Jessica Winter

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For 266 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 25% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 75% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 13.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jessica Winter's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 49
Highest review score: 90 Joy Ride
Lowest review score: 0 Beautiful
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 266
  2. Negative: 72 out of 266
266 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Unfortunately, the delicious snatches of reflexive wit function as mere intermissions between the distended action sequences and Michael Bay–style megatonnage, which have earned Pixar its first ever PG rating.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    The movie has the addictive episodic intimacy of great TV.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    In 1974 a director, a screenwriter, and a producer (Robert Evans, who for once deserves a few of the plaudits he's apportioned himself) could decide to beat a genre senseless and then dump it in the wilds of Greek tragedy. [Review of August 8, 2003 re-release]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    The wonderful-terrible dervish of Umbrellas reaches peak abandon, worthy of Vincente Minnelli, when Geneviève sobs out a plaint for Guy as a carnival whirls outside the shop.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    In a remarkably subtle, assured debut performance, Compston evokes Billy in Loach's "Kes" and, in the heartbreaking final seaside shot, Antoine in Truffaut's "400 Blows."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Amid the muddy scrubbery of the camp and its hinterland surroundings, Ghobadi catches some striking compositions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Begs the question: Did the lads from Squatney trail the zeitgeist at every turn, or were cobandleaders David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel simply in touch with their past and ahead of their time?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Often seems less a British new wave front-runner than a charming nouvelle vague tagalong,
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Director Joe Wright coordinates a delightfully cohesive acting ensemble.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Unexpectedly bridges genres -- it's a buddy movie, a horror story, a boy's-own adventure, and a near metaphysical meditation on the limits of human endurance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Albeit scattershot, Phantom does cohere as a satire of keeping up appearances in which everything is as it appears.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    Karine Vanasse, as the protagonist Hanna, is perfectly cast because she has the body of a woman and the sweet, sexless face of a child.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    The photographer's show-don't-tell stance is admirable, but it can make him a problematic documentary subject. War Photographer infers the psychological and physical toll of his peripatetic existence, but provides scant insight into his technique.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    With elegant restraint the film subtly intimates the wintry dead end-twilight years bereft of love, partner, or vocation-that may be in store for its aged lover man. (Payne's "About Schmidt" did too, when not gorging snidely on idiot Americana.)
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    This film is solidly built, faithful to its material, and utterly lacking in pretense, but its maker is still running in place.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Almost inevitably for a documentary of this stripe, it risks aestheticizing poverty--but here it's usually the kids themselves who compose the most arresting images.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Slick and sober, fiercely contemporary, and rigged by a fail-safe three-act structure, Dirty Pretty Things nimbly straddles the line between realism and popcorn pop, but it knows which side its bread is buttered on.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    The patient camera leans in closely on the three lead actresses -- extraordinary first-timers all.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Though there's considerable footage of hippie activity (crafting kites, sleeping) and moments of prelapsarian frisson (a cop warns that "there's talk of the Hell's Angels coming down"), the film is resolutely performance-driven.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Jeff Feuerzeig's tremendous documentary runs on the motive force of intelligent fandom and radiates an ineffable grace.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Spheeris gives every indication of having gotten too close to her material, but her film's overall air of discombobulation is poignant in itself.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    Unstintingly funny -- far more so than the wince-worthy trailer -- owing to Chan's pairing with droll indie eccentric Owen Wilson, as his would-be gunslinger sidekick.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Like a kid playing make-believe, In America is blithely confident of its own contrivances; it only benefits from a certain unselfconscious naïveté. And as with a misjudged Christmas gift or a mawkish sympathy card from a kindly relative, one can hardly doubt its uplifting intentions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Boldly aspirational. It's Jeunet's stab at "Paths of Glory," dipped in a sepia bath and halfway wrenched into a women's picture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    July's witty ode to only-connecting sustains a delicate tone of pensive whimsy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    State and Main is a Hollywood satire as cynical and thickheaded as its supposed targets.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Collapses in a heap of affirmational outbursts and metaphysical goop. The fond chemistry between the leads deserves a better movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    Redoubtably hilarious as always, Zahn also lends his character unpredictable flashes of anger, pathos, and faint psychosis, even when the movie jumps the median from ticklishly discomfiting black comedy into by-the-numbers horror jolts.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    One of the refreshing aspects of the slight, flawed Tumbleweeds is that it creates a world inhabited by recognizable people.