Manohla Dargis

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For 1,728 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Manohla Dargis' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Silver Linings Playbook
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1728 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Never before has a fiction film so clearly and to such devastating effect laid out the calculation of the Nazi machinery of death and its irrationality.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Some filmmakers give us dreams and false worlds in which we can find refuge. For others, though, like the young Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, the movies aren't an escape from the world but a way more deeply into it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Im recounts the painter's life in bold strokes rather than with the literalist's painstaking detail, and in the process tells us more about the mysteries of genius than a bushel full of quotidian fact.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    One of the better documentaries I'd seen in years -- it plays like a suspense thriller because that's exactly what it is.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    In Auto Focus, the strangely wonderful and weirdly touching new film from Paul Schrader, the comedy and the tragedy keep getting mixed up.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Godard has always made films that are as thrilling for their ideas and ideals as for the sheer beauty of their images; the difference here is that for the first time in years he's more interested in turning us on than in turning us off.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    There are all sorts of ways to look at The Son -- as a philosophical thriller, as a statement of faith, as a call to political arms or just as a terrific entertainment.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    I can't think of another good movie this year that's as tough to watch as Moodysson's, but, then, I can't think of very many movies that are as good.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    At once an old-fashioned freakout and an environmental cautionary tale (mess with Mother Nature and she'll mess with you right back), the film combines two genre standbys -- lethal contagion and the undead -- and gives them a wicked, contemporary spin.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The jokes would be funny even if they weren't perfectly timed, but what makes them come across as so poignant is the seriousness with which the director and his co-conspirators deliver their jabs and japes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It's an exasperating, irresistible, must-see mess of a movie about life in the modern world and so very good that even when its story finally crashes and burns the filmmaking remains unscathed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Working with cinematographer Harris Savides and serving as the film's editor, he (Van Sant) has fashioned a visual style and a narrative shape that has the quality of a waking dream, then a nightmare. Rarely do form and content add up with such harmonious grace and power.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Twenty-four years later -- digitally spruced up, with some scenes shaved and others padded with previously cut material -- Scott's film still shreds nerves.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    What gives the film a formalist kick is that the story unfolds piecemeal as a series of nonlinear moments. What gives it soul are the three lead actors who pull the pieces together with devastating power.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    As with the greatest animated films, the triumph of Kon's work lies not just in its beauty and singularly sophisticated storytelling but in how that beauty and storytelling combine to give the films a sting so human you can forget you're watching a cartoon.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A memory play and a sleight of hand, Eternal Sunshine is more than anything else deeply sincere. Like Spike Jonze, who directed "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich," Gondry succeeds principally by balancing Kaufman's churning skepticism with unflinching hope.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It's all terribly tortured, often laugh-out-loud, absurdly funny and, as with all of Maddin's movies, conveyed through images that are as lush and beautifully over the top as the story's emotions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    One of the most harrowing and plausible visions of apocalypse since George A. Romero's 1968 zombie shocker, "Night of the Living Dead."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Bridges turns a two-dimensional image into a presence so vital, so filled with breath and blood, that you uneasily fall in love with his character and abandon all thought of the artifice that's brought it to life.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Rarely does pop come with such sizzle.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Innocenc doesn't just reveal a wealth of visual enchantments; it restates the case that there can and should be more to feature-length animations than cheap jokes, bathos and pandering.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Marks the emergence of one of the more original and promising new voices to hit the international cinema scene in recent years.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The film is a snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The English director Mike Leigh's best work in a decade.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    In both its intellectual reach and the elegant simplicity of its form, A Talking Picture bears resemblance to Andrei Sokurov's "Russian Ark."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    One of the strengths of Sunset Story is that it introduces us to a pair of extraordinary women who have kept their dignity and independence in a world that conspires against them having either. The story of Lucille and Irja may break your heart, but it will also make your day.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Conceived in the shadow of American pop rather than in its bright light, this tense, effective iteration of Bob Kane's original comic book owes its power and pleasures to a director who takes his material seriously and to a star who shoulders that seriousness with ease.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Chappelle looks and sounds alternately ebullient and weary. It was directed by Michel Gondry, the madcap genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," but in its tone and vibe feels like Mr. Chappelle's all the way.