For 751 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ella Taylor's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 751
751 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Though the frighteningly late-term abortion at its center hints at larger sins in the last gasp of Nicolae Ceausescu’s iron-fisted regime, it’s no metaphor, but a sordidly visceral transaction conducted in the next best thing to a back alley.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Pan's Labyrinth Like his terrific 2001 "The Devil’s Backbone," Mexican horrormeister Guillermo del Toro's new movie offers us both real-life and fantastical monsters, and if you know his work, you won't waste time figuring out which to root for.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Not just one of the best Hollywood movies about race, but, along with "Collateral," one of the finest portrayals of contemporary Los Angeles life period.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    The movie's scale is minuscule, but the physical and emotional landscapes it travels are as broad, deep and mysterious as the human psyche itself.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Sex holds in perfect tonal balance, and without cynicism, a brew of maliciously transgressive comedy and tender sympathy for its tortured characters, all gripped by terror of love, or sex, or both.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    There are moments here that are so distinct in emotional timber it's as if they were directed by someone who'd skipped the last two decades of American genre film and opted to get back to basics -- like character, and the ways in which two actors can sit in a smoke-filled car and turn an everyday conversation into art.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    At his best, Altman turns us into interlopers who have stumbled into a world that seems to predate us and persuades us it will continue to teem with life long after we leave the theater.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Talk to Her is as melodramatic -- and, sporadically, as funny -- as any Almodóvar comedy, but its mood is one of muted, aching loneliness, while the color scheme leans less to hot reds and magentas than to rich, elegant shades of ochre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    This divinely eccentric movie feels as if it came straight to the screen from one man’s wild and wantonly free imagination.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    Fraught with a deep sadness and sense of yearning. Yet, it is also an enormously -- at times, even uproariously -- comedic film, not because it feels any obligation to be "funny" in some contrived, screenwriterly sort of way, but because Coppola has set out to make a movie set to the rhythms of real (rather than reel) life.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Ella Taylor
    I’m Going Home is as much an ambiguous poem to Paris as it is a study in artistic and physical mortality, and an elegy for a more decent past as it gives way to a brassier, more corrupt new century.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Unfolds with such leisurely, terrible beauty, it takes a while to realize that what we are witnessing is the children's long slide into beggary, exacerbated by the slow torture of faint hope.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    And like all great family sagas, The Best of Youth, while tipping its hat to the painful confusion of living life forward, reels it backward to give it the thrilling significance of time and place.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Brokeback Mountain is at once the gayest and the least gay Hollywood film I've seen, which is another way of saying that Lee has a knack for culling universality from the most specific identities.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A raucously entertaining slice of slapstick dressed up as domestic satire.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The triumph of Capote is that it both grants and shares with him that twisted brew of obsessive identification and monstrous detachment that is the fertile burden of the artist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    In its breathlessly claustrophobic way the movie is vital and passionate, and lit with a lyric beauty that washes over love scenes and violent acts alike.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    This fluidly paced film, with its keen observation of the confused longing for love, family and stability in an inherently unstable world, nonetheless keeps faith with the Czech genius for holding the tonal line between tragedy and the absurd.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Though it includes plenty of footage from those terrible days, this wonderful, devastating documentary is as much Dallaire's story as it is the story of a whole continent abandoned by a cynical world.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The story is as wonderful in the showing as it is in the telling, by an African griot (oral historian) who stirs our tragicomic passage from birth to death, into a simple clay pot.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Another soulful gem from the peerless Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A drama of uncommon beauty and emotional resonance.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The meat of the film is their wittily edited interviews with company members, now in their 80s and 90s and scattered around the world, many of them still active as teachers and consultants.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    By staying focused on the children -- frightened evacuees from the London Blitz whose parallel war in Narnia both taps into and finally quiets their unspoken terrors -- Adamson keeps faith with the humanity of Lewsis' tale.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Like "The Pianist," Fateless painstakingly builds up the reality of what it is like to be drawn into a perfectly arbitrary hell you can neither comprehend nor rationalize.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Jonathan Demme's superb film of Neil Young's 2005 performance at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium is as fervent a musical homage as was Demme's bubbly tribute to the Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense (1984).
