For 619 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Justin Chang's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 Persecuted
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 619
619 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    In taut, gripping and deeply disturbing fashion, writer-director Craig Zobel measures the depths to which rational individuals will sink to obey a self-anointed authority figure in Compliance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Hope Springs is an altogether pleasant surprise: a mainstream dramedy that frankly and intelligently addresses the challenges facing a couple after 31 years of marriage.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Few movies so taken with death have felt so rudely alive as ParaNorman, the latest handcrafted marvel from the stop-motion artists at Laika ("Coraline").
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An eerily precise match of filmmaker and material, Cosmopolis probes the soullessness of the 1% with the cinematic equivalent of latex gloves.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Suffused with the gentle, unforced humanity viewers have come to expect from Hong Kong helmer Ann Hui, A Simple Life is a tender ode to the elderly, their caregivers and the mutual generosity of spirit that makes their limited time together worthwhile.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A defiantly analog rejoinder to last year's tech-savvy baseball drama, "Moneyball," Robert Lorenz's square but sturdy directing debut rests on the wonderfully spiky chemistry between Eastwood and Amy Adams.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A terrific performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a rock-bottom alcoholic is only one reason to appreciate Smashed, an affecting and immersive addiction drama about the unforeseen pitfalls along the road to recovery.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Part 2 has the bonus of a livelier Stewart performance than fans have been accustomed to. No longer a mopey, lower-lip-biting emo girl, this Bella is twitchy, feral, formidable and fully energized, a goddess even among her exalted bloodsucker brethren.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Judd Apatow's instincts have rarely been sharper, wiser or more relatable than in This Is 40, an acutely perceptive, emotionally generous laffer about the joys and frustrations of marriage and middle age.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Steven Soderbergh's elegantly coiled puzzler spins a tale of clinical depression and psychiatric malpractice into an absorbing, cunningly unpredictable entertainment that, like much of his recent work, closely observes how a particular subset of American society operates in a needy, greedy, paranoid and duplicitous age.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Porfirio's view of physical disability often mesmerizes despite its glacial progress and stingy way with narrative information.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This is a warmer, less foreboding picture than "Primer," not moving in any conventional sense, but suffused with emotion all the same.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Never before has Malick explored sexuality so openly onscreen, and while the nudity is fairly discreet, the eroticism of flesh cradling flesh, even the gesture of a hand touching a shoulder, turns out to be a natural subject for Lubezki’s exquisitely graceful camerawork.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Shadow Dancer is admittedly slow to gather force and momentum over its 101-minute running time, though by the third act, the deliberately paced drama has exerted a hypnotic grip.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A virtually wordless film that speaks with grave eloquence and simplicity about the human condition. Nothing here feels fancy or extraneous, least of all Redford’s superb performance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An indelible tapestry of carefully engineered revelations and deeper human truths.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Even when the story mechanics feel more than a bit secondhand, the exquisite interplay of vibrant pastel hues and almost photorealist textures (smoothly but not crucially enhanced in 3D) makes the film a continual pleasure to behold.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Anchored by five strong performances, including a piercing turn by Onata Aprile in the 6-year-old title role, this beautifully observed drama essentially strikes the same sad note for 98 minutes, though with enough sensitivity and emotional variation to make the experience cumulatively heartrending rather than merely aggravating.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Blanchett’s performance is so dominant in terms of screentime and emotional impact that the film succeeds as not only a virtuoso ensemble piece, but also an unflinchingly intimate study of the character in the title.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This exuberantly foul-mouthed and mean-spirited comedy goes somewhat soft in the final stretch but remains an often uproarious model of sharp scripting and spirited acting.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Kelly Reichardt blends her lucid observational approach with a topical-thriller format to engrossing effect in Night Moves.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The film is a brave act of witness complicated by the documaker’s decision to re-create his experiences using clay figurines, a tricky aesthetic device that raises fascinating and problematic questions of representation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Corbijn succeeds here in large part because his attention to nuance and detail so fully complements that of the German operatives at the story’s core.