For 753 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jay Carr's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Last September
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 96 out of 753
753 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Films that achieve the dimension of seraphic embrace achieved by 'Innocence, as it explores a return to first love, are the rarest of the rare.
    • Boston Globe
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Sensuous and rarefied, elevating its particulars into epiphanies, The Long Day Closes is as joyful as introversion gets. [9 July 1993, p.25]
    • Boston Globe
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Music for the eyes. That's why it has become a treasured classic. That's why we'll see it again and again.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Watching it is a nonstop high.
    • Boston Globe
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It's more than science, more than biography, more than metaphor. Fusing all three and linking them to a profound human dimension that never cheapens the man or his macrospeculations, it ties them to shared human destiny. As Morris' elliptical style circles and deepens its themes with each pass, A Brief History of Time turns into film's own expanding universe. [14 Sep 1992, p.50]
    • Boston Globe
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Satisfying in every respect, it's a piece of blue-collar chamber music, never treating the characters cheaply, allowing them a complex entwinement of emotions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Deeper and richer in humanity than all but a handful of the American films released this year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Its breadth, profundity, and stunningly rendered vision make idealism seem renewed and breathtaking again.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    The surehandedly wrought, beautifully acted, almost unbearably tense In the Bedroom is a rare film, not to be missed.
    • Boston Globe
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47]
    • Boston Globe
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Bizarre, shadowy, enticingly eerie...more poetic, more tantalizingly original.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Not since the original ''Star Wars'' trilogy has film dipped into myth and emerged with the kind of weight and heft seen in Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
    • Boston Globe
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Farnsworth's embodiment of old American values, with their combination of delicacy, reserve, and stand-alone independence, is a one-of-a-kind treasure.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It rates a resounding yes because it doesn't insult our emotional intelligence. [23 Nov 1983]
    • Boston Globe
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Intriguing, arresting, delightfully refusing to be pigeonholed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is a knockout, a huge angry howl of movie that uses a crippled Vietnam veteran's disability as metaphor for a country's paralysis. [5 Jan 1990, p.67]
    • Boston Globe
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Never has a film taken such relish in between-the-wars malice as Gosford Park.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Spacey is diamond-brilliant in a role that plays as if custom-made for him.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    We're in a golden age of comedy, and one of the reasons is Margaret Cho.
    • Boston Globe
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A sweet screenful of quirky chaos.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    One of the year's most winning performances, Logue's Dex will grow on you as he stumbles toward emotional fullness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Stillman has become a master at escalating the laughter by waiting an extra beat and then understating something devastatingly funny, as when someone looks Chris Eigeman's club manager, Des, in the eye and says, "I consider you a person of integrity - except, you know, in the matter of women."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Vincent and Theo is one of the great Robert Altman films... It's Altman's most structurally conventional film, although it's filled with such trademarks as overlapping conversations. It's also his most personal and deeply felt. [16 Nov 1990, p.81]
    • Boston Globe
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Nobody ever placed brilliance in the service of silliness quite the way the Python gang did. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is stuffed with both.
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Driving Miss Daisy, about the deepening relationship between a Jewish matron in Atlanta and her black chauffeur, is a luminous joy of a film, heartbreakingly delicate, effortlessly able through indirection to invoke the civil rights era without ever once slipping into portentous pronouncements. [12 Jan. 1990, p.35]
    • Boston Globe
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of works in any given year to which one is moved to apply the word ''masterpiece.'' Raul Ruiz's Time Regained is one of them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A grand, dark, grave, severe piece of first-rate cinema.
    • Boston Globe
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Simple, but loaded. It celebrates the humanity and humanism at the heart of Iran's remarkable flow of films, but it's also more of a rebuke to materialistic values than any ideologue could ever hope to be.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    An invigoratingly mordant comedy that proves that Alexander Payne's rambunctious debut, "Citizen Ruth," was no fluke.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    First and foremost, Good Will Hunting is a film riding young, exuberant energies.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Roberts and Erin Brockovich have Oscar contender written all over them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A civilized delight.
