Betsy Sharkey

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For 634 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Betsy Sharkey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Trucker
Lowest review score: 0 Nothing Left to Fear
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 634
634 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    There are so many wonderfully unconventional things to like about this tiny independent film, Monaghan's earthy and uncompromising performance chief among them, its depth surprising you at every turn.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Witty, urbane and thoroughly entertaining.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Verbinski's greatest triumph is that he allowed the animation to free rather that confine him. There is indeed a new sheriff in town, with Rango destined to become a classic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Firmly rooted in the filmmaker's esoteric, frustrating, provoking, demanding narrative style, the movie is also amazingly romantic - lush, ripe, rich, delicious.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Director Benh Zeitlin and his co-writer Lucy Alibar, a playwright whose "Juicy and Delicious" was the inspiration, have created characters that are wondrously indelible, distinctive of voice and set them inside a story that will unleash a devastating hurricane, and a flood of emotions, before it is done.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    There are always moral crosscurrents in Lee's most provocative work, but so magical and mystical is this parable, it's as if the filmmaker has found the philosopher's stone.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    In "Django," Tarantino is a man unchained, creating his most articulate, intriguing, provoking, appalling, hilarious, exhilarating, scathing and downright entertaining film yet.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Beyond the timelessness of the story itself, the film is beautifully shot and though early in Godard’s career already showcased his ability to capture emotional intensity in the very way he frames the shots.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Mud
    One of the most creatively rich and emotionally rewarding movies to come along this year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Authenticity gives the movie its witty, heartwarming, hopeful, sentimental, searing and relatable edge. It is merciless in probing the tender spots of times like these, and tough-guy sweet in patching up the wounds.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    For all of the eccentricities that come in any telling of an artist's life, Cutie and the Boxer's real magic is in so beautifully telling a familiar story of husbands and wives.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Exciting, terrifying, worrisome stuff saturates every second of Prisoners, holding you captive, keeping you guessing until the bitter end.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    All Is Lost, which is only Chandor's second film, reveals itself as remarkably skillful, surprisingly insightful and deeply moving. It's a confident work by an artist who knows himself and trusts his audience.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    The telling is beautiful and explicit. The truth of its emotionally raw, romantic drama is eternal and universal.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Frozen is fabulous.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    A very fast three hours, Wolf is a fascinating, revolting, outlandish, uproarious, exhilarating and exhausting master work on immorality.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Watching this film feels like a genesis moment — of sci-fi fable, of filmmaking, of performance — with all the ambiguity and excitement that implies.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    In the hands of two of the craft's best, the most ordinary of moments become illuminating, penetrating.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    One of the better movies to come along this year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    The desert trek in Tracks is as brutal as it is beautiful; the performance by Mia Wasikowska as raw as the reality. And the camels? If they don't steal your heart it must be stone-hinged.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    It is one of those scorching films that burns through emotions, uses up actors, wrings out audiences. And the jazz, well, it has its own moments of brutal, breathtaking fusion.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    The director's surrealist portrait of modern times and the cult of celebrity is brilliant on so many levels that even the occasional downdraft can't keep Birdman from soaring.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Joaquin Phoenix and the terrific acting ensemble that joins him in this pot-infused '70s-era beach noir create such a good buzz you can almost get a contact high from watching.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Betsy Sharkey
    Top Five is fully loaded. The laughs are earned, the intelligence never disappears, all the performers shine. But Rock is the diamond — raw, rough and rare.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Martin Scorsese has created a divinely dark and devious brain tease of a movie in the best noir tradition with its smarter than you'd think cops, their tougher than you'd imagine cases to crack and enough nods to the classic genre for an all-night parlor game.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Nothing quite prepares you for the rough-cut diamond that is Precious. A rare blend of pure entertainment and dark social commentary, this shockingly raw, surprisingly irreverent and absolutely unforgettable story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Self-discovery always comes with a cost, and in Bliss the price is a great one. It is mesmerizing to watch it unfold in the lives of these two young people.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It's tempting to forget that Cage is not Terence. That would be unfair though, and diminish the sheer ferocity of his performance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    For the most part, Ford has done good by the film, infusing a sad story with warmth and humor to spare. While loss is what makes George's experience universal, heart is what gives him such life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    We don't go to Michael Haneke films for comfort, but to gaze through a glass darkly. That vision -- tense, provocative and unnerving -- is on full display in The White Ribbon, which could be considered a culmination of this difficult director's brilliant career.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The 17-year-old so completely captures the innocence, cynicism and rage of a child of poverty and divorce on the edge of adulthood that it feels as if you are spying on Mia, so achingly real, so tangible does her world seem here.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    This is a film done right by just about every measure. The extremes of the story seep deep into your bones -- the beauty, the allure, the desperation and especially the cold in this world where life literally hangs on rope and what Mother Nature chooses to throw at you.