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 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Death Race
Score distribution:
1,035 movie reviews
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The biggest crime of Van Helsing is that it resurrects classic monsters and fails to make them scary. With a full 132 minutes of feeble jokes and gimcrack phantasmagoria, it's not spine-tingling - it's butt-numbing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    By the end, this movie's balancing act is the equivalent of network news' equal-time laws. The "fairness" becomes deadening.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    This new version may be closer to the Cole Porter biography, but it's hardly any more true to life. There is no life in this movie. It's a brittle contraption of a biopic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    You don't want to look at anything else when Zeta-Jones is on-screen.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    As a romance, Spanglish is like a wholesome flirt who drags things out and becomes a tiresome tease. As a satire of upper-middle-class Los Angeles, it's a disaster.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    If you put the word Tired first, it would perfectly describe the movie.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The result is as flat as a year-old beer commercial.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Most of the film is one big blooper reel. There's not enough of a gap between the rejects and the finished movie.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    It's disconcerting to see Ferrell, a master of macho psychosis, adopt the stop-and-go dithering of Woody Allen-style neurosis.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    There's no irony within the film, but there's a whopping irony surrounding it. Just as Star Wars has finally ended, Rocky seems to be starting all over again.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    It's hard to know what these stars are ready for after this fiasco. Maybe a fitness video.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    As sweet and hopeless and silly as a doting dad framing his second-grader's latest finger-painting and calling it a Matisse.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    This movie makes it official: No matter how awful, even the networks and basic cable are now officially hipper than the studios.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Forget chemistry: There's no biology to the star casting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Roos suffers from fallen archness in his interminable new movie Happy Endings. He wants to be mischievous and ambitious and "human," all at the same time. He ends up with delusions of tragicomic grandeur that leave an audience fed up and dissatisfied.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Unfortunately, nothing in it rings with the faintest tinkle of truth.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Luhrmann steals good ideas, fair ideas and terrible ideas - anything that once moved him when he was a little boy. He's turned Australia into a more-than-you-can-eat buffet of colorful kitsch.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The film's storytelling and image-making lack originality and vitality. Nothing sticks to your memory unless you come in with recollections of the book.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    W.
    The movie plays like a dunk-the-clown game at a carnival. Through intent or ineptitude, he sets up the Bush family and administrations as caricatures.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The only reason to see Nights in Rodanthe is to check in with Diane Lane.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Starts out mixing social burlesques and melodrama and ends up one more failed thriller about men behaving badly - and stupidly.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    This Women doesn't take place in reality or even in a glamorous urban fantasyland. It's strictly TV Land.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Under the guidance of Jon Avnet, they're (De Niro/Pacino) both playing New York police detectives - partners, no less - in the cop-and-serial-killer tale Righteous Kill, and they're thunderously mediocre.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    What kills Max Payne is that the characters think and feel in slow motion. Half the time, mentally, they're just running in place.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    It's no compliment to say a movie is "all of a piece" if the piece is all worn out. For all its surface harshness, this movie is a star vehicle at once rickety and cozy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Revolutionary Road isn't just a failed literary adaptation. It's a failure of the worst kind: It doesn't even make you want to read Richard Yates' deservedly legendary book.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    This film isn't an enjoyable martial-arts extravaganza like "District B-13" or the "Transporter" films.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The problem with Confessions of a Shopaholic isn't conspicuous consumption. It's ostentatious idiocy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The Hangover is like an infernal comedy machine. Surrender your soul to its foul mesh of cheap cleverness and vulgarity. and you howl like a delighted demon. Resist, and you feel all sense and sensibility being crushed in its cogs.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Will pop your eyes without tickling your funny bone.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    Sheila Bernette, as an aged pickpocket, is less a stereotype than an escapee from some provincial British comedy of the early 1950s. But she steals necklaces and knickknacks with such finesse and gusto that she also steals the movie.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The low points in this movie aren't just catastrophic: they're bewildering.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Sragow
    The only hope for Inglourious Basterds is that audiences will embrace it the way the Broadway crowd did "Springtime for Hitler": because it's so bad they think it's good.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    Was the Swedish director, Mikael Hafstrom, taking revenge on the American star system?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    The surefire laugh-getter centers on using a tampon to stop a nosebleed. Watching this movie, I had to hope it could stop brain-drain.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    The second movie, Dead Man's Chest, is everything you feared the first would be: a theme-park spectacle lasting 2 1/2 hours.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    If you're not a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's convoluted, teasing thrillers, you'll find that getting into this movie is like cracking a puzzle in which the constructor keeps breaking his own rules or grabbing new ones from ultra-thin air.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    Forget any hope of raffish adventure if you think of seeing Flyboys.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    By the end, it doesn't even have the courage of its political incorrectness.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    A catastrophically messy action-movie mash-up.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    A movie made at wits' end. There are four or five authentic laughs in the whole 170-minute extravaganza.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    The movie has nothing to offer except titillation.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    Is there anything more pathetic than a movie that will do anything for a laugh or a tear that doesn't get any laughs or tears?
