For 1,480 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

J.R. Jones' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Proposition
Lowest review score: 0 The Back-up Plan
Score distribution:
1,480 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie is most fascinating when it shows how Chanel communicated her enlightened sense of womanhood through her innovative designs, which in turn helped women feel differently about themselves.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    There's rancor here, but also unexpected tenderness.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Stiller and Wilson are still hilarious as the supercool detectives -- there hasn't been a comedy duo this good since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Ramsay seems to be seriously intent on probing the outer limits of a mother's love and forgiveness, but the boy (played by a trio of child actors) is so unremittingly evil that the movie begins to feel like a grotesque remake of that old John Ritter comedy "Problem Child" (1990).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie reunites Pfeiffer with director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, who did Dangerous Liaisons (1988); this costume drama doesn't have nearly as much bite as that one, though the age reversal of its central romance gives it a certain topicality.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The Christian themes of forgiveness and sacrifice are tastefully conveyed, and the opening sequence of Nazi bombs falling on London, an event only alluded to in the book, helps dramatize Lewis's fascination with power.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It's formulaic but still fun, thanks to the quick and genial players.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Coppola's fondness for the operatic gets the better of him as the action approaches a climax, but the movie is girded by a sense of knotty family history.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The documentary is most valuable for its fly-on-the-wall footage of the inventive tunesmith puttering around his apartment and drilling the band on his idiosyncratic arrangements.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Good-humored and enormously entertaining but also sentimental and a little dishonest.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This is cloying, deceitful, and more or less irresistible.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As you might expect, this is hip deep in reminiscence.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Strutting around like a rooster in a thin-lapeled suit, 117 isn't much different from other comic Bond figures, but the movies find a fresh and exceedingly rich vein of comedy in his airy sexism, racism, and colonialism.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This is worth seeing, but only if you think you can tolerate the precious voice-over narration from the couple's wounded cat, delivered by July in a high, scratchy voice.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The mainstream acceptance of porn has also disarmed Smith's formerly outrageous humor, though there's a warm "Boogie Nights"-style vibe to the little family of oddballs Zack and Miri recruit to help them.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Vigalondo explores it (time travel) just enough to keep this thriller moving, and Karra Elejalde is entirely convincing as the unwilling time traveler, who finds himself threatened by not only his past self but his future one as well.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie is so clever and smoothly paced that it's easy to overlook the odious story line.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Scafaria, making her feature debut as writer-director, scores numerous laughs off the social dislocation that follows as people realize the apocalypse is imminent (there's a funny sequence at a suburban house party where no taboo goes unbroken).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Gripping drama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Parts of this are screamingly funny, other parts downright stomach turning, but you have to admire the fact that, for these guys, "anything for a laugh" really means anything. And for all the moronic behavior, there are also some inspired dadaist moments.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Smart and fast-paced.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This handsome period drama is the sort of quiet, homespun story that Duvall, who served as executive producer, has always loved.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As in so many summer behemoths, the real stars are the projectiles--in this case, arrows with their own point-of-view shots, zipping through the air and finding their targets with pinpoint accuracy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Adapted from a novel by Gabriel Loidolt, this is most interesting for its textured family history and pained religiosity.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Coogan's screen persona is vain, dim, angry, and deeply miserable, and his handful of scenes here with a smilingly harsh Catherine Keener are little masterpieces of comic sadomasochism.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Disturbing true-crime documentary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Fine character work by Juliet Stevenson, Archie Panjabi, and Bollywood regular Anupam Kher make this well worth seeing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    "A Film by David Schwimmer" is not the sort of credit that fills me with anticipation, but I must admit he's done a solid job with this queasy drama about the rape of a 12-year-old Wilmette girl.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    An honorable, squeaky-clean children's drama, this is notable for its relatively penetrating morality and for Scott Wilson's fine performance as the meanest man in town.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Eventually develops into a pleasantly bombastic Bond-style adventure.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Tarantino has already caught some flack for daring to use the Holocaust as material for another of his bloody live-action cartoons, but of course the generation that experienced it for real has mostly faded away. In that sense Inglourious Basterds is a social marker as startling as "Easy Rider" was in its day.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    A frightening portrait of a man whose technological genius fails to compensate for his gaping emotional deficits.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Maximilian stresses that Maria was an icon in postwar Germany, yet the saddest thing about her isolation and disappointment is that it's so common.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    I expected this to open out into another loud, thumping thriller. Instead it remains quiet and focused, exploring the couple's frayed relationship and the economic divide that separates the husband from his captor.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Like so many satires in the Strangelove mold, this never comes close to working as a story, but its lampoon of U.S. imperialism and military privatization is so bracingly obnoxious I didn't really care.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This strange and beautiful Macedonian feature is a welcome reminder that national cinemas still exist.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The emotions are as gritty as the Edinburgh locales, and the sex is dark, urgent, and deeply selfish.