For 222 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Chuck Bowen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Drug War
Lowest review score: 0 33 Postcards
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 222
222 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Bowen
    The Nine Muses is the kind of nonfiction film I actively hope for: a picture of intuitive, free-associational power that cuts far deeper emotionally than a dry recitation of dates and facts could ever hope to.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Bowen
    It takes cojones for a filmmaker to chase Fassbinder's ghost, but it takes heart and talent to damn near catch up with it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Bowen
    The film is a singularly huge, relentless, all-encompassing set piece that mutates and spasms with terrifying lack of foresight. It's all business, business, business.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Bowen
    Every beautiful, resonant image in writer-director Alex Ross Perry's film is fraught with neurotic, diaphanous riddles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Marc H. Simon's documentary has the thrust of a great American noir or black comedy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The conclusion is a testament to the fact that authentic justice is probably only attainable by accident.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Elena is a film deeply concerned with class resentment, but the filmmakers' attitude toward their titular character is disconcerting and even shocking.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Todd Kellstein doesn't allow you to entirely indulge convenient (though understandable and perhaps irresistible) armchair outrage.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The film's plot isn't unusual, but director Ron Morales strips it down to its primal essence.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    On the surface, Peter Strickland's film is an amusing black comedy that parodies the horror movie's continual status as the cultural black sheep of the cinematic landscape, but the filmmaker is most prominently concerned with painting a sonic portrait of alienation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Eliza Hittman's film captures the exclusive properties of sex with a degree of intimacy and empathy that, at times, feels authentically revelatory.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    We're simply presented a person in trouble, and we're allowed to recognize his problems as extreme embodiments of universal issues of terror, confusion, and loneliness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Joe Swanberg's films have grown into a reliable relief from the competitive, dehumanizing freneticism of much of American culture, marked by an affirming and understated sense of decency.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Alain Resnais's overpoweringly beautiful final film dares to push through the ghosts that inhabit the present, standing between the pessimism of an ill-spent past and the optimism of an undefined future.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Clint Eastwood startlingly grips the audience with his sense of hypnotic silence, which carries suggestions of what might be termed politically apolitical pragmatism.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Andrey Zvyagintsev never loses sight of the humans, who're allowed to display improvisatory behavior that deepens the majesty of the rigorously orchestrated tableaus.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Peter Strickland charges full-tilt into the objectifying whims of his fantasies in order to somehow reach the other end of perception, which acknowledges the ultimate empathetic limitations of said fantasies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    A dizzying hall-of-mirrors stunt, a horror remake as autobiographical X-ray, and a work of fantasy that serves as a decadently cleansing creative exorcism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The film ultimately understands poverty as a profound and often irreversible desolation of terra firma.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The film's peculiarly exhilarating effect can be attributed to a sense of social outrage that's transcended for the sake of metaphoric social clarity.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Asghar Farhadi's sensibility embodies a combination of empathy and paranoia that's striking considering that the latter is normally driven by self-absorption.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Albert Maysles's portrait of Iris Apfel gradually emerges with cathartic clarity without compromising her inherent mystery.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Andrew Bujalski seizes upon physical training as a resonant metaphor for the work and risk that are inherent in cultivating significant interpersonal connections.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Appropriately, the images in the film, the most fluidly beautiful and resonant of Nathan Silver's career thus far, suggest flashes of memory relived from the vantage point of the future.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    As in Rodney Ascher's previous film, Room 237, the subject of obsession is complemented by a despairing attempt to process it, corral it, and somehow conquer it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    It elegantly evolves from an absurdist comedy into a remarkably wounded and uprooted story of friends who're beginning to tire of their shared social cocoons.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Reminiscent of Woody Allen's great, under-sung Manhattan Murder Mystery, it utilizes a pulp conceit as a shorthand for the regrets that bubble up in a marriage.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Coming Home is a film in which everyone's dreams are irrevocably broken, the pieces too small to grasp, let alone pick up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    It exhibits the spry subtlety of Jean and Luc Dardenne's films, and, consequently, it's possible that it will be similarly mistaken for a work of “naturalism.”
