Gary Goldstein

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For 649 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 11% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gary Goldstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Kind Words
Lowest review score: 0 Behaving Badly
Score distribution:
649 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Director Judy Chaikin, who co-wrote the film with its deft editor, Edward Osei-Gyimah, infuses this fine portrait with grace, nostalgia and a well-calibrated dose of social commentary.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Despite the pain, sadness and vast emotional upheaval depicted here, Bridegroom is also a movie filled with hope and passion, dignity and pride, and many stirring pockets of joy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Night Will Fall proves a riveting, devastating, heartbreaking and deeply important film, one that you will likely never forget.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The film is as much a provocative exposé of Franklin, who awaits trial on murder charges and has proclaimed his innocence, as it is a vivid portrait of a community long plagued by drugs, crime, poverty and desperation.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's a provocative, absorbing — and at times dicey — study.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Once again, truth proves stranger than fiction in the raucous and provocative documentary Weiner.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Blackfish, named after the Native American term for orcas, remains decidedly one-sided. But when that "side" is such a vital, convincing proponent for the greater protection and understanding of such evolved and majestic creatures, it can't help but win.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Ultimately, though, it's Abbott's show to steal — and steal it he does — as he rivetingly conjures a character who's chaotically charismatic, hugely affecting and for better or worse thoroughly real.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    For a movie that involves creating laughs on the fly, the story is tightly told and acted, which adds to its buoyant pacing, astute observations and well-judged poignancy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Vividly captures a year in the life of eastside Detroit's Engine Company 50.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    [A] fascinating film.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Dunn juggles the story’s vital, at times fantastical narrative, eclectic imagery, and wellspring of human fears, flaws and desires with vision and confidence. But Jessup’s powerfully empathetic performance really seals the deal.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Thanks to the residual love and attraction between the pair, this cocktail-fueled reunion never descends into a "Virginia Woolf"-like grudge match but, rather, remains an equitable, tender, sometimes surprising game of hard truth-telling.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Though it's a decidedly arty piece, Leviathan, named after the biblical sea creature, also lacks much in the way of traditional beauty or splendor. However, the immersive shots of those swooping and circling sea gulls are quite something.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    How the then-newbie performers’ jackpot roles in the heady, heartbreaking show informed their lives and careers forms much of the movie’s stirring narrative spine.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    With its startling mix of 16-millimeter-shot, handmade animation styles using stop-motion, sketches, collages and models, along with uncensored characters often resembling cadaverous marionettes, this twisted look at life in a faded Appalachian town is one decidedly idiosyncratic ride.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    [A] vital, absorbing documentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    By turns lyrical, impressionistic and profound, the documentary The Pearl Button requires patience but offers stirring rewards.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Fine performances (MacKay is a revelation), bristling tension, strong atmospherics and a wealth of superbly wrought, often heartbreaking scenes add up to make "Peril" a must-see for serious filmgoers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    A haunting, immersive portrait of a romance between two men, one that's marked - and marred - by both drug dependency and emotional codependency. Not unlike last year's gay-themed drama, "Weekend," it proves an important and mature piece of business.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Writer-director Jay Bulger combines warts-heavy interview footage of Baker with vivid archival bits, concert clips, jaunty animation and chats with various musical greats to paint a lively portrait of yet another brilliant but wildly self-destructive artist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    What you see is pretty much what you get. Fortunately, what we see is often vivid and lovely.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Bursting with a rich blend of timely themes, superb voice work, wonderful visuals and laugh-out-loud wit, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Zootopia is quite simply a great time at the movies.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Although the film builds an effective sense of dread and contains its share of unnerving visuals and well-timed scares, it proves far more psychological thrill ride than shockfest.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Though much of the movie was shot in secret to protect the filmmakers, Bailey and Thompson managed to create a remarkably vivid portrait of a land and its people, while bringing us two unforgettable heroes in Campbell and Freeth.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    With a unique narrative conceit and a highly root-worthy underdog at its center, the movie stands apart as a kind of feel-good, audio-visual experiment.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Proves a highly auspicious feature debut for Moors and Porto as well as a much-deserved return to the limelight for Washington. Don't miss it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    "Ain't in It" offers a warm and largely satisfying look at a man and his music and, for some, the end of an era.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The mishmash that results is by turns creepy, silly, inventive, darkly funny and, at one point, mind-blowingly bloody. Still, some smart streamlining would have sharpened the focus and amped up the power of this well-shot and edited spookfest.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Anyone with even a shred social conscience should find the comprehensive Syrian civil war documentary “Cries From Syria” a truly devastating experience.