Michael Sragow

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For 1,039 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 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Sragow's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lowest review score: 0 CJ7
Score distribution:
1039 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Kung fu purists may scoff, but escapists with a sense of humor should romp through The Forbidden Kingdom.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Wachowski Brothers once again they prove themselves our reigning masters of murk.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Duchess of Langeais is a romantic dance of death.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    By far the most purely entertaining of all his films to reach these shores, Roman de Gare is the rare trick film in which all the tricks reveal something amusing, involving or poignant about its characters.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The shows themselves are extraordinary, especially Japan's Ichigei group, which has the all-out fun and athleticism of a vitaminized Twyla Tharp troupe.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Last Mistress turns the melodramatic pieties of films like Fatal Attraction inside out. The anti-heroine acts like a vampire in reverse: Even when she drinks the anti-hero's blood, she makes him feel more alive.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Bright semi-adult entertainment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Berg doesn't let up on the tension, even when the action is bloodless.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The opening half-hour may prove to be a disreputable classic of pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    What gives the film a haunting and sometimes droll poetic unity is the way co-directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen trace all their characters moving in a jellyfish-like fashion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Rambles and sometimes wobbles like a runaway movie. But Schreiber's instincts keep the film frolicsome and vital.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Sragow
    The engrossing documentary Peace Officer looks at the militarization of police work from a fresh, provocative angle.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Gripping footage about the controversial Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, which transmits news to 40 million Arabs. But the movie offers neither lucid analyses of the channel nor probing portraits of its journalists.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This film's playful visual language pulls you in rather than shuts you out; it isn't difficult to decipher, and it enables Coppola and his editor, Walter Murch, to navigate the story's many realms with a directness and dexterity that are refreshing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    You may find Va Savoir pleasant to sit through, but will it stay with you the next morning? Who knows?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Performances by Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris make this a great adventure.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Feisty and good-humored, and if it doesn't have deep characters, it is chock-full of personality.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Has buoyancy to spare. It's filled with bumps and scratches. But in the manner of a nicked old LP, its gnarly surface and warps-and-all sound evokes real life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    What's missing is what Pixar never fails to provide: The kind of storytelling heart that is inseparable from imagination.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Quirky and enjoyable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The filmmakers capture kids and adolescents who haven't hardened their feelings into attitudes or molded their gestures into poses.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    For better and worse, the entire film goes by like a theme-park cyclone ride. It makes as much sense as it needs to when you're on it. All it leaves in its wake is a residue of vertigo and speed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It's the ideal capper for a cop comedy with a refreshingly wry, adult and humane attitude.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A wholesome, headlong extravaganza - a sort of North by Northeast sans high style and erotic innuendo.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    If, like me, you're both desperate to see new public-works systems in our own country and sensitive to the possible human and ecological damage, Up the Yangtze provides a devastating view of top-down, broad-stroke social programs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This movie will be remembered not for the notorious Bettie Page but for its showcase of the burgeoning Gretchen Mol.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    What gives Notorious its staying power is what happens before AND after its hero's death.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    What makes the "Dolittle" movies stand out from this menagerie is the superb casting and matching of the animals and their human voices.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The sensuousness of Lemon Tree is its glory.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    If you have a sneaky taste for the monstrous and a hearty appetite for the outlandish, the pulpy yet engaging Night Watch should leave you merrily sated.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Weitz doesn't manage Pullman's feat of being rational and magical simultaneously. But he rapidly and intelligently opens up Pullman's world.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie has a vibrant, sturdy pathos in the manner of Dickens.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This movie leaves 'em laughing - and gasping.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    At its best, the movie combines the musical and psychological meanings of a fugue. Sons and daughters and mother take up themes of dislocation and identity loss, and deepen them at every turn.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Wastes amusing beginnings.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Siegel takes us to the brink of operatic melodrama, then lands us in a tragicomic spot: a psychological landscape of alternate life and make-believe death.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The performers are tremendous, particularly Deschanel, who can travel to the end of an emotional tether and then suggest the mysteries of change and growth that lie beyond.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie conveys the drama of the moment but eschews context. The result is an arresting yet frustrating experience.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The symmetry doesn't work. Capitalism is an economic system; democracy, a political system. Perhaps Moore should have come out and said what he really wants to see us adopt: a democratic socialism.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Without restraint or subtlety, but with a lot of heart and energy, this movie tells a real-life tall tale.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Keeps its eye on the big picture even when focusing on the small scene.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Light, engaging documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    As Laura, Rueda hits sublime notes of confusion, grief and wrath. She's sympathetic enough to make you root for her and complex enough to get you arguing afterward about whether Laura did anything to deserve all this.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Benton's version of The Human Stain feels under-energized and modest to a fault. Yet it still delivers a genuine sad sting.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    At its best, Tropic Thunder wrings divine madness from wretched excess.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A sensational date movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It may not tell us anything about terror in the new millennium, but the filmmakers' work is solid and affecting. In its own over-emphatic, sometimes clumsy way, it can move an audience to tears, cathartic laughs and cheers.