For 1,474 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 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Sita Sings the Blues
Lowest review score: 0 Blended
Score distribution:
1,474 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    If the extremity of Hallam's temperament tests the limits of our sympathy as well as our credulity, Mr. Bell's ability to seem by turns sweet and scary prevents us from losing interest entirely.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The result is imperfect, but its roughness is entirely consistent with the way the filmmakers understand the traumatic experiences of displacement, loss and deprivation.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Refreshingly tart and lean, forgoing the usual schmaltz and syrup.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The brutality in the film is pervasive and often stomach turningly graphic, but what is perhaps most unnerving is the tact, patience and care with which Mr. McQueen depicts its causes and effects.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Che
    Mr. Soderbergh once again offers a master class in filmmaking. As history, though, Che is finally not epic but romance. It takes great care to be true to the factual record, but it is, nonetheless, a fairy tale.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Not everything that happens in Fighting entirely makes sense -- it’s a fable, after all, and a fable doesn't necessarily have to -- but it breathes with a rough, exuberant realism that you rarely see in movies of its kind.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The flaws in Two Lovers are inseparable from its strengths. You could, I suppose, criticize the movie for being too sincere; too generous to its imperfect, self-deluded characters; too absorbed in their small crises and disproportionate reactions. But that criticism might sound a lot like praise.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    But true to its title, The Hangover goes down smoothly enough and then kicks you in the head later on, when you start to examine the sources of your laughter.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Reiner and Mr. Kudlow may not quite merit full-metal glory, but they don't deserve oblivion either, and Anvil! The Story of Anvil makes both a case and a place for their band.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The characters and situations are interesting enough, and the filmmaking is sufficiently skilled to provide a measure of reasonably thoughtful entertainment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Good pulp depends, above all, on a ruthless sense of economy, and Three Monkeys is just a bit too profligate, too fancy, to be entirely convincing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    While the film is lively and engaging, it also, in the end, feels a little thin, largely because it is unsure of how earnestly to treat its own lessons about fate, ambition and brotherly love.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    O'Horten is about frustration, patience, kindness and the wildness that lurks in even the calmest hearts. What's odd about that?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    No one in Jerichow is entirely deserving of sympathy, which gives the film a detached, clinical feeling underlined by the director’s habit of observing emotions rather than evoking them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Slight, charming and refreshingly candid little picture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    When the turmoil of the last 12 months has receded and the 10th-anniversary deluxe collectors edition comes around, this strange, numb cinematic experience may seem fresh, shocking and poignant rather than merely and depressingly true.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    9
    Every effort to expand the range of feature-length animation beyond the confines of cautious family fare is to be welcomed, and budding techno and fantasy geeks are likely to be intrigued and enthralled.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film's ideas are interesting, but don't feel entirely worked out, and Mr. Rockwell's intriguingly strange performance (or performances) is left suspended, without the context that would give Sam's plight its full emotional and philosophical impact. The smallness of this movie is decidedly a virtue, but also, in the end, something of a limitation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Though $9.99 manages to be quirky and enigmatic, it is in the end too self-conscious, too satisfied in its eccentricity, to achieve the full mysteriousness toward which it seems to aspire. It is odd, curious, intermittently intriguing but ultimately more interesting for its artifice than for its art.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Engrossing and at times impressive, a pretty good movie that is disappointing to the extent that it could have been great. Is this the way the world ends? With polite applause?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There are worse things than loutish, laddish cool, and as a series of poses and stunts, Sherlock Holmes is intermittently diverting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Unfortunately, it is also less than the sum of its parts -- overly long, lacking in narrative momentum and too often choosing sensation over coherence.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The blossoming of her ambition, as much as her love life, drives the story forward, and turns Coco Before Chanel into a costume drama worthy of the name.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A smart, well-meaning project -- never quite pulls itself together. It has a vague, half-finished feeling, as if it had not figured out what it was trying to do. Which may amount to a kind of realism -- an accurate reflection of where we are in Afghanistan.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie deserves -- and is likely to win -- a devoted cult following, despite its flaws.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    You might, nonetheless, want to see this movie, even -- or maybe especially -- if you have seen “Billy Elliot” or “Bend It Like Beckham.” Familiarity is not always a bad thing, and if the script, by Shauna Cross, piles sports movie and coming-of-age touchstones into a veritable cairn of clichés, the cast shows enough agility and conviction to make them seem almost fresh.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A Christmas Carol -- I mean the source material, without a corporate possessive attached to it -- remains among the most moving works of holiday literature, and Mr. Zemeckis has remained true to its finest sentiments. He is an innovator, but his traditionalism is what makes this movie work.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    As it develops, Dare lays out some interesting psychological puzzles, though the filmmakers lack the technique to explore them as thoroughly as you might wish.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    An unnerving but unsatisfying chronicle of a German village filled with hidden cruelty, set on the eve of World War I.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Dear John carefully distills selected elements of human experience and reduces them to a sweet and digestible syrup. It may not be strong medicine, but it delivers an effective, pleasing dose of pure sentiment and vicarious heartache.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    October Country feels at once personal and objective, a fascinating hybrid of two important tendencies in the modern documentary.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie may be a little too tame in the end, but at its best it is just wild enough.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A valuable and intelligent introduction and tribute to their anarchic, uncompromising and absolutely peculiar genius.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    World on a Wire, while too slow and diffuse to count as a lost masterpiece, is valuable in expanding our sense of what Fassbinder could do and is also a source of much visual and intellectual pleasure in its own right.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    But Babies just might restore your faith in our perplexing, peculiar and stubbornly lovable species.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Loach’s touch is a bit lighter here. “Sweet Sixteen” is a coming-of-age story shot through the lens of social tragedy, while “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is an epic of historical disaster. Looking for Eric is, by comparison, gentle and sweet and often very funny.