Jesse Cataldo
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For 97 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jesse Cataldo's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Wind Rises
Lowest review score: 12 The Ledge
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 97
  2. Negative: 13 out of 97
97 movie reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jesse Cataldo
    Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jesse Cataldo
    Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Jesse Cataldo
    A movie which sits at the nexus between spoken and written language, the latter mostly of the programming variety.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Jesse Cataldo
    Even if Hayao Miyazaki's career is complete, a work like this serves to remind us of the shining beacons he's left behind him, the testaments to pursuing beauty in the face of so much ugliness, themselves lasting reminders of the quiet rewards of determination.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jesse Cataldo
    True to its title, the film approaches death as both narrative endpoint and formal focus, its initial vivacious mischief giving way to a Manichean fable about the waning of the light.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    It's a brilliant reversal that, while seemingly far less inspired than most of the director's efforts, leaves us with a film that's just as iconoclastic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    A lot of evil is laid on the table in El Sicario, and the film makes a big, if exquisitely subtle show, of theorizing that there's no way to explain how it got there.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    Winding up the tension to an almost stubborn degree, Ti West forestalls the inevitable disappointment of its release, a blow that's further softened by how immaculately the whole movie is shot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    Control is the operative element in Benoît Jacquot's work, with the main caveat being that when someone has it, someone else does not.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    A delirious representation of incipient personalities in bloom, its form as amorphous and reckless as the vibrant youths it portrays.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    These films have always been about the power of words, their ability to bridge gulfs of time and space, the thrill of ideas and opinions taking definitive shape.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    This sardonic depiction of Britain, as a land where a thin veneer of strained politesse and fussy specificity of tastes masks a throbbing heart of darkness, makes for Ben Wheatley's best film yet.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    Conditioning the audience to find dread in every seemingly innocent gesture, the film turns even the simplest touch between family members into something tinged with menace.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    It's a bit reductive in terms of a personal portrait, but this is a film that's not concerned with telling the story of a man, instead making him a representative symbol of a mostly bygone way of life, a reminder of both the fleeting nature of individual experience and the steady patterns of a broader human existence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    As always, Wes Anderson places his trademark precision in direct confrontation with the chaos and confusion menacing his beloved characters.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Jesse Cataldo
    The next step in Jafar Panahi's personal cinema of captivity, a fully fictionalized, wildly bewildering work which imagines a man at war with his own creative impulse.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    It cheats a little, using a mix of amateurish extreme close-ups and striking Welsh industrial vistas to substitute for real technical proficiency, but also applies more formal consideration than most films, namely teen-centered comedies, ever do.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Watching Svetlana Geierat work, parsing the wild complexities of language as she converts Russian into German, the doc becomes a meditation on enforcing order in a world that refuses to accept it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Assembled from short, naturalistic shots of people at work, the documentary becomes a bittersweet testament to labor and a damning representation of a vicious cycle, its images speaking entirely for themselves.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    The staging of this dissociative roundelay is still presented in a forcefully lo-fi format, prizing roughly framed shots, improvisation, and flat characters, but there are ever clearer indications that Swanberg is producing something more than empty-headed slacker cinema.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    There's little in Joe Carnahan's previous films, marked by their frenetic, fanboy-friendly overindulgences, to predict the cold blast of The Grey, an old-fashioned, neatly arrayed survival story that almost reads like a reaction to the excesses of his past work.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Offers exactly what its title promises, unveiling this secret milieu through thoroughly meticulous animation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    The film is ultimately winning because of its devilish anarchic streak, aiming its arrows at the stuffiness of the traditional musical establishment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    While Michael Glawogger does make overtures in the wrong directions, he usually seems to know where to steer his material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    More focused on emotion than adventure, it teases out the possibilities and perils of time travel without embroiling itself in the confusion inherent to the subject.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Lawless may be full of half-hearted overtures toward depth and emotional complexity, but the film's prestige sheen is mostly a sham; the real focus here is the irrepressible lure of bad behavior.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Ursula Meier's film is sustained by a sturdy emotional engine and some intrepidly thoughtful characterization.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    It takes the basic form of the revenge flick and dips it in tar, making for a movie that comes out sticky, nasty, and black.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    The songs performed here function as the creative end point of emotional trauma, revealing pain gradually transfigured into art.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    While it verges on exploitation of the gentle giant at its core, it's also an effective bit of human drama, competently, and sometimes movingly, telling a story that deserves to be told.