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Forbes brings a marvelous warmth and specificity to this story of a mixed-race family struggling to survive, aided considerably by one of Mark Ruffalo’s richest, most appealing performances.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A uniquely thought-provoking chronicle of an event that, in the absence of any real preventive action taken by oil companies or the U.S. government, calls out for further cinematic and journalistic attention.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The pleasure of Edge of Tomorrow is that it’s not an action movie first and foremost, but rather a cheeky little puzzle picture in expensive-looking blockbuster drag.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Junger has emerged with a worthy companion piece in Korengal, a less harrowing, more reflective dispatch from the front lines, and an equally vital examination of the strange crucible of selflessness, courage, bloodlust, rage, confusion and fear endured by the brave men interviewed here.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    While Wild will surely be praised in the coming months for having a strong, well-written, flesh-and-blood female at its center, it’s to the film’s credit that it wears this badge of honor with a lightness that in no way undermines its sincerity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Results are painfully amusing, frequently random and occasionally laugh-out-loud hilarious.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    What’s onscreen is less a cerebral experience than a stirring and bittersweet love story, inflected with tasteful good humor, that can’t help but recall earlier disability dramas like “My Left Foot” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    the strength of Red Army lies in its deep appreciation for the many ironies of the situation, the bone-deep complexities of national identity, and the fact that, on some level, home will always be home.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Just as “The Hurt Locker” found revelatory depths in Jeremy Renner, so American Sniper hinges on Cooper’s restrained yet deeply expressive lead performance, allowing many of the drama’s unspoken implications to be read plainly in the actor’s increasingly war-ravaged face.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An intelligent, solidly argued and almost too-polished takedown of America’s spin factory — that network of professional fabricators, obfuscators and pseudo-scientists who have lately attempted to muddle the scientific debate around global warming — this is a movie so intrigued by its designated villains that it almost conveys a perverse form of admiration, and the fascination proves contagious.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    To properly appreciate Must Love Dogs, one must first love John Cusack. Thesp's maverick turn steals the show in this otherwise middling romantic comedy, which retools standard meet-cute elements for the Web generation in pleasant but uninspired fashion.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This maddening yet deftly made, and finally disarming, documentary comes through with enough heart and hilarity to sell its celebrity-stalking shenanigans to genuinely moving effect.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Its unwieldy title notwithstanding, Zathura: A Space Adventure is arguably the best adaptation of a Chris Van Allsburg book to date.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A surprisingly shrewd and energetic romantic comedy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The rare Hollywood remake that, by daring to reinterpret its source material within a fresh political context, actually has a reason to exist.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This earnest weepie plays like "The Karate Kid" with a pro-literacy agenda, pushing all the right emotional buttons yet hitting quite a few wrong ones in the process.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The result, though it delivers only in fits and starts, is still sharper and more inventive than most comicbook-adapted fare, and eventually gets the job done as far as action buffs are concerned.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Punsters, linguists and crossword puzzle fanatics everywhere couldn't ask for a more bracing tribute than helmer Patrick Creadon's buoyant and exhilaratingly brainy documentary Wordplay.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Deeply intriguing but almost too-faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's nightmarish 1977 novel.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A softer, flabbier and considerably higher-budgeted follow-up to Kevin Smith's 1994 indie sensation that nevertheless packs enough riotous exchanges and pungent sexual obscenities to make its 97 minutes pass by with ease.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Sweetly amusing, gently anarchic and never mean-spirited.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A witty, warmly crafted chestnut.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A lavishly overstuffed gift basket of a movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Anchored by a terrific performance from Nick Nolte as a grizzled umpire who gets an unexpected second chance at fatherhood, this easygoing comedy-drama plays out slowly but assuredly, infusing a conventional story about a blossoming relationship with welcome reserves of honesty and humor.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A bold, often clumsy, but always intriguing piece of work.