For 944 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

J. Hoberman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Lebanon
Lowest review score: 0 The Nutcracker
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 944
944 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Detailed yet oblique, leisurely but compelling, perfectly cast and irreproachably acted, the movie has a seductively novelistic texture complete with a less-than-omniscient narrator.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Killer of Sheep is an urban pastoral--an episodic series of scenes that are sweet, sardonic, deeply sad, and very funny.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Police, Adjective is a deadly serious as well as dryly humorous analysis of bureaucratic procedure and, particularly, the tyranny of language. Images may record reality, but words define it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A superbly balanced piece of work, addressing the passion of Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    In every respect, this unclassifiable movie is an amazing accomplishment.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Directed by anyone else, Masculine Feminine--one of three movies that Godard made in his peak year, 1966--would be a masterpiece. For the young JLG it's business as usual.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The movie grabs hold and runs you through the wringer.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    I'm Not There is the movie of the year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The pleasing circularity of Gus Van Sant's masterful Paranoid Park is not only a function of the film's narrative structure but reflects the arc of its maker's career. Few directors have revisited their earliest concerns with such vigor.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Flight of the Red Balloon is in a class by itself. In its unexpected rhythms and visual surprises, its structural innovations and experimental perfs, its creative misunderstandings and its outré syntheses, this is a movie of genius.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    One of the richest films of the past decade.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Watkins restages history in its own ruins, uses the media as a frame, and even so, manages to imbue his narrative with amazing presence. No less than the event it chronicles, La Commune is a triumph of spontaneous action.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold is an anti-blockbuster--a deceptively modest undertaking that brilliantly combines unpretentious humanism and impeccable formal values.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tense, engrossing, and superbly structured, Bus 174 is not just unforgettable drama but a skillfully developed argument.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    What's truly extraordinary about this movie--which strikes me on two viewings as Maddin's masterpiece--is that it not only plays like a dream but feels like one.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Solaris achieves an almost perfect balance of poetry and pulp. This is as elegant, moody, intelligent, sensuous, and sustained a studio movie as we are likely to see this season -- and in its intrinsic nuttiness, perhaps the least compromised.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    To my mind, the greatest film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The Leopard is the greatest film of its kind made since World War II—its only rivals are Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and Visconti's own "Senso."
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Spider lasts in the mind and it's built to last -- this is a movie that invites and repays repeated viewings.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Ultimate geezerfest and rock-doc holy grail.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    So elemental in its means yet so cosmic in its drama, it could herald a rebirth of cinema.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tian's movie seems to be among the finest expressions of the Chinese new wave.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The year's most ingenious and original animated feature.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A movie so tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing that the purposefully oblique and languid narrative is all but eclipsed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    For passion, originality, and sustained chutzpah, this austere allegory of failed Christian charity and Old Testament payback is von Trier's strongest movie--a masterpiece, in fact.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Summer sequelitis is upon us, but the season is unlikely to bring anything more remarkable than Richard Linklater's sweet, smart, and deeply romantic Before Sunset.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    You can call me fanboy, but this is the best anime I've ever seen.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Vera Drake puts the passion in compassion. Building up to a shattering conclusion, Leigh's movie is both outrageously schematic and powerfully humanist.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The Canadian painter-photographer-filmmaker-musician gives full vent to his genius in this exhilarating perceptual vaudeville, titled for the "central region" of tissue that acts as a conduit between the brain's two hemispheres.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    One of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    This may or may not be the greatest instance of college football ever played, but "Brian's Song," J"erry Maguire," and "The Longest Yard" notwithstanding, Rafferty's no-frills annotated replay is the best football movie I've ever seen: A particular day in history becomes a moment out of time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Not just the year's most impressive first feature but also the strongest new movie of any kind I've seen in 2010.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Cronenberg's film is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Grave, beautiful, austerely comic, and casually metempsychotic, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte is one of the wiggiest nature documentaries-or almost-documentaries-ever made.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Leisurely and digressive, this generally exhilarating saga ("a storm of misadventures" per Ruiz) variously suggests Victor Hugo, Stendhal, and (thanks in part to the unnatural, emphatic yet uninflected, acting) Mexican telenovelas. The score is richly romantic; the period locations are impeccable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood entertainment--rich in fantasy and blithely amoral.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Jack and Miles are male archetypes, as well as the two most fully realized comic creations in recent American movies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    It's a measure of Cuarón's directorial chops that Children of Men functions equally well as fantasy and thriller. Like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and the Wachowski Brothers' "V for Vendetta" (and more consistently than either), the movie attempts to fuse contemporary life with pulp mythology.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As fascinating as it is discomfiting and as intelligent as it is primal. From first shot to last, France's foremost bad girl has made an extremely good movie -- and maybe even a great one.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Cronenberg's movie manages to have its cake and eat it--impersonating an action flick in its staccato mayhem while questioning these violent attractions every step of the way.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    This extravagant family melodrama, one of the highlights of last year's New York Film Festival, runs two and a half hours and never lags, so moment-to-moment enthralling are Desplechin's narrative gambits, as well as his reckless eccentricity.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Robust, engrossing, and surprisingly restrained in saving most of its effects for the grand finale, the first Chronicles of Narnia installment eschews Harry Potter's satanic subtext and "The Lord of the Rings'" Wagnerian cosmology. It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Fateless has a remarkable absence of sentimentality. The movie is obviously artistic, but there are no cheap or superfluous effects. It's almost mystically translucent.