Ian Buckwalter
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NPR
For 117 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ian Buckwalter's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 95 Inside Llewyn Davis
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 117
  2. Negative: 13 out of 117
117 movie reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Ian Buckwalter
    In a movie set up to trap us within Llewyn's repetitive loop of failure, baiting us with hope before quashing it with quiet desperation again and again, something more than comic relief is needed to soften the blow a little, and the film's musical interludes are that pillow.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 95 Ian Buckwalter
    In Tabu, Portuguese writer-director Miguel Gomes spins a two-part tale examining love, loneliness and the power of memory.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Ian Buckwalter
    If John Cassavetes had directed a jazz musical by Jacques Demy, it might have looked something like this.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Ian Buckwalter
    A horror-movie attic sale is, in essence, exactly what Cabin in the Woods is, an attempt to exorcise the genre of its formulaic possession by stuffing the movie full of its most overused and predictable elements - and then dumping them through clever skewering.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ian Buckwalter
    Resolution is really a less self-conscious cousin to last year's "Cabin in the Woods"; both are hugely satisfying exercises in examining the way in which stories are told. Cabin succeeded by deconstructing horror without ever intending to be scary itself. Resolution takes the opposite path: When Benson and Moorhead voyeuristically suggest that someone or something is watching Mike and Chris, the chilling effect is marrow-deep.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Ian Buckwalter
    Boyega is absolutely riveting, leading with a stern glower, and constantly trying to prove himself. Yet Moses has a deep well of tenderness and honor beneath the façade, and Boyega almost single-handedly makes you care not just about his character, but about everyone in any gang that would align itself with him. He's that magnetic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ian Buckwalter
    Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Ian Buckwalter
    In a story built on ugly secrets and lifetimes of terrible events, small moments of beauty and redemption sneak through - proving that sometimes utilizing those bitter remnants of charred memories can prove more fruitful than Earl Gray thought.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Ian Buckwalter
    Anderson has the ability to control our emotions just as expertly as his camera.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Ian Buckwalter
    The truth may not be quite that simple, but Kapadia's slightly ecstatic version of it makes for gripping viewing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 85 Ian Buckwalter
    Mickle and co-writer Nick Damici gutted Grau's story to the bone. And they not only built something entirely new on that skeleton — they managed to equal and in many ways surpass the dark, bloody beauty of their source material.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 85 Ian Buckwalter
    Nathan's film gets at a difficult and sobering fact: Pug's world is one that often rewards only hard detachment and distrust. That's a cultural tradition perhaps even more entrenched than the dirt bikes, and one from which it's more difficult to find release.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    A hilarious meta-comedy in which Karpovsky, playing a version of himself, goes on a roadshow tour for a movie he's directed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    Promoting understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the bees and our intertwined relationship with them is also presented as a vital part of the equation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing - even if that means few wrong things along on the way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    Soderbergh imposes a shape until the film begins to feel less like puzzle pieces in search of their place and more like one seamless picture: It's almost as if, with this collage of the artist's past work, he's created an entirely new final monologue for Gray.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    This is a film built around its star, just as surely as any of its cheesier '80s forebears.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    Moors' film is at its best when it worries at notions of how evil is born, fostered and brought to bloom.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    (Marsh) downplays political questions of ideological rights and wrongs. Rather than making a film about terrorism, or about war, Marsh looks at how they affect the people caught up in their machinery.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    The director wants him to engage his "audience," but Rebney -- as misanthropic as one would expect of a man who lives alone in a remote rural cabin -- only wants to talk about politics.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 79 Ian Buckwalter
    Everything that felt clumsy in The Hunger Games has been improved upon here. That's most apparent in the clarity of the action, but it also extends to how efficiently the film establishes so many new ensemble members.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 79 Ian Buckwalter
    In one of the film's most fascinating moments, Klosterman asks Murphy what his biggest failure was. After uncomfortably dodging the question at first, Murphy admits that the only thing he thinks he might regret is quitting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 78 Ian Buckwalter
    The film plays by genre rules - explicit gore included - even as it turns them on their severed head.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 78 Ian Buckwalter
    Stylistically unremarkable, playing it safe with structure, the film is still quietly revelatory.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Both Jeff and the film have a way of sneaking up on you.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Like zombie auteur George Romero at his best, Grau locks his sights on his social commentary of choice and goes after it with the zeal of a 19-year-old cannibal girl sinking an ax into the skull of her next meal. The result is messy, but it makes more than a meal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Director Guillermo del Toro knows that the charm in the clash of scale - or armor-plated titans isn't necessarily tied to the low budgets and laughable production design of those guilty-pleasure TV shows. And with Pacific Rim, he cracks the code.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Unmade in China is nominally about filmmaking, but what Kofman and Barklow do well is to use their unusual position within the Chinese state machine to make a thinly veiled movie about politics.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    A film in which everyone is lusting after the wrong person, and consummating those desires tends to lead to awkward - but not funny, unlike Dunham's usual projects - disasters of various scales.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    There's no denying its status as a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable Old Hollywood-style adventure.

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