Manohla Dargis
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For 1,556 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Manohla Dargis' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Balthazar (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Elite Squad
Score distribution:
1,556 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In one of the sweetest ironies of the entire film year, Sam Raimi has made an A-movie with the soul of a B-movie classic.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    To look at Apocalypse Now is to realize that most of us are fast forgetting what a movie looks like -- a real movie, the last movie, an American masterpiece.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Not just everything you want in a David Lynch movie, but damn near everything else you want in ANY movie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The film is a virtuosic triumph, but parlor tricks don't make movies, and it's Jackson's unwavering sincerity that elevates The Fellowship of the Ring into the increasingly rare Valhalla of the rousing, well-told tale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    An effortlessly complex portrayal that relishes the contradictions and complexities of someone capable of both exalted and debased behavior, a shape-shifter it is possible to be fascinated, repelled and compelled by, all at the same time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    This isn't a profound film, or even an important one, but then it isn't trying to be. It's so diverting and so full of small satisfying pleasures, you don't realize how good it is until it's over.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A comedy poised on the knife's edge of tragedy, the film is a gutsy, truthful, deeply rooted vision of contemporary American life, scaled to the size of an ordinary man. It's a humanist triumph strip-mined of bathos and confirmation that, after directing just three features, Payne has become the most gifted comic social satirist to hit our movies since Preston Sturges.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A dazzling epic of love, guns, gangsters and cigarettes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The film's three leads are extraordinary, but what Moore does with her role is so beyond the parameters of what we call great acting that it nearly defies categorization.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Few filmmakers love movies as intensely; fewer still have the ability to remind us why we fell for movies in the first place.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    For Tian, who was banned from directing by Chinese authorities for a decade, it marks a triumphant return; for those who have loved the filmmaker's work in the past, few resurrections have seemed as welcome.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Because Linklater now wears his heart on his sleeve, he has made a film that in its joy, optimism and aesthetic achievement keeps faith with American cinema at its finest.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    As he (Wong Kar-wai) floods the screen with beauty and fills the soundtrack with hypnotic rhythms, he forges a filmmaking style of incomparable eroticism.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    One of the enormous pleasures of genre filmmaking is watching great directors push against form and predictability, as Mr. Romero does brilliantly in Land of the Dead. One thing is for sure: You won't go home hungry.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Audiard's superb remake improves on the original significantly, investing it with aesthetic grandeur and emotional depth.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    One of this year's indisputably great films.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Like Hitchcock, Mr. Wong is at once a voyeur and fetishist par excellence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Herzog is also no ordinary filmmaker. It is the rare documentary like Grizzly Man, which has beauty and passion often lacking in any type of film, that makes you want to grab its maker and head off to the nearest bar to discuss man's domination of nature and how Disney's cute critters reflect our profound alienation from the natural order.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, David Cronenberg's latest mindblower, A History of Violence, is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    This film, which was never released in America and will now be making its way across the country in limited release, has been immaculately restored and features new subtitles. You can get lost in the blackness of its heart and its shadows. You might never come back.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Together with his extraordinary performers, Mr. Chéreau breathes life into characters who long ago set a course for death.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter's superb documentary is an unblinking, often disturbing look at industrial food production from field to factory.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Children of Men may be something of a bummer, but it’s the kind of glorious bummer that lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Greengrass knows how to do his job, and there’s no one in Hollywood right now who does action better, who keeps the pace going so relentlessly, without mercy or letup, scene after hard-rocking scene.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The film is above all a consummate work of art, one that transcends the historically fraught context of its making, and its pleasures are unapologetically aesthetic. It reveals, excites, disturbs, provokes, but the window it opens is to human consciousness itself.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A haunting, voluptuously beautiful portrait of a teenage boy who, after being suddenly caught in midflight, falls to earth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A film of startling originality and beauty -- feels like a communiqué from another time, another place, anywhere but here.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    To say that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    With Where the Wild Things Are Jonze has made a work of art that stands up to its source and, in some instances, surpasses it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The latest masterwork from Hayao Miyazaki, places emphasis on the natural world, its tumults and fragility.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Glorious and goofy and blissfully deranged.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    One of those rare films in which the moral stakes are as insistent and thought through as the aesthetic choices.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Black Swan is visceral and real even while it's one delirious, phantasmagoric freakout.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Ms. Denis has an extraordinary gift for finding the perfect image that expresses her ideas, the cinematic equivalent of what Flaubert called le mot juste.