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Get Him to the Greek displays the bawdy-sweet mixture that is the signature of the Judd Apatow school of screen comedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A bit of a puzzle. This is a good thing, since most movies plop down in easily recognizable categories and stay there, troubling neither their own intellectual inertia nor that of the audience.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Although it is composed mainly of archival footage and touches on a great many actual events, Double Take, as you may already have gathered, is not quite a documentary. It is, instead, a meditation on a series of loosely related themes drawn together, somewhat tenuously, by the familiar yet elusive sensibility that Hitchcock brought to Hollywood and then to American television.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    If there is a bit more humor on display here -- some of it evidence that an element of self-conscious self-mockery is sneaking into the franchise -- there is also more violence, and, true to the film’s title, a deeper intimation of darkness. What there isn’t, as usual, is much in the way of good acting, with the decisive and impressive exception of Ms. Stewart, who can carry a close-up about as well as anyone in movies today.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Rapace, tiny and agile, her steely rage showing now and then the tiniest crack of vulnerability, belongs to another dimension altogether. She makes this movie good enough, but also makes you wish it were much better.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The time does pass agreeably enough, and if Cairo Time does not amount to much, it does evoke a wistful state of feeling and a complicated city with enough skill and sensitivity that you wish it had dared more.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Originally intended as a cable television series, Middle Men bears some telltale scars of hasty, clumsy truncation. Still, there is a raffish vigor that makes the movie watchable despite all-over-the-map storytelling and a fuzzy, superficial grasp of the salient themes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film offers an easygoing and generous blend of wish fulfillment, vicarious luxury, wry humor and spiritual uplift, with a star, Julia Roberts, who elicits both envy and empathy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    This film is a document of hope, progress and idealism but also a reminder that the deep springs of bigotry and violence that fed a long, vicious campaign of domestic terrorism have not dried up.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Diverting, hectic entertainment, which refuses to take anything too seriously, staking out a middle ground between melodrama and farce.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The director Zhang Yimou honors the unlikely affinity between himself and Joel and Ethan Coen with a remake of their movie "Blood Simple."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A solid, minor entry in the annals of Boston crime drama. Not as florid as "The Departed" or as sadly soulful as "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" - or even as sticky and gamy as "Gone Baby Gone," Mr. Affleck's previous film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    And yet something vital here works. There are, come to think of it, a lot of little things.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Portuguese Nun has wit and feeling, though the wit is at times almost imperceptibly subtle and the feeling somewhat stylized.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    In spite of Mr. Giamatti's ferociously energetic performance Barney's Version never figures out just who Barney is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie, in other words, belongs solidly to Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Grint and Ms. Watson, who have grown into nimble actors, capable of nuances of feeling that would do their elders proud.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Tangled is the 50th animated feature from Disney, and its look and spirit convey a modified, updated but nonetheless sincere and unmistakable quality of old-fashioned Disneyness.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A sometimes intoxicating, sometimes headache-inducing cocktail: a sweet, libidinous love story; a candid comedy of bedroom and workplace manners; and, most bravely, if also most jarringly, a medical melodrama involving a chronic and very serious disease.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Rabbit Hole could easily have been maudlin, grim or exploitative, and it is none of those things. It is sensitive, considerate, and, in the end, not entirely persuasive.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The charm of The Strange Case of Angelica lies in the way it balances this mysticism with a thoroughly secular sense of the business of everyday life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    An admiring, clever remake of Kim Ki-young's legendary film of the same title from 1960, this version, directed by Im Sang-soo, is at once more explicit than the original and less kinky.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It is frequently gripping and sincere in its intentions, but never quite as revelatory, or as devastating, as it should be.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There is something apocalyptically awful about Onkalo, to be sure, but the impulse behind it is noble, and the installation itself has an undeniable grandeur.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    An energetic, enjoyably preposterous compound - it's a paranoid thriller blended with pseudo-neuro-science fiction and catalyzed by a jolting dose of satire.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Win Win goes a bit soft in places, protecting its characters from serious danger or tough moral reckoning. But the film's niceness is also central to its appeal, because nearly all of the characters are people you enjoy spending time with.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    You suspect, before long, that there is no strong reason for this production to exist, but it is reasonably good fun all the same.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Unlike its beer-soaked protagonist, Everything Must Go remains dry, serving up its catharsis in wry, moderate doses and making the most of its modest, careful virtues. It is a sober movie, but also sad and satisfying.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A sad and spirited elegy for the Carnegie Hall Studios, which for more than a century provided working, living and teaching space for all kinds of artists on the floors above the famous concert hall.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Accomplishes the depressingly familiar mathematical trick of being both more and less than its predecessor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The mood is not one of misery, but of quiet, weary endurance punctuated with moments of joy.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There is also much in The Art of Getting By that is worth praising, and if you can grade on a curve - setting the standard at "The Wackness" rather than "The Squid and the Whale" - you may find yourself touched, tickled and occasionally surprised.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The laughter is mean but also oddly pure: it expels shame and leaves you feeling dizzy, a little embarrassed and also exhilarated, kind of like the cocaine that two of the main characters consume by accident.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Has a winningly pulpy, jaunty, earnest spirit.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Its tone is quietly comical, with each chapter treated as an extended joke, or as an R-rated O. Henry story angling toward a neat concluding twist.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie, true to its own PG-13 rating, opts for mildness, modesty and chastened optimism. At the same time, though, it seems to know that a crueler, more cynical rendering of its story - a "Bitter, Hopeless, Love" - lurks between the lines.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The old "Fright Night" was both self-aware and effectively scary, and if this one seems to prefer gruesome digital effects to old-fashioned bump-in-the-night spookiness, it still succeeds in keeping the audience both tickled and anxious.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Though it lacks the artful, headlong immediacy of "The Circle" and "Offside," Jafar Panahi's films about women in Tehran - and the breakneck exuberance of Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats," about Tehran's underground music scene - Circumstance ripples with the indignant energy of youthful rebellion.