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Hong is not yet the equal of Mr. Antonioni, but it has become increasingly difficult to see intellectually stimulating, aesthetically bold films like this in American theaters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Inside this small canvas - almost the entire film unfolds in the one apartment - Mr. Eimbcke turns each character into an epic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    What makes Half Nelson both an unusual and an exceptional American film, particularly at a time when even films about Sept. 11 are professed to have no politics, is its insistence on political consciousness as a moral imperative.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It's the sort of unassuming discovery that could get lost in a crowd or suffer from too much big love, and while it won't save or change your life, it may make your heart swell. Its aim is modest and true.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    If Flags of Our Fathers feels so unlike most war movies and sounds so contrary to the usual political rhetoric, it is not because it affirms that war is hell, which it does with unblinking, graphic brutality. It’s because Mr. Eastwood insists, with a moral certitude that is all too rare in our movies, that we extract an unspeakable cost when we ask men to kill other men. There is never any doubt in the film that the country needed to fight this war, that it was necessary; it is the horror at such necessity that defines Flags of Our Fathers, not exultation.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The brilliance of Borat is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    One of the few films I've seen this year that deserves to be called art. Dark as pitch, as noir, as hate, by turns beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying, the film is also as cracked as Mad magazine, though generally more difficult to parse.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    While the film’s desperately sad finale indicates that Philippe Garrel knows the truth of '68 better than most and might have suffered a crisis in faith in the years since, this magnificent film is itself proof that all was not lost.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Rarely has a film with so much blood on its hands seemed so insistently alive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The Host is a cautionary environmental tale about the domination of nature and the costs of human folly, and it may send chills up your spine. But only one will tickle your fancy and make you cry encore, not just uncle.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    More elegantly plotted and streamlined than the first film.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A gorgeous riot of future-shock ideas and brightly animated imagery, the doors of perception never close.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    "Ocean's 23," oops, Ocean's Thirteen, is also a gas; it's lighter than air, prettier than life, a romp, a goof and an attentively oiled machine.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A modest, near-flawless gem, This Is England is the fifth feature by the young British director Shane Meadows, doing his best work since he first hit the festival scene in the mid-1990s with his hilarious, raw-hewn shorts “Small Time.”
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Brutal, urgent, devastating -- the documentary The Devil Came on Horseback demands to be seen as soon as possible and by as many viewers as possible.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages, is a beautifully nuanced tragicomedy about two floundering souls.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    In the end what elevates Mr. Hou’s films to the sublime -- and this one comes close at times -- are not the stories but their telling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    An exuberant, exhilaratingly playful testament to being young and hungry -- for life and meaning and immortality, and for other young and restless bodies -- Reprise is a blast of unadulterated movie pleasure.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    At once fuzzy-wuzzy and industrial strength, the tacky-sounding Kung Fu Panda is high concept with a heart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Like many of Mr. Herzog's movies, fiction and nonfiction, Encounters at the End of the World itself has the quality of a dream: it's at once vivid and vague, easy to grasp and somehow beyond reach.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    What’s explicit here is ravenous passion and the depiction of desire as a creating, destroying force that invades the very flesh. It's terribly French.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Eschewing voice-over or any obvious trace of an on-screen or off-screen presence, she (Brown) lets her images, a little text and other people do the talking for her. Her quiet has its own force.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    An erotically charged, beautifully directed story of a woman preyed upon by different men and her own warring desires.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Jacobs has succeeded at one of the most difficult tasks given a director, which is to make a character come alive through the filmmaking, not exposition.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Shot with a sure hand and a cast of unknowns, the film doesn't so much tell a story as develop a tone and root around a place that, despite the intimate camerawork, remains shrouded in ambiguity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Leigh has never been an artist for whom happy (word or idea) has been an easy fit. Life is sweet, as the title of another of his films puts it with a heart-swelling yes, but it’s also an eternal fight against doom and gloom, the soul-crushing no.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Here Mr. Cantet -- whose earlier features include "Human Resources" and "Time Out," two other dramas about systems of power -- has done that rarest of things in movies about children: He has allowed them to talk.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Because this is also a document of an actress actually at work, much of the movie's pleasure comes from watching another brilliant performance take shape as Ms. Streep tries out different line readings, gestures and poses in her search for Mother Courage.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The film was written, directed and somehow willed into unlikely existence by the extravagantly talented Carlos Reygadas, whose immersion in this exotic world feels so deep and true that it seems like an act of faith.