    • The New York Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In some ways, much like Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter," which the Coens quote both musically and visually, True Grit is a parable about good and evil. Only here, the lines between the two are so blurred as to be indistinguishable, making this a true picture of how the West was won, or - depending on your view - lost.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The importance of seeing, seeing the world deeply, is at the heart of this quietly devastating, humanistic work from the South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The 3-D is sometimes less than transporting, and the chanting voices in the composer Ernst Reijseger's new-agey score tended to remind me of my last spa massage. Yet what a small price to pay for such time traveling!
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    City of Life and Death isn't cathartic: it offers no uplifting moments, just the immodest balm of art. The horrors it represents can be almost too difficult to watch, yet you keep watching because Mr. Lu makes the case that you must.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    It's hard to imagine anyone but Mr. Pitt in the role. He's relaxed yet edgy and sometimes unsettling.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A first-rate art-house thriller, Miss Bala tells the strange, seemingly impossible story of a Mexican beauty queen who becomes the accidental pawn of a drug cartel. It's an adventure story that could be called a contemporary picaresque if it weren't so deadly serious.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A quietly rapturous film about love and redemption.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    It's a doozy of a story and so borderline ridiculous that it sounds - ta-da! - like something that could have been cooked up only by Hollywood.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    For all its high-flying zaniness the movie has the sting of life, and its humor feels dredged up from the same dark, boggy place from which Samuel Beckett extracted his yuks.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Ms. Bigelow's direction here is unexpectedly stunning, at once bold and intimate: she has a genius for infusing even large-scale action set pieces with the human element.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Barbara is a film about the old Germany from one of the best directors working in the new: Christian Petzold. For more than a decade Mr. Petzold has been making his mark on the international cinema scene with smart, tense films that resemble psychological thrillers, but are distinguished by their strange story turns, moral thorns, visual beauty and filmmaking intelligence.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In Spring Breakers [Mr. Korine] bores into a contested, deeply American topic — the pursuit of happiness taken to nihilistic extremes — but turns his exploration into such a gonzo, outrageously funny party that it takes a while to appreciate that this is more of a horror film than a comedy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Like “The Shining” and its maze within a maze, Mr. Ascher’s movie is something of a labyrinth. Puzzling your way through its compilation of vaguely lucid and crackpot ideas is pleasurable though, for avid movie lovers, it may also feel like a warning.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Life and death, nature and culture, sex and money, man and beast, God and the Devil — Post Tenebras Lux embraces the world even if it doesn’t open itself up to ready interpretation.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Stories We Tell has a number of transparent virtues, including its humor and formal design, although its most admirable quality is the deep sense of personal ethics that frames Ms. Polley’s filmmaking choices.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Loznitsa doesn’t lighten the mood with any familiar filmmaking tricks: there are, for instance, no musical cues to guide you over the troubling or ambiguous passages. Like the characters, you work through each surprising turn.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In Sweetgrass, a graceful and often moving meditation on a disappearing way of life, there is little here that is objective and much that is magnificent.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    [Allen's] most sustained, satisfying and resonant film since “Match Point.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The Grandmaster is, at its most persuasive, about the triumph of style. When Ip Man slyly asks “What’s your style?” it’s clear that Mr. Wong is asking the same question because here, as in his other films, style isn’t reducible to ravishing surfaces; it’s an expression of meaning.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A blistering fictionalized tale straight out of China, A Touch of Sin is at once monumental and human scale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Captain Phillips, a movie that insistently closes the distance between us and them, has a vital moral immediacy.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The genius of 12 Years a Slave is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Scott’s seriousness isn’t always well served by the scripts he films, but in Mr. McCarthy he has found a partner with convictions about good and evil rather than canned formula.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A deliriously alive movie, The Great Beauty is the story of a man, a city, a country and a cinema, though not necessarily in that order.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Bale, like some other stars who embrace playing ugly, feels as if he’d been liberated by all the pounds he’s packed on and by his character’s molting looks, an emancipation that’s most evident in his delicately intimate, moving moments with Ms. Adams and Ms. Lawrence.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Her
