For 942 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Clark's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The People vs. Larry Flynt
Lowest review score: 12 Mixed Nuts
Score distribution:
942 movie reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    One of the rare sports films that devotes extensive screen time to heartbreaking losses is full of other surprises as well. [13 Oct 1994, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    For a brutal black comedy about L.A. hitmen, Pulp Fiction bursts out of its binding with loopy delights. [14 Oct 1994]
    • USA Today
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    This is a building-block movie: Its stand-out excellence becomes apparent only gradually.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    If Silver is superb, Irons is transcendent. As some forgotten comic once said of George Sanders: A grapefruit wouldn't dare squirt in his eye. [17 Oct 1990]
    • USA Today
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    This is a great movie, but it needs a sales job because it's in Mandarin.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    With flawless precision, the movie flows seamlessly between a virtual newsreel approach (to chronicle senseless, arbitrary atrocities on the people) and a slightly more direct narrative technique that characterized the film's three dominant characters - each one cast to perfection. [15 Dec 1993]
    • USA Today
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    If artist R. (Robert) Crumb can dispense immediately with his resume in Terry Zwigoff's superb Crumb, we can, too. [21 Apr 1995]
    • USA Today
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    This is a fascinating movie experience. [30 June 1989, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Blethyn is so astonishing that you forget you're seeing a performance.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Still mesmerizes on the strength of George C. Scott's chew-your-behind performance. [5 Nov. 1999, p.6E]
    • USA Today
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    This grade-A sleeper sends you out with an unexpected smile. [25 Nov 1992]
    • USA Today
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    The rawest, most sustained screen portrayal of 20th century combat.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    This sleek adaptation of James Ellroy's dauntingly complex novel has the black-and-white tabloid soul of an old "Confidential" magazine.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    The film now seems both mellowed and --thanks in part to the most vibrant-looking prints in its 22-year history -- revitalized.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A little movie almost perfectly realized.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    One of the year's best movies and certainly its most delightful screen surprise.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    The story keeps reinventing itself (some of the later plot twists are among the funniest), but a little goes a long way at 112 minutes - maybe 25 minutes more than this sporadically pointed conceit really needs.
    • USA Today
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    A movie this diminutive can be easily oversold, but we might see it on some year-end best lists. It eats at you, just like renewed love.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A movie that is easily likable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Produced by HBO but too good not to play theaters, this soon-to-be minor classic is the best movie about society's untrendiest since "Ghost World" exactly two years ago.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    The movie is so fun that it wouldn't need the mystery to be top-notch entertainment.
    • USA Today
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Funny... and the payoff is the most provocative Hollywood concoction in a while.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Not since "Memento" has a movie served up such a provocative mind-bender, and the Sundance winner by first-time filmmaker Andrew Jarecki has the advantage of being true.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Romantic comedies with two low-key leads can be asking for trouble, but one senses that the actors must have clicked on some fundamental level.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    This subject demands consummate screen treatment and now has absolutely gotten it from director/producer Spike Lee. [10 Jul 1997, Pg.02.D]
    • USA Today
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Campion's script is very well received, but the film finally makes it on cinematics: bleakly beautiful photography, haunting score, and good acting. [12 Nov 1993]
    • USA Today
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Great cinema - and also a whopping good time. [19 September 1990, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Sweet (maybe) - but also painful (for sure). So painful that it's initially easy to resist this slice-of-Middlesex-life from Brit director Mike Leigh. Yet gradually, a mom, a dad and late-teen twins prove overwhelmingly winning through sheer willpower. Theirs, and the willpower of an idiosyncratic filmmaker who loves his characters no matter what. [24 Dec. 1991, p.4D]
    • USA Today
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Accessibly brainy screen charmer.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Though the movie may not change many minds about McNamara, it richly humanizes him, a valuable feat atop all the fascinating reflection.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    It's a heart-wrenching portrayal of unfulfilled Wyoming love, but this time, we don't mean Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur in "Shane."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    Mothers definitely get their due here: Birth mothers, adoptive mothers and mothers-to-be - with the only men in sight (save for one young fatality and one old eccentric) being those who wear flashy makeup and sport breasts
    • USA Today
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    The big story here is Kristin Scott Thomas' captivating performance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Twenty years ago, you could view early works of big-splash directors and often tell where they were coming from - or going. Yet Soderbergh and his debut project are mysteries. What can possibly come next? You won't be able to drag me out of line opening night. [4 Aug 1989, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Not since Tuesday Weld in "Pretty Poison" has an actress so played off her fresh-faced beauty for such pointed black-comic effect.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    The best news the G rating has had since the ratings system was instituted in 1968.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    As good as "Unforgiven." Or, to put it another way, as good as any movie Eastwood has ever directed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A weeper poised to endure as one of the dominant independent features of the year.