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It's clichéd, ridiculous, and very entertaining.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Elon's documentary is fascinating precisely because its high moral tone is compromised by self-interest.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Dick focuses on a handful of women who were sexually assaulted while on active duty, but they're only the tip of the iceberg; according to the film, which draws all its statistics from government reports, more than 20 percent of female veterans have been assaulted.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It's a hell of a show, though none of the artists gets more than a single number, and most of Chappelle's comic interludes are half-baked. Funnier and more engaging are his perambulations around the neighborhood.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    You know you're in for a hard-core art film when you hear more people raving about its opening shot than the movie itself.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    In movies like "Happiness" and "Storytelling," Todd Solondz has staged some pretty horrifying courtships, but the one in this seventh feature is surprisingly gentle.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Lacks the toughness of Eastwood's best work.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie develops into a painful story of one generation inflicting its selfish compromises on the next. The three leads are uniformly excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Mark Duplass and Philip Baker Hall.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The video lapses into self-congratulation near the end, as many of the principals reunite for a 2002 retrospective, but for the most part this is a powerful tale of conscience, betrayal, and forgiveness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    At 92 minutes this could hardly be considered a definitive statement, yet its combination of high drama and carefully articulated principle delivers quite a punch.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    I'd hate to guess whether most Americans know, any more than these fictional partygoers, what soldiers go through in Iraq. But if the market for movies about the war is any indication, they don't want to.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    A winner of the Cannes film festival's Un Certain Regard prize, this stayed with me, though I wasn't always happy to stay with it; the incessant braying of sheep, camels, and children may send you racing from the theater in search of the nearest martini lounge.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This big-budget western bears a striking resemblance to the recent Tom Cruise vehicle "The Last Samurai," though it's more fun and less pretentious.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It provides a more detailed and perhaps more reliable picture of the early movement's motives and practices than anything I've seen in the mainstream media.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The performers are fresh and offbeat, with the diminutive Peter Dinklage (Elf, The Station Agent) especially funny as a gay wedding planner named Benson Hedges.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Contrary to some reports, this is not Jet Li's last action movie--he already has another in postproduction--but it represents his farewell to wushu, the martial-arts tradition that made him an international star.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    From "Beavis and Butt-Head" to "King of the Hill" to "Office Space," Mike Judge has become our most dogged examiner of middle-American foolishness; no other comedy filmmaker more skillfully exploits that nagging sense that you’re surrounded by idiots.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    In a tale filled with perverse twists of fate, the most perverse may be that Overnight, not "The Boondock Saints," is Troy Duffy's masterpiece.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Thoughtful and complex.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Despite Jarecki's varied success in bringing these six people's stories to life, their stories personalize our current geopolitical predicament and remind us that in a democracy no one can shrug off responsibility for the war.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The result is flawed but frequently haunting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As in "Amores perros," Iñarritu and Arriaga slice and dice the chronology, which helps distract from the warmed-over story elements and focus attention on the superior performances.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Carion might have found a more artful way to dramatize the case's geopolitical impact, but this is still pretty interesting stuff.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie is quite enjoyable, though, redeemed by Crowe's trademark sincerity and assured handling of oddball character actors.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    A power­ful drama, but if I didn’t know Green had directed it I probably wouldn’t have guessed.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Their relationship is so subtly inflected with fear, envy, and self-loathing on both sides of the class divide that I was drawn in nonetheless. Brody is a compelling presence throughout.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The 37 Yale and Harvard players Rafferty interviews are such a rich and articulate cast of characters that the season leading up to the game and the game itself become an epic story.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This 2004 video documentary by Werner Herzog arrives in town while his hair-raising "Grizzly Man" is still playing, and it's a fascinating companion piece even though his manipulations are more obvious.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The comedy approaches true hilarity only when Meyers resorts to the surefire gimmick of having the oldsters get massively stoned at a party, though Streep's dilemma is handled well enough for the movie to accumulate some gravitas as it nears the two-hour mark.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The quiet exploration of late sexuality is remarkable, but the characters' seniority also makes the triangle doubly painful for the woman's husband of 30 years, who suddenly faces the prospect not only of living alone but of dying that way as well.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    I can’t deny this is filled with powerfully primal images, but at least one of them--an eviscerated fox that bellows at Dafoe, “Chaos reigns!”­--made me burst out laughing.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Lars von Trier is back, so to speak--he's never visited the States, which makes his snide anti-American allegories even more infuriating to some….But the story holds up well enough to deliver a pointed critique of establishing self-rule at gunpoint.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Despite some fine black comedy, this hovers uncertainly between the novel's tragic precision and "Barfly's" existential burlesque.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Funny, honest, and generous, this is mainstream American comedy at its best.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Hawke’s script is admirably light-handed in showing how the hero’s unreasoning passion is fueled by his parents’ painful divorce, and despite the story’s date-movie aspects, its most penetrating observations come not from the kids but from the young man’s estranged father and mother (Hawke and Laura Linney, both superb).