    At once a brilliant conceptual gag and a deeply sincere romance, Her is the unlikely yet completely plausible love story about a man, who sometimes resembles a machine, and an operating system, who very much suggests a living woman.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The audacity of The Missing Picture — a brilliant documentary about a child who held on to life in Cambodia’s killing fields — is equaled only by its soulfulness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    By focusing on such a narrow slice of Nepali life, Ms. Spray and Mr. Velez have ceded any totalizing claim on the truth and instead settled for a perfect incompleteness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In Policeman, Mr. Lapid, making an electrifying feature directing debut, traces the line between the group and the individual in a story that can be read as a commentary on the world as much as on Israel.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In most movies, something happens; in Archipelago, many things happen, quietly yet meaningfully.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    In Boyhood, Mr. Linklater’s masterpiece, he both captures moments in time and relinquishes them as he moves from year to year. He isn’t fighting time but embracing it in all its glorious and agonizingly fleeting beauty.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Words do more than hurt, they also slash and burn in this sharp, dyspeptic, sometimes gaspingly funny exploration of art and life, men and women, being and nonbeing, and the power and limits of language.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The camerawork in Birdman is an astonishment, and an argument that everything flows together, which in this movie means the cinematography, the story, the people, even time and space.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Like most of Mr. Wiseman’s work, the movie is at once specific and general, fascinating in its pinpoint detail and transporting in its cosmic reach.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It is undeniable in its poignancy, an ecstatic vision of what might have been, though as much for its story as for the fact that the whole thing dissolves like a paper fan in rain, an evanescent masterwork.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A terrifically clever film; has a soft-boilded heart.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Generous, soulful film.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The film is unabashedly sexy, and its heady romanticism feels as right and as unaffected as Im's bold use of color and his equally bold decision to tell the story through traditional pansori narration.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    In a film that verges on greatness, it is a sign of terrific faith, as well as of Anderson's promise as a director, that when one of the characters in The Royal Tenenbaums wears hospital pajamas after a detour into grief, the words over his heart read "recovery area."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    At once an emotional thriller and a domestic horror movie -- a woman's picture with a vengeance, in which the bloodletting is kept to a minimum, and ends up all the more powerful and profound for it.
    • L.A. Weekly
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Enormously enjoyable, high-adrenaline documentary.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Has the glorious look and immaculate technique we expect from Mann, along with a wealth of superb secondary performances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Va Savoir doesn't so much flow as wander, trailing off into drama one minute, slapstick the next; it tries your patience, but ever so gently, masterfully.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Crowe has made a hugely entertaining, nearly pitch-perfect film about rock & roll.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    This sensitively directed film is one of those rarest of accomplishments: a graceful work of art about the very creation of art itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    This unassuming, insistently entertaining documentary has the virtue of a great subject.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The film's strength and its entertainment lie in John Myhre's production design, its generally appealing cast...and, perhaps most importantly, a canny degree of self-parody.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Pi
    A triumph of low-end production design, shot in sizzling, solarized black and white, and driven by a propulsive, insinuating score, Pi is a horror movie that makes you think and an indie film that makes you squirm.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Bill Pope's swooping, noir-inflected cinematography is wonderfully complemented by Owen Paterson's inventive production design, a great soundtrack and the best fight choreography this side of Hong Kong. And even if this isn't "Blade Runner," it is very cool shit.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Zwigoff pulls off something in Ghost World that seems a minor miracle -- he creates someone with a complex inner life.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The Saint works. The reason why it occasionally soars is Kilmer, an actor who’s happiest when burying himself in eccentric characterizations, a trick he performs repeatedly here even as he fills the screen with pure movie-star dazzle.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A true rarity, Murderous Maids is an intelligent, moral shocker.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    When We Were Kings is a wonderfully entertaining, at times thrilling, film. Ali is magnificent, Foreman oddly touching, and their fight, which is shown almost in total, makes for superb, nail-biting suspense--even two decades after the fact.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A seamless model of form and content. (My only quibble is the poor quality of the digital video, which doesn't do justice to Johnson's work.)
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It's sexy, brainy and slightly nuts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    By far the most approachable of the director's recent films, with an emotional depth that's true to life and a streamlined narrative that for long stretches barely contains a word.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    His film may be something of a beautiful lie, but what's true about Sollett's characters is that their dreams, their grace and their struggles are as real as it gets.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Here, the message is the moviemaking and the unparalleled joy you get from a film that can carry you off so completely, making you forget about everything save for the beautiful lies in front of you.

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