M. E. Russell

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For 413 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

M. E. Russell's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Beat That My Heart Skipped
Lowest review score: 0 Underclassman
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 413
413 movie reviews
    • 31 Metascore
    • 42 M. E. Russell
    The process of Farrell figuring out his divine purpose finally gets so convoluted and schmaltzy, it feels less like "destiny" and more like "cruel cosmic joke."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Lawrence steps up. And her character's fierce independence provides a welcome alternative to certain vampire-fixated young-adult heroines who define themselves entirely through the attention of much-much-older men.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    At its best, Prisoners dwells on the ways the characters affected by the case are held mentally captive -- by conviction, compulsion, procedure, skewed beliefs, rage, and grief -- and how each character's blind spot and/or maniacal focus furthers or frustrates the search for the girls.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 M. E. Russell
    In the films at least, there's something so naked about the Potter/Percy story parallels that's it's hard not to sit there as a viewer and get distracted playing connect the dots.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    There's a potentially innovative teen comedy in here somewhere, but it's surrounded by one that's much duller.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    As horror movies go, The Conjuring is an extremely skillful, entertaining remix album. That's not an insult.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    "Fast Five" and Fast & Furious 6 -- the newest, nearly-as-much-dumb-fun sequel -- play more like "The Avengers" than they don't.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    Oblivion is Moebius-comic gorgeous and it sounds great, especially the loud, nervewracking honks the drones make when they're weighing whether or not to shoot you. I suppose that's a surface appeal. But it's a nice surface.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    Jim Carrey kills it every time he shows up in his supporting role as street magician Steve Gray.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The movie unfolds in the uplifting manner you'd expect, but its real pleasures lie in its terrific '60s pop-soul soundtrack and especially in its frequently funny performances.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    It's quietly brutal stuff, beautifully acted by Fanning, Englert, Christina Hendricks and a word-twisting Alessandro Nivola.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 M. E. Russell
    The deadly dull action-comedy Identity Thief is an infuriating waste of time, on all sides of camera and screen. I did not know I could yawn angrily. This movie somehow proved it possible.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    It's got a big heart and high spirits on a low budget and actors who refuse to phone it in.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    Quality-wise, the crime drama Broken City lives in a frustrating mid-range area: It's too complex and competently crafted to dismiss as junk -- but it's also nowhere near sharp enough to work as the serious grown-up detective movie it clearly wants to be.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    No one joyfully embraces this absurdity better than Michael Sheen. The actor finds a ridiculous-yet-perfect way to deliver every single second of his performance as head of the global vampire council -- He's all over the film's finale. It's fantastic.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 M. E. Russell
    The surfing scenes are gorgeous and overwhelming. But the rest of the film...
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    It's fascinating as an offbeat storytelling exercise.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    The movie's excessive and logistically goofy in a way "Taken" wasn't.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The movie's perfectly understated, warts-and-all sense of time and place will send any suburban Gen Xer in the audience flashing right back to their less-cautious days, when mix tapes did heavy lifting as calling cards.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The film's climax is a bit of a jumble, but by then Hillcoat has built his world so vibrantly that it hardly matters. And the hard-charging soundtrack -- featuring Cave, Warren Ellis, Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson -- is an absolute blast.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    Wiseman's PG-13 remake isn't as funny, or vivid, or splatter-tastic. It contains no mutants, inflating heads, trips to Mars, or freaky little psychic dudes named "Kuato" emerging from people's stomachs. But it does a decent job setting up an unsubtle dystopia.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    The end result is mediocre, slightly sloppy and a mild waste of a great cast.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    The movie is well-acted and a bit frustrating, but also a pleasant little surprise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 33 M. E. Russell
    There's almost nothing to Battleship beyond its grindingly dull, digitally rendered naval warfare.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 M. E. Russell
    The movie is directed with real confidence by Batmanglij. He lets his actors breathe, builds suspense in one group-purge brainwashing scene, and lets the mystery unfold in an immersive way that's probably a bit more compelling than its actual scripted payoff deserves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    It's better at being droll than laugh-out-loud funny.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 M. E. Russell
    When it sticks to its central flirtation, the latest movie based on a Nicholas Sparks romance, The Lucky One, is blandly pleasant enough.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 8 M. E. Russell
    Scenes will wander from gross-out gag to sentimental schmaltz to pervy leer to cheap nostalgia within a 30-second span, utterly free of clear directorial guidance. Even worse, very little of it is remotely funny.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Boy
    Waititi is still telling stories of offbeat, semi-delusional New Zealanders, and he's still sprinkling his work with cartoonish flights of fancy -- but this time he grounds the comedy in a big-hearted, bittersweet story about a boy desperate to connect with his father.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    John Carter is too wickedly strange not to recommend. Movies this expensive usually play it much safer.

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