For 1,381 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 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Voyage to Italy (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Seven Pounds
Score distribution:
1,381 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Leviathan, a product of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard, offers not information but immersion: 90 minutes of wind, water, grinding machinery and piscine agony.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    [Mr. Miller's] film shows the influence of other recent work in the American neo-neo-realist vein, notably Ramin Bahrani’s “Goodbye, Solo” and Lance Hammer’s “Ballast,” and like them relies on understatement and indirection to arrive at a powerful and resonant meaning.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This movie...is a lovely example of the strong realist tendency in Japanese animation. Its visual magic lies in painterly compositions of foliage, clouds, architecture and water, and its emotional impact comes from the way everyday life is washed in the colors of memory.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This movie may tire you out with its hammering, swaggering excess, but it is never less than wide-awake.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Coogler, with a ground-level, hand-held shooting style that sometimes evokes the spiritually alert naturalism of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, has enough faith in his actors and in the intrinsic interest of the characters’ lives to keep overt sentimentality and messagemongering to a minimum.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Fittingly enough, given that his great subject has always been himself, it is Mr. Roth who dominates the screen...He is, for 90 minutes, marvelous company — expansive, funny, generous and candid.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The Beltway sniper case was solved a long time ago. But in some respects, Mr. Moors’s haunting film suggests, it is still a mystery.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    In A Hijacking, his assured, intense second feature, the Danish director Tobias Lindholm turns tedium and frustration into agonizing suspense.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The mischievous paradox of Matías Piñeiro’s Viola is that it is at once devilishly complicated and perfectly simple.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Less an archival clip job than a late-night jam session, it is informal and inviting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Green is too fond of these guys, and too respectful of the little bit of freedom they possess, to ensnare them in the machinery of a plot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    After Tiller is impressive because it honestly presents the views of supporters of legal abortion, and is thus a valuable contribution to a public argument that is unlikely to end anytime soon.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    With impressive agility, Wadjda finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The film is a short, nimble consideration of the collision between the wildness of nature and the orderly bustle of modern urban life. It is also an essay on ornithology, Japanese culture and the challenges of pest control.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Don’t be fooled by Mr. Broadbent’s genial sarcasm, Ms. Duncan’s warm smile or the literary felicities of Mr. Kureishi’s script. This is not a movie about the gentle aging of lovable codgers.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It is a curious hybrid of documentary and experimental theater. It is also one of the most terrifying movies I have ever seen.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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
    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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Slight, charming and refreshingly candid little picture.
    • 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.
    • 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.