For 1,771 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 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 127 Hours
Lowest review score: 0 Blended
Score distribution:
1771 movie reviews
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    As it lurches from Act II to Act III, Battle: Loss Angeles reveals itself to be a lousy movie.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    What is harder to comprehend is how Mr. Clooney turned out such a sloppy, haphazard and tonally incoherent piece of work. Leatherheads lurches hectically between Coen brothers-style pastiche and John Saylesian didacticism, while Mr. Clooney works his brow and his jaw and waits in vain for his charm to kick in and save the day.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The filmmakers feign boldness in tackling national politics, but revert to coyness and caricature when it comes to local matters, gesturing toward a multiculturalism that isn’t even skin deep and sweeping gentrification under the rug.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    So disorganized that it seems to be pulling its conclusions out of its pockets, along with scraps of paper, matches, lint and half-forgotten junk.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Sitting through the lavish and dumb action spectacular Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is about as much fun as watching someone else play a video game.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By the end the most vivid figure on the screen is the lovable doggie who goes wherever dangling fingers are waiting to give the happy pooch a scratch.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    One of the things that makes Adore, which was written by Christopher Hampton, hard to take seriously is how seriously it takes itself, how utterly purged of humor or credible human complication the drama at its center turns out to be.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It’s a phoned-in, gutless piece of hack work that reminds you of other, better films in the same vein.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    If realism is what you're after, you'll do better at "The Three Stooges." The Lucky One is where you will find death, redemption and kisses in the rain.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    An attempt to inaugurate a new movie franchise, something that might appeal to women and mystery fans. This is a perfectly sound ambition, but the movie, directed by Julie Anne Robinson from a script by Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray and Liz Brixius, is so weary and uninspired that it feels more like an exhausted end than an energetic beginning.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This picture is mostly a lump of run-of-the-mill profanity sprinkled with a few remarks so geared toward engendering audience sympathy that you might think he was running for office -- or trying to win over a probation officer.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Hot Rod might be called the poor man’s “Eagle vs. Shark” if “Eagle vs. Shark” were not already the poor man’s “Napoleon Dynamite.” It certainly lacks the conceptual purity and aesthetic integrity of the “Jackass” movies. In any case poor certainly describes the quality of the filmmaking.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Try as it might to be refined and provocative, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never rises above the pedestrian creepiness of its conceit.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Raunchier and somewhat more imaginative than “Hot Rod.”
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    I don't think Mr. James intended to make a creepy, exploitative movie about teenage runaways - or, for that matter, a moralistic, cautionary tale of girls gone bad. But those are the default categories that Little Birds stumbles toward, perhaps because the filmmaker has not found a cogent way to channel his curiosity or his empathy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By Monday, Torque will look like a period piece with its expiration date, January 2004, prominently displayed. The inevitable movie-inspired video game will appear more realistic.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie is like spending an idle afternoon browsing, and not buying.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Hallie's dad said it was Rocky Horror for toddlers whatever that is. Me and Hallie are 7 and we thought it was for babies.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A movie that is as stuffed with bogus feeling and overwrought incident as a fast-food burrito.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Nothing in the picture works. It is both overwrought and tedious, its complicated narrative bogging down in lyrical voiceover, long flashbacks and endless expository conversations between people speaking radically incompatible accents.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Overplotted, hollow thriller.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Tries to show it has its heart in the right place, but it's such a crude undertaking that it doesn't actually seem to have a heart at all.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Feels like an early rehearsal for a play where all the movement is being coordinated but the underlying emotional notes have yet to be set.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The film is more of a pageant than a convincing drama. It’s so determined to deliver its moral that it loses its grip on the reality of its characters.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The picture, which fails to achieve its ambitions or to fulfill our expectations, is ultimately worse than a violent piece of hack work, in which the director isn't interested in displaying his integrity -- or taste. You'd be better off downloading the trailer: a much more convincing piece of storytelling.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Mort’s writing lacks psychological texture, and her direction generates little intensity, or even continuity.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    What we see on screen is a lumbering, flat-footed fancy-dress melodrama.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Pallid compared with the flaming id of television's "Will and Grace," the happy swizzle stick Jack, who's all appetites. When series television is more entertaining than a series of short independent films, that's something to worry about.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It is about as diverting as having a porcelain sink broken over your head.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like a zombie picture directed by one of the undead.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It's one of the rare films for which a blooper reel would be redundant.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Tacky and disposable.
