For 1,480 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

J.R. Jones' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Burn After Reading
Lowest review score: 0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Score distribution:
1480 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Played by Ron Perlman, he's the most magnetic action hero I've come across in a long while.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The movie premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, too soon to include a tragic denouement: in April the U.S. command surrendered the Korangal Valley to the Taliban.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Cillian Murphy gives a tour de force performance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This absorbing PBS-style documentary by Joseph Dorman follows Aleichem from his early years in the Russian shtetl of Voronko through the pogroms that would drive the Jewish diaspora of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    It's a terrific story -- part mystery, part farce, part legal nail-biter -- with a last-minute reversal so bitterly ironic it could have been scripted by Billy Wilder.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Critics, clients, and colleagues all weigh in on the architect, but Pollack is more interested in the mysteries of the creative process, and his studies of Gehry's buildings, deftly edited by Karen Schmeer, capture their dramatic sense of movement and resolution.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The movie is taut with suspense but culminates in wise resignation as the hero comes to understand he's running from a part of himself.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The characters are so vivid that the suspense never lags. Crowe is best in buttoned-down roles like this one, and he holds the husband's fear and resolve in balance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Lorna's sudden change of heart is a pointed example of what the Dardenne brothers' movies are all about. Capitalism may seem at times like a raging river, but every day, all over the world, people try to make it flow in the opposite direction.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Apatow became the hottest comedy director in the business by seamlessly combining relationship comedy that didn't bore the guys and wild comedy that didn't nauseate the girls; this is a knockoff, pure and simple, but its wit and ingenuous characters prove how far the bar's been raised.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Chan-wook Park completes his "revenge trilogy" with this ravishing black comedy about a notorious child killer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Wonderful first feature.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Pegg and Wright are out of their depth in the second half, when they try to engage the more disturbing elements of Romero's movies, but their disaffected slacker take on the genre is a welcome alternative to the usual bloodbaths.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The most powerful and telling image is a black-and-white still of Kerry burying his face in his arms after he threw his ribbons onto the Capitol steps; it's a moment true enough to cost him the presidency.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This melancholy romance is the first Almodovar feature I’ve ever really liked, an expertly fashioned melodrama that steers mercifully clear of his usual puckishness and star-mongering.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Robert Duvall, who played a similar character in Bruce Beresford's "Tender Mercies" (1983), turns up in a supporting role.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The problem with these feats is that they threaten to overwhelm the film's content, both as complex historical commentary and as aesthetic and theoretical gesture.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    After trying her hand at Thackeray with "Vanity Fair," director Mira Nair has found a literary property much closer to her heart: Jhumpa Lahiri's best-selling novel about a Bengali couple and their children trying to find their place in American culture.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This sublime French farce reminded me most of Billy Wilder.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Beautifully shot in black and white by Pawel Edelman (The Pianist), this 2000 feature is both funny and unexpectedly touching.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This eerie drama harks back to sci-fi movies of the late 60s and early 70s that explored inner as well as outer space (2001, Solaris, and particularly Silent Running).
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This haunting drama by Claire Denis burns with a mute fear and rage at the ongoing atrocities in central Africa.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Soderbergh's treatment of the Internet turns out to be the most provocative aspect of Contagion. Like the virus, which destroys any cell it encounters, misinformation spreads rapidly online and tends to cancel out information that might save people.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Director Laura Dunn presents a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Bradley, but her advocacy is clear enough in the primal images of natural beauty and her subjects' heartfelt statements of respect for the landscape.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Unfortunately for Polley, Take This Waltz is a good film serving mainly to remind us that "Away From Her" is a great one.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Fully exploits the drama, with scenes, dialogue, and even key visuals pulled from the text.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    It's a fascinating cultural artifact and a stomping good time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The mystery has never been resolved, but to his credit Bar-Lev acknowledges that he himself has become part of the story, torn between sympathy and suspicion.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    In the Apatow manner, Segel mines a mother lode of painful personal memories for his breakup gags, and the vanity of entertainment people proves to be another rich vein.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Though Casino Jack never lets its protagonist off the hook for his misdeeds, it does underline the hypocrisy of those politicians who were content to take his money but then ran for cover in February 2004 when the Washington Post began to expose his fleecing of six different Indian tribes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    None of this makes any sense if you think about it, but the idea is so much fun that thinking about it may be your last impulse.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Doug Liman's Fair Game is a model exercise in dramatizing recent political scandal, and easily the best fact-based Hollywood political thriller since "All the President's Men."