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

J. Hoberman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte)
Lowest review score: 0 A Hole in My Heart
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 944
944 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Cinematic as it is, Meek's Cutoff has an uncanny theatricality. The scenes alternating between windswept emptiness and the dark void could be played on a barren stage. For all its detailed authenticity, this minimalist "Wagon Train" is less naturalistic than existential.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A mysterious, fabulously sad fable.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The Soft Skin is a movie about the agony and ecstasy of an extramarital affair. Truffaut treats it like a crime film-low-key yet tense, filled with carefully planted potential "clues" and an undercurrent of anxiety.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Barnard makes the psychological mayhem Dunbar endured and inflicted tangible.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The verbal jousts are droll and the countryside is splendid, although the food - an endless succession of fussy little presentations - may be an acquired taste.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A deft, old-school psychological thriller (or perhaps horror film) that relies mainly on the power of suggestion and memories of hippie cult crazies.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    At the heart of the movie are the prolonged, increasingly violent, self-criticism sessions - an escalating, claustrophobic, paranoid reign of terror, staged in near-darkness and shown in close-up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Black nationalism lives and breathes in this remarkably fresh documentary - a standout in last spring's New Directors/New Films - assembled by Göran Hugo Olsson.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Although hardly flawless, Eastwood's biopic is his richest, most ambitious movie since the "Letters From Iwo Jima" – "Flags of Our Fathers" duo, if not "Unforgiven."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Young Adult might be brushed off as curdled rom-com were it not for two things. The first is the depth of Theron's performance...The second, less predictable aspect is the utter absence of the corny rehabilitation found in "Juno" and Reitman's glib, downsizing dramedy "Up in the Air."
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Le Havre is utopian precisely because it shows everything as it is not.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Magnificent and cheesy, the latest and most proudly absurd of Chinese historical spectaculars, Detective Dee is a cinematic comic book for people who are sick of the mode.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The sorry spectacle of the ranting codger never effaces the image of the boy concentrating his entire being over a chessboard. You have to love that kid and pity him.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    The filmmaker gives full vent to his romanticism by staging an End of the Epoch party, with tearful sex workers dancing to "Nights in White Satin," then steps on the mood with yet another farewell fête, commemorating Bastille Day. The prisoners are free - to walk the streets. Ironic, no?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    A 157-minute police procedural at once sensuous and cerebral, profane and metaphysical, "empty" and abundant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is closer to the Antonioni of "L'Avventura," and it elevates the 52-year-old director to a new level of achievement.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Avatar is a technological wonder, 15 years percolating in King Cameron's imagination and inarguably the greatest 3-D cavalry western ever made. Too bad that western is "Dances With Wolves."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Deft, affectionate, and unexpectedly enjoyable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Too chatty to be ascetic, Summer Hours is nevertheless almost Ozu-like in its evocation of a parent's death and the dissolving bond between the surviving children. It's also an essay on the nature of sentimental and real value--as well as the need to protect French culture in a homogenizing world.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    It's more conventionally romantic than wildly Romantic--but no less touching for that.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    The movie is characterized by its crisp, cutting, classical framing, and comic timing. The style and approach recall classic Albert Brooks. Indeed, the beleaguered, cuckolded Joel would have been a great role for the young Brooks--adding a certain self-aggrandizing je ne sais quoi or a neurotic zetz that the appealing, but bland, Bateman lacks.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    A compelling thriller but an unsatisfying character drama.
    • 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."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Present in every scene, if not each shot, Rourke gives a tremendously physical performance that The Wrestler essentially exists to document.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    The Coens return to familiar territory with the parody thriller Burn After Reading, a characteristically supercilious and crisply shot clown show filled with cartoon perfs and predicated on extravagant stupidity.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Gross-out horror is never far from comedy and The Host, Bong Joon-ho's giddy creature feature, has an anarchic mess factor worthy of a pile of old "Mad" magazines.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Grey isn't the first porn actress to go straight, but she may be the first to allegorize her own situation--projecting an on-screen self-confidence that’s indistinguishable from pathos.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Reuniting an uptight married man with a footloose old pal, Lynn Shelton's third feature offers a (much) more extreme version of Kelly Reichardt's "Old Joy," also a sort of buddy movie, also shot in Seattle.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    In the bell jar that is Capote, Hoffman bogarts the oxygen; everyone else asphyxiates.