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 Slumdog Millionaire
Lowest review score: 0 High Tension
Score distribution:
1,035 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    If the movie has a flaw, it's that the working out of Vincent's psychology is too perfect.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The picture has immediacy, force and humanity. It's a muckraking work of art.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie has dual strengths that silence most objections. Even more than "X-2" or "American Splendor," it is, in a good way, the most comic-booky movie of the year. It's also the human Winged Migration.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    One genuine small triumph of American Splendor is that the title isn't ironic. The movie is a splendid, inventive piece of urban Americana about that hardboiled original, Harvey Pekar.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie may not be perfect, but it's jam-packed with goodies -- like a breakfast cereal fun-pack with a prize on every box-top.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Except for the Mozart music and Tharp movements around the edges, Amadeus plays like a monument to mediocrity. The movie belongs to Salieri.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie never undercuts his brilliance and his unexpected charisma. No matter how high his degree of malevolence, he cuts a bigger figure after you see the movie than he did before.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    This documentary could have been a simple downer. Instead, it's a giddy, manic-depressive roller coaster - because it brings us eye to eye with Gilliam.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    There's great action moviemaking here: You learn what it means to "carve" a pool, as you learn what it means to "close off" the boxing ring in Ali.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A sophisticated thrill. And incandescent Thandie Newton is a worthy successor to Audrey Hepburn in 'Charade.'
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie's jabbing originality is what sticks in your memory.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Although it's in the same genre as "The English Patient," it's a vastly better movie --more surprising and original, more rigorous and sympathetic. This film is oddly shaped. It is also heartbreaking and exhilarating.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It's sometimes said that the greatest test of a chef is cooking something cheap and simple, like a piece of chicken or a hamburger. In a movie that testifies to simple pleasures, Taylor and company pass that test again and again.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    This picture is jagged and exciting; it tells several plots imperfectly, yet makes them add up to a great American story about integrity challenged and triumphant.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Italian for Beginners, on its own small scale, is a one-of-a-kind movie: a baggy-pants spiritual comedy.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 44 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Turns the kleig lights around to produce a wry and dead-on commentary on the film industry and the journalists who cover it.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Isn't an act of expiation but a gift of understanding.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    In its peak moments, the movie delivers, all at once, genuine street wisdom and psychology and wrenching expressions of family and friendship.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    What a relief to see a movie in which an audience responds with peals of laughter to subtle facial shifts as well as punch lines.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Greengrass and his tremendously smart and emotionally agile lead actor, James Nesbitt, paint their portrait of a good politician without illusion or sentimentality.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A dizzying - sometimes frustrating - marvel of moviemaking instinct and ingenuity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    As the sequence builds, it accretes so many heroic and nightmarish associations it plays like a prelude to apocalypse, which of course will come in Episode III. Attack of the Clones is part soda pop, part witches' brew - and all visual ambrosia.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Captures the feel of a first-rate comic book. It puts the pop back into Pop Art: It blows viewers away with a blast of kinetic energy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    An unconventional and engrossing French thriller.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Screwball farce, romance, domestic tragicomedy and literary frolic rolled into one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A computer-animated burlesque fairy tale that generates more belly laughs than any live-action comedy since "Best in Show."
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Hotel) is unexpectedly entertaining because it captures the point in young adulthood when life is unseriously serious, or maybe seriously unserious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Has nearly perfect pitch.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Without proclaiming itself a wake-up call for the West, In This World cries out for some new method of achieving international trust.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The Station Agent has craft and pace and that far rarer quality, fellow-feeling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Gloriously funky in the good old meaning of the term. Its vulgarity may be offensive, but it's also pungent and real, and it fuels some ferocious humor.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    This picture boasts a story about a yarn-spinning Southern father (Albert Finney) and a sober-sided son (Billy Crudup) that gives it ballast and staying power beyond anything in previous, precious Burton fables like "Edward Scissorhands" or "Ed Wood."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Director and dancers catch the audience up in a web of imagination.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A Slipping-Down Life may be low-key, but if you enter its unique atmosphere, you will leave exhilarated.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Remarkable documentary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A near-great British neo-noir, harsh yet hypnotic. Its psychological vortex can suck you in and leave you reeling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    To discover why movie fans are screaming for more Will Ferrell, and to savor the work of improv wizards like Carell, go see Anchorman.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Lightning in a Bottle has breadth, both in its multitude of perspectives and its spectrum of performances.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The glory of the movie is Depp, who achieves his own immortality.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Guerrilla provides one huge compensation: the getting of historical wisdom.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The love that heals and the love that kills are one and the same in the exhilarating Head-On, Fatih Akin's overgrown dead-end-kid romance for live-wire adults.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Kore-eda expresses the terror of the kids' predicament with a touch that's equally tender and dispassionate.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie's sweetness, wit and charm go beyond its can't-we-all-just-get-along premise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A stinging elegy for lost American dreams.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Will be hailed for its macabre imagination and inventive farce. But it also elegantly renders an archetypal teenage tale.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It flows like fast-moving lava to a climax filled with pyrotechnics. And for once in a summer blockbuster, the fireworks are both emotional and physical. The movie leaves you sated, yet wanting more -- just what you want from a series with two entries left to go.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The results are often as surprising as they are funny.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The astonishingly versatile Kinnear proves note-perfect as a huckster who slowly rids himself of slime.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It overflows with a combustible blend of street sensitivity and testosterone.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Goes down like a single-malt aged for 25 years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Ron Howard has made his best movie with Frost/Nixon, an electric political drama with a skin-prickling immediacy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    This film teaches the rewards of patience for directors, for actors and for audiences, too. The compelling reality of Juliette's plight comes from how subtly and gradually she emerges from her carapace.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Most contemporary horror films derive shocks from mere torture. Let the Right One In locates most of its fright-power in the needs and confusions of people who are usually overlooked.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The outcomes of all the mini-dramedies are too messy and equivocal to produce morals; that's just as it should be in a farce about confusion. Co-directors Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath are most intent on completing the circle of comedy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It's not a great movie, but it is an enlivening and unusual one: an effervescent political film that also packs a knockout punch.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The combination of 3-D photography and puppet-animation - centered on actual figures designed by hand and manipulated frame by frame - creates a world that's dense, active and fluid: a sensory Jacuzzi.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie is supremely nonjudgmental and balanced.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It's intelligent and emotional, not studied or sappy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A bittersweet joy. Its humor and romance are refreshing because the writer-director, Greg Mottola, realizes that maturity is a two-steps-forward, one-step-backward process.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Sugar is a near-great movie with qualities more unusual than some all-time classics. It resists cliche at every turn and puts something solid in its place: raw yet controlled observation that gives the film the form of a flexing muscle.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Without ever telling viewers what to think or how to feel, it raises more questions about the corruption of crime and crime fighting than any expose or thesis.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A delirious surprise .
