Jessica Kiang
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For 103 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jessica Kiang's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Act of Killing
Lowest review score: 25 The Captive
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 103
  2. Negative: 6 out of 103
103 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    The film is a breath of fresh air — there is a lovely awkwardness to the coming-of-age tale that makes it feel almost like an enthusiastic early effort from a talented neophyte as opposed to the eighth feature from an established, albeit arthouse, director.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    As off-kilter affecting as we found its nostalgia for a world of charm and dash that really only ever existed in the movies, and as terrific as almost all of the performances are, as a whole package it fell just slightly short of the promise of its parts.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    While it doesn't reinvent the wheel, or revolutionize the genre, it achieves its modest ambitions affectingly well, in no small part due to a clutch of cherishable performances, especially from leads Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    It’s kind of a blast, with fully enough plot to fill a two-hour feature crammed efficiently into less than half that time in a manner that demands nothing from you except that you enjoy the ride.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    For filmmaker and actor, even on those occasions when Manglehorn’s risks do not pay off, we have to credit the courage and confidence it took to attempt them; but more often than not they pay dividends and the result gently dazzles.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Bleak, brutal and unrelentingly nihilist, and with only sporadic flashes of the blackest, most mordant humor to lighten the load, it feels parched, like the story has simply boiled away in the desert heat and all that’s left are its desiccated bones. In a good way.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Ida
    If it does suffer slightly from an overall lack of urgency that will mean those looking for a more directly emotive experience may find it hard to engage with, the more patient viewer has rewards in store that are rich and rare indeed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    For all its value in bearing witness to the kind of atrocious acts that get but little attention on the world stage, this is not mere testimony, this is cleverly crafted and remarkably affecting storytelling.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    This kind of vérité surrealism doesn’t come along very often, and the glorious oddness that Zurcher manages to infuse into even the most routinely domestic activities is really the gift the film keeps on giving.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    It is simply a great, traditional Western: the language and cultural details may be different, but the sparse elegance and moral conundrums are familiar and as resonant as ever.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    The film is undeniably moving at times, and there are moments of metatextual elegance that feel as though they tremble on the brink of genuine insight.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    There is little more to Kon-Tiki than a fun, handsomely-mounted, old-style adventure story. And as impressive a feat as that is to achieve, especially outside of Hollywood, which kind of specialises in this sort of thing, those looking for something with more depth from this category may come away a little disappointed.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    Fruitvale Station is impressive for a debut, and displays the unimpeachable intent to involve us all in the human story behind a headline. And it certainly displays great promise from its director and accomplished performances from its cast.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    It’s not like “The Artist” was gritty, but Populaire is so cotton-candy breezy it makes the Best Picture-winner look like “The Panic in Needle Park.”
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    Refn has consistently delivered films that have subverted our expectations, and has proven himself a master at stylistic self-reinvention, but this feels like the first time he’s gone back to any particular well.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    There are occasional laugh-out-loud moments, for sure, and the winningness of the leads makes the inevitable climactic clinch actually rather affecting, but Grabbers could have been so much more than the derivative me-too it turns out to be.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    The last quarter of Child's Pose is so remarkably strong that it makes a sometimes grim journey worth sticking with to its destination.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    The low-key nature of what's come before simply serves to render all the more effective the final shootout, when the film careens completely, and bloodily, off the rails.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    Some occasionally awkward performance moments aside, though, the film is very compassionate towards its characters and finds just about enough original insight within the well-worn family drama genre to keep things from feeling too familiar—it’s a just a shame there couldn’t have been a little more vitality injected early on.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    If some elements are more successful than others in achieving a balance between the public and the private, between the story of a nation’s ruination and that of a family’s annihilation, it remains a shocking, poignant and soulful tribute to lives ended and to innocence lost in the country’s notorious Killing Fields.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    We can't help but feel that by comparison with the meaty and compelling issues he takes on so fearlessly, so scabrously in the other entries, Paradise: Hope ends up somewhat toothless.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    Franco has finally delivered a side project that does at least some justice to his eclectic artistic ambitions.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    It’s a sequel that, over a tighter running time, kicks against the law of diminishing returns, and only succumbs to it after a fight.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    It Follows worked like gangbusters as an exercise in atmosphere and allusion, but a little less so as an out-and-out supernatural horror, and only at certain times did it achieve a perfect synthesis of the two.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    All of Wong's undeniable visual flair can't conceal the haphazard nature of the story.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    This film feels like one you discover late at night and watch for ten minutes before remembering you've already seen it, and yet we still kinda loved it.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    A film of surface pleasures, even joys, but those joys seem to be longing for a central idea around which to coalesce.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    Nebraska is a small-scale quixotic adventure about the importance of dreams, no matter how pie-eyed, in which the outlined flaws could all be forgiven, if it just went somewhere a bit more surprising.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    Overloaded with too many ideas, it does scant justice to the more interesting ones that crop up, while regularly diverting from any sort of central narrative to follow tenuous and ill-explained threads that end up in a foggy limbo. But just when it threatens to wholly frustrate, someone cracks an enjoyable inside-baseball meta movie-making joke and we're back on side for a bit.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    The Bastards feels like what happens when an undeniably great filmmaker stoops to sensationalism -- it’s a smarter, odder film than someone else would make with the same material, but it’s still smart, odd sensationalism.