For 731 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 28% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 15.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nick Schager's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 47
Highest review score: 100 The Lords of Salem
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Grandpa
Score distribution:
731 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    More terrifying than any horror film, and more intellectually adventurous than just about any 2013 release so far, The Act of Killing is a major achievement, a work about genocide that rightly earns its place alongside Shoah as a supreme testament to the cinema's capacity for inquiry, confrontation, and remembrance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    Bolstered by performances that convey profound grief and remorse without look-at-me histrionics, The Past is steeped in the believable micro details of its scenario while also expanding to universals.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    Based on the harrowing book by Eric Schlosser (who not only co-wrote, but also appears in the film), this unsettling production...is equal parts history lesson, cautionary tale and nerve-rattling thriller, using all manner of nonfiction devices to elicit both horror and outrage over the precariousness of our deadliest arsenals.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    To hell with equivocation or beating around the bush: Terrence Malick's 1978 Days of Heaven is the greatest film ever made. And let the word film be emphasized, since Malick's sophomore masterpiece earns this exalted designation from its position as a work of pure cinema. [22 Oct. 2007]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Nick Schager
    The film serves as an authentic examination of the mid-twentieth-century immigrant experience — and an intimate exploration of one woman's attempt to understand who she is and where she wants to belong.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Nick Schager
    As incisive as it is thrilling, Carpenter’s film is also gorgeous. Carpenter’s imagery is a thing of propulsive beauty that both enhances suspense and expresses his characters’ ever-changing relations to one another. It’s a fleet, ferocious piece of genre craftsmanship.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Nick Schager
    The use of the actress’ own archival material in 'In Her Own Words' results in a tribute to both her titanic career, and to her belief in the movies’ capacity to safeguard the past, and to maintain it long after its makers are gone.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Nick Schager
    Herzog’s latest proves a masterful inquiry into technological evolution.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    It remains a rousing portrait of creative renewal and, specifically, the way in which - by attempting something daring and new in the face of an opera culture deeply invested in tradition - Lepage proves that classic art can survive and flourish in a marriage with modern technology and imagination.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Replete with superb performances led by a paranoid Sackhoff and unhinged Cochrane, it's the rare horror film to know how to tease malevolent mysteries and deliver satisfyingly unexpected, unsettling payoffs.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Like so much of his celebrated work, documentarian Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery is long, leisurely paced, wide-ranging, meticulously crafted, intellectually intricate, and touched with profundity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Driven by both empathy and a passion for justice, “How to Survive a Plague” director David France’s stellar documentary charts an investigation into the still-unsolved death of trans icon Marsha P. Johnson, along the way illuminating the persistent discrimination that exists today, and the bonds of community designed to counter it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    As unhinged as it is hilarious.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    A film that's in perfect sync with its subject.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Rambling in the best manner imaginable, it’s an amusingly heartbreaking (and hopeful) portrait of misery’s messiness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Striking in its evocation of a demanding time and place, this intimate drama about individual and national transformation heralds the arrival of an arresting new filmmaking voice.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Practically guaranteed to elicit tears within its first five minutes, Alive Inside... is nonetheless more than just a tearjerker.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    With an intimacy and empathy that's all the more powerful for its modesty, the film investigates the complicated feelings of resentment and affection between wife and husband.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    The Invisible Woman finds Ralph Fiennes proving as adept behind the camera as he is in front of it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    The film proves a rousing, and ravishing, call-to-engineering-arms for future generations.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    At once sorrowful and optimistic, Heal the Living captures the terrifying fragility of life, even as it also recognizes the strength derived from the many connections — organic, emotional, and associative — that bind and define us.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Trophy’s wealth of conflicting facts, figures, and arguments routinely force one to re-calibrate their feelings about the issues at hand. The result is a lament for both the animals at the center of so many crosshairs, and for a modern world seemingly only capable of saving lives by taking them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    El Velador doesn't pass judgment or manipulate emotionally, instead choosing simply to consider the arduousness of survival in a land wracked by slaughter.