Desson Thomson

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For 1,672 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Desson Thomson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Secrets & Lies
Lowest review score: 0 Darkness Falls
Score distribution:
1672 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Savvy without being smug, cute without being saccharin, and funny without slipping into over-the-top goofiness, this is a 14th-century good time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A psychic journey deep into the very fabric of Iranian (and by extension, all) life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Penn's performance is the movie's ultimate grace note. As funny and ingenious as Allen's films can get, they are rarely known for depth of character.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    The movie finds charming humor in a world full of sectarian strife between Protestant and Catholic.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Big muscular guys pruning roses IS funny and charming.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    The story that emerges has elements of romance, tragedy and even silent-movie comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    An entertainment to be seen and appreciated in momentum. As such, it is constantly gripping
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Lee, who made the upbeat "Eat Drink Man Woman," plays this double love story as brightly as possible. There's peppy social satire in the smallest of gestures.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    To watch this movie is to be moved not only by an affecting, warmly spirited yarn, but also by the wisdom that seems to waft to us directly from those snow-capped peaks.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    No matter what is going on in the story, these star-crossed lovers are always fascinating to watch.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This finale turns Assisted Living from fascinating experimental film into something finer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This is a charmfest of a movie, for bird lovers and non-bird lovers alike.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Witty, sweet and charming but never sappy, the movie joins the heady company of such extraordinary child-centered movies as "The 400 Blows," "My Life as a Dog" and "Au Revoir Les Enfants."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    There's a collective scintillation about its rich, distinctive characters, narrative serendipity and ineffable magic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    You will surely leave this movie shocked, shaken and surprisingly moved. And definitely stuck on that poor octopus.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A movie of biting social observation. And it masterfully avoids Manichaean simplicity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It won't be long before you feel the compulsion to watch again. There is too much to appreciate in one sitting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A helter-skelter ride of the soul, an unblinking, white-knuckle crash landing into the mushy mysteries of the subconscious.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    There's such a sense of overall intensity, you know you have been though something powerful.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It's a stylish and classic gangster saga about the clashing of rival empires.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Odd, complex and charming.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    What makes this movie deeply fascinating is the fight Haskell wages. As the semi-willing subject of this movie, he's determined to gain the upper hand or, at least, come out somewhat sympathetic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A compelling, compact story about a country that was left to destroy itself while one man presided futilely over the carnage.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This is as good a visual treat as you and your kids can expect.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Hums with compassion for its outlandish, lonely but always sweet characters.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Remains highly watchable throughout, for its atmosphere and the actors.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A delightful, wholesome experience for the family.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    As exciting for its narrative twists and turns as for its Korean textures and rhythms.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    For the right audience, this movie is the butt-kicking, dirt-talking, blood-spurting equivalent of beautiful music.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A deft, entertaining story that mixes menace with charm and satire with seriousness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It's definitely NOT a conventional biopic about Kurt Cobain. (Nor, as its title oddly suggests, is it about the demise of writer-director Van Sant.) It's a tone poem, an elliptical, fictionalized meditation about the ill-fated rock 'n' roll superstar.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A most excellent sequel, funnier and livelier than the original.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    If the movie is straightforward and predictable in its attitude, it also exudes a sort of documentary lyricism.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Director Jay Chandrasekhar ... has found the perfect balance of old-fashioned charm and postmodern touches -- but not too many to overshadow the show's precious texture.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Take this trip with him and chances are, you'll find the journey increasingly funny and touching.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Belgian actor [Jan] Decleir's tough-guy vulnerability ... gives an otherwise standard police procedural extraordinary grace and power.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A sobering reflection on our culture's attitude toward violence.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A gee-wonderful virtual visit to the arid orb, which uses ingenious technical sleight of hand to -- let's face it -- fake it beautifully.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    No matter what's coming their way, post-apocalyptic doom or gloom, this James Gang of the galaxy is just plain fun to watch.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This story doesn't just belong to them anymore. This richly observed, sometimes heartbreaking movie has become ours, too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Macabre, yes, but the movie's also inventive and funny. You get a lot of smart bang-bang for your buck.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    And thanks to great existential one-liners from scriptwriter Robert Harling (with appropriate plaudits to novelist Olivia Goldsmith, of course), gender warfare is made amusing for almost everyone.