James Mottram
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For 79 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Mottram's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Maps to the Stars
Lowest review score: 20 Mortdecai
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 79
  2. Negative: 1 out of 79
79 movie reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    A stunning space saga that takes off for new technical frontiers without leaving its humanity behind.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Utterly gripping. Aided by two punchy lead turns, an Oscar-worthy script and stunning in-car footage, Howard’s race film delivers top-gear drama. A piston- and heart-pumping triumph.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Detractors may carp that Cronenberg is showing us nothing new, but Maps is so flawless in its execution, it vividly refreshes the subject matter. Never overcooking the setting, it’s a story right in his wheelhouse; a very human look at characters barely clinging to their humanity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    The best sci-fi movie since "Moon." The best time-travel yarn since "12 Monkeys." And one of the best films of 2012. You'll immediately want to see it again.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Powerful drama, driven by a powerhouse performance, Selma is this year’s Lincoln. For Oyelowo and DuVernay, it’s a career changer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Smartly executed, endlessly quotable and machine-gun quick, this is one of the funniest films of 2013. Accessible for Partridge novices and hugely rewarding for the faithful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Loud, intense, violent, relentless, Fury doesn’t stop until the credits roll, thanks to Ayer’s cracking direction and a committed cast. The best WW2 movie in some time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Injecting fun and fairground thrills back into the spy movie, Kingsman is a blast. Firth is sensational, Jackson rules and newcomer Egerton surprises. Mission accomplished for Matthew Vaughn.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Kneel before shannon. His primal, powerhouse turn drives this criminal biopic. the film won’t win any prizes for originality, but its star proves he’s a real man of steel.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    MacKay is marvellous, delivering lines with a Lear-like intensity, in what becomes a fascinating meditation on myth and madness.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Denis’ sparse story delivers details on a need-to-know basis, right up to the finale. Strong on atmos, thanks to Tindersticks’ score, it’ll chill you to the core.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    The finale, as Ai's Twitter tirades lead to a serious human-rights breach, will make your blood boil.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Even if it lacks a stand-out turn it's still a grippingly authentic slice of life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    If the Collette/Carell reunion suggests Little Miss Sunshine, it’s not quite that crowd-pleasing. But, crafted with much TLC and sympathy, it’s perfectly tailored to the tongue-tied teen in us all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Capturing the essence of the source novel, this is a superior adult drama. Harrowing, heartbreaking but utterly compelling.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Loving and lavish, Kenneth Branagh’s take will please traditionalists more than revisionists, but there’s enough here to enchant both young and old.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Smart, literate and romantic, it's this year's (500) Days Of Summer, but with a few more shadows. Like Calvin, you'll find it hard to resist Ms Sparks.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A finely etched character study, with Cumberbatch on towering form. Set coordinates for the Oscars.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Dolan never flinches across this bold, brassy piece; it’s confidently directed, stylishly shot, passionately acted and evocatively scored.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Maverick director James Toback (Fingers) and Alec Baldwin front this frequently hilarious insider doc.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    With McAvoy acting as if his life depends on it, Filth is the Irvine Welsh film we’ve been waiting years for. Tastier than a deep-fried Mars Bar.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Not as groundbreaking as the original, nor as expansive as all the best sequels are. But with some excellent cast additions, and Miller on murky form, this still sizzles to the touch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    The result? An accomplished, bittersweet drama that's more bitter than sweet.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Full of ear-pleasing lines and obscure R&B tunes, it’s colourful, casual and full of flavour. An unexpected treat.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Bleak but beautiful, this terrific chamber drama confirms Ceylan as one of world cinema’s leading lights. The bum-numbing length may intimidate, but there’s more than enough quality to offset it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    On form as both director and actor, Jones crafts a mournful but moving hymn to the western. The feminist subtext, meanwhile, brings a fresh slant to the old genre.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    If not quite on a par with PTA’s best, this is still a richly intoxicating brew of humour, violence and melancholy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A superior thriller, with Cruise and McQuarrie slotting together like a bullet in a clip. Like Reacher on the firing range, the aim isn't always true – but the misses are fractional.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Not the deepest western you’ll ever see, but it sure knows how to pack a punch (and fire off a round). Fans of the genre will get their kicks.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Gormican’s script is the film’s big strength; the dialogue fizzes while the set-pieces pay off handsomely.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    To The Wonder doesn’t quite live up to the sky-high expectations set by his earlier films. But it’s still a brave, soul-stirring and sensitive work.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Leaner, meaner, and far superior to 2010's Clash cock-up. From top-grade 3D to a multitude of monsters and a welcome influx of acting talent, this is pure popcorn pleasure.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Rude, crude and packed with more laughs than Jay’s had lovers (6,004, apparently), Inbetweeners fans will lap this up. All this, and a killer twist at the end.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    As their early fights give way to growing respect, it’s a beautifully calibrated relationship, with small moments gradually building into something much bigger. A gem.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Funny, twisty and thrilling, this is shellhead’s most entertaining solo flight to date. It’s also an impressive pace-setter for this summer’s barrage of big movies.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Utterly assured, breathtakingly executed and riotously funny, this is a delight.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Ozon keeps the melodrama at bay to deliver a typically subversive study of growing pains. And in Vacth he’s found a real star-in-waiting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A surreal head-scratcher that'd make Luis Buñuel smile, it may not be perfectly formed, but there's no denying its fierce originality.