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A thin, unconvincing movie made likable by the charm and skill of its cast and by a script peppered with wit and insight.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    As The Debt grows more complex and suspenseful, it also becomes more literal, losing some of its dramatic intensity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It is interesting and ingenious, even if some of the kinky, queasy fascination that had been so intoxicating in the earlier scenes ebbs away.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The fact that the speakers' faces are never seen produces a feeling of estrangement that is crucial to the film's effectiveness. You become acutely aware of gaps and discontinuities: between slogans and realities, between political ideals and stubborn social problems, between then and now.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Like birding itself, The Big Year rewards patience. It respects both the integrity and the eccentricity of the avian obsession, and it communicates something of the fascinating abundance and weirdness of the animals themselves.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    I suspect that he would have approved of Mr. Lee's film, and not only because it approves so unreservedly of him. Paul Goodman Changed My Life may not have that effect on every viewer, but it has a passionate, almost prophetic sense of the impact that a writer and thinker can have on his times and the future.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The most gratifying thing about "Eames" is that it shows, in marvelous detail, how their work was an extension of themselves and how their distinct personalities melded into a unique and protean force.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It is suspenseful, horrifying and at times intensely moving. But the ease with which it elicits these responses from the audience feels more opportunistic than insightful.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Ms. McTeer's sly, exuberant performance is a pure delight, and the counterpoint between her physical expressiveness and Ms. Close's tightly coiled reserve is a marvel to behold. The rest of the film is a bit too decorous and tidy to count as a major revelation, but it dispenses satisfying doses of humor, pathos and surprise.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The cumulative effect is exhilarating and also a bit frustrating, since so many dances are included and woven together the audience does not have the chance to experience any single work in its entirety. But the power and intelligence of Bausch's approach, which at times seems more cerebral than sensual, is communicated.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Unabashedly polemical and rigorously pessimistic, a sustained Marxian indictment of 21st-century capital. The narration, by Mr. Sekula, is at times lyrical and rarely subtle, but the film is most graceful and moving when its argument slows down or wanders into an interesting tangent.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The emotions are quiet, and the connections among the characters feel tentative and fragile. Though it makes no reference to the current economic and political crisis in Greece, Attenberg is suffused with a sense of malaise - of stasis, if you prefer a Greek word - that way well reflect the contemporary national mood.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It wants to be fun and, to a perhaps surprising extent, it is. Largely forsaking the sweet multiculturalism of the original for white-dude bromance, and completely abandoning earnest teenagers-in-crisis melodrama in favor of crude, aggressive comedy, this 21 Jump Street is an example of how formula-driven entertainment can succeed.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Hilali and Benghabrit were real people. Mr. Ferroukhi, who wrote the script with Alain-Michel Blanc, deftly interweaves their stories with the adventures of the fictional Younes, and so contributes a worthy and interesting chapter to the tradition of World War II dramas of conscience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Even if it did not have other charms, this peculiar, uneven campus comedy would be worth seeing for the delightful felicity of its dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    To a die-hard Maddinite this may be a little disappointing, but for that reason Keyhole may also be a perfect gateway into the bizarre and fertile world of a unique film artist.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Five-Year Engagement dutifully hits the marks of its genre, but it is also about the unpredictability of life and the everyday challenges of love. The sensitivity and honesty with which it addresses those matters is a pleasant surprise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    However frustrated they may be by political paralysis, corporate trickery or plain human stupidity, none of them seem inclined to give up. When they do, we really will be screwed, and we won't have or need movies like this to tell us so.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie, by virtue of its self-conscious parody of the kind of movie it is, turns out to be an unusually smart and sensitive example of the genre.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The look, the rhythm and the scruffy, on-the-fly ambience of the film make it feel unusually fresh and lively. It may be the same old song, but it's also a catchy remix.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Trier and Mr. Lie - a quiet, recessive but nonetheless magnetically self-assured screen presence - emphasize Anders's individuality above all. Oslo, August 31st has the satisfying gravity of specific experience, and also, true to its title, a prickly sense of place.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Though it is an ambitious - at times mesmerizing - application of the latest cinematic technology, the movie tries to recapture some of the menace of the stories that used to be told to scare children rather than console them.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Its clever final plot twist adds a gratifying jolt of the uncanny to what is otherwise a charming, bittersweet meditation on the passage of time and the equivocal power of images to capture an older world at the moment of its disappearance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The virtuosity on display makes the weakness of the story all the more frustrating. I'll avoid spoilers here, but Prometheus kind of spoils itself with twists and reversals that pull the movie away from its lofty, mind-blowing potential.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Though not explicitly autobiographical, this film is deeply personal, and while the nature of cinema is very much on its mind, it rarely feels insular or self-conscious. Instead, it is wistful and nostalgic, and at the same time full of restless curiosity.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    One of the most delightful things about To Rome With Love is how casually it blends the plausible and the surreal, and how unabashedly it revels in pure silliness.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Savages is a daylight noir, a western, a stoner buddy movie and a love story, which is to say that it is a bit of a mess. But also a lot of fun, especially as its pulp elements rub up against some gritty geopolitical and economic themes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Like "Dogtooth," Alps works by systematically unsettling our sense of what is normal and habitual in human interactions.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Beloved is at once whimsical and heartfelt, alive to the absurdity and perversity of amorous behavior and also to the gravity and intensity of human emotions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Brugger's portrait of shameless, routine collusion between exploitative foreigners and dysfunctional dictatorships is depressing and undeniable. Unless, that is, The Ambassador is even more of a hoax than it seems to be. This strikes me as plausible, since somebody having this much fun in such proximity to horror may not be completely trustworthy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The charm of Radio Unnameable is, finally, elegiac. It can make you wish - or, if you're lucky, remember - that you were a sleepless New Yorker in 1967, kept from loneliness by a gentle, soulful voice on the radio.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Regrettably, it is not a home run or a perfect game, but it isn't a wild throw, an errant bunt or a dropped fly ball either. Trouble With the Curve is either an off-speed pitch that just catches the edge of the strike zone or a bloop single lofted into right field. The runner is safe. The movie is too.