For 226 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary Pols' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Inside Out
Lowest review score: 0 Jack and Jill
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 226
226 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Farrell's work as Syracuse is understated to the point that some may find it unremarkable -- but it's a beautifully confident performance, an irony given that he constructs his portrayal of Syracuse around the concept of humility.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    It's worth considering precisely whom the movie is meant for. It's not labeled as such, but It's Kind of a Funny Story is squarely aimed at young adults.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    What takes Conviction out of the "Erin Brockovich" inspirational orbit - and gives it fresh interest - is the fact that Betty Anne is never portrayed as a fish suddenly taking brilliantly to judicial waters. Instead of being a legal savant, she's a persistent lunatic tilting at windmills for the sake of a familial love no one else can quite understand.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The screenplay, credited to three writers, has that over-doctored feeling to it, and we're asked to take on a larger redemption tale that undermines the truth of Bale's wholly unsympathetic portrayal of a drug addict and a narcissist. The Fighter's desire to show us what that awful combination looks like is overwhelmed by its urge to show us a Hollywood-style triumph.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The results, while occasionally forced, are consistently amusing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Engrossing and inspiring, despite being the kind of movie in which one of the first words you hear is cheeky.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The hardest movies to review are the ones you respect and admire but don't love and also - and this is the crucial part - aren't angered by. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful is just that sort of film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Quick, capable, thoroughly bloody action film.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Hardly unforgettable, but it is an amiable diversion, kept afloat by some comic moments of the raunchy, silly variety, and by something that does feel rather retro: a kindness to its youthful characters.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Rodrick Rules often feels like a mainstreamed version of that wonderful short-lived television series, "Freaks and Geeks."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    There is no denying that Schwimmer knows something about getting a performance out of an actor. Liberato, who is 15 now, is flat-out terrific. Shifting fluidly from demure to sullen and damaged, she is tremendously compelling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The Beaver is serious about portraying mental illness. And whatever your opinion about Gibson the man, so is Gibson the actor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Ferrell fits uncannily well into Carver country, and in this small but sturdy film, he challenges any assumption that he might be limited to comedy. Certainly this is the first time he's moved me to tears that weren't produced by hard laughter.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Almost every actor in it outplays the material they're working with, particularly Jason Bateman. Horrible Bosses would be worth seeing if only for the pleasure of watching him delicately bat indelicate comedy around.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The screenplay, with credits shared by Gluck, Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, is predictable, plotwise. But it is elevated by energetic dialogue, the sexual chemistry between the leads and the fact that the miscommunication that keeps bliss at bay - there's always one in a rom-com, and usually it is annoyingly unbelievable - is plausible.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Our Idiot Brother is both daffier and more amiable than a Woody Allen film, but the sibling filmmakers (Jesse Peretz directed and his sister Evgenia Peretz co-wrote the screenplay) have concocted sort of a "Ned and His Sisters."
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    So a tip of the hat to A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, a frequently very funny movie about planning and executing exactly what the title describes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    It doesn't look particularly special - despite the visual potential of underwater scenes - but kids are going to eat this up.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Lonergan didn't bite off more than he could chew with Margaret - this is his personal moral gymnasium - but he did bite off more than others might want to chew.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Margin Call is smart, but too cool and solemn to raise anyone's temperature. Nonetheless, writer/director J. C. Chandor should count himself the luckiest man in show business this weekend. How many first-time feature filmmakers can truthfully claim that their movie collided right up against the zeitgeist?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Williams locates a central truth, the contradictory allure of this utterly impossible woman - mercurial, vain, foolish, but also intelligent in some very primal way and achingly vulnerable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    During the movie's best moments, I recalled exactly what my long-gone father's roars of laughter sounded like. Was it the joyous lunacy of "Mahnamahna" that used to set him off?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    All the components are there. No wonder In the Land of Blood and Honey is the most compelling, heartfelt movie Jolie has made in years. She isn't in it, but she's all over it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Pariah should be a special, important film for gay teens and their parents.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    The interplay between Wahlberg and Foster and then Ribisi is nicely done but the action in and around the cargo ship is where the movie's real fun lies. There is plenty of guy humor.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    With its unpredictable sexual politics and quirky little hero/heroine Albert Nobbs has the edge of quinine, a peculiar taste that won't entice everyone but worked for me.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Declaration of War is about being under siege from illness, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This modern-day Juliette and Romeo find their own tragedy, but are not poisoned by it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    Undefeated is well-edited by director Daniel Lindsay and beautifully photographed by his co-director T.J. Martin - the shacks of North Memphis look poetically disheveled as shot from a moving car - but it is telling that the coach emerges as the "star" of this documentary.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    It's beautifully photographed and explained at every stage from market to table, a foodie's dream night at the movies. The gentle shaping of the fish and sushi could lull you into a trance. A hungry trance.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Mary Pols
    It's pointed, a piece of domestic comedy that starts with the unappealing sight of an overgrown slacker hunched on a faux leather couch in a dingy basement and subtly winds its way into a tender, wise and completely delightful film about family.

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