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The mesmerizing narrative recounts a media circus of unrivaled malignance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The movie endorses the liberal conception of the Chicks as free-speech heroes, which doesn't quite wash: Maines shot her mouth off to a receptive overseas crowd, then issued an apology as soon as the backlash began back home.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The dazzling star power of the French screen royalty Ozon has assembled and the film's sheer exuberance in its own artifice make this a delight from beginning to end.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    It's not a terribly disciplined exercise--the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony go on so long I felt like I was watching "The Deer Hunter"--but the performances are outstanding, especially Hathaway's and Debra Winger's in a small but devastating turn as her chilly, resentful mother.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Written by Angus MacLachlan, this indie drama explores the lingering tension between north and south with vinegar and precision.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Davies adapted a classic 1952 play by Terence Rattigan, whose centenary is being celebrated in Britain this year, and though you might have trouble sorting out the film's competing levels of authorship, one element attributable solely to Davies is the strategic use of music and quiet on the soundtrack.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Period westerns are so unfashionable and costly that they usually require a top-drawer script to get off the ground -- and this one, adapted from an Elmore Leonard story and its 1957 movie version, travels with an arrow's clean arc.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Genuinely sad: few bands have burst onto the scene with such a perfectly realized look, sound, and philosophy or been more trapped by their own meatheaded genius.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The elder Wexler keeps insisting that he won't sign a release for the film unless he approves of the finished product, so he must have been pleased with its brutally honest assessment of him as a gifted filmmaker who never realized his true potential.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    On paper the story may seem hopelessly contrived -- another nostalgia piece for art-house liberals -- but on-screen it's presented in purely emotional terms, which allows Duigan and his excellent leads to inhabit and ultimately transcend the period.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    It's become a critical cliche to say that everyone in the U.S. should see a particular war documentary, but even the most selfish citizen might want to check out The Ground Truth, because unlike the Iraqi victims of the war, the American ones are all around us.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Some might call this movie a step backward after Burger's previous feature, the painfully honest Iraq war drama "The Lucky Ones," but as a stylish intrigue it's hard to beat.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Dark and challenging.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The new version of Jane Eyre is far and away the best I've seen, thanks largely to the skilled young actress Mia Wasikowska.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Jennings's film, with its missing fathers, sometimes threatens to become cloying, but it's almost always righted by a healthy dose of slapstick or the spectacle of little kids posing as muscle-bound killers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Smart dialogue, an impeccably crafted story, and eye-catching LA locations make this low-budget feature by Alex Holdridge the most worthwhile date movie I've seen in some time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Stark, mysterious, and often weirdly funny.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The immersive quality of 3-D is particularly well suited to undersea documentaries, and this one, directed by Howard Hall ("Into the Deep"), offers a close-up look at such fantastic creatures as the fried egg jellyfish, the mantis shrimp, the sand tiger shark, and the thuggish wolf eel.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    On paper this may sound like soap opera, but Bier and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen (Mifune) have a good feel for character, and they're aided by a fine cast.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This smart and rocking video documentary by Tim Irwin follows the trio from its origins in suburban San Pedro, California, in 1979 to the death of singer-guitarist D. Boon in a 1985 car crash, which ended his deep and creatively fruitful friendship with bassist Mike Watt.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    As a director Carnahan definitely has the goods: the opening foot chase, a sequence that's been done to death, is genuinely terrifying.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The sadism of "1,000 Corpses" is ameliorated here by the addition of an action plot and open spaces, and the comedy is more skillfully played, mingling agreeably with Zombie's ardor for southern trash culture (the final showdown plays out to the strains of "Freebird," for heaven's sake)
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The performances are so gripping that the movie works despite its diagrammatic structure, which focuses on ironic rhymes between past and present and leaves out the entirety of the couple's marriage.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Tim Burton finally fulfills the promise of "Beetlejuice" with this imaginative masterpiece.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Ferguson is admirably tenacious in assigning blame for the boneheaded mistakes that have doomed Iraqi reconstruction. Paul Bremer, former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, is hung out to dry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The resulting portrait shows a seriously troubled man whose brutality was bred into him on the punishing streets of Brooklyn and whose modest wisdom seems as hard-won as any title. Tyson's fight career may be over, but his battle with himself has many rounds to go.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Crisp supporting turns by John Turturro (as a hostage negotiator) and James Gandolfini (as the mayor) combine with plenty of vehicular mayhem to make this a superior diversion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Screenwriter Mark Bomback doesn't do much with the backstory scenes linking Pine and Washington to their worried families, but the main story is gripping, flawlessly paced, and nicely grounded in operational detail.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Fleet, gripping documentary.