Ben Kenigsberg

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For 374 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ben Kenigsberg's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 The Strange Little Cat
Lowest review score: 0 Date Movie
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 374
374 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ben Kenigsberg
    An exhilarating, four-hour immersion in life at the University Of California campus.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Ben Kenigsberg
    Mr. Zürcher has concocted something intimate yet otherworldly with this highly original debut.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Ben Kenigsberg
    In its graceful superimpositions and its use of water to evoke a more idyllic time (particularly in a rainy flashback set to Neil Young), Inherent Vice is very much a companion piece to "The Master."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Kenigsberg
    Above all, Frances Ha is a wry and moving portrait of friendship, highlighting the way that two people who know everything about each other can nevertheless grow apart as their needs change.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Kenigsberg
    Like its narrative, this gripping film rarely veers in the expected directions — and is never easy to pin down.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Last Of The Unjust is demanding but fascinating, both as history and as an intellectual volley on the lure of power, the ambiguities of perspective, and the difficulty of claiming moral high ground in a context where matters of life and death are so precarious.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    The puzzle-box narrative only grows more hypnotic with repeat viewings. The movie insists on having the audience, like Ventura, pass through madness to reach catharsis.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    This is a Christmas movie in which magic exists largely on the periphery, and that is just the right mix of chilly and sweet.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    Few moments in recent nonfiction cinema are as piercing as the one in which Ms. Schwartz asks her mother if she might have settled down with Mr. Parker had he not been black.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    If, at barely more than an hour, the movie initially seems slight, its inconsequentiality might be better viewed as polemical.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    It is provocative simply in showing how trust is gained and kept, even after the swindled kids have understood their robbers’ motives.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    With an eye for landscapes stunning and hellish, [Mr. Sauper] is the rare documentary filmmaker who not only takes on tough subjects but also explores them with a vivid visual and aural approach.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    Behemoth proceeds placidly, making it easy to become lulled. Its haunting power grows in retrospect — as if you’ve returned from a journey and can’t believe what you’ve seen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Ben Kenigsberg
    The film is both a generous primer on the band, which grew out of the punk movement in Leeds, England, in 1977, and a celebration of its longevity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Kenigsberg
    Unlikely as it may seem, though, Blue Jasmine finds Allen charting bona fide new territory.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Final Member boasts a stranger-than-fiction subject so odd and funny it almost couldn’t miss. But Bekhor and Math make the film much more than a limp gag.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Kenigsberg
    While it’s heartbreaking that the movie never got made (son Brontis Jodorowsky, who would have played Paul Atreides, is particularly poignant imagining his alternate life as a superstar), Jodorowsky’s Dune posits that the raw materials nevertheless left an enduring mark on cinematic sci-fi, providing the basis for famous aspects of "Alien," "Star Wars," and "Contact."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Kenigsberg
    The movie captures a moment when the lines separating anonymity, fame, and notoriety are finer than ever. And as Watson’s social climber prattles on to reporters about what a great “learning lesson” her criminal experience has been, it’s easy to see another star in the making.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    Junction 48 is more than a mere crowd-pleaser, and it refuses easy catharsis, ending with a cliffhanger. But since this is a movie about deciding to act, maybe that’s the perfect note.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    Hogtown plays like a find from a forgotten archive.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    In its feel for nocturnal light, this is one of the most refreshing New York independent features since Ramin Bahrani’s “Man Push Cart.” Both acoustically and dramatically, Mr. Mumin is a winning performer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    Mr. Schwarz falters with his ending, which feels overly tidy. Still, it’s not the destination; it’s the journey.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    An exemplar of how to make the personal political.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    This absorbing account of the first recorded summit of the world’s highest mountain is a rare documentary for which re-enactments make complete sense.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    Lost River ponders people and places left behind in the name of progress. Slyly political, it observes the mortgage crisis through a warped looking glass. The cinematographer, Benoît Debie, finds a perverse beauty in the decline.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Son of Joseph can be trying in its whimsy, yet it builds to a lovely finale that evokes the Bible, the French Resistance and the surreal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    The insights the movie has aren’t exceptional; this stranger-than-fiction series of events is enough.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    The bitterly funny, multistrand Involuntary, from 2008, is a step forward in the director’s ambition.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    In its humor, its fairy tale origins and the characters’ rounded features, it plays more like a vintage Disney work, only nimbler and freer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ben Kenigsberg