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    While Frankenweenie is fun, it is not nearly strange or original enough to join the undead, monstrous ranks of the classics it adores.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The grunts and howls seem every bit as mannered as the florid diction of Olivier and Oberon, perhaps even more so. Their artifice, like Brontë's own, was overt, whereas Ms. Arnold strives to disguise hers in the trappings of authenticity. And as a result, the impact - the grandeur, the art - of Wuthering Heights is diminished.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It is gripping and haunting, but also coy and elusive.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A Royal Affair suffers from the richness of the historical material - there is so much going on here - and also, perhaps, from a patriotic desire to treat it reverently. Unfortunately it never fully comes to life.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    What the point here might be is a bit more elusive. It may be simply to allow Ms. Huppert, one of the most adventurous actresses in movies, the opportunity to try something new. And that might be enough.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Works so hard at celebrating wide eyes and naïve joy that it comes close to spoiling its own intermittent wonderfulness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Bulger, a former boxer and model before he turned to journalism and then filmmaking, does not let "Behind the Music" sensationalism overwhelm the music itself, which is Mr. Baker's great passion and the only reason anyone should take an interest in him.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There are a lot of loose ends and a few forced conclusions. But, then again, the acceptance of imperfection is Mr. Apatow's theme, so a degree of sloppiness is to be expected. That's life.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Parker...is not a great movie....But Parker is nonetheless great fun. It is part of a welcome trend, or counter-trend, in action filmmaking, an effort to strip away the apocalyptic bloat and digital fakery that have overtaken the genre and return to its pulpy, nasty, mechanical roots.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Unlike his precursors Georges Franju and Luis Buñuel, who reveled in the shock of incongruity, Mr. Ruiz took it in stride. His gliding, floating camera could make wild impossibilities look utterly natural. And so it is in Night Across the Street, where the present commingles with the past, and seeming is another way of being.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    [Mr. Odar] allows the story to unfold at a deliberate pace, emphasizing the psychological nuances of the mystery rather than its procedural details, and using graceful wide-screen compositions and haunting sound design to create a compelling mood of menace, anxiety and sorrow.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The raggedness of The Sapphires can’t be separated from its exuberant charm. Like the Sapphires themselves, the film is determined to muscle its way into your heart, which would have to be a lump of gristle to resist it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It communicates the delights of pastiche rather than the thrill of original creation, a secondhand movie love that is seductive but not entirely satisfying.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The three-part story, spread over nearly two and a half hours, represents a triumph of sympathetic imagination and a failure of narrative economy. But if, in the end, the film can’t quite sustain its epic vision, it does, along the way, achieve the density and momentum of a good novel.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    In the House weaves a pleasant and clever spell, manipulating the viewer much in the way that Claude plays with Germain.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A tour de force of meticulous cruelty, a comic melodrama that elicits laughter and empathy and then replaces those responses with squirming discomfort.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Less a conventional movie adaptation than a splashy, trashy opera, a wayward, lavishly theatrical celebration of the emotional and material extravagance that Fitzgerald surveyed with fascinated ambivalence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It may be asking too much of The East — which is, after all, a twisty, breathless genre film — to wish that it would frame the contradictions of contemporary capitalism more rigorously. The movie is aware that they exist, and wishes that they could be resolved more or less happily, which is hard to argue with, though also hard to believe.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Bling Ring occupies a vertiginous middle ground between banality and transcendence, and its refusal to commit to one or the other is both a mark of integrity and a source of frustration.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    World War Z often feels smaller and quieter than it is, because your attention is drawn to details and moments rather than to showstopping spectacles or self-important themes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Pacific Rim, with its carefree blend of silliness and solemnity, is clearly the product of an ingenious and playful pop sensibility.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    A modest superhero picture may sound like a contradiction in terms, but really it is a welcome respite.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Passion is often sleek and enjoyable, dispensing titillation, suspense and a few laughs without taking itself too seriously.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    In rushing in where wise men might fear to tread, Mr. Franco has accomplished something serious and worthwhile. His As I Lay Dying is certainly ambitious, but it is also admirably modest.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There is warmth and intelligence here, and undeniable sincerity, but also a determination, in the face of much painful and fascinating history, to play it safe.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It’s a frequently amusing, occasionally hilarious, rarely unpleasant grab bag of mild mockery and inspired lunacy, decked out with cameos from beloved comic performers and random celebrities.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film dwells on the logistical and bureaucratic details of the process, and if it does not exactly write a fresh chapter in the history of art, it stands as an exemplary study in the sociology of art administration.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Intent on showing that Arbor and Swifty live in a world of radically limited possibilities, barely sustained by their families and failed by the state, Ms. Barnard locks them into a narrative prison. Their fates seem predetermined less by their circumstances than by the iron will and limited imagination of their creator.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It is a modest, competent, effective movie, concerned above all with doing the job of explaining how the job was done.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The two lead performances — Lika Babluani as Eka and Mariam Bokeria as Natia — are direct and unaffected, but also enigmatic in the way that nonprofessional screen acting can be in the hands of a sensitive director.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Stranger by the Lake is seductive and fascinating, but it is also a bit trapped in its own conceit, and in its carefully maintained emotional detachment.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Simon Brook used five hidden cameras, and the audience has a sense of witnessing intimate moments rather than watching a performance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Many of the funniest parts seem to arise spontaneously from Mr. Hart’s uncensored brain and fast-moving mouth. He can swerve from tears to mock outrage to anatomically detailed obscenities faster than just about any other comic performer working today, and in Ms. Hall he has found an excellent match.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    This is a calm film about strong emotions, but it does find a reservoir of intensity in the two central performances, in particular Mr. Del Toro’s.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Abu-Assad shows a world from which all trust has vanished, where every relationship carries the possibility — perhaps the inevitability — of betrayal and where every form of honor is corroded by lies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The comedy is more wry than uproarious, the melodrama gently poignant rather than operatic, and the sentimentality just sweet enough to be satisfying rather than bothersome.