For 287 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 29% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 70% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dennis Lim's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 48
Highest review score: 100 Primer
Lowest review score: 0 Pay It Forward
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 287
  2. Negative: 93 out of 287
287 movie reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Dennis Lim
    The brilliant concluding chapter in the death trilogy that inspired Gus Van Sant's artistic rebirth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Dennis Lim
    The Intruder, is a decisive breakthrough--her (Claire Denis) most poetic and primal film to date, as thrilling as it is initially baffling.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Dennis Lim
    Obsessives will be familiar with the "new" material (almost all available on the original DVD), which elaborates on the time-travel metaphysics and tightens the emotional screws. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) shares one additional tender exchange with each family member
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Dennis Lim
    Primer unites physics and metaphysics in an ingenious guerrilla reinvention of cinematic science fiction.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    Darwin's Nightmare strings together cruel ironies into a work of harrowing lucidity. It illuminates the sinister logic of a new world order that depends on corrupt globalization to put an acceptable face on age-old colonialism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    At once robust and ethereal, this is an existential ghost story, with fresh blood pulsing through its veins.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    The lead performances could hardly be better: Gosling, having stolen and propped up entire movies last year ("Murder by Numbers" and "The Believer"), crackles with the economical intensity of a young Tim Roth. Morse, who has racked up decades worth of idiosyncratic character parts, is monumental in this career-peak turn.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    The film's ephemeral, semi-evasive lyricism ultimately works as a modest frame for Bardem's tender, deft portrait, which is in turn suitably expansive and rooted in the most concrete details -- Arenas's pride and anger, his unsentimental wit and defiant vitality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    Without deploying reductive backstory or simplistic psychology, this fearless movie -- easily the year's best debut feature -- illuminates Esther's pathology as an extreme response to the mind-body split.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    Münch's characters are given to a certain rapt, unwieldy thoughtfulness, and accordingly, his films cultivate a mood of almost trancelike introspection.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    It's an astonishing Kidman who contributes the film's -- and maybe the year's -- most inspired turn.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Lim
    As with Téchiné's best work, Strayed is a peculiar, lingering blend of robustness and delicacy--a movie with hardly a single wasted frame, incongruous word, or false gesture.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Best understood as a memorial…Like most memorials, it is respectful, premised on competing obligations to the dead and the living, and eager to stress that the deaths were not in vain. It not only tells us we should never forget but also illustrates how we should remember.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    The film is a model of precision and economy, from the scrupulous framing and editing to the dryly note-perfect performances.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    The final scene is as close to perfection as any Amerindie has come in recent memory--in a single reaction of Marnie's, we see a small but definite shift in perspective; abruptly, Bujalski stops the film, as if there's nothing more to say. It's a wonderful parting shot for a movie that locates the momentous in the mundane.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    With remarkable directness and composure, it shatters the myth of childhood innocence and the deathless taboo of prepubescent sexuality.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    An all-access fan's valentine as artfully scrappy and likably wide-eyed as its subjects.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Like "Blissfully Yours" and Apichatpong's first feature, the exquisite-corpse road movie "Mysterious Object at Noon" (2000), Tropical Malady promotes new ways of seeing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    On a first viewing, the movie seemed a dilution of the formal strategies Jia had perfected-at once less dispassionate and less empathetic. After a repeat viewing, it still strikes me as Jia's fourth-best film (that it's one of the year's best says plenty about the level at which he's working), but it's more apparent that The Worl d's muffled emotional impact should be understood as a function of its setting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    An engrossing quartet of hour-long films by British documentarian Adam Curtis, doesn't so much challenge Freud's theories of the unconscious as shadow them through the corridors of corporate and political power. What emerges is nothing less than a history of 20th-century social control.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Cavite is such a shrewd melding of form and content that any seeming contradictions and shortcomings end up working to the film's advantage.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    You're paying for the view, and it's truly breathtaking.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Bittersweet, haunting, and as original and eccentric as homage movies get.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    At heart, a work of infectious, unironic affection.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    The movie takes shape as an entertaining psychological armwrestle between rank belligerence and blustery condescension.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    You can see the strenuously grand conclusion of Alex Winter's clammy psychological thriller, Fever, coming a mile off, but the director's impeccably chic expressionism and Henry Thomas's persuasive, dread-soaked performance make the wait a painless one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Nolan, withholding master of disorientation in his previous non-linear films, allows far too easy access into the psychic tumult of Al Pacino's cop and Robin Williams's prime suspect.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    The result is a freakishly potent farce.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    There's not a false note among the performances: Henderson, Hart, Shepherd, Markham, and in particular McKee add unspoken complexities to their portrayals.