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    Evan Glodell's debut has the sweetness of a lullaby reverie and the blazing ferocity of a monster-car nightmare, a first-comes-elation, then-comes-madness structure that resembles that of "Blue Valentine," another tale focused on the commencement, and then collapse, of an affair.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    Israel's fractured psyche is plumbed via narrative splintering in Policeman, Nadav Lapid's compelling drama about his homeland's burgeoning social unrest.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    Lino Brocka's portrait of familial treachery and societal abandonment channels its melodrama through the filter of neorealism.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    Barriers both transparent and persistently present encase the characters of A Separation, constricting them in ways social, cultural, religious, familial, and emotional.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    Humor and sorrow are equally immediate emotions throughout, whether in the writer-director's traditionally structured setup-punchline scenes or his strange non sequiturs
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Nick Schager
    At first glance, Tuesday, After Christmas seems, in both form and content, only a modestly ambitious endeavor. Yet the singular attention with which it carries out its aims-and the rigorous success it ultimately attains-is nonetheless unsparing, and bracing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    Steeped in centuries of custom and dependent on the ever-fickle relationship between soil, weather, and human craftsmanship, the work is likened by Francis Ford Coppola to a “miracle,” and one that tells a story about the time, place, and circumstances that gave each vintage its birth.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    [The] aesthetic structure creates a haunting sense of the simultaneously wonderful and sad feelings both men have about lives and loves now gone, never to be recaptured.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    It may not be a complete return to form for the once-revered auteur, but as an unexpectedly chilling horror concoction defined by skillful scares, it’s a significant step in the right direction.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    Aided by three-dimensional performances that exude a convincing mixture of bitterness, selfishness, desperation, and hate, Ayouch film casts a sharp gaze on tragedy, and the larger socio-economic issues that beget fanaticism.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    The camera tracks every emotional up and down, through tests and surgery, with an unfussy precision that allows the themes to arise naturally.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    This understated indie deepens its portrait of growing up by suggesting, ultimately, that anyone who thinks wasting time is a reasonable course of action needs to wake up.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    For the most part, writer-director Sophie Fillières’ If You Don’t, I Will strikes an engaging tone of melancholic humor through its portrait of a French marriage slowly falling to pieces.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    Buoyed by a script brimming with authentic back-and-forth ribbing and confessional exchanges, newcomers Baquet and Dargent exhibit an alternately ribald and frank rapport that, like the film itself, taps into the volatile anxiety of finding one’s self.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Nick Schager
    Jessica Chastain is a great actress, but with Miss Sloane, she also proves that she’s a great movie star.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Subtly visualizing the connection shared between the land and its people (and their interior conditions), Tanna proves rich in both sociological detail and roiling emotions.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Bolstered by superb lead turns from Chris O’Dowd and Andie MacDowell, as well as a formal structure that enhances the roiling emotions propelling its characters into a downward spiral, Love After Love is an assured debut feature that announces its writer-director as a formidable new American indie voice
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra’s documentary boasts an economical sleekness that’s in tune with the designers’ concepts.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Incisively intimate, it's a small but stirring snapshot of a gifted, hopelessly lonely soul.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Anything but a morose tale of a bright light snuffed out far too soon, Bernstein’s documentary is an inspiring heartstring-tugger.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    The Witness functions as a project of not only confrontation but resurrection, as Bill’s sleuthing sheds new light on Kitty’s personality, romances and career, and thus finally re-emphasizes her as a flesh-and-blood person rather than just a famous victim.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    The film rests on the desperate chemistry of a paunchy, weathered Owen and a tense, quietly ferocious Riseborough.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    A heartening but tempered portrait of the media’s ability to effect social change.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Unconstrained by the need for a neat-and-tidy dramatic arc, All This Panic opts for messy honesty — and, in the process, finds hope for all of its subjects, in ways both big and small.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Debut writer-director Shaka King dramatizes her characters' descent into disarray with disarming intimacy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    From one wild mood swing to the next, it keeps us interested with aplomb, with Mike Makowsky’s script never lingering too long on any one element, the better to keep the pace brisk, and unpredictable.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Blending archival footage and new interviews with Nilan, his family, journalists, and fellow combatants, Gibney celebrates hockey's fisticuff traditions while also recognizing how such brutality ultimately takes its greatest toll on those who perpetrate it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Hoover’s style seems equally fit for a bleak documentary, suspenseful thriller, black comedy, dystopian sci-fi nightmare and grisly horror film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    This is a swift and searing attempt to pull back the curtain on Jobs and, in the process, investigate the relationship between the myth and the man.