Michael Nordine

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For 156 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Nordine's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Metalhead
Lowest review score: 10 108 Stitches
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 156
  2. Negative: 22 out of 156
156 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Nordine
    The film deftly marries the essence of the music to a moving coming-of-age framework.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Nordine
    Brazil might not want you to know it, but Aquarius is something special.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    Lanthimos's consistently hilarious, borderline anti-humor slowly gives way to a romantic streak of surprising warmth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    Denis Villeneuve's shared dream of a film takes the simple premise of a man glimpsing his doppelganger while watching a movie and mines every bit of tension and oddity from it — there's hardly a scene that doesn't exude menace.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    First-time writer-director Bi Gan and cinematographer Wang Tianxing infuse the imagery with a feeling at once otherworldly and familiar — the kind of thing you can't put a name to but would swear you've already experienced.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    Our glimpses of what's already occurred and what will soon come are vivid and impressionistic, prophetic warnings about which everyone seems powerless to do anything other than silently observe.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    There are no jump-scares in this sensuous thriller, and the lack of anything corporeal on which to focus our unease only makes Butter on the Latch more darkly exhilarating.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Nordine
    Wry and self-aware but never finger-wagging, Office looks back on an economic precipice and finds more humor and spirit than any other depiction yet made about it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Nordine
    Manages to be intimate and impersonal at the same time, a trait constantly reinforced by his portrayal of not only Ceausescu but the populace he led, represented, and controlled for nearly three decades.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    Without coming across as a soapbox for narcs or unserious stoners, Rolling Papers gives a clearheaded account of things as they stand and where they might be headed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    Little of what happens will come as a surprise, but Corbet's narrative restraint coupled with his formal daring makes for a gripping experience. It's a slow burn, but the fuse attached had me holding my breath.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    The strange, ever-changing result is, at times, as original as loose remakes come, with Bidegain using his hallowed source material as a springboard for something rare: a "writer's movie" that loses nothing in the jump from script to screen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    Sensuous and arresting, Alleluia constantly feels as though a séance or ritual murder is about to be performed; the actual deaths, when they arrive, turn out to be rather unceremonious affairs.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    Not since The Tree of Life has Christianity been explored onscreen in such serious, conflicted terms, but Scorsese has crafted a far less grandiose experience than Terrence Malick did five years ago. Silence is restrained, austere, even ascetic.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Nordine
    Like the hardboiled detectives of yore, Too Late ultimately gets the job done — even if it's in its own off-the-books way.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 77 Michael Nordine
    Beach Rats has an experiential, almost docudrama aesthetic whose lived-in authenticity is in keeping with that of the film as a whole.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Nordine
    Julia Leigh's take on the fairy tale is a study in detachment and unspoken dissatisfaction, traits that imbue the proceedings with a barely-contained sexual energy lurking beneath a thin veneer of calm.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Nordine
    Fightville's most worthwhile material tends to lie in the space between what its subjects say and what we know to be true.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Nordine
    There's something to be said about a two-and-a-half-hour war epic that manages to make each of its countless decapitation scenes feel earned, even called for, in the moment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 74 Michael Nordine
    Clay Tweel’s Gleason documents the agony and the ecstasy of its subject’s life, and is similarly exceptional in its avoidance of the cliches so common among inspiring documentaries.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    It's like an odd storybook you'd find in the attic and have trouble putting down — the more quixotic Lian's journey becomes, the more you want her to see it through to the bitter end.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Sin Alas matches the half-awake feeling evoked by Luis's ruminations — on love, on Cuba's history, and on himself — well enough to feel authentic even when it meanders too far from what makes it most compelling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    You wouldn't lose anything watching Fastball on ESPN rather than in the movie theater, but it does stand as further testament to baseball's status as our most chess-like sport, and one that, even when broken down to its tiniest component parts, never loses its magic.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Though far from perfect, Toad Road is also the first unique horror film to come along in years.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Steve Hoover's film (which was executive-produced by Terrence Malick) doesn't feel dishonest in its behind-the-scenes glimpse at its subject.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Tickled inspires many laughs throughout but, true to its subject, more and more of them are born of discomfort as it goes on — part of you wants it all to stop even as you’re amused.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Trash talk among competitors and spectators alike is a constant background hum, the informal banter taking the place of traditional talking-head documentary interviews.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Louis Black explores the casual philosophizing of his subject's work in Dream Is Destiny, an admiring documentary that wisely lets Linklater do most of the talking in his plainspoken, unpretentious manner.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    You might not want to live here, but the imagery makes for a nice postcard.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    That Battered Bastards is practically a hagiography doesn't negate the fact that it has more anti-establishment joie de vivre in any given scene than most talking-head docs about previously unheralded mensches contain in their entire run times.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    It's better than the first.