For 196 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 78% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 20% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michelle Orange's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 90 A Film Unfinished
Lowest review score: 20 Battle: Los Angeles
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 196
196 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Michelle Orange
    The imperatives of history are manifold, and this film is among the most urgent of them. You cannot look, and you must look: This happened. They were human beings. All of them.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    Heady, creaturely, and looking for trouble, Splice is also a sovereign creation: Conceived and midwived by Vincenzo Natali (Cube), it suggests the pure-bred Canadian love child of James Cameron and Margaret Atwood (I see David Cronenberg presiding over the baptism).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    Slick without feeling over-determined, Racing Dreams evokes -- just as, oddly enough, "Toy Story 3" does -- the more general feeling of childhood on the precipice.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    Even more than it wants to inform Inside Job seeks to enrage.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    The complementary tone of droll but freighted psychodrama she strikes in Tiny Furniture feels like a significant but precarious achievement. I feel a pinch of worry for her - as I did for Aura - looking into a future of Rudins and Apatows.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    It's as subversive and penetrating a treatment of the British character as we get on the big screen, and it's why I don't mind that Leigh keeps them coming 'round with the reliability of the cocktail hour.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    One of the most chilling things about Trust is how well it lays out the grooming strategies used by expert predators.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    To say too much about what actually happens would be to rob you of the film's risks and narrative ripostes. What should be noted is that Capotondi makes ambitious use of an unreliable narrator in a way that is rarely seen in modern films.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    "A chimp could not have a better mother," Terrace declares of his decision. The people in this film say stuff like that a lot.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    The effect recalls the beguiling lightness of the good old Disney, where clever visual and thematic feats are deftly interwoven and yet tossed off with an insouciance that favors playfulness above all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    July is more of a presence than an actress, or even a believable persona.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    Arthur Christmas is a Grinch-style story of rekindled Christmas spirit told from inside Santa's compound at the North Pole.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    Tectonic pacing builds to a series of imperceptible and yet earth-moving moments in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, a habeas corpus procedural stretched across two and a half discursive hours.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Michelle Orange
    The success of this exuberant, affecting debut feature from director Benh Zeitlin depends on his ability to universalize the particular, in this case by drawing us into the perspective of a six-year-old girl living in squalor and feeling and uncertainty in the Louisiana bayou, then telling our own story from behind it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    More redux than sequel, the final Shrek is more parent- (and specifically dad-) oriented than ever; it may also produce the first twinge of nostalgia in the kids who thrilled to the original at a formative age.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Hansen-Løve’s gifts for mood and eliciting controlled, empathetic performances are well-suited to her sensitive material, and ultimately overshadow the film’s difficult and uneven central characterization.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Bold, weird, and a little stalkerish in its intensity, Luca Guadagnino's third feature is an open cinematic buffet, as ready to satisfy as it is to displease, depending on your taste and appetite.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    A brightly lit nightmare of patriarchy run amok.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Fittingly, there is something both thrilling and deeply unpleasant about looking at Galella's body of work -- there is casual genius in some of the captured moments, a combination of access, timing, and luck, with the subject almost always carrying most of the image's weight.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    A sweeping theme writ small and somewhat gnarly, The Milk of Sorrow is, as Llosa has written, about "unresolved, violent, personal and collective memory" and a "metaphor for breakdown."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    The Town lacks Gone's operatic ambitions. And the irony is that that lack of a grand or even grandiose plan keeps this very good film from being a truly great one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    A dump is a dump, but it's immediately clear that these are working people who are making the best of their options and who have built a shared camaraderie out of that determination.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    With Huppert as her paradoxical lightning rod, Denis courts class and colonial tensions until they fly apart in the last moments of the film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Carancho moves into heist mode in its final act, and the lovingly balanced, placid frames give way to thrilling turbulence.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Warmly observed and solicitous of its audience to the point of caress, Win Win is as comfortable an experience at the movies as you might have this year.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Ferrell as Nick Halsey still feels like a fresh idea, a testament to the actor's reliable but rarely tested mettle as much as his long parade of post-2006 buffoons.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Ultimately, the effort, however rough in patches, is to be admired. We need our best minds on this subject, in all arenas, and Beautiful Boy is another jagged, early piece in a puzzle whose borders haven't formed yet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Soft-spoken and stoical, Brannaman is a firm but sensitive presence in front of the camera and facing down a spooked horse.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    It looks more like your teenage world than such films generally allow, and it's not pretty. It's beautiful.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Aside from the showy, overwrought credits sequence, it's silly and self-conscious and still scary as hell.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    Farmiga closes in on moments that express mood and character so lightly and perceptively that you don't notice them gently - sometimes too gently - moving the story forward.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    An elegantly observed, sleekly packaged look at an artist whose career-long balance of enigma and self-exposure culminated in a 2010 retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    It's a mark of Shelton's ability to create living characters from seemingly minor shared moments -- the ones that wind up meaning everything.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    The writing is relaxed in the right places and heightened to a largely effective degree when it counts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michelle Orange