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Staging multiple sequences as extended Altman-esque tapestries in which overlapping voices uneasily harmonize with the soundtrack's swelling jazz, On the Rocks is like a blood pressure–raising anxiety attack extended to an hour and a half — except funny.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    In virtually every closeup, Donald Cried practically seethes with barely suppressed emotion, though Avedisian cannily couches his characters’ very real, raw feelings amid a ridiculousness born of Donald’s wholesale weirdness.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    It’s an ode to self-discovery and acceptance that’s as funny as it is sweet.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Led by performances imbued with barely concealed sorrow, regret and longing to come to terms with that which has been lost, Kaili Blues affords a view of people, and a nation, caught in between a haunting yesterday and — as implied by the film’s conclusion — a hopeful tomorrow.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    This trippy work maps the intersections of West and East, body and spirit, faith and terror with beguiling grace.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Even at its conclusion, Holmer’s film refuses to provide easy answers regarding its meaning, instead using poised formal techniques to impart that which is not spoken — and, in the process, portends impressive things to come from its confident, capable director.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Frank De Felitta's guilt over having aired the footage is moving, yet it's ultimately countered by this piercing film's stance - promoted by the subject's proud children and grandchildren - that Wright's statements, far from a slip of the tongue, were an intentional act of courageous defiance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    It's Gruber's own remembrances (and a wealth of accompanying archival photos and film footage) that best mark her life as a case study in pioneering feminist courage, ambition and individualism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    A film that captures the underlying essence of baseball at the beginning of the 21st century: both humbly wistful and progressively cutting-edge.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Jennifer Yuh Nelson's sequel delivers a bevy of superpowered set pieces that are dexterous and delirious, as well as tonally confident.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Summer Wars surprisingly celebrates togetherness and bravery as much as binary-mathematics expertise, all helped along by a kick-ass synthesis of traditional hand-drawn scenes and fluid, rainbow-explosive CG artistry.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Without narration or a conventional storyline, it’s a uniquely insightful memoir-cum-critical-treatise.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    The film retains a measure of tempered hope, born not simply from the father's command-cum-wish to his slumbering offspring ("Don't become a miserable apple-polisher like me, boys"), but also from a final act of youthful compassion that binds Ozu's intensely human characters in glass-half-full solidarity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Mature and moving in its navigation of convoluted, conflicting desires, it’s an indie as assured in its silences as it is in its speeches.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Narrative unevenness notwithstanding, those hang-ups are given delicious life by a superb Rush, Davis, and Rampling (the latter often confined to a bed and encased in elderly makeup), who prove a regally dysfunctional trio par excellence.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Comedy and shifting-allegiances intrigue more than compensate for the dearth of rousing action in this 1920s-set film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    The film proves a piercing character study whose narrow view frustrates complete empathy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Canny and funny in equal measure, it’s a film that embraces technology — just like it does its protagonist — on its own perfectly imperfect terms.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Wiseman's generally static camera spends prolonged periods of time in the classroom, at student gatherings, and in the halls of educational power, training a multifaceted gaze on opinions regarding an economic shift affecting faculty salaries, subsidized programs, student tuition, and the university's fundamental "public" character.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Alternating between time periods and geographic locations, all of it connected by McElwee's narrated thoughts, the film proves a bracing and sometimes uncomfortable peek into private fears and regrets about mortality and missed opportunities. It's also, in its portrait of wayward Adrian, further proof that there's nothing more difficult, frustrating, messy, and insufferable than teenagerdom.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Favoring long, unbroken takes that allow the rhythmic, full-bodied songs to breathe as they ebb and flow from beginning to end, Anderson’s aesthetics unobtrusively capture the magic of Greenwood and company’s global partnership
