For 928 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 42% 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: 62
Highest review score: 100 Calvary
Lowest review score: 0 Some Kind Of Beautiful
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 95 out of 928
928 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The film doesn't pack the same cumulative wallop as the brothers' earlier work, but its low-key artistry, immaculate construction and fine performance by relative newcomer Arta Dobroshi should rouse the usual fest acclaim and arthouse interest.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Newton draws us persuasively into the sheer normalcy of his characters’ world — and forces us to imagine the feeling of having that normalcy suddenly ripped away.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This gorgeously crafted romp through the backlots and Malibu enclaves of Hollywood’s Golden Age tosses off plenty of eccentric comedy and musical razzle-dazzle before taking on richer, more ruminative dimensions, ultimately landing on the funny-sad question of whether life is but a dream factory.
    • 78 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    As he did in his Three Gorges Dam documentary "Up the Yangtze," Chang examines how a particular strain of Western culture promises opportunity and prosperity for Chinese youth, even as it remains a continual source of intergenerational tension.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    One of the pleasures of Doctor Strange is the way it both wholly embraces and gently mocks the unapologetic geekiness of the enterprise.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Kelly Reichardt blends her lucid observational approach with a topical-thriller format to engrossing effect in Night Moves.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Lovesong makes a virtue of restraint as it traces a complex emotional history in two parts, and innumerable (and sometimes quite literal) shades of gray.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Though less pleasurably offbeat than the helmer’s well-received “Read My Lips” and “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” this is solid, sinewy pulp fiction.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A strange and often startlingly inspired media/mental-illness comedy.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    See this smart, showboating movie now, before its simmering sense of justice begins to feel like a thing of the past.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    There's little doubt that Kazan has written a sly, amusing portrait of male self-absorption and artistic tyranny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Deliberately paced, sparely imagined and suffused with mystery, writer-director Rodrigo Garcia’s seventh feature is nonetheless quite lucid and accessible in its themes of empathy, compassion and sacrifice, and grounded by a Christ/Satan dual performance by Ewan McGregor that plays vastly better onscreen than it sounds on paper.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Split doesn’t just revive Shyamalan’s career; it resurrects his brand.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    [Hancock] turns the unlikely subject of a fast-food chain into a quasi-religious satire, a parable of American striving and, ultimately, a study of artisanal integrity gradually caving in to commercial compromise.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Viewers unconvinced by the "war is a drug" doctrine set forth by Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" will find it amply corroborated by the self-admitted adrenaline junkies here, whose collective war-reporting experience spans an astounding number of overseas conflicts from Sarajevo and Chechnya to El Salvador and Libya.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Though it strikes some predictable coming-of-age notes, this moving, well-wrought adventure should appeal to fans of "E.T." and Carroll Ballard.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An indelible tapestry of carefully engineered revelations and deeper human truths.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    It’s a testament to the story’s underlying integrity that, even when deprived of some of the elements that made Emma Donoghue’s 2010 book so gripping, director Lenny Abrahamson’s inevitably telescoped but beautifully handled adaptation retains considerable emotional impact.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Maurice, based on a posthumously published novel by E.M. Forster, is a well-crafted pic on the theme of homosexuality.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This is polished yet authentically moving.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    [Pesce’s] sense of horror craftsmanship is at once meticulous and oblique.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Its strength lies in the way it continually collapses the distance between people and cultures, forcing its characters to reckon with what they perceive as strange and unfamiliar.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    While a more thorough archival survey of Choi and Shin’s work together (pre- and post-abduction) would have allowed for a deeper perspective, this real-life romantic thriller/escape saga still boasts enough fascinating details and angles to qualify as essential stranger-than-fiction viewing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Hope and horror are commingled to quietly moving effect in Agnus Dei, a restrained but cumulatively powerful French-Polish drama about the various crises of faith that emerge when a house of God is ravaged by war.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Slickly charming, genteelly erotic and directed with supreme polish, Cashback is a conventional romantic comedy that plays unconventional games with time and memory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This poignant slice-of-life proves as modest in length (78 minutes) as it is generous in rueful insight and emotional complexity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A strikingly original and provocative first feature from scribe-helmer Carlos Brooks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The ever-perceptive writer-director further hones her gifts for ruefully funny observation and understated melancholy with this low-key portrait of a burned-out screen actor.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This eloquent study of loneliness and postmodern drift likely will be received with more admiration than rapture by the helmer's followers. But Juliette Binoche's turn as a harried single mom and pic's enlivening portrait of domestic rupture make this a highly accessible Hou.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    By turns coolly observed and disquietingly compassionate — qualities that also describe Rebecca Hall’s brilliant central performance — the movie drifts alongside its subject, Charon-like, through the hell of her last weeks.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    After putting male insecurity under a comic microscope in "Humpday," writer-director Lynn Shelton hands the fairer sex a more prominent role in Your Sister's Sister, another winning study of relational boundaries crossed and sexual dares gone awry.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Like a superior, state-of-the-art model built from reconstituted parts, Joss Whedon's buoyant, witty and robustly entertaining superhero smash-up is escapism of a sophisticated order.
