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 Almost Famous
Lowest review score: 0 Kangaroo Jack
Score distribution:
1,365 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Doesn't so much crackle as pop. It has enough double entendres to fill a D-cup, but it has a premise that would have burned a hole in the screen in 1962, when its story is set.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Offering often-hysterical testimony to Vilanch's talent.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Heights is stage-bound throughout, and the secrets it would like to keep are very predictable. But its heart is in the right place, and the performances are first-rate.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    This is an entertaining Western with some earnest ideas about forgiveness, redemption and the loss of innocents.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    If Intolerable Cruelty isn't a convincing love story, it's a hugely entertaining one, with comic relief -- in the form of Cedric the Entertainer as a voyeuristic private eye and Tom Aldredge as a decaying law-firm boss issuing directives while hooked up to life-support -- piled on top of the comedy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    What separates Diggers from its kin - notably the Ed Burns movies - is the testosterone balance of its masculine script and Dieckmann's sensitive direction. Maybe we need more buddy movies by women.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    As an answer to the spreading cultural virus of evangelical conformity, Brian Dannelly's teen farce Saved! is about three teeth short of a full bite. But it leaves an indelible impression.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    There are some clunky, juvenile jokes and an excess of shots to that special place on men that make us double over and weep. But there are some very funny, very hip jokes as well.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Slither is neither repetitive nor reverent. It is a dark and hilarious spoof of those movies, one in which both the characters and the audience seem to be in on the jokes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    "Ghost World" director Terry Zwigoff, working with a depraved script by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, has fashioned the sickest -- and funniest -- black comedy in years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A couple of the stories don't quite accomplish what Rodrigo intends, but most are poignant, disturbing, and superbly acted.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Meticulously researched documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The film's standout performance belongs to Ed Harris, who plays a Boston detective with decades of experience and an equal amount of built-up resentment toward people who would harm children.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Hellboy may be a big, noisy goof of a comic-book action film, but love is in the dank, dark, subterranean air as the bulky red-hued palooka tries to win the heart of the pyrokinetic beauty Liz Sherman.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Fuqua's passion for the music comes through in the clear, unobtrusive style of the film, which mixes generous footage of the event's performances with interviews and archival footage, all adding up to a luscious historical snapshot of one America's original art forms.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    One of the more uplifting films of the season.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    At the stunning conclusion, you feel as if the weight of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come down on your head.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Despite the movie's dramatic weaknesses, I was spellbound by the images.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Delpy wrote the dialogue that gives the film its forward thrust, and "2 Days" is a wonderful first feature.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The whole movie is something of a joke, a feature-length prank that mixes stark violence and shock humor in the mold of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." Though it is a far less ambitious entertainment than Tarantino's masterpiece, it has its moments.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    These are people who are just waking up to life again. It may appear to be the ultimate non-action ­movie, but in the context of these lives, it is the highest kind of ­drama.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    But the film has a poetic pulse, its ups and downs accompanied by some smartly chosen pop songs, a seductive original score and McKidd's husky voice-over narration.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The movie, shot digitally, begins as a not very compelling or particularly convincing road movie, and turns into a riveting prison drama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The three young actors are good, but the movie is held together from beginning to end by another riveting performance from Washington. Few actors can dominate a film with their diction as well as Washington, and the role of the erudite, passionate Mel Tolson gives him plenty of opportunity.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The new cast is no match for the star-clustered original, but Lucas, who looks much like a young Paul Newman (you may think you're watching "The Towering Inferno"), has a strong, matinee-idol presence, and Russell is a reliable old hand at this sort of thing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A veteran who was in the Allied force trying to drive Germans out of a landmark Italian monastery asks, "What is more important, a great piece of art or a human life?" That it has taken more than 60 years to get this incredible story told answers the question.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    I love this series; it's possibly the most exciting use of the documentary medium ever.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    You may have to go back to 1973's "Paper Moon" and the father/daughter work of Ryan O'Neal and 10-year-old Tatum for equal excellence in nepotism.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It's got a hot premise, some cool sets, attractive stars and action that lets up only when it thinks you're about to surrender.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Though Civic Duty seems to be a study in paranoid psychosis, it has just enough ambiguity to make you wonder if it isn't something else. You'll still be wondering when it's all over.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Cuarón relies on his ample visual style, and he has indeed created a film you cannot tear your eyes away from.