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Newcomer Russell, at once tough and vulnerable, canny and damaged, delivers a performance of nuanced naturalism that starkly conveys the sorrow and sacrifice that sometimes come with learning to achieve self-sufficiency.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    If Defa's aesthetics are mundane, his leads' performances are not, especially in the case of Audley, whose darting eyes and hushed, stuttering speech express confused longing with transfixing train-wreck magnetism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Writer-director Freida Lee Mock’s concise and potent chronicle uses a wealth of archival video and numerous new interviews with its subject to properly contextualize Hill’s testimony as a landmark moment in the fight for gender equality.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    In a finale rife with twisted feelings of resentment, fury, and self-loathing, the film transforms into a grave meditation on the corrosive shadow cast by the decisions, and crimes, of yesterday.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    O'Conner continues to exhibit a deft knack for melding interpersonal drama with athletic competition in ways that, despite his tales' clichés, earn their melodramatic manipulations through genuine empathy for characters' plights.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    A yuletide fable that boasts Aardman Animation's peerless mix of whip-smart comedy and cheery heart.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The Lorax is a modest gem, failing to significantly enhance its source material's ideas but still delivering a zany, rollicking, multi-character version of Seuss's environmental cautionary tale.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    While incapable of comprehensively contextualizing the craze and only somewhat convincing in its portrait of the power of cocktails to reenergize the traditional local-dive scene, the documentary remains a succinct and lively tribute to the art of the drink—not to mention a handy compendium for those seeking a prime NYC joint to quench their thirst.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The film proves — in both style and attitude — a successful bridge between the old and the new, and one that, no matter its emotional slimness, ultimately never loses sight of the fretful angst with which all kids must, at some point, contend.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    A blistering portrait of rebellion against social discord, marginalization and oppression, and a call to arms for true democratic ideals of dignity, justice, and fairness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Sweetgrass achieves a borderline abstract splendor that's furthered by the directors' avoidance of delving deeply into its human subjects, whose backstories and general circumstances are only alluded to through fly-on-wall scraps.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    If immaculately realized, Silence is also an increasingly monotonous, patience-testing slow-burner, with characters repeatedly voicing their fears about God’s silence (often in voiceover), debating the merits of apostatizing in service of a compassionate cause, and suffering in quiet.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Though its verité aesthetics are often more serviceable than inspired, and its vague who-what-where-when-why set-up neuters some of its lingering impact, the film’s depiction of entrenched prejudice remains astutely realized.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The story places a premium on delivering its disreputable sex-and-violence goods with a minimum of fuss or pretension.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Asif Kapadia's documentary is ultimately less affecting and insightful on a universal thematic scale than on an individual, personal one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Beginning with a series of traps before escalating into sword-to-sword skirmishes, Miike's centerpiece boasts sharp momentum and nasty muscularity.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    In the race to achieve unadulterated fourth-wall breakage, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is the new pack leader.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    As rigorous and stimulating as its thematic inquiries are, A Dangerous Method ultimately rests as much on its performances, and in that regard, it succeeds far more than it fails.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Jirí Barta's film is a disturbing through-the-looking-glass reflection of traditional fairy tales.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Even when it’s trying one’s patience with throwaway gags or bits of over-the-top brutality, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is a rather canny celebration of the very type of no-holds-barred cinema that it’s peddling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Subscribes to the belief that moderation is a four-letter word, flying about with an abandon that begets exhilaration as well as exhausting messiness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Mostly, however, Doin’ It In The Park thrives simply via its myriad sights of nobodies juking and dunking their way past opponents, exuding an authentic for-love-of-the-game competitiveness that’s as infectious as it is intense.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    As a ruminative travelogue-cum-dissertation, Rodrigues and Guerra Da Mata’s film is often haunting, and its portentous and mournful atmospherics ultimately help compensate for the nagging impression that it’s a work almost too personal for an outside viewer to fully penetrate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Blue Caprice otherwise proves a deft mood piece, one that probes its characters’ states of mind while remaining wholly unmoved by their grievances and hang-ups.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Christopher Nolan's capper of his Batman trilogy is a summer blockbuster of grand inclinations in both form and content.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    A true-crime documentary of invigorating analytical clarity and evenhandedness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Overflows with inspired craziness, doling out an all-night odyssey of sex-centric crises, death-defying conflicts, and Neal Patrick Harris-centered insanity with snowballing momentum, as bits pile on top of bits with intoxicating verve.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Makinov's film expertly crafts a sense of dawning madness that hinges on its villains' unspoken fury at their elders.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The Guard is John Michael McDonagh's caustically funny riff on cop and crime films.