For 1,299 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ann Hornaday's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Riding Giants
Lowest review score: 0 Tideland
Score distribution:
1,299 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    That rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The narrative is lean, the supporting performances are solid, and, perhaps most crucially, the emotional tone of the piece is spot-on.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    It's a funny, fearless, poignant, spectacular performance. Come to think of it, those words could well apply to the entirety of Tadpole.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    One of the best performances -- and movies -- of the year so far.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Hypnotically absorbing film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    An exuberant, raucous and thoroughly endearing comedy
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    An exhilarating, often mind-blowing history of surfing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    To watch Bad Education is to revel, along with Almodovar, in the power of cinema to take us on journeys of breathtaking mystery and dimension and beauty.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A riotous, rapturous explosion of sound and color, Black Orpheus is less about Orpheus's doomed love for Eurydice than about Camus's love for cinema at its most gestural and kinetic.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Coppola brilliantly conjures the young queen's insular world, in which she was both isolated and claustrophobically scrutinized.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Working with his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Cuaron creates the most deeply imagined and fully realized world to be seen on screen this year, not to mention bravura sequences that bring to mind names like Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In addition to being a study in great acting, this is a study in great directing.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Nothing comes easily in Atonement, especially its ending, which, both happy and tragic, is as wrenching as it is genuinely satisfying. How fitting, somehow, that a novel so devoted to the precision and passionate love of language be captured in a film that is simply too exquisite for words.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Morgen plunges viewers completely into the anarchic, exhilarating, finally ambiguous world of 1968 America; his final stroke of genius is his choice of music, which includes a breathtaking use of Eminem's "Mosh."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Oropelled by memorable performances by mostly unknown actors. The most famous of the ensemble, Hanna Schygulla, delivers a by turns serene and shattering performance as a mother struggling with loss, conscience and the first glimmers of unexpected connection. She's only one essential and unforgettable part of a flawless whole.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A celebration -- of love, commitment and devotion until the bitter end. Gay and straight viewers alike are sure to be inspired by this lyrical testament to a corollary of Tolstoy's famous dictum: Every unhappy family might be unhappy in its own way, but every genuinely happy family is a triumph.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Won't break your heart -- it will make it soar.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    What makes Milk extraordinary isn't just that it's a nuanced, stirring portrait of one of the 20th century's most pivotal figures, but that it's also a nuanced, stirring portrait of the thousands of people he energized.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    McQueen has taken the raw materials of filmmaking and committed an act of great art.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A film of rare intelligence, beauty and compassion.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In elaborating on the original book so boldly, and repopulating it so richly, Jonze has protected Where the Wild Things Are as an inviolable literary work. In preserving its darkest spirit, he's created a potent, fully realized variation on its most highly charged themes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    For filmgoers determined to see cinema not just as mass entertainment but as an art form, The Beaches of Agnes arrives like an exhilarating call to arms.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Qualifies as the most painful, poetic and improbably beautiful film of the year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Princess and the Frog invite viewers to see the world as a lively, mixed-up, even confounding place, to recognize essential parts of ourselves in what we see, and to say: This is what we look like.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A smart, alert, supremely entertaining movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This installment has achieved a nearly impossible hat trick. It's a movie that is exegetically correct enough to appease the most hard-core buffs, while opening up the final frontier to a whole new generation of fans who have yet to appreciate Star Trek's ineffable combination of sci-fi action, campy humor and yin-yang philosophical tussle between logic and emotion.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In spirit, and sheer joie de vivre, it's everything the movie business should aspire to. Win Win exemplifies movies the way they oughtta be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A mesmerizing cinematic journey that is often as arduous and spare as the lives of its hard-bitten protagonists.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    You know you're in the hands of a superbly gifted filmmaker when he can pull off a talking dog.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Low-key, sleek and sophisticated, Drive provides the visceral pleasures of pulp without sacrificing art. It's cool and smart. Some critics might even call it European.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A pitch-perfect movie that threads a microscopically tiny needle between high comedy and devastating drama.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Le Havre is a playful parable that conveys profound truths about compassion, humility and sacrifice. It offers proof that miracles do happen - especially in Kaurismaki's lyrically hardscrabble neighborhood.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This invigoratingly fresh, optimistic film - which features the breathtaking debuts of director Dee Rees and leading lady Adepero Oduye - plunges the audience into a world that's both tough and tender, vivid and grim, drenched in poetry and music and pain and discovery.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Ambitious, affecting, unwieldy and haunting, it's an eccentric, densely atmospheric, morally hyper-aware masterpiece that refuses to follow the strictures of conventional cinematic structure, instead leading the audience on a circuitous journey down the myriad rabbit holes that comprise modern-day Manhattan.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Monsieur Lazhar resembles a clear, clean glass of water: transparent, utterly devoid of gratuitous flavorings or frou-frou, and all the more bracing and essential for it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Queen of Versailles turns out to be a portrait -- appalling, absorbing and improbably affecting -- of how, even within a system seemingly designed to ensure that the rich get richer, sometimes the rich get poorer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Instead of a grand tableau vivant that lays out the great man and his great deeds like so many too-perfect pieces of waxed fruit, Spielberg brings the leader and viewers down to ground level.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    An electrifying, confounding, what-the-hell-just-happened exercise in unbounded imagination, unapologetic theatricality, bravura acting and head-over-heels movie-love.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    While Wright's self-conscious theatricality and dollhouse aesthetic conjure comparisons to Baz Luhrmann and Wes Anderson, he outstrips both those filmmakers in moral seriousness and maturity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    With grace, discretion and supreme tact, Nicks sweeps viewers to a climactic montage that wordlessly honors the best ways we care for one another. The Waiting Room bears poetic witness to an overlooked fact: America's health care system may be broken, but its people are anything but.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Turns out to be one of the most transportingly romantic movies of the year, one that finds the most stirring emotion in struggle rather than in ginned-up melodrama or easy resolution.