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A fascinating movie that, if you are able to make the leap it asks of you at about the three-quarter mark, will give you something to think and talk about for days. One thing is certain: It isn't predictable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The stories are sharply written and well composed. Some are high tech on a low-tech budget, but where they find their strength -- in the emotions of their characters -- money is no object.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    What you get out of Batman Begins depends on what you bring to it. It is the most faithful to the origins of the comic strip and it sets up a series very different from the four made by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher between 1989 and 1997.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Dahl found the right actors for every part - Bill Pullman as the cynical Realtor hired to look after Frank, Luke Wilson as the gay AA member assigned as Frank's sponsor, and the always amusing Dennis Farina as Irish mobster Edward O'Leary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Kassell has serious talent. The movie is beautifully shot, and the performances are all spot-on. But like many young screenwriters today, she has overwritten her script to the point where everything is simply too tidy for the messy psychological material.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It will make you laugh, and feel like crying.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Savvy, unflinching, often bloody documentary.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Michael Wranovics' documentary replays this sorry chapter in all-American greed in glorious detail.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Haroun is deft at handling the joys and pain of childhood. He neither condescends nor ­­over-sentimentalizes. It is a story of separation anxiety (for Amine) and coming of age (for Tahir) and it's universal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Danny Deckchair may be a trifle, but it offers a breezy lift for the dog days of summer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    As sensitive to its subject as it is stark in its rendering.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Belvaux says his tryptich...are stand-alone movies that can be enjoyed in any order. I disagree. None is a complete experience and "An Amazing Couple" can be easily skipped. But the first and third add up to something very poignant and satisfying.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    There's nothing here for commercial reality-TV shows, just history caught on the run, offering a raw and timeless reminder of the day we had our eyes opened to the power of blind hatred.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A small gem in the postholiday depression.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Rarely does an animated character merge as perfectly with the persona of the actor providing his voice as the star of Monsters, Inc. does with John Goodman.
    • New York Daily News
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The jokes come in endless flurries, and if they're working - even at a ratio of 1 in 4 - you're laughing more than you're not. The Zucker-Proft team simply has a higher batting average than the Wayans.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The scourge of the 20th century has become a sage and hero to a new generation of haters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The filmmaker's ego and ethics aside, there's no denying the power of Wuornos' behavior here.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The movie falls apart toward the end as it enters "Eyes Wide Shut" territory, but until then, it's fun to see bookworms cast in the James Bond mode.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A long sit for those unfamiliar with Proust's literary quest and output, but the view is sensational.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Blood Diamond is, in the vernacular of Old Hollywood, a rip-roaring adventure, the kind made in the '30s with Clark Gable and the handiest leading lady on contract at MGM.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Depp may not be a trained singer, but his voice is more than passable, and his presence - his Sweeney is Edward Scissorhands gone bad - is perfect. Bonham Carter sings well, too, and young Ed Sanders, as the pie shop's Dickensian apprentice, is a delight.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A personal eulogy, from one artist to another, and an indictment of all systems of government that deny people the right to free expression and the full realization of their talent.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Refreshingly nondogmatic.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It is a sign of the times that audiences will watch these equally selfish lovers and find one infinitely more sensible than the other.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The monster's mashing of Tokyo looks as Ed Wood-like as ever, but the film's humanity gives it depth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Bale gives a near-great performance as a man with all the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and the film weaves an ingenious psychological web.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Whether you lived through the period and will have fond memories jostled, or are scouting for future DVD pleasures, the surest way to see a good movie in a theater this week is to see one about them.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The screenplay is laced with wit and sharp dialogue, and the supporting cast more than makes up for Johnson's inexperience and occasional stiffness.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It's an intricate, at times incoherent, but often funny and consistently fascinating trio of stories with the same actors in different but related roles.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Watching Kevin Costner and William Hurt share grim laughs during Bruce Evans' Mr. Brooks is one of the pleasures of this totally absurd and equally entertaining psychological thriller.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Fascinating and often very funny behind-the-scenes look at the tedium and hard work that go into making strangers laugh.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The favorable three-star rating I'm giving the animated Pokémon: The First Movie is based at least partly on the fact that I expected to dislike it and didn't.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Could well end up on the coming Oscar ballot for best foreign language film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Sigourney Weaver is a riot in the cynical Faye Dunaway network boss role.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    There is a hint of sentimentality among the pals at the end, but not enough to offset the film's harmless combination of camaraderie and wished-for - oh, how they wish for it - debauchery.