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Well acted and wise enough to not excessively linger in its atmosphere of genial camaraderie and underlying regret and nostalgia, Turkey Bowl accomplishes its small-scale goals with aplomb.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The filmmakers profile the prolific Mark Landis with a non-judgmental straightforwardness that allows the sheer brazenness of his scams to generate both shock and amusement.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    The proceedings somewhat sidestep the issues of risk and responsibility—including the raised, but never fully tackled, question of whether others should have gone back to try to save their fellow, trapped compatriots—that seem most in need of investigation.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Doggedly manipulative and yet consistently affecting, Broken piles on the miserablism to almost unbearable effect.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Erik Sharkey’s documentary is far less adventurous than Struzan’s own creations, using a straightforward chronological structure and talking-head format to pay tribute to Struzan’s legendary output.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Content to faithfully hew to convention, A Single Shot rarely surprises, but its portrait of foolishness and fallibility, and its atmosphere of inevitable doom, remain sturdy and captivating.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Overlapping story threads, voices, and imagery result in an atmosphere of disquieting psychological confusion.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Whether it was all a haunting or a hoax is left unanswered, but the film leaves little doubt that Amityville's greatest source of evil was, fundamentally, parental in nature.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    House of Z captures the way in which direct hands-on engagement is vital to an artist’s continued relevance, and vitality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The plotting is two-dimensional, but in the tormented visage of Taloche (James Thiérrée)-a clichéd holy simpleton enlivened by irrepressible physicality-the film seethes with full-bodied fury and anguish.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Thorny issues regarding patient-caregiver relationships, cost-vs.-care tensions, and morality-vs.-rules dynamics are handled with a minimum of didacticism by Lilti, whose handheld camerawork provides a measure of immediacy without calling undue attention to itself.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Though the film’s feel-good construction undercuts its ability to surprise, Petra Volpe’s cine-history lesson remains a mainstream crowd-pleaser adept at inspiring and amusing in equal measure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Contextualizing the prime minister's rise to power within a larger portrait of a nation under constant internal and external siege, Bhutto conveys a forceful sense of tectonic social and geopolitical shifts, as well as the courageous, heartbreaking personal sacrifices its subject made in service to both her homeland and ideals.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Palmer's grainy, handheld camerawork won't win any aesthetic prizes, but it's in tune with his subject.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    While secret handshakes are amusingly depicted as the key to building trust and friendship, it's Stephen McHattie's greedy agent...that truly hammers home the film's depiction of the art world as fueled by rapacious, kill-or-be-killed bloodlust.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    It’s mostly interested in the off-kilter but natural chemistry of its leads, who despite their differences come across as comrades who genuinely care about each other, and whose bond is solidified by their shared hangups.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Its plotting is often a tad too plodding, but with the charismatic Mortensen exuding understated internal crisis (in a French- and Arabic-speaking role), Oelhoffen's film proves a compelling portrait of individuals striving to cope with, and at least somewhat overcome, cultural dislocation.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    While thrills are mitigated by convoluted plotting and suspect character behavior, the film’s uniquely bleak twist on classic noir conventions is enlivening.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Director Rola Nashef's visuals can be clunky, and her script's conversational dialogue is occasionally stilted. Nonetheless, she draws her characters in sharp lines, so that the gaggle of customers who frequent Sami's workplace...feel not like types but, rather, like diverse individuals.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Despite being an aesthetic bore, The Green Prince sets itself apart from the nonfiction pack via a recent story of two unlikely comrades’ heroic sacrifice, moral courage, and cross-cultural dedication to peace that’s not only gripping, but all too timely.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Despite its familiarity, Chapter & Verse manages to make its material both fresh and authentic.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    That visual beauty helps compensate for a script that wastes no opportunity for heartstring tugging, often in the form of adorable tykes playing with each other and cuddling with their elders in close-up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    A Man Called Ove — preaching tolerant togetherness as the key to happiness — earns its sentimentality by striking a delicate balance between barking-mad comedy and syrupy melodrama.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    An inspired-by-real-events drama that finds honor, decency, and sacrifice in the legal profession, The Attorney is a rousing old-Hollywood tale of one man risking everything for a just cause.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Szász's harrowing film roots that coming-of-age process in suffering, depicting it with a grim solemnity that, by never wavering, ultimately leads to a tempered measure of unexpected hopefulness.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Proving that its chosen genre is best when its tropes are treated with a balance of sincere sweetness and wink-wink absurdity, Playing It Cool thrives through sheer liveliness, as well as the chemistry of its perfectly paired stars.