Lisa Schwarzbaum
Select another critic »
For 1,907 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Fat Girl
Lowest review score: 0 Old Dogs
Score distribution:
1,907 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is an intense, action-driven war pic, a muscular, efficient standout that simultaneously conveys the feeling of combat from within as well as what it looks like on the ground.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting District 9.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What matters is that Tiana triumphs as both a girl and a frog, that dreams are fulfilled, wrongs are righted, love prevails, and music unites not only a princess and a frog but also kids and grown-ups.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nothing good happens in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, the riveting, horrifying chronicle of an illegal abortion performed in 1987 when Ceauescu's dictatorial hand still gripped Romania's throat. And yet no lover of greatness in filmmaking will want to look away from one of the very best movies of 2007.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is one of the year's best. To paraphrase the Wild Thing named KW, I could eat it up, I love it so.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Way ahead of its time 30 years ago, and just as stunning today, Killer of Sheep is one of those marvels of original moviemaking that keeps hope of artistic independence alive.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like any great myth, Pan's Labyrinth encodes its messages through displays of magic. And like any good fairy tale, it is also embroidered with threads of death and loss.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Up
    A lovely, thoughtful, and yes, uplifting adventure.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't tell Walt Disney, but Hayao Miyazaki really holds the keys to the magic kingdom.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's an intoxicating feeling when a movie excites and enlivens us like this -- and there's a particular giddiness to be had in thinking about what movies can (but don't often) do for one's soul after imbibing such a fine vintage.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For bleakness, the movie can't be beat -- nor for brilliance.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yet another outstanding little movie in the exciting Romanian New Wave.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a class by itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Brims with life and loveliness even as it meditates on the loss of childhood.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Naples-born Servillo is a national star, famed as a theater, opera, and film director as well as an actor. And he's got the face of a mensch (or a Madoff) -- which makes his embodiment of criminal banality all the more identifiable, as well as horrifying.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yagira's performance is so extraordinary, it won him the best actor prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in Selick's career of creating handcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like a great novel from a more expansive bygone age, The Best of Youth is full of big thoughts; like a great soap opera, it's also full of sharp plot turns, vibrant characters, and great talk. It is, in short, the best of cinema.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The stunning, must-see drama Crash is proof that words have not lost the ability to shock in our anesthetized society.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Waltz With Bashir has transcended the definitions of ''cartoon'' or ''war documentary'' to be classified as its own brilliant invention.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The gorgeous music includes Ralph Vaughan Williams' wafting tone poem ''The Lark Ascending'' -- apt in describing an artist who might well be part bird.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you see only one comic love story from Kazakhstan this year, choose this prize-winning honey.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie sparkles with witty self-awareness.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The very opposite of a storybook romance, and also the very model of a great comedy for our values-driven time.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Clint Eastwood's profound, magisterial, and gripping companion piece to his ambitious meditation on wartime image and reality, "Flags of Our Fathers."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With the pitiless, devastating Fat Girl, Catherine Breillat puts men and women, boys and girls on notice: When fantasy, hypocrisy, and manipulation mix in a wet, sandy place, you dive into sex at your own risk.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaking is as strong as the subject matter, with an elegant structure.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The conclusion of Peter Jackson's masterwork is passionate and literate, detailed and expansive, and it's conceived with a risk-taking flair for old-fashioned movie magic at its most precious.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Savages is terrific -- a movie of uncommon appreciation for the nature and nurture that go into making us who we are, a perfectly calibrated drama both compassionate and unsentimental.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    David Cronenberg's brilliant movie -- without a doubt one of the very best of the year.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miller's theme is innocence, the loss of it, and the reclamation of equanimity in the face of that loss, and the music she makes is haunting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The wry filmmaker has created an urbane society of family and friends as ridiculously pretentious and hypocritical as they are cultured, accomplished, and posh.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A confidently original, engrossing interpretation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Definition eludes the delicate pleasures of this marvelous, idiosyncratic movie collage.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A film of wonderful looseness and innovation. Set free to film fakes, the director is the real thing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A movie of uncommon sweetness and delight.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bestows generous blessings on all that's good in Englishness, in moviedom, and, of course, in cheese.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A doozy of a French gangster pic that, in its beautifully refurbished and pithily resubtitled re-release, turns out to be one of the highlights of the 2005 movie year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of the wonders of the holiday season.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The picture moves with stealth, enjoying its own thriller-ness as hints are laid and mislaid. There's a sense that Hitchcock is hovering in the background and cheering for Auteuil, who musters all his French superstardom to play a man having his mask of blandness torn off.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first great, mind-tickling treat of the new movie year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This beautiful, terrible story is not easily forgotten.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mr. Lazarescu is that rich and riveting a film of universal small human moments and big-system failure.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The picture was made in 1969 and is only now being released in the U.S., in a beautiful restoration supervised by original cinematographer Pierre Lhomme.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Half Nelson offers an opportunity to marvel, once again, at the dazzling talent of Ryan Gosling for playing young men as believable as they are psychologically trip-wired.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's in all the moments where little happens that Reichardt is most amazing, investing even a gas-station pit stop with perfect emotional pitch.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    49 Up is a precious document, and must viewing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The calm poetry of the cinematography offsets the mess of the politics to stunning effect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ensemble cast shared the best-actor award at the 2006 Cannes film festival -- and rightly so.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The serious accusations are leavened by the moments of brimming, illogical, intimate neighborly dailiness the filmmaker also captures with warmth and infectious high spirits.