For 1,365 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jack Mathews' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Hairspray
Lowest review score: 0 Swept Away
Score distribution:
1,365 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    This year’s foreign language Oscar scandal – there is always at least one – is the snub of director Cristian Mungiu’s disturbing, masterful realist drama following two college roommates as they carry out plans for one’s black market abortion in Communist Romania.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    In the year of the animated movie, this one soars above them all.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A great big sloppy kiss of entertainment for audiences weary of explosions, CGI effects and sequels, sequels, sequels.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Though Borat has been likened to "Jackass," there's a huge difference. The "Jackass" movies are about extreme stunts. Borat is about interaction and gullibility, and its success is unique to both Cohen and to this one-time-only movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    One of the most original and ultimately confounding mind games to reach the screen since "The Usual Suspects."
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The best comedy of 2004. In fact, it's so far the best movie of the year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Levinson is so skillful at developing personalities, even among the story's would-be villains, that by the halfway point of the movie, every gesture and expression has unexpected depth and texture. The performances are across-the-board superb.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The biggest little movie of the year - and one of the best ever about the news media.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A movie-movie of the first rank.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    One of the most skillful, mesmerizing, tense and satisfying time-warp thrillers ever made.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The incredibly moving post-9/11 drama Reign Over Me proves that behind the funny guy facades of former standup comedians Mike Binder and Adam Sandler are a pair of very serious talents.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    May be the best movie of the year.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The most emotionally satisfying because, in addition to having both more intimate drama and more spectacular battles, it resolves all of the issues raised before.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    America's favorite superhero reappears in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, and all we can say is, "Man, oh Man of Steel, it's good to have you back."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    For sheer bravura film making, for creating a cartoon world with real air, flesh, blood and the exhilarating cycle of fear and escape, Dinosaur is tops.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    What a movie! This is how the medium seduced us originally.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    It's an antidote to complacency. The question is, whom is it trying to wake up?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    At times, Chicago has the feel of a revue, with the major characters taking turns at their own show-stopping numbers. If it's too much of a good thing, I say, bring it on.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    As darkness falls over the movie landscape comes the year's darkest and best movie of them all - Alejandro González Iñárritu's 21 Grams.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Don't miss The Fast Runner. If you do, you will deprive yourself of not only one of the most intriguing feature-film projects in decades and enough plain-spoken anthropology for three credits at Harvard, but one of the most flat-out entertaining movies of the year.
    • New York Daily News
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Among the funniest and most satisfying films I've seen in years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A masterpiece? Probably. Ingenious? Absolutely! Unforgettable? I'll see you at the 10th-year anniversary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Universally appealing story that plays as well now as it did on opening day a half-century ago. Maybe better.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Turns everything we know about the contemporary world on its head, and substitutes it with one in which spirits, monsters, magicians and animals mix it up in a carnival of energy, good humor and freewheeling illusion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The best movie I've seen this year.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    "Amadeus is about as close to perfection as movies get," I wrote in 1984. Now, it's 20 minutes closer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Hudson, taking over the role of Effie played on stage by Jennifer Holliday, is in charge of Dreamgirls from her opening scene, blowing away Grammy-winner Beyoncé Knowles, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and anyone else who gets in her way.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    The Two Towers moves faster, covers more ground, has more action and -- with the introduction of the marvelous character Gollum -- packs some much-appreciated laughs.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A great movie -- and the best movie ever about the '70s rock era.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    "Letters" isn't about numbers or the battle or even the morality of war. It's about the sanctity of life and how we value our own.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A critic trots out the word "masterpiece" at his own peril, but there it is.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    As joyously energetic now as the day it arrived.
    • New York Daily News
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    A gorgeous, wonderfully inventive computer-animated comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Jack Mathews
    Whether the movie will make you believe a shocking-orange stock car has a future with a lavender Carrera, it's more fun to follow than a televised freeway chase.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Jack Mathews
    Its characters are as entertainingly quirky as any he's given us before, and his familiar themes -- strangers in a strange land, lives reformed by chance encounters -- are played out with much higher stakes and with greater purpose.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Jack Mathews
    Mostow, with his first feature, has made such a convincing, fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat thriller that you'd swear you'd never seen anything quite like it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Clever, compelling, funny and unpredictable, and it has a lollapa-looza of an ending.
