For 1,708 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 2.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Ida
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1708 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    1001 Grams achieves a charming equipoise of levity and gravity, of formal rigor and soulful sentiment.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film itself is as much a feat of engineering as a work of art, an efficient machine for delivering intricate data and blunt emotions.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    An inviting piece of film. Mr. Rubbo's cast of characters have the charisma of true devotees and stoked egos that match their intentions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    So while The Science of Sleep may not, in the end, be terribly deep, it is undoubtedly -- and deeply -- refreshing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Insanely likable but suffers from anemia.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There is plenty of substance in Absolute Wilson, as it provides a concise and absorbing portrait of a powerful creative personality.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner’s informative and infuriating new documentary, ought to remind us that the denial of climate change is hardly a joke.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Washington's dry-ice grandeur -- the predator's reflexes contrasting with a pensive mouth -- deserves regard, and his powerhouse virtuosity will almost guarantee him an Oscar nomination.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie deserves -- and is likely to win -- a devoted cult following, despite its flaws.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The great virtue of Smart People, attributable to Noam Murro’s easygoing direction as well as to Mr. Poirier’s wandering screenplay, lies in its general preference for small insights over grand revelations.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Tribe deploys an elaborate, rigorously executed conceit in support of a weary, dreary hypothesis: People are awful. That might well be true, but there’s no need to shout.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Like "Dogtooth," Alps works by systematically unsettling our sense of what is normal and habitual in human interactions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Perhaps the world doesn't need another picture on disaffected youth, but Pleasures is about more than alienation.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Suicide Squad is a so-so, off-peak superhero movie. It chases after the nihilistic swagger of “Deadpool” and the anarchic whimsy of “Guardians of the Galaxy” but trips over its own feet.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Malick presents these events as if he had drawn them not from his mind but from some repository of celestial memory. Which may be to say that Voyage of Time ultimately proves his point about the way the universe and human consciousness mirror each other. But it’s a point that might have been more powerful if he had left it unspoken.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is possible to admire the craft and sensitivity of Louder Than Bombs without quite believing it. The characters are so carefully drawn that they can feel smaller than life, and the dramatic space they inhabit has a curiously abstract feeling.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The overall mood is of warm reassurance, and some of it is even pretty funny.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The director’s discipline is remarkable, and also a bit constricting.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A woozy, disconnected piece of filmmaking about drugs, rock 'n' roll and the aftermath of sex.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Grandiose and silly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Does a yeoman's job of recycling the day-old dough that passes for its story.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    You may be taken by the director's enormous enthusiasm, but the picture doesn't quite work.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Even though, in retrospect, The Ardennes feels a little obvious and secondhand, it unfolds with enough speed and wit to hold your attention.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The Secret Life of Pets is adequate animated entertainment, amusing while it lasts but not especially memorable except as a catalog of compromises and missed opportunities.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The movie does have its own kind of blockheaded poetry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The Salt of the Earth leaves no doubt about Mr. Salgado’s talent or decency, and the chance to spend time in his company is a reason for gratitude. And yet his pictures, precisely because they disclose harsh and unwelcome truths, deserve a harder, more robustly critical look.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Gomes has a tendency to revel in his own cleverness and to indulge in self-conscious cinematic jokes. He also has a penchant for obscurantism, a habit of confusing ambiguity with depth.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is a fine line between delving into the mysteries of life and engaging in mystification, and Mr. Gomes lands on the wrong side of it. There is something disingenuous in the way this movie disowns its own ambitions and scorns the possibility of clarity or coherence. Maybe its opacity is a matter of principle. Or maybe it’s just an excuse.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The fun is contagious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is, overall, an amusing little picture, with some inspired moments and some sour notes, a handful of interesting performances and the hint, now and then, of an idea.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    42
    It is blunt, simple and sentimental, using time-tested methods to teach a clear and rousing lesson.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Chaotic, trifling, oddly likable film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Like its hero, Disorder has plenty of technique but not enough purpose.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This is a dumb movie pretending to be smart, even as it wants you to believe the opposite. Still, dumb can be fun.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Despite its artistry, it seems to last nearly a millennium.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Villeneuve, aided by Taylor Sheridan’s lean script, Roger Deakins’s parched cinematography and Johann Johannsson’s slow-moving heart attack of a score, respects the imperatives of genre while trying to avoid the usual clichés. It’s not easy, and he doesn’t entirely succeed.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is intermittently engrossing, though a little overextended for the deadpan approach that Mr. Bitomsky uses.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Nightcrawler is a slick and shallow movie desperate, like Lou himself, to be something more.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An often watchable, though goofy and lurid, blast of a costume drama set in the late 15th century.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The art is lacking, but the material is remarkable enough to make up for pedestrian filmmaking.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The test of realism in a movie like this — the thing that would separate it from a conventional, made-for-television disease melodrama — is whether you can imagine lives for the secondary characters when they aren’t on screen. Still Alice lacks that kind of thickness.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There are so many red herrings and plot twists, such a dense barrage of flashbacks and quick cuts, that you may find yourself as rattled and breathless as Ig himself. And a bit let down at the end, when all the noise, color and energy resolve into a basic whodunit decked out in weak special effects and spiritual swamp gas.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    So campy it reflexively sends an elbow to its own ribs.
