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

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Affliction
Lowest review score: 0 Valentine's Day
Score distribution:
1,907 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The son is obsessive and petulant, punishing and self-pitying, and by the time he gets to a talk with his hurt old mother, we understand why.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In One Hour Photo, Williams is a snapshot of human complexity worth framing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Something particularly clean shines in this American fairy tale, a quality of simplicity that's almost as hard to achieve in such movies as a middle-aged man's boyhood dreams.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The discreet stink of the bourgeoisie perfumes the wonderfully mordant, dry-eyed family saga, The Flower of Evil.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While each Yorkshire playmate-of-the-month warmly assesses her own undewy flesh, the movie gives off a happy vibe of appreciation -- for the dignity of the real Rylstone lot, the actresses who play them so lovingly, and the simple, flower-bed borders of the story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Where ''Rushmore'' surprises and delights with its spiky depiction of sprawling American idiosyncrasy, Tadpole's more urbane, less complicated charms are specifically made in New York City.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rock and Mac exult in the kind of highly charged verbal and physical antics that are star-turn rewards for performers currently at the tops of their games.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The serious struggle in this lilting doc is told with an inviting light touch and a big heart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the handsome, haunting submarine thriller Below, the usual perils of deep-sea maneuvers are heightened by psychic unraveling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slums of Beverly Hills has the kind of big heart, strong voice, vivid look, and original sense of humor many young artists -- particularly young female artists -- don't find until they're riper, and some never find at all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May be the most kick ass demonstration yet, for the majority of American moviegoers, of what the fuss is all about.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mesmerizing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Part supernatural thriller, part Oliver Sacks-style meditation on the neurological mysteries of perception, and part Buddhist treatise on reincarnation, the story luxuriates in shadows.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Clever, laid-back.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    X2 sparkles with a lightness of spirit that was missing from ''X-Men.''
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Arriving amid the traditionally withered harvest of January releases, Orange County is peachy.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A "Romeo and Juliet" tragedy of surprising power.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Allen draws a snappy, loose-limbed performance from Penn.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bright dialogue and finely embroidered performances adorn The Guru like festive beading on a pair of made-in-India bedroom slippers.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Underneath the ravishing imagery however, hearts are in flux.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The two XXL personalities are in fit, fighting form in a comedy as bracing and furiously right for the moment as it is broad and huggable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Crowe sometimes summons up one of the most powerful depictions of mental illness I have ever seen with barely an eyelid flicker separating manifestations of sickness from utterly sane displays of creative concentration.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Although it shares a bitter interest in slum desperation with last year's Brazilian-underbelly docudrama ''City of God,'' Bus 174 pulls ahead, I think, by not confusing cinematic pizzazz with the content of misery.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Zigzags across the conventions of genre, occasionally driving on the shoulders of black humor -- it's a road movie for the way we process suspense today.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reflect the robust status of Yiddish theater in the early 20th century, and its post-Holocaust decline.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gravity-defying kung fu choreography.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That his (writer-director Tom McCarthy) strange, often funny film is so well-disciplined and deadpan refreshing is an achievement.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An unexpectedly alert teen-scream disaster chiller.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The already heavy-footed clomp of Grisham's declamatory storytelling style has been given an extra-thick-soled, wing-tipped, liberal-leaning, reality-tampering kick thanks to a screenplay credited to four writers.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charming, if unnecessarily coronation-length production gets the duckling-to-swan ambivalence just right.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The easygoing silliness with which this late-summer movie surprise scuttles from mayhem to mayhem and the verve with which the cast throws itself into the fray are so cheering and liberating.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another grotty drama about junkie love? Well, yes...I make an exception for Jesus' Son.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are vividly alive.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May not tell a great story, but it's a great wow.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is an origami story, really, about what a construction of chance the big world is.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When they're good, the Yes Men are astonishing, anarchic sights to behold.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a merciless and mirthlessly funny antiwar weapon from a filmmaker who has seen battle firsthand and has lived to make art from memories of hell.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An affecting, old fashioned, antiwar war story.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Best of all, a revisit with Jedi makes a viewer appreciate spectacle, presentation, mythology -- that, and the power of a bitchin' helmet to speak volumes in a language even an alien can understand. [Special Edition]