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Recoing's meta-performance is an unemphatic marvel, his placid countenance stretched tight over telltale flickers: a quickly suppressed smirk of incredulous delight, a nervous twitch of chagrin, an abrupt pang of guilt.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Coppola looks beyond the seductive metaphysical puzzle and locates the core of Eugenides's allegory in an obsessive, almost forensic act of remembering, both futile and inexplicably essential.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    McElhinney may have made the ultimate anti-calling card, a movie bold and deranged enough to tip its hat to Edgar Ulmer and Barry Lyndon.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    As with Altman's best movies, Gosford Park is above all an entrancing hum of atmosphere and texture.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Matching their superbly expressive computer-generated counterparts, the actors are all enjoyably hammy, but the real star of Antz is the art direction, a marvel of teeming detail wittier and more sophisticated than the script.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Splendidly entertaining.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Sometimes exerts the gross-out fascination of reality TV's muckier specimens--its arc suggests a slow-motion "Fear Factor," or "Extreme Makeover" in reverse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Spins in place with aplomb, generating exponentially more vertiginous doublings with each sweaty-palmed set piece.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Chéreau's film is an unsentimental, almost uninflected, account of a preparation for death, told with a painful clarity that eventually bleeds into compassion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    Skin is less life story than luxuriant mood bath.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Lim
    As botched-drug-deal tales go, Pusher digs surprisingly deep— its surface clichés give way to an existential despair that finally swallows the movie whole.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Nowhere Man, despite a tossed-off ending, is a compulsive bit of meta-exploitation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Probing the trust-based power games of a sadomasochistic dynamic, the movie is a reasonably thoughtful study of obsessive love.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Though overlong at two hours, 6ixtynin9—only the director's second outing (after 1997's spoofy" Fun Bar Karaoke')—is impressive for the tonal control Ratanaruang applies to his swerving scenario.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A tongue-in-cheek allegory on the hazards of harboring secrets in a relationship, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is most entertaining when the Smiths are hell-bent on mutual annihilation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    5x2
    Deceptively placid and subtly unpredictable drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Raw, fascinating, often unpleasant film.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Oneiric as it is, though, Tony Takitani conveys a powerfully tangible sense of loss and loneliness. In both concrete and existential terms, it's a film that dwells on what the dead leave behind and how the living carry on.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Craven's terror-alert white-knuckler is zippy, unpretentious.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    If little else, the third and supposedly final entry in the X-Men mega-franchise suggests that some movies -- or at any rate some formulas -- are not just critic-proof, they might even be director-proof.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    The golden-hued footage is lovingly faked by ace cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, and the straight-faced result is as improbably touching as the Farrelly brothers' underrated "Stuck on You."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    In much the same fashion as Gregg Araki's "Mysterious Skin", Auraeus Solito's feature debut confronts the taboo of pre-teen sexuality with a startling mix of openness and sensitivity. No less than precocious Maxi, the film is alarming, endearing, and utterly unflappable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Japanese director Ryosuke Hashiguchi ("Like Grains of Sand") enriches his rendition with melancholic ambivalence, sociological specificity, and a knack for delicate epiphany.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    As square-shouldered as you'd expect of a National Geographic co-production. But Bigelow hits all her marks and more within the narrow parameters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    The movie might test your tolerance for the mystical, but its whispery vagueness is of a piece with the luxuriantly grainy atmospherics.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A humane, unassumingly quirky rumination on chance and caprice.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Less interesting for what it has to say about evil -- namely, that it's banal/unknowable/random/everywhere -- than for the microsurgical procedures it performs on genre conventions and expectations.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Captures the latent anxieties of a hazy, ambling existence with pinpoint accuracy.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Gray's brand of film-buffery manifests itself, simply and irresistibly, as ardent, uncynical movie love.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    While the ideas about techno-saturation are far from novel, they're presented with a wry dark humor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Built on a foundation of cinephilia, Cinemania is a valentine of sorts to this movie mecca (you have to love a city, and a film culture, that can sustain such bottomless appetites).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Swinton provides her own brand of incandescence, doubling as the film's aching heart and its center of gravity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Using vagueness as a crutch, Charlotte Sometimes makes a fetish of opacity. Still, whether or not it's a pose, the film's poised reticence is refreshing in context -- a rebuke to the contemporary crop of blabbermouthed American indies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Less a thriller than a comedy, and a formulaic one at that, predicated on an amusing but bizarrely simplistic clash of personalities and cultures.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Weirdest, funniest studio release of the summer so far and a bona fide cult object in the making.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Constipated English whimsy for the easily tickled.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Thrives on vivid incidentals and telling details.