Nick Pinkerton
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For 293 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nick Pinkerton's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Little Fugitive (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 30 Beats
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 293
  2. Negative: 45 out of 293
293 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Pinkerton
    Better than a masterpiece - whatever that is - The Tree of Life is an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about afterward.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Pinkerton
    The film's genius is how completely it tunes in to his 
experience, delicately outlining Joey's private moments of shame, elation, despondency, and pride.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Pinkerton
    The finest Western you'll see this year is set in aristocratic 16th-century France, in the heat of Counter-Reformation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Pinkerton
    An extraordinary example of both art-historical interpretation and CGI as passport to unknown lands, The Mill and the Cross, based on a book by Michael Francis Gibson, is a moving-image tribute to the still image, with its ability to "wrestle the senseless moment to the ground."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Pinkerton
    A hideously funny tabloid noir.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    You, the Living flips through 50-some single-panel vignettes, many very funny.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The result is a poetic documentary of quiet American surfaces and intimately eavesdropped people.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    With Hadewijch, he (Dumont) endorses something like the Dardenne brothers' rugged, squalid secular humanism, offering the barrier-breaking embrace as vague alternative to Despair, Church, or Capital.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Where faux-empowering "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" confines sexual power play to the old rape-revenge matrix, Haywire is a real war-of-the-sexes tournament, briskly paced with a tickling sense of black humor.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Old line-gargler Nolte remains an effortlessly moving presence, while Hardy and Edgerton embody their archetypes and handle the physical demands.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    As tight as the parallel homo sapiens storylines are lax, Caesar's prison conversion to charismatic pan-ape revolutionist is near-silent filmmaking, with simple and precise images illustrating Caesar's General-like divining of personalities and his organization of a group from chaos to order. All of this is shown in absorbing, propulsive style, as Caesar broodingly bides his time like a king in disguise awaiting restoration.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Richard Linklater's Bernie is the rarest of rarities: a truly unexpected film. It might be classified as a black comedy, for it deals with the murder of an 81-year-old woman in a fashion that is not exactly tragic.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Plumbing disquieting depth, Deep Blue Sea investigates the insoluble dilemma of romantic love: the expectation, contrary to experience, that we can or will find every quality that we want in a single person.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Mendelsohn's first film since 1999's "Judy Berlin" is devoted to finding descriptive correlatives to liminal emotional states through the cast's eloquent reaction shots and the camera's depiction of homely environments - with ornate, flowing visual vocabulary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    There is a lot of silly bike-is-life philosophy, including Wilee's personal credo of "Fixed gear, steel frame, no brakes," none of which I can speak to because I don't care a tinker's damn about bikes, but I do have an abiding fondness for compact and coherent action movies, and this is surely one.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The subjects, plainspoken and insightful, attempt to extract the objective lessons of the political past from their subjective fortunes. This struggling to untie the personal-political knot makes for compelling oral history.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Greene may intend Kati's story as a quiet tragedy, but the native feeling of that's-just-the-way-it-is lethargy ("Only in Alabama can you be a home-school drop-out") is rather convincing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The aura of a life lived in extremis, undergirded by faith, clings to the film. Even nonbelievers in Senna's sport and church will find it difficult to visit Kapadia's cinematic shrine without emotion.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    An experience comparable to starting down the road with an empty sack then, over the course of the journey, having it weighed down steadily with rocks until you can't go on. But this backbreaking effect cannot be called an artistic failure. It is exactly what Tarr sets out to achieve.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    In every swelling musical cue, Billion Dollar Movie displays open contempt for friendship, family, love, sex, heroism, and everything lofty and beautiful that multiplex movies have reduced to cant.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Hawke's taut performance - lightly parodying his own career doldrums while playing an egotistical hack who's a close cousin of John Cassavetes's self-loathing actor in Rosemary's Baby - is totally credible.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    It speaks eloquently about the disappearance of most any indigenous working-class culture.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Like Rohmer, Hong is wonderful with atmospheric effects, using whirling snowfalls to place his characters' inchoate longing in relief.