For 232 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mark Jenkins' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 90 A Touch of Sin
Lowest review score: 5 Grown Ups 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 232
232 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Most of the dialogue is invented, but the sweep of events is genuine.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    Quite aside from Shinto transformation parables or Buddhist reincarnation teachings, the final scene shows how family wisdom is conserved and recycled. It's a moment that might elicit a smile or a tear, or perhaps both.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    There's nothing unexpected in this well-made picture, aside from the name of the director: Takeshi Miike.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    Although the monks don't seek death, Of Gods And Men can be seen as an ode to religiously motivated self-sacrifice. But Beauvois deliberately leaves the story open-ended. The value of these men's lives, he's noting, is not defined by how they ended.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    Evil cannot triumph in a movie made in China, but Drug War's ultimate scene nonetheless manages to astonish, revealing both Choi's character and the nature of mainland justice. Rather than dodging the harshness of Chinese authority, To depicts it implacably. He does exactly what the censors want, and yet subverts their worldview.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The movie ends powerfully, with a sudden pileup of fright, death and a disconcerting glimpse of beauty. If Lebanon's goal is to keep the viewer on edge and off balance, its final minutes are exemplary.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The movie falls somewhere between the austere and the playful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    The director recut the movie several times as events overtook it. She may yet do so again — although if more major changes occur, they could merit beginning another documentary. As The Square makes clear, Noujaim would not hesitate to rush back into the fray.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Those who don't savor Cohen's leisurely rhythms will probably not respond to Museum Hours, and even the movie's admirers will admit that it could be a little tighter. One scene that might be trimmed is the one where museum-goers pose, naked as the people on the canvases around them. The interlude certainly isn't dull, but it is a little brazen for a film that encourages its viewers to find the beauty in more commonplace sights.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    As Arbor, nonprofessional actor Chapman gives one of the fiercest performances of this kind since Martin Compston's turn as a different sort of teenage entrepreneur in Loach's 2002 film "Sweet Sixteen." He's riveting, even in his final moment of calm.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    The movie is not a story but a text, and Cedar is its playfully intrusive interpreter.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Ruiz, whose best-known films include his 1999 adaptation of Proust's "Time Regained," coolly roams the ambiguous territories between tragedy and soap opera, and between the traditional and the modern.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Wadjda offers an interesting contrast to films made in Iran. Where the latter country has a long cinematic tradition, Mansour's is the first feature shot entirely in Saudi Arabia.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    Police, Adjective has considerable power, and the issues it raises linger in the mind.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Sister offers several reasons why the boy can't or won't return to ski-resort robbery next winter. But the movie also quietly suggests that, whatever he does, Simon will always be the boy from down below, boldly impersonating someone born to the heights.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Ai is a great movie subject for many reasons, but one is that he understands the power of appearing larger than life on the silver screen.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    The Turin Horse is an absolute vision, masterly and enveloping in a way that less personal, more conventional movies are not. The film doesn't seduce; it commands.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    Watching Lorna's attempt to balance self-interest and empathy can be heartbreaking. If Lorna's Silence as a whole doesn't rank among the Dardennes's best, it does follow the money to moments and characters that are unforgettable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Although it's the fourth documentary about the West Memphis Three, West of Memphis doesn't feel superfluous. This bizarre case rates at least 18 documentaries - one for each year Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley spent in prison for murders they clearly didn't commit.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Ultimately, the bleak universe conjured by Beyond the Hills is more compelling than what happens in it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    Its greatest advantage over the book is that this is a story well-documented in moving pictures. In addition to recent interviews with the five, the filmmakers deftly marshal news footage, clips from the supposed confessions, and trenchant analysis.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    The deliberate pace may suggest that the film is being thoughtful, but Let Me In is really just an exploitation movie with the confidence to take it slow.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Despite the contrived climax, I Am Love has emotional power. The contrast between duty and passion is well-drawn, and Swinton's transition from winter matriarch to springtime lover is compelling, even if the circumstances are implausible.