Manohla Dargis
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For 1,627 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 0.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Manohla Dargis' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Duchess of Langeais
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1,627 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Generous, soulful film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    The director, Andrey Zvyagintsev, has a heavenly eye but a leaden hand, and his movie is as heavy as it is transporting, filled with stirring shots of the natural world and deep dives into a human realm flooded with tears and vodka.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A dazzling epic of love, guns, gangsters and cigarettes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    With her dramatically pale face framed by a voluptuous dark cloud of hair, Ms. Elkabetz is never more effective than when she’s holding still, her face so drained of emotion that it transforms into a screen within the screen on which another, indelibly private movie is playing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Crowe has made a hugely entertaining, nearly pitch-perfect film about rock & roll.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    Biographies of living people are tricky if for no other reason than a biographer can sometimes feel protective of his or her subject. Berman and Pulcini obviously adore Pekar, but by not getting out of his head more often and taking him on his own harsh terms, they blow the chance to dig as deep as the source.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    Its focus is purposely narrow. But that narrow focus, along with the lack of fully realized characters, and the absence of any historical or political context, raises the question of why, notwithstanding the usual (if shaky) commercial imperative, this particular movie was made.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    This is life as it’s lived, not dreamed. And this is a family bound not only by sorrow, but also by a shared history that emerges in 114 calibrated minutes and ends with a wallop.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    The brilliance of Borat is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy.
    • 89 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Ceylan performs this particular operation with rigorous solemnity, technical virtuosity and precision tools — his lapidary visual style rises to the challenge of the natural environment — yet there’s something missing from the very start, namely the spark of breathed-in life.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    Beautifully shot by the French cinematographer Georges Périnal (whose credits include Cocteau's "Blood of a Poet"), the film soon evolves from a claustrophobic domestic affair into a mordantly discomfiting look at the betrayal of innocence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    If the second film never reaches the highs of the first -- we have met the players before and there are no new worlds of wonder -- it nonetheless invests moviegoing with a sense of adventure.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    That film does have its attractions, notably in its two solid leads and standout support from Mr. Pearce.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    Up
    Passages of glorious imagination are invariably matched by stock characters and banal story choices.
    • 88 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    The Dardennes know how to build a scene for maximum tension: you yearn to find out who bought Jimmy, and whether his fate lies with a childless couple or an organ mill. But because they make moral thrillers, what matters isn't only actions and events but their emotional, spiritual and psychological costs.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    Part of what makes a great documentary great is the subject, and though the film never scrapes below the surface of the schoolteacher -- we never find out if he lives alone or has children of his own -- Lopez pulls as hard on the imagination as a fictional character.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A quietly rapturous film about love and redemption.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Childhood ends, this time forever, with tears and howls, swirls of smoke, the shock of mortality and bittersweet smiles in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the grave, deeply satisfying final movie in the series.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    In many respects Ceausescu turns out to be as much the author of this brilliant documentary as the director, Andrei Ujica, who waded through more than 1,000 hours of filmed state propaganda, official news reports and home movies to create a cinematic tour de force that tracks the rise, reign and grim fall of its subject.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A stirring, unexpectedly moving story of love and blood.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    In the end, what gives me reluctant pause about this bright, cheery, hard-to-resist movie is that its joyfulness feels more like a filmmaker's calculation than an honest cry from the heart about the human spirit (or, better yet, a moral tale).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    A beautifully off-center movie.
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    Ten
    One of the best films to open so far this year, but greeting each new work from a favored director as if it were equally brilliant can't be good for anyone, the director included.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Tangerine encompasses dizzying multitudes — it’s a neo-screwball chase flick with a dash of Rainer Werner Fassbinder — but mostly, movingly, it is a female-friendship movie about two people who each started life with an XY chromosome set.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    The brilliant, unsettling action scenes — ugly, savage, dehumanizing — speak volumes.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter's superb documentary is an unblinking, often disturbing look at industrial food production from field to factory.
    • 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.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    What helps make The Departed at once a success and a relief isn't that the director of "Kundun," Mr. Scorsese's deeply felt film about the Dalai Lama, is back on the mean streets where he belongs; what's at stake here is the film and the filmmaking, not the director's epic importance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    The latest masterwork from Hayao Miyazaki, places emphasis on the natural world, its tumults and fragility.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    The stories in The Interrupters, a hard wallop of a documentary, may weigh heavily on your heart and head, but they will also probably infuriate you.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Mostly, Ernest & Celestine is an ode to the happiness that comes from being with those different from us.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages, is a beautifully nuanced tragicomedy about two floundering souls.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A pleasurably sly and involving puzzler - a mystery about mysteries within mysteries.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    A sustained, alternatingly exhausting and aesthetically exhilarating howl of a film.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    At one point, during one of his occasional verbal rambles, he (Young) says half-jokingly, half-defensively that he's got some love songs left in him. This film, which is at once a valentine from one artist to another and a valentine from a musician to his audience, is surely proof that he does.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Amy
    With Amy, Mr. Kapadia isn’t simply revisiting Ms. Winehouse’s life and death, but also — by pulling you in close to her, first pleasantly and then unpleasantly — telling the story of contemporary celebrity and, crucially, fandom’s cost.
    • 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
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    The story is nearly obscured by its schematic design (everyone doesn’t just have his or her reasons; he or she is also guilty), but there are mysteries, surprises and complexities, notably in the representation of the children and in Ms. Bejo’s thorny, layered performance with its strata of neediness, resentment and hope.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Manohla Dargis
    A film of startling originality and beauty -- feels like a communiqué from another time, another place, anywhere but here.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    It's a gift for moviegoers to have this much freedom, and exhilarating. In Holy Motors you never know where Mr. Carax will take you and you never know what, exactly, you're to do once you're there.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    This unassuming, insistently entertaining documentary has the virtue of a great subject.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Manohla Dargis
    Moonrise Kingdom breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humor, deadpan and slapstick. Like all of Mr. Anderson's films, though, there's a deep, pervasive melancholia here too.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Johnson throws a lot at the screen, blasted corpses included, yet little here is as initially transfixing as Mr. Gordon-Levitt's mug.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Manohla Dargis
    Late in his new film Kings and Queen, the wildly gifted French director Arnaud Desplechin yanks the rug from under his characters and sends both them and us reeling.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Has the glorious look and immaculate technique we expect from Mann, along with a wealth of superb secondary performances.

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