For 1,127 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Kyle Smith's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 48
Highest review score: 100 Knocked Up
Lowest review score: 0 September Dawn
Score distribution:
1,127 movie reviews
    • 95 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    In the compelling but slow-moving Iranian film A Separation, a downbeat family drama of no particular distinction gradually turns into a mystery that raises painful moral questions. There may be several guilty parties.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    Stretched both timewise and for plausibility.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The Coens, so cutting to so many of their characters, are gentler with Llewyn, inviting us to wander and wonder along with him as he ponders why he must forever play the jerk.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    The main reason for Winter's Bone to exist is that it delivers a little voyeuristic thrill -- a bit of poverty porno -- for the critics who awarded it their highest honors at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    So there is courage and cheekiness here. What there is not is a story, or much insight or even anger; anyone expecting an indictment of Iran will be sorely disappointed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    American Hustle is a movie that was built backward, or inside out: It puts actors’ needs before the audience’s. There’s no heart under those polyester lapels, and what all that Aqua Net is pasting together is a few sparse strands of wispy story.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    Some documentaries are a fervent search for truth; others are a fervent search for snickers. This one is the latter, providing via interviews and old film clips a Greatest Hits for Bush haters.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    What "Rent" should have been, Once is: a Bohemian rhapsody.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    Mostly a routine love story elevated by one of the year’s most magnetic performances.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 25 Kyle Smith
    Name names, please. Or shut up.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    “GBH” is a featherweight screwball comedy that, trying mightily to be cosmopolitan, feels awfully provincial, desperately touristy.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The film is still a gripping experience, though, with its circling sharks, its sun-dappled beauty and its agonies of shattered hope. At one point I was convinced that Sandra Bullock would splash down next to our man in her space capsule and Hanks’ Maersk ship from “Captain Phillips” would steam by to pick up both of them.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    In The Kid With a Bike, Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne offer a sly but finally banal update of the Italian neorealist classic "The Bicycle Thief."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    The Tillman Story purports to be an exposé of the cover-up of the death by friendly fire of the Army Ranger and one time NFL star Pat Tillman. But, provocative and colorful as the film is, it does the very thing it denounces -- massaging the facts to seize Tillman for a political agenda.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    There’s an exhilarating sadness to it all that amounts to cinematic poetry.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The movie is more a situation than a narrative, and it's repetitive and depressing. One interrupter -- a murderer who did 14 years in prison -- says of the program, "In essence, it's just a Band-Aid." At best: One of his colleagues gets shot in the back for his peacekeeping effort.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    It's mainly about a supremely annoying French-born LA clothier who became a hugely successful artist without pausing to consider his utter lack of originality or talent.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    Ridiculous comedies can be fine, but the ones that matter creep up close to the truth. This one lives in it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Despite the lingering aroma of Victorian rot shrouding 1961, An Education is excitingly young.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Thanks to his (Oldman) mastery, and Alfredson's, no film this year left me hungrier for a sequel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    The film, then, places a heavy hand on the scales of justice as it winds up with a fuzzy plea — an implied demand for a second, federal civil rights trial for the cop, who got a light sentence. But the shooting wasn’t a racist one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    Director Alfonso Cuarón has a vision so mesmerizingly terrible that it alone - at least, for those who enjoy a gorgeous nightmare - is reason enough to see the film.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    Dropping by on the same people every seven years like an old friend - or an unwelcome relative - Apted has constructed a peerless, suspenseful work that develops character to a depth that would make Tolstoy jealous. If you have any interest in documentaries, watch the DVD of the first film, "7 Up" (49 Up hits DVD Nov. 14). You won't be able to stop.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Even for a French drama, Summer Hours is so slow as to be practically still.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 25 Kyle Smith