    The climax errs on the side of the overwrought and overdetermined, like an earnest adolescent's first attempt at a short story. And yet Papoulia's extraordinary performance lingers, as does the film's provocative existential fog.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Hill cuts a hilariously adversarial figure.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Ultimately -- and perhaps fittingly -- Cropsey is most effective as a study of Staten Island and its inhabitants, specifically the half-life of grief as it is manifested in a self-contained community.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The roots of romantic feeling, as explored in Wild Grass, Alain Resnais's jazzy ode to cinema and the love impulse in later life, are equally, spectacularly random.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Dark to a specific point of dullness or even opacity, Solondz requires patience, as always, but indulgence as well. He relies on your remembrance of his other films and characters but also on your willingness to overlook his redeployment of tactics that range from puerile to mildly -- and somehow always self-skeptically -- profound.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Because Animal Kingdom is so richly suffused with atmosphere and style, you could almost float right past the deficiencies in its story in an admiring trance.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Minor but still quite enjoyable. And like other minor Woody Allen pictures it becomes more interesting when placed in their larger context.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Waiting For Superman may rub a little raw here and there, but if it stirs that memory in enough voting and tax-paying Americans, it has at least begun to do its job.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Although this is a film about the influential women in Lennon's life, it succeeds equally in its evocation of the family Lennon built among his boyhood mates.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    RED
    The result is like a sugar rush after a visit to the vintage candy store.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The result is a shaggy rise-and-fall story that is deceptively well-wrought, playing at times like an extremely hip, deep-access concert film.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The result is way out there - so far that you won't quite recognize the terrain, and still feel strangely at home. The look has the impossible feel of a CGI soundstage: Not cheap, not even necessarily fake, just… weird.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Physically Watts is of course a decent match for the even more aggressively glamorous Plame; in spirit, it would seem, they are even closer. In the field Plame was first and foremost an actress, a pretender whose belief in her pretending was often of mortal consequence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    As Gibney and Spitzer are at pains to point out, it's a story as old as Icarus: Man rises to power; man makes enemies; man gets greedy and is undone.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Veering between the windswept and the simply windy, The Tempest, I suspect, will provoke purists and only intermittently win the attention of less interested parties.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    There are a couple of scenes of pure, sentimental genius, as well as appealingly boggled turns by Rudd and Wilson.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    It's all sweet and very, very silly. I was surprised by the subtleties - both comedic and thematic.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Country Strong rides pretty high in the saddle, confident in the remarkably realized world Feste has created for her characters.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Burns handles the more dramatic moments - divorce, accidental death, betrayal - with invention, using abrupt cuts and impressionistic editing to keep the film from settling into a rut.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Scenic, inventively playful, and successfully serious when it wants to be.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The casting of Jespersen, with his sub-Wookie intonations and granite stare, is key: If this pillar of masculinity says there be trolls, I don't have to be bitten by one to believe it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    In catsuits, swimsuits, and skimpy underthings, Saldana is as potently elusive as a shadow can be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    By the time he's putting the entire metro area on notice -- having thrashed his father and all the local bullies -- Andrew has no camera and the metaphor has run away with the story entirely. The crazy thing is it almost works.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    It's a matinee treat for the very little ones, after all.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Manages to surprise with a charm and wit all its own.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The audience is never seen and only faintly heard. This puts a lot of visual pressure on a very inward performer. Young is a beast onstage, to be sure - he seems to re-grow an appendix for each song.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    The Dark Knight aspires to the epic and reaches it on a number of impressive and less impressive levels. That it is a frequently, unnervingly glorious triumph of brawn over brains is not despite but in spite of Nolan's admirably stubborn - if persistently, risibly serious - insistence that the modern superhero can have it all.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michelle Orange
    Sugar Man is most interesting when it touches on the conditions that combined to draw a cult hero out of some decent music and a generously enabled, imagination-firing mystique.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    If only the director had learned Mr. Han’s most important lesson: Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Garcia, despite creating yet another vibrant canvas for his actors, deflects the burden of this toughest and most modern of familial conundrums, offering instead the bland, regressive ideal of motherhood as not only redemptive but required.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Loose, flinty, and a little in love with itself, Perrier’s Bounty struts the fine line of self-consciousness drawn by neo-gangster capers like "The Usual Suspects," "In Bruges" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    The film's bleak conclusion becomes unbearable in context: Hypatia's death also signals the end of women in positions of intellectual prominence and the beginning of a period known -- not coincidentally -- as the Dark Ages.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    8 is most coherent as a chilling confirmation of both the mind-warping power of an institution like the Mormon Church and the extent to which politics is, above all, a marketing game.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Amid the macho poses and reloading of his unbelievably enormous weapon, I was distracted by the notion of Brody’s participation as a kind of privately satisfying performance art (a similar impulse found James Franco doing a guest stint on "General Hospital").