    • Boston Globe
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come. [19 Nov 1983, p.1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It's all we ask of a film but almost never get, as it first makes us squirm, then makes us cheer.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    The best film of 2001 was made in 1979.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Badlands is one of the great banality-of-evil films. [29 May 1998, p.C9]
    • Boston Globe
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Not only exhilarating and cathartic. It's too funny to be ignored.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    With Carrey hitting a career peak, this Grinch doesn't steal Christmas; it restores the season by helping energize us enough to make it through the whole thing.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It isn't often that lives of quiet desperation are served up with such pearly restraint.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    The story is spun forth ravishingly, tenderly, and urgently, with a captivating mix of beauty, spare sophistication, and profound humanity.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It's terse, atmospheric, fatalistic, with vertiginous camera angles and edits offsetting its gray documentary flatness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    "In Cold Blood," "Badlands," "The Executioner's Song," and now, joining those grisly milestones on the heartland hit list, and every bit their equal, is Boys Don't Cry.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A Bronx Tale is a joy, a film that comes unerringly from someone's heart and experience, and not from a power lunch of agents with clients to be packaged. [1 Oct 1993, p. 49]
    • Boston Globe
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    The women here aren't afraid to get extreme about love, but in the end, you sense that they are too sound to destroy themselves over the worthless man they have allowed to personify it. That's what lifts Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown from the amusing to the sublime. [23 Dec 1988, p.23]
    • Boston Globe
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Naked is one of the most scorchingly compelling films in years, Mike Leigh's masterpiece, an unflinching vision of civilization in retreat, life as apocalypse. [4 Mar. 1994, p.51]
    • Boston Globe
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A gorgeous autumnal period piece that catches a vanishing proprietary class on the eve of its extinction in Ireland in 1920.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Terrific French film about that most universal of subjects - work.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Slly, sublime, buoyant mischief that is virtually without parallel in 20th-century art, much less 20th-century film.
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    It's one of the great sister movies and one of the great performance movies. [26 Jan 1996]
    • Boston Globe
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Quiet, powerful, contemplative, respectful of stillness, Eureka is the first film this year in which there is obvious greatness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    The sly and subtle Minus Man is a wicked little sidewinder of a black comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    With its beautifully crafted starburst of colors and themes spanning its requisite Victorian gravity, A Little Princess is a beguiling little supernova of a movie I can't imagine anyone not loving. [19 May 1995, p.64]
    • Boston Globe
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    In a crisply restored print, it's as joyous as ever. We loved them - yeah, yeah, yeah. Now we can love them all over again.
    • Boston Globe
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    Few, if any, films this year will approach, let alone equal, Autumn Tale in its subtle sparkle.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    [The novel's] themes have never not been fresh and they gleam here under the sympathetic and enlivening touch of Armstrong and her cast, who move through the events with sunny assurance and complete immersion in character. [21 Dec 1994]
    • Boston Globe
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jay Carr
    A heady flow of brilliant stupidity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    He's (Dafoe) the stuff bad dreams are made of. He's also the best movie vampire since Schreck's original. He deserves a bloody Oscar.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    The film is rightfully carried by Nico and Dani and under Gay's artful helmsmanship it's carried with remarkable sympathy and believability.
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
    • Boston Globe
    • 44 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    The kind of richly layered film that Hollywood seldom attempts, much less brings off. But it's more than brought off here in grand, solid style and beautifully crafted detail.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Unstrung Heroes, with its small, detailed brush strokes and its eye for specifics, marks Diane Keaton's directorial breakthrough. [15 Sep 1995]
    • Boston Globe
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    With Jackson leading the way, Shaft has style, punch, and street cred. It's a hot cool update.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Warm, smart, and funny!
    • Boston Globe
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    An upsetting landmark. Don't take the children.
    • Boston Globe
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    It's the best drug-busting movie since ''The French Connection.''
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Funny, gritty, filled with surprising stabs of feeling, Parenthood is a stretch for Ron Howard, its director. This new adult comedy has the generosity of "Cocoon" and "Splash," but it takes Howard into deeper, darker, messier territory. [2 Aug 1989, p.57]
    • Boston Globe
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Fresh, original, and arresting.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Director Penny Marshall's choreography encompasses emotional as well as physical ebbs and flows. Awakenings lives up to its title. [11 Jan 1991]
    • Boston Globe
    • 45 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Quite apart from wringing the last molecule of vividness from his freewheeling roster of loose cannons, he brings to his direction of Martin a finesse shared by only a few of the directors who have worked with the comedian-actor.