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    It is not surprising that Zemeckis's handling of spectacle would be undiminished, but he hasn't lost his touch with actors, either, coaching Washington into one of his rare performances that suggests much more than it shows.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The imagery has all the solemn ravishment of Béla Tarr's similarly darkening "The Turin Horse" with none of the epochal portentousness, while Rivers's work owes more to Billy Bitzer than most gallery art contemporaries.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The roaring popular success of Peter Chan's Wu xia in China - renamed Dragon for export - is no mystery: It's an adept genre exercise with rare primal depths.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The title almost suggests manhood as something trifling. The film, however, confirms it's a mighty hard ideal to reach.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    In spite of Bulger's errors of tone, the movie stands as an engaging tussle with the question of what is permissible with the excuse of art. One former collaborator of Baker's, John Lydon (a/k/a Rotten), comes up with the most eloquent absolution: "I cannot question anyone with end results that perfect."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Splice is a queerly funny movie, attuned to the absurd.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Cage will likely not earn a second Oscar here, but he and director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) make leftovers into fine PG malarkey with their hokey naïveté and prankish hocus-pocus.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    With a small, well-chosen cast, sly script, and slippery, ambivalent characters, The Last Exorcism gives a welcome titty-twist to the demonic-possession movie revival.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's all slight enough to blow away, and rare enough to warrant seeing it before it does.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The Dry Land does slip inside the inescapable, closed-circle logic of despair, and O'Nan's shy, precarious performance keeps you with him to the edge of the abyss.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's good enough at least that you wish it was better.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Vision is more immediate and immersive when dealing in the jealous attachments among sisters; when circumstance and politics tear Richardis from Hildegard, Sukowa's performance rears to towering heights of abjection.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Apted seems too often to think like an old-hand action director and not enough like the 12-year-old boy who probably read Lewis's book. To enter Narnia, to really go giddy with the bright, laughing promise of a quest, a young viewer with no convenient magic portal of his own needs characters to bring him along. This is, I believe, the difference between a classic and a successful franchise reboot.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    An epic by Scandinavian standards, Manus's period re-creation is lavish-but the too-polished rental décor doesn't create a living past.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Devotees will perhaps find something new in this deep pool of archival footage, and newcomers will get an appropriate introduction to the beguiling charisma of a most media-savvy isolationist.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Leyser's collation of interviews and stock footage is polished enough to effectively perpetuate the Burroughs legend.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The group is frequently drunk, but writer-director Joseph Infantolino's handling is lucid, a necessity to keep up the sense of vague dread and walking-on-eggshell egos.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Ry Russo-Young's character study of a gal passing the worst years of her life in cool North Brooklyn, leads off with a scene that lets you know right away that you're in the good hands of a young director sensitive to the idiosyncratic details that breathe life into a movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    With erratic success, Heartless tries a number of different veins-urban fairy tale with "There was no magic, it was you all along" twist, supernatural family drama-but it's on firmest footing as a macabre comedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    This self-consciously modern movie contains classical pleasures.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    de Oliveira's film is a musical of a sort, its quietude occasionally lifted by work songs or chorales.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Kekilli, more than an unofficial spokeswoman for rebellious Euro-Muslim youth, sells a simple and deterministic story through her sheer presence and precise reaction shots.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    We need visionaries-but also solid craftsmen who seem to enjoy their work. Insidious is the product of the latter. It doesn't build a better haunted house but, when on its game, reminds us of the genre's pleasures.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Perhaps something important was spirited away with the 20 minutes of footage shorn for this U.S. release, but the combatants are scarcely distinguishable here even before disappearing under layers of mud and guts.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    If the M:I films are immune to the tarnish on the Cruise brand, it's precisely because their spectacle requires us to be impressed by Ethan Hunt, not to like him.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Arthur was made, in co-production with Sony, by Aardman Animations, the U.K. company best known for Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit shorts, and the character animation has some of the same homely charm.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The plot twists are about as venerable as the cast and predictably affecting when performed with such old-hand proficiency.