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    First Contact, written by Ric Berman, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, pulsates with great imagination, amusing characters and the fundamental optimism handed down by "Star Trek" founder Gene Roddenberry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It scores its comic points with dire one-liners, an astringent dearth of sentimentality and only-in-America developments.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Probably the most engaging Potter film of the series thus far.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This often macabre comedy allows us to doff such civilized traits as taste and decency. We're free to laugh at anything, and we do. Oh, the shame -- and the good time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    A sort of romance noir -- spruced up in pressed white linens -- this British-made film is elegant, uncompromising and oh-so- veddy nasty.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Treat this project as you would a safari: It has its slow parts but the wildlife makes it worthwhile.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It's not the deepest thematic concern you ever saw on screen. But it's watchable, great fun.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    There are extremely touching moments between Jesse and mystical Randolph, who seems to understand just about everything; and, more tellingly, between Jesse and mechanic Jim.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Director Demme is smart and sensitive enough to sit back and listen to the music without attention-getting intrusions. The tunes are subtly compelling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    As Tsotsi, Chweneyagae turns his face into a living battle mask -- curved, molded and sandpapered into smooth ruthlessness. But as the story unfolds, Tsotsi's mask begins to crack, and his humanity begins to flow through.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    There is a clear festive buzz, as attendees laugh, bob and listen to Chappelle's impish, inventive comedy, and some of the best music hip-hop has to offer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Director Fernando Eimbcke, in an extraordinary debut, never expresses contempt for his characters. By examining their inner lives with compassion and respect, he inspires us to do the same.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Huppert and Greggory provide the emotional impact. They respond accordingly, imbuing their mutual suffering with an exacting and moving finesse.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Chabrol arranges his story with a subtle, almost clinical accumulation. And it takes close attention to the movie's seemingly innocuous details to understand his deeper purposes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    That the actor performs so effortlessly, so casually, is the real magic here. You forget about technique, and, best of all, you forget you're watching a black-and-white subtitled French movie from the dusty past.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Mostly a string of talking-head interviews, but those talking heads -- more than 16 men and women -- are compelling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Never intends to be deeper than a magician's hat, and its wonderfully low-tech stop-motion technique is not only a nod to Czech animator Jan Svankmajer but a tacit rebuke to computer-graphics-heavy fantasies such as "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Mirren's finely calibrated performance reveals a complex woman coping with a bewildering world, and Blair's growing sympathy for his beleaguered monarch gradually becomes ours. This nuanced compassion may not impress the real Queen Elizabeth II, but, for us commoners, it makes for a richer experience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    The movie is given unusually wide dimension by director Taylor Hackford, who creates a subtly scary drama that emphasizes character over caricature (in most cases) and plausibility over formulaic stupidity (again, in most cases).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Thanks to Schlesinger's exacting direction and Malcolm Bradbury's witty, restrained script, these characters are kept more amusing than horribly pitiable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Although the movie loses power in its final sections, the performances, writing and Richard Pearce's direction transform this shaky idea into something rewarding.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi take a deeper, edifying interest in the moral ambiguities that arise between Maurice and Jessie. And thanks to our warm investment in both characters, we're more than willing to sign up for this existential ride. We allow this relationship -- and the movie -- to take us places we'd never usually go.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It is a snapshot of a great actor in his prime and a chance for us to see one of yesteryear's great films in all its kingly luster.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    As we vicariously participate in their daily rituals, we find ourselves at the ground level of spiritual worship. It's hard to recall a similar documentary that brings viewers so palpably close to that sacred experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Although we miss some of the finer details that made Jhumpa Lahiri's 2003 book so meaningful, we're moved by the movie's themes of cultural displacement and the power of chance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    As with many of his films, Rudolph creates an oyster of a work. You need to jimmy a little around the edges before its delicate wonder becomes apparent - which it does, beautifully.[23 Dec 1994, p.36]
    • Washington Post
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Wedding has enough coincidences, screamfests, drunken rants and shock revelations to fill a season of "Desperate Housewives," but it comes across as finely textured drama, thanks to the performers, who make their characters so persuasive and three-dimensional, we're too mesmerized to care about the story's more overwrought or histrionic passages.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    An enormously enjoyable gothic yarn from Mexico, transfuses the genre with wry grotesquerie, but retains respect for the old, classic films.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Flanders, which takes us from the rustic heartland of northern France to the killing fields of an unnamed foreign locale, has such a primitive poetry, we are moved even by its most gruesome moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom creates a compelling ride of a movie. Every beat of the film is weighted with significance, and our mounting dread becomes almost intolerable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Director Pascale Ferran makes this a sort of opera of two bodies, as the characters discover not only each other but themselves. And the French filmmaker cannily turns their corporeal discoveries into a moral mission, two desperately lonely souls crying for spiritual freedom in a world of moral constriction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg and director David Yates have transformed J.K. Rowling's garrulous storytelling into something leaner, moodier and more compelling, that ticks with metronomic purpose as the story flits between psychological darkness and cartoonish slapstick.