Michael Sragow

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For 1,040 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Sragow's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Hotel Rwanda
Lowest review score: 0 CJ7
Score distribution:
1040 movie reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Ratatouille is a sublime dish of a movie, and the company's piece de resistance.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A visual masterpiece about a scared little girl's breathtaking journey of self-discovery. All of the fun is getting there.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie is a marvel - bold, lucid and succinct (even at 123 minutes). It's also harrowing and moving in its depiction of noncombatant men, women and children caught between terrorism and counter-terrorism.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie does work, spectacularly.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It rises, all on its own, to the realm of masterwork.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 42 Michael Sragow
    Anderson and Day-Lewis strip themselves of their natural talents for invention and poetry, as if any hint of romance, nobility or fun would soften the film.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's still the Holy Grail of crazy comedy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly provides an ecstatic lift for movielovers, despite the tragic subject.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The movie's jabbing originality is what sticks in your memory.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A movie masterpiece -- thrilling, passionate and wise.
    • 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
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie is emotionally tumultuous and evenhanded and serene. It celebrates the odd pockets of imagination and individuality that can be nurtured in middle-class suburbia. [2002 re-release]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A madcap milestone. Not since Disney's 75-minute Alice In Wonderland (1951) has an animator filled the screen with dazzling flights of random invention that manage to hook up into a swift, brief narrative.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The movie's generosity of spirit and artistry swamps its flaws.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A vibrant emotional epic.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A spellbinder of the rarest kind and quality. It opens audiences up to an infinite variety of emotional and intellectual nuances.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    This movie registers like a pop song that enters the mind only in fragments because, as a whole, it lacks the style or substance to be memorable.
    • 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).
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    By turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Borat is a terrific, risky comic creation: a village idiot for the global village.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Funny Girl is old-fashioned; it is also exhilarating.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    It's intelligent and emotional, not studied or sappy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Wants to be a bittersweet comedy about erotic loss and memory loss. But it doesn't have the heart or brain.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Even with the great Ken Watanabe lending command and compassion to the role of General Kuribayashi, it's a formless slog across a treacherous field.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    In his first fiction feature, Zwigoff doesn't forget to bring the funny. But he doesn't bring enough poetry.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A great, lusty movie in the tradition of Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    A masterpiece of psychological suspense.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Kore-eda expresses the terror of the kids' predicament with a touch that's equally tender and dispassionate.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Little miracles spring up throughout this picture.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Romanticism fights stoicism to a draw, and the movie grows ever more static, too. Down to the quasi-ambiguous hate-crime finish, Brokeback Mountain comes as close to being a still life as you can get with human characters.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Sokurov, for all his accomplishment, is less a bold innovator than a raider of lost art.
    • 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
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    In a boxing soap-opera way, Eastwood is trying to do for himself as a performer what Sergio Leone did for him in a spaghetti-western way: douse his rough-hewn banality with reflected emotional coloration.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Rampling's authority over splintered emotions has the force of revelation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    The movie's cinematography is sumptuous, in its own intimate way. But all that's glorious about this film is the flesh tones. There isn't enough flesh and blood.
    • 86 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Hawks weaves brawny romance and humor and a man’s-man sort of heartbreak into his tribute to the ideal of vocation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Roman Polanski's new movie may be the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A great adventure.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    What keeps the picture alive is Ghobadi's surprising, often explosive grasp of visual farce.
    • 85 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The movie lives in its small details.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Starts out as a barbed, poignant little movie and turns into an excruciating slow-motion car wreck.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    In "Jaws," you didn't know whether to laugh or to scream. In The Host, the yocks rarely mesh with the yucks.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A terrific social drama, the work of an artist, not a pleader.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The Man Without a Past has the slenderness of a folk-tale -- also the clarity and charm.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    No Man's Land is a 98-minute wonder: this story of three men in a trench renews the meaning of the word "trenchant."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    It's the oddest case yet of the Emperor's New Clothes. After all, the Emperor in the fairy tale was naked. This movie has tons of fabulous clothing. The people disappear within their wardrobes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Mystic River wants to be a Bruce Springsteen-like anthem of life and death in blue-collar America. It's no more than a doggerel rendition of poetic injustice.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Penelope Cruz is sensational in Volver - she's its lifeblood, its raison d'etre and its meaning.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    The result is not a first-class film noir but a top-grade acting class. You admire it without enjoying it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Takes 20 minutes to burst into fierce, inspired filmmaking.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    A friendly movie, as scruffy and cozy as a woolen watch cap.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Wastes amusing beginnings.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie is a parable of patriarchal pride as well as a paradigm of how immigrant groups can accomplish goals without any help from their host culture.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A headlong pastiche of lower-depth melodrama and absurd black comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    A harrowing depiction of a woman's plight under the Taliban.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    It's like a New York City equivalent of a Third World bazaar: It hums with nerviness and cunning. And this movie presents a tingling vision of a working neighborhood after hours. Night falls in Chop Shop like a comfort, a cloak or a shroud.

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