    A generous and briskly entertaining doc.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    Whatever reservations it prompts, the film is innovative, original, and queasily effective.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    As withholding as it may be in terms of narrative, Stranger places rare faith in the viewer’s visual sense. Guiraudie presents his widescreen long takes with little inflection, conjuring suspense simply from the sounds of crackling leaves and other hallmarks of the natural (or is it au naturel?) realm.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    The entire film unfolds in a recognizable register of ominous hesitation; the results are a bit schematic but nevertheless hit on something real.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    The North Korea scenes are often very funny, with many of the jokes coming at the expense of the fish-out-of-water visitors.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    As philosophy, Mr. Nobody seems sillier than it is profound. But in a parallel reality, more movies would have this degree of insane ambition.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Kenigsberg
    Those who want to see Armstrong sweat may leave disappointed. Calm and seemingly well rehearsed in interviews, Armstrong shrugs off years of public statements without ever seeming truly remorseful.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Audrie & Daisy is strongest when it investigates what it regards as shortcomings of justice, for reasons technical and implied.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The real achievement here is in going beyond the buzzwords of newscasts and talking points to convey a sense of what’s happening on the ground — and to give it a sense of urgency.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Antarctic Edge illustrates its points effectively, providing vivid evidence of how shrinking ice at the South Pole affects climates across the globe.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    This debut feature from the Spanish-born director Miguel Llansó can’t claim a coherent mythology, but it has a lo-fi charm and humor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Entertaining enough that it leaves one wishing for more in the way of android mythology—a pint-sized Blade Runner or A.I. The screenplay goes on autopilot, grinding toward a happy ending just when it has a shot at something darker and more memorable.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The fates of several of the movie’s bitcoin entrepreneurs are unlikely to send viewers rushing to exchange their dollars. But The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin nevertheless functions as an entertaining portrait of the unshakable optimism that governs what’s been called a financial Wild West.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Hand That Feeds is an effective portrayal of the intricacies of activism — and of a situation in which victories seem all too brief.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Casting Cassel as a ruthless villain might seem like a cliche, but Kleiman uses him counterintuitively, locating an avuncular, calming quality in the actor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    It is a summer sequel worth its salt, a brisk exercise in suspense and high-gloss mayhem.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Find Me Guilty is overlong and often sitcomy, but it's also pleasantly old-school, with a tone, soundtrack, and even a title-card font that suggest a mellow but not senile Woody Allen.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Davis strives to keep himself out of the film, favoring a harrowing yet compassionate you-are-there aesthetic that underscores the hardship of the migrant workers' struggles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    It’s both a credit to, and a shortcoming of, the movie that it suggests an illustrated bibliography. It makes you want to stop watching and, instead, read or reread all of the pieces mentioned.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Case Against 8 functions as a valuable record of the nuts-and-bolts conference room side of advocacy — an aspect of civil rights work not often seen on screen.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    While Peace Officer could offer more information, what is here is disturbing and sometimes eye-opening.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    As a late-summer caper movie, it hits the spot. The film offers the intriguing contrast of actors and a director (Daniel Schechter) taking a different approach to known material.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    McCullin is not a groundbreaking documentary, but it wears its conventional format well, taking its cues (and its power) from the photographs themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Known for his genre pastiches, the director, Álex de la Iglesia (“El Crimen Perfecto”), rarely lets the pace flag, and the buddy comedy, gross-out humor and horror elements make for a harmonious mix.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The vividness of the realization — with a sound design that emphasizes every chew and tick of the clock — makes the movie continually engrossing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Even without an upbeat ending, though, Betting on Zero would be persuasive advocacy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Vanishing Pearls is most illuminating when offering a historical perspective.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The film is accessible and often hypnotic on an intuitive level.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Even if this minor coda plays to an increasingly closed circle of admirers, it gives the trilogy a pleasing, moving symmetry.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Loushy skillfully and briskly excerpts the material, although the film falls somewhere on the line between formal documentary and assemblage.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Maidan is a film of scale and immediacy, finding artistry, for better or worse, in bearing witness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    A swift primer that favors breadth over depth, the movie saves some hopeful notes for the end.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The prickly tone is a difficult balancing act, and Diamond Tongues may settle for being a softer-hearted film than its most cynical scenes portend. But it has a palpable affection for Toronto’s cultural scene and for Ms. Goldstein.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    This is the kind of sleek, precisely constructed genre work that’s gone missing from American summer movies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    At the time of a fervent national debate on race and justice, part of what is impressive about 3 ½ Minutes is the cool temperature at which it is often served.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Mr. Chan’s skill with actors — particularly with Ms. Mei and Mr. Pang’s persuasive, easygoing banter — compensates for the story’s limitations.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    They Call Us Monsters doesn’t shy from the consequences of the violence the prisoners were accused of (we meet a paralyzed victim of a shooting), even as it suggests that the system...proceeds almost mechanically.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    If Starless Dreams inspires conflicted feelings in viewers, it may be by design. It’s hard not to want to flee, and it’s hard to look away.