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Formally ostentatious and unrepentantly messy, the film manages to implicitly convey the overdriven, coked-up confusion that many '70s period pieces make painfully overt.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    It gives us a series of images that, free from definitive context, form a new reality of their own, a small composite portrait of previously untold stories.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    This is a fanboy movie, one more engaged with the excitement of possibility than that of reality, and whatever the noxious connotations of that form of film appreciation, this particular project does a pretty fantastic job of stirring up enthusiasm.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Like Michael Cera's two recent films with Sebastian Silva, Night Moves reveals the dark core contained within an actor's nice-guy neuroticism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    After years of respectable filmmaking, it's refreshing to witness a reinvigorated Roman Polanski willing to once again delve deep into seedy psychodrama.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    It defines Manoel de Oliveira's late period, during which his movies have continued to shrink in size and scope while remaining thematically expansive.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    What results is chaotic but ultimately focused, bound by an intense devotion to disassembling genre and narrative standards.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Anton Corbijn constructs a stifling world of shadowy surveillance and intersecting national interests, building on John Le Carré's sense of moral and emotional exhaustion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jesse Cataldo
    Refusing to mourn anything, displaying a Futurist-style disdain for the past, Sion Sono imagines a world in which static adherence to old ideas leads directly to doom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    The hanging specter of a phantom planet puts a lot of pressure on Another Earth, a resolutely small parable of grief that often feels menaced by its big-idea concept.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    A unique restaurant like El Bulli probably deserves a more creative documentary than El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, a static portrait that comes off as less than inspired by its unusual subject.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Habermann may not be a pragmatic classic of the "Army of Shadows" mold, but it falls within the upper-mid bracket of WWII movies because it doesn't attempt to understand or define the tragedy it approaches.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Forcefully traditional and sentimental, Thunder Soul benefits most from the cinematic turn of the actual events it documents, which allowed the beloved teacher's life to end on a perfectly bittersweet note.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    As a document of a live show it looks like nothing else, but Vincent Morisset's greater aspirations, attempts to define or sum up the band through the inclusion of external material, come off as muddled and oblique.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Wagging a limp dick at a host of up-to-the-minute issues, Wanderlust, manages to feel current, and relatively funny, without ever becoming particularly pointed, resulting in a floppy but satisfactory middlebrow comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    There's great potential for the kind of issues that are taken on, but nothing is resolved, and the biggest questions, of guilt and shame, the gulf of understanding between the first world and the third, remain unengaged.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Polisse has been compared to "The Wire," but beyond a shared interest in the Sisyphean nature of police work, the two are mostly comparable as inverses of each other.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    It runs a complicated bait and switch on its audience, passing ostensible exploitation fodder through a high-toned prestige filter.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Matteo Garrone has a sure eye for outlandish set pieces that exhibit the expansive outlines of his ideas, but these spectacles are sporadic, and the spaces between them tend to lag.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    There's so much baggage involved in the kind of dilettantish games Jamie and Crystal are playing that it's a shame that the film never fully engages with these enticing issues.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Less precise and cohesive than much of Joe Swanberg's recent work, as its small, improvisational skeleton struggles to meet the demands of the more ambitious story it's trying to tell.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Too often Jimmy P. seems to struggle in making its interesting ideas apparent, leaving them stranded beneath the dry surface of an otherwise ordinary procedural.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Conventional but never sanctimonious, it balances out its familiar recovery angle with a healthy measure of sardonic wit.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    The film thrives on ambiguity, keeping all things blurry outside its main character's focused perspective, its myopia sustained by Luminița Gheorghiu's tough, quietly intense performance.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Jake Gyllenhaal embodies the two roles with real presence, establishing Adam's sniveling wimp and Anthony's striding jerk as two believably discrete sides of the same coin.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    It's all showy viscera, no ballet, and wan attempts at the gravity of something like Drug War, with implicit statements made about the deadening nature of violence or the moral equivalency of state-sanctioned and criminal force, don't come close to cohering.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    By reducing its principals to stock figures in an extended chess game, it ends up providing steady, neatly staged thrills, but little else of substance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    The film puts too many elements into play, which means it ends up darting hopelessly between a series of underdeveloped storylines.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Ira Sachs's push for heartrending poetry makes it clear that the film is putting too fine a gloss on the acute pains of one small tragedy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    Pascale Ferran's film isn't daring enough to fully embrace the narrative fragmentation that it sporadically assumes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Jesse Cataldo