    • 34 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Sragow
    It's as if all the digital tools of new millennial filmmaking fell into the hands of men who had less storytelling sense than a campfire bard or a cave painter.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    In this film, Soderbergh appears to judge the actors by how well they spew or swallow bile.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Pleasantly meanders around a group of people who pitch projects and pitch woo on the Riviera.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Collateral Damage isn't jingoistic; it also isn't exciting. It's a depressed rabble-rouser.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Solondz is still stuck in an adenoidal whine.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Too bad you can see this sort of thing done more amusingly every week on ABC-TV and Comedy Central.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    So witless it wins most of its laughs when Czech-speaking characters spout obscenities that get translated into English subtitles.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Takes a literary milestone of ambiguity and makes everything about it blisteringly obvious.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    To top it off, the ending is a clumsy cheat. Of course, I was rooting for the news gal to expire and the film to die a quick death.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Avary has taken a pig's ear of a book and turned it into a pig's ear of a movie.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The movie bobbles along on a weird, soft-edged sarcasm.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The desert is clean in Gerry, but it's also empty.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    There's something junior varsity about the whole sensibility that makes the new version seem more dated than the old one.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    By the end, Pootie Tang feels as long as Kevin Costner's "Wyatt Earp."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Life as a House mounts a brutally insensitive attack on its audience's sensitivities.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Adam Sandler does Frank Capra wrong. His unfunny remake stomps all over the honest values and endearing qualities of the original.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The Emperor's Club is a beautiful fraud -- as gracefully proportioned as a Christopher Wren academy, yet as devoid of content as a prep-school promo film.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The only way sober adults will keep awake is wondering how the lead mobsters on "The Sopranos" -- who also are amateur film critics -- will rank the movie next year on HBO.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    To call Death to Smoochy satire -- or parody, burlesque, or even lampoon -- would be too generous. The moviemakers merely glide on the thin ice of yesterday's cynicism.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The collateral damage of action products like Ballistic is to the sensibility of the audience.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Fails to meld suspense and farce or to bring even the wildest pursuits and smash-ups any visual sense of comedy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Not enough to keep Clockstoppers from turning viewers into clock-watchers.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    A brain-dead buddy-movie tearjerker with semi-tasteful romance and tasteful gore mixed in with the derring-do.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The film is so busy that every minute is exhausting. It's as if the filmmakers were idealistic teen-agers afflicted with a group case of Attention Deficit Disorder.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    This chick flick never should have made it out of the incubator.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    This kind of fiasco turns movie critics into so many Night Stalkers.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    How did an embarrassment of comic-book riches become simply an embarrassment as a movie?
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    What's more annoying than the screenplay's relentless assaultiveness is its odd, sordid cuteness.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The indisputably gifted Jim Carrey shows the side of him that just wants to be loved - the Riddler on Ritalin, the Mask unmasked. And it turns out to be stultifying.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Isn't a full-bodied comedy, and it isn't a bona fide action movie, either. It just makes a facetious spectacle of itself.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Not since Rocky II has there been a more blatant attempt to recapitulate a box-office hit without adding any new attraction or appeal.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Irreversible, though, is not a Kubrickian head trip. All Noe has come up with is a turn-on for sadists.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Equilibrium doesn't tread softly on our dreams; it tramples them.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Excruciating...The movie proves to be singularly unfunny and static almost from the non-get-go. Virtually nothing happens; the movie is all premise.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    In the Cut is a disaster. Familiar to the bone, arty on the surface, it could serve as the doomed pilot for a nightmare TV spinoff: Law & Order: Literary Victims Unit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The film itself is an exercise in frustration.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is gorged with shtick and gadgetry. When it comes to highlighting everything better left in the dark, it makes even the Matrix sequels look like works of genius.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Timeline lacks potency, drive, wit and personality -- all the things that make escapism worthwhile.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Most of the film simply wallows in gangsta hyperbole - it's all bling bling, bang bang.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The movie is a monument to egomania - and I don't mean Alexander's.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    It's the strangest comic misfire yet from Wes Anderson.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The best reason to see it is Kate Bosworth as Sandra Dee.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    In Schumacher's relentlessly arrhythmic and tone-deaf film, Gerard Butler plays the title role as if he were just plucked out of Monty Python's lumberjack chorus.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The comedy of manners becomes strictly a comedy of bad manners.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The problem with Allen's latest, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, is "Not enough Double Indemnity."
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Dramatically, it's a ghoul's parade of grieving folk finding solace and then danger through a tenuous connection to the after-life.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Will have most audiences asking, "Can we leave now?"