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    There are some problems with the pacing, but this topical thriller about CIA-sanctioned torture is one of the most important "message" movies of the year.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Surely among the darkest-themed movies ever made.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Jonathan Berman's documentary about California's famous Black Bear Ranch is a trip.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It's almost a surprise that the sequel is actually better - much better - than the original.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Kids are going to adore looking at this movie, living in it, flying through and above its brilliant landscape. It's an animated joyride over a relief map of Manhattan. I just wish the script was as good as the paint.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Roberts carries the film in the best sense, by taking us on a human journey of genuine discovery and growth.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    This is a very tender portrayal of young people caught up in a blisteringly fast and cynical world, and though their music is hideous, they are a compelling act.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The movie doesn't remind me so much of the movies of Minnelli or Sirk as it does a lavish parody of "Upstairs, Downstairs," with musical interludes (the divas sing, whether they can or not) that are often as painful to watch as they are audaciously performed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    I'm not sure how tolerable this would be without Palmer's charm, because this is a formulated script where everything is tied up in perfect bows, just like life isn't.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The song for which Piaf is best-known - "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" ("No Regrets") - leads to a killer finale with Cotillard perfectly lip-synching Piaf's recording of it. Trust me; you'll want to own it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    This is one of the scariest movies featuring female heroines since the "Alien" series, and what makes it uniquely scary is where these women are -- in tunnels two miles under ground -- when they realize they are not alone.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    This is first-rate stuff.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A small movie that plays like a Western epic.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    It's hard not to like a movie so determined to make you feel the love of a family, to make you feel that every dream can become a reality and that every mortgage - no matter how close to foreclosure - can be rescued by the sudden death of a family member and his inheritance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Though we had just heard the name Lee Harvey Oswald, I believed he had done it alone. I still do, even more so after watching Robert Stone's meticulously researched, seemingly unbiased summary of the killing and the major conspiracy theories.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The film's greatest strength is its inadvertent timeliness. Parallels between LBJ's Vietnam policy and George W. Bush's Iraq policy go off in your head like flares.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Showing the movie would be a great way to open a debate. I would love to hear its charges answered as clearly as they're stated.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Though there is enough haute couture on display for a season of "Sex and the City" envy, it has definite off-the-rack appeal to regular moviegoers. In fact, it may be the one film this year where you'll see Manolo Blahniks and Doc Martens on women sitting in the same row.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Bittersweet, funny, sad and invariably romantic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    The unlikely cowboys play off each other's strengths like the best doubles team in tennis. The exquisiteness of this match is that Chan and Wilson are both reactive comedy actors.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    There's nothing new here, but Frank provides a genial reminder that politics doesn't always have to take the low road.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A reverse male-bonding tale unlike anything you've ever seen. And it's not the easiest good movie to sit through.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    A quirky comedy-drama that gets the bulk of its humor from the well-placed non sequitur. It never seems to be going where you think it is, and that includes its oddly endearing dialogue.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    No masterpiece, but in a season dominated by films as heavy -- and about as time-consuming -- as brain surgery, a little brain candy is sweet.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    This kind of parody is hard to sustain for an hour and a half, and "Walk Hard" does gets wearying at times. But the humor is so outrageous, the original music so much fun and Reilly so good - both while hamming it up in the role and in singing the songs - that it's irresistible.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    In this documentary, I learn there are people who can solve a Monday New York Times puzzle in less than three minutes - without looking words up! I don't necessarily want to know these people, but they put on a good show at the annual crossword championship in Stamford, Ct., which is the centerpiece of this affectionate, smartly-done promo for puzzling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Its story, characters, dialogue, humor and voice performances are first-rate.
    • New York Daily News
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Once in a Lifetime performs a belated autopsy on the Cosmos and the North American Soccer League and basically concludes that they died of impatience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Thornton, directing his first film since the minimalist "Sling Blade" (1996), has a much better grip on the material when he's focused on the scruffy desert landscape and the adventures of the two Texans.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    I'm not sure the filmmakers - one, Harry Thomason, is a long-time Friend of Bill - have connected enough dots to prove a "vast" conspiracy. But that many people devoted much of their lives and resources to destroying Clinton is indisputable.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    With more than a passing nod to the Hollywood mob movie, Pavel Lounguine ("Luna Park") crafts this superb post-Soviet "Godfather" movie loosely based on the exploits of bad boy billionaire Boris Berezovsky.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Jack Mathews
    Smith turns it on with co-star Eva Mendes in a manner that will have George Clooney taking notes.

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