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    This expertly constructed film follows the curious and tragic life of the troubled chess icon as he went from child prodigy to global legend to paranoid recluse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Director Greg "Freddy" Camalier skillfully, unhurriedly unfurls a wealth of classic music-biz tales as told by a who's who of R&B, soul and rock 'n' roll royalty and various other players and purveyors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    I have only kind words for The Kind Words, an emotionally rich, beautifully textured family dramedy that touches on a wealth of interpersonal issues with buoyancy, charm and grace. It’s one of the best films so far this year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    While the movie's second half feels more consequential - and more impressively action-packed - than its first part, it also loses some of its initial charm and quirk via a protracted, often dizzying descent into a kind of booty-centric game of hot potato.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Graceland is a tense, twisty cinematic artichoke brimming with moral complexity and intriguing shades of gray.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Guitarist-composer Bill Frisell's wall-to-wall, bluesy-jazzy soundtrack beautifully reflects and unifies the visuals while also helping to personalize this distinct endeavor. It's a terrific achievement.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Although enjoyable, the movie is perhaps best suited to cinéastes already intimate with Bergman's venerated body of work as well as with Ullmann's many acclaimed screen roles.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It's predictable, painless, occasionally amusing fluff perked up by a clever visual interplay with the book text and John Cleese's avuncular narration.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The documentary The Russian Woodpecker is provocative, spooky and just a little nutty.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Director Ozon... infuses the picture with a provocative array of themes, imagery and moods. But it's French film heartthrob Duris' fluid, finely measured, physically deft portrayal of the blossoming David that sets the movie apart.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Although Gruber's personal life and latter accomplishments are mostly addressed via a few closing sentences, "Ahead" remains a fleet and fitting tribute.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Equine fans: Gallop, don’t trot to Ron Davis’ winning documentary Harry & Snowman, which recounts the inspiring story of an underdog show horse, his tenacious trainer and their rise to fame in the late 1950s.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Bold and unsettling, Eastern Boys is a long, strange trip of a film that touches on myriad social, economic and sexual themes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The punk and metal music-infused soundtrack belies the film’s largely gentle approach to a series of small, evocative and well-played moments that combine to slowly heal the Lunsfords and prove that you can go home again.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    It's exhausting, exhilarating, riveting stuff that fans of high-octane filmmaking should not miss.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Fortunately, Pajot and Swirsky don't overdo the minutiae (this is a movie even non-gamers can enjoy), offering just enough insight into the creative process to feel enlightening.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Francella and Lanzani are excellent, not only in their charged moments together, but throughout this nervy and provocative picture.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Akhavan's confidently off-kilter approach to basic human interaction makes for an authentically ironic, adorably wistful, smartly observed ride.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Ultimately, more than 800 demonstrators died amid countless displays of bravery and commitment. Uprising is a vital and valuable tribute to these courageous men and women - and to love of country.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The estimable James Cromwell splendidly anchors this tender, true-life tale.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Du Welz, despite a strong assist from cinematographer Manuel Dacosse, rarely musters the requisite tension or propulsion to immerse us fully in the story's wickedly wild ride.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Tense, smartly crafted and highly resonant, Aliyah is one of the best films so far this year.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    [An] amusing, freewheeling documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It all adds up to a timely, provocative and absorbing tale of money, power and a search for the truth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The film could have used more social, cultural and geographical context. Still, this is such a moving, evocative and rare assemblage of souls, we’re grateful for its existence.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    As one observer here aptly - and non-hyperbolically - sums it up, White is "a founding father of the current state of pop art."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Between the gorgeous locations (New Zealand subs for Colorado), a credible emotional core, some effectively droll dialogue and a well-staged finale, Slow West is worth a look.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    As Madeleine Sackler's absorbing, often tender documentary The Lottery shows, when it comes to the world of charter education, no seemingly good deed may go unpunished -- or at least undercut.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A harrowing picture of the casualties of war — and the unchecked madness that may drive those entrusted to defend us.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Recently deceased master filmmaker Claude Chabrol's 50th and final feature, Inspector Bellamy, proves a sadly bland footnote to an illustrious and influential career.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Although not exactly even-handed, the movie proves a deft look at a reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so effectively trump the power of the average citizen.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    This frank, unruly look at sex, privilege and power unfolds so much like real life that it proves an intriguing and strangely immersive experience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's the offbeat love story at the heart of Liebling's resurrection that provides the film's most powerful - and touching - surprise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Walters engagingly captures Botso teaching music, sculpting, conducting, spending time with his wife and young daughters and even traveling back to his Georgian hometown of Tbilisi. The energy, dedication, kindness and optimism he displays are truly infectious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Only the Young rarely coalesces into anything more meaningful than a casual collection of moments. Maybe that's the point.