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    An instant classic, an Oscar-worthy showcase for Jeremy Irons, and a tightrope ballet over dicey screen material… A subtle movie - and thus a disturbing one. Like “Vertigo,” “The Night of the Hunter,” “Repulsion” and a few others, it finds beauty in morbidity - then nags you to come back for a second dose. [23 Sept 1988]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Fury, I Am a Fugitive, Wild Boys of the Road and Emperor of the North come immediately to mind as definitive Depression movies. This little gem, which may get overlooked, deserves to be on the same list. [20 August 1993, p.5D]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Bedroom succeeds with performances that get some of their power from imaginative casting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    A great movie just got greater, thanks to this thorough restoration. [Director's Cut; 27 June 1997, p.D3]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    More than anything, The Grifters isn't dramatically shot; black-and-white would have made a huge difference. [5 Dec 1990]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    The story itself is surprisingly seamless, yet it's the individual components that linger.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Joins company with "Sullivan's Travels" and "Sunset Boulevard" as the quintessential Hollywood peek-a-boos...[and] Tim Robbins' modulated performance rates rhapsodic praise. [10 Apr 1992]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    A singular accomplishment so specifically keyed to Spacey's talents that it mandates going out on a limb to say it contains the performance that will ultimately be regarded as "the one."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Plays like a labor of love.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    With this 2002 Cannes Film Festival best-picture winner, Polanski skips the quirky flourishes and simply brings history to life.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Clark
    A stylistically fastidious, exasperatingly affected package that will put most people in the mood for slumber.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Lean, mean and mordant black comedy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Nicholson has at least three magnificent moments in Hour 2. The best is a wedding toast that comes after another that will painfully remind you of every banal wedding toast you've ever heard.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    This thorough original is a wall-to-wall exercise in gallows humor, a movie whose full funny/sad effect doesn't hit until you reflect upon the subject and the cast of characters.
    • USA Today
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    The result is almost enough to make an audience levitate.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Every movie year has one, and now it's Britain's Mike Leigh who's conjured up the professional reviewer's worst nightmare: the picture so original, well-acted and witty that it must be given its ample due - despite being heavy on components guaranteed to bum out all but the most frequent moviegoers. [23 Dec. 1993, p.5D]
    • USA Today
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    News is right, completely right, until it slips just a bit at the end.By that time it hardly matters because you've seen the best of the holiday films, as well as the most all-around entertaining movie of 1987 - a bittersweet media comedy-drama that surpasses its potential. [16 Dec 1987, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Land has a lot of funny moments, which are no less serious for being so, especially when the script turns politically prickly.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Glossy or not, the movie is unflinchingly tough-minded, down to its Hollywood-weepy ending, which, if you think about it, may be the year's gloomiest.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Clark
    But the film's emotional core is father-son reconciliation, and Pete Postlethwaite is very sympathetic as Dad. [29 Dec 1993 Pg. 01.D]
    • USA Today
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    At its best, hard-hitting grown-up cinema (rare these days) and a movie blessed with a villain (Big Tobacco) for which all gloves can be removed and heaved into the next county.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    This is intelligent grown-up entertainment on both a political and a humanistic level.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    A movie just good enough to keep nurturing rooting interest as you watch it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Thompson has had the good sense and sensitivity to get Austen right, while letting Winslet steal the show.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    A Little Princess is the first of its progeny to blend brains with entertainment. This stylish sleeper easily outpaces the studio's starchy updates of "Black Beauty" and "The Secret Garden", and even betters Shirley Temple's 1939 take on Frances Hodgson Burnett's Princess perennial. [18 May 1995, 12D.]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    Even at its best, Adaptation is one of the movie year's most esoteric outings -- more so than even Paul Thomas Anderson's far superior "Punch-drunk Love." Too smart to ignore but a little too smugly superior to like, this could be a movie that ends up slapping its target audience in the face by shooting itself in the foot.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Welcome to the Dollhouse does, with accessible dark comedy and chilling honesty, reminding us right off that school-cafeteria agonies only begin with the cuisine. [24 May 1996 Pg.04.D]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    The gritty, Oscar-nominated "Traffic" is a limo ride compared with the bloodletting in this year's foreign-film nominee from Mexico.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A smooth mix of humanism and keen filmmaking instincts.