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A marvel of warm collaboration and shared jokes about husbands and wives, shot both in dreamscape color and pristine black and white.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jennifer Baichwal's gorgeous documentary Manufactured Landscapes amplifies the powerful work of Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian artist who specializes in large-scale photographs of terrain transformed by civilization into rivers and tides of industrial ugliness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's an adult life force in every frame of this luxuriously paced work, even in the sight of rain and a lady's stocking.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The nervy style of this newfangled Western, with its eerie, insinuating score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, is so effective that long after Pitt and Affleck have left the screen, emotional disturbance lingers like gun smoke.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Filmmaker Yung Chang finds a sad and beautiful way to glimpse the big picture of dislocation through an exquisitely poised small study.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Both the definition of ''my'' and the definition of ''Winnipeg'' become profoundly fluid in this exquisite ''docu-fantasia'' (Maddin's term), an entrancing riffle through the olde curiosity shoppe of the filmmaker's psyche.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's raunchy, outspoken -- and also a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Essential, unique viewing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is enchanting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    ''Documentary'' is too impersonal a word and ''visual poem'' is too mushy a phrase to describe Of Time and the City, a short, beautiful, characteristically sublime memory piece by the great British auteur Terence Davies.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Think of this witty, economically gory little tour de force as "28 Days Later" written by linguist Noam Chomsky.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's also no romanticizing on the part of the director, who proceeds with calm, unshowy attentiveness (even in the midst of scenes of violence), creating a stunning portrait of an innately smart survivor for whom prison turns out to be a twisted opportunity for self-definition.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another must-see marvel of horror, comedy, and impeccable filmmaking by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a lovely, original, Australian take on a climactic moment usually thought of as all American.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gaily funny, shrewdly inventive satire.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The real feast is in the mix of characters, each so finely and unschmaltzily delineated in a script so confident and controlled that even the most passing of participants comes alive.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rohmer treasures the undervalued glories of discourse and the intimacy of conversation over the obviousness of action or sexual display.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While never slow, the film feels quiet and spacious, like a prayer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rosetta is a character of raw pride in a film of lingering power.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This stunning movie -- one of the very best of the year -- makes a much read American classic feel new and freshly devastating.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fierce, loving, and electric, this movie's got bite as well as bark.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Affliction -- a beautiful bummer, a magnificent feel-bad movie -- is American filmmaking of a most rewarding order.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Circles the heart of noisy, modern Tehran with an informal, documentary-like freedom that is thrilling in its naturalism.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The lightness with which Buñuel was able to insert the little jokes and knife stabs of surrealism he loved so much is, in fact, divine.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't let unpleasant personal dental associations stand in the way of seeing a luminous specimen of independent filmmaking.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The message, if there must be one, of this marvelous, stubbornly personal movie is that there is a spark in every soul.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The superb screenplay won an award at Cannes this year for good reason.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Unusual, unhurried tour de force--a seamless match of strong artistic vision and physical performance. [19 Dec 1997, p. 52]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almereyda excises big chunks of plot to shape his vision, but retains Shakespeare's language and pays such rigorous attention to meaning and subtext that what's missing isn't missed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning, unsettling, beautifully written drama.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A witty, stylish, beautifully made charmer of a family picture.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Errol Morris may have been put on earth to make The Fog of War, a stunning portrait of Robert S. McNamara that closes a year of outstanding nonfiction movies on a high note.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gets weirder and meaner and darker and sadder as it progresses, which is amazing since it simultaneously remains funny and horrifying right up to the end.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is a rare uncensored postcard from a ruined place, a document at once depressing and hideously beautiful that sketches the real hardships of trampled people -- specifically women -- with authority and compelling simplicity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pay attention to the enhanced detail audible in a new six-track sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and Jerry Goldsmith's score have never twined so hauntingly.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's piercing sadness, and fury, too, in this Everyman's isolation, and Cantet is singularly skilled at evoking the universal condition of such tragic ordinariness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sad, funny, sexy, and altogether marvelous.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The antidote to every square tough-guy caper you've ever seen, and the inspiration for many great ones. It is an existential imperative to seek out a showing and burn rubber to get there, preferably in an excellent car.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    American Splendor presents Pekar as drawn on the page, Pekar as brilliantly interpreted by Paul Giamatti, and the actual Pekar, in the double role of narrator and interview subject -- sometimes all at once. The magic act is thrilling, and truly surprising.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the power of writer-director Karen Moncrieff's superb feature debut.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tsai builds this shimmering story with deft, deadpan wit and a warm, understated love of the absurd, both in life and afterlife.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beautiful, compassionate, articulate domestic drama.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A small cubist masterpiece about crime and punishment set in that most split-level of environments, Los Angeles.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Topsy-Turvy reminds us that, in any age, creative expression is at once the most personal and most communal of enterprises.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Can be interpreted politically or even biblically or not at all, as the elemental struggles between dominance and submission, impulse and action, man and nature, father and son, play out to their stunning conclusion.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dizzily rich, witty, and satisfying.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The storytelling is the series' best, with a zingy balance of drama, humor, and Deep Thoughts (in a screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, directed with confident exuberance by Irvin Kershner). [Special Edition]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's thrillingly original, lyrical, and wise, and the filmmaker conveys the mutable intensity of young love with the authoritative originality of an important filmmaker.

Top Trailers