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    While hardly the first or most accomplished film of its kind, Death Metal Angola's focus on the ability of abrasive music to act as a healing agent builds toward genuine moments of renewal and serenity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    They're still thirteen-year-olds, which leads to Breaking a Monster's funniest moments.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Lapid is so unconcerned with crafting a conventional crime drama that merely titling his film Policeman reads as a minor subversion, a way of defining the narrative in relation to a genre it hardly fits into.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Gilady never treats her heroine as a prop in someone else's redemption arc, and Rosenblatt's performance will have you looking for her work in other films.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    That the film has so many partial reference points only makes the ultimate amalgamation stranger, as the chimeric whole can't be fully explained by its parts. The Wailing enters the world malformed and screaming, as powerless to stop itself as we are.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    The film's most worthy detour is into the history and personal significance of masks.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Though quite silly, none of this feels self-reflexive or -satisfied. It delights in its own stupidity the way a dog rolls in dirt, but is nearly as difficult to get mad at after it muddies up the rug.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Both Aria and the film as a whole are very much in their own head, which is a nice place to visit but probably not the healthiest environment to grow up in.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    [Michelle Monaghan's] at her best as Army medic/staff sergeant Maggie Swann in writer-director Claudia Myers's Fort Bliss.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Xenia has a winning streak of oddness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    The film mounts a competent offense as it shows how the Israeli squad overcame superior foes on the court and prejudice off of it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    The main strength of writer-director Geoff Ryan's film is its quietude; too many movies exploring the neither-nor status occupied by vets whose experiences "over there" have altered their ability to function back home turn shrill in order to get their point across.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Nordine
    Enemies Closer captures the feel of action flicks of yore -- unsurprising, given that some of them were directed by Hyams himself -- in a way that only limited-release and straight-to-video titles seem allowed to these days (aside from the latest Riddick, that is).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 68 Michael Nordine
    [Cox and Hirsch] add depth and dimension to the mystery they’re trying to unravel, even and especially as they unwittingly become part of it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 66 Michael Nordine
    For the first time, the story supports and adds to the action rather than distract from it; it’s almost as though Anderson was holding back in the earlier films because he wanted to save the best for last.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 66 Michael Nordine
    "Louis Drax” is a curious melding of sensibilities, as eager to show off its mysteries as it is to neatly resolve them. It’s a pleasant enough reverie, but one from which you won’t mind waking.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 64 Michael Nordine
    A Hologram for the King succeeds at putting us in Alan’s meandering headspace, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find his journey as meaningful as he does.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Nordine
    The film works because what it documents is less a transformation and more a return to a former, more natural state for its troubled protagonist.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Michael Nordine
    The serio-comic technique and ping-ponging aesthetics ultimately make for a winning approach.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Nordine
    I Wish has a tough time balancing the heartfelt with the saccharine and too often feels slight.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Michael Nordine
    Retreat's wheels are constantly spinning, but they're not always taking us anywhere.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Nordine
    The goings-on can rarely be called truly compelling, even if they're almost always generally pleasant.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 62 Michael Nordine
    Don’t Breathe makes a striking first impression but overstays its welcome.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 62 Michael Nordine
    The Whole Truth stands out within its evergreen genre for the largely unsensational manner in which it’s presented. Hunt follows actual courtroom procedures more closely than most similar movies...which makes the eventual revelations feel earned.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Lemelson's interviews can be repetitive in their direct staging, but there's inspiration in his conceit of using a shadow-puppet performance set to gamelan music as interludes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Yet another documentary paean to an unsung musical act whose fringe staying power is as remarkable as its lack of mainstream coverage.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    [Sparrow] zigs where you expect her to zag (not always in the best of ways), and though I Remember You ends up exactly where you expect it to, the windy, circuitous path it takes doesn't feel like time misspent.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    [Palermo] demonstrates an affinity for all things ethereal, even as he occasionally struggles to make space for himself in the long shadow of his estimable influences and reference points.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    In their abstraction, a number of striking animated sequences prove more effective in conveying these horrors than the talking-head segments that contextualize them.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Armstrong, who's mostly played himself in previous forays into acting, has a low-key charm suggesting that, if he desired it, he could get more onscreen gigs in between albums.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    We Are X is nothing you haven’t seen before as a music documentary, but it succeeds as an examination of why we turn to escapist art, and what we do when it’s no longer there.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    It's refreshing that director Jim Taihuttu is more interested in the humdrum goings on of those who split their time between illegal and legitimate activities.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Jung Jae-young gives a physical, full-bodied performance in the main role.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    The film is frequently amusing but indulges too often in flights of fancy.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    LeBlanc and Larter carry the day with a spectrum of charm missing from too many entries in this shaky, persistent genre.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Wa-shoku isn't as contemplative as Kanai and his acolytes, though it might still make you feel like a dilettante if your Japanese palate begins and ends with California rolls.