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    But like much of Herzog's work, it's essentially apolitical, focusing on a man at war with his environment -- and no one plunges into the foliage like he does.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    For a Disney movie, Holes is mercifully low in saccharine.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Superior 2002 farce by Walsh, Roberts, and Katie Roberts, all veterans of Chicago's ImprovOlympic who went on to form the Upright Citizens Brigade.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Masterful low-budget drama.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The movie is perfectly appropriate for girls, and its opening scenes play like a more intelligent and historically grounded version of their G-rated princess dramas.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Less a biography than a diplomatic history of Britain in World War II, the movie draws a satisfying narrative arc from his extended campaign to rally President Roosevelt and the American public to Britain's defense.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Morris argues that the photos also functioned as a cover-up: prosecution of the case centered on them, leaving free and clear many of those higher up the chain of command.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This engrossing documentary widens to consider the phenomenon of viral videos and the humiliation they can bring to their sometimes unsuspecting victims.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Some have compared this French crime drama to "The Godfather," and though that may be a common critical touchstone, writer-director Jacques Audiard manages to replicate its most elusive element, not the dark comedy or the operatic bloodletting but the incremental corruption of a decent man into a willful, coldhearted killer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    They deliver a clear and compelling primer on the federal budget deficit, the trade deficit, and the personal debt crisis, all of which are driving our country toward a catastrophic financial meltdown.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    I was haunted afterward by its seething rage at the malicious paternalism and sexual hypocrisy of fundamentalist Christians.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Both lead actors are wonderful, and director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut) artfully addresses the cultural and even spiritual dimensions of the story without losing sight of the lovers' tenderness and confusion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This fourth installment is a complete reboot, returning to the web-slinger's creation story, and Garfield, more than any other factor, contributes to the sense of a bleaker vision along the lines of "The Dark Knight."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The one mystery Black and Eastwood can't solve is Hoover's love life - perhaps because the solution is too simple to be believed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Woody Allen's bad movies often seem to be taking place in some kind of upper-class fantasy world, which may be the reason I find this upfront fantasy to be his funniest, most agreeable comedy in years.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This comic fantasy is the best vehicle he's (Sandler) ever had, a high-concept goof that gradually darkens into an emotional nightmare reminiscent of Capra.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Herzog's wrenching interviews with the victims' relatives, may not turn anyone against capital punishment, but they're gripping nonetheless. Incidentally, the spiritual inquiry Herzog aims for here has already been rendered onscreen, in Steve James and Peter Gilbert's powerful documentary "At the Death House Door" (2008).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    A first-rate thriller, maintaining a high level of suspense.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This slam-bang remake of a 1963 feature by Eichi Kudo builds slowly, accumulating characters and themes, then explodes into a prolonged and masterful battle sequence inside a deserted town.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Like many other comedies about serious matters, 50/50 grows more dramatic in its second half. What really impressed me, though, was how easily Reiser could pivot back to comedy at a moment's notice without seeming cheap.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Rivers comes across as a consummate professional but also a genuine person, ruthlessly honest about her life decisions and utterly devoid of self-pity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Apocalyptic visions are nothing new in cinema, but they're almost always epic in scale; Von Trier's innovation is to peer down the large end of the telescope, observing the end of the world in painfully intimate terms.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    The performances are solid: pulling inward in every scene, Phoenix taps into the New York loneliness that defined Paddy Chayefsky's Marty, and Rossellini is excellent as the worried mother, who doesn't have much to say but watches her beloved boy like a cat.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Illuminating with their energy and wit.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This is a drama of shifting values and compromised ideals, arriving at a view of life that's wise, complicated, and tinged with melancholy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Into this cauldron walks the title character, a gentle Algerian refugee with his own history of terrible loss, and as he tries to take over the dead woman's class, his rocky relationship with the kids pushes both him and them to new levels of empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    This beautifully understated feature (2004) revolves around sex, but it's neither erotic nor puritanical; its young characters are governed by their urges, but the experience itself seems as neutral and mysterious as sleep.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Even in its sanitized state, this movie about the generational revolt that reinvigorated Disney’s animation department in the 1980s and ’90s is fascinating, thick with studio intrigue and lavishly illustrated with archival sketches and test animations.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    Superior summer entertainment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    What promises to be a standard postmortem on 60s ideology becomes a thoughtful essay on the choices we all make between work, family, and personal freedom.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    An exhilarating and terrifying journey through youth-culture hell.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 J.R. Jones
    A comprehensive and devastating critique of the TV news networks' complacency and complicity in the war on Iraq.

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