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 Atonement
Lowest review score: 0 Margot at the Wedding
Score distribution:
1,035 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Ratatouille is a sublime dish of a movie, and the company's piece de resistance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A genuine odyssey: a journey to self-knowledge.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly provides an ecstatic lift for movielovers, despite the tragic subject.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie does work, spectacularly.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The documentary American Teen is the most realistic movie you will see all summer.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Hathaway carries you on an emotional whirligig that can be horrifying and funny, hopeful and devastating.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Brad Pitt's sensitive performance helps make 'Benjamin Button' a timeless masterpiece.
    • 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
    Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    As magical as it is realistic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Uproarious, moving and thrilling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    What emerges is a fallen warrior's tale: the inside story of a man bloodied and bowed.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A scary movie that's also funny, touching and good for you.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's cathartic and exhilarating.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Mirrormask is a gorgeous psychedelic cameo of a movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Bitterly funny about divorce, it's even sharper and more original about intellectuals and their discontent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's one nutty holiday fruitcake that is appetizing and tasty.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    A lovely, mischievous Casanova that will sweep you off your feet.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Despite its haphazard rhythms and longueurs, The New World achieves an emotional payoff unlike anything else in Malick's work. It's all you think his movies are, and more.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    A masterpiece of psychological suspense.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's an authentic, harrowing tale of heroism.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Ask the Dust is more than an amorous period piece. It's a strongly bitter, strongly sweet poem in prose and motion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    A Big Sleep with underage bozos, a Maltese Falcon where the stuff that dreams are made of rests in the lockers of a well-worn high school, Brick is a remarkable oddity, audacious and engaging.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Near letter-perfect.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The only thing that tops Cave here is Cohen himself at the end, singing "Tower of Song" with U2.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Strangers With Candy -- a perfect title -- is filled with straight-faced loonies. It's a nutcake you actually want to eat.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It sheds the series' famous and influential pastel look and plunges its cast of villains and warriors into the 21st century.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The movie lives in its small details.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    A spare, trembling lyric poem of a movie that uses stillness and facial blips the way melodramas use showdowns and action films big bangs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Jumping off from the brilliant novel by Giles Foden and changing a key character entirely, it dramatizes and wrings humor from the way a white Western renegade can view a self-made Third World despot like Amin as a superman blowing fresh air into a fetid atmosphere.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    In a feat of performing imagination, Ferrell turns his usual extroversion inside out and his usual zaniness into precision, and makes it all work for him.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Emily Dickinson wrote, "Hope is the thing with feathers." When Woody Allen published his second collection, he called it Without Feathers. Guest is as sharp and original as Allen, but he hasn't lost hope. For Your Consideration -- disillusioned but also fresh and ticklish -- is a thing with feathers, too.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's the whole constellation of relationships that Winick and company create in and around the barn that brings the movie its kaleidoscopic charm.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's first-class entertainment for bookish lads and lasses of all ages - and for those who never have or never will crack a paperback's spine. And it might inspire today's nascent artists to open up their sketch-pads as well as their hearts and minds.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    As a filmmaker, Brewer doesn't just yank your chain: He forges a bond with his characters and his audience that produces ecstasy and healing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's a courageous, moving, organically funny picture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Thanks to Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble, Hoax is a hoot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The movie is an inspired comedy-drama about artistic temperament.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    So far in this year's cartoon feature sweepstakes, Shrek the Third rules.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Infuriating and funny, the film forges a disturbing diagram from the avarice and chaos of a slapdash, heartless system.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Fresh, funny and unfailingly observant, Rocket Science is a mood-swinging movie about adolescence that lifts audiences' spirits even when its hero is down in the dumps.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    This film about fierce competition among classic video-game players is a comic action epic in documentary form. It captures fear -- and heroism -- in a handful of dusty video games.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The rousing new Western 3:10 to Yuma has the sweep of an epic and the economy of a stopwatch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Even if you have no interest in Joy Division, this picture is worth seeing for the unsentimental empathy and passion of the moviemaking.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Wristcutters: A Love Story is a lousy title for a lovely-loony picture about an afterlife for suicides. It's an off-road "road movie" about people who off themselves.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    This movie provides no phony catharsis or closure; it develops a vision of people growing in spurts from their most terrible mistakes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The impact is hypnotic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    For 45 minutes, it zings along on perfectly pitched overstatement.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The gritty heist picture The Bank Job has everything adult action fans could want, starting with a grand, fact-inspired gimmick.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Stays true to the spirit and characters of the book while embellishing it to overflowing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Shine a Light has two maestros, Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, and once they begin to mesh, around the third or fourth song, they put on a display of showmanship that erases the line between art and entertainment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Standard Operating Procedure says that human nature abhors moral vacuums - but sometimes humans get sucked into them.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Downey and Favreau and the special-effects team transform the trying-out of the armor and its powers into slapstick cadenzas. But equally entertaining is Stark's and Potts' recognition that they share more than a mere working chemistry.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The movie has been compared, with some reason, to the French New Wave. But it's like "Jules and Jim" or "Band of Outsiders" blended with "A Hard Day's Night."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The title Tell No One recalls the days when ads proclaimed, "No one will be seated after the first 15 minutes" and "Be considerate of your neighbors: Don't give away the ending of this picture." Both rules apply to this canny, refreshingly emotional and intuitive thriller.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    It's a summery idyll: his most entertaining picture since "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994) or maybe "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    What makes this movie an up is that even when its characters are crying for help, they're also crying for Help!
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Few directors are able to showcase actors with fast-cutting techniques. Hill is an ace at it because everything about his action is organic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Promises may want to unite the audience in humanitarian emotions, but it's more useful as a prod to examine what these children are learning from their schools, their leaders, and their media.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    This movie is about the survival of the open-minded. As far as current American independents go, it's the fastest and the funniest.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Ali
    It's one of the most ambitious biographical films ever made in this country, and one of the most unusual, moving and exciting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The union of thought and feeling becomes flesh and blood thanks to four brilliant performers in Iris.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    In the full-house ensemble of Henry Bromell's Panic, Neve Campbell is the wild card.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Levinson's quirky caper is rich with laughs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Takes 20 minutes to burst into fierce, inspired filmmaking.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie's steady good humor and respect for character is pleasing - even energizing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Until the final shot, the movie keeps you wondering how it will turn out.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Himalaya does for yak caravans what "Red River" did for cattle drives: it sees them as the stuff of epic conquest.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Experiencing this film is like hurtling down a verbal slalom.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A headlong pastiche of lower-depth melodrama and absurd black comedy.

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