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 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Sragow's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Before Sunset
Lowest review score: 0 Venom
Score distribution:
1,035 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The problem with Doubt is its dramatic certainty.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 42 Michael Sragow
    But even those who succumb to his primitive, survivalist vision may resent the way he presents every kind of atrocity at least twice without illuminating any of the exotic details once.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    The only thing that tops Cave here is Cohen himself at the end, singing "Tower of Song" with U2.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    This flight of fancy stays aloft on the power of its acting and its atmosphere.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    In Hustle & Flow, a star is born playing a star who's born.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Russell's conviction is so total that it tingles the spines of the audience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    It's a topical, iconoclastic documentary with the warmth and pace of a first-rate personal essay.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    A pop masterpiece.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It pulls together diverse residents of the city, from produce vendors to academics, and trains a loving eye on their unique environments and the urban landscapes they all share.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The fascination, humor and poignancy of Departures, this year's winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, rests in the Japanese ceremony of preparing bodies for their caskets.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The original French title is "La Doublure," but The Valet fits Veber. He has become a one-man service industry when it comes to spreading Gallic barbed humor and good cheer.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    The movie ended just in time. Any more of it, and I'd have been crying uncle. Or maybe, given the grrrl-power of it all, crying aunt. This is one supposedly contrarian film that rouses the counter-contrarian in you.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Nolte's gambler-bandit Bob Montagnet is a triumph of imagination, touched with electric existential poetry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Kevin Spacey delivers his least-mannered, most effective big-screen performance in years as the voice of the nearly omniscient computer-robot, GERTY, whose silky ambiguity resembles HAL's in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall lacks snap, tension and bravura...Yet the movie is novel and big-hearted. It often succeeds at substituting a smorgasbord of psychological confusions for comic architecture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    Kate Beckinsale is too good for any of the guys in Snow Angels and too good for this movie. Her inventiveness exposes just how puny this movie is.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    As the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Norton is brilliant in Lee's so-so 'Hour.'
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The problem is not merely that Moore preaches to the choir. It's that, at his worst, he's so bumptious and bullheaded that he helps keep that choir small and strident. In Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore is so anti-Bush that he becomes a Bizarro-world version of Bush himself: tone-deaf, spluttering, incapable of framing an intelligent debate.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    The glory of the movie is Depp, who achieves his own immortality.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    You know the line about paying to hear a great actor read a phonebook? I'd pay to see Channing just leaf through one.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Without Duvall, this movie would be as wet as Waterworld.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    Generally, this writer-director is too sensitive for his own good. He never lets his boy-hero lose himself fully in his new world - or relinquish hope that his parents will return.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    Anderson creates a deluxe train set, for sure. All he neglects is building up an electric current or a head of steam.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    So minimalist that you wouldn't miss much if you watched semi-awake and listened to a friend's running commentary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    You won't believe the story director George Clooney and his goofball TV host are trying to sell. Really.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    For much of its frolicsome, rambling running-time, Son of Rambow is like a guarana-spiked soft drink: It goes down easy and delivers a kick.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    The good news is that Schwarzenegger is more entertaining than ever as the Terminator T-101 cyborg.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    In Julie and Julia, Ephron, like her heroines, has finally found what suits her: a surprising comic and romantic realism.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Auto Focus is a gutless wonder.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It wouldn't stick in the memory were it not for Matt Damon's audacious, baggy-pants portrayal of corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, the antihero of this reality-based farce.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Kingsley dims divine Elegy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    As a documentary, the film is woefully underdeveloped.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Dubowski's movie is an act of hope that the basic human needs of the gay Orthodox will someday be reconciled with their faith.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Will Ferrell does chicken-fried comedy right: with crackpot discipline and stripped-to-the-beer-belly courage.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    The documentary American Teen is the most realistic movie you will see all summer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Margot at the Wedding is a Christmas gift for high-class depressives: a compendium of malaise fit for an L.L. Bean catalog.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    It wants to be like no other movie you've ever seen. It's more like every movie you've ever seen.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Zellweger has a ticklish furriness reminiscent of Jean Arthur in her screwball comic prime.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    In Spy Kids 2, Rodriguez tries to hold his family-spy saga together with the digital equal of rubber bands and chewing gum.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    As a movie, Heist is merely an amiable time-killer. But it presents a terrific argument for federalizing airport security.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    A film that climaxes in Shanghai shouldn't go down like a meal in Shanghai. But an hour after you see M:i:III, you may be hungry for a real movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    All Fey does is apply a smattering of wit to the story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The credits list a couple of dozen medical and scientific consultants. What this film really needed was a script doctor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Steven Soderbergh's Solaris is an uptight movie -- the opposite of his scintillating "Out of Sight."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The word "yuppie" has fallen out of favor from overuse, but Closer's young urban professionals are so vain and superficial they may bring it back as the ultimate putdown. This movie is a yuppie nightmare.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    In the Valley of Elah is too inept and diffuse to be a howl against the war in Iraq. At best, it is a manly whimper.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    Even when you're disappointed with the film's predictability, there's something invigorating about the way it embraces literacy and argument.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Ends up neither fish nor fowl. It's a misanthrope's "E.T."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    Despite the dominant air of foolishness, the filmmaking is lush, lively and intelligent, but the gap between the direction and the script is appalling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    Despite the merry duo of Ford and Connery, The Last Crusade offered a familiar pursuit of the Holy Grail. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes a better move: It goes back to the future. Once again, the Indiana Jones series is the rare franchise that treasures knowledge and embraces the unknown.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    Although the structure is clunky, the ensuing parliamentary machinations prove witty and fascinating.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Stops your heart and keeps your belly jiggling with laughter. It's an improbably sunny tragicomedy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    In the end, the movie proves to be, like Brosnan's character, a tarted-up cliche: a whoremonger with a heart of gold.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The kind of joyless, over-calculated hit that may leave viewers feeling not haunted but headachy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The most grievous flaw in Richard Linklater's remake of Michael Ritchie's 1976 misfit juvenile baseball comedy The Bad News Bears is that it over-relies on Thornton's willingness to play an irredeemable degenerate.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    A delirious surprise .
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Find Me Guilty flat-lines early.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Unfortunately for Fox, the softer his movie gets, the more Ashkenazi and Berger grow to resemble Ben Stiller and Ashton Kutcher in some unreleased, homo-erotic comic romance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The bulk of the film merely yearns for lucidity and magic. At its worst, Respiro resembles My Big Fat Italian Nervous Breakdown.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The movie never generates the authority it needs to be all that it can be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    At the end of Napoleon Dynamite, you're glad the geeks have their day (even Kip's chat-mate turns out be a winner); you're also relieved to be rid of them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    It's one big miss.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Gory but lifeless.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    8 Women would probably be a looser, giddier salute to show-biz ideas of femininity if it were performed by eight drag queens.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    What's bleakly hilarious about the whole movie is that Bekmambetov directs the nonaction scenes just as hyperbolically.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    American art movies rarely come fancier or emptier than Northfork, a down-home arabesque made of angel fluff.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Enigma, named for the Nazi secret-coding machine, has everything going for it except a pulse.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Che
    The title and length suggest a biographical epic, but it's neither biographical nor epic. It's as if the director, Steven Soderbergh, wanted to take tissue samples of Ernesto Che Guevara's political life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    You Kill Me kills you softly with its smiles.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Jarrold's reduction of the story is so archetypal that it's indistinguishable from soap opera.