For 1,777 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 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Hurt Locker
Lowest review score: 0 Shoot 'Em Up
Score distribution:
1777 movie reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    From one scene to the next, you may know more or less what is coming, but it is never less than delightful to watch these actors at work.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Julieta is scrupulous, compassionate and surprising, even if it does not always quite communicate the full gravity and sweep of the feelings it engages.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Larraín invites us to believe that history is on the side of the poets and the humanists, and that art will make fools of politicians and policemen. But he is also aware, as Pablo Neruda was, that history sometimes has other plans.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Even as it properly foregrounds Wilson’s dialogue — few playwrights have approached his genius for turning workaday vernacular into poetry — Fences is much more than a filmed reading. Mr. Washington has wisely resisted the temptation to force a lot of unnecessary cinema on the play.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Plots and subplots are handled with clumsy expediency, and themes that might connect this movie with the larger Lucasfilm mythos aren’t allowed to develop. You’re left wanting both more and less.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Marcello tells a simple, touching tale that seems to contain a whole cosmos of meaning.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    La La Land succeeds both as a fizzy fantasy and a hard-headed fable, a romantic comedy and a showbiz melodrama, a work of sublime artifice and touching authenticity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This captivating movie, like the blues itself, is at once a recognition of those somber truths and a gesture of protest against them.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Hansen-Love surveys the territory with clear eyes, but also with an unmistakable shading of pity and with ideas, in particular about Nathalie’s sexuality and the political compromises of her generation, that seem more like assumptions than insights.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There are some touching and amusing zigzags on the way to the film’s sweet and affirmative conclusion.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    It’s not so much a work of art as a triumph of craft, and therefore a reminder of the deep pleasures of old-fashioned technique and long experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Biller’s movie, like its heroine, presents a fascinating, perfectly composed, brightly colored surface. What’s underneath is marvelously dark, like love itself.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Affleck, in one of the most fiercely disciplined screen performances in recent memory, conveys both Lee’s inner avalanche of feeling and the numb decorum that holds it back.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The Illinois Parables is not, strictly speaking, an educational film, but it conveys a unique and precious kind of knowledge.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    It’s a psychological thriller, a strangely dry-eyed melodrama, a kinky sex farce and, perhaps most provocatively, a savage comedy of bourgeois manners. Mostly, though — inarguably, I would say — it is a platform for the astonishing, almost terrifying talent of Isabelle Huppert.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The satire may be a little too gentle, but there is something disarmingly tender about the way Mr. Lee dramatizes young Billy’s predicament. You may be surprised at how sweet this movie is and also, in retrospect, startled by how bleak its vision turns out to be.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Viewers jaded by daily doses of digital dazzlement might not fully register the reality of the wonders they are witnessing. But that doesn’t, in the end, make The Eagle Huntress any less wonderful.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Desmond Doss was calm, humble and courageous, qualities Mr. Gibson honors but does not share. It is possible to be moved and inspired by Desmond’s exploits while still feeling that his convictions have been exploited, perhaps even betrayed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Fire at Sea occupies your consciousness like a nightmare, and yet somehow you don’t want it to end.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Moonlight is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The subtlety of the film is both an accomplishment and a limitation. It’s hard not to want more for these women, and to wish you could see more of them.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Aquarius is a marvelous and surprising act of portraiture, a long, unhurried encounter with a single, complicated person. And that is enough to make it a captivating film, an experience well worth seeking out. But there is also, as I’ve suggested, more going on than the everyday experiences of a modern matriarch.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The movie, uneven as it is, has terrific momentum and passages of concentrated visual beauty. The acting is strong even when the script wanders into thickets of rhetoric and mystification. And despite its efforts to simplify and italicize the story, it’s admirably difficult, raising thorny questions about ends and means, justice and mercy, and the legacy of racism that lies at the root of our national identity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    American Honey, long and messy as it is, is by turns observant and exuberant, and sweet in a way that is both unexpected and organic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    In Ms. Nair’s hands, Phiona’s story has a richness and unpredictability that separates it from other, superficially similar movies. It also has the buoyant, cleareyed feel for the particulars of culture and place that is among this director’s great gifts.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The acting and filmmaking are too crude to make you care about what happens to any of them, even though you know pretty much exactly what that will be.

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