For 279 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nick Pinkerton's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Little Fugitive (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 30 Beats
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 279
  2. Negative: 40 out of 279
279 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Haneke remains, by his rules, infallible. So what? A movie in which incident is as spare as it is in Amour can certainly be great; a movie in which ideas and feelings are so sparse cannot.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    The result is a poetic documentary of quiet American surfaces and intimately eavesdropped people.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    Like Rohmer, Hong is wonderful with atmospheric effects, using whirling snowfalls to place his characters' inchoate longing in relief.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    Unrelentingly mundane, as if made with the sole purpose of draining the topic of adultery of any prurient interest.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    There's a human tragedy somewhere here-but aggrandized puppy-love romance and stylish revenge fantasy is all that lingers.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    The Dark Knight Rises is a shallow repository of ideas, but as a work of sheer sensation, it has something to recommend.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    More than once does To's grandiose imagism miraculously grant this rote thriller a gleam of the sublime, as in a trash-dump face-off staged as an epic field maneuver, or a campground shoot-out timed to the fickle light of the moon.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Pinkerton
    It speaks eloquently about the disappearance of most any indigenous working-class culture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Though Submarine isn't a dull head-movie, amid the bells and whistles, Roberts seems less its star than its cameraman.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    de Oliveira's film is a musical of a sort, its quietude occasionally lifted by work songs or chorales.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Nick Pinkerton
    It's obvious that Nolan either can't articulate or doesn't believe in a distinction between living feelings and dreams--and his barren Inception doesn't capture much of either.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's good enough at least that you wish it was better.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Undeniably long, Panavision-wide, but of questionable depth.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Though the PR bit is right on, Khodorkovsky goes some way toward questioning the guilt.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    A script that consistently finds fresh outlets for its running gags makes for a sufficiently rollicking pleasure cruise.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    The characterizations never comfortably accommodate Haroun's pat metaphor, though his stoic visual storytelling has an oblique gravity.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    The best bits - the powerful instrument called Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, for example - more than speak for themselves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Punctuating views of the bucolic countryside and sky attest to nature or God's indifference to human suffering, but such formalist touches don't overwhelm the responsive ensemble work in this resourceful, taboo-prodding sickie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    The Double Hour sustains a minimum of attention thanks to the naturally beguiling presence of long-stemmed Rappoport-but what might've a less cautious director done with the material?
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    The idea is to show love in incidentals rather than big scenes, but the fragments selected do not build to any significance - this is a rote story, arbitrarily scattered into abstraction.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Danhier has made a lifestyle-nostalgia oral history after the popular "Please Kill Me" model, but gets none of the tall tales and internecine grudging that made that tome so entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    It's quibbling to draw up columns denoting what Lanthimos, a difficult but undeniable talent, does right and does wrong. He's seemingly working intuitively here, and whatever missteps he makes while feeling his way forward, he manages to pass quite near to one of the essential conundrums of being human.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Penn's lachrymosity and hotheaded indignity seem cartooned against Watts's contained conviction-though more incongruous couples have certainly existed-but the film's assertion of Plame and Wilson as real people rather than characters consists mostly of draining them of anything compelling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Améris's recipe here calls for everything in moderation, resulting in a movie that never threatens to offend nor, particularly, to delight, though it does offer a good view on a modestly charming actors' duet.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    The grungy setting and unflattering photography are only camouflage for callow, creeping sentimentality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Adventures is an awesome movie mechanism, but awe comes at a cost. The Tintin character is something like a blank spot at the movie's center, most vivid (unfortunately) as a plucky, priggish motivational speaker when he coaches Haddock out of a drinking problem.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    There's material from a phone-in psychoanalysis center, the dumping grounds of London's surveillance-camera feed, and the detox tent at some massive biergarten - like much of the film, mordantly funny in a kind of pursed-lips, arched-eyebrows way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Like one of its yakuza bigs, Outrage commands respect but no affection.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    The film is flecked with moments of interest, though this decidedly minor and not particularly cinematographic affair is clearly best suited to television.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    She (Kazan) also wrote the screenplay, which begs interpretation as a frustrated actress's commentary on the way that even ostensibly serious writers write women - that is, for maximum convenience. Still, the direction, from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), is never more than workmanlike.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    With Solondz's old-hat funeral deadpan and his efforts to pass off Abe's adolescent rage as elevated insight, Dark Horse is neither incisively black-comic nor particularly attuned to human behavior - proof that some directors, at least, do end up the way they started out.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Splice is a queerly funny movie, attuned to the absurd.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    With this overreaching Prometheus, Scott seems a bit like David carefully arranging his hair in imitation of O'Toole's Lawrence. He can still mimic the appearance of an epic, noble, important movie - but the appearance is all.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    Too scattered in its arguments and piecemeal in its sources to weave together a convincing institutional condemnation.
    • 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?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Farina is un-self-conscious and true enough to alchemize cliché.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Following the clues, The Other Guys turns more hectic than antic, and somebody didn't pack enough comedy for this long trip.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    Not everything that is human is naturally interesting, and Schleinzer approaches his subject not as an investigator, but as though covering up a crime scene and scrubbing it of anything that might provide insight or empathy or psychological traction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Firmly in the unassuming indie vein, Return treads lightly and leaves little imprint.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Fight fans will still find much of interest, including some surreptitious footage of Don King unsuccessfully wooing the young brothers by "playing" Mozart on a player piano.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    Leyser's collation of interviews and stock footage is polished enough to effectively perpetuate the Burroughs legend.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Pinkerton
    It's all slight enough to blow away, and rare enough to warrant seeing it before it does.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    The result is not without beauty, though at a certain point, one begins to notice that each new muse rather resembles the previous, a uniformity that restrains the film from true symphonic swell.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Pinkerton
    Once that point is made, this push-pull settles into a certain lulling monotony, wandering a wilderness of wires, cooling towers, and a thousand other inscrutable devices, but it is a monotony with an undertone of menace.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Pinkerton
    A hideously funny tabloid noir.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Pinkerton
    Delpy, of course, finds her father charming because he is her father, misses her mother for the same reason, and treasures her neuroses because they are her own. What viewers miss is anything inviting us to feel the same way.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    It's clear that Hughes knows his Midnight Oil, but he's ignorant of the craft of economic action filmmaking. However arguably noble his film's intent to redress historical grievance, a poorly filmed shoot-out is never more than exactly that.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Nick Pinkerton
    As de-mythologizings go, Trollhunter has neither the wit, nor art, nor social insight to honor the legacy of George A. Romero's "Martin."
    • 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.