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Too artfully made for camp status but populated by characters too one-dimensional to stand alongside the likes of Once Upon a Time in China, Chow Hin Yeung's martial-arts epic, set in the late nineteenth century, is marked by blue-gray hues and some genuinely striking camerawork.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    The final result of all this, if a mixed bag, is still a more accurate rendering of the books' spirit than Oz the Great and Powerful.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Makhmalbaf makes you feel the enormity of the president's loss of self even if you don't actually feel for him.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Only You is mostly engaging for the ways in which it shows that prophecies reveal more about the receiver's interpretive biases than they do about the secrets of the universe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Schlesinger seems in such a rush to guide us to the end unscathed that she sometimes loses sight of the small details that make this journey unique.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    A film about individuals who refuse to be silenced could stand to take a few more chances itself.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Less is often more when it comes to depicting such rituals onscreen, and Smith is highly attuned to the simple power of, say, characters cryptically chanting under their breath.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    In paring down and streamlining its source material, this new version also saps its heft.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Has a lived-in, almost documentary-like realism to it, but as drama it's occasionally inert.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    Though it takes a long while for the many moving parts to click into place, the final minutes redeem not only a few characters but also Blood Ties itself -- not enough to make up for prior transgressions, perhaps, but enough to leave a favorable last impression.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    The best villains are those whose motivations prove uncomfortably persuasive, and Knock Knock's drop-dead-gorgeous home invaders predicate their cruel game on too shaky a foundation to truly unsettle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Nordine
    The filmmakers take great pains not to stack the deck or overstate the couple's self-evident trauma, but watching the movie is ultimately like being one of their friends: You understand their pain on a conceptual level but can't feel it the way they do.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    If we're grading on a curve, though — and seriously, it bears repeating: Fessenden is literally sixteen years old — it's impossible not to give the film kudos for being a not-bad genre exercise that shows promise for its precocious director.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Writer-director Chris Dowling handles that worrisome premise with a more even hand than this genre's ill-advised predecessors.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Monaghan and Foxx, for all their gifts, can't transcend the material, though they do get more out of it than most others would be able to.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Just as most of them can't outrun their pasts, neither can they escape familiar plot contrivances that try too hard and achieve too little.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    The Girl on the Train, though an enjoyable enough ride, goes idle once it slows down long enough for you to take in the full view of things.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    The 100-Year-Old Man's equal-opportunity irreverence doesn't often translate to cleverness.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    We get a glimpse of who these people are and what makes them tick, but never know them in a way that helps us truly understand them or become especially invested in finding out what became of them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    With its harmonica-heavy score and rousing shots of these horse-riding antiheroes, Kundo's early and late scenes resemble a Western as much as the historical epic its middle section gradually turns into.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Cliff Curtis is appealingly low-key as Christ, humble in a way that the film around him would have done well to emulate.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Mikkelsen, blessed with the rare ability to class up a joint while also being the most menacing guy in the room, is cast against type as a mustachioed philanderer; based on the evidence, his estimable talents are better suited to Hannibal.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Co-directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist stick to the playbook throughout, from typical moments of uplift to a Pelé cameo only slightly less fan-serving than Stan Lee's Marvel spots.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Steve's voiceover monologues and dealings with a detective investigating a murder are straight out of the Patrick Bateman playbook, but turning the sociopathic cynicism up to eleven tends to be ineffective unless wit and insight are included in the mix.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Like a feature-length Saturday morning cartoon with dashes of violence so graphic you'd swear you'd just stepped into Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. Which isn't to say that Goliath is good so much as compellingly weird on occasion.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    There's nothing especially new or vital to these familiar scenes; ditto a late excursion into the realm of concussions — undoubtedly an epidemic for athletes of all stripes, but one that further muddles an already unfocused film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Too bad the filmmaking never rises to the level of its subject.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    The film avoids most of its genre's pratfalls, though it also shows little interest in transcending them.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    It’s unfortunate that, even with this wealth of uncovered materials, I Am Ali still plays as a greatest-hits version of its subject’s life, offering little depth or insight into any one element of it.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Skin Trade's action is all blood and sinew, but its camerawork and choreography are nothing if not graceful.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    For all the big-budget spectacle on display, it's the scenes that look to have been shot on a GoPro that most excite -- only in these few sequences does The Himalayas begin to distinguish itself from its blockbuster ilk.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    Chen's full-bodied commitment to her role adds something new to this familiar scenario, which also benefits from its idyllic island setting; psychodrama and Hawaii pair surprisingly well.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Nordine
    The film is far less successful once it delves into body horror that makes Sarah's transformation as ghoulishly physical as it is mental.

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