    • 83 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A tightly coiled, beautifully acted relationship study that occasionally swerves in the direction of a gangland thriller.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Not least of the surprises here is that even when The Monster is trying to scare you witless, its every scene insistently reaffirms its characters’ humanity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Highly informative documentary reps a heady mix of charts, graphs and talking heads... superb packaging and timely subject matter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Reed’s movie succeeds well enough as a genial diversion and sometimes a delightful one, predicated on the rarely heeded Hollywood wisdom that less really can be more.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Despite a few tonal and structural missteps, this intelligent, perceptive drama proves as intimately and gratifyingly femme-focused as Polley's 2006 debut, "Away From Her."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A crusty jewel of a performance by Brendan Gleeson goes a long way toward enlivening an otherwise routine tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption in The Guard.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    John Maclean’s impeccably crafted writing-directing debut at times has a distinctly Coen-esque flavor in its mix of sly intelligence, bleak humor and unsettling violence, exuding fierce confidence even when these qualities don’t always cohere in the smoothest or most emotionally impactful fashion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    [Alvarez is] a master at orchestrating tension in close quarters, at painting his characters into a corner one minute and dangling them out a window the next.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A richly immersive documentary that plays like an elegy for a time-honored but slowly vanishing way of life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    A raucous and rigorous inquiry into the subject of African-American hair -- the stigmas, the secrets, the shocking price of maintenance -- that gets at universal but rarely discussed truths about black femininity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An exuberantly crafted chase thriller that pulses with energy from its adrenaline-pumping first minutes to its muted bang of a finish.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    There's plenty of blood -- both literal and figurative -- coursing through the veins of Pan's Labyrinth, a richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy from writer-director Guillermo del Toro.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This eccentric and deliriously inventive fantasy finds stop-motion auteur Henry Selick scaling new heights of ghoulish whimsy, buoyed by a haunting score that works its own macabre magic.
