For 1,467 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1,467 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The achievement of this film is to forestall and complicate easy judgment. You emerge shaken and bothered, which may sound like a reason not to see the movie. It is actually the opposite.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    There is something remarkable - you might even say miraculous - about the way Higher Ground makes its gentle, thoughtful way across the burned-over terrain of the American culture wars.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    What lifts Terri above its peers is not the plight of its protagonist or the film's sympathy for him, but rather the care and craft that the director, Azazel Jacobs, has brought to fairly conventional material.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Shindo's world is sad and inspiring in familiar ways, but what makes it so memorable is that it is also gorgeous and strange.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The sheer heterogeneity of human experience is one of his (Morris) enduring preoccupations, and he has found, once again, an impossible and perfect embodiment of just how curious our species can be.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    What Mr. Mitchell gets splendidly right in this quiet, observant film, is the unsteady mixture of sophistication and naïveté that is central to the modern American teenage way of being in the world.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It is a quiet, relentless exploration of the latent (and not so latent) terrors that bedevil contemporary American life, a horror movie that will trouble your sleep not with visions of monsters but with a more familiar dread.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    While Passione praises the spirit of its subjects, it also attends to the discipline and tenacity that makes them worth noticing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Ramsay, with ruthless ingenuity, creates a deeper dread and a more acute feeling of anticipation by allowing us to think we know what is coming and then shocking us with the extent of our ignorance.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    A startlingly beautiful documentary by Bong-Nam Park that is also devastatingly sad.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    A stylized and sentimental fairy tale about the way the world might be, grounded in a frank recognition of the way it is.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Witty but not campy, grand without being unduly somber, it is a crazy, almost-coherent riot of intrigue, color and kineticism anchored by the charisma of its cast.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Bobby Fischer Against the World does not traffic in easy explanations or medical diagnoses, but it leaves the strong impression of a continuity between the oddness Fischer displayed in early interviews and the mania so jarringly evident toward the end.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Into the Abyss superficially resembles the kind of titillating, moralizing true-crime shockumentary that is a staple of off-hours cable television. But the grim ordinariness of the narrative makes its Dostoyevskian dimensions all the more arresting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Sexy, sweet and laced with a sadness at once specific to its place and time and accessible to anyone with a breakable heart, Chico & Rita is an animated valentine to Cuba and its music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This means that the violations chronicled in The Invisible War are compounded by a deep and terrible betrayal, which ripples outward from the various branches of the service into the society as a whole. This is not a movie that can be ignored.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    More moving than shocking, it proceeds slowly and gracefully, and the few scenes of bloodshed are emotionally intense rather than showily sensational.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The buzz of The World’s End is more like an antic sugar high than a reeling, drunken stupor. There are no headaches, dry mouth or crushing shame at the end — no “Hangover,” in other words. I’ll drink to that.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The result is captivating, but not exactly moving: Nasser-Ali's grand passion is posited rather than communicated, in spite of Mr. Amalric's exquisitely soulful performance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    A spool of arresting, beautifully composed shots without narration or dialogue, Samsara is an invitation to watch closely and to suspend interpretation (another notion Sontag might have approved).
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Head Games gains credibility and power from compassion for athletes and respect for their accomplishments. But it also tries to open the eyes of sports lovers to dangers that have too often been minimized and too seldom fully understood.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Jacobs, the great 20th-century philosopher-evangelist of urban life, would surely recognize this retired restaurant cook, a resident of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans and the subject of Jonathan Demme's marvelous new documentary, as an indispensable "public character."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Fanning, who is younger than her character, shows a nearly Streepian mixture of poise, intensity and technical precision. It is frightening how good she is and hard to imagine anything she could not do.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    There is something to be said for a clear and unblinking recitation of facts, and thankfully Mr. Gibney does a lot of that.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    If you need reassurance or grounds for optimism about the Middle East, you will not find it here. What you will find is rare, welcome and almost unbearable clarity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Gimme the Loot has a lot to say about the contradictions of a place that is defined by both abundant opportunity and ferocious inequality. But the film makes its points in a lighthearted, street-smart vernacular, treating its protagonists not as embodiments of a social condition but rather as self-aware individuals who are, like teenagers everywhere, both smart and dumb.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It lays waste to linear narration, thematic coherence, psychological plausibility and just about everything else you might expect to encounter. It zigs, zags and trips over its own feet and on its own home-brewed hallucinogens. It's a ridiculous, preposterous, sometimes maddening experience, but also kind of a blast.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mud
    Mr. Nichols’s screenplay is perhaps a little too heavily plotted, especially toward the end, when everything comes together neatly and noisily, but he more than compensates with graceful rhythm, an unfussy eye for natural beauty and a sure sense of character and place.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Even as The Taste of Money swerves toward a frantic climax and a sentimental denouement, it remains intriguing. It feeds an insatiable curiosity about how the other half - or, in current parlance, the 1 percent - lives, and what it shows us is gorgeous, grotesque and disconcertingly human.

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