    You must lead a dull life if it would be enlivened by 76 minutes' worth of Old Joy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    All three segments are heavy on blame-America speeches, which may be a fair snapshot of Iraqi opinion, but it's strange how fond Longley seems to be of Saddam Hussein.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Two fins up for The Cove, a documentary that whales on evil Japanese fishermen who kill dolphins for lunch meat.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Can’t possibly deserve your close attention. Yet it does, with distilled honky-tonk poetry and generous good humor. It’s one of the year’s best, most deeply felt films.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Like a dedicated teacher, this is a film that stays with you.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    Deep, disturbing and funny.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The film is shaky as a procedural, and the level of official corruption seems more Moscow than Melbourne. Yet as a fable of power, vengeance and betrayal it exerts a quiet, increasingly wicked pull, equivalent to that of the wrinkly but ruthless grandma.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Young Hugo (Asa Butterfield), a boy who literally lives inside the clocks he manages in a grand Paris train station in the 1930s, embodies one problem that bedeviled even Dickens: He's boringly nice.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Not since "300" have I seen such manly mano-a-mano-ing as the iron clash of wills in the docu mentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Drag Me to Hell is pure cheese. Goat cheese.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    56 Up is as good a point as any to get hooked on the magnificent half-century series of documentaries, beginning in 1964 with "7 Up."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    The movie all but proclaims U2 the world's best rock band. Somewhere, Mick Jagger's jaws are grinding.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    A great abortion documentary might leave you guessing which side of the debate the director was on. Lake of Fire is not that film, but it comes somewhat close.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Gives a taste of what it might be like to live inside Mike Tyson's mind.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Mighty entertainment that makes you feel sorry for the saps next door in the multiplex.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    A sublime meditation that is one of this year's wisest, warmest and funniest films.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Since this low-grade comedy doesn't really even attempt to be funny, the purpose of the movie is to establish (or reinforce) a feeling of luxurious old-timey melancholy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    A kind name for this attitude is false moral equivalence, or perhaps post-imperial cringe. A less kind one is Western self-hatred, or an urgent plea to tolerate the intolerant.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    We may not need another IRA movie, but even so, Ken Loach's Brit-bashing historical drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley, winner of the top prize at Cannes last year, raises hard questions about Ireland's uncanny ability to kneecap itself.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Baumbach seems mainly interested in capturing the whimsical rhythms of unformed post-college life, with money too scarce and roommates too ample — but he already did that, did it better and with more rueful feeling, in the much funnier “Kicking and Screaming,” the debut he made at 25 and one of the best films of the 1990s.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Hunger is almost silent, most of its sounds being unintelligible moans and screams.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The loose feel and sense for random comedy (as when a bore suddenly starts lecturing Coogan about the geological details of the cliff he is standing on) are spiffy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    The teen movie The Spectacular Now begins like “Say Anything” but soon turns into “Drink Anything.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Once it calms down and stops trying to be funny, it turns into a thoughtful and intriguing drama.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    The White Ribbon is one of the finest films that ever repelled me, a holiday in the abyss.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    The highest praise I can give a superhero movie is that it makes me forget about its 10-cent-comic-book soul.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    As cute and energetic as it is, The Lego Movie is more exhausting than fun, too unsure of itself to stick with any story thread for too long. The action scenes are enthusiastic, colorful but uninvolving, like an 8-year-old emptying a bucket of plastic blocks.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    As the two coaches head for a faceoff in a climactic live TV interview, writer Morgan starts to seem like a rip-off -- of himself.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    A small but shattering film that marks its writer-director, Derek Cianfrance, as an artist of real depth, observes relationship dynamics at a molecular level, welling with as much understanding as Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Wajda, who lost his father in the purge, gives the film an awful silence and mystery at its core.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    No
    No, which has been nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is largely a gimmick picture: At all times, it looks like hastily assembled news footage shot on grainy videotape in 1988. That means light flaring up to spoil the image, bumpy camerawork, a nearly square picture and all-around grubbiness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    A real actioner, generous with the bullets and blood and chase scenes, that simultaneously mocks shoot-'em-ups.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Django Unchained might have been a revelation in 2005. But after Quentin Tarantino and others have spent years spoofing '60s and '70s genre movies, this mock spaghetti Western tastes like it came out of the microwave.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    In the utterly routine effort Skyfall, we're actually expected to cheer each chord we've heard so many times (here's a martini shaker! Look, it's a Walther PPK! And there's an Aston Martin!) We've been turned into wretched Pavlovian dogs, salivating at the bell instead of the snack. The highlight, by far, is a classic animated credit sequence: Adele, you are the new Shirley Bassey.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    An affecting and beautifully realized documentary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    The Wrestler offers something to pretty much everyone in the audience. Much like "The Sopranos," it creates a world that might make you feel utterly at home or exhilarated by strange horrors. Maybe both.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Eva Green...Gaspingly beautiful, wouldn't you say?