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    [The film] is not perfect, but it is fast-moving, intermittently witty and pretty good fun.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Much of the fun in Enemy, which is tightly constructed and expertly shot, lies in Mr. Gyllenhaal’s playful and subtle performances.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Aronofsky’s earnest, uneven, intermittently powerful film, is both a psychological case study and a parable of hubris and humility. At its best, its shares some its namesake’s ferocious conviction, and not a little of his madness.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The plot of Alan Partridge (also known as “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa”) is designed not for coherence but to maximize the chances for Mr. Coogan to riff in character and to bring his alter ego to the very edge of either improbable likability or utter awfulness.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Johnson and the screenwriter, Mark Jude Poirier, have transformed a taciturn masterpiece into an absorbing, messy, modest story of damaged relationships.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Neighbors is not a great film and does not really aspire to be. It is more a status report on mainstream American movie comedy, operating in a sweet spot between the friendly and the nasty, and not straining to be daring, obnoxious or even especially original. It knows how to have fun. How very grown-up.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    As usual, the characters — and the performers playing them — step unto the breach to provide just enough wit and feeling to make Days of Future Past something other than a waste of a reasonable person’s time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Oliveira relishes the formality of conversation, and there is great pleasure to be found in listening to the actors and watching the small adjustments of posture and gesture that accompany their words.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Some of the climactic turns seem to follow the kind of narrative rules that this film, and this filmmaker, have otherwise defied.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    If Dormant Beauty does not rank among Mr. Bellocchio’s best movies, it nonetheless still occasionally shows him at his best. His eye for the latent beauty and evident absurdity of Italian life remains acute, as does his appreciation for vivid performance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Its powerful narratives leaves you with the strong suspicion that the whole story has not yet been told.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Notebook is a skillfully made movie, with sequences that may haunt you after you leave the theater. But it lacks the power to turn its virtuosity, or the emotional discipline of its remarkable young leads, into a source of insight.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Roskam’s direction is gratifyingly loose. He lets the story, which is really the least interesting part of the movie, more or less take care of itself, allowing us to savor pungent morsels of dialogue and bits of low-key actorly showboating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Within this gore-spattered, superficially nihilistic carapace is an old-fashioned platoon picture, a sensitive and superbly acted tale of male bonding under duress.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Greene’s impressionistic style and rough, off-center compositions create an atmosphere of intimacy, as if the viewer were being invited to read Ms. Burre’s diary or her mind.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Imitation Game is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    To take Mommy as an undisciplined outpouring of aggression and angst is to underestimate its artistry. [Mr. Dolan] has both advanced beyond the romanticism of “Heartbeats” and “Laurence Anyways” and regressed toward a more primal and confrontational mode of storytelling. Mommy may seem out of control, but it knows exactly what it’s doing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mostly mediocre melodrama, though the actors suffering over love's labors lost are quite fine.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Lacks more than subtext: it barely has text. At times, the picture seems to have been edited with a blowtorch. But it gets the job done efficiently and swiftly.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Works as everything but a mystery, yet it is intriguing in a number of ways. And the ending is as resolute as you might have hoped for. It lets Romulus and the movie retain their integrity.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Enormously likable, partly because it is aware of its own grasp of the absurd.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The fun is contagious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As well done as it is, Wonderland feels predictable. There is no sad turn in these characters' lives that you cannot see coming about an hour before.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is intermittently engrossing, though a little overextended for the deadpan approach that Mr. Bitomsky uses.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It's another of Mr. Toback's quick-talking autobiographies that, like the best pop, have a clock running on their expiration dates.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Kevin Costner is suitably flinty in 13 Days, a competent, by-the-numbers recreation of the events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Law doesn't disgrace himself here, though he doesn't have much to do, and the director, Po Chih Leong, is deft at creating atmosphere, but it's an atmosphere we've all seen before.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    So beautifully realized as a mood piece that it takes a while for a slight disappointment to register.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    So campy it reflexively sends an elbow to its own ribs.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Yet there is so little characterization that when the sub goes down, you may find yourself confused as to which of the supporting cast members lived through the torpedo blast.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    May not be a great piece of filmmaking, but its power comes from its soul's-eye view of how well-meaning patronizing masked a social injustice, at least as represented by this case.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A good piece of work more often than not, and this is one of the few times an actor turned director has chosen to subvert the feel-good genre for his maiden voyage.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    You may be taken by the director's enormous enthusiasm, but the picture doesn't quite work.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Bland but poised.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Perhaps the world doesn't need another picture on disaffected youth, but Pleasures is about more than alienation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This crowd-pleasing spectacle is like a series of showstopper sequences from a musical without much attention paid to the story that is supposed to hold it all together.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The access the filmmakers gained to Junge is remarkable, and it compensates for a lack of cinematic flair; it's concrete, cold and hard, with Junge speaking about being a few feet away from arguably the worst tyrant of the 20th century.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Perhaps the most gripping thing about the ultimately disappointing Japanese horror film Uzumaki is the patient way the picture develops mood.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A woozy, disconnected piece of filmmaking about drugs, rock 'n' roll and the aftermath of sex.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A one- way ticket to infantile heaven.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The trouble with movies like those in the "Friday" series is that their success can lead to a need to inflate their importance, inviting pretentious descriptions like "folkloric" when "Friday" is much closer to chitlin circuit comedy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It's empty calories trying to trumpet its bogus nutritional value, and the strain for social importance undermines the picture.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Let It Snow is cheery, and it gets by on the energy of the actors, who may be as taken by the movie's guilelessness as audiences could be. The film's naïveté makes up for its rampant predictability.