    • 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
    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
    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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    So beautifully realized as a mood piece that it takes a while for a slight disappointment to register.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    "Author” is most interesting — and least self-aware — as a study in the gullibility and narcissism of the celebrity class.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A modest, intermittently engaging film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This film is a passable piece of drone work from the ever-expanding Marvel-Disney colony. It provides obligatory, intermittently amusing links to other corporate properties, serving essentially as a sidebar to the “Avengers” franchise.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Fuqua, while not the world’s most subtle filmmaker, directs the action sequences with bluntness and clarity and effectively uses his star as an oasis of calm in a jumpy, nasty universe.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Solondz’s eye for the petty hypocrisies and delusions of American life has lost some of its sharpness, and he flails at flabby targets — avant-garde art, campus “political correctness” — in ways that sometimes carry an ugly whiff of racial and sexual bigotry.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The performances are vivid and moving, but there is ultimately less to this well-made, impeccably acted film than meets the eye. Its meticulousness is to some degree a flaw, an evasion of nearly every variety of human messiness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The Girl With All the Gifts doesn’t really venture into new territory, but it does a decent job of reminding us why zombies are so scary, and so interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Simultaneously stirring and dispiriting.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Split is lurid and ludicrous, and sometimes more than a little icky in its prurient, maudlin interest in the abuse of children. It’s also absorbing and sometimes slyly funny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Enormously likable, partly because it is aware of its own grasp of the absurd.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    As a purely emotional experience it succeeds without feeling too manipulative or maudlin. I mean, it is manipulative and maudlin, but in a way that seems fair and transparent. Still, it isn’t quite satisfying.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Yes, The Theory of Everything has a different emphasis. But like so many cinematic lives of the famous, it loses track of the source of its subject’s fame.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    While I can’t exactly say that the movie cheered me up, it did give me something I needed. Not catharsis or uplift but a bracing dose of profane, sloppy, reasonably well-directed hostility. We take what we can get.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Less a war movie than a western — the story of a lone gunslinger facing down his nemesis in a dusty, lawless place — it is blunt and effective, though also troubling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Trying to do Margaret justice, Mr. Burton can’t prevent himself (and Mr. Waltz) from upstaging her.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It’s impossible not to be moved by Lili’s self-recognition and by her demand to be recognized by those who care most about her. But it’s also hard not to wish that The Danish Girl were a better movie, a more daring and emotionally open exploration of Lili’s emergence.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Rabin, the Last Day is not interesting in spite of its flaws as a film. It’s interesting because of them, because of Mr. Gitai’s refusal or inability to clarify or even coherently narrate the history he addresses.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There is power in this vision, but it can also feel forced, almost mechanical.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Bland but poised.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Once the violence starts, Green Room settles into horror movie logic, becoming steadily more gruesome and less terrifying as the body count grows. You know some people are going to die, and figuring out who and in what order feels more like a brainteaser than like a matter of deep moral or emotional concern.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A certain amount of work is required to stitch together a sense of the plot, but as is often the case in Zulawski’s films, the story is less the point than an excuse, a loose temporal conceit holding together flights of visual invention, verbal extravagance and male and female nudity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The tedium, I would argue, is not incidental but essential, because this is not really a spy thriller or even a foot-chase and fist-fight-driven action movie, but rather a somber meditation on the crisis of the Gen-X professional in the throes of middle age.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film’s enigmas are atmospheric, and somewhat superficial. It solicits the audience’s morbid curiosity rather than gripping our emotions or haunting our dreams. It’s a creepy and beguiling oddity, willfully weird but, at the same time, not quite weird enough.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The plot undermines the film’s power. At the end you may be impressed at the skill on display, but you may also wish that you were more fully moved by the spectacle of a soul laid bare and transformed.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The nerd in me wants a bit more rigor, a bit more plausibility underneath the exuberant fakery. Maybe in the next episode.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    This is a nice movie. It’s frisky and cheerful, even when tears are on the way. But it isn’t a very good movie, mainly because, like its heroine, it’s reluctant to make up its mind about what it wants to be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Sprawling and sometimes confusing, but its premise is charming and not at all far-fetched.