    • 42 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By not trying too hard, this remake of a dumb movie has got spring in its step. The bounce is on us.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shows a beguiling aptitude for self-mockery in the pursuit of polemic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Anderson brings compassion to his amused sense of yuppie tragicomedy, as he does to his nuanced understanding of Boston, the setting of this appealing fairy tale.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While inevitably oversimplified, is never less than engrossing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A peculiar combination of willful meandering and matter of fact violence, and it occasionally confounds in its attempts to exalt.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Betty Thomas demonstrates her expertise at keeping indulgence at bay in even the coarsest of comic situations.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Narc is as cop movie as a cop movie can be.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Very ''Waking Ned Devine.'' There's shrewd wit to Pouliot's gentle, no-bull farce.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Corporation has better manners and a longer fuse than ''Fahrenheit 9/11.'' But the acerbic, sardonically illuminating Canadian documentary shares with its American cousin a certain bleak leftist glee in pursuit of its cause.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With a taste for dark lyricism, the director delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface innocence and subterranean danger, and between grown-up secrets and boyhood bravery.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Anderson's big, showy flower of a movie unfurls brilliantly, each plot petal a thing of exquisite design. Then it ripens. Then it disintegrates, leaving a mess of color and a faint whiff of rot.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you sign on, disarmed of irony, for her trip -- I did -- you'll be rewarded with a rare thing that may in itself prove the existence of a Higher Power: a Hollywood entertainment that makes you consider deep thoughts.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The most spellbinding aspect of Bright Future is that the surrealism sustains its own squiddish logic, concluding with one of the most breathtaking film finales of the year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Jim Sheridan, co-screenwriter Terry George, and Sheridan's favorite actor (and Oscar winner for My Left Foot) Daniel Day-Lewis reunite in The Boxer with a mellower political message that translates, roughly, into ''Can't we all just get along?''
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    First-time writer-director Rodney Evans makes a ballsy leap into historical fantasia, with heartfelt fervor outrunning stray moments of artistic gawkiness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a psychological thriller that actually thrills.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Honoring the literary ground beneath it, spotted yellow lizards and all, the movie Holes is easy to dig.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's the first futuristic disaster movie that's as cute as a button. Which, when all the special effects blow over, is what we Americans like in a monster hit.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A nifty, entwined, ultimately gripping adaptation of British crime writer Ruth Rendell's novel ''The Tree of Hands'' by French director Claude Miller.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a sensual, psychologically modern costume drama influenced by both "The Godfather" and gals' guides to empowerment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every moment spent in the company of Keaton... is such a joy that the whole is more delightful than the sum of the formulaic ingredients. Keaton makes Nicholson bounce the way Shirley MacLaine once did in ''Terms of Endearment.''
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a painterly translucence to this ''Springtime,'' and a mystery, too; each frame is as delicately poised and lit as a Vermeer portrait of a woman, beckoning but unknowable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Although In the Mood for Love isn't in the mood for action, it dazzles with everything but.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By rocketing ahead 200 years from the previous film and jiggering the story cleverly (with a script by Toy Story coscreenwriter Joss Whedon as late-'90s wiseacreish as Alien3 was early-'90s portentous) to create a Ripley reconstructed through a mix of human and alien DNA, Alien Resurrection power-kicks the whole definition of the Horrifying Other into a fresh, deep, exhilaratingly thoughtful, millennium-sensitive direction. [5 Dec 1997, p. 47]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a gentle, engaging narrative of constancy and devotion against all odds, both natural and bureaucratic, in which the past represents enduring family values and customs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Kicky, elaborately constructed fantasy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story itself is so powerful and troubling, the moral geometry so vertiginous, and the photography so big that anything other than the natural sounds of snowfall and footfall is a Flat Earth Society intrusion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Thornton, giving a splendid, disciplined performance, seamlessly shapes his coach into a believable man of quality rather than star-size charisma.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As ever, Egoyan assembles a devoted repertory cast, including Christopher Plummer.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hilariously fake and rude. And thus true and tonic, if you know what I mean.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As an exception to the norm, Kitano doesn't appear this time, confining himself merely to writing, directing, and editing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a bouncy, loose limbed, ''families do the darnedest things'' sitcom that elicits ungrudging laughs.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I wish 'Hero's emotional heat rose more intensely -- more recklessly. There's something grand but distant and almost fetishistic about the operatic solemnity with which Zhang approaches the Rashomonic story of assassins attempting to kill a king.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hoot and giggle of a girl-power fairy tale blended from potions of ''Monty Python,'' ''Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,'' and ''Shrek.''
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Undeniably powerful, the work also comes with its own built-in shield against feeling any one character's difficulties too deeply, or for too long.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Elf
    The disarming comedic tone -- silly and novel in its lack of cynicism -- is driven by the fearless, cheerful unself-consciousness of Will Ferrell, a big man last seen streaking (all too unself-consciously) through ''Old School.''