    • 72 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The virtual future may be now, but “Lo and Behold,” with its stimulating volley of insights and ideas, always feels persistently, defiantly human.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    For a movie that all but demands that you swoon into its arms, La La Land doesn’t always seem to know exactly how to surrender to itself.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Results are painfully amusing, frequently random and occasionally laugh-out-loud hilarious.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    This is surely the nerviest, most confrontational treatment of race in America to emerge from a major studio in years, and it brilliantly fulfills the duty of both its chosen genres — the horror-thriller and the social satire — to meaningfully reflect a culture’s latent fears and anxieties.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Though its glacial pacing will represent a significant hurdle for many viewers, the film grows steadily more involving as dawn breaks and the men make their way back home, and its unflinching observations of the legal and medical establishment at work frequently rivet. Visually, it's as gorgeous a film as Ceylan has made.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Calmer and less shattering than his masterly psychodrama "Secret Sunshine" (2007), Poetry is a deceptively gentle tale with a tender ache at its center, as well as a performance from Yun Jung-hee that lingers long in the memory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    The Austrian writer-director gradually locates the emotional pulse in a picture that plays less like a doomed romance than a seriocomic anatomy of one, subjecting its characters and their bubble of high privilege to sharply critical yet quietly affecting scrutiny.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    An exquisitely tender tale of two young Euro immigrants trying to find themselves (but not each other) in contempo London, Unmade Beds has a lively, romantic spirit that recalls the playfulness and spontaneity of the French New Wave.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Even as Into the Inferno invites us to marvel at our insignificance in the face of Mother Nature’s seething primordial firepit, Herzog, being Herzog, refuses to lose sight of the human element.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Chang
    Again and again, Van Dormael delights in finding romantic solutions to existential problems, in forging the kinds of topsy-turvy emotional connections between his characters that enable them to overcome their natural impulses toward suspicion, hostility and even violence.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Yet for all its expected highs, the adaptation has been managed with more gusto than grace; at the end of the day, this impassioned epic too often topples beneath the weight of its own grandiosity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    As anthropology lessons go, Knuckle is strong stuff, and it's easy to accept Palmer's conclusion that the problem he's showing us may well have no solution.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A welcome dose of honest silliness at a time when most family-oriented toons settle for smart-alecky.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A Civil War-era actioner of questionable taste and historical accuracy but surprisingly consistent entertainment value.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    It both benefits and suffers from the relentless commercial logic that has, for the moment, placed a bit of a stranglehold on its own considerable magic.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Boorish and crass, homophobic and misogynistic, the very definition of sloppy seconds — par for the course where the present generation of male-driven, R-rated, “Hangover”-aping franchise comedies are concerned. That it somehow manages to send you out of the theater feeling tickled rather than sullied may be a mystery as impenetrable as the cosmos.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This wildly ambitious rumble-in-the-jungle battle epic arrives bearing so heavy a burden of industry expectations, one wishes the results were less kitschy and more coherent; still, the filmmaking has a raw physicality and crazy conviction it's hard not to admire.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Cuaron’s movie may be an exaggerated nightmare vision of murderous xenophobia run amok, but the catharsis in this tale of survival and payback is undeniably real.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This movie may be a convulsively entertaining throwback to Scott’s glory days, but to look upon Fassbender, with his icy and seductive post-human gaze, is to behold this franchise’s future.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A frequently mesmerizing if exceedingly strange coming-of-age odyssey.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Levine’s script does a clever job of keeping numerous balls in the air over the taut 99-minute running time, and the writer is especially good at using the information he feeds us in unexpectedly resourceful, double-edged ways.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This robust, action-packed adventure benefits from a headier sense of forward momentum and a steady stream of 3D-enhanced thrills.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Sweetly amusing, gently anarchic and never mean-spirited.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The actors hurl themselves into their roles with sufficient commitment and feeling that you believe in Tom and Isabel completely, even when the creaky narrative machinery around them begins to trigger your skepticism.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    A surprisingly shrewd and energetic romantic comedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Leslee Udwin’s hour-long activist documentary India’s Daughter makes for grim, infuriating and sadly necessary viewing, its despair tinged with the faintest hope that the protestors’ call for gender equality may yet be reignited.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    This complex story from the early days of psychoanalysis engrosses and even amuses as it unfolds through a series of conversations, treatment sessions and exchanged letters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    The valedictory sentiments at the heart of this mysterious experiment are conveyed with characteristically wry wit and great generosity of spirit.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    It may not subvert every cliche of the high-school romance genre, but director Jake Schreier’s coming-of-age dramedy nonetheless pulses with moving and melancholy moments.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Chang
    Berg’s blunt, pummeling style offers few nuances and makes no apologies, but his broad brushstrokes have clearly found an ideal canvas in this grimly heroic rendering of hell on earth.

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