    • 11 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It's an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new Pinocchio. Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Grisly but not especially suspenseful, tongue-in-cheek without any real wit, The Voices aims to hit the intersection of horror and comedy but tumbles into an uncanny valley of tedious creepiness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Perhaps the directors are under the delusion that the dodging and leaping can make up for an ending that leaves the cast members of "Killer" adrift and nearly scratching their heads in puzzlement.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie is a bust, and, as usual in these situations, it is easier to say how than why, and best to say as little as possible, cut one's losses and move on.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Brand: A Second Coming wants to tell the story of a man overcoming temptation and trading a shallow approach to life for something more sustaining and profound. It’s undone by its own shallowness, and by the limited appeal of its subject.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A shallow yet empty action extravaganza.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like its title, it's a clumsy contraption.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Various secrets come dribbling out... They add up to a sprawl of narrative that is as unconvincing as the suspiciously sprawl-free, nostalgia-tinged town where it all takes place.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The most indolent waste of screen time since Andy Warhol's marathon shot of the Empire State Building.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This dumb, only intermittently (though sometimes even intentionally) funny sequel presumes that since almost everything else from the 1980's has come back, why not the cynosures of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" movies?
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    For his sins poor Stewart is kidnapped, tortured and shot up with horse tranquilizer after his leg is broken. It’s disturbing, and somewhat baffling too, until you grasp that this hapless sucker is a surrogate for the audience.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Lame, long, ugly joke of a movie.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie doesn't turn out to be as benignly right-wing as it initially suggests, though the plot turns can be spotted a mile away.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A clumsy and confused adaptation of Michael Chabon's 1988 novel.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This floppy British romance, directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by Jojo Moyes from her best-selling novel, sits at the point where tedium, ridiculousness and heartfelt sentiment converge, separated by an all-but-imperceptible distance.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Drab and incoherent teen comedy.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Couldn't be more artless.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Its bone-deep willingness to do anything to entertain is exhausting.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Even the handful of moments that are amusing feel recycled from old sketches of Mr. Murphy's.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There are a few funny moments in Jack and Jill, most of them celebrity cameos that also serve to affirm what a cool, connected celebrity Mr. Sandler is. The most sustained of these is the appearance of Al Pacino as himself, falling for Jill and giving the film a jolt of genuine zaniness. I'm sorry to say that this may be Mr. Pacino's most convincing performance in years.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The scandal of Mr. Clark’s more recent movies, including “Wassup Rockers” and “Ken Park” and this new one, resides more in its tedium and lack of insight than its strenuously provocative content.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank from a script he wrote with Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater, feels less like a tale of superhero beginnings than like a very long precredit opening sequence.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Everything that made the first “Die Hard” memorable — the nuances of character, the political subtext, the cowboy wit — has been dumbed down or scrubbed away entirely.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This mistaken-identity picture is so film-culture referential that the final product is a ghost.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The scandal of Antichrist is not that it is grisly or upsetting but that it is so ponderous, so conceptually thin and so dull.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Wants to be everything and adds up to nothing. "War" is a film that tries to excel on several levels and falls flat on all of them.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like a soft drink that's been sitting open too long: it's too much syrup and not enough fizz.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It has the melancholy mildew of both "Marty" and the 1940's weepie "The Enchanted Cottage."
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Fitfully amusing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Magic in the Moonlight is less a movie than the dutiful recitation of themes and plot points conducted by a squad of costumed actors. The tidy narrative may advance with clockwork precision, but the clock’s most prominent feature is the snooze button.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The cast would have been better served by a middle school production overseen by a creatively frustrated, inappropriately ambitious drama teacher than by this hacky, borderline-incompetent production, which was directed by Will Gluck from a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Forlorn melodrama, which is low on drama and high on mellow.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Has shockingly little to say.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Such few assets aren't enough to alleviate the film's shallowness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like his scripts for “21 Grams” and “Babel,” this one makes heavy use of happenstance and temporal displacement, and like them, too, it depends on ideas about human behavior that can only be called preposterous.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Appears to be a somewhat sinister episode of "Nightline."