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    As a historical document, 24 Hour Party People may be most meaningful to fans whose epiphanies were experienced at least one remove away -- at a different place or time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Enemy of the State isn't really a smart film, but it makes a concerted stab at pretending to be one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    For a quality horny-Italian-teen frolic, you need look no further.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A "guilty pleasure" -- only it's the sort of film that would mock anyone who felt guilt in pleasure.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Set largely in empty public spaces late at night, Blue Gate Crossing supplements its slender narrative with disarming performances and plangent atmosphere.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Neither sardonic nor slapstick enough, Bandits is framed as a flashback -- which merely heightens the general feeling of inevitability.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    It's the sort of movie that could haunt your dreams for weeks. In the end, it is, as promised, all about love—this brave, foolish, improbably moving film's great achievement may be the utter sincerity with which it lives up to its title.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    By turns expansive and astringent, The Mother is a portrait of a woman who, with the dazed courage of someone finally awakened to the world after decades of passivity and repression, keeps on walking.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A nostalgic coming-of-age sex comedy tastefully lecherous enough to indicate that its intended demographic is several decades past puberty.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Come Undone's true subject is, simply enough, the perspective-warping enormity of first love, as preserved in a scrapbook of before-and-after snapshots.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Still astonishingly vital at 96, the Portuguese maestro Manoel de Oliveira here takes a becalmed trip through stormy waters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A lightly comic slacker drama that takes the desperation of teenage tedium seriously.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Winds up a sweetly nonchalant and excellently unwhiny allegory of seeking and gaining entry to the Caucasian fortress that is present-day America, or at least nocturnal New Jersey.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Closer casts a smugly amused eye on the human capacity for betrayal. But because it also seeks to congratulate its audience for its urbane unshockability, it never strays beyond the limits of middlebrow complacency.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    This Canadian cheapie plays like an above-average "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode, filtered through the sensibility of early David Cronenberg.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    Funnier and sprightlier than Eleven, which exhibited a genial self-consciousness but never thought to challenge the genre textbook, Twelve is committed to not taking itself seriously.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    16 Years' greatest asset may be its star: Trainspotting's McKidd, coiled and queasy, transcends the dubious romanticism and hard-man clichés of his role -- he exudes a commanding air of constancy in a film that teeters between the rapturous and the ridiculous.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Lim
    A breezy first-person video essay that goes in search of the average Asian American woman, all the while wondering if there is in fact such a thing.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Lifshitz successfully maneuvers his trio of outcasts toward a state of grace: His vision of misfit utopianism, in its own quiet way, is as defiant as anything in Fassbinder.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    This is pure essence of Bay--it's big, it's loud, it has no context, and if you show up tanked, I'm sure it's really quite poetic.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    To call Twelve and Holding cartoonish is to put it mildly. Marked by reckless tonal shifts, Anthony Cipriano's screenplay traffics in sensationalism and sentimentality.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Solid middlebrow entertainment, a vast period epic with an almost DeMillean taste for excess.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Mariage takes his time and allows the film to drift in an almost ostentatiously casual manner.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Seinfeld's cool professionalism is almost cruelly juxtaposed with the tortured narcissism of heel-nipping tyro Orny Adams, who illustrates the mirror-image view from below. Comedy is pain, whether you're top- or underdog.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Still most easily defined by its unavoidable parallels to any number of lesbian-overtone psychodramas.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Stevenson's performance is at once clueless and fiercely committed, a volatile combination that pays off in the best scene: the mother of all PFLAG meetings.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Kormakur's debut feature fulfills the basic requirements of good slacker comedy: It's grounded in quotidian tedium and frustration, and it acknowledges both the humor and pathos of the relevant coping mechanisms (here, lackadaisical flings, porn addiction, amnesia-courting binges).
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    There are worse crimes being perpetrated in Hollywood than The Real Cancún--an exploitation fantasy no more booby-besotted than a "Porky's" or "American Pie" installment, and certainly no more unreal.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    There's plenty to enjoy -- in no small part thanks to Lau.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Tumbles happily into every pitfall that lines its well-trodden path.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    Boldly engineering a collision between tawdry B-movie flamboyance and grandiose spiritual anomie, Rose's film, true to its source material, provides a tenacious demonstration of death as the great equalizer.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    The film is slight but sweetly inquisitive, and its participants are endlessly fascinating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    A flabby farce in which everyone seems to be making it up as they go along.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Lim
    AKA
    Cumulatively, the echo-chamber syntax achieves a kind of atonal harmony, meshing with the themes of reinvention and self-presentation: The disjunction between the panels is tantamount to the gap between image and reality.

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