    • New York Daily News
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    While it won't rival the Harry Potter movies as a cultural milestone, the luminous, irresistible Stardust is no less industrious at scavenging myths and legends and making something altogether new from the familiar pickings.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The story itself is a smooth little gem.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Ale's community is like a band of pirates - collegial, bickering, larcenous and supportive - and his life within it is both heartening and heartbreaking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Sensational...as authentic as news footage, and far more intimate.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Stamp, whose ability to make Wilson simultaneously coarse and charismatic is irresistibly entertaining.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    What keeps the film from becoming obnoxiously redundant is the conviviality of the comedians. These are funny people even when they're not telling the joke.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Perversely funny.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Built from a perfect story-telling collaboration.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Works on every level. The humor and language are as crude as an R rating allows, but Carell and Apatow's script is so hip, funny and - yes - innocent that it's never offensive.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Arguably Lumet's best film in 20 years.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Locks in on its self-destructive subjects so precisely, it's almost unbearable to watch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Ray
    Every once in a while, a performance pops out of a Hollywood movie that is so brilliant and unique to the matching of actor to role that it's impossible to imagine anyone else achieving it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The performances are all terrific, but Gene Hackman is close to a career best as the family patriarch Royal, the most useless man you can't help loving.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    A slick, fast-paced production with first-rate performances and an emotional punch you won't soon forget.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Represents the year's biggest gamble - and it delivers the year's biggest and most ambitious fantasy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    It's not as clever, or as consistently funny, or as well-cast as "Shakespeare in Love," but Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty is the most fun I've had with the Bard since that 1998 Oscar winner.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Go
    Darkly hilarious.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    It's a slice of life, with all the trimmings, and one of the strongest films of the year.
    • New York Daily News
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    28 Weeks Later has a stronger story line, equally fine performances, greater tension, enough gore to satisfy the most hard-core zombie fan, and a narrative pace that flings us from the opening scenes to the very last image.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    A two-hour, one-joke comedy that never gets old, Stuck on You is the most mature, consistently funny and satisfyingly sweet movie in the rollicking careers of brother filmmakers Bobby and Peter Farrelly.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Except for Hempf, every character is under incredible duress, and the performances are exceptional. With his first feature, an Oscar nominee for foreign-language film, von Donnersmarck has certainly left his mark.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Intimate, deeply affecting family drama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Critics are already comparing the two movies and largely agreeing that Tarantino?s story about a psychopathic stuntman who targets women for highway carnage is the best. I disagree.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    For Hobbitués and adventure fans of all other ages, it's the year's best thrill ride -- maybe the best film.
    • New York Daily News
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    When it comes to sports movies, there's nothing like the real thing, and there's never been anything quite as real as the documentary Murderball.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    This is likely the fastest-moving intentionally funny action movie ever made. It's as if the 21 Bond movies and four "Die Hards" had been distilled to remove their body fat (that is, character development, buildup, rest stops, etc.) and left us with only the killing and the punch lines.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Fascinating, amusing and ultimately disturbing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    As tawdry as this may seem, Bertolucci is not trying to one-up himself. He was 27 when the student riots occurred and very much a participant in a revolution that was both complex in its implications and naive in much of the behavior. He has caught that perfectly
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Based on the true story of the first emperor of unified China, could be downsized and told as an American Western.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    It's as harrowing as moviegoing gets.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The strength of McKay's film is not in identifying a cultural period, but in giving voice to so many great theater people. Their passion is infectious, their stories are priceless and their humor is boundless.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The naturalistic dialogue is a masterful bit of writing, credited to Linklater and his "Sunrise" co-writer Kim Krizan, as well as to the two stars.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone, but if the families of the victims take something positive from it, as their cooperation with Greengrass suggests they do, that's justification enough.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    A powerful movie that should win all the year's ensemble acting awards. Pitt has never done better dramatic work, Blanchett is as convincing as always, and - in introducing themselves to American audiences - veteran Mexican actress Barraza and Japan's Kikuchi are revelations.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Man on Fire, with a best-ever Denzel Washington, is the first (nonreligious) sure thing to hit the multiplex this year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    For a black comedy whose tangled sequence of events is completely improbable, Pedro Almodóvar's Volver feels absolutely authentic. So, think of everything as metaphor and enjoy one of the year's most delectably twisted treats.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Spider-Man is an almost-perfect extension of the experience of reading comic-book adventures.
