Michael Sragow
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For 1,035 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Sragow's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Spider-Man 2
Lowest review score: 0 CJ7
Score distribution:
1,035 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's cathartic and exhilarating.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Without a single gunshot (and just one flick of a switchblade), it turns into an existential suspense film with the highest stakes imaginable: the survival of the human spirit.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Killer of Sheep is a miracle movie because it's receiving its first theatrical release 30 years after it was made and because, as a movie, it's miraculous.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    With a surgical saw instead of a hatchet, del Toro takes apart patriarchy and opportunistic religion as well as fascism.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Class ranks with the very best films ever made about teaching, and it's unlike any English or American film about teaching ever made.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    No Country for Old Men is about the kind of amoral madness that can sweep across a country and redefine a landscape. It's so admirably lean and sinewy that it deserves not merely a rave review but a Johnny Cash song about matter-of-fact killings in shady hotels and sun-scoured landscapes.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    If any movie can rid Americans of "Iraq war fatigue," it's Charles Ferguson's muscular documentary No End in Sight.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Slumdog Millionaire dives headfirst into something greater than a subculture - the enormous unchronicled culture of India's mega-slums - and achieves even more sweeping impact.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly provides an ecstatic lift for movielovers, despite the tragic subject.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie does work, spectacularly.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A scary movie that's also funny, touching and good for you.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The unique, serious fun of this movie - and forbidding reputation aside, it is exhilarating - lies in the way that Wiesler, Dreyman and Sieland end up collaborating unknowingly on their own Design for Living (for a while, it's like Noel Coward for moral cowards).
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Ratatouille is a sublime dish of a movie, and the company's piece de resistance.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    One of the favorite sayings of journalists and politicians is "You don't want to see how the sausage is made." Marsh's movie says you do want to see how a miracle is made, even if the details can be just as unsavory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Hathaway carries you on an emotional whirligig that can be horrifying and funny, hopeful and devastating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Brad Pitt's sensitive performance helps make 'Benjamin Button' a timeless masterpiece.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It rises, all on its own, to the realm of masterwork.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    You won't see a brighter, truer affirmation of the All-American messed-up improvisational family than Little Miss Sunshine.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Though I love McCarthy's movie, The Edge of Heaven - with its virtuoso narrative and frames packed to bursting with unruly life - has the potency of "The Visitor" squared.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    By turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A genuine odyssey: a journey to self-knowledge.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    There's no cheap uplift to their victory, no pop catharsis. What's great about United 93 is that you never feel it's just a movie - even though, as a movie, it's terrific.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Just when you might give up on young American film directors making art the way Bergman and Kurosawa did, along comes Bennett Miller's quiet, tumultuous Capote.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Beguiling, moving and just plain fun documentary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Full of wit, charm and wonder. It's so hilarious, you might blow a gasket.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie grows richer as it goes along and contrasting pieces click together.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A pop masterpiece.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Deep Blue is pure bliss. This documentary about ocean life in all its forms achieves its own tidal pull with visual marvels that conjure a Darwinian delirium.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Howl's Moving Castle is one animated epic that has it all: poetic intensity, potent storytelling, vivid and surprising characters, and intoxicating powers of visual imagination.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Brilliant, brutally poignant.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    One happy surprise after another, even when the content is bittersweet or sad.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A thriller from the inside out, a romance from the outside in: that's the double-edged brilliance of The Constant Gardener.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    You go to Good Night, and Good Luck expecting inspiration, and you get it. It's also unexpectedly subtle, tense, and challenging, complex both in its take on its subject and in its craftsmanship. So the movie brings you to your feet - and, at times, to tears.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Park's imagination is as fecund as the bunnies that bob up and down from their rabbit holes in every corner of the Tottington garden.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It gives you such an intense hit of creativity that afterward you may find yourself trying to jete out of the theater and into the street.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    What Phoenix and Witherspoon accomplish in this movie is transcendent. They act with every bone and inch of flesh and facial plane, and each tone and waver of their voice.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Overflowing with comedy and drama, The Boys of Baraka unfolds on the mean streets of Baltimore and in the wide-open spaces of Kenya.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Plunges into an imaginative landscape as large as all creation - and never slackens its barreling pace or shrinks its panoramic scope.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's a topical, iconoclastic documentary with the warmth and pace of a first-rate personal essay.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The result is a performance film that conjures a vision of American life as moving, funny and rueful as John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The offhand wit and casual self-revelation of Johnston's best words draw you deeper into the mysteries of his character. Feuerzeig is a music-lover to his bones.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Death of Mr. Lazarescu runs the same 2 1/2 hours as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," but what a difference a comic-dramatic purpose makes.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A masterpiece.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Lasseter's inclusive, utterly distinctive sensibility makes Cars all that it can be. His embrace of the comic-dramatic friction between innovation and tradition infiltrates every aspect of the movie - the look, the characters, the story.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A down-home-exquisite musical dramedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Its knockout success is a testament to Gore's eloquence and humanity and to the dexterity of his director, Davis Guggenheim.