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Could serve as a textbook example of what to avoid in nonfiction filmmaking.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The lip movements of the animated figures are slightly slow, so you feel as if you're watching a badly dubbed Japanese creature feature from the 1960's. The dialogue is almost as stilted, and after a while you drift into that half-dream state that inert movies can create.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There are dull stabs at verbal wit that leave you baffled, bored or slightly grossed out.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This movie is a suspense thriller whose only suspense comes from an audience wondering if the picture will hit its promised 97-minute running time.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A loud, seemingly interminable, and altogether incoherent entry in the preposterous and proliferating “action-comedy” genre.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A piece of moldy wax fruit if ever there was one.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This crude comedy delivers on the "No Shame, No Mercy" threats from the original. Unfortunately, it all adds up to "No Good."
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The documentary doesn't get near the prowess of its subject; it passes through your life like a minor daydream.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A washout.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Preposterousness is not necessarily a vice, and plausibility is a weak virtue. Just ask Alfred Hitchcock. So to say that the conceits of The Forger (directed by Philip Martin) are ridiculous isn’t really saying much. It’s also dull, incoherent and drab to look at.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    300
    Another movie -- Matt Stone and Trey Parker's "Team America," whose wooden puppets were more compelling actors than most of the cast of 300 -- calculated the cost [of freedom] at $1.05. I would happily pay a nickel less, in quarters or arcade tokens, for a vigorous 10-minute session with the video game that 300 aspires to become.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Filled with voyeuristic shots as the camera peers through picket fences and windows and around corners; the film looks as if it were shot with a surveillance camera from a 7-Eleven
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Straining to capture artistic frenzy, it descends into vulgar chaos, less a homage to Federico Fellini’s “8 ½” (its putative inspiration) than a travesty.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The main audience for this dim little sex comedy has no particular interest in seeing Ms. Alba act. They want to see her in her underwear and also to confront one of the central cultural questions of our time: will she take her top off?
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Pan
    The dominant emotion in Pan is the desperation of the filmmakers, who frantically try to pander to a young audience they don’t seem to respect, understand or trust.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    If you're looking for laughs, give "Valley of the Dolls" another read instead.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    No real mockery is intended by this harmless, mindless grab bag of slightly used gags, which lampoons some of the conventions of recent comic-book epics and adds the expected staples of juvenile humor: urine, vomit and intestinal gas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A flimsy bit of mildly romantic, putatively comic Anglophile bait.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Misery Loves Comedy, Kevin Pollak’s survey of the opinions of a bunch of professionally funny people, is an evident labor of love and also a work of grating amateurism.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Salinger, directed by Mr. Salerno, is less a work of cinema than the byproduct of its own publicity campaign.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There is almost nothing here that you haven’t seen a dozen times before, and even the surprises feel flat and familiar. More dispiriting still is that this drab complacency is wrapped around messages of daring, honesty and spontaneity.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    At least it isn't a remake -- though given how slovenly and forced this movie is, maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad idea.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    With the exception of some of the battles, which have the angry desperation of Mr. Yuen's inspired martial-arts choreography, Close is a nominal effort.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The most disturbing thing about this may be how dull and routine it seems. Computer-generated imagery can produce remarkably detailed vistas of disaster — bridges and buildings collapsing; giant ships flung onto urban streets; beloved landmarks pulverized — but the technology also has a way of stripping such spectacles of impact and interest.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Summer is like an episode of the religious children's series "Davey and Goliath," without the entertainment value of animation and a talking dog.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By interweaving several stories, the movie suffers from a peculiar multiplier effect: it deepens its shallowness.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It feels like a halfhearted bluff and has the stale smell of yesterday’s after-shave.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    While a movie that fails to catch fire is disappointing, there is something even more dispiriting about a movie that doesn’t even bother to try, that tosses its stars a soggy book of matches and expects them to generate a spark.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The unfortunate thing is that children will probably waste their summers indoors watching "Recess" over and over again.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The Hundred-Foot Journey is likely neither to pique your appetite nor to sate it, leaving you in a dyspeptic limbo, stuffed with false sentiment and forced whimsy and starved for real delight.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This movie sets out to honor and refresh a youthful enthusiasm from the past and winds up smothering the fun in self-conscious grandiosity.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Wears its preposterousness with a certain pride. It’s about the cat-and-mouse game between two very smart guys, and it’s perfectly happy to be as dumb as it wants.

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