For 147 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 5.7 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: 76 out of 147
  2. Negative: 43 out of 147
147 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Todd Kellstein doesn't allow you to entirely indulge convenient (though understandable and perhaps irresistible) armchair outrage.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The conclusion is a testament to the fact that authentic justice is probably only attainable by accident.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Marc H. Simon's documentary has the thrust of a great American noir or black comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    Albert Maysles's portrait of Iris Apfel gradually emerges with cathartic clarity without compromising her inherent mystery.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The film ultimately understands poverty as a profound and often irreversible desolation of terra firma.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Bowen
    The film's plot isn't unusual, but director Ron Morales strips it down to its primal essence.
    • 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.
    • 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
    The film has an exhilarating tossed-off quality that characterized many of the most entertaining works of the French New Wave.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's the rare coming-of-age narrative that manages to respect the tricky ambiguities of shifting perceptions.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Director John McNaughton, once an agile orchestrator of seemingly incompatible tones, has retained his talent for teasing insinuation.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Rebecca Thomas's debut feature is a sensible and humane exploration of youthful curiosity.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    Throughout, Joe Swanberg connects Generation Y's fetish for past pop-cultural kitsch to its attending sexual insecurities.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film abounds in guilt and grief, reveling in a general sense of hopelessly broken social connection.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    It's a comedy concerned with myopia that doesn't succumb to the self-obsessed pitfalls of that subject.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    This is a confident work that smashingly updates the Southern gothic for contemporary generations.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Bowen
    The film provides a crisp, succinct answer to a question that nags most Americans: What the hell happened?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    You grow to feel as if you're arbitrarily changing the channel back and forth from a diverting horror film to a promising odd-couple comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    After a surprising development, the film grows slack and sentimental, reverting to the survival-movie platitude about hardship making you a better human.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The documentary is briskly paced, often compelling, but a little soft, as it succumbs to hero worship.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The "male gaze" that often despicably and hypocritically surfaces in these kinds of films is pointedly absent throughout.
    • 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.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    There are cheap shocks in the film, but there are also terrifying moments that poetically command our empathy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film soon settles into a confident, well-staged groove, primarily because of two unambiguously terrific performances.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The script is busy and unconvincing, and much of the acting is lousy, but there are haunting touches.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The images gorgeously embody both the fear and the beauty of James's exploratory experiments with socialization.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Camilla Luddington refuses to predictably foreground her character's escalating fear, allowing us instead to see that fear as being at war with her inquisitive intelligence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    This is, to put it mildly, a lot of information for one documentary, which inevitably devolves to resemble not so much an anthology as a slideshow of genocide's greatest hits.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Writer-director Andy Gillies's film is extremely self-conscious, but in a fashion that generally serves the material.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    The film effectively underlines the one undertaking that time-travel fantasies can never truly allow: escape from ourselves.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Chris Messina is eventually a little too indifferent to the machinations of the plot, but the film, however inescapably sentimental, is a romantic daydream that casts a lovely spell.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Quentin Dupieux has a talent for rendering otherworldly concepts banal in a manner that reflects the stymied desires of his characters.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    It waffles between dramatizing youthful self-absorption and succumbing to it, and this tonal instability comes to effectively mirror the domestic discord that's revealed to be its real subject.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Bowen
    Like other Niccol films, Good Kill is about an essential innocent who dreams of release from a highly structured, classist, and hypocritical environment.
    • 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.
    • 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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