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Like grieving itself, the film is awkward, messily honest, and sometimes darkly funny.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Lovely to look at but insipid.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Since the central odd couple have no rapport, their bond never seems to progress past mutual usury.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Code Unknown is Haneke's most expansive and, oddly, hopeful work -- not a gaze into the void, but a fierce attempt to scramble out of it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Aspiring to evoke an unreal city stranded in the autumn of the soul, the film succeeds only when it peers up from the intro-philosophy book for the occasional glimpse of everyday beauty.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    The uncertain plot somehow concerns ginseng and stolen objets d'art; the main thrust is acrobatic slapstick with a decided antipatriarchal twist.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    The movie's subject is brotherly love in all its extremes; the trajectory is grimly inevitable, and yet its final descent still manages to startle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Easily the best teen movie of the year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Watching Ben get the girl or be seriously injured trying always has its dry, keening pleasures.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Cheeky and elusive, Last Life in the Universe inhabits a high-lonesome world unto itself, a bright daydream that dissipates in the aching gap of a missed connection.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    The performances can be stiff, but a kinetic mix of anxiety, dread, and numbed resignation is always palpable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Preposterous enough to entertain.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    The Virgin script occasionally resets a gold standard for refined crudery.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    An engrossing study of a protagonist who variously inspires pity, clinical interest, fondness, and revulsion-sometimes all at once.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Winter
    A scrupulous and impeccably acted account of the fallout from a family secret.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    As sweet and unassuming a film as they come, embraces both perspectives -- it's sympathetic to the batty throes of a first infatuation, but affably demurs at indulging them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    The Road Home is foremost enthralled, however, with its lead actress -- wide-eyed and pigtailed, revered in close-up after stunned close-up.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    The entire unwieldy contraption rests on the shoulders of erstwhile "Queer as Folk" jailbait Hunnam: Bleached and bland, earnest and wooden, he's exactly what the film asks him to be.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Broomfield's investigatory technique remains a frustrating pileup of unfocused Q&As and misplaced credulity. But when Broomfield travels to her Michigan hometown, he pieces together a life blighted at breech-birth: a grotesque of abandonment, incest, physical and sexual abuse, pregnancy at 13, and homelessness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Mehta feels compelled to twist the screw, shamelessly plying her audience with mawkish tropes wearing the garb of "innocence."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Godard light, but not lite: Its breezy postures front for melancholia.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Carandiru's every scene is cut from factory-issue prison-genre cloth to fit jailhouse stock characters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    The visual subtleties don't come to bear on the storytelling, unfortunately -- the dialogue is cumbersome, the simpering soundtrack and editing more so.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Can any American filmmaker other than the Farrellys make a rom-com in which the principals engage in activities apart from the tiresomely tireless dissection of rom?
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    A widescreen wallow in socially enforced slum nihilism brought to you by Miramax, Tsotsi could be pegged as "City of God" relocated to the Soweto shanties, but it eschews the ironic swagger and strobe-speed action of Fernando Meirelles's lurid jigsaw for a more conventional arc.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Utterly necessary film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    One of Gitaï's greatest assets in Kadosh is such stillness, which leaves facile outsiders' judgment out of the frame and thereby deepens our immersion in the narrative.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Carion is no Jean Renoir, but he does strike an appealingly low key of tender, faintly goofy affinity between the combatants.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Endearing and well-acted.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Occasionally smirky.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Cahiers-savvy cinephiles will recognize Fanfan as the type of handsome prestige production that the French New Wave overthrew in the early '60s, but this example of the "cinéma de qualité" is hardly a musty artifact, with its compact editing, its breezy and mischievous tone, and, in a country not yet a decade removed from the Nazi occupation, its acrid anti-militarism, clear from the ash-dry narration of the opening battle sequences onward.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    The whole of Sunshine State is less than the sum of its parts, but the parts are often lovely, and always true.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Having established Josey as the focus of the entire iron range's enmity, the filmmakers panic, and North Country spectacularly self-destructs in a climactic courtroom free-for-all.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Burnt Money arranges a triumphant martyrdom for its bad boys -- a redemptive blaze of glory, dozens of faceless corpses notwithstanding.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Sargent's whole enterprise doubles as a '70s archaeological dig.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    The Edukators smiles indulgently as the kids rage belatedly against the dying of the SDS light.