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Mostly, the documentary is a fond portrait of how one man nurtured his artistic temperament and risked being misunderstood — sometimes by his own family.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The decision to focus on the series’s comic relief has resulted in the loosest and perhaps funniest film of the brand.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Although the narrative contains echoes of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” — and perhaps “Casino,” in that much of it is structured as a flashback from an assassination attempt — “Gangs” lacks the poetry and character interest of those films.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Tenth Man, a modest charmer from Argentina, breathes considerable life into the rather trite scenario of a man discovering his religious roots, in part because it seems genuinely curious about the community in which it’s set.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Oklahoma City suggests that conspiracy theories today have consequences for tomorrow — a message with terrifying implications in an age of fake news.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    [A] dryly funny, enigmatic new work.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The exuberant staging and Ms. Balan’s sly performance are the show here.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The film is earnest, formulaic and sentimental. But, like Humpty, it has enough charm to wear down defenses.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (“A Moment of Innocence,” “Kandahar”) is not known for his kineticism, but The President — which he has suggested is his comment on the Arab Spring — has surprising urgency and sweep.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    A contemplative tone, a zigzagging narrative, superb widescreen black-and-white cinematography and an infusion of dry humor make it feel genuinely fresh.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Director Kirby Dick (Derrida) shapes the movie in such a way as to leave everyone flummoxed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    It’s a brisk and energetic primer for those who don’t know his movies or are ready to watch them again. And it doubles as a history of the chanbara (sword fighting) genre, providing an opportunity to sample clips from seldom-seen or partially lost silent films.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Mr. Ostlund’s 2004 debut, begins as a free-floating portrait of mischief and compulsion — a cousin to Harmony Korine’s “Gummo” that comments obliquely on fascism and violence.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    As goosed as the drama gets...the uplift feels earned, or at least tough to resist.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    This overlong (nearly four hours) but sporadically extraordinary portrait of a forgotten corner of society may be tough going even for fans of forbidding cinema.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    A strong nonprofessional cast and a use of long takes enhance the sense of immersion in a truly organic production.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Vessel becomes a film not just about abortion but also about activism. It raises provocative questions about the power of laws to police information in an increasingly globalized world.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Professionally comfortable with improvising, the D.J.s make for affable company, and it’s amusing to watch radio from behind the scenes. But a tinge of melancholy also hovers over the movie.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    While it lacks the richness of some of Ozu’s masterworks, “The Japanese Dog” steers clear of sentimentality — an impressive feat, given that the title somewhat preciously refers to a toy dog. The movie depicts a hopeful side of Romania, peeking through even Costache’s lonely world.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    Bell is embodied, in a commanding and versatile performance, by Nicole Kidman, who supplies a gravitas and emotional complexity worthy of the woman she plays.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    For the right age group, though, the film hits its marks: It’s wholesome, engaging and rife with impressive aquatic photography.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Ben Kenigsberg
    If Happy Hour doesn’t quite deliver all it promises, that may only be because it promises quite a lot.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    As a polemic, Dirty Wars is provocative and productively depressing, raising doubts about the effectiveness of military missions that have the potential to create ideological enemies, as well as the degree to which elected officials can—or are willing to—place checks on secret ops. (Obama gets no more points than Bush in any of the matters discussed.)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    Judicious editing helps to maintain the illusion of two actors, though the quick-speaking Wasikowska, as the twins’ flighty, mercurial object of desire, in some ways has the subtlest task—and often steals scenes from her co-star(s).
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    Fading Gigolo is not an entirely coherent film. It is, for the right and wrong reasons, a distinctive and memorable one.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    Basically, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? amounts to two men having a mellow discussion about the nature of ideas; it’s formally limited, yet wide-ranging in its material and ambitions. Call it a case of cognitive dissonance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    Ultimately, American Promise seems split between a personal perspective and a broader one. It’s a bold experiment that’s also a textbook case of filmmakers being too close to their material.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    The Lunchbox ultimately registers as a too-hesitant portrayal of hesitancy, and its pleasures are largely incidental.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    The scowling Pitt proves no match for the Tony-winning Arianda, whose brassy, thick-accented positivity could probably cut down the gangsters as mercilessly as any gun. While the pair is robbing the mob, she’s stealing the movie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    The movie maintains a relentless grip all the same. Unlike the junior kingpins who bear witness to the film’s big blaze, audiences won’t watch in a passive state.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    All of McKay’s movies improve on repeat viewings, as they become familiar and meme worthy. If Anchorman 2 seems hit-and-miss now, there’s a significant chance that it will get funnier over the long haul.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Kenigsberg
    Rush, in other words, is a foursquare sportsmanship movie, offering little in the way of surprises but plenty of earnest, satisfying thrills.

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