Melissa Anderson
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For 275 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 27% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melissa Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Leviathan
Lowest review score: 0 Happy Tears
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 275
  2. Negative: 42 out of 275
275 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Extraordinary, groundbreaking documentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    When Guadagnino focuses solely on the primal, the effect is spellbinding. Only the words get in the way.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    A perfectly paced and performed character study of a woman raising a child on her own who must contend with a heinous act of violence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Plunging viewers into the thick of chaos, Leviathan explodes the antiquated paradigm of the documentary or ethnographic film, whose mission has traditionally been to educate or elucidate, to create something that seizes us, never letting us forget just how disordered the world is. This may be the greatest lesson any nonfiction film can teach us.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Stranger abounds with precision and detail, evinced not just in the spectacular visual composition but also in the observation of behavioral codes in carnally charged spaces.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    It's precisely Malle's omnivorous appetite that makes his first feature, adapted from a policier, so delectable, one stuffed with many sumptuous sights and sounds.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Not to detract from the pleasure of watching the consistently excellent actors, who enhance the dialogue's bite with their body language, but the script of In the Loop is so rich that it could work as a radio play.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    35 Shots is Denis's warmest, most radiant work, honoring a family of two's extreme closeness while suggesting its potential for suffocation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    A triumph of maximalist filmmaking. And you won't look at your watch once.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Nothing tops ILYPM's Jim Carrey ... in the most gloriously raunchy, unrepentant moment in the an(n)als of Hollywood A-listers doing gay-for-pay.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    His gift-and the film's-is to transform the seemingly banal relationship between pet and owner into something singular, inimitable, sacred.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    A simple, powerful act of bearing witness, We Were Here is a sober reminder of the not-too-distant past, when gays were focused not on honeymoon plans but on keeping people alive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Despite a few missteps, Take Shelter powerfully lays bare our national anxiety disorder - a pervasive dread that Curtis can define only as "something that's not right."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Thoroughly researched and packed with phenomenal archival footage, it's a rousing tribute to a mesmerizing performer that forgoes blind hero worship.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Millions of lives have been saved - and extended - as the result of a tireless cadre of advocates who, as Eigo states, "put their bodies on the line."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    A transfixing Cold War thriller set in the East Germany of 1980, Christian Petzold's superb Barbara is made even more vivid by its subtle overlay of the golden-era "woman's picture," the woman in question being Dr. Barbara Wolff, brilliantly played by Nina Hoss in her fifth film with the writer-director.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Sweetgrass reminds us of the stupefying magnificence of its setting—beautiful for spacious skies and mountain majesties—while never letting us forget its formidable perils.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Firmly rooted in everyday particulars — primarily the transactions (business, emotional, or otherwise) facilitated by the time- and space-obliterating devices to which we are constantly tethered — Ferran's movie dares to venture, for much of its second half, into fantasy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Without a trace of didacticism, Boden and Fleck portray the insidious details of exploitation and hollow American maxims.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Jerichow forgoes the prolonged double-crosses of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," its simpler ending made all the more powerful--and a little heartbreaking.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Art of the Steal's thorough research, bolstered by many fiery talking heads, makes it one of the most successful advocacy docs in recent years and may prompt some firsthand investigating of your own.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The force of the acting alone almost compensates for some of the more difficult (and realistic) questions about not giving birth that García willfully sidesteps.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Tillman Story goes deeper, exposing a system of arrogance and duplicity that no WikiLeak could ever fully capture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Those who groan that the writer-director has made another indulgent film about the obscenely privileged have overlooked Coppola's redoubtable gifts at capturing milieu, languor, and exacting details.