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Some literal-minded attempts at magical realism are redeemed by the film's emotional texture, winning chemistry between the tyke leads and scrupulous adherence to a childlike point of view.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Squirmingly fun suspenser that brings Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" into the era of vidcams and cell phones, serving up hearty, youth-skewing portions of PG-13 violence and bikini-bait along the way.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    An absorbing legal thriller that can't help but taste like exquisitely reheated leftovers.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A frequently mesmerizing if exceedingly strange coming-of-age odyssey.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Advocacy cinema at its most searingly direct, The Trials of Darryl Hunt is a powerful and unsettling chronicle of the 20-year struggle to free a man twice convicted of a crime he didn't commit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    In his first studio venture, Michael Winterbottom coaxes forth a staggering wealth of detail from this terse, methodical account of Pearl's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This unusually voluble comedy is as eloquent about love, self-realization and adolescent angst as its protagonist is endearingly tongue-tied.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Presents the viewer with reams of depressing data, loads of hand-wringing about the woeful state of humanity and, finally, some altogether fascinating ideas about how to go about solving the climate crisis.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Well-made, often intensely gripping genre piece.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Searing portrait of an out-of-control youth who winds up in a decidedly shady rehab center has more than its share of teen-angst cliches but still makes a surprisingly trenchant tearjerker, thanks to strong acting from all quarters and an especially blistering perf from Lapica.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    All you need is love -- for the Beatles, for psychedelic visuals, for ideas about being young in the ‘60s -- to fully enjoy Across the Universe.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Septuagenarian director Robert Benton brings his characteristically fine touch with actors and appreciation for the female form to this tastefully erotic ensembler, but compassion finally outstrips insight in a drama as soft-headed as it is soft-hearted.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Filmmaker Daniel Karslake lobs a grenade into the culture wars with his heartfelt, provocative and unabashedly polemical For the Bible Tells Me So.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Though its forays into the subconscious may strike more adventurous cinematic palettes as precious and unimaginative, few will be able to resist Martin Freeman's appealing lead turn or the wry Brit wit that gives this fanciful confection a robust comic core.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Title refers not only to its heroine's physical gyrations but also her moral maneuverings as she strives to break out of her lower-class surroundings in this moody, intelligent take on conventional material.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A work of both modest enchantment and enchanting modesty, grounded in a classically Spielbergian realm where childlike wonderment crosses paths with the tough realities of young adulthood.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Picture's comic smarts and affecting daddy-daughter drama provide a sturdy platform for its heartfelt advocacy of informed voting and responsible citizenship.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Contrived excess is rarely as entertaining as it is in the ironically titled Just Another Love Story, a furiously overheated romantic thriller from Danish writer-helmer Ole Bornedal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Behind-the-curtains comedy reps an amusing showcase for John Malkovich's diva-like theatrics in the title role.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    But gripping as the film often is, its unrelenting doom and gloom offers fewer lasting rewards.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This ambitious think-piece ultimately smothers its good intentions in didactic revelations, earnest pleading and incessant violin music. Engrossing nonetheless, the story of a high schooler troubled by his parents' legacy reps one of the Canadian writer-director's most accessible efforts.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    In 82 minutes, Murray wrangles enough data to make his point that biology can't keep up with sophisticated fishing technologies and worldwide demand; attacks high-end restaurants such as Nobu for putting endangered species on the menu; praises Alaska as a paragon of responsible fishing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    May not make a lick of sense, but it does make for fairly irresistible nonsense.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Emotionally potent performances, gently offbeat humor and writer-helmer Max Mayer's assured touch guide this tender New York love story to a quietly hopeful conclusion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    An amusing slice of existential whimsy with an Eastern European bent, Cold Souls posits a world in which humans can have their souls extracted and implanted in each others’ bodies.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    While it never tops the explosive hilarity of its first 20 minutes, The Invention of Lying is a smartly written, nicely layered comedy that, like last year's underappreciated "Ghost Town," casts Ricky Gervais as a mild-mannered schlub who manages, in spite of himself, to make the world a better place.