    • New York Daily News
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Harris brings into focus a nearly forgotten success story, filling in another blank in the ultimate mosaic of the 20th century's greatest tragedy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Whether Adam Sandler can actually act is not actually answered in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. But he's great in it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    It's a sensation - both a milestone in computer-animation and a likely Christmas classic.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Beautifully shot, both in darkened homes and on the misty green Irish landscape by Loach's frequent cinematographer Barry Aykroyd, "Wind" has a you-are-there intensity and intimacy about it that make it nearly overwhelming. But for all its violence and subsequent sadness, it's a movie of extraordinary importance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    If you're at all curious about what it feels like to be inside a race car going 200 miles per hour at Daytona International Speedway, I don't think there's a better, quicker or safer way to find out than Simon Wincer's documentary.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    But there were few, if any, better performances in 2000 than the one Blanchett gives here, and Raimi's crafty blend of dramatic realism and supernatural knowledge is one of the year's best directing con jobs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    This quiet yet jolting meditation on love, obsession, loneliness, friendship and fate has the quality to entrance you through a first viewing, and compel you to take its themes and characters home with you for further consideration.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The whole system was sadistic and indefensible, and the church, looking the other way as long as profits rolled in from the laundries, deserves the scorn that Mullan and his fine cast heap on it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    One of the most inventive, funny and ultimately tragic coming-of-age movies in years.
    • New York Daily News
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    An audacious, snappy visual and emotional feast of dishes both familiar and fresh. It's the first really good movie of 2001.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    This is Guest's fourth ensemble parody of showbiz subjects, and though his sketch-comedy style and acting troupe are now familiar, this is his most accomplished movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The effects in "T3" are spectacular, and the action sequences -- particularly the fights between the good and bad terminators -- are exhilarating.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Gently hilarious comedy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    What follows is an extreme case of reverse courtship, which begins at conception and works backward toward getting to know each other, and then moves forward to one of the funniest birthing scenes ever filmed.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    If the structure is a tad out of whack, "No Country" does not lack for action or suspense. Some of the scenes of Chigurh's stalking of Moss are nearly unbearably tense. Bring your worry beads.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Passes like an evening spent with friends.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    School of Rock may be to Black what "The Nutty Professor" was to Jerry Lewis, or "Groundhog Day" was to Bill Murray - that rare, perfectly tailored opportunity to play against one's broadest impulses. Not to neutralize them, necessarily, but to tame them and turn them into something very human and charming.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Tony Gilroy, co-author of the superb Jason Bourne film trilogy, makes a stunning directorial debut with Michael Clayton, an out-of-courtroom drama that helps solidify George Clooney's acting bona fides.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Kempner demonstrates how the star's success and dignified bearing inspired a generation of Jews to fight through the ethnic barriers in all fields.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Though made 31 years after D-Day, the dramatic scenes have the period look of a '40s movie, which links them perfectly with the stunning archival footage.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    There is a little of all of us in their awkwardness, fears and neuroses, and we root for their success in the mundane as if they were ascending Everest. Elling is still in the running for 2002's most uplifting movie.
    • New York Daily News
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    A love story told from the point of impact, at the heart, and no conventional resolution could be more profound.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    The stories are eye-opening and heartwarming at the same time, but you'll be moved less by empathy for the characters than by the summoning of your own emotional memories. This movie is personal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    A movie-movie about the movies.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    Parents, who are more apt to be bored by the simple story line, are going to be amazed nevertheless by the smooth, convincing animation that lends Stuart his lifelike physicality and expressive facial gestures.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Jack Mathews
    What we need to remember, what Black Hawk Down reminds us, is that there are no safe missions when you're chasing bad guys. Especially when you have to chase them down a hole.

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