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Armed with few laughs, this clumsy sequel makes a sloppy mess of its plot ... and star Sandra Bullock.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Barf-bag baroque.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Too bad the director ties everyone's laces together and they all go down in a jumble.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Jane Fonda coming back to the screen after a decade-and-a-half absence in Monster-in-Law is like Brando returning from the dead to star in a Police Academy movie.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Gory overkill.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The result is an out-of-control, lost-in-the-funhouse experience.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    If this version had been called The Poseidon Adventure, audiences could have sued for truth in packaging.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Peaceful Warrior fails pitifully at being transcendent. This New Age movie about living in the moment gets you looking at your watch and squirming in your seat.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The movie is a premise in search of a comedy. Rather than flesh it out, the filmmakers put familiar glad rags on the skull and bones.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    You have to identify pretty strongly with suffering artistes to find anything to root for in The Science of Sleep.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Perfume offers eau de crud.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Reprehensible.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Bomback's script is the worst thing a thriller can be - a flip-flopper, using quick character changes for plot twists. And Langenegger's direction rarely sustains a mood or tone, only a sleek veneer of luxury and knowingness.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The one actor I wanted more of was Williams, who imbues Jack's dad with a robust, sometimes domineering wiliness that suggests a real person. Of course, these silly, inept filmmakers probably cast him because he plays a good guy and his first name is Treat.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Smith appears to have poured his creative energy into the cheerful come-on of the title and left nothing in reserve for the movie. He fails to wring any memorable comedy from shoestring porno filmmakers because his own filmmaking is just as amateurish and slovenly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The whole narrative is too hollow and rickety as well as gimmicky for Muccino to breathe much life into it.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Bride Wars has possibly the worst comedy idea since "Springtime for Hitler," with almost no room for redeeming camp.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    As a comic fable for hard times, New in Town is irredeemably moronic.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Even the great Lily Tomlin can't muster a funny reaction to a Polish joke. It's an everything-including-the kitchen-sink comedy -- and the sink has rusty pipes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    This film isn't the most awful comedy of the year (that would be Bride Wars or New in Town), but it may have the grossest antihero.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The whirl, bang and general bother of crashing gears and gnashing metal ends up suffocating the senses.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    The film saddles Craig T. Nelson with the generally thankless role of Paxton's cold, distant dad. But when he feels like the only person who doesn't understand what's going on with Tate and his son, you feel like saying, "No, me too."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    "Hello, I Must Be Going," sings Groucho Marx in a clip from "Animal Crackers" at the start of the film. If I'd known what followed, I would have followed his advice.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Finds it as impossible to locate a laugh in glittering Bora Bora as it was for Operation Enduring Freedom to nail Osama bin Laden in gritty Tora Bora.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    It might sound intriguing to root the saying, "Physician, heal thyself," in the plight of a hypocritical self-help guru, but the romantic drama Love Happens suffers from acute irony deficiency.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Sragow
    Bullock does her damndest to be nerdy and instead becomes excruciatingly artificial - a malfunctioning verbal fun machine.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 16 Michael Sragow
    Jane Fonda does an about-face on her persona and her talent, playing a teetotaler and, what's worse, a pious bore.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 16 Michael Sragow
    A colossal dud.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 16 Michael Sragow
    The filmmakers lack any visual sense of humor and any talent for sustaining long-form comedy; the stunts have less wallop than a TV bloopers show and the Oedipal family slapstick goes around in circles, in more ways than one.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 12 Michael Sragow
    Brand's script is a puzzle without a satisfying solution. Even at its supposedly heartfelt conclusion, it's more ironic than emotional, more of an art thing than a suspense movie.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Be Cool proves that when "cool" evaporates all it leaves are embarrassing little puddles.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    The movie is a model of multinational incompetence.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Venom isn't worth a critic's venom, but a brief condemnation is in order.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    It's about as much fun for the viewer as being dropped into a virtual-reality version of a highway-safety crash film. Hall writes and directs with the finesse of a rusty hatchet.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    There isn't an earned moment of uplift or laughter in the movie. Everything in it is prefab.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Here's my nomination for future grindhouse double-bill from hell: Pathfinder and "Apocalypto."
    • 19 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    It's stupefying in its dullness and vulgarity.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    CJ7
    You leave this movie feeling mugged.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    All it offers is sadism, impure and simple.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Here's hoping Allen's static Hennessey is due to an extreme acting choice and not plastic surgery. It would be tragic to lose a natural smile to star in garbage like Death Race.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    All Alexander proves in Punisher: War Movie is that a martial-arts-trained woman can make a film just as stupid, coarse and numbing as any muscle man.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    It's a gore sundae with an S&M cherry on top.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Ghosts of Girlfriends Past displays nary a wisp of life, let alone an afterlife.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Sragow
    Fame has today's usual gritty form of slick to it, but in every other way it's an Amateur Hour and a half.