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    In typical Godardian fashion the film manages to be both strident and elusive, argumentative and opaque.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The sweep and energy of historical drama are notably missing from this grim, intense, mordantly comic little film.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Its elements don’t really cohere.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The fine intentions of To the Wonder pave a road to puzzlement, not awe.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The plotting is somehow both flat-footed and operatic in its absurdity. Character arcs are tangled, flattened and foreshortened. Common sense is knocked silly. But Mr. Fuqua has never been a director to let ridiculousness get in the way of visceral action.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    A one- way ticket to infantile heaven.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Aims to be rousing rather than revelatory, and it mostly succeeds.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Wanders rather than moves chillingly toward its climax.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is possible to appreciate Mr. Zulawski’s perverse ingenuity, and to miss his eye and voice, without quite succumbing to the strenuous charms and overcooked provocations of Cosmos.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Godard's artistry -- the way his scenes are at once archly stylized and informal, the quick precision of his eye -- is unarguable. But the beautiful images and solemn words cannot disguise the slack complacency of his vision.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Maybe I’m repeating myself: The Hateful Eight is a Quentin Tarantino movie. But Mr. Tarantino is also repeating himself, spinning his wheels here in a way he has rarely done before. None of his other films venture so far into tedium or manage to get in their own way so frequently.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Rosenfeld is a writer whose talent shines through in the way he harvests minute pearls.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    An unabashed B movie: basic, brutal and sometimes clumsy, but far from dumb, and not bad at all.
    • 63 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film is too busy, and in some ways too gross, to sustain an effective atmosphere of dread. It tumbles into pastiche just when it should be swooning and sighing with earnest emotion.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mostly mediocre melodrama, though the actors suffering over love's labors lost are quite fine.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    The film is intriguing, but ultimately opaque, a lovely, inert object that offers, in the name of movie love, an escape from so much that is vital and interesting about movies.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film insists so strenuously on its themes of redemption, tolerance, love and healing that it winds up defeating itself, and robbing Ms. Kidd’s already maudlin tale of its melodramatic heat.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem, though, is that its techniques run too far beyond its ideas, which are blurry and banal, rather than mysterious and resonant. The Fountain is something to see, but it is also much less, finally, than meets the eye.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is by turns lurid, humid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id all the time.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It’s moderately entertaining and instantly forgettable. Poor Freddy. I can’t help thinking he deserves better.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This may be the greatest picture ever made for 14-year-old boys. Mr. Smith may have hit his target, but he aimed very low.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is, of course, art rather than history - an elegant composition of dreams, memories and suggestive images - but its artfulness seems like an alibi, an excuse for keeping the ugliness of history out of the picture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Rarely does a movie feel as leaden-footed as Iris, especially when it tries to bounce back and forth. The audience is transported between two very obvious stories and becomes slightly irritated by the grinding inevitability of both of them. As a result, Iris Murdoch gets lost in the shuffle.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    More often there is a frantic, compulsive quality to the action. Fanboy intoxication with the idea of formal ingenuity too often stands in for the thing itself.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Slight and dogged; its surprises are likable but minor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    She is the prime special effect, and a reminder that even in an era of technological overkill, movie stars matter.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Unfortunately, and despite its promising start, The Dressmaker doesn’t move much beyond the level of well-costumed playacting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The absolute and unbroken mediocrity of Thor is evidence of its success. This movie is not distinctively bad, it is axiomatically bad. And THAT is depressing. A howling turkey is at least something to laugh at, and maybe even something to see. But Thor is an example of the programmed triumph of commercial calculation over imagination.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The movie invites you to believe in all kinds of marvelous things, but it also may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes - or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    xXx