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Peter Wiedensmith's methods aren't as cinematic as they could be, but even this seems to ably mirror Marilyn Sewell's humility.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    My Reincarnation has an effective bifurcated structure that testifies to the level of trust Jennifer Fox clearly established with her subjects.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    In The Hunter, writer-director Rafi Pitts manages an atmosphere of choked, ambiguous dread, somehow naturalistic and hallucinatory at once, that recalls nothing less than Godard's Alphaville.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Director Mahmoud Kaabour is Fatima's grandson, and she instantly seizes on--lightly, in her way--the guilt and panic that's inspired him to make this film.
    • Slant Magazine
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film provides a crisp, succinct answer to a question that nags most Americans: What the hell happened?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Convento is an unusual experimental film that conjures the free-floating aura of a dream, only without the stylized, hyper-symbolic imagery that we generally associate with films attempting to convey dream states.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film has an exhilarating tossed-off quality that characterized many of the most entertaining works of the French New Wave.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    One of the more intimate and revealing looks at American projects ever made; it's assured and empathetic without indulging in fashionable white guilt.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The doc is a sly, interesting achievement: It opens as an entertaining sports story and closes as a metaphor for government corruption.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Julia Ivanova, a Canadian filmmaker, doesn't judge Olga; she refuses to see her through the eyes of a presumably better-off first-world citizen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's a prevailing sense of decency that explains why The Bullet Vanishes is such an effective tonic for summer-movie fatigue.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Paul Lacoste's almost purely observational approach allows him to come about as close to documenting the process of creation as anyone ever has.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Scott Thurman captures not only the fear and anti-intellectual resentment and insecurity that govern the dictations of the far right, but also the rampant unchecked egotism.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Rebecca Thomas's debut feature is a sensible and humane exploration of youthful curiosity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The Prey doesn't have the obsessive pull of a great thriller, as it's undeniably an impersonal toy, but it's a hell of a toy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film is in part an exceedingly black comedy that parodies proper society's eager, self-righteous naïveté on the subject of its children.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's the rare coming-of-age narrative that manages to respect the tricky ambiguities of shifting perceptions.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    +1
    It ambitiously parodies and mourns the implications of the one coherent message that mass media manages to convey to all of its consumers in all its endlessly proliferating, ever-shifting permutations.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's fair to say that a filmmaker is thinking outside of the box when he or she stages a scene in which an ambulatory hemorrhoid tears a guy's cock off with its teeth and swallows it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It compellingly captures a family wrestling mightily with the riddles and contradictions of a culture that promotes achievement at all costs with little thought as to what that actually means.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Throughout, Joe Swanberg connects Generation Y's fetish for past pop-cultural kitsch to its attending sexual insecurities.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film is a quiet, tender triumph that leaves you feeling as if you've been embraced without you feeling had.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Like a number of cult directors to emerge in the 1970s, Henry Jaglom values a party atmosphere at the expense of narrative cohesion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Marc Bauder's documentary quietly detonates the conservative notion that our largest corporations should be allowed to duke it out in metaphorical no-holds-barred cage matches.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Aarón Fernández captures one of the most heartening elements of sex: that it doesn't always oblige our rules or expectations.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Jonathan Demme makes loving sport of the trust his actors have clearly placed in him, erecting for them a monument to the joys and terrors of walking an emotional high wire.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film abounds in guilt and grief, reveling in a general sense of hopelessly broken social connection.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Wiktor Ericsson emphasizes one of the strongest and most distinctive features of Joseph Sarno's aesthetic: his concentration on female pleasure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    A reminder that crime movies pointedly inspired by other, better genre films can still be enjoyable, if they wear their influences lightly and cleverly connect them to something tangibly human.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    This is a confident work that smashingly updates the Southern gothic for contemporary generations.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's a comedy concerned with myopia that doesn't succumb to the self-obsessed pitfalls of that subject.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Jody Lee Lipes shapes the footage into an intimate symphony of poetically shaped bodies that contrast poignantly with uncertain faces.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Each of the six vignettes that make up this unusually energetic anthology pertains to the methods of calculated mass dehumanization that are (barely) hidden beneath the practices of social institutions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    A fawning tribute to the cult legend, enriched by a subtle current of sadness that prevents the documentary from turning into a glorified DVD supplement.