For 44 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 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Powers' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Japan
Lowest review score: 30 A Decade Under the Influence
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
44 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 John Powers
    So daring, well-made and tirelessly inventive that I kept asking myself, “Why isn't this even better? Why isn't it moving me?” One huge problem is the hero... he's played by 42-year-old Jim Carrey, whose still-bottomless need to be loved invariably smacks of desperation and self-pity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    Ten
    One of the year's finest movies, it's not quite the masterpiece that some of Kiarostami's cultists want it to be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 John Powers
    The bleakness and poignancy are inescapable in About Schmidt, a character study that has the emotional richness of the great Italian and Eastern European films of the 1960s, in which humor and pathos rode up and down on the seesaw together.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    Maddin's genius is so inescapably idiosyncratic that his work seems destined to remain a cult taste. Although Dracula won't change that, I hasten to add that this is the most inventive vampire picture of the last 80 years.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    Vol. 2 is the most sheerly enjoyable movie I've seen in ages, allowing for all the intimacy that was missing from its predecessor -- this time, the violence feels PERSONAL. Yet this film, too, would be richer if it didn't stand alone, but rather were part of one grand grind-house epic.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Astonishing both for the beauty of the birds and for its sheer technical brilliance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    At once a romantic melodrama, a sharp social comedy and a fierce political commentary on Korean society's cruelty to social outcasts. It's also a triumph of artistic indirection: Not a single scene plays out the way you expect. This is a film that gives humanism back its good name.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 John Powers
    But if City of God whirs with energy for nearly its full 130-minute running time, it is oddly lacking in emotional heft for a work that aspires to the epic -- it is essentially a tarted-up exploitation picture whose business is to make ghastly things fun.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    The weirdest, freest-wheeling, most obsessively inventive motion picture you'll see this year. Parts are confusing, parts are berserk, parts are exasperatingly slow. But in a world of cookie-cutter movies, Maddin's movies are like nobody else's -- funny, Romantic, as deliriously overwrought as a drug lord's wedding.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 John Powers
    Eminem plays Rabbit with riveting, flamboyantly expressive intensity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 John Powers
    Japón, isn’t just the wildest eruption of the current Mexican film boom, it's the most fascinating new picture I've seen this year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    As an actor DiCaprio has long been known for his ardor, not to mention his tiresome self-seriousness, but working for Spielberg, he plays his scenes with a comic deftness I thought he didn't have in him.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    If Demme's version lacks the wallop of its predecessor, it is more likely to be popular with contemporary audiences, who will enjoy not only its labyrinthine twists but its stars' burnished professionalism.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    The movie is mercifully uncontaminated by the smarty-pants self-reflexiveness that has sucked the lifeblood from nearly all post-"Scream" horror pictures. Clever enough not to be too clever, Boyle and Garland play their story straight -- they just want to give you the creeps -- and, by so doing, bring the undead back to cinematic life.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Jean-Luc Godard famously declared that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. Both turn up in Millennium Mambo, a ravishing bauble about la dolce vita in Taiwan, but frankly, the gun's an afterthought. This is a movie about the girl.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John Powers
    Scorsese and his writers have saddled their dream with a corny plot apparently lifted from some old 1930s Warner Bros. film starring Jimmy Cagney and Pat O'Brien.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Powers
    Green is essentially a poet of moods rather than a teller of tales, and he adorns the movie with stylistic touches influenced by Terrence Malick.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Atlantic City casino boss played with pointedly corrupt amusement by John Hurt, doesn't merely oversee hell but gets a real kick out of the damned.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    At once an astonishing piece of filmmaking and, quite possibly, an Olympian folly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Not only are the action sequences well-paced and witty, but Gray neatly draws out the comic high spirits in Wahlberg's ensemble of crooks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Pettigrew assumes that Fellini was a genius, and while this film won't convince any skeptics, the maestro's fans can sink into it like a hot bath.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 John Powers
    One wonders what exactly Richard LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme thought they were doing in this documentary, which doesn't so much look at the period as genuflect before it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John Powers
    Though it doesn't fully transcend its small budget (the lighting is dingy), the story feels rooted in something more solid than prefab posturing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    The movie is another showcase for the underappreciated McGregor, who disappears into his character so discreetly that, even as his face lets us track Joe's every thought, you never feel you’re watching a Performance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John Powers
    Ultimately just another celebrity bio-pic, and far less trenchant than, say, the more conventional "Auto Focus." For all their whirring ingenuity, Kaufman's scripts require a director who will tether his cleverness to reality.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    It's worth fidgeting through the mediocre stuff to get to three good pieces. In one, Cate Blanchett turns in a tour de force as both herself and her aggressive, resentful Aussie cousin in an awkward encounter that captures the pathological relationship between ordinary people and celebrities.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Powers
    An enjoyable, sneaky-smart fable about the collision between innocence and experience.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Powers
    Cooney's achingly clever script has more up its sleeve than just Agatha Christie -- he also evokes "Psycho," "The Sixth Sense," "Poltergeist" and "The Omen" -- and the final third dishes up a twist that isn't just surprising, it's revealing
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 John Powers
    Although (Reeves) acting inclines toward the wooden, it's always been his weird genius (if that's the term) to exude a charmed aura, an uncanny sense of being the chosen one -- remember, he's been the Buddha. I'm not sure any other actor could play Neo nearly so well, for the others would all be working to seem like The One (as he's known), while Reeves conveys that quality just by showing up.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John Powers
    Its schmaltzy manipulations are pure 1940s Hollywood. Still, if you can get past the corn, the story exerts a not-unsatisfying emotional pull thanks to Yun's soulful gravity and a tenderness that Chen hasn't shown quite so openly since his 1984 debut, "Yellow Earth."