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    If the movie's mix of nihilistic violence and snarky attitude suggests "In Bruges," it's a family resemblance. The writer-director of that film, which also starred Gleeson, is Martin McDonagh, the younger brother of this one's. Despite the similarities, the older McDonagh has a lighter touch. Where "In Bruges" ultimately became a mechanical bloodbath, The Guard scampers quickly through the action scenes, delivering commentary on genre conventions as it goes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The movie's first word is oishi, Japanese for "delicious," and what follows is a treat for sushi veterans. First-timers, however, may wish for a little more context.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Mark Jenkins
    The documentary is powerful, as far as it goes, but would be stronger if the filmmakers had been able to follow the story further.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    The House I Live In shows Nannie Jeter as she hopefully watches Barack Obama's 2008 electoral victory, but doesn't analyze the current president's apparent reluctance to significantly alter anti-drug policies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    A Touch of Sin is the most dramatic and even lurid of writer-director Jia Zhangke's movies. The film-festival star hasn't quite become a Chinese Tarantino, however.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Perhaps because he's an actor, Rapaport prefers drama to analysis. And this story has plenty of conflict.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Hara-Kiri is formal, deliberate, leisurely almost to a fault. It features the sort of slow-gliding camera movements favored by Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the greatest 20th century Japanese filmmakers - and the one least like Miike.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    A waka is a traditional Japanese style of poetry, and this documentary does take a lyrical approach. Although barely an hour long, Tokyo Waka leaves room for offhand observations and humorous asides.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Even the movie's title, or rather the source of it, is a surprise. Not to spoil the fun, but it's neither Assange nor one of his allies who nonchalantly acknowledges that "we steal secrets."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The story is carefully constructed, with moments that seem offhand initially, but are later revealed as crucial.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The clinical style doesn't play to the director's strengths. A Dangerous Method didn't have to be another "Naked Lunch," but Freud plus Jung plus Cronenburg should have equaled something a little more dissonant and troubling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 55 Mark Jenkins
    It's a campy rampage that runs a few minutes shy of four hours, dooming what otherwise would likely be a bright future as a midnight movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Only the genre's most studious followers will be able to watch Muscle Shoals without being regularly astonished: Even if it sometimes gets lost in its byways, Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary tells an extraordinary story.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    In Hollywood these days, such epic transformations are rendered with computers and called "morphing." Offering a lesson both to filmmakers and climate-change deniers, Chasing Ice demonstrates how much more powerful it is to capture the real thing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 35 Mark Jenkins
    The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    The movie is a curiosity, of course. Both Marc and Kim have decidedly unusual life stories.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Tabloid spins a heck of a yarn, while implicitly warning viewers not to be so entertained that they believe every gamy detail.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Ultimately, Winocour does stage an instance of what could be called love. It's unconvincing narratively, alas, and an odd disruption of the tone in a film that is otherwise bracingly clinical.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Mark Jenkins
    As humane as it is disturbing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    A Woman in Berlin doesn't justify retribution, but in such moments it does clarify the horrible logic of vengeance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    An evocative overview of anti-gay hysteria in the 1960s, a period when homosexuality was illegal in every state except Illinois.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The movie's storytelling can be as old-fashioned as its appearance. Some sequences are quick and messy, but others are grand and theatrical.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    One thing Doueiri didn't get from Tarantino is smirky attitude; The Attack is sad and resigned, but also tender.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The Pirogue spends only about an hour on open water, but that's enough to convey the risks that make the trip foolish, and the desperation that makes it inevitable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    Set to Jeremy Turner's spare and mournful score, Narco Cultura is ultimately more pensive than lurid.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Kore-eda is himself a father now, which may explain why his work has gotten sunnier.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Would be more satisfying if it were a more definitive look at Guantanamo's workings. All Cote and Henriquez can provide is some glimmers of insight about just one of the men held there. But that's enough to make their movie enlightening, compelling and, finally, heartbreaking.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mark Jenkins