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film is so unusually moving and penetrating because it refuses to cloud its emotions in distancing irony, anger, or nihilism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Director John McNaughton, once an agile orchestrator of seemingly incompatible tones, has retained his talent for teasing insinuation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film often suggests a less defiant cover of The Defiant Ones, yet it's a must-see for Viggo Mortensen's characteristically wonderful performance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The transcendence that the film offers isn't to be taken lightly considering the near impossibility of living professionally as an artist.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    David Gordon Green stages even fleeting tonal palate cleansers with a self-consciousness that parallels Al Pacino's acting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The formalism fashions effective textural shortcuts to behavioral understanding that the remarkable cast fills in with chilling, convincing finesse.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Takashi Murakami has invested the film with the same sort of primal pop-art aesthetic that distinguishes much of his art.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    A zig-zagging, free-associational genre item that's mostly concerned with stretching the generally narrow tonal rules of what a thriller can be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It grows increasingly hopeless as it contrasts the alien paradise of the opening with the wastelands that resemble corporate dump sites.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    One watches the film with an escalating sense of disbelief and horror, as Warren Jeffs is steadily revealed to be an even greater monster than we initially take him for.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Miguel Gomes's formal talents, which include a flair for close-ups of elegantly smooth or weathered faces, transcend his soft spot for the didactic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Aesthetically, the film cunningly suggests life that exists solely within an academic experiment, closed off from chaos that isn't manufactured.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Both Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson understand the greatest pain of loss to be rooted in its searing inexpressibility.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It captures the frustration and the longing of forever wanting more and better at the expense of casualness of being.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Alison Bagnall and her talented leads appear to effortlessly achieve a tone that's tricky to sustain, one that abounds equally in absurdism and empathy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It grounds us so effectively in Joplin's emotional realm as to partially rekindle the social transcendence that her voice must have represented for its owner.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film's highpoint is one of the most remarkably moving sex scenes in all of American cinema, and the irony of it involving bland puppets is hardly lost on Kaufman and Johnson.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Sweaty Betty is a reminder that poetry comes in all shapes and sizes, and that art ultimately dictates its own terms.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Every moment in writer-director Grímur Hákonarson's strange and wonderful film is imbued with mystery and revealing dignity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The script is busy and unconvincing, and much of the acting is lousy, but there are haunting touches.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    It's the rare urgent-issue movie that refuses to pummel you with the importance of its subject matter, which in this case involves the shameful, potential extinction of a culture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The Love We Make is mostly about placing viewers in an icon's shoes as he makes a rehabilitative gesture toward a city with which he's grown considerable roots.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Fake It So Real has been made with considerable more polish than other do-it-yourself documentaries such as "Total Badass," but the sensibility is similar.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The script simply isn't in the same league as the images that Andrew Dosunmu and the gifted cinematographer Bradford Young have fashioned.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The documentary is briskly paced, often compelling, but a little soft, as it succumbs to hero worship.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Kumaré has a premise that could've been the launching point for one of Sascha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles's satirical outrages.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Say what you will about Burning Man, but writer-director Jonathan Teplitsky can't be accused of spoon-feeding his audience.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film never really goes soft, as Jordan Roberts never loses sight of the fact that these toxic nincompoops are authentically bad for one another.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film is ultimately enjoyable despite its faults, at least partially because it represents an earnest, honest attempt to empathize with struggling American working-class women.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The "male gaze" that often despicably and hypocritically surfaces in these kinds of films is pointedly absent throughout.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Writer-director Andy Gillies's film is extremely self-conscious, but in a fashion that generally serves the material.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    D.W. Young navigates his varying moods with an ease that's particularly impressive for a director making his feature debut, but he never capitalizes on his ability to coax down our guard.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film is an ultra-violent parody of unearned self-entitlement, of people who feel tricked into a lifestyle they refuse to challenge for the comforts it still offers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film's most striking quality, and it's not insignificant, is director Margarethe von Trotta's refusal to fossilize the controversies she dramatizes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    One sees a film called 100 Bloody Acres expecting the requisite allusions to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but an homage to the best scene in Melvin and Howard comes as something of a shock.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Wayne Kramer thankfully refuses to cloak his excessiveness in hedge-betting self-consciousness and the result is a gratifyingly disreputable B-movie blow out.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film, more likely to invite comparisons to the writings of Marcel Proust than the previous Ip Man films, is a gorgeous folly that never entirely emerges from its creator's head.

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