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Whatever minor entertainment there is to be gleaned from Mahowny -- set in the early 1980's, mostly in Toronto -- comes in bits and pieces.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Such an amalgam of fairy tales, old movies and tabloid stories that it never develops a life of its own.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Grandiose and silly.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Probably the worst thing you can say about Hollywood Ending is that it has one: it turns out that Mr. Allen wasn't being ironic after all, he just made a comedy that feels ironclad.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Although the film is initially clumsy and a little hard to follow, Mr. Alexie takes his time in setting his characters in play, and the visual clunkiness becomes secondary to the eloquent emotional desolation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The agile handling of the soap-opera elements -- conventional plotting at best -- finally makes "Wedding" a pop, facile take on Capulet versus Montague stuff, likable but square.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Simultaneously stirring and dispiriting.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The entire picture is a third-generation Xerox copy, in part because adapting Mr. Harris's books for the screen seems to turn directors into rigid formalists.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Weerasethakul's film is like a piece of chamber music slowly, deftly expanding into a full symphonic movement; to watch it is to enter a fugue state that has the music and rhythms of another culture.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    When it clicks, the picture should shock you into laughter -- enough to make you wish it were better and applaud its efforts anyway.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Roth's radiance and understanding of Lucía's emotional life gives this film a touch of necessary psychological accessibility.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Wanders rather than moves chillingly toward its climax.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Most watchable during the majestic brutality of the battle sequences. This is not only because of the handsome staging, but also because the keywords sacrifice and honor are evoked with verve and simplicity, more so than in the "exchange of idea" chats between Algren and Katsumoto, which sound like statements being read into the Congressional Record by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An auspicious feature-directing debut by Mr. Webber in so many ways -- a groaning board of temptations for the eye and ear -- that you may almost forgive the film its lack of drama and the perfunctory attempts at characterization. Viewing this film has been likened to watching paint dry; actually it is more like watching a painting dry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It's a much funnier movie than the trailer would lead you to believe; it would almost have to be. But it is just not as consistent as their previous trash wallows.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Despite its artistry, it seems to last nearly a millennium.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Except for the access the director, David Teboul, had to Mr. Saint Laurent's inner circle, "Times" wouldn't be out of place on A&E.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Does a yeoman's job of recycling the day-old dough that passes for its story.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The modestly assembled Love Object... is only periodically derailed by its tone; Mr. Parigi sometimes overplays the humor in the midst of all the deadpan.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Silent Waters is several different movies, and most of them feel negligible and meandering, until the film finally packs a wallop.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Shamelessly stirring, brandishing Mr. Gibson's anguished masculinity like a musket. It may be effective, but you leave the theater feeling used.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The picture itself is good-humored, but bland and predictable. It's a cross between an All-American vaudevillian version of "Shakespeare in Love" and Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Rosenfeld is a writer whose talent shines through in the way he harvests minute pearls.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An often watchable, though goofy and lurid, blast of a costume drama set in the late 15th century.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An action movie, a basic training movie, a swaggering sea adventure, a home front melodrama and an inspiring tough-love heroic teacher fable. If the aggregate of all these movies is exhausting and occasionally overwrought, some of the parts are stirring and effective, though not exactly fresh.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    When you hear his (Robert Kennedy's) patient, meditative speeches, from which every note of demagoguery or pandering has been purged, you glimpse the film Mr. Estevez set out to make -- the one you may wish you were watching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Neither Mr. Gibson’s fans nor his detractors are likely to accuse him of excessive subtlety, and the effectiveness of Apocalypto is inseparable from its crudity. But the blunt characterizations and the emphatic emotional cues are also evidence of the director’s skill.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The problem with “Dreamgirls” -- and it is not a small one -- lies in those songs, which are not just musically and lyrically pedestrian, but historically and idiomatically disastrous.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Its ideological leanings are evident and unsurprising, but more screen time for Mr. Nader's pre-2000 (or pre-post-2000) adversaries would have made a richer film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    While there is not much chemistry between Mr. Grant and Ms. Barrymore, they are professional enough to work with the movie's conceit while sending flickers of idiosyncratic charm off the screen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    However you judge the movie’s politics, and whatever its flaws, there is something inarguable, something irreducibly honest and right, about Mr. Jones’s performance.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The experience is visually enchanting, cloyingly sweet, at once utterly chaste and insanely erotic, and finally exhausting. Aficionados will not settle for less.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is some acknowledgment of the terrible effects of the drug trade on residents of Harlem and other poor New York neighborhoods, but for the most part Mr. Untouchable clings to the standard hip-hop mythology of the pusher as entrepreneur, rebel, celebrity and folk hero.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    After a while the humorless solemnity of The Rocket stifles any interesting sense of Maurice Richard as a character. The hockey sequences are nicely done, though, and give a reasonably good sense of what a great player he was.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The movie does have its own kind of blockheaded poetry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    For a film full of murder, jealousy and fatalism, Snow Angels feels curiously small and anecdotal, and its impact diminishes as it nears its terrible conclusion.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    What he serves up -- a mixture of moralism and forgiveness, semibawdy humor and cautionary drama, mockery and affection -- may sometimes lack coherence, but never integrity.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Peirce’s movie, which she wrote with Mark Richard, is not only an earnest, issue-driven narrative, but also a feverish entertainment, a passionate, at times overwrought melodrama gaudy with violent actions and emotions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Does not entirely play by the established conventions of its genre. Its willingness to explore states of feeling and modes of behavior that tamer romantic comedies never go near is decidedly a virtue, though this same sense of daring and candor also exposes its limitations.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Irina Palm is, for the most part, a phony trifle, but at its heart, somehow, is a real and fascinating person.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This is the kind of movie the people in it might have made, which means that its revelatory power as an investigation of teenage life in America is limited.