    Arguably the most dynamic Asian action film since the 1990s peaks of John Woo and Tsui Hark, The Raid: Redemption works as sheer gladiatorial ballet.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    Austrian documentarian Michael Glawogger's Whore's Glory is no "Pretty Woman." But neither does it qualify as an expose.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    The movie revisits the themes (and some of the same characters) of Amy Berg's chilling 2006 chronicle "Deliver Us from Evil." But it reaches further, expanding from one American diocese to Ireland, Italy, the Vatican and the career of the current pope.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Herman's House would benefit from more background material on Wallace, notably about the alleged weakness of the murder rap against him. In the end, though, neither Sumell nor the film is concerned with that. Their goal is to make palpable — and palpably horrific — the fact of living 23 hours a day in caged isolation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Mark Jenkins
    Any film about a flashy criminal threatens to glamorize its protagonist, but both Mesrine episodes are careful to detail the many goofs made by the crook and his accomplices.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    A fine overview, with enough new material to please Gould buffs. But the film fails to demonstrate that conventional biography is the best path to its subject's inner life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Quietly, the film makes the case that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were no enhancement. Interviewing jihadis "by the book," one interrogator testifies, yielded better information than violence and deprivation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Post Mortem is - intentionally - not an engaging movie. And Larrain sometimes overplays the existential anguish, notably during a few scenes of joyless, mechanical sexual release.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    It was frantic sex that earned Shame an NC-17 rating, but this arty drama is mostly slow and methodical. And thoroughly unsexy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Yes, The Rocket is a sports movie, with an outcome that's easily foreseen. The cultural specifics of this Laos-set tale, however, are far less predictable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Shot entirely in Hackney — a mostly ungentrified London borough — My Brother the Devil has a strong odor of authenticity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Mark Jenkins
    The brawling itself is every bit as inventive and exhilarating this time around... The script and acting, however, prove less successful.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Succeeds as a character study, while gently raising questions about human use and misuse of animals.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    The Empire State's eminent domain laws are unusually loose, but most of the rest of this story is pertinent far beyond New York. Change a few names and add the next credit bubble, and a Brooklyn-style Battle could be headed to a neighborhood near you.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Mark Jenkins
    His latest, the earthy yet subtly evocative 11 Flowers, is in the same mode as the one that's best known in the U.S., 2001's "Beijing Bicycle." Both are simple, resonant tales of youths who have something taken from them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    If nothing else, while watching Ruppert, you'll believe he believes this stuff.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    The movie's principal liability is that most of the music is highly derivative. Ghobadi spends a lot of time on songs that are more interesting sociologically than musically.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The Big Picture has been compared to "The Talented Mr. Ripley," the twice-filmed Patricia Highsmith novel about a sociopath who kills and then impersonates a rich acquaintance. But in spirit it's closer to Michelangelo Antonioni's 1975 "The Passenger," with Jack Nicholson as an existential adventurer who poses as a dead stranger.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    Oddly, Countdown to Zero ends by suggesting that viewers get those nukes abolished by texting their disapproval to a phone number listed in the credits -- as if the governments of China or North Korea (or the United States, for that matter) are just waiting for a gentle rebuke from civic-minded documentary viewers.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    The documentary's most memorable vignette is suitably unnerving: a visit to northern China, where the threatened disappearance of bees has already come to pass, leaving workers to pollinate fruit trees ... by hand.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Mark Jenkins
    The moments when the guitarists teach the others their best-known riffs are fascinating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    It's a surprisingly nuanced and sober tale of brotherhood and betrayal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Mark Jenkins