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A dishy and engrossing peek inside the fashion world’s corridors of power -- every bit as slickly packaged as the publication it seeks to uncover.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Vincenzo Natali's outlandish sci-fier sustains a grotesque and funny fascination throughout its slightly protracted runtime.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Before it bogs down in one too many moments of cathartic reckoning, The Vicious Kind is an unpredictable, off-kilter and scabrously funny piece of work.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    It's a sign of that pic's dramatic durability that "Kid" manages to be as absorbing as it is, despite its nearly 2½-hour running time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Keener, so deliciously nasty in Holofcener's "Lovely and Amazing," is no less engaging here in what is, surprisingly, the film's least bitchy role.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Impressively made and serious-minded to a fault, this physically imposing picture brings abundant political-historical dimensions to its epic canvas, yet often seems devoted to stifling whatever pleasure audiences may have derived from the popular legend.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    In the end M.A.S.H. succeeds, in spite of its glaring faults, because Gould, Sutherland, Skerritt, Jo Ann Pflug as the delicious Lt. Dish, and Roger Bowen, as the goof-off commanding officer who is bright enough to recognize his junior officers' medical competence and stay out of their way, are all believable and bitingly funny in their casual disdain for the Army.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    As a fierce superspy and mistress of many disguises, Jolie represents the one indisputably kickass element in this brisk, professionally assembled but finally shrug-inducing thriller.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    With an invaluable assist from Sam Rockwell, hilarious and wounding as a deadbeat dad who lands a high school coaching gig, it's the rare inspirational movie with more than just winning or losing on its mind.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The filmmakers fully retain their offbeat sensibility and attentiveness to character while providing perhaps the sharpest showcase yet for Zach Galifianakis' outsized talents.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    RED
    Only a curmudgeon could entirely resist the laid-back charms of Red, an amusing, light-footed caper about a team of aging CIA veterans rudely forced out of retirement.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A beguiling blend of the audacious and the familiar; it dances right on the edge of the ridiculous and at times even crosses over, but is armored against risibility by its deep pockets of emotion, sly humor and matter-of-fact approach to the fantastical.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A joyous, liberated approach to comedy, a genuine sense of the grotesque and pacing so relentless that even the less-than-uproarious bits don't overstay their welcome.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Director David Yates spins the series' most expansive, structurally free-form chapter yet -- lumbering and gripping by turns, and suffused with a profound sense of solitude and loss.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Tangled is snappily paced and easy enough to get wrapped up in, propelled by a set of jaunty, serviceable songs from venerable composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    That rare ensemble piece in which all four principals are not only compellingly drawn but handled with an astute sense of dramatic balance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Charming if not especially kid-friendly toon.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A welcome dose of honest silliness at a time when most family-oriented toons settle for smart-alecky.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The candlelight flickers exquisitely even as the passions are slow to ignite in this spare, shrewdly acted but not especially vital retelling of Jane Eyre.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A consistently amusing and not entirely vacuous stunt.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A disturbing but nonjudgmental study of online addiction and the lure of manufactured identities.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This efficiently assembled primer hardly counts as a revelatory dispatch from the old-vs.-new-media frontlines, but its ideas will engross anyone for whom the viability of traditional newsgathering remains a matter of pressing significance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Out there, to say the least, but rescued from risibility by its well-matched lead performances and crazy low-budget ambition.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The desire to stay true to what was lovable and enduring about the originals is palpable throughout, down to the amusing storybook conceit of having the characters interact not only with the narrator (voiced by John Cleese), but also with the letters and punctuation marks on the page.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    It's an absorbing, vividly inhabited tale nonetheless, never exploiting its horrors but rather treating them as tough local realities.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    An inventive marriage of ancient China and Agatha Christie, Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame is a lavishly overwrought historical whodunit.

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