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
    • 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
    Ali
    It's one of the most ambitious biographical films ever made in this country, and one of the most unusual, moving and exciting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    At over two hours, Breakfast on Pluto is too much of a merely pretty and pretty good thing.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The movie never generates the authority it needs to be all that it can be.
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    All it lacks are the crucial things an inspired director could have provided: spark, soul and magic.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Tykwer made Potente a star in Run Lola Run, and here she repays him 10 times over. Without her force of gravity, this film would waft into the ether.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The movie fails at the primary steps of turning Rejas' mind inside out and dramatizing the contradictions in his heart and soul.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Has been designed to make gentle hearts soar beneath neo-grunge exteriors. It's a mixture of high-SAT humor and high-jinks so crude they're really low-jinks.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    This movie is both sad and inspiring. It offers proof that Lennon's wit and art are everlasting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 42 Michael Sragow
    As an action comedy, it's just a bad trip.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Goes down like a single-malt aged for 25 years.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The movie is edited and, worse, narrated in ways that sabotage the magic and even undercut the movie's message.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Freedom Writers is the rare inspirational-teacher film that is filled with genuine, jaw-dropping coups of real-life poetry.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The movie is mainly geared to putting new twists on what John Hughes comedies used to call "sucking face." It will satisfy Meyer's devotees.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    You never believe that Paltrow's character is insane, even when she herself does. She has too sturdy a core.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Even at its most hyperactive, Peter Pan has a core of good and bad feeling that will hit home to kids and to adults with honest memories.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Full of wit, charm and wonder. It's so hilarious, you might blow a gasket.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    At its best, The Mystic Masseur is like a tall tale that grows more beguiling and credible the taller it gets.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    If you put the word Tired first, it would perfectly describe the movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    American movies are generally so skittish about sexuality that Adrian Lyne's appetite --and aptitude -- for exploring it in Unfaithful is a relief.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    What's hilarious about the build-up is that Secretary proves to be the softest, most middle-of-the-road movie that could have been made about this subject.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Sragow
    For 45 minutes, it zings along on perfectly pitched overstatement.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    It makes for quite a rumpus, but the material never catches fire.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    What sucks the wind out of the movie's sails is the vacuum at its core.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Part irritating, part inspired.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    We don't experience the drama from the inside out because everything is on the surface. Redford is the only one who supplies internal life to Spy Game.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Despite the cunning mixture of live-action footage and animatronic effects in Two Brothers, there's more imagination and wonder in a good old Sabu picture like "The Jungle Book" (1942). Two Brothers is more like a tacky jungle comic book.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The Assassination of Richard Nixon makes Bicke suffer the greatest indignity: it turns him into a relentless bore.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Drags on and on and could frighten little kids. But Kenneth Branaugh is one bright light in Chamber of Secrets.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Stripped of texture, even the sharpest comments come off as bromides.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    It's an unusual and engaging romantic comedy because it's mostly about how these women ready each other for real love.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    This movie's biggest contribution to film history will be resurrecting Davies' reputation as a natural comedian stuck in deadly costume pictures because her lover wanted her placed on a pedestal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    This movie asks us to "accept the good" in life - not a bad message. But to overpraise Things We Lost in the Fire would be to accept the mediocre.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    It's doubly disappointing that all the subplots about Ace and Wallace and their fathers intertwine in increasingly predictable ways.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Yet it's pretty in all the wrong ways: pretty slight, pretty preachy and pretty affected.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Screwball farce, romance, domestic tragicomedy and literary frolic rolled into one.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Sragow
    Original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    With all the good will in the world, I couldn't warm up to Kit Kittredge. The movie is like a 1930s or 1940s short about Americans pulling together, stretched out to feature length.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    The script is clever and would be brilliant if it worked.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    The movie mostly proves that cutting-edge humiliations are best absorbed in 25-minute segments on HBO.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    Bubble is the moviemaking equivalent of the worst narrative journalism. Every bit of "human interest" is so painstakingly planted, so determined to be applauded for its observation and sensitivity, it ends up seeming as slick and bogus as the worst Hollywood blockbuster.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Wachowski Brothers once again they prove themselves our reigning masters of murk.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. The result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Made is an amateur-hour buddy movie.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    The problem isn't the history that the filmmakers leave in, but how much they leave out.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    Austin does have a psychedelic buoyancy and Dr. Evil an addle-pated sadistic goofiness that are original and engaging, but Myers doesn't build on their best stuff. That's where a real plot would help.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    It's affable entertainment -- a road movie with a smart map and characters who are unpredictable human beings, not just billboard attractions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Seinfeld is the perfect figure to center a documentary called, generically, Comedian.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    In Robert Gordon's script, Handler's hilariously literate bouts of psychological torture develop no consistent tone, voice or momentum.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Sragow
    As a whole, The Matrix Reloaded is thin on magic, charm, surprise and fun. It's less like an all-out escape, or even a thrill ride, than a sensory workout. At best, it's a treadmill-like bridge to the hoped-for splendors of episode three, The Matrix Revolutions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Takes a literary milestone of ambiguity and makes everything about it blisteringly obvious.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Saved! is the audacious feel-good satire of 2004.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Sragow
    As the threesome's movie games push them into an incestuous menage a trois, the movie loses its grip.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    For those of us who wish that John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" had kept the cheeky tone of Hughes' "Sixteen Candles," what ensues is the best Hughes farce that Hughes never made about adolescent snobbery and heartbreak as well as adult obtuseness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Sragow
    Hathaway carries you on an emotional whirligig that can be horrifying and funny, hopeful and devastating.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    It's the strangest comic misfire yet from Wes Anderson.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Sragow
    It's a rhythmless, graceless piece of filmmaking. But if you have an ounce of misanthropy in your body, a picture like this can draw it to the surface the way a leech draws blood.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie's main strengths are its use of the real United Nations as its prime location and Pollack's ability to stud this movie (as he also did "The Firm") with players who do supporting-character equivalents of star turns.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    They put the material on lifts - and end up tripping into TV dramedy land.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    If only De Niro or screenwriter Eric Roth had the instinct to play some of this for laughs or even outrageous burlesque. Despite their conviction and intelligence and their game, amazing cast, all they do is eke out a series of straight-faced dramatic reversals and personal betrayals that leave the dramatis personae, and the audience, numb.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The picture captures a contemporary mood-blend of cynicism, anger and woefully disappointed idealism. Runaway Jury may be just a classy potboiler, but Fleder spices up the stock and keeps it at full boil.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Sragow
    Thanks to Suvari, audiences laugh nervously at the mortification of soul and flesh, but she doesn't really do them much of a favor. She simply keeps them watching as a would-be gross-out comedy turns into would-be gross-out tragedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Amy Adams beguiled audiences in "Junebug" and "Enchanted" and breathed humanity into the histrionic "Doubt." In the eccentric comedy-drama Sunshine Cleaning, set in the least picturesque parts of Albuquerque, N.M., she tops her own proven talent for epiphany.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Michael Sragow
    A funny, touching mood piece.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    The movie has a vibrant, sturdy pathos in the manner of Dickens.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Sragow
    Performances by Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris make this a great adventure.
    • Baltimore Sun

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