For 1,792 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 24 Hour Party People
Lowest review score: 0 MacGruber
Score distribution:
1792 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This is a film about the struggle for sexual freedom and women’s rights, and also about the power of region, class and custom in the lives of its characters.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    You leave with a vivid sense of the man’s living presence and a reasonably thorough account of his life, work and associations. Given the sheer volume and variety of the work in question, this is an impressive achievement.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Seeming to wander through small incidents and mundane busyness, it acquires momentum and dramatic weight through a brilliant kind of narrative stealth. You are shaken, by the end, at how much you care about these women and how sorry you are to leave their company.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The Purge: Election Year takes itself just seriously enough to provide the expected measure of fun — a blend of aggression, release and relief. A lot of people die, but no one really gets hurt.
    • 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
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Ross consulted some of the leading experts in the era...and has done a good job of balancing the factual record with the demands of dramatic storytelling. The result is a riveting visual history lesson, whose occasional didacticism is integral to its power.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Contemplating both tales in succession can induce a far from unpleasant sense of vertigo, a feeling of standing at the edge of an abyss of wide-open philosophical questions and deep psychological mysteries.
    • 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
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    What “Dory” lacks in dazzling originality it more than makes up for in warmth, charm and good humor.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    There is no denying the film’s uncanny power or its visual discipline. It’s a luminous puzzle with a few pieces missing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It’s dispiriting to see a movie about interesting real-life characters reduce them to clichés, making them less vivid, less fascinating, less charismatic than they must have been.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Like any good work of criticism, De Palma will be catnip for passionate fans while also serving as a primer and a goad for the skeptical and the curious. Mr. De Palma is remarkable company — witty, insightful and neither unduly modest nor overbearingly vain.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This floppy British romance, directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by Jojo Moyes from her best-selling novel, sits at the point where tedium, ridiculousness and heartfelt sentiment converge, separated by an all-but-imperceptible distance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    “Popstar” takes aim at everything that is artificial and plastic in contemporary pop in a spirit of love rather than spite. It’s a celebration of the curious authenticity — the innocence, the sweetness, the guiltless pleasure — of music whose badness is sometimes hard to separate from its genius.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    [Ms. Tsangari's] inquiry stops short of the hearts of these men, and she seems content to dramatize some of the sad, ridiculous and tender ways that boys will be boys.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Part courtroom drama, part rumination on what separates human beings from other animals, the film is above all a sympathetic portrait of an advocate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Miller’s choices are hard to argue with. She steers gracefully through a zigzagging plot, slowing down for quiet, contemplative stretches and pausing for jokes that are irrelevant but irresistible. She finds a tricky balance of farce, satire and emotional sincerity, a way of treating people as ridiculous without denying them empathy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    At times, most often when Mr. Bennett is onscreen, Love & Friendship is howlingly funny, and as a whole it feels less like a romance than like a caper, an unabashedly contrived and effortlessly inventive heist movie with a pretty good payoff.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Money Monster begins with a jolt of satire, proceeds through a maze of beat-the-clock exposition and lands on a surprisingly gentle, sentimental note.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Cruelty and humor are nestled like spoons in a drawer. Mr. Lanthimos’s method is to elicit an appreciative chuckle followed by a gasp of shock, and to deliver violence and whimsy in the same even tone. “The Lobster” is often startlingly funny in the way it proposes its surreal conceits, and then upsettingly grim in the way it follows through on them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    [Mr. Audiard] makes popcorn movies disguised as art films, and vice versa. Dheepan is a bit like a Liam Neeson revenge-dad action thriller directed by the Dardenne brothers. I mean that in the best possible way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    This very crowded, reasonably enjoyable installment in the Avengers cycle...reveals, even more than its predecessors, an essential truth about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not so much a grand science-fiction saga, or even a series of action-adventure movies, as a very expensive, perpetually renewed workplace sitcom.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    It’s like a comprehensive exhibition catalog or a thorough critical essay — an indispensable aid to understanding and appreciating a fascinating artist.

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