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 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Lowest review score: 0 A Hole in My Heart
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 944
944 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    To my mind, the greatest film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    So elemental in its means yet so cosmic in its drama, it could herald a rebirth of cinema.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    One of the richest films of the past decade.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tense, engrossing, and superbly structured, Bus 174 is not just unforgettable drama but a skillfully developed argument.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The year's most ingenious and original animated feature.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tian's movie seems to be among the finest expressions of the Chinese new wave.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Ultimate geezerfest and rock-doc holy grail.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    You can call me fanboy, but this is the best anime I've ever seen.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    One of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A superbly balanced piece of work, addressing the passion of Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    In every respect, this unclassifiable movie is an amazing accomplishment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    One of the best titles in movie history and a cast to match.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The lovability quotient is as high as the altitude.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The movie is as eloquently uninflected and filled with quirks as its star.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Although dense with incident and motif, the movie has an effortless flow.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Leisurely yet streamlined film, brilliantly adapted by British filmmaker Terence Davies from Edith Wharton's most powerful novel.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Manages to turn a highly dubious concept into a subtle and deliciously mordant comedy.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Enriches a deceptively anecdotal plot with a combination of observational camerawork, strong narrative rhythms, and deft characterization.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    May not be the movie of the year, but it is a seasonal gift to us all. Sweet and funny, doggedly oddball if bordering precious.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As mystical as it is gritty, as despairing as it is detached.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As straightforward and plot-driven as any movie about life imitating art imitating life could possibly be.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    The greatest of all pulp fantasies.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Ten
    Conceptually rigorous, splendidly economical, and radically Bazinian.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A movie of cutting humor, near-constant talk, and one show-stopping dance routine.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Thrilling and ludicrous. The movie feels entirely instinctual. The rest is silencio.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A sustained immersion in gorgeously austere street photography and casual portraiture, the images punctuated by bits of black leader and gnomic intertitles, the action propelled by sweetly pulverized music and an effortlessly layered soundtrack of enigmatic conversations. Poetry is really the only word for it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    I can't remember a teenage romance this engagingly offbeat since "Lord Love a Duck."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    This lusty, heartfelt movie has a near Brueghelian visual energy and a humanist passion as contagious as its music.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A very nutty fruitcake, Spirited Away is characterized by wonderfully detailed animation, packed with incident and populated by all manner of comic creatures.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Adaptation's success in engaging the audience in the travails of creating a screenplay is extraordinary.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Keep your "Lara Croft" and your "Shrek": For me, the summer's reigning icons are Enid, Thora Birch's geek goddess in Ghost World, and her action-movie analogue.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A supremely intelligent pastiche.
    • 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.
    • 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
    As bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic "Before Sunrise."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Blind Shaft means to leave the viewer dazed, and it does.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    It's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Naomi Watts is a tremendous movie actress. She need only sidle on camera and glance over the terrain to claim the scene. What's her secret? Like the great Isabelle Huppert, Watts doesn't radiate feelings so much as she absorbs them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Drawing on interviews with SLA co-founder Russ Little and amazing TV news footage, Robert Stone illuminates this fantastic narrative as vividly as it has ever been.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Genuinely unnerving movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.