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Hardy is immaculate as Leo, from accent to demeanour. Now on his fourth film with Hardy, Oldman is a pleasure to watch, and even the smallest of roles have been carefully cast, with the likes of Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine and Clarke all enjoying their moment.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Depending on taste, you’ll be left either barfing or laughing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    With Hill on co-scripting duties with Scott Pilgrim scribe Michael Bacall, 21 Jump Street was always going to live or die by its gags. Fortunately, it boasts that sweet-yet-dirty comedy that Hill revels in.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    [A] memorable, conventional account of a true maverick.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Full of fizz, filth and fun, I’m So Excited! is like an ’80s retro-blast. Its scattershot comedy may not impress latecomers to Almodóvar’s career, but old-school fans will love it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Like all of Bay’s work, it’s over-the-top, brash and exhausting to watch. But like the lifestyle its characters aspire to, there’s an allure too.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    A competent rather than classic follow-up. If the action feels generic at times, the addition of Watts, more Winslet and the strength of Woodley are worth watching.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    It’s absorbing to a point, but adds little to what’s gone before.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Adams is as watchable as ever as Margaret, backed by fine support, but the problem lies with Waltz. He’s more caricature than character, and Burton proves unable to harness his energy as well as Tarantino did.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    It’s not groundbreaking, but the impressionistic approach at least strives for more than your standard-issue bio.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Sagnier is appealing in her first real romantic role and there’s Gallic charm galore.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Loyal to the novel, but welcoming enough for newbies, Divergent does a decent if not jawdropping job of bringing its dystopian world to life.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Childminders rejoice: the formulaic but family-friendly series is back and it's business as usual.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    The home stretch is drenched in sticky-sweet sentiment, but Murray’s fans will rejoice at the chance to see their idol in full-on grouch mode.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    A grand folly that makes the Wachowskis’ "The Matrix" trilogy look prosaic, Cloud Atlas is a fascinating if flawed work that will leave you gasping one minute and gagging the next.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Assured, adult filmmaking from a writer/director who knows her way around the ups and downs of relationships.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Another silly but sturdy instalment that’s as well-oiled as The Rock’s muscles. If the ‘Letty in London’ story doesn’t exactly have that new-car smell, this is still the fastest soap opera on wheels.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    With Yakin's all-action plot operating like clockwork, an on-song Statham proves anything but expendable in a genre he dominates. Predictable, sure, but equally pleasurable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Shepard’s film is fun but forgettable in the first hour, then disappointing in the final third. But Law’s raucous turn keeps you watching.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    It may lose its way on occasions, but thanks to a committed cast and a script that captures the Kerouac vibe, Salles' adaptation never ends up on the road to nowhere.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    What emerges is a touching study (in more ways than one) of the trials, terrors and triumphs of living with physical disability.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Outrageous, outlandish and overboard, The Dictator will satisfy Cohen's army of fans. But it never feels as funny, full-on or fresh as "Borat" and "Brüno."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Quillévéré’s elliptical plot isn’t always spot-on, skipping years to a near maddening degree. But treading a fine line between poetry and realism, it’s still heartfelt and harrowing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    It’s wildly melodramatic, typified by the ear-assaulting score. But there’s something compelling about Dolan’s supreme self-confidence, even when misplaced. He takes risks – and that’s attractive.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Two fine performances - particularly from an unhinged Winstead - almost elevate Smashed to greatness. But an under-worked script leaves you feeling groggy and bleary-eyed by the end.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Reversing his "Take Shelter" role, Michael Shannon convinces as her grounded husband and "Mad Men's" John Slattery offers good support as a fellow vet. But this is Cardellini's film, and she dominates with a terrific, tough-minded turn.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    It’s no "Drive," and even hardcore fans will struggle to love a film that’s as mad as a bag of prawn crackers, but as an exercise in style, it has many moments to savour.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Typified by Penn's blustery performance, Gangster Squad is sleek, stylish but superficial. Easy on the eye, even easier on the brain, it doesn't last long in the memory.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Cool cast, hip directors, but a movie that's less than the sum of both. Like its title character, Jeff is gentle, warm but a little forgettable.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Most of the gags fall flatter than a Knoxville belly-flop.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Mostly, this is empty, ugly and pretentious.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Disappointingly limp, with precious few belly laughs, despite a try-hard attitude.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Flu
    The result? Not so much "World War Z" as World War Zzzz.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    A genuine disappointment, given the talent involved, and a rare misstep for Penn, who can’t save this moribund vanity project from flatlining.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    But for the most part it’s Neanderthal compared to the Pixar stable.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    You'd think Greta Gerwig's bones were hurting, so achingly hip is this irritating New York indie.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    A few lowbrow laughs… but far too many one-note characters, performances, and plot points to make them worth showing up for.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    A nifty lift-off and a tense first hour lead us, disappointingly, to a very bumpy landing. While Neeson and co. do their best, the script just doesn’t deliver where it really matters.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    The cars are hot, the action is decent, but the characters and plot need a serious tune-up.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 James Mottram
    Charmless, mirthless and witless, this waste of time is another black mark on Depp’s card, while his co-stars fare little better. Even low expectations won’t help you here.

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