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And among the things this ''HP'' does very well indeed is deepen the darker, more frightening atmosphere for audiences of all ages already familiar with the intricacies of the ''Potter'' landscape. (This is as it should be: Harry's story is supposed to get darker.)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The denouement of the movie is as preposterously happy as a children's fairy tale. But the moral is ageless.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The daffy, innately British joke that propels the cheeky U.K. comedy hit Shaun of the Dead is that although real zombies have risen up -- slacker wankers Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his best pal and roommate, Ed (Nick Frost), are too slack, wankerish, and blitheringly British to notice.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the grim and empathetic lost-youth drama Sweet Sixteen, the director focuses on a few failed souls -- rather than excoriate the system that failed them -- to produce a story of particularly streamlined, eloquent despair.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is a brain banger. But as sci-fi nomenclature goes, it's easy to read--no twistier, certainly, than "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A ferocious, funny, gory, and astute Canadian horror parable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That Annaud and his deft production team create believable dramatic characters without compromising the dignity of the animals they've borrowed as stars -- is the striking (and sometimes unnerving) achievement of a film that also swoops and loops through fairytale hoops.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The true pleasures of Bound lie in the Wachowskis' inventive updated take on film noir traditions, sensuously realized by cinematographer Bill Pope ("Clueless").
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By the time Worf (Michael Dorn), knocking off a slimy attacker, growls a Schwarzeneggerish ''Assimilate this!'' we've already done so, with pleasure.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are no big thrills, only gentle laughs in this light story by Hugh Wilson and Peter Torokvei (Wilson also directed).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Davies registers believable frustration and deadpan teenage disengagement in equal measure.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Children bumps into a few dead spots along its irreverent way... But casual sophistication and wiggy Australian self-awareness give this product of unreconstructed bourgeois decadence its idiosyncratic charm.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almodovar is positively mature, adapting a novel by Ruth Rendell so deftly that the plot now also describes the invigorating and sometimes disorienting effects of democracy after long years of repression under the Franco regime.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The generosity and gorgeousness with which Aussie writer-director Stephan Elliott (and costume designers Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel) turn this most unlikely road picture into something arresting - if a tad sentimental - in its naive vision of a perfectly tolerant world.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As engrossing and logic-resistant as the state of dreaming it seeks to replicate, Christopher Nolan's audacious new creation demands further study to fully absorb the multiple, simultaneous stories Nolan finagles into one narrative experience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jeunet maintains a firm control of his dreamscape creation, drawing on influences as varied as "Toy Story," "Children of Paradise," and TV's "Mission: Impossible."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Let loose in a plot that's surprisingly modern about sex and relationships, Morton gives Eva's torn longings an immediacy that transcends a lot of damp, 1950s rusticated preciousness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Luc Jacquet's exquisitely shot eye-of-God study of a year in the lives of these distinctive birds is a nature film built with a feel for the epic and a love of operatic narrative.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The soft-spoken, impressionistic documentary (with a hypnotic score built from the sounds of construction) climaxes with a six-minute helicopter-cam view of the colossal structure to which these somebodies have been dedicating their sweat, and sometimes their very lives.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The grand old filmmaker frames each scene like a fine painting. And fake snow falls with happy artificiality between rueful vignettes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The words belong to Mr. Shakespeare. All else in this Macbeth is the pleasurably fevered invention of brash Australian director Geoffrey Wright.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gentle study in human resilience and luck.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If all this sounds awfully classroom-bound, it isn't -- far from it. Each man's story as he tells it is riveting, truly stranger than fiction, and awesome, too, in the way of unfathomable humans.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Chiara Mastroianni charms here just as her maman, Catherine Deneuve, did in Demy's 1964 classic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sagnier is yummy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaker of August Evening creates a succession of quiet, elliptical scenes that accrue into an affecting big picture of family ties and immigrant experience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For the love of all things sensual and mysterious, see this one on a big screen.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Did granny intend this stuff for strangers? We'll never know. File this ''therapeutic'' movie, well made and creepy, on the dysfunction-as-art shelf next to "Capturing the Friedmans."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Larrain's (literally) dark, edgy movie is a precise artistic commentary on Augusto Pinochet's miserable regime.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Campos (who was 24 when he made this jolting pic) captures the numbing psychic scramble that just might cause the YouTube generation to go morally haywire. Or become filmmakers.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins are so interesting that it's easy to put up with the decision-making dithering that goes along with the title.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Satisfying, melancholy political suspense story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie bubbles with intellectual curiosity and narrative ambition.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stronger on beautiful imagery than on narrative flow.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Redgrave shimmers like one of Tuscany's magnificent cypress trees as an Englishwoman searching for Lorenzo (Nero).
