For 1,415 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 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Turin Horse
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1,415 movie reviews
    • 70 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).
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Less an archival clip job than a late-night jam session, it is informal and inviting.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    You understand the different ways the members of this extended family are trapped, in physical space and in psychological patterns they don’t fully understand. But you also realize that, like house cats that venture to the door to sniff at the air outside, they don’t necessarily want to be free.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    With impressive agility, Wadjda finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The on-camera absence of its subject and its overall indifference to matters of biography make Sol LeWitt a welcome departure from most documentaries about artists, as well as a fitting and serious tribute to his art.