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Seattle filmmaker James Longley's poetic essay on the plight of ordinary Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds trapped in a war simultaneously waged over their heads and in their faces stands head and shoulders above an overcrowded field of documentaries about the Iraq war.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Venus may be a leering male fantasy, but it is also, improbably but persuasively, a love story as tender as it is transgressive. It's a wry celebration of the tyranny of beauty, and the tragicomic way in which desire outruns the betrayals of dying flesh.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The supreme achievement of this lovely film — all three rhythmic, leisurely hours of it -- is that what borders on faintly fascistic body worship in the novel instead feels as perfectly natural to us as it does to the lovers. Lawrence would kvell.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    This loving throwback to the paranoid thrillers of the ’70s is a beauty.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Personally, I wouldn’t take a toddler (unless he was the son of Tarantino) to this intermittently, legitimately terrifying tale of a boy and his Loch Ness monster. But everyone else should blow off "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and show up for the best kiddie picture of the season -- and, along with "Ratatouille," of the year.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Speaks so eloquently for itself, there's not much more for me to do than urge you to get over to the Nuart for the one week it's playing in Los Angeles.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Powerfully enigmatic study of the fundamental opacity of human relations.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Magnificently twisted black comedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Payami uses an exquisitely delicate juxtaposition of long shots and close-ups, mobility and stillness, music and found sound, comedy and pathos to suggest both the longing for self-expression and communication, and its limits in a repressive society.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Has a marvelous, pent-up passion.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Genuine thriller -- with one crisis hurtling after another, heightened by hauntingly brief moments of peace.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    AKA
    So never mind the Xmas schlock -- go treat yourself at once to this sensationally entertaining soul food.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Superbly adapted by Fred Schepisi from the Booker Prize-winning novel by Graham Swift, Last Orders pays quietly passionate tribute to the unsung working-class generation that fought World War II and survived to take up apparently humdrum lives.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Macdonald's singular achievement is to restore -- through interviews and archival footage -- the dead to such vivid life, you weep for them and for their families, who have only memories to live off.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    In the nearly 30 years since the movie was released (it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1972), one forgets how falling-about-funny is this mad caper.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Though Kippur seems a creature radically different -- more nakedly autobiographical, more naturalistic, more forgiving -- from Gitai's highly conceptual and stylized body of work, there are clear thematic continuities.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    His (Soderbergh's) work has taken on echoes of a classier, bygone age of cinema, at once more literate and lighthearted.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The movie survives beautifully both as an elegant thriller and as a study of the twisted infantilism that shapes the fanatic heart.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Makes no attempt to entertain us. Much of this extraordinarily tactful movie, like "Rosetta," is shot in close-up, focusing on the back of Olivier's neck, as if inviting us to see the world as he does.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Confidence grooves on the giddy joy of storytelling -- on the digressive whimsy of good dialogue, on playful editing, on the ways in which con men -- and filmmakers -- psych out their victims.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The kind of art film that's rarely seen anymore -- the kind that trusts the audience to be as intelligent as the director.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Exquisitely calibrated domestic drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Notable for its power of surprise and its refusal to immediately clarify the confusion of these lost souls.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A quietly devastating song.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Not a campy movie. True, it has its ironies, but though you can read it ironically if you wish, Haynes' triumph is that it also plays beautifully straight.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The kind of small film -- morally ambiguous, graceful in its admission of imperfect knowledge, at once specific and universal -- that expands our understanding of the emotional economy of family life, with its ebb and flow of love and hostility, secrecy and egregious candor. You must see this film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Tuck Everlasting is a wise and beautiful poem to the idea that the fundamental human tragedy is not death, but the unlived life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The true mystery is the journey itself, which will turn out to be one of the most spiritually enervating, and elevating, Outward Bound courses ever undertaken.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    To Be and To Have works in the grandest tradition of documentary filmmaking -- it keeps company with a small, specific place going about its business, and from it parses the whole world.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A classic of politically engaged filmmaking, based on a book by Saadi Yacef, a former FLN leader who also produced the picture and played a version of himself.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Deliciously wicked, strangely poetic portrait (adapted by Patrick McGrath from his own novel) of a schizophrenic man at once tyrannized and elevated by oedipal terrors.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    May turn out to be the finest American indie of the year.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    With its open, spontaneous elasticity, White Oleander is that rare Hollywood film -- an attempt to understand, without judgment, a world on its own terms.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A charmer, complete with cute critters voiced by the ultrafamous.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Just about everyone worth knowing in All About My Mother is female in spirit, which is to say they're all sexy, impossible, powerfully durable souls, quarrelsome and loyal, inventive at navigating the tragedies.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Adaptation is hardly profound, but it's one of the most soulful and loopily romantic movies I've seen all year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Easily the most brilliant of the genuflections bestowed on the American gangster movie by the French New Wave.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A waterlogged little jewel of a Chinese movie that you must rush out and see at once or else.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Caouette lifts his story clear out of the victimized whine that bogs down so many confessional memoirs and offers the viewer instead an intimate look inside his ravaged yet loving head, at once street-smart and haloed by the naiveté of a young saint.