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A delightfully weird, if occasionally too arty, documentary as darting in its structure as a dragonfly's flight.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wild Grass is itself odd stuff: Sometimes it's as playful as Marguerite's crayon-red corona of frizzy hair, and other times as autumnal as the sight of Georges alone in his study, feeling stuck.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a staring contest with his audience, Solondz never blinks. He picks and picks at the themes that consume him, and he doesn't care who stays and who leaves. Me, I'm rapt.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When it comes to crazy, violent, semidelirious, testosterone-laden, proto-Viking tales about a mute visionary one-eyed warrior who breaks skulls, Valhalla Rising is pretty great.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ever-magnetic Sam Rockwell is Kenny, Minnie Driver is full of beans as Betty Anne's best friend, Melissa Leo is wicked good as an ornery cop, and, in her two chewy scenes, Juliette Lewis reminds fans why we want her to run free forever.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Damon's how-to-break-the-law lesson - as ludicrous as anything else in this enjoyably zigzaggy exercise in accumulating peril - grants Neeson the fun of experimenting with an American ex-con accent for his one scene.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lest the audience miss a cue, Hooper and soundtrack composer Alexandre Desplat count on the ringing grandeur of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony - the famous second movement, no less - to amp the emotions.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's intellectually ambitious debut drama Night Catches Us is all the more notable for setting well-drawn fictional characters in a fraught, real moment in civil rights history.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Truer than the John Wayne showpiece and less gritty than the book, this True Grit is just tasty enough to leave movie lovers hungry for a missing spice.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Terry Gilliam-ish territory here, spiked with imagery from Holocaust nightmares and drug trips. Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These guys are not charming; they're horrifying in their ignorance, and they cause real damage. But there's a weird relief to be found in the opportunity to laugh ourselves sick at their expense, if only for an instant.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Among all the chess-piece players on the board, the star is the only one who really builds a solid emotional foundation for his character.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Graeme and Clive, representatives of a nation of nonbelievers in UFOs and big dinner portions, come to the psychic capital of a country that wants to believe, and they're transformed. In Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do likewise, in celebration of what the Spielbergian cosmos is all about.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hanna's intriguing, disorienting pleasures - the movie is part poetic dreamscape, part sinister spy saga - lie more in the filmmaking flourishes than in the narrative.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not coincidentally, African Cats opens on Earth Day. Meeting these magnificent fellow creatures might be a fine way to celebrate.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The observations about parenthood, pro and con, are quick and smart, and Scott effortlessly steals the show, softening Westfeldt's brittle cuteness.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Malick clings to the promise of grace: His vision of the afterlife is a dreamy beach, enhanced by an excellent playlist of fine classical music, and promising the peace that surpasses all understanding. Plus a beautiful sky.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story and setting may be ancient, but under the direction of Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), and with a nicely textured screenplay by Macdonald's Scotland coscreenwriter Jeremy Brock, the vigor is fully modern.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For kids, blessedly unironic by nature until wised up by nurture, the movie is just shiny, funny, and filled with songs.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's nothing nice about 30 Minutes or Less. It's got no redeeming social value. It just ticks away, exploding all notions of where you think it's going to go. It blew me sideways.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Among Gosling's many star-making qualities is his nuanced mastery, since "The Believer," of a facial expression of infinitely adaptable, imperturbable, sustained calm that can read as chilling or ardent, hard or soft, as the role demands.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Here's a scare-the-crap-out-of-you medical thriller about a viral pandemic that will have the immediate post-screening effect of causing a handwashing stampede.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Allusions to "Vertigo," "Rebecca," and Georges Franju's great 1960 French horror movie "Eyes Without a Face" are intentional: The Skin I Live In is, above all, the creation of a movie fanatic who loves to look.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is a duet of outstanding loveliness between Kendrick and Gordon-Levitt, also an actor of nuanced control.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lee's bigger theme isn't God or survival, but the awesome adventure of making the imaginary visible, the adventure of making movies.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Battleship is a sound vessel floating in Hollywood's oil-slick sea of "Transformers" sequels and vampire riffs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The lyrical animation, with its meditative attention to nature, bears the unique stamp of Japan's Studio Ghibli, cofounded by the great ­"Spirited Away" animator Hayao Miyazaki.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable titanium gleam - and a thick coating of creationism lite.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I do wish the movie's ending weren't so squishy. It's been changed from the finale that Sundance audiences saw earlier this year and now reeks of focus-group testing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's not quite the same thrill as glimpsing the man behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz, but for journalism junkies, the fascination of Page One: Inside The New York Times is something like that.