M. E. Russell
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For 413 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

M. E. Russell's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Host
Lowest review score: 0 Underclassman
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 413
413 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    In "Upside" Allen's marble face acts as the pressure-cooker lid on a hilarious hissy fit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    Startling and amazing -- a cinematic hammer to the skull.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    It's one of the best and strangest films of Miyazaki's career.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    Unpretentiously fantastic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    The writing, acting and filmmaking make Hustle & Flow nothing short of amazing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    This is one of Downey's most enjoyable performances, and one of Kilmer's funniest. It's a relationship comedy wrapped in sharp talk and gunplay, a triumphant comeback for Black, and one of the year's best movies.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    The Boys of Baraka leaves you outraged in the way only the best documentaries can.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    It's the best kind of complaint. You can see why the $50 million man refers to something he gave away as "the best single day of my career."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    By presenting murderers as actors and then filming those actors discussing their sins, the line between performance and soul-searching blurs in unnerving ways.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    The teachers have moxie. The students have courage. Mermin's warm, funny, beautiful and deeply humane documentary certainly honors the latter.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    Intimate, funny, moving and incredibly rousing -- even if you're allergic to sports movies.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    As a study of a predator, "Evil" is fascinating and enraging.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    It's an ambitious, passionate, grief-stricken work of film art.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    A gorgeous, life-affirming movie. On paper, it sounds lurid bordering on ridiculous.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    The Host isn't just a terrific monster movie. This South Korean box-office smash is also a laugh-out-loud comedy and a surprisingly angry political satire.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    Nair takes mostly low-key material about a traditional Indian family raising kids in America and turns it into something sensual, funny and quietly devastating.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    If you enjoyed any of Frank's previous work, or thought "Brick" was the bomb, you'll love this.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 M. E. Russell
    In the year's least surprising news, Toy Story 3 continues Pixar's near-perfect streak.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    This meandering tale of a pack of ticket inspectors working the Hungarian subway system delights in misleading viewers.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    5x2
    A sort of anti-date movie, a smart but deeply cynical study in failure, with our sense of loss growing in direct proportion to the characters' romantic hopes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    De la Iglesia is a mercilessly agile talent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    Isn't easy to watch, but it's beautifully written and acted, with a sharp eye for the small embarrassments of divorce.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    A nasty little tube of frozen horror concentrate.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    A bright, sexy, globe-trotting and very French romantic comedy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    Monster House makes its intentions clear: It wants to wrap you in a thick, warm blanket of 1980s nostalgia.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    Nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature, it's deeply humane and even more deeply unsettling, in a way that most documentaries about Iraq, which tend toward the polemic, never manage.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    Weaver is hilarious and horrifying.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    It's a relentless finale to the "Bourne" movie trilogy that raises the stakes, pumps up the action and develops old characters while introducing new villains
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    A dry, vicious and deeply moving little comedy that sort of takes the structure of a teen sports movie, then undermines that structure at every turn.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    Funny and weird and surprising and action-packed and genuinely beautiful.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    By an order of magnitude --- the strongest (or at least the most mature, subtle and emotional) entry in the series thus far.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    It's one of the great horror films of recent years -- and a welcome antidote to the in-your-face sonic assaults that all too often pass for genre fare.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 M. E. Russell
    It's quietly brutal stuff, beautifully acted by Fanning, Englert, Christina Hendricks and a word-twisting Alessandro Nivola.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Daniel Day-Lewis may be one of our great actors, but he trips over a few Method-acting speed bumps in wife Rebecca Miller's third writer-director effort.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Fox uses her earth-tone-clad, Ivy-League-schooled characters the way Jane Austen used hers: taking their privileged, rigid social structures and building a stage to explore deeper human problems.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Although the drama suffers from the episodic story structure, Zathura feels less like "Jumanji" and more like a really great episode of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" TV series.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Watts is a champ for seeing this through now that she's actually famous.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    C.S.A. has a love-it-or-hate-it bite that probably will lead to a few passionate post-screening discussions.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Paul "Surfer Boy" Walker turns in a very credible action performance if you give him a Jersey accent, cover him in grime and beat the ever-loving tar out of him for two hours.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Despite the hot-button pedophilic story hook (I'm surprised Jeff and Hayley didn't meet on MySpace.com), Hard Candy ultimately beats with the heart of a stagier, more complicated psychological revenge picture along the lines of Roman Polanski's "Death and the Maiden."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Other than flubbing the dismount, Stick It is smarter and funnier than it has any right to be.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Odd, beautiful and ambitious film.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    It's one of the few genuinely funny comedies in a dismal movie summer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Though it somehow manages to be a movie about inner peace with crazy, incredibly staged fight scenes every 10 minutes, it is, first and foremost, a movie about inner peace.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Maybe the best thing about Stranger Than Fiction is the way it extracts unexpected work from underrated actors.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Miller's global harmonizing never feels preachy -- he's too busy cramming Happy Feet with enough entertainment for three movies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    O'Toole just keeps turning up the volume, and it's thrilling to watch.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Sneaks up on you. At first, it plays like it might be another in a long line of dullish legal thrillers. But then, in its modest, grown-up way, it keeps getting better and better.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Waitress is strange and sexy and personal and wonderful -- a weird little slice of pure feeling -- and it's horrible that Shelly never got the chance to see it delight a mass audience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Despite dancing between a story and a story within a story, something seems simple and effortless about Ten Canoes. Director Rolf de Heer and his all-Yolngu cast offer a take on tribal life that's warm, funny and powerfully alive.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    One of this year's funniest movies -- and its most inspirational sports drama -- is a documentary.