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Beam yourselves aboard Sunshine, set 50 years in the future. The voyage works, beautifully.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    This Is England, set in the social dystopia of Margaret Thatcher's Great Britain, gives us something far more humane and complex than a culturally specific memoir about Doc Martens shoes, reggae music and mindless aggression.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Cronenberg's deeper purpose is to pull audiences into an affecting, powerful story about right and wrong.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Fascinating facts and testimony.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Though Lust, Caution resounds with these disconcerting themes, it operates on the same principle that distinguishes all lasting romances, be they "Wuthering Heights," "Casablanca" or "When Harry Met Sally."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    You can expect to fall about, snort and hoot, at times hard enough to hurt inner body parts that only doctors can identify.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Corbijn makes us achingly aware of the singer's talent, the haunting poetry of his songs and how, living in the gloomy culture he did, his passing was virtually inevitable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    One artist's moving tribute to another.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Watching Kidman, Leigh and -- in his nutty, damn-the-torpedoes way -- Black as they torment, confound and torture one another amounts to a vicarious thrill ride in human behavior.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    In many ways, watching the movie is BETTER than concertgoing. We can enjoy that buzzy feeling of community without the fist-pumping biker obscuring our view.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Tautou is a delight, as always, using her bubbly personality to comic advantage. And Elmaleh makes for a sort of poor man's Buster Keaton, perpetually stressed but refusing to surrender, no matter how much damage he sustains to himself or his wallet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Vibrant and engaging documentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It's as much fun to anticipate what he's (Herzog) going to say as it is to appreciate the snowy landscapes, belching volcanoes and mustachioed seals before his lens. And what could have been a conventional travelogue becomes a sort of ruminative odyssey of the mind.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Thanks to the new guerrilla narrative, the world has a constant flow of images to file in its collective consciousness. And that camera-testable accountability slowly becomes a global civic right that fulfills the noblest purpose of journalism -- to bring truth to power.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    All in all, this is a celebration of Australian exuberance, a national ethic of adventurousness and enormous charisma.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    It is stylistically breezy but deeply sincere, as Tickell offers a thoughtful, well-researched argument for alternative energy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Aside from the plot -- and if you can figure out the plot, the CIA's special projects unit wants to talk to you -- Cop II is a rarity: a sequel that's as good as the original, if not better.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Despite its fragmentary, seat-of-the-pants plot, Chungking Express abounds with staccato style and frenetic charm. It's the cinematic equivalent of popcorn on a hot stove. There are "jump-cut" shots, freeze frames, stirring (and often beautiful) images and a general sense of boundless energy, all of which capture perfectly the Zeitgeist of Hong Kong society. [15 Mar 1996, p.N43]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    To come out of the summer haze and enter the dark (and cool) wonder of Batman Returns is a pleasure not to be denied. Even more than before, this cartoon opera about cloistered personalities bathes exultantly in moody blues, gothic music swirls and a symphony of character tragedy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Only one filmmaking team should be allowed to make sequels: The Naked Gun people. In Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, they reach maximum velocity immediately. Naked 3 sets such a great pace at the beginning, it can't possibly keep up. Inevitably, the movie has its slower sections, coming almost to a halt in a slapstick finale at the Oscars. But wherever you are in the story, there's always something funny coming at you.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Nadja has some delicious qualities. Most delectable of all is Elina Lowensohn as Nadja, the brooding daughter of Count Dracula, an otherworldly being with ebony lipstick, lusciously dark eyebrows, a dark hood and a great accent to match.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Apocalypse Now Redux, which contains about 50 minutes of extra footage, is Coppola's final artistic assault. This is the one where he honors his vision -- or clears his name, whichever way you look at it. Does he do it? Perhaps the first thing to get out of your mind when watching this "Apocalypse," or the 1979 version, is worrying about whether the film's a success or failure. It's both. The more you see of "Apocalypse," the more obvious its triumphs and mistakes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Desson Thomson
    Apart from moments of conventional schlock (the ending included), "Serpent" twists with expertly drawn menace. The editing's snappy, the images visceral, and Craven's Haiti is a craze of blood ceremonies and political rioting -- it's set during the fall of "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Desson Thomson
    This is 90-proof, single-malt stuff. You sip it neat and you don't handle heavy machinery afterward. This movie will stay with you long after you've seen it, thanks to Thewlis's performance, Leigh's direction, Andrew Dickson's haunting bass-and-harp soundtrack, cinematographer Dick Pope's indelible images -- and the unalloyed, naked conviction of it all.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Desson Thomson
    To watch "Time" is not merely to marvel at the heavens we cannot yet know; it is also to admire Hawking, now 50, for approaching such daunting problems on a daily basis, despite every possible problem the cosmos can throw at him.

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