    With its optimistic ending, the film muddies its previous statements regarding the danger of unthinkingly hanging on to totems of the past.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    You can tell a lot about the film from its rough handling of the materials supplied by its predecessor, using these commonalities both to identify the bond between the two and signal how much further it's willing to push things.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    A movie like this lives and dies by its finer details, and London Boulevard screws up by applying the same broad brush to its entire cast, meaning every character gets the same amount of shading.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    Where Spielberg has made WWII a venue for his sanctimonious side, a platform to convince viewers that war is indeed hell, Lucas is still in a state of pre-adolescent fascination with the conflict.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    The film refuses to focus on its core story, hedging its bets with forays into family drama, environmental thriller, and corporate intrigue.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    The film is ultimately draining because of the way it handles Anne, stranding a potentially dynamic character in two dueling scenarios, both of which are drab and unsurprising.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    While Nobody Else But You aspires to a kind of French Fargo, it forgets the primary qualities that made that film work.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    Ultimately crammed at a frustrating juncture between period-piece froth and seriously conceived drama, never tipping its hand toward either.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    Seems to be looking for answers, but the ones it finds are too close to the surface to be satisfying.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    While Steve James's documentary is persuasive on an informational level, it doesn't do enough to explore the human side of its subject matter.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    The whole thing comes out feeling kind of featureless, beaten flat by its own sense of fairness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    Like its sad-sack main character, whose closed-off personality makes him hard to fully understand or sympathize with, The Happy Poet is too reservedly rough around the edges.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    It's disheartening that, despite some half-hearted overtures toward shifting the comedy paradigm, the filmmakers make little attempt to expand their comedic palette.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    A human-interest story that claims spite for human-interest stories, the film has some pretty divisive issues at its core that leave it torn between contrasting approaches.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    The film is eventually revealed as less interested in subverting or playing off its influences than rigorously retracing them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    If Takeshi Kitano does go forward with the rumored third volume, hopefully he'll conceive of some fresh angle on this increasingly dry material.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    George Clooney's film boils a big, messy maelstrom of theft and uncertainty down to a digestible, faintly appetizing mush.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    It presents little that wasn't already done better in "Myth of the American Sleepover," an equally evocative tale of longing that was far more successful at matching teen tropes with atmospheric naturalism.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    Michel Gondry bungles his adaptation of the Boris Vian novel by indulging in homespun craftwork at the expense of plot and character detail.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Jesse Cataldo
    The film itself is a lumbering tank of a movie, chunky, loud, and clumsy, mulching down men into meat as proof of its dramatic seriousness and gloomy worldview.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Although it fancies itself as rigidly complex as a well-played chess match, Nick Tomnay's The Perfect Host is really a game without any rules, one where characters and situations exist in total thrall of the next shocking twist.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Despite gestures toward modernity and clumsy humanism, the film feels regressive, presenting a version of modern China that's as much of an anesthetized fairy tale as its costume-drama past.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Glomming conceits and situations from a vast range of similarly themed films, it ambles along in a lethargic, good-natured manner, fitfully amusing but never approaching substantial.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Covered in tattoos and clinging to wisps of their outsider status, the men profiled here seem assured of the novelty of their dilemma, as if they were the first generation to settle into a middle-class existence after a youth spent on the fringes.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Rather than organically develop its characters, it charts their evolution via silly outfit changes, treating the early '80s as a costume bin for flavor-of-the-week aping gags, with the band going from Gary Numan style shirts and skinny ties to lavish glam-rock costumes.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Unfortunately, there's little sympathy granted to these people, and the revelation of their hidden vices comes across like an increasingly mean series of punchlines.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    While his classic hyperbolic visual style is back in force, Stone can't bother to muster any of his usual righteous anger, instead mischanneling his discontent into a kind of zen acceptance of these perpetually tiresome main characters.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    It certainly suffers from the staleness of its off-the-cuff, improv-inspired mode of comedy, which prizes free-form riffing over organically constructed comedic scenarios.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    The film takes on high-concept ideas that it can't sustain, and which only make its other problems more obvious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    While Atiq Rahimi's film may peel away the many layers of its female lead like an onion, the end result is still just an onion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Jesse Cataldo
    Spike Lee's version loses the one thing that really worked in the original, the sense of moral complication emerging out of the intertwined action of two men hell-bent on retribution.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 Jesse Cataldo
    A film whose only distinguishing characteristic is how big a mess it makes of its already meager ambitions.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 12 Jesse Cataldo
    There's nothing wrong with establishing a field of unlikable characters, but The Ledge not only relies on paper-thin stereotypes, it keeps its allegiances clear from the beginning.

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