    • 81 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    The movie independently bungles everything it tries, like a Central Park busker who simultaneously sucks at juggling, harmonica playing and skateboarding.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    The movie falls into the same uneasy category as "Eight Legged Freaks": too tongue-in-cheek to be thrilling, not funny enough to be a comedy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    As a former president of the United States remarked, "Childrens do learn," and what they learn in the heartbreaking yet thrillingly hopeful documentary Waiting for 'Superman' is that adults are finally starting to notice how badly kids have been betrayed by teachers unions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    At Berkeley casts a nonjudgmental eye on everyone from cement layers to students discussing Thoreau to administrators complaining about budgeting. If only everything were interesting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    The movie offers very little that food radicals don't already know.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    It isn't much of a contest: The clear winner is John Wayne, because the Coens are playing his game. The Duke couldn't do the Coens' sly in-jokes, but they've never been able to reach out and move the audience to heights of emotion. Before now, they've never tried.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    This strange and eerie noir is more a collection of knockout scenes than a fully realized story.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Though it does have a handful of dirty jokes meant to earn the audience-pleasing PG-13 rating and features Marge swearing, it falls short of classic status.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    I’m probably more intrigued than 99.3 percent of the American public by the idea of deconstructing the hidden symbols in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” but the theories proposed in the doc Room 237 aren’t eye-opening. They’re laughable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    A clever, elliptical, slightly bizarre and altogether transfixing psychological thriller.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    Getting a small cohort of humanity dead right is an impressive artistic achievement, but Mike Leigh's beautifully modulated English drama Another Year advances even farther.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    It isn't every day that one witnesses, via a camera mounted with the driver, some of the final images in a man's life before he crashes into a wall at enormous speed. Whether you'll feel good about yourself after watching is up to you.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Five people did escape, and they contribute their stories to the spellbinding documentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 25 Kyle Smith
    Moreover, in attempting to update the play to a buzzing CNN world, Ralph Fiennes proves that as a director, he makes a fine actor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Nor does the movie try to use the game to make some larger point. Here's one: Even at its best and luckiest hour, Harvard can aspire only to equal Yale.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The oddly compelling documentary Moving Midway is an engineering tale combined with a family history and a ghost story.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    The film could have been improved if it had been less aggressively limp. But the post-adolescent, pre-adult moodiness is spot on: Everyone's favorite author is a bitter recluse, and the soundtrack heaves with the suicide sounds of Joy Division. Trier's intent is to reproduce a sweet, hazy vision of the agony of youth. Ever so elliptically, he succeeds.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Pity the boxing movie that thinks it can be both "Raging Bull" and "Rocky."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    As things pick up in the second half, the splendid photography and tempestuous John Adams score cannot quite conceal that the film is uncomfortably close to being an extravagantly elongated, Fendi-clad episode of "Dynasty."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    A rock bio minus the fun. The sex is guilt-stricken, the drugs are used to treat epilepsy, and the rock 'n' roll is about isolation and despair.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    A fantastically entertaining biography.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    The doc consists of interviews with the absurdly grandiose Jodorowsky (whose fans include Kanye West) plus acolytes like current director Nicolas Winding Refn and film nerds, all of whom walk us through storyboards and tell us how awesome this “greatest film never made” would have been.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Kyle Smith
    Despite all of the hideous critters Hellboy encounters, there is a hint that things are considerably weirder elsewhere.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Two possible ways of regarding Please Give: It's shallow. Or maybe it's deeply shallow.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    A deeply felt evocation of a place and a people by writer-director Matt Porterfield, who set this largely improvised film in his own lower-class Baltimore neighborhood.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Based on the true story of the world's largest counterfeiting operation, The Counterfeiters is full of the weird details that, though unsurprising on one level, are so jarringly wrong that they seem fresh: As a reward for producing 134 million pounds sterling, the prisoners get a pingpong table.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    How dark is this comedy? It's a big hit in Ireland.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    "HP6" is suspenseful and artfully realized. It's a definite improvement over J.K. Rowling's dimly written and exposition-clogged book.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Kyle Smith
    What a sweet collision is Rescue Dawn: the American psycho meets the German kook.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    Although the movie is reasonably suspenseful for a while and has a few witty moments (of a first draft, the ghost says, "All the words are there. They're just in the wrong order"), it rings false.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    As subtle and careful and slyly disturbing as Child’s Pose is though, it and many others of its genus suffer from an airlessness, pacing like the growth of algae, a dishwater color palate and a dirge-like monotone.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 25 Kyle Smith
    The similar Kevin Bacon HBO movie "Taking Chance" got there first. Worse news: The earlier movie was sober, meticulous and quietly convincing, not a shouty, shoddy bore like this piece of flummery.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Kyle Smith
    Like its star, the movie is too short and a little thin but just about perfect.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Kyle Smith
    The movie amounts to an extended short story that progresses slowly and fades away with key questions unanswered. Ambiguity isn't necessarily interesting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    Blue Caprice takes a minimalist, documentary-style approach that proves harrowingly effective.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Kyle Smith
    The details are true and funny, played brilliantly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    Every Little Step shows only this: It hurts to flunk an audition, and it's nice to get hired. Everything it has to say about Broadway was said better in Bob Fosse's movie "All That Jazz" -- in its opening five minutes.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 25 Kyle Smith
    With Philomena, British producer-writer-star Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears hit double blackjack, finding a true-life tale that would enable them to simultaneously attack Catholics and Republicans. There’s no other purpose to the movie, so if 90 minutes of organized hate brings you joy, go and buy your ticket now.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 38 Kyle Smith
    Has the aroma of an autobiographical confession by someone for whom life hasn’t been overly difficult.