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    It's the gripping and verbally deft cast, led by a swaggering, formidably brooding Fassbender and a searing and poignant Cotillard, that may emerge most memorable here.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's gritty and grim, but Animals is also a gripping portrait of young junkies in love.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Producer-director Markus Imhoof tackles a hugely vital subject, but the film's loose structure and lack of a specific through-line don't make for the clearest intake of its, well, swarm of information.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The doc flags toward the end, but it remains an absorbing snapshot of a daring time.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Director Scott Thurman presents a largely even-handed recounting, wisely letting folks - and events - speak for themselves. It's riveting stuff.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    There’s much to admire about this alternately tough and tender film, including a fine turn by Caton, some striking outback scenery, and many resonant thoughts about living — and dying.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    A vivid reminder of the hand-in-glove importance of right actor/right role — and the indispensability of those casting mavens who helped make movie history. Good stuff.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Hunter Gatherer is a warmly eccentric little indie that’s amusing, authentic and works against expectation. B
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    What emerges is a vague, often chilling impression of an unpredictable opportunist and provocateur who may not even be sure himself.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Boy
    Writer-director and co-star Taika Waititi ("Eagle vs Shark") never builds much momentum for his largely uneventful if sometimes inventive story.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Love & Taxes is an amusing, endearing trifle.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    That writer-director Jessica Hausner moves things along at such a glacial pace and fills her velvety frames with the equivalent of museum-quality oil paintings instead of with living, breathing humanity, only adds to the film's turgid quality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The ambitious Peepli Live manages to mine substantial dark humor from this tragic situation while offering pointed - and sometimes poignant - social commentary in the process.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The result is a kind of quiet Scandinavian cousin (OK, twice removed) to "Home Alone," in which patient viewers will find sporadic rewards.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A crafty, brainy and uniquely stirring concoction.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    For a drama that’s as quiet and circumspect as Chronic, it’s a decidedly bold film, one that pulls few punches as it slowly peels away the emotional layers of its complex protagonist. t also features an ending that’s as devastating as it is shocking.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    The largely improvisational approach as well as the limited settings and story arc also undercut the picture’s deeper dramatic potential — despite a powerful, beautifully performed finale.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    It's unique, powerful stuff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    This ambitious first feature film about the period made entirely by Rwandans (shot in a remarkable 16 days), while hardly an all-inclusive look at this complex conflict, paints a heartfelt, fairly restrained picture of a nation under siege.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    As it stands, "Terms" proves too uncertain.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, there’s not enough story here to warrant the film’s more than two-hour running time; 90 taut minutes tracking a week in the ruined tunnel would have sufficed. Still, it’s a vivid and relatable tale.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    As for the so-called "food compositions" seen here, like the film itself, they're more impressionistic and artistic than enticing. For a far more satisfying cinematic meal, check out the similarly themed "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The Meddler offers a charming, authentic and well-observed mix of comedy and poignancy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Lapid confidently peppers the film with enough provocative beats, unsettling behaviors and bold camera moves to keep us intrigued — if not necessarily invested.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    The filmmakers vividly illustrate the power and depth of the long-spiraling problem of "food insecurity" by immersing us in the hardscrabble lives of a cross section of our nation's poor.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny nonetheless serves as an informative look back at one of the 20th century's most celebrated figures. (Nov 4, 2010)
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, Dylan Mohan Gray's slow and steady exposé never quite manages the propulsive gut punch its incendiary subject demands.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    [An] absorbing, well-crafted documentary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    The profoundly sensitive, often wryly funny look at friendship, romance, sexual attraction and gender identity carries themes and dynamics that feel as timeless as they do up-to-the-minute.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A memorable romantic comedy that stands to bring back the genre’s good name, “It Had to Be You” is as funny, endearing and enjoyably off-kilter as its adorable star, Cristin Milioti.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The Childhood of a Leader is a chilly — and chilling — political thriller by way of a provocative domestic chamber piece. Strikingly mounted, lighted, shot and scored, this tense, decidedly arty film marks a bravura feature directing debut for young American actor Brady Corbet.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A chilling, surprisingly effective crime thriller.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    As the filmmaker unfurls the harsh, essential facts, both past and present, about America's complex relationship with drugs — along with tobacco and alcohol's longtime place in the equation — the movie gains serious power and momentum.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Emotions run deep and wide here; anyone who’s ever lost a parent, longed for love and acceptance, or tried to find his or her true self should easily relate. It’s a terrific film.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    If this all sounds fairly rote, it's far from it. That's because the filmmaker largely eschews done-to-death family dynamics, forced obstacles and predictable responses for authentic interaction, organic humor and a hopeful vitality.

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