Melissa Anderson

Select another critic »
For 364 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melissa Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Toni Erdmann
Lowest review score: 0 Another Happy Day
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 364
364 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Extraordinary, groundbreaking documentary.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    A question is posed to the main character of Barry Jenkins's wondrous, superbly acted new film, Moonlight: "Who is you, man?" The beauty of Jenkins's second feature...radiates from the way that query is explored and answered: with specifics and expansiveness, not with foregone conclusions.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    With 45 Years, [Haigh] has created not only a searching examination of a long-term marriage — and the myths that sustain it — but also a compassionate portrait of a woman reconciling herself with those false notions.
    • 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.
    • 94 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Delving into microeconomics and macroaggressions, Toni Erdmann, the dynamite, superbly acted third feature from writer-director Maren Ade, is social studies at its finest.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Funny (sometimes caustically so), rueful, and bracingly honest, Happy Hour is also a movie defined by an unshakeable belief that any encounter holds the promise of magic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    As is his custom, Weerasethakul addresses his nation's martial history with the lightest of touches.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Tillman Story goes deeper, exposing a system of arrogance and duplicity that no WikiLeak could ever fully capture.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    The Interrupters reminds us of the powers and pleasures of well-crafted, immersive nonfiction filmmaking.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Though full of mysteries, and, like all of Rodrigues’s work, consistently unpredictable from scene to scene, The Ornithologist may be the director’s most conventional narrative.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    “Every love story is a ghost story,” David Foster Wallace wrote more than once. That evocative observation is probed in David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, a film that occasionally reaches a similar level of eloquence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 40 Melissa Anderson
    Despite the movie's title and Bening's central role, women are oddly peripheral.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    El Velador still sharply conveys what life is like in a traumatized nation.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Without a trace of didacticism, Boden and Fleck portray the insidious details of exploitation and hollow American maxims.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    Referents and identities are always slightly unfixed in Neruda, a film that reaches dizzying, exhilarating velocity by flouting the conventions of its hidebound genre.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 10 Melissa Anderson
    McKay's bumptious movie awkwardly combines fourth-wall-breaking gimmickry and flaccid indignation with the goofball energy that defines his comedies.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Daughters of the Dust abounds with stunning motifs and tableaux, the iconography seemingly sourced from dreams as much as from history and folklore. But however seductive and trance-inducing, the visual splendor of Dash's film is never vaporous.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Guggenheim's insistence on not engaging with the injustices that children of certain races and classes face outside of school makes his reiteration of the obvious-that "past all the noise and the debate, nothing will change without great teachers"-seem all the more willfully naïve.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    A triumph of maximalist filmmaking. And you won't look at your watch once.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Hawkes and Hunt nobly tackle the physical demands their roles require.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    When Guadagnino focuses solely on the primal, the effect is spellbinding. Only the words get in the way.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Melissa Anderson
    In his sympathetic and intelligent Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, Terence Davies honors his subject by remaining true to this observation from the poet herself: "To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations."
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    When one goes to see Kristen Stewart — among the most quicksilver of her generation's performers — in Olivier Assayas's Personal Shopper, a shape-shifting, resolutely of-this-moment ghost story that features her in nearly every frame, one goes not to watch her act but refract.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Clinical in the extreme, Evolution aims for open-endedness, but the film, unlike its pint-size protagonists, remains impenetrable.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    A hazy drift through vast subjects — the fluidity of adolescence and the fragility of family — Anna Muylaert's Don't Call Me Son works best when it goes small.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Delicately balanced between grandeur and absurdity, Serra's film maintains this tricky equilibrium largely thanks to the icon whose face fills the screen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Unlike "The Company Men," which successfully explored the moral conscience and despair of its corporate titans and middle managers, Margin Call's bids for sympathy for its most conflicted character, Spacey's Sam, fail.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    When the separatist compound must accommodate an interloper — Steve Trevor, fished out of the sea by Diana after his plane goes down — any hopes that Wonder Woman will sustain its appealing misandry are soon dashed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Despite the claustrophobic setting and Tsangari's observational style, Chevalier doesn't register as hermetic or coolly condescending; the film feels loose and agile even amid so much capricious rule-making.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Jacobs lets casually observed details and offhand humor advance the story. There are no grand pronouncements in The Lovers, which smartly communicates its ideas about relationships during its long stretches of silence.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    In the thinly veiled version of her life that appears onscreen, the actress unforgettably shows the deadening toll of always being on the move, only to return to the exact same place.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Amalric enlivens episodes of limp satire by wholly embracing his unrepentantly self-serving libertine character.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Terrified of alienating those who were raised on the originals, The Muppets panders to them instead, constantly blasting or restaging Top 40 hits from the past three-plus decades, continuing the cheap strategy that worked well on YouTube two years ago with the Muppets' cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Melissa Anderson
    This Down Under noir confuses incoherent body pileups with "twists."
