For 109 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 10% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Martin Tsai's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 48
Highest review score: 90 Plot for Peace
Lowest review score: 10 Poseidon Rex
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 109
  2. Negative: 33 out of 109
109 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Martin Tsai
    It's just as thrilling as it is edifying.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Martin Tsai
    The film's exploration of the tenuous bonds within a community will surely prompt serious soul-searching.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Martin Tsai
    Since many of the themes from Illmatic have become mere clichés in contemporary rap, this film serves as a reminder of the potential and the promise that hip-hop truly holds.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Martin Tsai
    Some of the black photographers' works here are breathtaking — and may prompt you to hunt down Willis' book for the coffee table. But there's so much more to take away from Harris' documentary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Martin Tsai
    Despite what seem like the trappings of a Lifetime movie, writer-director Claudia Myers presents us with an unflinching and complex character study of an imperfect woman.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Bears has warmth and fuzziness in spades, especially when the lot of them snoozes on logs. Amid its heaping serving of cuddliness, though, the film doesn't sugarcoat the harsh reality and unforgiving elements with which the bears have to contend.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Witnessing him defy long odds, gravity and death is a thrill; even the uninitiated should find his unresolved father complex of interest.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Director Yoruba Richen has refreshingly avoided making this polemic into propaganda, a temptation many lesser documentarians could not resist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Not Yet Begun to Fight is barely an hour long, but it justifies a theatrical release with a lyrical meditation on nature and war.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Its depiction of esoteric facets of immigrant life lends an air of credibility seldom seen in rom-coms.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Mbatha-Raw looks, sounds and moves like an A-lister. If "Belle" put the actress on Hollywood's radar, Beyond the Lights heralds her superstardom.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    The lens work by "Crouching Tiger" cinematographer Peter Pau looks super slick; and the film's conformity to trends in regional commercial cinema yields respectable results. But Special ID truly comes alive when it busts out the good ol' fashioned Hong Kong daredevil stunt work.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Throughout Rob the Mob, De Felitta maintains an unfailingly sympathetic stance toward the lovers and the mafiosi alike, while keeping enough distance from all to disapprove of their dirty deeds and deter any viewer identification with them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    In spite of its insufferably whimsical tendencies — exemplified by its original title, "Oh Boy" — the film may have turned out to be a deeply profound modern postscript about fascism. This isn't that far-fetched a reading at all.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    The Great Invisible gives voice to many of the previously nameless and faceless victims of the disaster. Some worked on the oil rig that fateful day; others have suffered its environmental and economic consequences.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Director Megan Griffiths and writers Huck Botko and Emily Wachtel flesh out a female perspective that's refreshing and engrossing without demonizing or objectifying men.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Without passing judgment, Dickman illustrates how Hanna's way of life and personal convictions compelled his politics. He also allows Steve Hanna a fair shot at presenting his version of the events.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Though Mission Blue gets its title from Earle's nonprofit organization, the film rarely comes across as propaganda.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    The documentary style makes the proceedings all the more frightening.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    An offbeat rom-com that ventures down the film-noir path, Hit by Lightning manages to make dark comedy fresh by combining two formulas.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Martin Tsai
    Through "Bhopal," the filmmaker argues that the promise of jobs and prosperity all too often trumps environmental and safety concerns, and it leads government to ignore corporate wrongdoing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    It does have a point of view, but the intended conclusion ripens for the picking in a roundabout way.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    The home-movie vérité style of the early scenes pays dividends when inexplicable occurrences suddenly take us by surprise.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    The Christmas Candle" seems destined to be a Hallmark movie of the week. But in spite of the hammy histrionics requisite for the genre, it is not at all a turkey.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    Although this horror flick is somewhat absurd and seemingly forgettable when viewed in a vacuum, its coincidentally contemporaneous release with "Blue Is the Warmest Color" urges immediate reconsideration.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    Even at a meager 40 minutes, the film feels padded... But so long as the jubilance brought about by lemurs can compel more protection for the near-extinct species, the film will have served its purpose.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    Above all, its gratuitous graphic gore and exploitative nudity are unmistakably giallo. What "The Strange Color" lacks is the heart that separates a good film from a great one.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    The film supplies a succession of hyper-stylized and potent set pieces without ever establishing any sort of internal logic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    As far as documentaries go, the film is exhaustively researched, interviewed and documented.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    Despite a few contrivances like the impending romance between Nina and Tennessee, The Frontier remains for the most part refreshing and astute.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    Landis has acknowledged mental issues in interviews, and it registers so much more on film. The constant scrutiny of a camera seems exploitative and cruel, even if you are at all suspicious when he rationalizes his behavior as childlike mischief.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Martin Tsai
    The will-he-or-won't-he question becomes the focus of director Mark Raso's film, and how William responds under the mercy of Effy's whims ultimately determines whether he can emerge from his self-absorption at long last.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Some instances of impiousness work better than others.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    With verbal jabs and sight gags in equal measure, the script proves serviceably funny. As the film progresses, though, the hilarity does not escalate along with the outrageousness.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    The screenplay by Lane Shadgett and director Trevor White relies far too much on telling rather than showing.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    While the cast and crew's competence well exceed what anyone would expect from this breed of B movies, they cannot compensate for the flawed internal logic in the screenplay.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Given the routineness of the chase itself, what jumps out here is the pervasive desperation shared by just about every character.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    One Candle, Two Candles proves worthwhile at least as a cultural curio.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Like a typical Hollywood action-thriller, though, the screenplay jeopardizes the film. The twists concocted by writers James Robert Johnston and Bennett Yellin are mostly predictable; and the ones you don't see coming are outlandish.