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    A mind-bending and mesmerizing thriller that takes its time unlocking one mystery only to uncover another, all to chilling and immensely satisfying effect.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    About a billion laughs (though "Hot Tub" is not for the faint of heart or anyone even slightly concerned with what's happened to common decency these days).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    A beautifully calibrated movie in the most traditional sense of the word -- the ideal marriage of topic, talent and tone.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    What Restrepo does so dramatically, so convincingly, is make the abstract concrete, giving the soldiers on the front lines faces and voices.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    What Solondz does so well is create unthinkable moments in a "Leave It to Beaver" world, where unmentionables are aired in the most innocuous ways to startling effect. In Life During Wartime, he's done just that, creating a relationship agitprop that pops and sizzles; just be careful not to get burned.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Though the thriller is in the hands of a different filmmaking team this time led by Swedish director Daniel Alfredson and screenwriter Jonas Frykberg, they've kept the searing intelligence and ruthless bent.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Much of the film is told compellingly and heartbreakingly through the wide-eyed innocence of five children.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Rapace moves through the escalating exposure with a series of subtle shifts that are both painful and exquisite to watch. The actress can make eye contact seem like salt in an open wound.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    In the end, 127 Hours is one man's incredible, unforgettable journey; it took the extraordinary alchemy of Boyle and Franco to also make it ours.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Like an exquisite minimalist painting - its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film, like the many mysteries it slowly exposes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    A lyrical poem for some, like watching paint dry for others. I'd argue for embracing the poetic, a rare commodity in American films these days.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    From the first overheated moments of Bridesmaids...it's clear we're in for that rarest of treats: an R-rated romantic comedy from the Venus point of view.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Bristling with dangers both corporeal and cerebral, The Debt is a superbly crafted espionage thriller packed with Israeli-Nazi score settling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    A film of rough edges and no easy answers, nearly perfect in its imperfection.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    When it's done right, as it is in Young Adult, there is something absolutely mesmerizing about watching a train wreck unfold on screen. When the wreck in question is a narcissistic beauty played to scheming, sour, downward-spiraling perfection by Charlize Theron, cringing is definitely called for, but so is laughter.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    What the film captures so effectively is the cultural reality of Mexico's ubiquitous underclass.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    This is definitely animation for grown-ups - its look is voluptuous, sexy and sultry; its Latin-inflected Dizzy Gillespie sound is seductive; and its story of young lovers whose passions are tested is timeless.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    This is writer-director Richard Linklater at his wry, whimsical best, and considering he was the filmmaker behind 1993's "Dazed and Confused," that makes the movie something of a milestone.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Here the writer-director's tendency toward the allegorical casts a magical spell with Anderson finding a near perfect balance between the humanism and the surreal that imprints all of his work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction saga has been a hit on the festival circuit, winning top documentary prizes at Sundance for Sweden's Bendjelloul. What sets Searching for Sugar Man apart, though, is the way in which the filmmaker preserves a sense of mystery in the telling.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The movie's subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The film, which came out in 1970 after a censorship battle with the Franco regime, catches — and releases — all the tension of shifting sexual mores. You can almost sense the director's pleasure in taking apart the duplicities of a patriarchal Spanish society. [21 Feb. 2013]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It is a rare thing to witness the creative process. But in the excellent new documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, filmmaker Ben Shapiro gives us fly-on-the-wall access over a 10-year period to an acclaimed artist as he envisions, designs and executes his surreal commentary on small-town American life in the form of an epic photo installation, "Beneath the Roses."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    I found it to be some kind of wonderful, flaws and all. This is one to be taken in like meditation. Clear the mind and let what is in front of you wash over you. Save the contemplation for later.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Assayas has such a steady hand as a director, he knows precisely how to let all of Gilles' inner angst play out. His nostalgia for those past days can be felt in the affection and forgiving way the indiscretions of youth are portrayed.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    This is a beautifully rendered film.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The films have only gotten better by letting the relationship marinate. "Midnight's" more disgruntled edge reflects what creeps up on couples as years pass, regrets stack up, kids factor in, real life intervenes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It's a great trick the filmmakers have pulled off to make us feel as if we're there sorting through the memories with him. The movie's editing is especially artful with Maya Hawke and Casey Brooks doing the nipping and tucking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    From the clockwork comic timing to the movie's salty mix of the ridiculous and the reflective, This Is the End is stupidly hysterical and smartly heretical. Cross my heart and hope to die, it's funny as hell.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Intimate in the telling, sweeping in the implications, Loznitsa has created an unusually incisive film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, as high school seniors Sutter and Aimee, bring such an authentic face of confidence and questioning, indifference and need, pain and denial, friendship and first love, that it will take you back to that time if you're no longer there, and light a path if you are.