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    When considering the moral implications of such gladiatorial violence, the film comes out squarely in favor, asking what's crueler: enjoying the spectacle of blood on ice or taking away a livelihood from those who can't do anything else?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    More than the marquee names, the second bananas keep the movie bobbing along: Broderick's pharmaceutically vague hangdog act is perfect ("If you need me, I'll be living in this box"), while Peña turns out to be a fine comedian, an enthusiastically yipping dumb puppy here.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Though Wanderlust finally laughs off the real discomforting conclusion that it's edging toward, it's gut-busting funny when mocking their hopeless options.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The entire production is single-mindedly, earnestly devoted to serving up feats of BADASS, and it succeeds in this devotion to the exclusion of everything else. Allegedly in 3-D, though I didn't notice at the time.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    And when the F-14s came out for a triumphant flyover, I looked around the room to find the moron who was applauding only to realize that it was me.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Here, the familiar tale is retold with concessions to feminist self-determination and camp humor, bending the Grimm Brothers' tale without infringing on its basic beauty.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    One senses that The Guard is McDonagh's eulogy for the brusque, warts-and-all character of a passing generation of tough, working-class Irishmen, much as Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" was for vintage Americanism.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Director Alan Parker (still living) nicely describes the tightrope teeter of Cardiff's hothouse imagery: "It's great art, and then it will be kitsch, and then it will be art again." Or is he summing up cinema itself?
    • 31 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Working from a story by all-around genre specialist Jonathan Mostow, director Mark Tonderai steers the story cleanly around its queasy hairpin turns, perversely toying with one of pop cinema's most cherished clichés: the audience's inculcated desire to side with the underdog.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Taken altogether, the Pie movies offer a cohesive worldview, showing each of life's stages as the setting for fresh-yet-familiar catastrophes, relieved by a belief in sex, however ridiculous it might look, as a restorative force.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The best bits - the powerful instrument called Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, for example - more than speak for themselves.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The self-esteem booster shot provided by the sudden discovery of a prodigious talent is conveyed in a shy, self-surprised amusement by Onetto, accompanied by the slightest loosening of the joints.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Although it doesn't worry itself with dialectic complexities, Hotel Transylvania succeeds on the level of entertainment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    A script that consistently finds fresh outlets for its running gags makes for a sufficiently rollicking pleasure cruise.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Delhi Belly's rare singing-and-dancing production numbers play classical Bollywood glitz for pure kitsch, the Ram Sampath–composed soundtrack otherwise tending toward up-tempo sing-along rock, including a hit song ("DK Bose") with a subliminally dirty chorus.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Carpenter does what he's always done well here: individualizing shorthand personalities in a group under siege. This is Carpenter's first all-female ensemble, and the inmates are uniformly well-played.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Though the PR bit is right on, Khodorkovsky goes some way toward questioning the guilt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Like one of its yakuza bigs, Outrage commands respect but no affection.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's the latest installment in what now forms a lightly likable trilogy of films based on Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid books.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Park's view - clearly inscribed in his well-structured, practically chapter-headed ("After Hours," "Payday," "Back at the Village") documentary - is that the hideous working conditions and low wages are due to man-made avarice; the workers, though, tend toward a fatalism based in religious predestination.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Scenes showing the tricky process of acclimatizing a child to new surroundings, and the patchwork of experiences that make up an education - both Asia's and Tairo's - are grounded by entirely affectless performances, not least that of little Asia Crippa.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Just as the characters created by Tolstoy the artist got the advantage of Tolstoy the polemicist - at least until the end of his life - so these confoundingly good performances gradually win the movie from Wright's puerile conceit, giving us an Anna Karenina if not for the ages, than at least for an evening.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Here is the irony: Trouble With the Curve embodies all of the values it espouses - it is an old-fashioned, proficient, amiable, and decent movie - but it has no instinct.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    There's an overapplication of split-screen and woozy soundtrack cues to this end, but Lister Jones and Rosen do an appealing back-and-forth with lively dialogue, not dulled in the interest of realism.