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's an experience that blows your mind, clears it and educates it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    This movie is both sad and inspiring. It offers proof that Lennon's wit and art are everlasting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Borat is a terrific, risky comic creation: a village idiot for the global village.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Dixie Chicks may never regain their prolonged eminence on the country charts. However, the art and entertainment value of this movie (and of their latest album) is off the charts in the best way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    In The History Boys, as in all of Bennett's work, irony is what the characters live and breathe - and I mean irony in its truest sense, of using language to present opposite and often sly alternatives to accepted wisdom.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    This Filthy World does many things, including transform tabloid commentary into comic art. But at its best, it shows that the child is father to the wild man.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The ovation that Hudson wins from the movie's audience is one of those miraculous moments when a performer's artistry breaks through the screen and makes you feel part of a live audience. I haven't experienced anything like it since Barbra Streisand sang "My Man" at the end of her astonishing debut in Funny Girl.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The tough beauty of the picture is that it lets each viewer weigh the costs and benefits to Gardner. It's a genuinely transporting inspirational movie because it's also a cautionary tale. It doesn't downplay the hero's occasional clumsiness or pigheadedness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Venus is a magnificent tribute to actors by filmmakers who know they are the essential human material of theater and the screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Takes a chaotic moment in the long history of "the Troubles" and turns it into a keening, air-clearing epic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The enthralling documentary Crazy Love is about how a high-flying lawyer's obsession with a young beauty blinded her, metaphorically and literally.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    In its entirety, Hairspray has the funny tilt that only a director-choreographer like Shankman can give to a movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Like "Hairspray," it's not just a spinoff but a wised-up family comedy that's spirited and inventive. It retains the farcical belligerence of the TV comedy but also heightens the series' oddball warmth and expands on its Hellzapoppin' slapstick.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Deep Water is a movie that will connect to anyone whose private fantasies and creative plots have landed them in hot water.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A rapturous, ruefully funny flight of sympathetic imagination. Featuring the first movie role for Frank Langella that ranks with his best stage parts, it's a rare kind of American movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    This movie has a tone, look and mood all its own - it's a joyously bittersweet piece of visual music about isolation, melancholy and everyone's yearning for transcendence, through love, art or both.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Counterfeiters is in its own smart, trim fashion "The Bridge on the River Kwai" of concentration-camp sagas. Also based (like Kwai) on a real-life story, this movie starts small but becomes a miniature epic of overreach and moral drift.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    As a writer-director, McCarthy, like the characters and the places that he suffuses with emotion, has poetry in him - and he knows how to let it out. He has a talent for demarcating those spaces in which characters can become whoever they want to be.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A glorious medieval war movie. It's about war as the ultimate pitch of conflict that tries men's souls, and women's, too.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Enraging and inspiring. It boasts the miraculous quality of finding a letter in a bottle and discovering that its authors are alive.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's exhilarating in an authentic, pathos-streaked way to see Kearns, through Greg Kinnear's inspired characterization of a wary obsessive, representing himself during his trial against Ford Motor Co. for stealing his design.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    At last, a great contemporary holiday movie that's strictly for grown-ups - a holiday movie that really is a moviegoer's holiday from desultory daily fare.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    As magical as it is realistic.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    What emerges is a fallen warrior's tale: the inside story of a man bloodied and bowed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    You'll never see a more tactile expression of the intimacy between artists and their instruments than in Davis Guggenheim's elating It Might Get Loud.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A marvelous picture and a highly unusual journey in and around the Holocaust.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Supple, eloquent and enchanting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie's triumph is that we experience the ending, in which the three girls go mostly separate ways, not as a defeat but as a transition still open to possibilities.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It leaves you dazed and sated. Compared to the fast food "eye candy" surrounding it these days, Metropolis is a gourmet 20-course meal.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Lumumba revives the tradition of Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers" and Costa-Gavras' "Z" and "State of Siege." In substance and excitement, it joins their ranks.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A great adventure.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's like Chekhov with a British accent.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    I love Rabbit-Proof Fence as drama, as protest, as moviemaking and as poetry.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Dark Blue is one of those totally happy surprises that moves so quickly and curves so sharply that it leaves this era's hyped critical hits looking like beached whales.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It moves so confidently and brightly that it's ticklish as well as chilling - and, in its own dark way, enthralling.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A first-person documentary with the subterranean pull of a superb confessional novel.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The least fussy great movie ever made.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    This thoroughly modern movie pulls off a classical feat. It elicits the searing combination of pity and terror that leaves a viewer feeling purged.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The triumph of A Mighty Wind is that it makes an audience love the sing-along catchiness of folk and still break up at its banalities. This tiny titan of a movie is a perfect melding of form and content.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Watching this movie, you can dream with open eyes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A moral, not a moralistic, movie. It's also a bracing aesthetic achievement, creating a fictional version of a factual case that illuminates as it entertains.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    As a documentary, The Agronomist, in its excitingly fractured, modern manner, does what Lawrence of Arabia and The Leopard do: It traces the upheaval of a civilization in the profile of a magnificent individual. It's a 90-minute nonfiction film with the impact and the greatness of an epic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Man on the Train may be a modest film, but it offers privileged glimpses of transcendence.