Jessica Kiang

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For 219 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jessica Kiang's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Embrace of the Serpent
Lowest review score: 25 Beauty and the Beast
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 219
219 movie reviews
    • 74 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.
    • 56 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Seidl uses the peculiar relationship of Austrians to their basements as a way to pick away at the cracks between our public and our most private selves. But it's an idea that is elevated further by his rigorous eye for composition and cinematographic portraiture that makes the even the most bizarre images beautiful, and fashions the film, which could feel very fragmented in that it jumps from subject to subject and back again, into a deeply engrossing whole.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Right up until the film’s very closing moments, in which the carefully maintained tension and tone snaps under the ratchet of one melodramatic turn too many, it is not just an absorbing performance piece, but a film of real directorial confidence and flair.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    An intensely pleasurable, lavishly shot dessert tray of utter hokum, The Handmaiden is a prime example of why we should be glad that there’s someone out there still invested in the overwrought Gothic melodrama, and that that person is Park Chan-wook.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Challenging, complex and frequently ugly, Paradise: Love is a ruthless exploration of how unlike our everyday selves we can behave when we’re "on holiday," and how much that illuminates who we really are.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Lovely to look at, charmingly played throughout, and with a sense of fun that is more playful than subversive, The Brand New Testament is a bouncy treat: not so much heresy as whimsy, with a smooth matte finish and a mischievous grin.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Thomsen builds a fascinating film around a fascinating man, but never, despite his evident deep affection for him, allows it to fall into hagiography.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    The Immigrant is contained, restrained, thoughtful filmmaking that satisfies on nearly every level, except for the desire for a little chaos.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    It’s an offbeat, fun, and frequently very funny film, lifted out of disposability by some wonderfully rich production design, music cuts and photography, and by the cherishable performances of the leads.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    While Felix von Groeningen's film, which centers around a couple whose child is diagnosed with cancer, could easily have strayed into maudlin territory, the deft, non-chronological structure and the constantly surprising, beautiful performances -- both acting and the musical -- elevate it well clear of any Movie of the Week associations.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    By turns moving, absorbing and downright rage-inducing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Braga is simply riveting in this gift of a role.
    • 91 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Though it is dense in allusion and rich in texture, there are choices he makes that ultimately pull The Salesman back from the greatness, and the engulfing universality of his best work. It is as compelling as anything Farhadi has ever made, but it’s also somehow smaller.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    After the Storm is a film that invites you in, and clears a space for you at the dinner table while you shuck off your shoes in the hallway.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Mr. Holmes is not so much the story of Holmes' last case, as the story of his last choice: whether to go gentle, or whether to rage against the dying of the light.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    In Jackson Heights serves to remind us that our worlds are full of living things, and that, being the social creatures we are, we need each other.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Structured as a low-key chase movie, unfolding with the dark urgency of a conspiracy thriller, living mostly not in your heart or even your mind but in the hairs on the back of your neck, "Midnight Special" actually emerges most resonantly as an almost mournful ode, or maybe a psalm, to the primal instincts of fatherhood.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    The film is the most formally experimental, and probably the least approachable, of the director's titles to date. But it's further proof of Wheatley's singular sensibilities as a filmmaker.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Inside Out is not just fun and breezy, it's also truly weird and wicked smart in its thoroughly heartfelt conclusions.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Whatever flaws it has are ones of over-enthusiasm and over-ambition and are therefore easy to forgive, especially because when it works, it really works.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    The Selfish Giant preaches compassion by showing us in its very closing moments, the fathomless goodness that can lie beneath even the spittingest, snarlingest exterior.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Guiraudie creates an ambiance of eerie atmospherics that is at once crisp and observant, and oddly dreamlike, or nightmarish.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Perhaps most impressive is how, despite the nostalgia inherent in this kind of endeavor, "Sleeping Giant" never sentimentalizes its story, and never compromises on the essentially bleak idea that you can be transformed from a carefree child shading your eyes from the glare of a huge, wide future to a scarred and haunted young adult in a single moment.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    With no sheen of reflexivity, and no in-jokey admission of its hokiness to hide behind, can this non-ironic un-re-invention possibly work? Actually, yes it can, and does surprisingly well, by approaching the story with a sincerity and sweetness that defy cynicism, and by casting Cate Blanchett.

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