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 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Police, Adjective
Lowest review score: 0 Valentine's Day
Score distribution:
1,907 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Argues on behalf of the Darwinian theory that all of life imitates high school...But the argument is only halfhearted. Just Friends is much more interested in - and hilarious about - the small nostalgias of suburbia.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    James Westby's loving and self-aware homage to mouth-breathing boys who worship Wong Kar-Wai and can't talk to girls is the opposite of Tarantino-esque: It's Westby-ish, interspersing settings of biting social oafishness with spasms of film knowledge.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something invigorating about this unpretentious dog tale. And if a penguin drops by to promote his own movie product, well, there's room on the frozen continent for all.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A helluva lot happens in 16 Blocks - an outrageous amount, really, along with a coda that deposits the audience squarely at a movieland finale. Who knew that looking both ways before crossing is where the real action is?
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cynical and cheerily merciless.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ice Age: The Meltdown blithely looks on the bright side of life, amassing a screen full of vultures to sing and dance ''Food Glorious Food'' and daring us not to get happy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are times (and plenty of them) when Slither slops over from smart, affectionate homage into unmodulated frat goofiness as Gunn cannibalizes so many horror plots with such high spirits.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Johnson also grabs hold of a fundamental truth and seduces us with it: The schoolyard can be the noirest burg of all.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ineffably Australian and intriguingly (rather than annoyingly) artsy, Look Both Ways introduces a handful of people gobsmacked by life-changing crises, all of them trying to make sense of responsibility, mortality, and connection.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a buoyant, old-wave disaster pic for a generation of well-conditioned thrill seekers charmed by the revelation that Richard Dreyfuss really is the Red Buttons of our day.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The visual and verbal jokes are as bouncy and multilevel (hip height for adults, knee-slap-size for kids) as we have come, no doubt selfishly, to expect from DreamWorks.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gehry sketches and free-associates about how he's not nearly the menschy aw-shucks pussycat from Canada he appears to be but rather a wily, complicated L.A. lion.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Sérgio Machado, who worked as an assistant to Central Station's Walter Salles, lingers sensually over every wrong move his attractive tragic trio make.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cheery, expertly constructed Spanish farce.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Greggory anchors Gabrielle in manly bewilderment and rage, while Huppert claws the title character's way to self-awareness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Good times and bum times, they've seen it all and they're still here. Lucky us.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An effortlessly clever animated confection.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is an unabashedly home-cooked homage to New York eccentricity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Illusionist looks rigorously styled and measured, and every one of Norton's postures feels chosen. Yet the interesting actor has chosen so thoughtfully that we're riveted.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chief frustration of this otherwise well-made, well-acted, well-heeled picture -- a movie classy in its artful modesty, with every detail of plot and period furnishings lovingly conceived, every lick of jazz-influenced score true to the times -- is that it is so very self-absorbedly graceful about something so very insular and...unremarkable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Drawing on a documentary visual style he deftly employed in "One Day in September" and "Touching the Void," director Kevin Macdonald uses McAvoy's boyishness to treat Garrigan's apolitical foolishness as yet another damn mess in one African country's hell.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This gallantly imperfect indie pops with attitude.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Coppola's stranded royal suggests that at heart, Marie Antoinette was just a simple girl who wanted to have fun, and got her head handed to her.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bale is mesmerizing and Rodriguez keeps up with him as the whole unsafe contraption zooms.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I'm as touched and charmed by its failures as I am transfixed, at times, by its successful inventiveness and audacity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The always surprising Watts creates a woman at once contemporary and retro. And Norton, as a producer as well as star, concedes enough space for Schreiber and the effortlessly fascinating Jones to earn their own spotlights.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    After teeny indies, this studio release retains the trademark love of warped American gothic that the Polishes share with David Lynch and the brothers Ethan and Joel Coen. But the unexpected streak of yearning sunniness -- the Spielbergian touch of boyhood dreams propelling a grown man -- gives The Astronaut Farmer a warmth that's new for them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    John Hurt is magnetic as a Catholic priest running a school where terrified Tutsi have taken refuge, while Hugh Dancy, as a naive teacher, represents white commitment to black Africa at its most impotent and unreliable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Eight months of interrogation and torture in fetid Abu Ghraib followed before he was released, innocent. None of The Prisoner's showy flourishes -- animation, sound effects, fancy editing -- can match the power of Abbas' stillness as he describes one man's agony in one huge hell.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the very funny cop comedy Hot Fuzz, overachieving London police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) commits a very British sin: He's too good.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Excels at creating a keen, creepy sense of a civilization stopped dead in its tracks -- vaporized, almost, except for those disemboweled bodies left still undisposed.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bug
