Gary Goldstein
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For 352 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gary Goldstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Aliyah
Lowest review score: 0 Behaving Badly
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 352
352 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's a provocative, absorbing — and at times dicey — study.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Vividly captures a year in the life of eastside Detroit's Engine Company 50.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 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."
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    The wildlife documentary One Life is a visually gorgeous, at times astonishing screen experience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The young filmmaker rarely digs beneath the harsh environment's many fraught surfaces. He simply lets his cameras be his guide.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    While often affecting and absorbing, the film proves intellectually and contextually light. This is especially true given a leisurely running time that could have easily accommodated more dimensional probing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It's not all doom and gloom. This crisply shot picture also offers stirring views of these industrious little creatures, their complex habitats and the rich amber goodness they create. Some jaunty animation enlivens things as well.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It's all presented with equal parts humor and sensitivity, though Buford doesn't much delve into the potential landmines here - racism, classism, exploitation - allowing the power of assimilation and opportunity to carry the day.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The Wall is a remarkably involving film, especially given its brave, self-imposed limitations.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    [A] captivating documentary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Campbell Scott's strong narration (well-written by Allentuck) and fun vintage musical selections effectively round out this provocative portrait.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Blethyn brings tremendous empathy to the introspective, determined Elisabeth, while the tall, gaunt and dreadlocked Ousmane fleshes out his less-dimensional role with a haunting sadness that speaks volumes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A terrifically entertaining, smartly constructed trip down memory lane with one of the American stage's most legendary troupers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    In all, writer-director Jennifer M. Kroot effectively jams in quite a lot about the super-busy Takei.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Writer-director Michael Walker keeps a firm grip on his smart material, offering up big laughs, lots of recognizable behavior and, in the end, a wistful glimpse at life's inevitable priorities.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Smartly, the filmmakers minimize their topic's punchline potential. But even though the running time is short, the movie feels stretched out.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    An impressive array of archival news footage, enlightening interviews with activists, politicos, academics and journalists, plus a dispensable Alfred Molina-narrated animated parable, round out this provocative, if at times overly ambitious effort.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    For all its emotional roller-coastering and wild intrigue, the film's purpose — as well as its title character — feels more symbolic than specific. Still, this well-shot and -designed picture is a mostly compelling, intrepid ride.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Although it runs just a fleet 40 minutes, the film proves a rich and memorable journey.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The world's most successful ring of diamond thieves is inventively and insightfully explored in the documentary Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Marquette, aided by Frank Langella's precise narration, has crafted an engrossing and disturbing tribute.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The film brings us vividly inside the life - and head - of its determined hero, Bud Clayman, as he depicts the process of what he calls "getting normal."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The lovely, heartbreaking Fly Away benefits from superb performances and a gripping story managed with simplicity and grace by writer-producer-director Janet Grillo.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, the film often feels somewhat random and disorganized, with Newnham and Grainger-Monsen never zeroing in on a cohesive narrative structure. Still, the movie's engaging subjects (including several parents) and valuable themes largely carry the day.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    This handsomely made suspense yarn proves an engrossing, pulse-quickening journey.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    A unique, unsettling experience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, there's a lack of structure, context and point of view to the largely gray, grim, hardscrabble world presented here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A stirring snapshot of America from 1963 to 1968 and the many rock 'n' roll thrills, cultural and political watersheds, and whirling emotions that erupted in between. It's also deviously smart and darkly funny.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Goldstein
    Alexander Sokurov's Faust is a grueling side show of a film, a morbid, mightily uninvolving piece.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's the candid moments of joy and accomplishment -- Welcker finding out she's an Intel contest finalist, Khan learning he's been accepted to Yale, high school valedictorian Cisneros thanking her devoted parents in her graduation speech -- that really make this one soar.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Kazemy and Boosheri are excellent, and Soheil Parsa and Nasrin Pakkho are also fine as Atefeh's doting, liberal parents. And if Keshavarz is less successful managing the film's sometimes choppy narrative, she is clearly willing to take risks on all fronts. More power to her.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    The elder Makhmalbaf, who wrote and directed, puts many spins on this ethereal mood piece — it is by turns poetic, impressionistic, metaphorical and even a bit trippy — without satisfying such genre basics as structure, depth and resolution.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    It's the flesh-and-blood lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as a profoundly conflicted Muslim wife and mother that seals this cinematic deal. She's superb.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Healy and Embry commit to their enervating roles with a heady mix of desperation and gusto, while Koechner is cleverly modulated as the evening's madman emcee. But Paxton, as the complicit yet impassive Violet, remains mostly a shiny accessory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] highly watchable portrait.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Honest and unadorned though the film may be, it's ultimately just not that involving.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Best appreciated for its sweet eccentricities (beginning with reggae lover Jack's would-be dreadlocks), optimistic outlook and authentic New York vibe, as much as for its commitment to being exactly what it is: an affectionate homage to working-class underdogs trying to carve out their own little corners of happiness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A revealing, disturbing look at how political and corporate forces have seemingly undermined the freedom and safety of our nation's equine population.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    [It's] too bad Cindy Kleine, the documentary's producer-director-narrator — and Gregory's wife — didn't better organize this rangy survey of the eclectic actor, theater director, artist and raconteur.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    With a two-state solution still elusive, "State 194" may feel a bit like yesterday's news — literally and figuratively. But as an aid to better understanding this vital, complex dispute, the film is definitely worth a look.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    For a movie about art and artists, it's not a particularly visually inspired or vibrantly crafted work. Still, Foulkes... holds interest with his off-kilter narcissism, obsessive creative process and frank views on his place — or lack thereof — in the art world.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    The cast does what it can with — and clearly self-improves upon — the essentially thin, at times choppy material.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Despite its family-friendly trappings, "Cats" is largely serious stuff; deliberately paced, thematically dark and often wistfully told, with enough moments of survival-oriented tension and dread to question its G rating.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The largely engaging class-reunion dramedy 10 Years allows audiences to pretend they went to high school with the likes of Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    They all share their amazing war stories and life memories with great humility and warmth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] vital and involving documentary.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] compelling and energetic documentary.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The Afghanistan war documentary The Hornet's Nest is a kinetic, immersive experience, particularly in its deeply felt human moments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Brimming with sharp asides and clever throwaways...plus astute observations on literary pretension and misguided youth, Adult World is a winner.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] colorful, absorbing documentary.