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Moves briskly, unfolding as one lively sit-down after another with artists, scholars, and curators who established themselves at the height of second-wave feminism.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Interrupters reminds us of the powers and pleasures of well-crafted, immersive nonfiction filmmaking.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    You Don't Like the Truth focuses on the pathetic manipulations of Canadian intelligence officers as they interrogate Toronto-born Omar Khadr, the youngest prisoner held in Guantánamo Bay.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Tomboy astutely explores the freedom, however brief, of being untethered to the highly rule-bound world of gender codes.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Artist is movie love at its most anodyne; where Guy Maddin has used the conventions of silent film to express his loony psychosexual fantasias for more than a decade, Hazanavicius sweetly asks that we not be afraid of the past.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Pina gives us the supreme pleasure of watching fascinating bodies of widely varying ages in motion, whether leaping, falling, catching, diving, grieving, or exulting. Wenders's expert use of 3-D puts viewers up close to the spaces, both psychic and physical, inside and out, of Bausch's work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The first 10 minutes of Dee Rees's funny, moving, nuanced, and impeccably acted first feature, in which coming of age and coming out are inseparable, sharply reveal the conflicts that 17-year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) faces.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Filmed during the months leading up to the 2009 presidential election in Iran, The Hunter still seethes with fury - and anticipates the blood that would spill after the vote.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Dalle, with a mouth that could devour the world, unravels inexorably but with decadent dignity, and Chiha's singular film never relies on cliché in its examination of illness, disappointment, and abandonment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Every shot and edit in Wiseman's film also suggests without over-explaining, allowing a viewer to lose herself in pleasure.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Matching the precision of the film's title, remembrances of things past-whether destructive or salutary, quickly mentioned or dilated upon-are shaped by just enough exacting detail.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    El Velador still sharply conveys what life is like in a traumatized nation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The animation studio's first film with a female protagonist, a defiant lass who acts as a much-welcome corrective to retrograde Disney heroines of the past and the company's unstoppable pink-princess merchandising.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    A funky, nonfiction tribute to the great avant-garde saxophonist Ornette Coleman, Ornette upends the staid portrait-of-the-artist formula, and it tinkers with and discards the conventions of the bio documentary just as its pioneering musician subject exploded those of jazz.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Watching this taciturn man grow close to mother and child - close enough that he experiences twinges of jealousy and abandonment toward the end of Las Acacias - is one of the most satisfying spectacles in a movie this year, a time-lapse of emotions rendered perfectly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Hawkes and Hunt nobly tackle the physical demands their roles require.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    For many of the film's brisk 84 minutes, Fox eclipses his earlier work-and several other same-sex tragedies-by immersing us in his protagonist's quiet turmoil.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    A fiction film that documents the unpredictable, unscripted actions of its pint-size lead, Nana offers new ways of thinking about childhood, or, at the very least, about children in movies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    If Side Effects, an immensely pleasurable thriller centering around psychotropic drugs, really is Steven Soderbergh's final big-screen film, as the director claims it will be, then he has peaked in the Valley of the Dolls.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Whether or not James Longley's boldly stylized reportage breaches public indifference, its enduring value is assured: When the war is long gone, this deft construction will persist in relevance, if not for what it says about the mess we once made, then as a model of canny cinematic construction.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    It helps that Wein's subject is such a fascinating, garrulous paradox.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    There's great archival footage.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Wintour's arctic imperiousness has a way of creating the most masochistic deference, a dynamic that R.J Cutler superficially explores--and becomes prone to--in his documentary The September Issue.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    For a movement that was "fundamentally leaderless," Braderman's film gives its participants an opportunity to rightfully claim: "We thought we could change things--and, in fact, we did."