    The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An animated family movie about penguins -- in the wake of "March of the Happy Feet," they're the Angelina Jolie of animals, both cute and admired everywhere. Plus, it's about surfing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An irresistibly vibrant concert-tour documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Cuban escapade, designed to provoke, backfires when he loses focus by including Cuban firefighters in an homage to 9/11 first responders.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The flourishes don't answer the question most on Potterites' minds -- who lives, who dies? -- but they briefly stupefy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An unlikely comedy charmer.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another thinking-person's thriller from director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, also co-pilots on "28 Days Later."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best thing about this long-awaited feature-length project, a classic Simpsonian interplay of family psychology, social commentary, and brainy visual and verbal jokes tossed off at rat-a-tat speed, is how relaxed it manages to be.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as if the star (Douglas) finally gets to integrate all his onscreen personas, all at once.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is familiar psychological as well as stylistic territory for Anderson after "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums." But there's a startling new maturity in Darjeeling, a compassion for the larger world that busts the confines of the filmmaker's miniaturist instincts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole film is cracked, but in a stylish, downtown way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title Terror's Advocate is both a statement of fact and a worrisome understatement in a documentary as slippery as its subject.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gentle study in human resilience and luck.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Enchanted is festooned with extravagant set pieces -- there's a great number in praise of romantic gestures, and a ballroom scene to make even grown-up girls swoon.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a grim modern parable to be read into the dangerous effects of the gospel-preaching local crazy lady Mrs. Carmody (brilliantly played by a hellfire Marcia Gay Harden) on a congregation of the fearful.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is so finely minced a mixture of Sondheim's original melodrama and Burton's signature spicing that it's difficult to think of any other filmmaker so naturally suited for the job.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cloverfield, a surreptitiously subversive, stylistically clever little gem of an entertainment disguised, under its deadpan-neutral title, as a dumb Gen-YouTube monster movie, makes the convincingly chilling argument that the world will end -- or, at least, Manhattan will crumble -- with a bang and a whimper.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rutina Wesley glowers with just the right touch of sweetness as a brainy student (and stellar after-school stepper).
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What the characters in The Witnesses -- and we, the audience -- pay testimony to in André Téchiné's urgent, compassionate, and ultimately optimistic French drama are the toll the epidemic has rung, and the responsibility of the living to choose life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lucy Walker's observant film Blindsight is about profound East-West differences in the importance of journey versus destination and comradeship versus competition.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Chiara Mastroianni charms here just as her maman, Catherine Deneuve, did in Demy's 1964 classic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marvelously inventive, often-ironic Israeli storyteller Etgar Keret and his life- and workmate, Shira Geffen, spin in Jellyfish a dreamy, arty, alluringly cockeyed tale involving three unrelated women in Tel Aviv.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This audaciously issues-loaded indie drama works, improbably and entirely, on account of the marvelous, often familiar-looking, rarely starring character actor Richard Jenkins and his perfect performance as a stodgy, widowed economics professor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nakedness has rarely looked so...naked. And innately, universally comic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A sly catalog of deceits and a gentle commentary on slippery creativity and desire.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mamet regulars Ricky Jay and Joe Mantegna blend well with Mamet newbie Tim Allen, a treat as a spoiled-rotten aging Hollywood action star.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The unexpected star is Hathaway, looking cool as a runway model in the role originated by Barbara Feldon, lithe as a (pink) panther, and displaying great comic timing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Quite grand, quite exotic, David Lean-style epic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Their love story was inevitably complicated. And so is the documentary Chris & Don: A Love Story -- not simply a love letter to love -- by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A smart, playful, informative pleasure.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A spare, controlled study in communication gaps and a piercing sketch of suburban American loneliness.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For the love of all things sensual and mysterious, see this one on a big screen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is no real-life comedy à la "Election" -- more like a valuable, teen-scaled version of the presidential election that currently obsesses us.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A nifty horror movie that doesn't claim to be anything other than a zippy exercise in creature-feature entertainment.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charm-filled documentary about passionate Harry Potter fans (and one foe) leaps all over the place.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A tough, authentic street drama born, bred, and shot in the no-spin zone of working-class South Boston.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Salvatore Stabile has a good eye for the details of hard-luck ordinariness, and he sketches believable family bonds with a minimum of flourish.