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Part of what's bracing about Gomorrah, and makes it feel different from so many American crime movies, is both its deadly serious take on violence and its global understanding of how far and wide the mob's tentacles reach, from high fashion to the very dirt.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Filmmaker Kevin Rafferty makes the case for remembrance and for the art of the story in his preposterously entertaining documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, preposterous at least for those of us who routinely shun that pagan sacrament.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The film’s title, needless to say, has an ironic bite. One of the pleasures of The Merry Gentleman is Mr. Keaton's commitment to that bite, which never registers as cruel or gratuitous, just honest, weary, sad.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A grave and beautiful work of art.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The actors in 24 City bring their own existential realities to their short, touching performances. In the end, the deep emotions they stir up -- the actress Lv Liping delivers a harrowing story about a lost child -- constitute another kind of monument to the workers of Factory 420.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The images are as delightful, unexpected and playfully uninhibited as Ms. Varda, perhaps the only filmmaker who has both won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and strolled around an art exhibition while costumed as a potato (not at the same time).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It is Mr. Soderbergh’s insistence on seeing the A.D.M. scandal as a collective tragedy rather than as another white-collar crime that gives the movie force, resonance, feeling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A taut, unnerving, forcefully unromantic fictional film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    An agonizingly familiar refrain, but one that the young Argentine director Alexis Dos Santos relates with such tenderness and with so much ethereal beauty that it feels like something fresh.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Natali, whose earlier films include “Cube,” hasn’t reinvented the horror genre. But with Splice he has done the next best thing with an intelligent movie that, in between its small boos and an occasional hair-raising jolt, explores chewy issues like bioethics, abortion, corporate-sponsored science, commitment problems between lovers and even Freudian-worthy family dynamics.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The hard-pounding heart of Mother, Ms. Kim is a wonderment. Perched on the knife edge between tragedy and comedy, her delivery gives the narrative -- which tends to drift, sometimes beguilingly, sometimes less so -- much of its momentum.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A sun-kissed German film about a young couple in love and in doubt, might not be perfect, but so much is right and true in this lovely, delicate work that it comes breathtakingly close.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The movie is best understood not in banal docudrama terms but as an impressionistic portrait of a man who, stripped of power, is revealed as grotesquely human.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A sustained, alternatingly exhausting and aesthetically exhilarating howl of a film.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Ms. Breillat narrates the fairy tale three ways: in the period story, through the little girls and, finally, through the overall film. None are fully satisfying, but together they offer a sharp, knowing gloss on how our stories define who we were and who we become.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    An attractive, messy drama riddled with violence and edged with comedy that comes with a hint of Grand Guignol, a suggestion of politics and three resonant, deeply appealing performances.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A tale of cinema, a story about the agonies of trying to work outside the cinematic mainstream (even in France!). Yet what makes the movie so affecting is that it’s also a love story about a family.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    This convulsively funny movie takes an up-close and sometimes queasy-personal approach to its motormouth subject, who, when she's not making you howl with laughter (or freeze up in horror), brandishes her deeply held hurts, fears, prejudices, poor judgment and bad taste as if they were stigmata.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Often soaringly beautiful melodrama.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Isn't just a pleasurable rethink of your geek uncle's favorite science-fiction series. It's also a testament to television's power as mythmaker, as a source for some of the fundamental stories we tell about ourselves, who we are and where we came from.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    When Mr. Eisenberg makes Mark's face go blank, the character seems scarily emptied out: it's a subtly great, at times unsettling, performance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    With beauty, mild and sharp jolts, and mesmerizing camerawork, he (Gaspar Noe) tries to open the doors of perception.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Like the convictions of some born into religious families, his (Carlos) Marxism seems more a matter of habit than faith. What seems to turn him on is power, which, the movie suggests, he nurtured alongside his luxe tastes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Pugilists and philosophers of all kinds converge in Frederick Wiseman's mesmerizing documentary Boxing Gym.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Both newcomers to Mr. To and longtime admirers should be prepared for a master class in directing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    As it turns out, Mr. Perry, while busily establishing his economic independence, has been finding his voice as a filmmaker. And here, working with fine performers like Ms. Elise, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and Kerry Washington, he sings the song the way he likes it - with force, feeling and tremendous sincerity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    With no grand speeches or oversized gestures, Mr. Katz creates a specific world that gracefully enlarges with universal meaning.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Tim isn't super anything (though he proves heroic), and what makes Cedar Rapids a low-wattage pleasure is its insistence that his ordinariness - with his decency and sense of wonder - is pretty extraordinary.

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