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    It's an effective primer on a voluble and charismatic mayor who embodied the spirit of the city he loved.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Finlay's handheld style is as casually intimate as her subjects, and the film stirringly posits music as a path to communal bliss.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Short and sweet, it's an empathetic and affecting tribute to the great — and vital — artists who all too rarely receive a center-stage encore.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    An illuminating history lesson about the Kentucky metropolis's artistic vision and philharmonic orchestra.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    [An] insightfully open-ended inquiry into the role of humor as it relates to unspeakable tragedy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Olaizola pans across peeling building facades to subtly enhance her portrait of characters crumbling under the weight of self-destructive habits and solitude - a weight that might only be lifted through the selfless compassion of others.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Riley shrewdly maintains focus on how the players co-opted the merciless tactics of their invective-hurling adversaries for their own, and the region's, self-actualization.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Rogen’s zonked-to-insanity performance is the lifeblood of The Night Before, giving it the sort of joyous, madcap energy that comes from letting loose with one’s closest comrades, even to the point of potential oblivion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Their sense of superiority toward the petty SUV drivers and rude midlife-crisisers who frequent the lot is matched by introspective considerations of traditional social contracts.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Writer/director Ursula Meier uses a stripped-down, naturalistic aesthetic full of well-organized compositions that pay close attention to shifts in character mood, comportment, and behavior.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Cuban-American writer-director Julio Quintana’s feature debut has an understated formal loveliness that helps offset its more heavy-handed allegorical inclinations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the grim realities of his story, director Funahashi captures both grief and outrage in equal measure.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    "Southwest of Salem” proves a portrait of individual tragedy, and an indictment of a system willing to let prejudice cloud its judgment — and, also, to avoid admitting its own wrongdoing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Helen's extreme behavior is at once a reaction to, and rebellion against, her mother and father (and their separation), which, along with a captivating go-for-broke lead turn by Juri, lends the film a poignancy to help offset the juvenile shock-tactic impulses.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    An engaging (if somewhat slender) portrait of the violence of adolescent maturation.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Given Men at Lunch's compelling argument that the identity of its anonymous ironworker subjects is beside the point—that mystery is a prime facet of its enduring appeal—the documentary's desire to determine who they really were comes across as unnecessary.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Ambiguity enlivens the smart, knotty Resolution, which routinely nods to its own artificiality while positing storytelling as a constantly evolving beast apt to save your life one moment and consume you the next.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Strong, understated performances from Baird and O'Connell bring real intimacy to their characters' sometimes-strained mother-son dynamic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    A redundant if nonetheless occasionally thrilling follow-up bolstered by star Donnie Yen's precision combat skills.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    In countless over-the-top set pieces, Yuen delivers striking combat clarity without sacrificing the visceral editing and crazy digital effects of modern bloodbaths.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Rife with jealousy, treachery, and violence, it's a stylish portrait of the tangled relationship between cinematic and real-world sleaze.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    While its unconventional approach eventually becomes a tad wearisome, Morgen’s film proves a uniquely revealing exploration of the development, and eventual disintegration, of the heart and mind (and spirit) of a musician incapable of finding solace in, or transcendence through, his angst.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Though at times too splintered by its various points of interest, Bernardo Ruiz's up-close-and-personal documentary is nonetheless harrowing in its details.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    If the doc’s ultimate argument is less than wholly persuasive, A Good American nonetheless paints a fascinating picture of Binney’s mind, and the way in which he first envisioned ThinThread as a giant neural network-like globe filled with graphically linked nodes.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Shining an intimate light on an individual in order to reveal greater truths about life and the world, Raw Faith focuses on progressive-minded Portland, Oregon, Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film strikes a fine balance between hilarity and heartbreak.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Director Jaume Balagueró's film is nothing if not a well-executed bit of escalating craziness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    If you can get on its wacko wavelength, it's a uniquely crazed, compelling midnight-movie whatsit.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    With the survivors' physical presence amongst Nazi slaughterhouses as its own powerful statement, Buried Prayers is a nonfiction work that confronts Holocaust atrocities from a piercing ground-level view.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    At once a disturbing vision of escape, a cautious portrait of liberation, and an exploration of authenticity and artificiality.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Hop