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's this youthful denial of vulnerability that makes West's slow-sidling haunted-house movies work. He understands the kidding way that his audience approaches horror and seems to play along with that jokey imperviousness - until rudely tearing up the all-in-good-fun contract, gouging us with actual pain.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Eldard, with eyes projecting adolescent vulnerability and a body lost to awkward midlife chub, is enough to redeem Cuesta's indie commonplaces.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Our subject retains a noticeable streak of pride in his expertise, though falters when discussing the killing of women. Hoping for his own salvation, the converted killer now claims the scales have fallen from his eyes, but his executioner's hood remains in place to the end - as does the mephitic air of timeless evil that hangs over El Sicario.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Good for Nothing has a nice comic sense of the brushfire eruptions of Western violence.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    A hit in its native Sweden as "Snabba Cash," the English title is a piece of cheap irony; this is a crime thriller where no one gets away clean, and every action has its irrevocable reaction.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Di Gregorio's performance sets the tone of dim hope and quiet forbearance, telling the story through reactions: an ever-accommodating smile that shades into a wince; sparkling, heavy-lidded eyes betrayed by vexed brows.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Shea's documentary is a well-arranged if rather drawn-out parade of talking heads telling Wally's story, including a trenchant and funny Morley Safer, never missing a chance to knock the art world.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    All of this builds into the film's last image, Elena's family finally welcomed into Vladimir's apartment, as the cautious, controlling, abstemious bourgeoisie are overtaken by the heedlessly fertile lower orders, the temporary inheritors of a terribly weary earth.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    If Iron Fists is sometimes badly made, it is refreshingly badly made. It has a homemade charm that comes from a sense of having gestated in a lifelong obsession.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    These self-imposed limitations prevent Teddy Bear from having the breadth of a great work, but they give it the coherence of a good tale, simply told.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Although the movie is overreliant on chintzy-looking and rather corny historical reenactments, these are counterbalanced by anecdote-rich interviews, including descendants of Huberman's first orchestra, human testament to the family tree of Israeli musicianship that he planted.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The cumulative impression is of figures being lightly traced in the sand only to be inevitably washed away, intentionally ephemeral and quite charming for it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's all here, from the design contests to the farcical series of ribbon-cuttings, including a photo op cornerstone-laying, to the stupid Jeff Koons balloon that recurs as an incidental sight gag.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Greatest-generation stoicism meets gushing contemporary sentiment in Honor Flight.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Despite the efforts of many interviewees to seem broad-minded, Nicoara has a knack for ferreting out moments that reveal actual Romanian attitudes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Almost as much as the play itself, the rehearsals are staged; the inmates learning to act, then, are acting like inmates who are learning to act. This leads to some on-the-nose scenes in which they observe the parallels between the text and their own lives.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    No
    No uses the actual commercial material the opposition created for its anti-Pinochet campaign and—re-creating the behind-the-scenes filming—deftly appropriates mediated history for fiction.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    This is action as timeless as the reptilian brain-and if The Expendables is no classic, for about 20 minutes, it blowed up real good.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Doing The Most Dangerous Game is, for action directors, what covering "Satisfaction" is to bar bands; if you hit most of the notes, it'll do.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Picasso and Braque's primary merit is its archive-raiding evocation of the period discussed through vintage nitrate images.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    A homely bit of international Cold War cloak-and-dagger, starring badly dressed bureaucrats instead of chic spies, Farewell is based on a vital early-'80s espionage break involving the KGB, DST French intelligence, and the CIA.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Likable enough to wear you down with its eager-to-please capering.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Katie Wech's script is a carousel of reassuringly familiar plot lines, kept smoothly revolving.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Mother's Day is distinguished, at least, by De Mornay's porcelain-smile lampoon of castigating matriarchy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Director Jon Favreau's experiment in genre crossbreeding - a Western-sci-fi mashup pumped full of inspirational all-in-this-together spirit - is a cute, crowd-pleasing idea, though more decadent than a revitalization of either genre.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Playing an ignoble protagonist, Dobrygin keeps his motives always quietly evident; later, lost in a fog painted red by an emergency flare, he's an abject vision of man in a hell of his own making.

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