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Martha Marcy May Marlene leaves a viewer hanging, quite literally, lost in an enveloping fog of mood without resolution. Olsen, meanwhile, definitely marks her arrival.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I'm holding the filmmaker responsible for getting us all back again - to feelings of excitement and delight. Vital as they are, Gollum and Bilbo can only do so much to keep us enchanted. Is Jackson able to sustain the magic in two more installments? I peer into Tolkien's Misty Mountains and embrace the journey.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The time swivels in Looper evoke some of Inception's fancy temporal tricks... But it's the glimpses of Children of Men-like societal dystopia that give the movie its real weight, and distinguish Johnson's third feature as a marked step forward.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For those who wish to decode The Names of Love, there's a sharp commentary on French prejudices, character types, history, and culture embedded in Michel Leclerc's droll autobiographical French comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a contemplative loveliness to The Way, an affecting personal project both for Emilio Estevez, who wrote, directed, and plays a small role, and for his father, Martin Sheen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Willful, meandering, and intriguing, this Wuthering Heights is similarly headstrong.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wide-eyed Sara Paxton and hipster-bespectacled Pat Healy play the joint's only two employees, working each other into a lather of what turns out to be well-founded hysteria. Kelly McGillis is a surprise treat as a grouchy medium.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ewan McGregor and Eva Green are easy on the eyes as lovers in Perfect Sense, an intriguing apocalyptic romance with a multi-purpose title.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This gripping if tamped-down drama is steeped in ancient Albanian culture, where the real, tragic consequences of blood feuds can keep families trapped in their homes for generations.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In our summertime-movie world of aliens and superheroes who look all too familiar, Dodge and Penny look all the rarer in their precious humanity.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A denouement more textbook than thrilling stalls some of the movie's power. But the early chills are potent, intense.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This strong, assured Band of Brothers-style drama from director Jang Hun makes universal points about bonding, misery, loyalty, and the senselessness of war through a portfolio of soldiers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a tough-minded story of change that happens in almost imperceptibly tiny increments - as true growth so often does in reality.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An energetically demented psycho-killer comedy set in faux-noir L.A., Seven Psychopaths rollicks along to the unique narrative beat and language stylings of Anglo-Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), channeling Quentin Tarantino.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Sessions is first and foremost about Hawkes' virtuoso performance, one of those "My Left Foot"-y transformations that make audiences verklemmt and generate awards talk.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The intense interviews and damning statistics (20 percent of all female personnel have experienced sexual assault) do the work of whipping up outrage.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a pleasure to meet up again with Marion, the distractible, acerbic, New York-based French photographer played once more by Julie Delpy in 2 Days in New York. This bouncy hand-knitted comedy of cross-cultural relationships, also directed and co-written by Delpy, makes a jaunty sequel to "2 Days in Paris."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a script by his wife, Sarah Koskoff, "High Fidelity" actor-turned-director Todd Louiso shapes the movie to Lynskey's rhythms.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In his elliptical and somewhat loopy drama about the slipperiness of love at any age, French filmmaker André Téchiné uses the sight of scudding motorboats on the waterways around workaday Venice as a visual reinforcement of time as a river.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These movie guys specialize in snapping vignettes of human inconsistency - no fancy lighting required.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's agony, in a rewarding way, to squirm and cringe and groan through an ordeal so realistically re-created.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adapting Satrapi's graphic novel about a violinist (Mathieu Amalric) in late-1950s Tehran who's got a broken fiddle and a broken heart and takes to his bed, willing himself to die, the filmmakers rely on expressive eyes to carry a narrative style suitable for a silent movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a relaxed, unforced, melancholy sweetness and swing to this modest iteration of the "Big Chill/Return of the Secaucus 7" formula, a pleasing directorial debut for screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall).
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This patient, righteous documentary by Ken Burns, David McMahon, and Sarah Burns recounts the story of justice undone (a serial rapist confessed) with extensive interviews, a thorough use of archival footage, and a less-than felicitous use of ominous-rumble music that unnecessarily insists, Isn't this an outrage?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo on Lost, Xerxes in 300, and even better, Raúl Castro in Che) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dumont's rigorous, serious attention to the mysteries of good, evil, and faith rewards those willing to be confounded.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This striking, slow-building drama from Cate Shortland uses fractured, impressionistic imagery as a mirror of moral dislocation as the children make their way through an unfamiliar landscape.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It isn't easy to get close to these two women. But the effort yields a rewarding take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship.

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