    Despite its scattered frenzy, Hop-thanks to its fondness for smushing together seemingly incongruous elements and Marsden's goofy, bug-eyed mugging-is just demented enough to deliver a fleeting sugar rush.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    It’s a singularly off-kilter vision of repurposed invention, though even at 72 minutes, the film struggles to keep itself afloat, its central conceit too slender to maintain its sense of mirth or wonder.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Often too clunky for its own good, and (ahem) doggedly apolitical throughout, this earnest feel-good tale nonetheless manages to pull on the heartstrings with sufficient gentleness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    It's a film that paints a potent portrait of an artist of righteous, controlled fury.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Foreign Parts engages in sociological inquiry without narration or contextual handholding, utilizing incisive, striking aesthetics (a panorama of hanging side mirrors, worn shoes trudging through grimy puddles) to elicit potent subcultural immersion.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Although Angèle's religious faith and Frédéric's belief in luck seem like strained attempts at adding heft to the material, the film nevertheless works up a potent dramatic restlessness, derived from the push-pull between an entitled, obsessive Frédéric and Bellucci's quietly chaotic Angèle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Prospects are dim no matter where these people choose to reside, and A River Changes Course captures their struggle with an ethnographic gaze that generally maintains enough detachment to avoid excessive, judgmental handwringing and heartstring-tugging.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Emphasizing action over the spoken word, The Salvation doesn't break new ground, yet its murderous twists of fate are consistently compelling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Taking the macro view, [Fulton and Pepe] seem to miss out on the types of thorny micro details — about McGee’s relationship with his mother, or about Viland’s own history preceding her tenure at Black Rock — that would have provided additional complexity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film is buoyed by its sharp, witty lead performances, with Spall’s holier-than-thou imperiousness clashing suitably with Meaney’s more affable obstinacy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    With an insightfulness born from firsthand experience, Rocks in My Pockets posits depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia as conditions that, though potentially lethal, remain manageable, if only through persistent battle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Yadav pinpoints the various ways in which institutional and personal prejudices keep people enslaved, crafting a sharp portrait of gender inequality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film exhibits a contemplative quiet and attentiveness to detail that enhances its issues of regret, bitterness, and confusion, many of which are rooted in thorny parent-child relations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film is anchored and greatly bolstered by Bloom, who delivers a performance of quietly escalating madness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    An old-fashioned tale of heroism in the face of insurmountable odds, The Finest Hours is never less than aggressively hokey and manipulatively sentimental — and, in the end, better off for it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Opting to leave somewhat open the question of whether its subject was a traitor to her Jewish people or a conscientious scholar determined to conduct rational analysis free of public and peer pressure, it remains a mildly intriguing drama of the often unavoidable and contentious intersection of intellectual analysis and personal prejudices.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Not particularly complicated, and sometimes as confused as it is concise, 1972’s Joe Kidd is nonetheless a lean, reasonably satisfying slice of Clint Eastwood outlaw badassery.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Identifying the method behind the Coens’ madness takes some work, as the film moves at such a rat-a-tat-tat screwball speed that following along often feels like clinging for dear life to the side of a speeding train.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Brash, brutal, and simplistic in equal measure, it’s a retrograde work that, for better and worse, delivers its old-school mayhem with punishing precision and unrepentant glee.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Lian Lunson’s camera allows the music to take center stage via straightforward, graceful compositions—close-ups and medium shots dominate, and edits are kept to a relative minimum—that allow for long, unbroken views of the artists at forceful, mournful work.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    Waters’ comedy — like its forerunner — comes impressively close to elevating cursing to an art form, especially when wielded by Thornton and Cox, who spit and sneer vulgar invectives at each other like gutter-trash virtuosos.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Nick Schager
