodbye Solo is driven by deep feeling and sensitivity. Don't miss it.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    There are several reasons to see Selma — for its virtuosity and scale, scope and sheer beauty. But then there are its lessons, which have to do with history, but also today: Selma invites viewers to heed its story, meditate on its implications and allow those images once again to change our hearts and minds.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    The Artist is anything but mute, with a lush orchestral score and a little sonic wink at the the end; fewer movies this year reward listening - and watching - so lavishly.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Ingenious, exhilarating, funny and profound.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Even the uninitiated will be hard-pressed to resist the movie's charms, from its likable leading players and its charming Dublin setting to its wistful take on modern love.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    The dynamic between Fletcher and Andrew makes for highly pitched drama, which strains for credibility during two climactic scenes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Suffused with wry humor, vulnerability and radiant warmth, Huppert’s performance captures that delicate period in life during which resignation morphs into graceful, even grateful, acceptance.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    A compulsively arranged sacher torte of a movie, an elegant mousetrap of stories-within-stories that invokes history with a temperament ranging from winsome to deeply mournful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The film serves not only as a mesmerizing escape into another world, but also a compelling, compassionate deep dive into human frailty and self-deception.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Hours, even days later, they may find themselves thinking of Adèle and wondering how she’s doing — only then realizing how completely this fictional but very real creation has winnowed her way into their hearts and minds. That’s great acting. It’s great art. And that’s why Blue Is the Warmest Color is a great movie.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Citizenfour isn’t just a useful primer in the civil liberties and consent issues his disclosures raised. It humanizes a man who almost immediately became controversialized as a naive, self-important desk jockey or, worse, a handmaiden to terrorists everywhere.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Rarely has love at any age been depicted so honestly on screen. For such a fully realized portrait to be created by a 28-year-old first-time director is even more remarkable.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Mafioso may have been made in another era, but it stands as a classy, even radical rebuke to the film school posers who keep recycling the same tired gangster tropes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This is an example of a writer and director working in perfect harness, with Reed smoothly ratcheting up the story's suspense and Greene speculating on his cardinal theme of moral ambiguity. They don't make movies like The Fallen Idol anymore, all the more reason to see it now while you can.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    If you think you've absorbed all you could about subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and the arcana of elaborate derivatives, think again. Inside Job traces the history of the crisis and its implications with exceptional lucidity, rigor and righteous indignation.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    If Kelly felt it necessary to add the new material, that's all to the good. It just means there's more to love.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    That rare kids' movie that may be even more entertaining for its intended audience's adult companions.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    It's the kind of absorbing, attractive, unfailingly tasteful enterprise that a critic can recommend without caveat.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    In a word, Hell or High Water is terrific.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Up
    The result is a soaring, touching, funny and altogether buoyant movie that lives up to its title in spirit and in form.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Right up to its somewhat perfunctory but sneakily satisfying conclusion, Aquarius makes a compelling case for looking up from our ubiquitous distractions to take in the world around us — the one that we live in and, whether we’re aware of it or not, lives in us.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Whether or not Kaufman’s meticulously accumulated details add up to a grand unified conclusion, there’s no doubt he’s getting at something painfully familiar beneath his movie’s self-conscious artifice.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Prove(s) once again how ingenious, artful and flat-out entertaining animation can be.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The bravura gestures work gorgeously in Birdman, as does the humor, which playfully balances the film’s most mystical, contemplative ideas with a steady stream of inside jokes and well-calibrated shifts in tone and dynamics.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    The kids in Nobody Knows are most decidedly not crazy, and we come to care for them to an almost excruciating degree.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Like all the Dardennes' films, L'Enfant is a vivid, Dickensian report from the most dispossessed precincts of society. But the film concludes on an optimistic note, at least for the Dardennes. It's still the worst of times, the filmmakers seem to suggest, but we're still capable of humanity, if not hope.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Hypnotically absorbing film.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Soaring, swooning and gently nostalgic, Brooklyn takes melodrama to a new level of reassuring simplicity and emotional transparency.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    The performances are consistently first-rate from a cast of appealing actors who slip effortlessly into Farhadi’s naturalistic aesthetic scheme, which seems utterly unforced even at its most intricately staged.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Gromit's every facial move -- every grimace, scowl, eye-roll and glance askance -- is sublime.
    • Washington Post
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    One needn’t have first-person experience with, or even approve of, the extremes Minnie pursues to appreciate the honest, forthright way Heller and Powley present a journey that, stripped to its most basic emotional elements, is timeless and universal.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Chandor’s attention to detail, and the expressiveness and utter believability with which Redford goes about the anything-but-mundane business of surviving, make All Is Lost a technically dazzling, emotionally absorbing, often unexpectedly beautiful experience.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    A gripping, deeply moving film
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Koltai is an accomplished, Oscar-nominated cinematographer (for 2000's "Malena"), and Fateless is meticulously composed and shot.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Ann Hornaday
    Brokeback Mountain possesses handsome and sympathetic lead players, magnificent scenery, heartbreaking melodrama, righteousness and cultural import. But as a testament to the importance of following one's passion, it's devoid of one crucial thing: passion.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Leery filmgoers can exhale: The Kid With a Bike may hew faithfully to the Dardennes' house style of spare, lucid storytelling. But without giving anything away, let's just say that with this simple, deeply affecting tale, they never set out to break your heart.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    With its heartening final note of hope and renewal, Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 provides an altogether fitting finale to a series that has prized the fans above all.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    You may not have agreed with Ebert’s reviews — you may not have thought he was such a nice guy. But if you aren’t moved by Life Itself, you ought to have your heart examined.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Hard to take in its particulars.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Like a cold beer under a bluebird sky; like a flawless line drive on a warm summer's day; like a long, languorous seventh-inning stretch - Moneyball satisfies.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    A must-see for any student of history, political rhetoric and film poetics at their most vagrant and revelatory.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Almodovar has created an ecstatic homage to the women who have inspired him all his life.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A big, fat old-fashioned gush of passion as drawn through a post-modernist prism that makes it less easily comprehensible but more beguiling.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    As a meticulously composed piece of contemporary gothic, The Duke of Burgundy is exquisite to look at, but it succeeds best as a human drama, and a searching investigation of how to ask for what you want — and maybe even getting it in the end.

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