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Likably stoopid, the latest from comedy troupe Broken Lizard (Super Troopers, Beerfest) mines plenty of jokes from eating out and being served.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    An affectionate portrait of a lower-middle-class, outer-borough clan, City Island works best as an actor's showcase, with Margulies's aggrieved, simmering wife the stand-out.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    The film courageously shows its reprobate hero sliding further, not redeeming himself.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Her (Davis) homage--tender, never hagiographic--also contains some biting analysis of the racism, both overt and insidious, that the artist was up against.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Going below the surface, the filmmakers and the cast (including a marvelous performance by Marian Seldes as an osteoporotic doyenne) successfully create the hardest characters to pull off: exotic yet recognizable New Yorkers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Bitton, best known for her 2004 nonfiction film "Wall," about the barrier Israel is building along its border with the occupied territories of the West Bank, questions her interviewees calmly and dispassionately (though her voice is heard, she is never seen). It's a strategy that yields damning revelations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Down Terrace has frequently been appreciated as "The Sopranos meets Mike Leigh." But a more fruitful comparison might be to last year's stand-out British satire "In the Loop": In both films, verbal aggression makes for the biggest laughs and the surest signs of moral decay.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's striking debut is the rare recent American-independent film that goes beyond the private dramas of its protagonists, imagining them as players in broader historical moments.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Spitzer, whose tireless efforts to redeem himself led to his cooperation in this doc, receives an entirely sympathetic-yet thoroughly researched-treatment from Gibney.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Though hewing to a too-conventional structure, Bowser's film is densely researched enough to yield insights not just into its overlooked subject, but also into his overly analyzed era.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Against interpretation, Heisenberg (who is, after all, the grandson of the physicist who gave us the uncertainty principle) has nonetheless created a nimble, dynamic character study of a fiercely guarded loner on the run.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    The beloved Kiwi duo, who frequently perform as a rotating cast of corny alter egos, can charm even the crankiest viewers, thanks to their soaring, clarion harmonies and cuddly-butch personas.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Admirably, and gently, raises questions about the folly and hubris of a relationship that may only ever be one-sided.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Though The Sleeping Beauty ends ambiguously, it remains consistent with the logic that Breillat has laid out: A girl's childhood and adolescence are often culturally sanctioned confinements. But the prisoners aren't always victims; the jails can be escaped through the courage to "go alone into the world."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    A collection of "small great stories," in the words of its unobtrusive narrator, Pietro Marcello's singular doc/fiction hybrid salutes the crumbling grandeur of the northern Italian seaport Genoa.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Sometimes you just can't fight the funk; as much as you might resist the film's more maudlin scenes, not succumbing to the band's signature tune, "Head Wiggle," is impossible.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    A pleasing, often rousing movie for the 99 percent, In Time is not without flaws.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Aided by an excellent ensemble cast, director Xavier Durringer and his co-scripter, Patrick Rotman, don't refrain from showing this truly repellent side of Sarko during his rise from minister of justice in 2002 to the highest elected office.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    With a name that not even the PR team at Smokefree America could dream up, Victor DeNoble emerges as the hero of Charles Evans Jr.'s mostly muscular documentary on the 1990s campaign to expose Big Tobacco.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    If director James Watkins's second film is about as scary as the haunted house your big cousins made in the basement, Radcliffe, as widowed lawyer Arthur Kipps, at least gives a moving portrayal of grief.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    An affectionate look at a self-destructing maniac and his supporters that bluntly reveals Liebling's total abjection without mocking him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Like the pacing of the novel, the film, even at almost two and a half hours, moves briskly, continuously drawing us in.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Often drolly, coolly morbid, Post Mortem also operates just as effectively in a more nakedly direct register.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    When isn't it a good time to show a movie tracing the development of a kind, charismatic yellow Labrador retriever from frolicsome puppy to devoted seeing-eye companion to weary senior?
