For 84 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Chuck Bowen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Drug War
Lowest review score: 0 33 Postcards
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 84
  2. Negative: 25 out of 84
84 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Revenge of the Electric Car, which details the resurgence of interest in the mass production of the battery car, is sometimes too slick for its own good.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film has a shambling charm that actively disputes an unspoken notion that a documentary must be well-structured in order to effectively land its points.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's the rare coming-of-age narrative that manages to respect the tricky ambiguities of shifting perceptions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The documentary is briskly paced, often compelling, but a little soft, as it succumbs to hero worship.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    A Simple Life may have one of the most accurate titles in all of cinema, as the film has a bracingly casual sense of day-to-day working-class life that recalls the films of Jean Renoir or, more recently, Olivier Assayas.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Greatly cognizant of the revenge genre's penchant for hypocritical demagoguery, director Arnaud des Pallières unsettles the audience's usual feelings of vicarious blood lust.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Paolo Sorrentino's film is really just a huge turn-on that has the bad manners to go sour, succumbing to its own self-delusions of moral/political grandeur.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Farhadi navigates his complicated narrative thicket with an apparent ease that confirms yet again that he's an amazing talent, but here he isn't able to blend the brushstrokes as he has in prior films.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon display a freewheelin' sense of invention that should be watched closely, because they have the raw stuff of major comic filmmakers.
    • 28 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film preaches resolutely to the choir, and cinephiles in sync with the film's politics may still blanch at how snugly their interests are courted.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film is unavoidably slight, but there's a certain pleasure in watching talented people wax passionate about a common source of inspiration.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film is just a stunt or, more specifically, a calling card, but that might be enough for anyone who's ever wanted to kick Mickey Mouse square in his padded, pious balls.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Writer-director Jason Banker finds the ironic beauty that arises from his characters' self-contemptuous and misplaced acts of destruction.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    A confident and exciting genre film, and that's certainly not nothing, but it has a slight impersonality that marks it as either a calling card or a work for hire.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    With The Sacrament, director Ti West has bitten off more of a premise than his classically modest barebones approach to horror movies can presently chew.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Michael Winterbottom and his gifted actors still haven't quite solved the riddle of portraying social disconnection in a manner that's anything other than sporadically involving.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    There's a sense throughout of Steve James rushing and dutifully covering all his bases to evade accusations of creating a puff piece.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    A potential barroom joke blossoms into a surprisingly poignant portrait of three aging men wrestling with how to shed their mortal coil.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    There are cheap shocks in the film, but there are also terrifying moments that poetically command our empathy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Álex de la Iglesia has a real flair for wild action sequences that remain exhilaratingly coherent and sensical.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    It's informed with a subtle but disquieting subtext that insists on the pitfalls of allowing ideology to steer you away from common sense.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The film belongs to a long tradition of horror films that offensively suggest that all atheists might as well hang a Welcome sign up for the devil.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Writer-director Bernard Rose effectively conjoures an atompshere of poetic stoned-1960s British rebellion, a feeling of woozy, intoxicating possibility that will not-so-eventually be squashed.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Hello Lonesome isn't really that much of a movie, but it has something that a number of more polished pictures in the same vein don't: human decency. Sadly, that's noteworthy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The film is content as it is to run clever one-liners and 19th-century pop-cultural references into the same comedic whirlpool.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Like many films early in a director's career, it plays more as a sketchbook of intended future endeavors than as a cohesive and fully realized vision in its own right.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Once it gets its nominal plot and character development out of the way, Bad Posture turns out to be pleasantly surprising.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The Dead ultimately doesn't have much of a pulse, as it fails to transcend the banality of its inevitable theme.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Adam Pesce never condescends to any of his subjects, but good intentions alone don't make for a captivating movie.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    In the end, it feels unavoidably dull, as there isn't much thematic ambiguity to be found in the assertion that humans deserve life that's defined by more than indentured servitude.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Some will find the film compelling, but underneath the riddles it's basically a self-important proclamation of "who the hell knows?"
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Made with considerable reverence, but it doesn't quite manage to tow a tricky tonal line that's required when working with such sensitive and complicated material.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    As a sampler course of what it means to court the Michelin honor, Three Stars is enjoyable, but it's simply a collision of details that never entirely converge into a meaningful whole.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Pang Ho-cheung can't help but humanize Vulgaria's characters, which is a kiss of death for what's meant to be a farce of escalating obscenity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    It lacks the fire and eccentricity that we want from our stories of adventurers driven by obsessions that could be seen as egotistical or just plain bonkers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    A one-joke movie--a good joke, yes, but Brandon Cronenberg's agenda clouds the clarity that's needed to fully deliver the punchline.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    A middling genre movie, but it's oddly likable for its conflicted, unresolved tension.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    After a while, it's hard to escape the fact that the audience is watching a potential monster movie in which most of the fun stuff — i.e. the monster—has been pared away.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Sadly, Douglas Tirola's documentary doesn't follow its subjects' advice regarding the refinement of technique.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The film ultimately doesn't live up to this early potential, as Keanu Reeves loses his way in the third act with too many false climaxes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The Peter Landesman film's overt politics are minimal, aside from defaulting to the myth of John F. Kennedy as a martyr for...something.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    Vincenzo Natali emphasizes technically impressive shots in the service of predictable, boring expository beats, at the expense of elaborating on his main character's growing feelings of isolation and torment.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    There are a few effectively disquieting sequences early on, but the film never recovers from director Kevin Macdonald's indifferent staging of a pivotal moment.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The premise might make sense, if only hypocritically, but the film abandons this already flimsy parody of macho pride disastrously at the last minute.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    There's ultimately little in the way of authentically resonant drama underneath the film's self-conscious busy-ness.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    A sexily chaotic parody of entitlement becomes just another tale of a white dude learning that there are worse things in life than essentially having no problems.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The film ultimately leaves you feeling as if you're stuck watching your cousin's boring slideshow of his trip to Palookaville.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The film is impersonal and populated with wisps of characters who spend most of the running time wandering around in the dark yelling at one another.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    There's considerable talent on display in Exhibition, but it's the kind of thing people mean when they use the term "art film" as a pejorative.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Bowen
    The director diligently keeps her heroine's ego in check, and that's awfully principled of her, but her audience may feel as if they've inadvertently booked a trip with no destination.