    Despite its fanciful premise, Never Let Me Go looks and feels utterly real.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Confrontational and hyperactive, Enter the Void is a difficult film to experience. That's not because Noe is somehow inept. The Argentina-born French writer-director knows exactly what he's doing and what effect his swirling camera, exuberant colors and strobelike effects will have.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Big Star was essentially Chris Bell's band, and emotionally, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is Bell's movie. Joining rock's dead-at-27 club via a 1978 car crash, he left behind a fine, then-unreleased album and two siblings who tell his story movingly. As they recount his final years, the sadness in Bell's songs comes to seem eerily prescient.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The result is complex yet lighthearted, as diverting as it is meditative. Resnais uses contrapuntal editing — one of his trademarks — as well as artificial settings, special effects, split screens, cinematic references and anachronistic devices to keep viewers tipsily off-balance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Over the nine months the movie chronicles, about half the refugees leave the school building. Many return to the Fukushima area, but none to Futaba, which is still radioactive and officially off-limits.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    Sergio Leone learns to speak Korean in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, an exuberant tale of greed, vengeance and, well, weirdness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    DeNoble aside, Addiction Incorporated finds most of its heroes in Congress, the White House and federal agencies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 55 Mark Jenkins
    While Europa Report recalls such small-ensemble stuck-in-space flicks as "Moon" and "Sunshine," it's basically "The Blair Witch Project" relocated to the vicinity of Jupiter.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Slight but engaging, and considerably energized by its two young leads, Daly's Kisses gives several fresh spins to one of Irish cinema's most common recent subjects: troubled working-class children on the lam.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    Too much of this seething drama is devoted not to characterization but to posturing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    Reich has a good sense of humor, as is virtually required of an adult who's less than 5 feet tall — he has Fairbanks disease, the same condition that accounts for Danny DeVito's stature — so he's pretty much guaranteed a laugh when he hops to his feet and asks if he looks like an advocate of "big government."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 85 Mark Jenkins
    While the story pivots on an actual girl-who-cried-wolf incident, this elegantly constructed movie is about much more than that.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 55 Mark Jenkins
    It's populated by characters who are just too good to be plausible.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Kawasaki's Rose is the first Czech or Slovak film to address the issue of collaboration with the former Czechoslovakia's bygone secret police. That history must still be raw for some who survived the era, as it is in "The Lives of Others."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    Provocative yet far from definitive, Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a critique of "breast-cancer culture." It could even be called a blitz on pink-ribbon charities and their corporate partners - though to use that term would be to emulate the war and sports metaphors the documentary rejects.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    Quietly astonishing documentary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 55 Mark Jenkins
    Many of the White House scenes are jarringly motley, as Whitaker maintains Gaines' dignity against a series of performances that range from bland (James Marsden's JFK) to cartoonish (Liev Schreiber's LBJ). It comes as a relief when Daniels reduces Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford to TV clips — though that strategy makes the film even more of a stylistic jumble.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    Puzzle has some gentle fun with the clash of staid and hip.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    Deeply silly in a classic mode, The Fairy continues the French new wave of near-silent cinema.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    It's even harder being the semi-supportive wife, which is what generates most of the electricity in this slight but entertaining documentary.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    That the same performers keep returning in different roles, playing Peruvian and Japanese flyers as well as American ones, only adds to the sense of man as machine. Everything, and everyone, must run like clockwork. Yet no apparatus is foolproof.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Jenkins
    Music drives the movie, and the producers popped for the real stuff: Robert Johnson, Moby Grape and - curiously - the Sex Pistols are all here. The soundtrack is so overstuffed that it relegates Beatles and Dylan tunes to the end credits.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    A veteran film editor making her first feature, Israel emphasizes the area's low-key beauty.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    German history and culture are among Sokurov's concerns in this visually compelling, intellectually scattershot movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Jenkins
    Circumstance is best during its simpler, more naturalistic moments. In one, Mehran rebuffs a junkie who stumbles into the mosque, only to see that an Islamic hardliner is more compassionate.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mark Jenkins
    The Salt of Life is easygoing and naturalistic, but clearly a work of imagination.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 65 Mark Jenkins
    The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.