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Though the movie is largely vanilla in its pleasures, film lovers will eat it up.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    An earnest and occasionally poignant attempt to penetrate Rebney's potent man-on-fire image and explore the impact of becoming an Internet sideshow.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    The vehicle may get a little jacked up along the way, but its passenger arrives in style: The kid's a star.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Because of the movie's episodic structure and lack of expository detail, the visuals bear the greatest narrative burden.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    If you're like me, and you find yourself retreating to a safe place in your mind whenever human beings are being graphically decapitated on screen, you'll spend the majority of Centurion, horror maestro (The Descent) Neil Marshall's Roman bloodbath, on psychological lockdown.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    In its most tiresome moments, Noodle Shop overestimates the wit of its formal exertions, and feels less like a film than an exercise that will leave fans of the original comparatively cold.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    The result is more fancy than funky, but the directors' aim is true and occasionally hits its mark.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    There is enough lurid, ludicrous subtext in the material to keep fans of such things happy. As trash, this is top of the line.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Wait a second, is this a horror movie or an episode of The Hills?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Most successful are the scenes involving Marcus and Iris, a 10-year-old girl who grew up fatherless and watchful of her tumultuous surroundings.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Well-paced, well-performed and full of visual wows, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader bobbles a hectic story by stopping just short of committing to its grounding themes. Its hardly sacrilege, but it does seem like a shame.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    The story had great optics but not a lot of action, I suppose, though as a child who walked around in towel-fashioned headdresses to simulate the long hair my mother wouldn't let me have, Rapunzel's was the story I longed to thrill to on the big screen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Too often the story feels like it's being mined for recycled beats.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Built for speed, and for an action-savvy audience who can appreciate a throwaway vengeance flick for exactly what it is.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Timoner attempts - with talking heads, travelogues, and a little alarmist flair of her own - to articulate Lomborg's central idea that not doing enough good might be the same as doing harm.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    I salute the effort to go somewhere strange in Mars Needs Moms; if only a fully realized idea - and not the same, barely concealed right-wing rap, different planet - had been the destination.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Prom has sweetness, nonthreatening conflict, and enough personality to distance it from the chilling anodyne of Disney's television vehicles.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Watching True Legend, a wuxia film crossed with classic vaudeville, it's hard to figure out who's borrowing from whom anymore.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Divided into three chapters in a largely unsuccessful attempt at structure, the voice and the style don't combine as explosively as they should to pick up the material's slack.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Bichir - who played Fidel Castro in "Che" - resists the pathetic impulse, bringing dignity and distinction to a man who wakes up every morning knowing it's not just his burden but his job to be invisible.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    As in "Country Strong," Meester's crack timing and irresistible poignancy illuminate a part that would leave other actresses simpering themselves off the screen.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    As it is, The Devil's Double, a handsome and occasionally dazzling thriller with at least one dynamo performance from its star, is ultimately dominated by its style.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Without a strong story to dance with, all of those fabulous tracking shots, lovingly uncanny art direction details and flickering shafts of light can make The Innkeepers feel more like an exercise in craft than a scary movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    When the recessive style works with the characters and the kooky international-incident story, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has an absorbing, old-fashioned sweetness.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    It wouldn't go so far as to say it feels like you went through Jeremy's ordeal for nothing, but I did wish I had come to know as much about Dorff's character as I did about the size and shape of his nostrils.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Scene by scene The Hunter, adapted from a novel by Julia Leigh, holds your attention like a pair of big, inquisitive eyes, or perhaps the point-blank scope of an automatic rifle.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Inter-chimp and territorial fighting are facts of nature, but the extreme anthropomorphism of Chimpanzee makes what is natural feel bizarre.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    It's all rather casual - not unengaging, exactly, but lacking a narrative energy all its own.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    Despite this careful (and successful) depiction of a warm and decent person, Perry the pop star remains stubbornly two-dimensional.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michelle Orange
    With its small cast and focus on performance, Union Square promises to be a welcome showcase for Sorvino, and the early rhymes with Miss Linda are intriguingly open-ended.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 65 Michelle Orange
    A film so tightly rigged that even its star's centrifugal charms can't keep you fully checked in.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 65 Michelle Orange
    As a character study Solitary Man, like Ben, has no center. What he amounts to is a pretty consistent set of attitudes and behaviors which, while shocking, are not all that interesting.