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Above all else, though, Capturing the Friedmans is a vividly personal, devastating story of a family that was hopelessly compromised years before it was scapegoated for crimes that two of its members may or may not have committed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Terrifically entertaining specimen of Spielbergian sci-fi, incomparably better than "A.I." and as dark a movie as the director has made since "Schindler's List."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Has the sprawling canvas of an epic and the emotional heat of classical melodrama.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    As it turns out, Shrek 2 is one of the funniest movies I've seen in years. But I'm far from sure that it's a kids' movie anymore, even though, like its predecessor, it's a thoroughly sugared-up reading of the book, by veteran New Yorker cartoonist William Steig, on which both films are based.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The movie's strength lies in its portrayal of a many-sided genius, as manipulative as he was charming and persuasive, monomaniacal to a fault, generous and sweet yet utterly clueless about the emotional havoc he wrought in the name of science.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The movie is thrillingly subjective, teeming with the fullness of everyday proletarian life that one finds in the work of the directors who most influenced Marston in the making of this movie: Hector Babenco and the Brazilian realists, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    What makes The Sea Inside such a riveting drama is that none of these relationships is sufficient to make Ramón want to go on living.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    The best of the Harry Potter films so far, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is also hands down the scariest, and the deepest.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    A humane and precociously wise documentary by the young Los Angeles director Amir Bar-Lev.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Thrilling documentary.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Ella Taylor
    Superb documentary.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    The five interwoven narratives in this visceral but disciplined and beautifully acted movie show to devastating effect how ordinary men and women -- and especially vulnerable boys desperate for masculine role models -- get caught up in the seductive violence and are ruthlessly destroyed by the network's hardened henchmen.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Once feels handmade in the best sense, an impressionistic feast for the senses cobbled together from lovely grace notes and a warm palette of reds and yellows.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Line for line, Knocked Up isn't quite as funny as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which got most of its laughs from the friction between prissy Carell and his sex-crazed stoner co-workers. But it is equally good as a nutty anthropology of marginal living and as an illustration of how much energy it takes to do nothing in a work-obsessed society.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Faster and, if possible, furiouser than its predecessors.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    The Host is a miracle of breathless play with form and tone that also seethes with attitude and ideas, from pure movie love to pointed sociopolitical commentary to a bleak existentialism about the inherent cruelty of our world.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Michael Schorr's delightfully deadpan comedy debut blew away the German box office, and once you let yourself sink into its gentle rhythms, as slow and deliberate as those of its protagonist and inflected with tiny but significant shifts of pace and tone, you'll see why.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Sensational viewing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Its suggestion that Israel, of all nations, should know better than to persecute minorities within and across its borders, give the film a thrilling universal appeal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    One senses that this is an intensely personal project for Binder, who is not as forgiving as he might be toward the mercurial mother. Still, the film is carried by Costner and Allen, who project a chemistry so incrementally built on reluctant camaraderie, they almost seem like siblings.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    The movie's true genius lies in the exquisite animation, a blend of hand-drawn and state-of-the-art digital technology that suggests an old world being bullied into a new one.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    With masterful tonal balance and control, and a visual sophistication as yet unusual among Israeli directors, Gabizon catches both the absurdity and the sadness of what it means to live with such daily threat and confusion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Directed by Agnès Jaoui, who made the equally delightful "The Taste of Others," this comedy of manners with a serious purpose centers on a group of loosely connected neurotics, all working in the rarefied worlds of amateur chorales.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Director Roland Suso Richter gives a raw, frank but sophisticated account of the excruciating logistics of this great escape, and the appalling, inspiring blend of betrayal and courage that attended the group's herculean efforts.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    A warped, but beautiful and strangely hopeful, coming-of-age tale.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    For all its hectic comings and goings, though, Kings & Queen is superbly controlled, gracefully shot and edited, and, for its entire 150 minutes, as engrossing as its meanings are opaque.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Boasts one of the most entertaining and bitterly astute screenplays I've had the pleasure of listening to in a while, with its lengthening spirals of deceit, mendacity and one-upmanship, and its elegant linguistic dances around difficult truths.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    A morally complex and emotionally satisfying drama about the vagaries of Catholic response to the Third Reich.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Real kudos goes to Molly Parker, searing as a heroin-addicted mother immobilized by the death of her husband, and to a poised little boy named Harry Eden, who's astonishingly good as the 10-year-old son desperately trying to hold her to the straight and narrow.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    A painful, hilarious and immensely moving rumination on mid-life angst.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    The first half of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a brilliant blend of the best of Burton and Dahl, with some unexpected input from Charles Dickens. In the second half, the contraptions take over, drowning whatever story remains...But it falls frustratingly short of the masterpiece it might have been.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Kurt Russell is adorably self-mocking as the cluelessly enthusiastic dad in his dorky superhero uniform, and even the spiffy effects lack self-importance. "The Incredibles" it ain't, but Sky High will do nicely.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    This gossamer work is one of the loveliest examples of minimalist cinema I've seen in a long time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    Brilliantly edited for drama and irony, The Goebbels Experiment juxtaposes little-seen German propaganda films with excerpts from Goebbels' diary.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Ella Taylor
    This is a very funny film about a creepy, excruciatingly lonely world.