For 1,468 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 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1,468 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Johnsen offers viewers the challenge and pleasure of an important artist’s company, and a chance to appreciate anew his wisdom, his wit and his bravery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It’s both funny and serious without trying too hard to be either, and by trying above all to be honest.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    What is beyond dispute is the sheer exuberant virtuosity Ms. Seigner and Mr. Amalric bring to the material.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    On one level, the film (or nonfilm; it was shot on digital video and partly with smartphone cameras) is a mischievous, Pirandellian entertainment. It is also an allegory, dark but not despairing, of the creative spirit under political pressure, and of the ways the imagination can be both a refuge and a place of confinement.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Abrahamson’s main achievement, enabled by the sensitive and resourceful cast, is to find a tone that is funny without flippancy, sincere without turning to mush.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Garrel’s method goes beyond realism to achieve a kind of psychological intimacy that is rare and, in its low-key, meandering way, tremendously exciting.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Its themes are a bit nostalgic and some of its technology looks dated, but there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    At times, Mr. Harris’s voice-over narration veers into academic abstraction or lyrical emotionalism in ways that undercut the eloquence of the images, but over all he is a wise and passionate guide to an inexhaustibly fascinating subject.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Its scenes, quiet and undramatic, are nonetheless suffused with an almost lyrical intensity, and its sympathy is as limitless as its curiosity.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    While The Boxtrolls does follow kiddie-action genre conventions in its big, noisy climax — a hectic brawl of explosions, collisions and oversize machines — it also finds an impressive number of quiet, eccentric and haunting moments along the way.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The value of Diplomacy is that it produces at least as much unsettlement as relief, compelling the viewer to remain haunted by nightmarish thoughts of what might have happened.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The Homesman is both a captivating western and a meticulous, devastating feminist critique of the genre.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Happy Valley, even as it revisits past events, has a chilling timeliness.

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