Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,909 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 9.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Mother
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Silverman
Score distribution:
1,909 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a lovely, original, Australian take on a climactic moment usually thought of as all American.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A confidently original, engrossing interpretation.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a great film, and a triumph of creativity and courage over repression.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fierce, loving, and electric, this movie's got bite as well as bark.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title embraces the richness of Kechiche's beautiful film, which captures the rhythms of displacement and hardship, the bond of family meals, and even the daily routines of the magnificent women who are part of Slimane's life.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A film of wonderful looseness and innovation. Set free to film fakes, the director is the real thing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    No
    The movie — the third in a trilogy of powerful political dramas from Larraín, including "Tony Manero" and "Post Mortem" — uses period detail, archival footage, and '80s-era technology to create an excellently authentic, bleached, crummy-looking document of a great democratic accomplishment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie sparkles with witty self-awareness.
    • 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]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ceylan, who also served as cinematographer, frames the affecting, unstudied performances in gorgeously chosen shots and nonevents that sometimes teeter on the edge of comedy before knocking us breathless with their emotional power.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A movie masterpiece...is Lars von Trier's ecstatic magnum opus on the themes of depression, cataclysm, and the way the world might end.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is small, local, and idiosyncratic. Then again, it's also a thing of beauty and originality - and for that, sustained huzzahs are in order.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Affliction -- a beautiful bummer, a magnificent feel-bad movie -- is American filmmaking of a most rewarding order.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    49 Up is a precious document, and must viewing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Murray, meanwhile, turns in a thrillingly knowing, unforced performance--an award-worthy high point in a career that continues, Max Fischer style, to defy the obvious at every turn.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first great, mind-tickling treat of the new movie year.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rees presents this vivid, hidden culture with raw honesty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sad, funny, sexy, and altogether marvelous.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result, in Pina, is...wow.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Temperamentally in sync with her "Wendy and Lucy" director, Michelle Williams plays one of the toiling wives. And the actress, with her calm center, compresses the entire history of frontier wifeliness into the concentration with which she gathers firewood and loads a musket.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A triumph of psychological depth and artistic brilliance offered as the magical adventures of one skinny little girl.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Family nuttiness, football madness, romantic obsession, and certifiable mental illness coexist happily in Silver Linings Playbook - a crazy beaut of a comedy that brims with generosity and manages to circumvent predictability at every turn.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Alexander Payne's scathing, subtle, and complexly funny tragicomedy builds a perfect, off-kilter universe--it's a first cousin to "Rushmore."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Essential, unique viewing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While never slow, the film feels quiet and spacious, like a prayer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pfeiffer reveals an emotional nakedness that's almost shocking. Never has she exposed so much and done it so simply. Who knew she could be this good?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sophisticated, funny, and joyously subversive animated bug epic.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gaily funny, shrewdly inventive satire.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A movie of uncommon sweetness and delight.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't let unpleasant personal dental associations stand in the way of seeing a luminous specimen of independent filmmaking.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For bleakness, the movie can't be beat -- nor for brilliance.
    • 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."
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't leave before the final frame -- if you're still breathing.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rosetta is a character of raw pride in a film of lingering power.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Around town, Stephen Fry ("Peter's Friends"), as a fluty artiste, dogs Flora with his devotion and declares, "I'm engorgedly in love with you!" That's how I feel about this gem.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This warm, funny, sexy, smart movie erases the boundaries between specialized ''gay content'' and universal ''family content'' with such sneaky authority.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tiny Furniture is proof, against steep odds, that there are no small stories, only small storytellers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting District 9.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Think of this witty, economically gory little tour de force as "28 Days Later" written by linguist Noam Chomsky.
    • 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
    Rohmer treasures the undervalued glories of discourse and the intimacy of conversation over the obviousness of action or sexual display.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dizzily rich, witty, and satisfying.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    David Cronenberg's brilliant movie -- without a doubt one of the very best of the year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Eastwood directs Mystic River with an invigorated grace and gravitas. This is a true American beauty of a movie, a tale of men and their bonds told by and for adults who value the old-fashioned Hollywood-studio notion of narrative.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A small cubist masterpiece about crime and punishment set in that most split-level of environments, Los Angeles.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are moments in A Little Princess--particularly Cuaron's Indian play-within-the-play, which is nearly avant-garde in its conception--when you may just want to clap from pleasure. My advice to you is: Go ahead, you're a grown-up. [26 May 26 1995]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This triumphant sequel to the hard-to-top 2002 original may be the first great comic-book movie in the age of self-help and CGI wizardry, an entertainment in which both the thrills and the therapeutic personal growth are well earned.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of the unshowiest and most true-blooded epics of Americana you're ever likely to see.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Watch for the director's own mother, Lili Kosashvili, a standout as Zaza's fierce, stately mama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is a movie, and Cannes Palme d'Or winner, of riveting power and sadness, a great match of film and filmmaker -- and star, too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first Irish creation I've seen in ages to pull off the high-difficulty feat of trafficking in grit, drollery, and emotion without turning to blarney as a crutch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The clammy power of Young Adam lies as much in the frank, emotional nakedness the actors bring to their roles under Mackenzie's care as in the baroque hopelessness of the plot.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A funny, shrewd, no-bull family comedy about the relationship between mothers and teenage daughters that allows Curtis the comedian to remember her days as a slinky starlet while making use of her wisdom as the mother of an adolescent girl herself.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's all very French, very intricate, and -- this is Rivette's magic -- seemingly as light as air.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That the story is so oldfashioned and domestic and the family so average and secular is, in its way, the wind beneath this Broken Wings.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is smart, serious, and adult about something that matters, but not at the expense of a kind of awful, sensual revelry as le Carré's capacious plot hurtles to its big finish.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Superb psychological thriller.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A warm embrace of tradition and boisterous, ethnographically rich local culture.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But the notable accomplishment of actress-writer Kasi Lemmons ("The Silence of the Lambs") in her feature directorial debut is in creating a landscape quite beautiful and entirely her own -- a fluid, feminine, African-American, Southern gothic narrative that covers a tremendous amount of emotional territory with the lightest and most graceful of steps.

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