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The movie's tolerant, good-humored view of its characters drains it of some dramatic intensity, but Mr. Harris seems more interested in piquant, offhand moments than in big, straining confrontations.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A raucous, rambling comedy, offering some laughs, some groans and a feast for fans of the musical idioms it mocks and celebrates.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Notorious settles into a curious comfort zone; it's half pop fable, half naturalistic docudrama. Not a bad movie, but nowhere near as strong as its soundtrack.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A modest, intermittently engaging film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The plot of Sleep Dealer is a bit thin, and the performances are earnest and dutiful. But there is sufficient ingenuity in the film’s main ideas to hold your attention, and the political implications of the allegorical story are at once obvious and subtle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An unabashed B movie: basic, brutal and sometimes clumsy, but far from dumb, and not bad at all.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Thankfully, Mr. Grimaldi and the screenwriters have no great lessons to impart or messages to deliver, and the film, while uneven -- sometimes too on the nose, sometimes anecdotal and diffuse -- is generally absorbing, thanks mostly to the quality of the acting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    I can’t, in the end (all appearances to the contrary), judge Mr. Beavan or this film too severely. Making an impact is easy. Making a difference is hard.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The art is lacking, but the material is remarkable enough to make up for pedestrian filmmaking.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The storytelling and the visual style are rarely more than workmanlike, and the big scenes arrive punctually and are played with minimal nuance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    You may not quite trust Mother and Child -- its soft spots and fuzzy edges give it away -- but you can believe just about everyone in it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is no question that the heart of Micmacs is in the right place, but the movie is also a little thin.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Though there is a lot to see in Inception, there is nothing that counts as genuine vision. Mr. Nolan’s idea of the mind is too literal, too logical, too rule-bound to allow the full measure of madness -- the risk of real confusion, of delirium, of ineffable ambiguity -- that this subject requires.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    In Smash His Camera Mr. Galella emerges as a kindred soul for the curious documentarian and as a large, complicated personality in his own right, not entirely likable but admirable for his persistence and the quickness of his index finger.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is a reasonably skillful exercise in genre and style, a well-made vessel containing nothing in particular, though some of its features - European setting, slow pacing, full-frontal female nudity - are more evocative of the art house than of the multiplex.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Romantic comedies nowadays tend to be either aggressively coarse or artificially sweet, and Going the Distance finds a workable middle ground.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    When the going gets weird, Hunter S. Thompson used to say, the weird turn pro, but these filmmakers never transcend their own amateurism. They turn what could have been a brilliant exploration of the hidden corners of contemporary reality into an opportunity for gawking and condescension.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There are humor and pathos, but a crucial dimension of intensity is missing. The best I can say is that it's kind of a good movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Bardem, best known to American audiences for his chillingly persuasive embodiment of evil in "No Country for Old Men," combines muscular, charismatic physicality with an almost delicate sensitivity, and this blend of the rough and the tender gives Biutiful a measure of emotional credibility that it may not entirely deserve.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As the movie becomes more explosive - and more demanding of its cast - it loses some of the quiet, careful intensity that made Silviu's situation worth attending to in the first place. The seams of the narrative start to show, and by the end you are more aware of the filmmakers' ideas than of the character's life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Chaotic, trifling, oddly likable film.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    In typical Godardian fashion the film manages to be both strident and elusive, argumentative and opaque.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Like his (Abrams) previous features, "Mission: Impossible III" and "Star Trek," Super 8 is an enticing package without much inside.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is nothing new here, but Mr. Waters, as he showed with the smarter and more daring "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday," knows how to keep things buzzing along.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Nothing you see makes any sense at all, but the sensations are undeniable, and kind of fun in their vertiginous, supercaffeinated way.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is neither floridly melodramatic nor showily minimalist. The virtue - and also the limitation - of this movie is that it confronts senselessness and insists on remaining calm and sane.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Sprawling and sometimes confusing, but its premise is charming and not at all far-fetched.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As the film moves through his world of blood and sex and curdled machismo, The Devil's Double inhales some of his toxic, shallow energy. At times you feel as if you were stuck in "Grand Theft Auto: Baghdad City," which, while entertaining enough, can also become a bit wearying.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A mild lark disguised as a wild bender, The Rum Diary is also a touching tribute to Thompson himself.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    How can visual pleasure communicate existential misery? It is a real and interesting challenge, and if Shame falls short of meeting it, the seriousness of its effort is hard to deny.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Luke and Claire are guilty, above all, of being dumb and bored. Even their interest in the ghost that may dwell in the dark corners of the Pedlar seems tepid and lacking in conviction. The movie, clever and rigorous though it is, feels that way too.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is a potpourri of arcane and familiar genres. "Mash-up" doesn't begin to capture this hectic hybrid; it's more like a paintball fight. Messy and chaotic, in other words, but also colorful and kind of fun.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Your last day - or, as it happens, the whole planet's last day - will be just like every other one. Mr. Ferrara makes this point with ingenuity and characteristic thrift by using found news footage to provide images of apocalypse.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The sweep and energy of historical drama are notably missing from this grim, intense, mordantly comic little film.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The overall mood is of warm reassurance, and some of it is even pretty funny.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A singularly unpleasant movie: full of obnoxious characters in scenes that seem overwritten and under-rehearsed, oblivious to the most basic standards of tonal consistency, narrative coherence or visual decorum. But it is also sly, daring, genuinely original and at times perversely brilliant.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is possible to summarize the experience of watching The Intouchables in nine words: You will laugh; you will cry; you will cringe.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Like many other recent documentaries about artists, it is more celebratory than analytical, a kind of slick, extended promotional video for its subject.