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As popcorn movies go, this is fleet, funny, and even thoughtful: its central question, nicely underplayed by director Peter Berg, is why power and altruism never seem to intersect.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This is the sort of funny, humane, honorable story that families need more of, though viewers of any age should be hooked by the mystery surrounding the brothers' riches.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Japanese animator Satoshi Kon has a striking sense of composition, but I'm more impressed by his storytelling skills.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    David Levien codirected; the fine supporting cast includes Richard Schiff, Jesse Eisenberg, and Danny DeVito.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This functions perfectly well as a Van Damme vehicle, but it's also a funny and poignant look at a man trapped by his own ridiculous reputation.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Tends to let his consumers off the hook--you'd hardly guess that any of these people are responsible for their own financial woes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Scott Speedman gives a piercing, intelligent performance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The rudimentary 2-D animation doesn't allow for much character nuance, and the story isn't exactly fresh. But directors Fernando Trueba (Calle 54), Javier Mariscal, and Tono Errando conjure up some vibrant set pieces.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Engrossing documentary.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As a comedy duo Nicholson and Sandler pose no threat to the legacy of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, in part because Sandler is so outclassed, but mostly because everyone involved is playing it safe.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    As in the first movie, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are trotted out periodically to add a little gravitas.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    What Scorsese brings to the table, having created more than his share of rascally villains, is a renewed sense of horror and despair at the power of evil.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The movie flames to life whenever Donald Sutherland moves into frame as the young ladies' relaxed, humorous, and magnificently rueful father.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Animation fans will find this worth the wait.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Their inexperience with thrillers is evident here in the cluttered exposition at the beginning and wholesale revelations at the end. In the middle, though, there's a pretty suspenseful stretch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The message, unspoken but inescapable, is that a little sharing might feed wealthy and poor alike.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    In the finest tradition of adolescent identification figures, he's not only ruthless, dispatching numerous baddies with hair-trigger shots to the head, but profoundly desexualized, brushing off the insistent come-ons of a slinky prostitute (Olga Kurylenko) he's taken under his wing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Coogan delivers a winning comic performance as the pompous impresario, but his story has little dramatic momentum of its own; he functions mostly as a pedantic narrator, imposing some cultural significance on the endless party and pointing out more intriguing personalities.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It's worth seeing for the tightly coiled plot, well-realized characters, and novel take on rapacious teen culture.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Zbanic's story of an ordinary life stained by extraordinary cruelty cuts deep.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Bowdon makes a compelling argument against the defensive maneuvers of teachers' unions and in favor of vouchers and charter schools, but his documentary is no exercise in free-market cant. It merely explodes the fiction that funneling more money into the same highly bureaucratized and politicized system will fix our deepening education crisis.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    The epic poem Beowulf gets an imaginative, low-budget workout in this 2005 Icelandic feature by Sturla Gunnarsson.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    This fascinating video documentary covers a nine-month rehearsal of Shakespeare's final play by inmates at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in La Grange, Kentucky.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    A spirited crowd-pleaser.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    Ron Howard directed, with outstanding support from Kevin Bacon as Jack Brennan, Nixon's fierce chief of staff.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    I tend to approach green documentaries with all the enthusiasm of an unemployed logger, but this hard-charging digital video about genetically modified organisms kept me on the edge of my seat with its lucid exposition and frontal assault on Monsanto.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    With one of these two alpha males anchoring nearly every scene, Scott really can't go wrong, but the lead characters are pretty thin, a fact highlighted by generic subplots.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 J.R. Jones
    It plays exactly like a Will Ferrell comedy, but better, because Ferrell's not in it.

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