    Action fans will watch their adrenaline levels redline, and those not at ease with this climax-after-climax style will white knuckle their way through to the end.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A minor-key diversion, might play relatively well on television, where you're listening with one ear while keeping the other cocked to the phone.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This franchise is lucky to have Kevin Hart in that role, and his manic comic energy is enough to make the sequel something other than a complete waste of time. But the genre is also stubbornly innovation-proof, and there’s not much new to see here.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem with Youth is not that it’s empty — the accusation Kael and others lodged against Mr. Sorrentino’s precursors — but that it’s small. Its imagination feels shrunken and secondhand, in spite of the gorgeous vistas and beautiful naked women. Or actually, because of them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For No Good Reason is less revealing than a standard hourlong television tribute might have been... But there is enough of the man and artist here to rekindle interest and appreciation in his often disturbing pictures and an understanding of what motivated them.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    My Sister’s Keeper takes on a very tough subject -- and has, in Anna and Kate, two pretty tough characters played by strong young actresses -- but ultimately it is too soft, too easy, and it dissolves like a tear-soaked tissue.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Is this Karate Kid as good as the original? No, although it is better than the sequels. But why bother with nostalgia? It’s probably good enough.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The star does his patented shtick, supported by a handful of blue-chip supporting performers, as the story lurches through contrived, seminaughty comic set pieces toward a sentimental ending.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Sadly, if this movie was a fight, they'd have stopped it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Weitz lines up a target placed at the explosive intersection of class, race, region and every other source of societal anguish, and then does not so much miss as aim in another direction — or several — letting fly a volley of darts that land as lightly as badminton birdies.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    If you found "Benji the Hunted" unbearably intense or "Marley & Me" a bit too hard-edged, then Darling Companion may be the dog movie for you. On the other hand, if you like to watch cute pooches doing cute stuff on screen, you may be a little disappointed.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There are delights on display, but not many surprises...The BFG is a different kind of movie, and Mr. Rylance’s face and body have been enhanced and distorted by digital sorcery, but his unique blend of gravity and mischief imbues his fanciful character with a dimension of soul that the rest of the movie lacks.
    • The New York Times
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For myself, I was but seldom inspired to peals of true laughter, though I did relish that part when Mr. Black, confronting a fire raging in the Palace of Lilliput, douses the blaze through heroic use of such means as Nature has provided him.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Though the tone is quiet and the pacing serenely unhurried, Sleeping Beauty is at times almost screamingly funny, a pointed, deadpan surrealist sex farce that Luis Buñuel might have admired.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As is so often the case in modest, aimless little movies like this one, it is the acting that saves Jack Goes Boating from triviality or worse.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The volatile chemistry between Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Bullock is something to behold, and carries The Heat through its lazy conception and slapdash execution.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This ambition - to provoke thought while tugging at heartstrings - makes The First Grader fascinating and frustrating in almost equal measure.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Though it is a tragic love story, it is also a perfect and irresistible fantasy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of occasional gestures in the direction of political or sociological context -- interviews with anti-Aristide activists, news images of battles beyond Cité Soleil -- Mr. Leth is not, in the end, much concerned with offering an analysis of the Haitian situation. Like Lele, he'd rather have a party with the thugs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Brett Morgen’s semi-animated, semi-documentary attempt to make the ’60s cool for a new generation of kids, does the opposite. It is a narrow, glib dollop of canned history, an affirmation of received thinking rather than a challenge to it.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This new version is mindless hot-rodding fun, especially for those with a weakness for vintage cars hurtling down city streets, a group whose members include -- sigh -- me.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    After 90 minutes of My Blueberry Nights, which pass pleasantly enough, with swirly, mood-saturated colors; lovely faces; and nice music, you may feel a bit logy yourself -- filled up, sugar-addled, but not really satisfied.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    To say that Mr. Schnabel's film is innocuous is not to say that it's any good. Like so many other well-intentioned movies about politically contentious issues, it is hobbled by its own sincerity and undone by a confused aesthetic agenda.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Veering between alarmism and cautious reassurance — between technohysteria and shrugging, nothing-new-under-the-sun resignation — Men, Women & Children succumbs to the confusion it tries to illuminate.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Despicable Me cannot be faulted for lack of trying. If anything, it tries much too hard, stuffing great gobs of second-rate action, secondhand humor and warmed-over sentiment into every nook and cranny of its relentlessly busy 3-D frames.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A sincere but sloppy piece of work. Mr. Hoffman dotes on his cast of first-rate British actors of a certain age - and invites us to savor their energy and professionalism. This is not difficult, though the efforts of these fine actors might have yielded greater delight if they had been given more to do.