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Humpday mixes hilarity with upset as the irresistible force of male pride meets the immovable object of sexual identity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Paul Giamatti - that huddle of broiling instincts, out-of-control impulses and aggravated ardor epitomized in "Sideways" - you feel his soul's absence as dearly as its presence.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The result is an exciting, infuriating, combative experience.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It's a nightmare that starts like a normal daytime drive and ends in a vortex-like sinkhole.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Bright Star delivers a prismatic depiction - tart, funny and piercing - of the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne in the three years before he died, in 1821, at age 25.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Nolte brings this movie a piece of his heart, and grants us peace.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Rambles and sometimes wobbles like a runaway movie. But Schreiber's instincts keep the film frolicsome and vital.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Despite the movie's several shortcomings, it leaves us sated. That's because, unlike Oliver's workhouse, it does give "some more" - more emotional breadth, more hardscrabble farce, and more haunting drama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Until it detours into dysfunctional-family comedy-drama, Transamerica rides cross-country without ever running low on bracing, cactus-spined surprises.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    A humorous bounty of flesh and fantasy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    When it comes to what's great about King Kong, it's not the harum-scarum. It's the girl.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Both handmade and souped-up, it beautifully renders two types of camaraderie: the bonds among eccentrics and the fellowship of speed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Some of the movie's sunniest moments arrive as Chappelle ambles through Ohio. He's an observational comic with a drawling syntax that's almost as sly as Mark Twain's.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Wachowski Brothers once again they prove themselves our reigning masters of murk.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Jacobson and his actors do so much with the characters that they leave an ambiguous residue of blood-streaked regrets and sadness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    This documentary (like the fact-based 2004 feature Miracle) demonstrates how powerful true sports stories can be when they delve into the mystery of leadership instead of falling back on nostalgia.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The opening half-hour may prove to be a disreputable classic of pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Who Killed the Electric Car? makes you feel that no good idea, let alone good deed, goes unpunished. Only the exuberance of the moviemaking keeps your spirits high.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Will Ferrell does chicken-fried comedy right: with crackpot discipline and stripped-to-the-beer-belly courage.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The triumph of American Hardcore is that it convinces general audiences that there were vast underground reservoirs of angst and anguish to be tapped.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Penelope Cruz is sensational in Volver - she's its lifeblood, its raison d'etre and its meaning.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    No one has caught the pride, remorse and pain of an unloved and possibly unlovable husband better than Edward Norton in The Painted Veil.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    In every important way, Breach isn't just a solid thriller; it's also an ambitious and engrossing piece of narrative journalism.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Like Brian De Palma's 1981 masterpiece "Blow-Out," this movie contains cutting perceptions of obsession, institutional and professional myopia, misplaced loyalty in experts, misreadings of evidence and the kind of confusion that leads to conspiracy theories. But Fincher's movie falls short of masterpiece status.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. The result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Bright semi-adult entertainment.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The whole film is about innocence and experience, and if it isn't a Blakean song, it is a sturdy and vibrant piece of prose.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Kasi Lemmons' movie is called Talk to Me, but what it really does is sing to you, in the argot and cadences of soul, jazz, rock and rhythm and blues.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Live-In Maid is a lived-in movie. Its cataclysms may be small in scale, but the movie brings us so far into these women's lives that a shattered cup creates an earthquake.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    If you have an ounce of romance in you, you'll sense your own inner Captain Blood emerge when Captain Shakespeare turns him into a dashing figure with a dangerous sword.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    With Joan Allen bringing a crisp intelligence to the sharp, unsentimental narration, it's both awful and fascinating to follow Hitler's warped growth from frustrated painter to self-appointed arbiter of Germanic art.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Berg doesn't let up on the tension, even when the action is bloodless.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    In the strongest scenes, Ben Affleck gets his lead actors to extract the bitter juice from Lehane's wood-alcohol prose. The movie has its horrifying Gothic twists and turns, but it's never better than when it takes these two into places where the underclass goes to forget or be forgotten or get lost.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    This Christmas is the rare movie about a cozy household at holiday time that's as funny and dramatic and poignant as any seasonal family get-together should be.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The stripped-down filmmaking preserves the abruptness and surprise of the happy (and unhappy) accidents Reverend Billy finds at every stop along the way, from Manhattan to Anaheim.

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