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As with most fam-cam documentaries, dysfunction pushes the story along, tipping over into exploitation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Guadagnino inserts a plot thread indicting Europe's response to the migrant crisis, shoehorning an issue of utmost gravity into a pulpy sex thriller. Not even this flamboyant project, however satisfying in its excesses otherwise, can accommodate the inept civics lesson.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Recalling other cine-duets, both straight (Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise) and gay (Andrew Haigh's Weekend), Paris 05:59 distinguishes itself by seamlessly including a lesson on HIV post-exposure prophylaxis.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Tomboy astutely explores the freedom, however brief, of being untethered to the highly rule-bound world of gender codes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    In so shrewdly exploring the illusions — namely (self-) deception — required to keep a dyad functioning, Garrel shows just how much we all remain, consciously or not, in the dark.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Like its central not-couple, two women tongue-tied about their desire for each other, So Yong Kim's Lovesong frustrates with its lack of articulation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Even with her beatific face (the actress looks like one of Parmigianino's Madonnas), Farmiga is never wholly believable as a woman shaken by a crisis of belief.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Tellingly, it's not the queers, but a cop--Seymour Pine, the 90-year-old retired NYPD morals inspector who led the raid on the Stonewall Inn--who gets the last word.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Melissa Anderson
    Rapisarda Casanova's film shows just how much natural splendor dominates the region, here caught at the height of estival glory.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Despite From Afar's lumbering solemnity, Castro, a Chilean actor best known for his collaborations with compatriot Pablo Larraín, proves ever supple.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Reybaud’s film similarly serves as a tonic lesson in physical specifics, each location populated with richly idiosyncratic conversation partners.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 30 Melissa Anderson
    Audiard himself might have benefited from a simple reminder of left from right; his rudderless film confuses a pileup of preposterous, sentimental scenarios with genuine emotion.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Stratman often juxtaposes static, serene landscape footage with an increasingly agitated soundtrack, arriving at an odd consonance amid so much dissonance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Jordenö, in a recurring motif, honors the kiki denizens the most when she captures them motionless, staring directly into the camera, regal and indefatigable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The savage derangements of grief so guttingly explored by Ozon in Under the Sand (2000), a career-revitalizing project for Charlotte Rampling, are decorously treated in Frantz.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As too often happens in nonfiction movies, their exploration of these concepts is undermined by ill-considered execution.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    These horrors, and the absorbing performances of Watts and McGregor, will soon be undermined by a surfeit of sentiment.
    • 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
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Despite the clumsy script and a shaky acting partner, Cattani, at least, is fascinating to watch, never demanding audience sympathy.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Produced by his youngest daughter, Gina, this profile of Harry Belafonte, foregrounding the 84-year-old actor and singer's political activism, is a moving if occasionally wearying hagiography.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    Cogitore's movie is at once otherworldly and firmly tethered to stark reality.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Undeniably, the rhythms — of clanging machines, of humans at work and repose — seen and heard here are the tempo of the quotidian and the repetitive. Yet even in their mundanity, these factory routines are not without their exalted moments.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melissa Anderson
    Formally spartan, Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl (1966) is dense with cool fury.
    • 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."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    [A] densely packed but occasionally facile documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Melissa Anderson
    Breezy, superficial documentary.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Aiming to be a seriocomic movie of ideas but desperate not to offend or challenge, Let It Rain soon settles for being another smug comedy of bourgeois manners.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Now 79, the man with the snow-white ponytail in the radio booth hasn't flagged; as one of Fass's contemporaries says, "He can let someone go on and on and on."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The brothers' latest also has a certain buoyancy...The fizziness, though, proves fleeting, and Hail, Caesar! too often goes flat.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Melissa Anderson
    By the end of Christine — and of Christine — the reporter is at once burdened with too many signifiers (is Chubbuck a tragic heroine of second-wave feminism? of our current macabre newsscape? of untreated depression?) and a cipher. As with most biopics that resort to maximalism, more is less.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As far as teen comedies informed by 10th-grade English syllabi go, Easy A, partly inspired by "The Scarlet Letter," is remedial ed compared with "Clueless" and "10 Things I Hate About You."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Melissa Anderson
    The frontman's reminiscences, though, are invariably eloquent, witty, and often moving.

Top Trailers