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film, not unsurprisingly for a holiday- (and football-) season release from a major Hollywood studio, plays this story straight down the middle, shedding nuance and complication in favor of maximum uplift.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The most floridly enjoyable voices belong to Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, last seen together speaking Brooklynese in “The Drop.” In that film, Mr. Hardy dropped his r’s like a champ. Here he lands heavily on the aitches and contracts the words “it is” into the letter Z. “Zimpossible,” he says. “Zdifficult.” As for Child 44: Znot too terrible, but znothing great, either.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In movie terms, Mr. Childers's story is too true to be good. Machine Gun Preacher, directed by Marc Forster and starring Gerard Butler, illustrates some of the ways that a terrific story can turn into a bad film despite the best intentions of everyone involved.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Like a half-empty glass of Coke that's been sitting out for a couple of days; sure, it looks like cola, but one sip tells you exactly what's missing.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Manages to be fairly entertaining in that exhausting, rackety, late-summer-kiddie-movie way.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    By any reasonable standard, 3 Days to Kill is a terrible movie: incoherent, crudely brutal, dumbly retrograde in its geo- and gender politics. But it is also, as much because of as in spite of these failings, kind of fun.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem with the baroque and overripe Tattoo Bar is that everybody has a past. And there's so much crosscutting to those pasts in flashbacks, it's hard to keep track of whose past you're witnessing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The retro-futurist production design is gorgeously awful, the cast is awfully gorgeous, and the dystopian setting is explored with an appropriately Ballardian blend of suavity and aggression. But onscreen, High-Rise is curiously inert. The themes don’t resonate, and the story lags and lumbers.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A diverting if not terribly original on-the-cheap horror film.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The mildly xenophobic humor includes one of the few inventive mime insults seen in a movie; Eurotrip may be stupid, but it's not dumb.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Dour and bleak, yet this melodrama -- which doesn't amount to much of anything -- may stick with you.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Despite swooping camera movements and elaborate stagecraft, the film produces detachment rather than immediacy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is not entirely without charm or wit. Directed by John Lasseter (with Brad Lewis credited as co-director) from a script by Ben Queen, Cars 2 lavishes scrupulous imaginative attention on its cosmopolitan settings.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For all its boisterous profanity and splattery violence, the film is more of a weary sigh than a sputtering volley of indignation.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The movie wants desperately to function as a romantic tragedy, with passions glancing off the thoughtless pursuit of satisfaction. But Vatel can't really define the differences between the two; it settles into a period funk, as shallow as the court popinjays it seeks to expose.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This version of the WikiLeaks story, directed by Bill Condon from a script by Josh Singer, is a moderate snoozefest, undone by its timid, muddled efforts at fair-mindedness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not especially good, but there is enough rough artistry in Mr. O’Connor’s direction to make you wish the film were better.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Reign Over Me uses the rhythms and moods of comedy to explore, and also to contain, overpowering feelings of loss, anger and hurt. And like that earlier movie ("The Upside of Anger"), this one is maddeningly uneven.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It's an interesting, maddening mess -- not a terrible movie, and by no means a dull one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Instead of being a wild mixture of tones, it has very little tone at all, and moments of dramatic or comic intensity erupt awkwardly and then fizzle out.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A mellow dream of a movie that's an acquired taste. It's attractive because of the oblique way that Mr. Wenders ambles through a murder mystery that's stronger on characterization than on plot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Once the talking stops and the action begins, her professionalism is very much in evidence and exciting to watch. And yet, somehow, it cannot quite relieve the tedium of a movie that is too cool even to pretend that there is anything worth fighting about.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The Exploding Girl can also make you feel bad about wishing that she were just a little more interesting.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Plays like something picked up at a vintage store; you can see all the greasy fingerprints from those who have handled it before.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    X