    It’s a stagy setup whose theatrical roots are always front and center, yet it’s one that’s handled with aplomb by director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum), whose latest has enough visual panache to compensate for the static, conversational nature of the work.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Tommy Lee Jones provides wisecracking levity as Rogers's commanding officer, Hayley Atwell supplies the aforementioned buxom chest and accompanying tough-girl grit as Rogers's British love interest, and Johnson directs with flair, his set pieces defined by both muscularity and clarity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    At its best, Magic Trip evokes the freewheeling, idealistic, psychedelic vibe of an era's origins; at worst, it's a film in which people narrate their own druggie home movies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Bolstered by deft editing that keeps the proceedings moving at a light, graceful clip, this behind-the-runway look at one of fashion's legendary brands has a sleek, efficient stylishness in keeping with its subject.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Wholly uninterested in puffing up his subjects into an iconic rock outfit on a par with their idols Led Zeppelin and the Who, Crowe instead merely tells their story free from the constraints of rise-fall-rise clichés.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    An outrageous based-on-real-life tale that's perfectly suited to director Michael Bay's insanely overblown stylistic and thematic temperament.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    From a purely suspenseful vantage point, Big Bad Wolves is an efficient and effective beast.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Raze leaves the background particulars about this competition oblique, partly because it adds a layer of ominous mystery, but primarily because it doesn't matter; witnessing women-on-women violence is the thing here, regardless of any narrative context.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Its performances are resourceful and affecting, with Chastain and Worthington in the past sequences, and Mirren and Wilkinson in the later chapters, exuding a complicated mess of responsibility, guilt, sacrifice, revenge, and regret.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    If its plotting can be slight, the film's restraint and earnestness help prevent it from ever tipping over into outright mawkishness, and its performances similarly avoid over-the-top histrionics.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Zaldana is such a sultry and surprisingly heartfelt executioner that she often finds a way to make this by-the-numbers genre retread feel, if not fresh, then at least sporadically electric.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    The script leaps forward with an absurdity almost as great as Lincoln's own strength.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Pablo Larraín employs ultra-widescreen cinematography for constricting close-ups and inhospitably alienating compositions that generate a nasty chill, the director keeping the army's brutality off screen to amplify a sense of oppressive malevolence.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Though his film's feel is pure Iraq and Afghanistan, Fiennes doesn't push those parallels unduly, and his central performances prove clear, nuanced, and incisive.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Safe's primary contribution to the burgeoning Jason-Statham-kicks-everyone's-ass subgenre is setting three of its set pieces in crowded New York City venues (a subway car, a hotel dining room, and a Chinatown nightclub) where shootouts lead to believable mass-exodus pandemonium.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Luc Besson's producing career has been so geared toward lean, tough genre films that it's somewhat apt that he'd ape--or, if we're being kind, pay homage to--John Carpenter's preeminent sci-fi actioner Escape from New York with his latest, Lockout.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    While the Nitro Circus's many achievements are impressive, they pale in comparison to those of Knoxville and company's.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Despite its often-overwhelming nonsensicality, there’s ultimately something irresistibly fiendish about Silent Hill, which not only condemns holier-than-thou religious zealots, but also—if I understand its gruesome finale—seems to be firmly on the side of the Devil.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Shallow to its core and as propulsive as a runaway locomotive, it's the most blatantly summer movie-ish of the Mission Impossibles. And also, surprisingly, the most viscerally entertaining.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    The film shrewdly opts not to proffer its own hypothesis about the true reasons behind the Gibson family buying Frédéric Bourdin's story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Intimacy doesn't completely give rise to insight in this loving, if largely for-fans-only, posthumous portrait of Memphis-bred punk rocker Jay Reatard.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    As its titular tyrants, Spacey, Aniston, and Farrell all revel in their over-the-top noxiousness, though the latter is mysteriously given short shrift even though his performance is far and way the most novel and gonzo.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    J.C. Chandor creates an austere snapshot of human struggle, ingenuity, and perseverance, one that's predicated on Robert Redford's fantastic performance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    A portrait of the eve of 2008's financial crisis that plays out with funereal inevitability, Margin Call loves speechifying, but the film is far more assured when lingering in the silence of its morally compromised characters.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Makes a compelling case for games as not only clever hand-eye coordination exercises, but also as manifestations of their creators' emotional and philosophical viewpoints.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Love is both a many-splendored and painful thing according to Love Etc., a multi-subject documentary about the various states of amour that, while never succumbing to glibness, also fails to rise above superficial geniality.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    If familiarity is endemic to this feel-good drama, there's nonetheless also something to be said for competent amalgamation and regurgitation of tired genre tropes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Nick Schager
    Flip-flopping traditional genre dynamics in a manner more cute than uproarious, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil charts the Three's Company-style shenanigans that ensue when two West Virginia bumpkins cross paths with a group of camping college kids.

Top Trailers