For 1,540 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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Pépé le Moko (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 MacGruber
Score distribution:
1,540 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The movie expands in its frame, surpassing simple comprehension and continuing to grow in your mind — and perhaps to blow it — long after it’s over.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    “Shoah” remains a heroic reckoning with the limits of collective understanding, but The Last of the Unjust is something smaller, stranger and more paradoxical: the portrait of an individual whose actions still defy comprehension, and the self-portrait of an artist consumed by the past.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The film is a cat-and-mouse game in which each player thinks he’s the cat, making it both thrilling and disconcerting to watch. It is also a nature documentary about behavior at the very top of the imperial food chain and a detective story about the search for a mystery that is hidden in plain sight.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Holland, working from a script by Stepan Hulik, a Czech screenwriter born in 1984, turns a sprawling story into a tight and suspenseful ethical thriller.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Though the movie is playfully postmodern in its pastiche of styles and its mingling of sincerity and self-consciousness, there is also something solidly old-fashioned about the way it tells its story.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    “Dawn” is more than a bunch of occasionally thrilling action sequences, emotional gut punches and throwaway jokes arranged in predictable sequence. It is technically impressive and viscerally exciting, for sure, but it also gives you a lot to think, and even to care, about.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Though it is, finally, an affecting story of two damaged men bound by blood and something like love (and also a thrillerish catalog of double crosses and shifting allegiances), it is, above all, a study in the patterns of chaos that govern penitentiary life.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The story is full of emotion and danger, heroism and treachery, but it is told in a mood of rueful retrospect rather than simmering partisan rage.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Like other stories of musical tutelage, Keep On Keepin’ On is ultimately an examination of the pursuit of greatness. It is a grueling and demanding endeavor, for sure, but also, for Mr. Terry and anyone lucky enough to enter his orbit, a source of unending joy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    It may get a few things wrong, but it aims at, and finally achieves, an authenticity at once more exalted and more primal than mere verisimilitude.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    You want to see this movie, and you will want to talk about it afterward, even if the conversation feels a little awkward. If it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong. There is great enjoyment to be found here, and very little comfort.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    It is baffling and beautiful, a flurry of musical and literary snippets arrayed in counterpoint to a series of brilliantly colored and hauntingly evocative pictures.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Good sports movies are always about more than sports... Red Army touches on themes of friendship and perseverance, and also offers a compact and vivid summary of recent Russian history.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Beyond the Lights may be a fantasy — movies about love, like songs about love, tend to fall into that category — but it is an uncommonly smart and honest fantasy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, Wild reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Even as she stops at familiar stations on the road to maturity — problems at home and school, new friendships and first love — Ms. Sciamma revels in the risky, reckless exuberance of adolescence and in the sheer joy of filming it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The rounded-off corners of the almost-square frames evoke early movies and antique photographs, and there is wit and mischief in the way Mr. Alonso plays with the relationship between what we see, what we don’t see and what we expect to see.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Pirozzi’s film is an unsparing and meticulous reckoning of the effects of tyranny on ordinary Cambodians. It is also a rich and defiant effort at recovery, showing that even the most murderous totalitarianism cannot fully erase the human drive for pleasure and self-expression.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The triumph of Results is that it pretends to be loose, lazy and lived-in when it’s actually disciplined, hard-working and in almost perfect shape.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Love & Mercy doesn’t claim to solve the mystery of Brian Wilson, but it succeeds beyond all expectation in making you hear where he was coming from.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The Kindergarten Teacher — the film as well as the character — yearns for different values, for intensity, beauty and meaning. Its sobering lesson is that the search for those things is most likely to end in madness, confusion and violence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The adoring and adorable documentary on the philosopher Jacques Derrida.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    May feel redundant, but it is stylish and intelligent.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    CQ
    May not make the splash it should; films about moviemaking rarely do. And that would be a shame, because the contrasts the director sets in motion and keeps playing against each other make an entertaining wrestling match.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ali
    We see the movie levitate when Ali and Brown chant, "Float like a butterfly," the slogan that takes on a different meaning in each context, starting off as hopeful and spry, finally becoming rueful and pointed. When the film pulls off moments like these, it's breathtaking -- a near great movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ace in the Hole is an acquired taste -- and an unforgettable one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    An incisive drama about a waking nightmare.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The kind of old-fashioned, grown-up weepie in which the hearts of men and women are cracked, and the shards flutter through the story. Its directness is the movie equivalent of hot, fresh popcorn.

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