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    In trying through incessant narration to make a six-year-old a prolix sage, Zeitlin can't avoid falling into sticky sentimentality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    There are enough unexpected delights, such as repurposing "Video Killed the Radio Star" during a critical moment between Margot and Daniel, to keep us interested in their drawn-out, teasing, tantalizing courtship.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Crucially, the variety of interviewees in Hubbard's doc - men and women of different races and classes - underscores just how diverse ACT UP was in its heyday.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    An unadorned, unsentimental portrait of a marriage, Yi Seung-jun's documentary Planet of Snail celebrates the daily life of an exceptionally collaborative couple.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    10 Years is an uncommonly magnanimous project, kind not only to its stumbling characters but also to audiences tired of films pruned of unruly emotions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    What's riveting and attention grabbing in Jarecki's recapitulations of failed policy are some of the talking heads he has assembled, including "The Wire" creator David Simon and historian Richard Lawrence Miller.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Bestiaire is, most profoundly, about the dynamics of looking, an exercise in studying gazes that are either unidirectional or, superficially, at least, reciprocated.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Director Sean Baker, co-writing his fourth feature with Chris Bergoch, does some deft balancing of his own: His genuine admiration for these two women extends to their idiosyncrasies, yet they never become fools, whores, saints, or coots.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    The film is as simple, straightforward, and elegant as its title.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Real, dramatic tension erupts as the strains placed on the women's relationship surface, offering a candid look at what the stresses of parenthood can do to any couple.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Thankfully, Peddle's film is much more illuminating than a grad school seminar.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Surveillance is the work of a director who has made significant strides in both storytelling and control of the medium, deftly interweaving a grisly thriller, a sicko "Rashômon," a switcheroo, a psychotic love story, an imaginative paean to children, and an inspired resurrection of Julia Ormond.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The principals, especially Ejiofor, rise above the starchiness that often hampers portrayals of recent, monumental history.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The biggest surprise here is Tatum, whose butch reticence has never been put to better use: His saddest farewell isn’t to his lady, but to a man even more uncommunicative than he is.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Writer-director James C. Strouse's The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie clichés.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Though nothing here is as rousing as "The Pajama Game's" raise-baiting "Seven and a Half Cents," the always-welcome Miranda Richardson steals the film in a small role as Barbara Castle, Labour P.M.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Adults will be thrilled to see Anna Faris as nature documentarian Rachel. Greeting Yogi by speaking in "brown bear," the actress never fails to be seriously goofy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Usually an enervating process to witness onscreen, Steen's subtle calibrations of self-hatred and raging narcissism exhilarate.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Crayton Robey's documentary on this queer cultural touchstone admirably presents both sides of the divide.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Polytechnique smartly exposes the spectrum of misogyny without overplaying the connection between the two incidents. Which makes the concluding flash-forward scene all the more disappointing: Designed to give hope, it comes off as an emotional sop instead.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    In equal parts mesmerizing and disorienting, Over Your Cities (the title comes from the biblical story of Lilith) plunges viewers into the earth, wind, and fire of Kiefer's massive-scale projects.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Tatum is touching as the stressed, decent provider trying to make something bad from his past not destroy his future. Yet the real surprise is Tracy Morgan, in a small but transformative role as the heavily medicated adult incarnation of Jonathan's childhood friend.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Conveying, with a light touch, important lessons for kids on the necessity of civic engagement, the perils of edit-ad conflicts, and the need to honor difference, Miss Minoes is also an ailurophile's dream, featuring a fantastic array of tabbies, calicos, and Birmans that always hit their marks.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The played-out scenarios in Olnek's first feature, such as Jane's sessions with her therapist, are soon outnumbered by inspired silliness, like tears shed over a revolving dessert tray in a diner.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Though these mismatched cops bounce well off each other, Tatum, in his first comedic lead role, is the better performer, both more riotous and affecting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The Wise Kids suffers from a theater workshop-y tendency to rest too long on pauses and silences to convey dramatic heft. But the blunder is ultimately overshadowed by Cone's excellent young actors, particularly Torem, burrowing deeply into her character's zealotry and anguish about being left behind.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The Island President also shows how the most high-minded idealists inevitably become deal-makers: The toothless agreement eventually ratified in Copenhagen - which calls for but doesn't require CO2 reductions - is lauded by Nasheed as "a very good, planet-saving document."

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