    • 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."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It offers an attractive getaway route from self-importance, snark, and chatty comedies about male bonding. Here, stick shifts do the talking.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fados connects today's leading interpreters with legendary fadistas of the past. And it's the last title to be released under the banner of the venerable New Yorker Films.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The characters in Alien Trespass (directed by X-Files producing alum R.W. Goodwin) are specimens of Sputnik-era determination, led by a gung-ho Eric McCormack.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The intimate movie hums with a back-in-the-hood vibe that gets the two stars playing contentedly, and delightfully, for the love of local filmmaking.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jack Nicholson's dyspeptic retiree in "About Schmidt" would no doubt identify with O'Horten's entertaining pain.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story is timeless; this could have taken place when Doyle graduated in '76 -- or any year, really, since the effects of high school linger throughout adult life and nerds are forever.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scott gets into the zip and rush of urban energy with an enthusiasm bordering on hilarity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    9
    Storyboarded with precision, and enhanced with a resonant score by Deborah Lurie, Acker’s handsome, feature-length 9 is, for all its visual flights of fancy, grounded in an apocalypse-proof message graspable by any schoolchild.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chemical energy between Bullock and Reynolds is fresh and irresistible.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Larrain's (literally) dark, edgy movie is a precise artistic commentary on Augusto Pinochet's miserable regime.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    At the bone, Zombieland is a polished, very funny road picture shaped by wisenheimer cable-TV sensibilities and starring four likable actors, each with an influential following.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's hide-and-seek attitude toward truth mirrors the intricacies of one lover getting to know another -- an arresting notion of the heart that's much more than paper-deep.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fan-ready and saga-solid.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are razor sharp. And the ideas in this movie are, no kidding, big.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's lost in translation is recovered easily enough in Michael Sheen's astonishing performance as Clough.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's wit but never a wink in this smartly shot production, which pays homage to the 1980s without fetishizing the era.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The spectacular battle scenes are the engorged heart of the delirious adventure. But Woo also gets maximum romantic value from Tony Leung as a war hero married to Chiling Lin as the tea-pouring beauty.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A grandly entertaining historical drama.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bridges' guileless performance makes this piquant little indie tale of country music, redemption, and the love of a pretty younger woman such a sad-song charmer.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Satisfying, melancholy political suspense story.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gray has an artful, understated way of conveying what's going ?on inside, often simply by focusing his camera on Kazan.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Does a great job of being in two places at once: In the head and gangly bodies of kids, and in the hearts of those of us who have survived grades 6-8.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Baumbach's movies are addictive dispatches from a genteel jungle of white privilege, where highly educated people behave badly. I can't take my eyes off the exotic wildlife.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reveling in mess and homegrown multiracial mayhem, Death at a Funeral finds a new lease on life.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is a duet of outstanding loveliness between Kendrick and Gordon-Levitt, also an actor of nuanced control.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Battleship is a sound vessel floating in Hollywood's oil-slick sea of "Transformers" sequels and vampire riffs.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable titanium gleam - and a thick coating of creationism lite.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
    • 61 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."
    • 69 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Willful, meandering, and intriguing, this Wuthering Heights is similarly headstrong.
    • 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
    This is a tough-minded story of change that happens in almost imperceptibly tiny increments - as true growth so often does in reality.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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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