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    A happy ending is never at issue here -- it's clear where she's going, but there's little clue where she's been.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    The idea isn't as odd as it might first appear, since running a salon is one of the few socially acceptable means for a woman in Afghanistan to earn an income. The execution, however, evokes a particularly outlandish Christopher Guest mockumentary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    An international cast of curious creatures in their native habitats stars in this charming Gallic duo (Animals and Ice/Sea) of featurettes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Doesn't quite know how to take its leave; it tapers off like a curling cigarette trail, but it lingers like a ghost.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Depp and Highmore's final scene together strikes a muted blow of desolation -- bottomless but just bearable -- that Forster rather bravely lets stand as the last word on all the fanciful solace that Barrieland had to offer.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    The Business of Strangers goes too far in dramatizing Julie's primal, Paula-fied surge of female fury, and the script finally mistakes respectful ambiguity for vaporous drift.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Not to imply that our Claude's gone native, but here his unabiding fascination with bourgie-style repetition compulsion bears some resemblance to sympathy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Once Drake reaches the candlelight vigil that acts as his penultimate set piece, he sustains an impossible balance between mordant wit and articulate bewilderment.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    An aura of dust and mothballs evidently leaves a capable cast feeling woozy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    The director has a fitfully deployed gift for droll humor, but Chutney Popcorn mostly provides evidence that the ins and outs of the improvised multiparent family can be as prosaic as the nuclear Eisenhower model.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Me You Them can't find a rhythm or a consistent tone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Jessica Winter
    Only silent Becks himself rises unstained from this reheated ethno-niche stew.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Jones's documentary, named for the opening song on Foxtrot, is most effective as a poison-pen missive to Corporate Rock.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Though angry and sorrowful, Trembling Before G-d, beginning with the title, is above all a work of reverence.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Winter
    Chaiken ably balances real-time rhythms with propulsive incident -- she catches subtler interior strains, too.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    The poised Vega and pleasingly phlegmatic Sabara are resolutely uncute performers, and the reach-out-and-touch-it gadgetry carries a homey scent of proactive nostalgia. Spy Kids 2 is an island of lost Circuit Cities.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Director Waters and screenwriter Tina Fey (also cast as the voice-of-reason math teacher) aim less for the usual high-gloss caricature than acutely hilarious sociology, nailing the servile malice of 15-year-old girls.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Scott Elliott's palsied directorial debut, from a mine shaft-ridden script, is a sick joke, and Weaver's part in it screams of temporary insanity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Accomplished if lacking in urgency, this Oliver Twist (scripted by Ronald Harwood, who also wrote "The Pianist") showcases Polanski's proven gift for Dickensian caricature.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Cédric Klapisch has been compared to Truffaut, but the new-waver's weakness for glib sentimentalism seems to have left the biggest impression on L'Auberge Espagnole.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Hudson is ebullient, never cutesy, and her accent stays in tune.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Winter
    Akerman's characteristically patient, pensive approach elegantly accommodates her reportorial responsibilities.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    The script offers neither a sustained narrative arc nor strong characterizations.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    As documentary filmmaking, it's cheap and suspect. As advocacy, it's necessary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Like a loud and intermittently charismatic drunk at a dreary dive bar, Intermission grabs your attention, but in no time you're looking for the nearest exit.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Winter
    Or
    The scoreless Or (My Treasure) consists solely of stationary shots that, while sometimes awkwardly composed, build in organic momentum and bracing detail.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Jessica Winter
    Most frustrating, Stage Beauty fumbles XX/XY politics at every turn.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Amiable and hollow.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Casual familiarity with Lyne's oeuvre is all you need to predict the major plot contortion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    With wit and empathy to spare, waydowntown acknowledges the silent screams of workaday inertia but stops short of indulging its characters' striving solipsism.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Baggy and overbroad, He Loves Me is notable only as a corrective to cinema's promiscuity with fabulous destinies.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Pacino simply wipes the cobblestones with the rest of the cast: His beautifully calibrated performance is lucid, commanding, and genuinely tragic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    Studiously harmless, Disney's long-in-development film rendition pasteurizes the book's renegade verve with typical means.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Winter
    Somehow the U.K. film industry can always scrounge enough loose change from the cushions to foot the bill for a pre-chewed lump of sickly saltwater taffy like the mawkish Scottish-seaside postcard Dear Frankie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Winter
    It's squeamish about sex but not, unfortunately, sentiment.

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