    Has the sleepy feel of an urban fairy tale, but getting there is a long trip.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Too soft and silly to be satire, too upbeat to be a cautionary tale, the film is a fun-house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our democracy in this contentious election year.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    When the biggest compliment you can pay a picture is that it is professional and not smug, there's a little something missing, like invention.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Guilty of behaving like a petty thievery corporation; it steals from so many other sources that we're forced to realize that it has little of its own to offer. As such, it can't help but fail to meet expectations, given the talents involved.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This movie incites curiosity tinged with confusion and irritation. It bristles with interesting ideas — about friendship and freakishness, honesty and anger — and intriguing characters, all of which may blossom in later episodes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film, which is about a chaotic 48 hours in Marion's life, succumbs to the chaos it depicts, and so undermines its best intentions. It is, all in all, a likable mess.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is the latest example of a wonderful children’s book turned into a mediocre movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The emotional moments don’t pay off any better than most of the jokes, which reach for the safest kinds of provocative punch lines having to do with sex, race and religion.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Heli, which won the directing prize in Cannes last year, is at once extreme and unspectacular, a grisly and lurid slice-of-life drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Seems to just drift to a close rather than pronounce an end. This can be a result of wrestling with a daunting subject and not being up to its demands.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Will Finn and Tess find the treasure before the bad guys? Will they put aside their differences and rekindle their love? Yes to both questions! I haven’t spoiled anything, by the way. But perhaps I’ve saved you some trouble.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Both refreshing and confusing, the film equivalent of an ice cream headache.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not that Cairo, Nest of Spies is meant to be a thriller, but even as a self-consciously anachronistic knockabout farce it rarely rises to the level of wit, either verbal or physical.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of its sometimes tiresome, sometimes amusing lewdness, follows a gee-whiz romantic-comedy formula that would not be out of place on the Disney Channel.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The performances give the movie more flavor and life than the situation does; it often feels like prechewed Bubble Yum.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Half a movie at best. The broad humor at times derails Mr. Murphy's performances, but the movie provides a vehicle for him to display his reach.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Amusing but extremely derivative.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    So what kind of a movie is Crash? A frustrating movie: full of heart and devoid of life; crudely manipulative when it tries hardest to be subtle; and profoundly complacent in spite of its intention to unsettle and disturb.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem with We Own the Night is that it mistakes sentiment for profundity, and takes its ideas about character and fate more seriously than it takes its characters and their particular fates. “I feel light as a feather,” Bobby says in a crucial scene, at which point the movie starts to sink like a stone.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Compared with “Once,” Begin Again is a bit like the disappointing, overly produced follow-up to a new band’s breakthrough album.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not for the faint of heart, the movie is unsettling and startlingly true to life. At least that’s how it seemed to me. To the minors I happened to be accompanying, it seemed to be reasonably good fun.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Underwhelming, amusing only in fits and starts.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    About as threatening as the real-life insect the apparition resembles; its large, mossy wings may scare some people, but the bug can only damage your woolens. The movie flirts with more damage than it can actually cause.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Exodus is ludicrous only by accident, which isn’t much fun and is the surest sign of what we might call a New Testament sensibility at work. But the movie isn’t successfully serious, either... To be fair, there is some good stuff here, too. Mr. Scott is a sinewy storyteller and a connoisseur of big effects.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    An earnest attempt, sometimes effective, sometimes clumsy, to dramatize the central arguments about fracking and its impact.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    You can have a perfectly nice time watching this spirited adaptation of the popular stage musical and, once the hangover wears off, acknowledge just how bad it is.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is startling that a three-hour film dealing largely with the history of the Middle East should find no time to mention either the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the role of oil in the region. And it is more than a little unsatisfying to see the complex history of American conservatism reduced to the dreams and schemes of a handful of intellectuals.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Raises expectations that it has no real inclination to fulfill. The movie's best bits would stand alone nicely on YouTube, or on Funnyordie.com, the comic video boutique of which Mr. McKay is an owner and where he sometimes dabbles in short-form hilarity.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The filmmakers’ evident affection for the book expresses itself as a desperate scramble to include as much of it as possible, which leaves the movie feeling both overcrowded and thin.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Although it is briskly directed and enjoyably stylized, the film is shallow -- but empty.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In Knight of Cups, as in “To the Wonder,” the deployment of beauty strikes me as more evasive than evocative.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Cindy and Dean remain, for all their sustained agony and flickering joy, something less than completely realized human beings. Mr. Cianfrance's ingenious chronological gimmick, coupled with his anxious, clumsy plotting, leaves them without enough oxygen to burst into breathing, loving life.

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