    • Boston Globe
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Gray's haunted, obsessional riffs are absorbing theater. Because Demme had the good sense to lay back and not beat them over the head with his cameras, they're equally compelling on film. [27 Mar 1987]
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    If there is any message in Tarkovsky's work, although as a poet he would never stoop to anything as banal as a message, it is that life is an internal affair, played out in one's soul, not in public.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Smart, unpredictable, and alive with the energies of actors who clearly are enjoying being stretched by their material.
    • Boston Globe
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Like its subject, Pollock is a messy creation, but one whose depth of commitment and high attack keeps it on track.
    • Boston Globe
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Beyond its fresh twists on the cop and romance genres, Witness is, above all, an anti-consumption film. [08 Feb 1985]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    The cinematic equivalent of a high, arching rainbow of a three-pointer from midcourt.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Hurtling from the screen with a vigor and importance that are all but absent from contemporary film, it's a deeply moving social drama, raw and gritty in style, shining with moral purpose as it delivers a scathing take-it-into-the-streets critique of feral capitalism and racism. [18 July 1997, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    A witty yet fiery and, in the best sense, provocative play of ideas about freedom of expression.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Superior and original filmmaking. You won't be able to take your eyes off it.
    • Boston Globe
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Richly textured, beautifully acted.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    A perfect example of a small, well-made, and (in its central role) rivetingly acted film.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Bell is utterly persuasive as the boy literally yearning to leap beyond the oppressively apparent confines of his world.
    • Boston Globe
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    What keeps the film going, and helps it keep its comic tone, is the constant threat of cataclysm - and the deadpan Buster Keaton charm of the ever-responsive Pinon as he combats the giant Rube Goldberg meat-grinder that the house, in effect, is. [17 Apr 1992]
    • Boston Globe
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Varda's charmingly eccentric amble, wise in its seeming waywardness.
    • Boston Globe
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    What you're not prepared for in Marziyeh Meshkini's astonishing debut film is the way its central image instantly leaps into the pantheon of world cinema with a rightness and an urgency that glue your eyes to the screen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    The film's triumph - and it is a triumph - in the end rests on the ability of Hrebejk and his actors to convince us that they never stop being normal people.
    • Boston Globe
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    As savage and as epic as film gets.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Throughout the history of film, nothing turns campier faster than dinosaur movies. This one will have a much longer shelf life than most.
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    It's a treat to encounter the deadpan light-handedness with which Mamet goes about his business.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Nobody's going to think of The Score as trail-blazing, but there's nothing small-time about its dramatic and acting payoff.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Never settling for mere irony, High Hopes becomes a small banner of sanity and good humor among the social ruins. Leigh never shies away from his unflinching dead-end class view of contemporary London. Nor does he wallow in '60s nostalgia. Which is part of the reason his passionate, life-embracing High Hopes is so exhilarating. [31 Mar. 1989, p.30]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    A terrific little uppercut of a boxing movie and close to a perfect one.
    • Boston Globe
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    Miraculously, the opera comes off, simultaneously ridiculous and thrilling, in a blaze of pageantry.
    • Boston Globe
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    One of the things that make [Branagh's] Henry V so thrilling is his audacity in trying to turn it into an antiwar play - a view that would have astounded Shakespeare. Astonishingly, he pretty much brings it off, emerging with steadily growing power as the young king who isn't afraid to bloody his hands. [15 Dec 1989]
    • Boston Globe
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    It's lively, edgy, full of zigs and zags, juicy performances, and offbeat fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    You walk out amazed and refreshed by the way it kicks the assumptions out from under the genre.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    You'll care what happens in this film with more than enough freshness and originality to avoid succumbing to girls-on-the-run cliches.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    A tender genuflection to the women's energies that keep that spinning world from keeling over.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    It's a meditation on life and death, but it's less somber and more light-handed, subtle, and mischievously funny.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Jay Carr
    It's slick, sleek, and stylish, and if it doesn't quite redefine cool, it certainly offers a snazzy update.
    • Boston Globe

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