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The Fallen Idol has been overshadowed by the noir comedy, giddy style, and Cold War thematics of Reed and Greene's subsequent sensation "The Third Man," but (in similarly dealing with the nature of betrayal) The Fallen Idol is actually a superior psychological drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    An explicit ode to mortality, not without a certain grim humor.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    It's here that Melville fully achieved his notion of the sublime, applying "Le Samouraï's" "empty" compositions and near theatrical blocking, as well as its methodical suspense, cosmic fatalism, and sense of grim solitude, to a subject far closer to his heart, namely his own World War II experiences.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Indeed, the man who invented Borat is a masterful improviser, brilliant comedian, courageous political satirist, and genuinely experimental film artist. Borat makes you laugh but Baron Cohen forces you to think.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A rhapsodic movie directed with considerable formal intelligence and brooding power from an original screenplay by Steve Knight, Eastern Promises is very much a companion to "A History of Violence."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A heady plum pudding of a movie--studded with outsized performances and drenched in cinematic brio. The concoction is over-rich, yet irresistible.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Trembling throughout on the verge of a tearful breakdown, but far too dignified to allow her character to choke up, Williams delivers a sensationally nuanced performance that, were it not so resolutely undramatic, would constitute an aria of stoical misery.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The results are extraordinary. As understated as it is, the movie is both deeply absurd and powerfully affecting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Serbis may be a raunch-fest, but it's also a mind-trip--a raunch-fest with ideas.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Treeless Mountain is skillfully unsentimental--because of, but also despite, the presence of two irresistible, unself-conscious performers in virtually every scene.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him. He contrives a shock ending that, as measured as everything else in this engrossing, supremely assured movie, acknowledges one last blood sacrifice on the emperor's altar.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    This lusty, heartfelt movie has a near Brueghelian visual energy and a humanist passion as contagious as its music.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Genuinely unnerving movie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The lovability quotient is as high as the altitude.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A movie of cutting humor, near-constant talk, and one show-stopping dance routine.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    An impressively coordinated enterprise that lasts three hours, manages a large cast, and covers a period of 30-odd years while successfully unfolding as a series of scenes from the life of a single character.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The greatest of all pulp fantasies.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A vivid exercise in hokum that more or less invented the idea of French film noir...and not just for Americans.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Leisurely yet streamlined film, brilliantly adapted by British filmmaker Terence Davies from Edith Wharton's most powerful novel.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    If you can forget the world-historic significance of the mass revolution that overthrew Europe's oldest absolute monarchy -- or rather, subsume it in the mysteries of personality -- The Lady and the Duke is the stuff of human interest.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As chilly a spectacle as you're likely to see. It's like watching a comeback in an empty stadium.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Grounded in Fessenden's handheld camera, stuttering montage rhythms, and time-lapse photography, the engagingly primitive animated special effects contribute to a mood that's sustained through the surprisingly somber conclusion.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Wong is sensationally expressive and projects a modern, coolly appraising sexuality. Visually eloquent and often dazzling, the movie is no less terrific. Piccadilly is both evidence of silent cinema at its rudely aborted peak and Wong's frustrated potential to have been among its greatest stars.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    One of the best titles in movie history and a cast to match.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A fairy tale that presents love as a case of mutual enchantment, Two Family House is not only uniformly well acted, superbly designed, lovingly lit, and sensitively scored, it's as romantic as it is funny.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Unknown Pleasures suggests a coolly formalist reinvention of neorealism. The film is both distanced and immediate -- a fiction with the force of documentary.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    More concentrated and svelte than its precursor, Once Upon a Time II also has the benefit of fights staged by Master Yuen Wo-Ping that show Jet Li -- another camera-age hero -- to even greater advantage.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Traffic is not just an ultra-procedural--it's the Big Picture, the Whole Enchilada, complete with a complicated war between two Mexican drug cartels.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    From first shot to last, Dworkin's movie is a continuously absorbing, sometimes revelatory, frequently moving experience; as documentary filmmaking it's not only amazingly intimate but also characterized by an unexpected lyricism.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Rich in detail, vivid in characterization, leisurely in exposition, this 207-minute epic is bravura filmmaking -- a brilliant yet facile synthesis of Hollywood pictorialism, Soviet montage, and Japanese theatricality that could be a B western transposed to Mars.
    • Village Voice
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    For all its quasi-documentary materialism, The Son is ultimately a Christian allegory of one man's inchoate desire to return good for evil. The movie requires a measure of faith, and like a job well done, it repays that trust.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As straightforward in narrative as it is gut-wrenching in effect, A Simple Plan is a sort of slow-motion skid down an icy blacktop— it's a movie you watch with a mounting sense of dread...[It's] an extremely credible thriller and an affecting brother-story.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Bloody Sunday doesn't surrender its grip on the viewer even after the action shifts from the streets of Bogside to a local hospital where the weeping masses are still under the guns of the war-painted British soldiers.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    This affecting eulogy underscores not only Demme's own tribute to Dominique but also the film's homage to radio. This is a motion picture that's in love with the magic of airborne speech.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Va Savoir has its own unhurried pace and unpredictable humor. This is the sort of comedy Robert Altman could only dream about.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A supremely intelligent pastiche.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Blind Shaft means to leave the viewer dazed, and it does.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Ten
    Conceptually rigorous, splendidly economical, and radically Bazinian.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The video stores are filled with examples of retro-noir and neo-noir, but Christopher Nolan's audacious timebender is something else. Call it meta-noir.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    This has to be the most richly entertaining movie anyone has ever made on the subject of female genital mutilation.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As mystical as it is gritty, as despairing as it is detached.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A wondrously perverse movie that not only evokes a lost moment in time but circles around an unrepresentable subject. Mood is the operative word. A love story far more cerebral than it is emotional.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As straightforward and plot-driven as any movie about life imitating art imitating life could possibly be.