    • 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
    Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The writing is so musical, so attuned to human frailty and aspiration, that I defy anyone to watch the movie without smiling — with amusement one minute, rueful recognition the next, but probably always with some measure of simple, undiluted delight.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    What makes it a must see is its timelessness.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Act of Killing is a must-see.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Museum Hours is every bit as masterfully conceived and executed as the art works that serve as the film’s lively cast of supporting characters.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Feisty, funny, fizzy and deeply wise, Enough Said sparkles within and without, just like the rare gem that it is.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Captain Phillips is such an impressive dramatic achievement that it comes as a shock when it gets even better, during a devastating final scene in which Hanks single-handedly dismantles Hollywood notions of macho heroism in one shattering, virtually wordless sequence.
    • 97 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Vallée, working with a lean, lively script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, neatly avoids excess, letting Woodroof’s terrific yarn stand on its own and getting out of the way of his extraordinary actors, who channel the story without condescension or manipulative cheats.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Directed with rigor and sensitivity by Jason Osder, this is the kind of nonfiction film that proves how powerful simple storytelling and a compelling through line can be.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Only someone with intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s singular cadences, social codes and confounding emotional stew (er, covered hot dish) of aggression and politesse could pull off something as masterful, meaningful and poetic as Nebraska.
    • 92 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In this vibrant, lyrical, graphic, sobering and finally soaring testament to aesthetic and political expression, Noujaim consistently provides light where once there was heat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    For those willing to join Reggio in his extended meditation, Visitors offers a sublime, even spiritual experience, as well as a bracing reminder of cinema’s power to create a transformative occasion.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Locke is so distilled, such a pure example of cinematic storytelling, that it almost feels abstract.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    In Kennedy’s scrupulous, adroit hands, Last Days in Vietnam plays like a wartime thriller, with heroes engaging in jaw- dropping feats of ingenuity and derring do.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Liberated from playing the hits, Benjamin eloquently captures Hendrix’s emerging style without having to succumb to jukebox-musical opportunism.
    • 89 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Force Majeure leaves the audience squirming — in all the very best ways.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Foxcatcher exerts a mesmerizing pull, not only because it affords the chance to witness three fine actors working at the height of their powers, but also because it so steadfastly resists the urge to clutter up empty space with the filigree of gratuitous imagery and chatter.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Compulsion, self-deception and the slippery nature of evil are explored with fidelity and supreme control .
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Affliction turns the sound on with sudden, crystalline clarity, and echoes with the haunting power of a suppressed truth that has finally been released.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A thoroughly absorbing, even transfixing, journey to a future that may already be upon us.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Actually moves, whisking the audience on a funny, sad and extraordinary journey through a singularly compelling moment in American pop culture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Smart, funny and often viciously cruel, this is a romantic comedy for people who are too old to believe in fairyales but wise enough to accept a happy ending when that's what life gives them.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Prove(s) once again how ingenious, artful and flat-out entertaining animation can be.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A revealing, intimate, quirky and generous portrait of nothing less than the American Dream.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    This audacious hybrid of cinematic styles is pure entertainment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The title represents size and power, speed and hubris -- the very things the ship has come to stand for and the things that Cameron has restored to the cinema with grand, generous style.
    • 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
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A movie that will endure.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    A wonderful thing to snuggle into, as full of heart and pep and innocence as the title character himself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Takes both its characters and the audience to the depths, but it's a journey Kidd redeems with wit and fluency and, ultimately, a deeply persistent humanism.

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