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    By allowing Cameron's first-person account to take command of the narrative, though, the film seems to gloss over meaningful logistics of the expedition.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Despite this notable cast, the remake never manages to drum up much excitement for its sleepy hamlet rousing or for its characters, finally filled with purpose.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Miss Lovely does exude an air of authenticity... But much of the film remains underdeveloped.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    The film is certainly interesting, despite the fact that it's a glorified promotional video for Muniz's installations.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    This journey into "Martha Marcy May Marlene" territory is never as tense and gripping as it should be, the incidents and most of the performances too tamped-down to spark a much-needed sense of animating friction.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    This cautionary tale certainly has a chilling and timely message of how wars make monsters out of innocent people. But using reductive caricatures — complete with phlegmatic performances — to send that message is perhaps not the best way, because it turns something with modern-day implications into distant allegory.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    Fredric Dannen's reportage, which appeared in a 1992 issue of the New Yorker and serves as the film's basis, contains lurid details that leap off the page in a cinematic way. The "Dragons" script by Michael Di Jiacomo and co-director Andrew Loo preserves many, but few register on-screen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Martin Tsai
    The film feels like a sketch rather than a portrait, beautifully rendered but incomplete in the details.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    The film's colorblindness does not make up for its latent sexism.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    If "The Bible" was CliffsNotes for the Scriptures, Son of God is the cheat sheet. The two-hour film condenses about four hours of what already was hasty television, and it all winds up a little dramatically static.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Like many found-footage films before it, The Den never entirely suspends disbelief. It doesn't satisfyingly account for how the characters are producing all the footage.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Not unlike most of its Hollywood counterparts, though, this Hong Kong import can't resist the urge to dumb down a fascinating premise for the sake of mass consumption.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    The film blurs lines between documentary, reality television and "Candid Camera," with Vargas instigating the proceedings.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    The AIDS scare remains as much window dressing as do other period details such as rotary phones and cassette tapes. Test seems to be about dance above all, with choreographed montages filling the bulk of its running time.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    It's far more invested in elaborate historical reenactments, hypothetical dramatizations and special effects than interviews, research and data.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Hector may indeed learn that narcissism stands in the way of happiness, but he also walks away with his privileges intact and unchallenged.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Although director and co-writer Cutter Hodierne tells the story from the pirates' viewpoint, he adds no more dimension to them than the one we saw in "Phillips."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Director Brett Harvey has gotten the documentary look and format down pat, complete with generic and gratuitous nature and cityscape shots. Where he shows an amateurish hand is in the term-paper-like voice-over narration and the inclusion of underqualified talking heads.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Martin Tsai
    Director Sanjay Rawal also allows the likes of Eva Longoria (an executive producer of the film, as is "Fast Food Nation" author Eric Schlosser) and members of the Kennedy dynasty to hijack the farmworkers' story. It's a reductive strategy that ultimately insults viewers' intelligence.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Familiar paternal regret gets ratcheted up here with an illogical and gratuitous investigative exercise.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Live at the Foxes Den comes off like some long-unproduced Broadway musical finally dusted off when someone raised enough money to mount it as a film production instead.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    So instructional is the film, directed by Brook's son, Simon, that it feels like one of those P90X or Insanity home fitness programs: Try this at home. You too can perform on stage.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Andrew Douglas, who directed the 2005 "The Amityville Horror" remake, mishandles the standard noir as straightforward drama and gives it an unfortunate after-school-special vibe.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    The film hardly scratches Abu Ghraib's surface.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    A "Saw" knockoff without the torture porn.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    At its best, the film seems as dreary a travelogue as that Nia Vardalos vehicle "My Life in Ruins." At its worst, Chaplin of the Mountains feels like an overambitious film-school thesis with superfluous political and philosophical posturing.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    The slickly produced documentary Farmland often comes off like lobbyist propaganda, profusely extolling the virtues of the independent American farmer.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Although this film doesn't miss the whole point of found footage as the recent "Into the Storm" did, Jung does little to help suspend our disbelief.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    The method to Von Trier's madness is that he provokes thought alongside outrage in his parables. Here, Gebbe musters only outrage, as her antagonists are without nuance, mercy or any redeeming quality.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    It's essentially a glorified PowerPoint presentation that juxtaposes archival footage — an echo chamber of interviews, readings and performances taken entirely out of context — with amateurish stock footage and a short running time.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Whereas Haneke's films grapple with the blunt force of violence, novice filmmaker Markus Blunder just lets the violence snowball all the way down a slippery slope.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    The film operates under the assumption that the average Joe associates Mormonism more with "Sister Wives" than Mitt Romney, so the film will be an eye-opener only for subscribers to such stereotypes.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Martin Tsai
    Director Simon Brand devotes so much running time to fear-mongering and grotesque stereotypes that a last-ditch effort at moral ambiguity and a critique on muckraking barely register.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    If you admire Kellan Lutz's chiseled body, The Legend of Hercules does offer plenty of that in 3-D glory.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    If it only had a brain, a heart and the nerve.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    War of the Worlds: Goliath is just a few cereal commercials shy of a pointlessly cartoon marathon — violent, messily drawn and lifelessly dragging.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    Everything we can gather seems to nullify any virtues we saw in the original film.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    After catalogs so many clichés in the dysfunctional family at its center that the film could be taught in a screenwriting class as a lesson in what not to do.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Martin Tsai
    Like so many filmmaking wunderkinds who could have used a course in common sense, Glanz is technically assured but emotionally hollow.

Top Trailers