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    In the parlance of the kids today, the movie totally goes there.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The film is exquisite on every level, full of sadness and emotional surprise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    A funny and sincere indie about what happens when an acerbic teen finds herself "in a fat suit I can't take off."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    A sweet, intelligent little movie.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    If you're an actual adult who likes old-school Westerns, this won't disappoint you.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    One of the best movies playing in Portland is, I kid you not, a loopy dramatic thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The film is a minor Christmas miracle: It succeeds on its own terms, despite the gossip hounds' best blood-sniffing efforts, and dares to be an entertainment rather than a statement.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Hugely entertaining.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Raimi as a filmmaker is clearly having more fun than he's had in years. So will his fans.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Barrymore is terrific with her actors, finding moments for even the smallest supporting players.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The only scenes that felt "actorly" come when the pair drunkenly crash an ex-girlfriend's wedding party. Otherwise, The Messenger has a verisimilitude rare in films tackling this subject matter.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The movie's as casual as its lead characters' approach to changing history; it's also lewdly and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious -- especially if you wasted any of your youth watching a certain brand of '80s comedy schlock on HBO at 2 a.m.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    It's charming, funny, exceedingly well-made and features enough comically thrilling flying-lizard mayhem to cause your child's head to lightly explode.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Director Kim Ji-woon creates a funny, fast-moving pastiche of Spielberg, Woo, Leone and George Miller, but it's really a must-see for its three big action set pieces -- which go on for a million years each and become almost hallucinatory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The Other Guys finds McKay back to trying something wildly ambitious with his comedy, and largely succeeding.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The film continues the tone that "Half-Blood Prince" set: we're leaving childish things behind, and human and magical concerns are starting to mingle in a grown-up way. When "Part 2" hits theaters eight months from now, I suspect I'll appreciate the buildup to a (literally) explosive finale. It's going to be a long wait.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Director Tony Scott's runaway-train action flick Unstoppable is semi-remarkable for what it doesn't contain.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    The funny and powerfully weird Rango is probably the closest I've seen a big-budget, computer-animated feature get to the comic vibe of my favorite Chuck Jones cartoons -- specifically, the Bugs/Porky Western spoof "Drip-Along Daffy."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    Submarine pulls off a nice little feat: It's a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick that feels fresh despite being, well, a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 M. E. Russell
    A terrific midnight movie of the future -- a tough, funny, fast-moving and tightly constructed John Carpenter riff in which a bickering group fights a pack of space monsters in and around a single location.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    A modest movie full of decent pop songs, three-dimensional humans and sharp observations about the male mind. It's also full of funny little ironies.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    But as the story takes some surprising turns, it works like a slow infection: Patient audience members may find themselves awakening to the story in much the same way the characters awaken to their own capacities for tenderness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    One of those hard-to-pin-down movies where you're not quite sure which sort of story the filmmakers wanted to tell.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    If you can look beyond the simple-minded Socratic political discourse, The Edukators reveals itself as warm, humane and sad, a movie that genuinely wants you to think about how idealism eventually collides with human frailty, and about what upstarts and sell-outs might teach one another.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Wants to be a sex farce, a sports film and a serious meditation on Catholicism. To its credit, it succeeds as all three.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The juxtapositions can be beautiful: haunting music played over a water-streaked windshield, a deaf student awakening to the "feeling" of sound, Glennie staring ferociously at a gong as she extracts its vibrations.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    This may be the best work we've seen from either actor, which is saying something.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    You see, in "Jesus Is Magic," Sarah Silverman plays "Sarah," a self-absorbed Jewish American Princess who also happens to be casually, cluelessly racist.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    It's frustrating that a movie about a man so deathly serious about music has largely boiled his life down to addiction and adultery.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    This isn't a crime comedy, exactly. It's a slightly absurd, minimalist noir, in the ZIP code of "Blood Simple" and "Fargo."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Vastly entertaining, slightly overlong.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    There's something quietly but unmistakably angry underneath all the slapstick.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    While Wolf Creek has clunky moments, when you want to slap the idiot prey until they wake up, the movie embraces a minimalism that feels refreshingly old-school in a field of slasher films drunk on self-referential wisecracks and narrative tricks. And Jarrat's jolly-creepy performance might place Mick in the pantheon of great movie killers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The cast is almost uniformly spectacular -- particularly Angela Lansbury as a wicked aunt and Raphael Coleman as the sardonic, bespectacled child who delivers hilarious, verbose asides and somehow makes it look effortless.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Beyond the lipstick-lesbian twist, this is a formula flick, but the acting is excellent. It also has genuine laughs.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The movie is gorgeous to look at, the script has a killer twist and the cast is competent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Lumet blatantly, simplistically stacks the decks in favor of the defendants, pitting them against mean, stupid cops and a cartoonishly nasty prosecutor.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Surprisingly charming and well-acted.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Mullan makes the journey more than worthwhile, but don't go in expecting profundity.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Never actively unfunny. The cast is far too smart for that. But it never quite pops like it would if it were whittled down to something just a little longer than an "SNL Digital Short."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    I'd argue that a very good movie could have been great if it had kept to subtler psychological tones.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    A movie adapted from a novel inspired by a person who probably never existed.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    Where "United 93" was lean and merciless and got you thinking hard about how you might conduct yourself in a no-win situation, World Trade Center is reassuring.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    It's fun-dumb and definitely not everyone's cup of tea -- I don't want to oversell it -- but Broken Lizard keeps it interesting by refusing to color inside the lines, creating their own silly little universe.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The Protector is the nuttiest movie I've seen all year, and I've seen the last 20 minutes of "The Wicker Man."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 M. E. Russell
    The Guardian doesn't offer too many surprises. Except for one: it's genuinely well-made and, at least when it comes to the character Ben Randall, kind of moving.