For 1,097 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ann Hornaday's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Nebraska
Lowest review score: 0 Tammy
Score distribution:
1,097 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its ability to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
    • 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.
    • 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
    A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    A tough movie to love.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    The Act of Killing is a must-see.
    • 89 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    It's the kind of absorbing, attractive, unfailingly tasteful enterprise that a critic can recommend without caveat.
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Gromit's every facial move -- every grimace, scowl, eye-roll and glance askance -- is sublime.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Emerges as the summer's first true must-see film, required viewing for everyone, but especially audiences in Washington.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Like all good fairy tales, this outsize celebration of perseverance and moral triumph contains within it a deeper idea -- in this case, the relative nature of what we think we know, and what's worth knowing at all. No doubt Dickens himself would approve.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    The heart of Million Dollar Baby lies in the core relationships among Frankie, Maggie and Scrap, friendships so pure, so genuine, so authentic that it takes actors of Eastwood's, Swank's and Freeman's caliber to sell them in this otherwise cynical world.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Hypnotically absorbing film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Arrives as the perfect midsummer movie, a comedy about a flawed-but-functional family that, like "Toy Story 3," captures the drama of growth and separation in all its exhilaration and heartache.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    He (Herzog) emerged with a breathtaking tour of art that, in its formal sophistication, dynamism and rhythmic lines, looks as bold and new as Cezanne's work must have looked in the 1860s.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Ann Hornaday
    Scrappy and unsubtle where "We Were Here" is elegant and nuanced, How to Survive a Plague isn't nearly as formally beautiful as its predecessor.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Ten
    Kiarostami has been hailed as the premier humanist filmmaker at work in a larger Iranian cinematic renaissance, and all his formal signatures are on view here -- the small, intimate canvas, the loose, improvised air of the performances, the absence of an authoritarian directorial hand.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    In the vein of such recent classics as "The Lives of Others" and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Christian Petzold's Barbara re-visits the quiet, everyday tragedies of the Iron Curtain era, when paranoia ran deep and for very good reasons.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    This captivating, expertly machined political thriller jumps through every hoop the naysayer can set up: It's serious and substantive, an ingeniously written and executed drama fashioned from a fascinating, little-known chapter of recent history.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    A movie of technical skill and rare depth of intellect and feeling.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    By bringing so much thought, verve and visual poetry to bear on two neurotics acting out -- rather than on the larger cultural story they anticipate and embody -- The Master turns out to be more of a self-defeating whimper than the big, important bang it could have been.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Crackles right along, stopping only long enough for Scorsese's signature bursts of explosive violence. Those brawls feel a bit rote, but what's different here is a newfound playful humor.
    • 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
    • 50 Ann Hornaday
    Maybe the best way to describe Beasts of the Southern Wild is faux-k art. Even Hushpuppy's name suggests an author more interested in the folk- and foodways of a culture-with-a-capital-C than the people who comprise it. Too often, she and her peers are presented as curios to be exhibited rather than as fully realized -- if resolutely un-mythic -- human beings.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Bringing a tough, astringent wit to a subject too often wrapped in the cozy blanket of sentimentality or cute humor, Tamara Jenkins takes a frank look at the indignities of aging in The Savages, a black comedy that invites viewers to laugh or at least smile ruefully at the dying of the light.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Along with such colleagues as Abbas Kiarostami and Moshen Makhmalbaf, Panahi has perfected the art of realist filmmaking,
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    Turns out to be not just rude, crude and outrageously funny but a deceptively sophisticated meditation on moral agency -- with pot jokes!
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    All of the actors in Turtles Can Fly are nonprofessionals, and all bring electrifying authenticity and presence to their roles.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    A delirious piece of pop ephemera.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    As a stylistic and narrative throwback, Alfredson's adamantly un-thrilling procedural reminds viewers of an era when viewers allowed themselves to be entertained by a good yarn about a few colorful or at least colorlessly compelling characters.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Nearly every scene rings with its own ragged truth, which becomes increasingly painful as Dan's addiction becomes more unmanageable and as he refuses to confront the untenable politics of his own behavior.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Dworkin, having led viewers so deeply into her subjects' lives, resists coercing them into any pat conclusions. We're left to wonder about Love and Diane -– and root for them -– on our own.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Ann Hornaday
    At its best, The Tree of Life makes the viewer lean forward, eager to enter Malick's own dreamy, poetic consciousness. At worst, it leads to the vague feeling that we're listening to the meanderings of someone who's not sure we're smart enough to keep up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    A mesmerizing cinematic journey that is often as arduous and spare as the lives of its hard-bitten protagonists.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Ann Hornaday
    What makes it a must see is its timelessness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    Even though it's pretentious and overlong, A Christmas Tale is still maddeningly engaging, thanks in large part to its attractive and gifted cast.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    It's a gentle, surprising little movie whose rewards lie in what its characters don't say as much as in what they do.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Moonrise Kingdom is already shaping up to be this summer's art house sleeper hit, and no wonder: It traffics in the very kind of escapist spectacle -- in this case of a thoughtfully composed world brimming with whimsy, enchantment and visual brio -- that the season was made for.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ann Hornaday
    What gradually comes into focus is a terrifying, appalling, infuriating cycle of exploitation and corruption.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ann Hornaday
    If Mystic River is just a bit overplayed, a tad too highly pitched, it still resonates with grief and fury and feeling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Ann Hornaday
    Oslo, August 31st builds to an unforgettable climax, a bravura sequence that starts at a party, crawls through a variety of nightclubs and raves, and ends on a note of utterly surprising lyricism.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Ann Hornaday
    Thanks to the assured hold Johnson exerts over this ingeniously structured game of cat-and-cat, we'll go anyplace he has in mind.
    • 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.