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Landed exactly the right actors for a script that already gets points for respecting its teenage characters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    If it isn't flawless, neither is "Fantasia"... Here's a live-action/animated marvel with no screen antecedent; “Chinatown” may actually come closest. [22 June 1988]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    After watching Pfeiffer and Day-Lewis submerge molten 19th-century sparks here, it is now conceivable that Scorsese could make compelling cinema out of “Three Blind Mice.” [17 Sept 1993, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    With special effects so convincing you don't even think about them, a head-case hero and a three-dimensional villain who is his equal, socko Spider-Man 2 has something for everyone.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    I enjoyed everything about Moonstruck except for its meandering mid-section. On cassette, with vino accompaniment, it may seem perfect. In theaters, with a diet drink, it still rates as the holiday sleeper. [18 Dec 1987]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    This is the kind of well-made movie you wish well but you don't particularly wish to see again.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    A good little movie dominated by a great central performance that's likely to endure. [30 Jan 1998, p.D2]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Bout No. 2 is among the best closed-quarters screen fights ever, as good as (and longer than) Frank Sinatra vs. Henry Silva in The Manchurian Candidate. And Hannah does more for an eyepatch than anyone since the late Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    This is the kind of people-driven story that the movies used to give us - before special effects took over.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A movie that rudely flings feces at the breakfast table isn't for everyone.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    It's the actor/director's best movie - and the best Western by anybody in over 20 years. [7 Aug 1992]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Deliberately downbeat, it's best as a two-person character study, stumbling a bit whenever it extends its parameters.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Clark
    The borderline Parenthood is either an iffy comedy with lots of compensations, or a good comedy with more irritating flaws than most movies manage to survive. Whichever, the "feel good'' infantry of summer-film escapists will probably love it. [2 Aug 1989, p.5D]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    It plays even more like a bent version of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" for the new millennium. Slinging a line of bull but displaying genuine affection for the youngsters he's bamboozling.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Who, though, would assume rambunctious humor would be served up as well? Dickens meets the Beverly Hillbillies, and the movie is handsome, too. [10 May 1996, p.4D]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Doesn't sound like a very prepossessing title, but prepare to be taken aback by "what's in a name." [6 July 1994, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Mike Clark
    A daring movie in today's current climate - one likely to be remembered at year's end. [18 Oct 1989]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    More than any other example in recent memory, Chicago shows how much the element of surprise is missing from today's movies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Irritates in the early going when many of the current-day interviews are so intentionally underlighted that we can't see what the group members look like.
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    The plan in A Simple Plan grows exponentially complex once the first dollar is purloined, an act that makes this unpretentious parable one of the season's better 'what's-going-to-happen-next?' movies.
    • USA Today
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Violence is in the spirit of the hardest-hitting film noir offerings from the '50s, but far more explicit. It's also in the spirit of the Western.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Like the first half of "Best in Show," the movie is so deadpan that sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realize how potently satirical it is.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    And novel insights notwithstanding, this is a plain old good movie, too.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    The movie, which ends on an unexpected note of wistful humor, also gleans gentle and non-derisive chuckles out of Fin's physical state.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    One of the most challenging movies in years.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    A provocative dissection of human dynamics.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    Here's an ''opened-up'' film of a fragile, sentimental play that doesn't overemphasize every dramatic point, and doesn't tromp on every minefield in the material. [13 Dec 1989, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    The crucifixion is the strongest such scene of all time. [26 Aug 1988]
    • USA Today
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Mike Clark
    Happily, there's nothing to misconstrue about the film: It's fabulous.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    This crumbled-caper comedy is the funniest movie ever from a film maker late in his eighth decade. [22 July 1988, Life, p.4D]
    • USA Today
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Kudos go to the great Thomas Newman, whose score contributes as much as either lead to what is finally a two-character movie, though one well-performed by all. [23 Sept 1994]
    • USA Today
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Mike Clark
    Lovely “memory'' film. [2 March 1990, Life, p.4D]
    • USA Today
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Mike Clark
    A robustly imaginative sleeper

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