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 5.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

J. Hoberman's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Tarnation
Lowest review score: 0 The Nutcracker
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 75 out of 944
944 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Casually racist and inordinately sexist, Pépé le Moko is best enjoyed for its offhand surrealism.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Revived (with vastly improved subtitles) some 14 years after it first stunned Hong Kong critics, Days of Being Wild is a sort of meta-reverie populated by a cast of beautiful young pop icons.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    No previous rocksploitation film had ever done so splendid a job of selling its performers.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Remains Chaplin's most sustained burlesque of authority.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Corny as that is, the film's nadir comes when Zuckerberg's pretty young lawyer comforts him (or us) with the mealy-mouthed observation, "You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be one."
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    What's fascinating is how the various issues - religious or practical - are played out in these two quite different families, yet always come down to irreconcilable differences between rebellious women and their stiff-necked, controlling men.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Contemporary audiences may not see why, even in its toned-down simplification of the novel, From Here to Eternity was the most daring movie of 1953, but it remains an acting bonanza.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    In short, this Krakatoa is at once exhausting and riveting. It's a technological marvel, and for those not with the program, a bit of a bore.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    One of the best titles in movie history and a cast to match.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Although dense with incident and motif, the movie has an effortless flow.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Jackson's adaptation is certainly successful on its own terms.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A work of bravura filmmaking.
    • 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.
    • 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
    The year's most ingenious and original animated feature.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A work of leisurely development and tragic inevitability.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    More fun than any movie about the violent death of a 36-year-old woman has a right to be. It's also as exotic an English-language picture as the season is likely to bring.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Ari Folman's broodingly original Waltz With Bashir -- one of the highlights of the last New York Film Festival -- is a documentary that seems only possible, not to mention bearable, as an animated feature.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Nothing can redeem the movie's final 40 minutes. That may not be an ultimate horror, but it is a real one.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    The most pop film the great Russian filmmaker ever made.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The most offbeat studio comedy since "Rushmore."
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Panoramic yet cozy, enthusiastically glib.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Clever, engaging, and cannily faux populist.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The Passenger is a relic of that moment in international co-production when famous European auteurs hitched their wagons to hip and eager Hollywood stars.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic "Before Sunrise."
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    A compelling thriller but an unsatisfying character drama.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Barnard makes the psychological mayhem Dunbar endured and inflicted tangible.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    In the bell jar that is Capote, Hoffman bogarts the oxygen; everyone else asphyxiates.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    In every respect, this unclassifiable movie is an amazing accomplishment.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Like many cult films, it is also less than the sum of its parts.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Alberto Lattuada's tricky-to-parse Mafioso dates from 1962 but, with its abrupt tonal shifts and disturbing existential premise, this nearly forgotten dark comedy could be the most modern (or at least modernist) movie in town.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    There's not much sense that the system can be voted out-not least because Barack Obama, shown campaigning on the crisis and elected in part to change the game, recruited his economic advisers from those who enabled the disaster.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Jackson's movie is one portentous happening after another -- not unreasonable in that his source, J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, is basically the fantasyland equivalent of a world war against absolute evil.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 40 J. Hoberman
    A combination of "Barnyard Follies" and "Schindler's List."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A well-wrought, enjoyably amusing inspirational drama that successfully humanizes, even as it pokes fun at, the House of Windsor.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    It has the charm of the original American road movies, feasting on the gorgeous, ramshackle landscape of the filmmaker's motherland.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Above all, this is an action film--or, better, a transaction film. It's not just that the Dardennes orchestrate an exciting motor scooter purse-snatching and a prolonged hot pursuit. L'Enfant is an action film because every act that happens is shown to have a consequence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    This corrosive, slapdash, grimly exciting exposé of organized crime in and around Naples comes on like "Mean Streets" cubed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Moving from cafés to poolrooms to movie theaters, it's the prototypical male ensemble film.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    A work of unostentatious beauty and uncloying sweetness, at once sophisticated and artless, mysterious and matter-of-fact, cosmic and humble, it asks only a measure of Boonmeevian acceptance: The movie doesn't mean anything-it simply is.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    The most straightforward love story--and in some ways the straightest--to come out of Hollywood, at least since "Titanic."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    As straightforward and plot-driven as any movie about life imitating art imitating life could possibly be.
    • 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
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Dazzling dance to the music of time.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    To my mind, the greatest film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Sunny as The Straight Story appears, Lynch is still defamiliarizing the normal.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    I can't remember a teenage romance this engagingly offbeat since "Lord Love a Duck."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Serious comedy, powered by an enthusiastic cast and full of good-natured innuendo, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right gives adolescent coming-of-age and the battle of the sexes a unique twist.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Scorches the screen like a prairie fire.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 J. Hoberman
    For better or worse, the movie does for Chauvet what Baudrillard complained an on-site replica did for Lascaux-render the real thing false.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Ten
    Conceptually rigorous, splendidly economical, and radically Bazinian.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 J. Hoberman
    Increasingly unconvincing, In the Bedroom turns genteel rabble-rouser. Field's leisurely buildup forestalls but doesn't prevent his movie's mutation into a granola "Death Wish."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Restrained, precise, and unobtrusively wry.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Beauvois's film is cool while Denis's is hot-but the main difference is that where "White Material" is knowingly postcolonial, Of Gods and Men aspires to the timeless.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    In a sense, Varda has done for herself what she did for Demy--creating a work, as charming as it is touching, that serves to explicate and enrich an entire oeuvre.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    This is a movie of blunt juxtapositions-death accompanied by the sound of raucous street musicians-as well as awkward flashbacks. Still, the strategy works.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 J. Hoberman
    Initial strangeness inexorably gives way to rote sentimentality and mystical tenderness becomes narrative expedience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    It is an essay in film form with near-universal interest and a remarkable degree of synthesis.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tian's movie seems to be among the finest expressions of the Chinese new wave.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 J. Hoberman
    Neither a debacle nor a bore, The Departed works but only up to a point, and never emotionally--even if the director does contrive to supply his version of a happy ending.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 J. Hoberman
    Bland and nasty, American Beauty has the slightly stale feel of a family sitcom conceived under the spell of "Married . . . With Children."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Everything is edged with desperation. However arduous Last Train Home may have been to shoot, it was infinitely more arduous to live.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Suffers from over-explanation. The movie maintains tremendous momentum through the Szpilman family's deportation. The second half is another story.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    City of Life and Death is far more convincing as a spectacle of mass atrocity than a drama of individual conscience.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Ultimate geezerfest and rock-doc holy grail.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The latest Tinker Tailor is, in some ways, more explicit regarding various characters' sexual proclivities than was the miniseries. It's also more concise, but what's lost is George's pathos.