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film's late swerves into melodrama and the neighboring region of farce feel panicky and pandering. The subtlety of the performances - Ms. DeWitt's in particular - is sacrificed for easy laughs, shallow tears and a coy trick ending. Just when it was starting to get interesting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There are several reasons that Katy Perry: Part of Me is more interesting than similar movies about Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Most simply, she just has more talent than any of them, and her songs have a wider emotional range.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Continental Drift, like its predecessors, is much too friendly to dislike, and its vision of interspecies multiculturalism is generous and appealing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Union Square has the busy, hemmed-in talkiness of a theater piece, with too much forced to happen in too short a time. But it also has a lively, nervous energy and an expansive sympathy for the mismatched women at its heart.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This is ultimately a tale of affirmation, self-acceptance and second chances, and its lessons, while not unwelcome, are a bit too forced and neatly packaged to make it fully satisfying.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This is by no means the best movie of the year, but it may be the most movie you can get for the price of a single ticket.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Lévy is rescued from her maudlin, preachy tendencies by the skill and sensitivity of the actors, who turn a wobbly parable of tolerance into a graceful and touching story of real people in a surreal situation.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    While the bodies of the performers do amazing things, the hectic editing and frequent use of slow motion distract from their physical artistry rather than enhance it. The 3-D, on the other hand, gives some sense of the scale of a Cirque du Soleil performance, and even if the film is no substitute for the real thing, it is at least an effective advertisement.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    LUV
    It does not entirely succeed, but at its best Luv shows the kind of heart and intelligence that is always welcome - and often missing - in American movies.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Despite its pictorial intensity and the extremity of some of its scenes, the film proceeds in a mood of detachment, turning the suffering physical beings under its scrutiny into abstractions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Like Walt Whitman, another hard-to-classify embodiment of the spirit of New York, he is contradictory and multitudinous. The hour and a half Mr. Barsky provides might be enough time for a lesser figure. Mr. Koch...needs more.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The final act of Stoker walks a fine line between the sensational and the silly. Mr. Park is less interested in narrative suspense than in carefully orchestrated shocks and camouflaged motives.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The fine intentions of To the Wonder pave a road to puzzlement, not awe.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    42
    It is blunt, simple and sentimental, using time-tested methods to teach a clear and rousing lesson.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It all leaves you pondering whether you have just seen a monumentally stupid movie or a brilliant movie about the nature and consequences of stupidity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Think of this movie as a greatest-hits package, with some good stuff to show but nothing very new to say.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film, at its phoned-in worst and also at its riotous best, has a terminal feeling. It suggests that a comic subgenre based on the immaturity, sexual panic and self-mocking tendencies of men who should be old enough to know better has reached its expiration date.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As a musical experience, it is generous and moving. But as a documentary, “Sing Me the Songs” is an awkward hybrid of concert film and rock-star biography.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The Way, Way Back has the charm of timelessness but also more than a touch of triteness. Its situations and feelings seem drawn more from available, sentimental ideas about adolescence than from the perceptions of any particular adolescent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Strong emotions — desperation, dread, desire — are indicated but not really communicated, and everything happens in a hazy atmosphere of humorless homage and exquisite good taste.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    If you have seen the earlier version, you can occupy yourself with point-by-point comparisons. If not, you may find yourself swerving between bafflement and mild astonishment, wondering how a movie that works so hard to generate intensity and surprise can feel so routine and bereft of genuine imagination.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Cousin Jules is in many ways a wonder to see and hear, but there is less to it than meets the eye.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The best parts of Saving Mr. Banks offer an embellished, tidied-up but nonetheless reasonably authentic glimpse of the Disney entertainment machine at work.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The visual environment created by the filmmakers (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of “21 Jump Street” wrote and directed; the animation is by Animal Logic) hums with wit and imagination... The story is a busy, slapdash contraption designed above all to satisfy the imperatives of big-budget family entertainment.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An energetic, unpretentious B movie — the kind best seen at a drive-in like the one in an early scene — it is devoted, above all, to the delivery of visceral, kinetic excitement.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    What the film struggles to depict, committed as it is to the conventions of hagiography, is the long and complex work of organizing people to defend their own interests. You are invited to admire what Cesar Chavez did, but it may be more vital to understand how he did it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The problem with Nymphomaniac: Volume II lies not in its display of erect penises and reddened buttocks, but rather in its dull narrative and overworked ideas.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    In many ways, Only Lovers Left Alive is among Mr. Jarmusch’s most voluptuous movies — full of rare and gorgeous images and sounds, heavy with wistful sighs and sprinkled with wry, knowing jokes — but it is also thin and pale, and perhaps too afraid of daylight for its own good.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Brawny, dumb and preposterous, it nonetheless comes tantalizingly close to being a high-impact allegory of race, class and real estate in a postindustrial, new-Gilded Age America.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It never quite rises to the full potential of its theme or fully inhabits its intricately imagined space. It’s cool but not haunting — a brainteaser rather than a mindblower.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is at once bloated and efficient, executed with tremendous discipline and intelligence and conceived with not too much of either.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is both too much story and not enough. The contours of this desolate future are lightly sketched rather than fully explained, which is always a good choice. But that minimalism serves as an excuse for an irritating lack of narrative clarity, so that much of what happens seems arbitrary rather than haunting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film lacks either the immersive intensity that would galvanize emotions or a context that would provide enlightenment. Its brief tour of an unpleasant corner of reality feels less revelatory than voyeuristic.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The director, R. J. Cutler, whose previous work has mostly been in big- and small-screen documentaries, has a way of underplaying large feelings and amplifying subtle shifts of mood.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As a whole, it doesn’t quite work, but the parts — particular moments, observations and insights about the way people behave and perceive themselves — are frequently excellent.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Even as Mr. Gilliam assails the tedium and pointlessness of Qohen’s existence, The Zero Theorem succumbs to those forces, spinning its wheels and repeating its jokes in a manic frenzy that is never as funny or as mind-blowing as it wants to be.

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