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    To has a great mastery of timing; he knows just how long to let a look linger before cutting away, how little he can reveal without losing us. The director keeps you guessing until the very end whether Choi or Zhang, or someone else entirely, will be the last man standing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Though this is an emotionally driven movie, it never drifts into melodrama. Collyer is as pragmatic in her approach as her characters. But it is Dillon and Watts' nuanced portrayals that make "Sunlight's" darkness so appealing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    I don't know whether the tall man is happy, but I do know that Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? is intellectually and visually groundbreaking, and most certainly a film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Deeply moving and devoid of melodrama, These Birds Walk is as pragmatic as its subjects.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Like art itself, words can't fully capture what it is like to see the Vermeer emerge under Jenison's brush. Or to see Jenison's obsession with the idea run its course.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Between Lelio's ingenuity in staging the film, an extremely clever script co-written with his frequent collaborator, Gonzalo Maza, and the pumping disco that interjects its opinions and assessments of each situation, Gloria is one of the most enjoyable movies to come along in a while.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The filmmaker constructs a growing sense of dread with the calculated precision of a classic horror movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The Lego Movie is strikingly, exhilaratingly, exhaustingly fresh.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It is the interplay between Wasikowska and Eisenberg that gives "The Double" both its tension and its charm... Their struggle captivates, the resolution shocks, and you can't help but wonder what windmills Ayoade will tilt next.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    There is action galore, but Future Past is a deeper, richer, more thoughtful film, more existential in its contemplations than earlier Xs, all rather nicely embedded in the mayhem churned up by the mutants' altered states.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It is a caustic, comic, cerebral romp for a long time before it hits you with its best shot — some Polanski-worthy darkness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Like everything else about this lovely film, life, love and emotional growth are marked out in lush, languid, luminous terms.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Brydon and Coogan's discourse over breakfast, lunch and dinner is captured with a casualness that makes the eavesdropping delicious.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    While the intolerance fueling this dark, existential comedy won't be to everyone's liking, the film's cerebral beat-down is a strange and sardonic thing of beauty.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    In a time when so many documentary filmmakers take on advocacy roles, National Gallery represents the heart of what Wiseman does best — step back and let the place and its people lead the story.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    It is the way in which the writer-director uses the specter of vampires and vices to take an off-center cut at Iranian gender politics and U.S.-Eurocentric pop culture that sets the film apart.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    That Two Days, One Night retains such an organic sensibility, even with a major star in the lead, is credit to both filmmakers and actress.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Artfully and cleverly, the sweet spirit of that young bear from darkest Peru and his many London misadventures materializes brilliantly on screen in the very good hands of writer-director-conjurer Paul King.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Like so much of Ceylan's work, Winter Sleep is a haunting piece.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The screenplay — by the French Mauritania director and Malian co-writer Kessen Tall, in her feature debut — is a mesmerizing blend of the horrific and the humorous as it boils ideology down to the personal level.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    The tragedy here is not a single story but that a process so inequitable and so inane continues in a place that is considered to be enlightened. Gett, in moving and infuriating ways, exposes a very bleak corner of that world.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    As pure of heart as its heroine, Cinderella floats across the screen like a gossamer confection, full of elegant beauty and quiet grace.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Ethan Hawke's documentary on pianist Seymour Bernstein is very much like the sonatas Bernstein plays so beautifully, teaches so insightfully — quietly moving, infinitely deep.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Knowing the outcome behind the true-life tragedy 24 Days doesn't diffuse the horror, the tension or the sadness of watching one family's drama unfold day after agonizing day when a son is kidnapped and hope dies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Betsy Sharkey
    Director Brett Haley, who co-wrote the film with Marc Basch, has managed to create a film about those final years that gets to the heart of things like loss and love without patronizing or parody. No small thing to create a movie whose cast is mostly in their 70s yet whose story is so relatable whatever your age.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    The dialogue is fresh-prince clever, the themes are ageless, the rhythms are riotous and the return to a primal animation style is beautifully executed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    Peli works at mining the unknown, the unknowable, like a minimalist, using small moments and virtually no special effects exceedingly well.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    The result is a documentary that weaves as much comedy as fact into the narrative, making the experience a satisfying entertainment even for the lucky few who have no hair cares at all.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    The film belongs to Foster. The actor always makes the most of what is handed him, though he's usually required to find his footings around the margins, as he did as the crazed cowboy in "3:10 to Yuma" or the crazed druggie in "Alpha Dog."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    The writer-director is up to his old tricks, creating an onion of an experience -- a movie within a movie within a movie, irony in each layer, poignancy that stings and whimsy that bites.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    This is a smartly told story, and as fresh as any contemporary romance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    There are times the action lags, and when the dialogue falls back on pop cultural references it feels contrived and forced but, mostly, like the mythical creatures at the heart of this tale, the movie soars.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    Like the best war movies do, director Peter Ho-Sun Chan has woven together an intimate story of men against a backdrop of history writ large.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Betsy Sharkey
    The narrative arc swings between light and darkness, from the sheer joy of the Persian rappers who practice on top of an unfinished skyscraper, to Nadar's arrest and interrogation for his black-market DVDs. In Ghobadi's hands, though, it always feels real.

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