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This flight of fancy stays aloft on the power of its acting and its atmosphere.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A campy riot of retro cool, a warm and fuzzy ode to the '70s buddy cops.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    "Happy Accidents" should retire Tomei's status as part of a show-biz urban legend and establish her once and for all as one of our most versatile and engaging performers.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie needs more incident and complication; it's modest to a fault.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    You won't want to miss it if you care about movies that dare to chart intimacies in our age of spectacle, or about up-and-coming female performers and underused male veterans finding roles worthy of their gifts.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The whole movie aspires to set an Annie Hall vibe, especially when Tom keeps trying to re-create, first with her and then with someone else.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A refreshingly unpredictable and fizzy comic fantasy. It tickles the fancy even when it strains credibility.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    9
    Not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    In Hustle & Flow, a star is born playing a star who's born.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Bergman's creation of family banter that turns irredeemably cruel remains without peer.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The Son's Room is the anti-"In the Bedroom." I mean that as a compliment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    When the cast and their director are really cooking, they conjure a bipolar sense of high school-age emotion -- and use it to fuel outrageous fantasy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A harrowing depiction of a woman's plight under the Taliban.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie maintains its comical, rocky equilibrium as long as the screenwriter, Dean Craig, sticks to domestic disasters and a Monty Python parody of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The result is a treat for Sandler fans and a revelation for those of us who've spent the last decade wondering what on earth his appeal is.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This movie has its own emotional sorcery. In a raw, humorous way, it grasps how hope and desperation spur magical thinking and, sometimes, real magic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Few films even try to render the full range of emotions and sensations in female sexuality as the aptly titled Lady Chatterley, directed and co-written by a Frenchwoman, Pascale Ferran.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The most refreshing thing about Man of the Year is its mingling of comedy and suspense with common decency. Levinson asks his countrymen not just to know their limits, but also to reach them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The whole movie swings broadly from slapstick and mock suspense to song. But the film develops a strong amorous undertow; Kelly's script neatly allows for all the potential couples to get the fate or comeuppance they deserve.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Pearce makes you see why Edie found Warhol as irresistible as he found her. His otherworldly eyes focus on both who she is and what she represents. He sees her as a star.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Uneven and affecting movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A terrific social drama, the work of an artist, not a pleader.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    With everything this film has going for it - humor, intelligence and a splendid ensemble - Richard Linklater's nightmare drug movie, A Scanner Darkly, should be continually compelling. But it loses its fizz after a strong series of pops.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It's the pushiest film around - "in your face" is still in-your-face, even if the dancers are in white-face.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Enough flair and conviction to keep the movie buoyant even when its plot is abrupt and its emotionality conventional.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Has a vitality and novelty rare in any youth movie, let alone one that claps fresh eyes on a cliched vision of a model minority.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Cheeky, brass-knuckles British crime film.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The story may be about cold-blooded murder, but Bullock's pulsating performance is about the getting of wisdom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Zellweger has a ticklish furriness reminiscent of Jean Arthur in her screwball comic prime.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie is full of holes - it lacks the precision and verve of a Francis Veber farce like "The Dinner Game" - but the two actors brew up a sane kind of comedy from their fractious rapport.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Redacted is a bristling act of protest that obliterates a target it isn't aiming for.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Foster is strident, Vincent D'Onofrio has little to do but chain-smoke thoughtfully as an accessible priest, and the physical atmosphere is hazy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Extract is an exuberant original...like no other and one of the best comedies of the year.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This compelling account of the explosive growth of Lyme disease grows to encompass all the peculiar politics, corruption and inertia of American medicine.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Seinfeld is the perfect figure to center a documentary called, generically, Comedian.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    For all his excesses and wrong turns, Lee has made a grown-up movie with an adult sense of loss and an adult sense of hope. He may be addicted to broad flourishes, but he has the big emotions to back them up.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Semi-Pro is so shabbily staged, shot and edited that it hardly ranks as a movie, much less a sports film, but hilarious people keep turning up in it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    You Kill Me kills you softly with its smiles.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Superior family fare.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Jet Li and Bridget Fonda form a terrific bond in this action film. And the choreography adds a nice kick, too.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    By all means, buy a ticket to The Fast Runner, but don't go expecting a masterpiece; actually, in its first hour, the dramaturgy and staging of scenes set in igloos are cramped and amateurish.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The Bourne Identity keeps you in a state of nervous excitation from the opening shot to the fade-out and has a thread of deadpan humor that vibrates alongside the main action like a third rail quivering next to a hurtling train.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Black Hawk Down, in the end, is a docudrama. But it's sensationally well done, and it opens up a battlefield that needed to be documented.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Touching and insightful.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Modest, tasty, and it goes down easy, like home cooking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie doesn't add up to much, but it's an effervescent expression of an odd brute-hummingbird sensibility.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Queen Latifah, the star of Barbershop 2 and Beauty Shop, and thus our reigning monarch of big-screen beauty stylists, should fund and narrate a sequel. Because The Beauty Academy of Kabul is good enough to make you want to know how they do.

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