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 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 A Hole in My Heart
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 944
944 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Guy and Madeline is at once self-conscious and breezy, clumsy and deft, diffident and sweet, annoying and ecstatic. It's amateurish in the best sense, and it radiates cinephilia. No movie I've seen this year has given me more joy.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    An explicit ode to mortality, not without a certain grim humor.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    If Old Joy is more laid-back and contemplative than "Mutual Appreciation," it's because the characters are more weathered. Open-ended as it may appear, it has a crushing finality. For all the wool-gathering and guitar-noodling, this road movie is at least as tender as it is ironic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    One of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Excavated from the deep '50s, Michelangelo Antonioni's Le amiche (known in English as "The Girlfriends") is an unexpected treasure.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    May be pumped-up, but it's rarely boring
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 J. Hoberman
    It left me cold. The pathos is as unearned as the protagonist's privilege.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    The movie grabs hold and runs you through the wringer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    At the very least, the spectacle of Poppy's devotion and desire, not to mention her all-around sunny disposish, left this viewer feeling unaccountably happy--at least for the moment.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Opens cute and poignant, turns wildly visceral, and ends in a burst of magical realism.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    In short, this new Quiet American is not only true to Greene's novel -- it has the effect of making the novel itself seem truer than it has ever been.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Zhang Yimou's impeccably crafted, all-star martial arts extravaganza, is the essence of shallow gravitas.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Gently persistent in its ironies, "Funny Ha Ha" managed to be both charmingly lackadaisical and annoyingly smug; Mutual Appreciation, which Bujalski shot in grainy black-and-white in hipster Brooklyn (and is self-distributing), is even more so.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Maddin has created a fascinating hybrid--this enraptured composition in mist, gauze, and Vaseline is more rhapsody than narrative, less motion picture than shadow play.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    The actors, mainly newcomers, have an improvisational freshness well matched to the freewheeling camera work.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Boxing Gym is a companion piece of sorts to "La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet," Wiseman's previous doc that played Film Forum last fall. It's not simply that boxing and ballet are understood as kindred activities. Boxing Gym is itself a dance movie-which is to say, a highly formalized exercise in choreographed activity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 J. Hoberman
    Adaptation's success in engaging the audience in the travails of creating a screenplay is extraordinary.
    • 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."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Escalates into visceral allegory with an abandon and cruelty that seem positively Romanian. The last 30 minutes more than redeem the preceding two hours.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 J. Hoberman
    Tense, engrossing, and superbly structured, Bus 174 is not just unforgettable drama but a skillfully developed argument.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 J. Hoberman
    Gets better as it goes along, building up to a prolonged shipboard finale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 J. Hoberman
    Undeniably high-powered. At 153 minutes, it's also punishingly overlong.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    Tender and funny.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 40 J. Hoberman
    As much as I enjoy Spidey's high-flying Cheez-Doodle swoops through the skyscraper canyons of a digitally rearranged midtown Manhattan, I get no kick from his angst, especially since in this incarnation, as opposed to the '60s comic book version, he's more innocuously depressed than defensively paranoid.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 50 J. Hoberman
    Up in the Air goes down like a sedative. This is a movie that's easy to like--and to dislike as well.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 J. Hoberman
    What's surprising is the atmosphere of sweet reason--elatively speaking--that distinguishes Kill Bill Vol. 2 from its bloody precursor.