For 714 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 27% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 69% 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: 46
Highest review score: 100 Command and Control
Lowest review score: 0 Red Hook Black
Score distribution:
714 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Without narration or a conventional storyline, it’s a uniquely insightful memoir-cum-critical-treatise.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Nick Schager
    Her documentary sporadically locates profound truth amid its myriad musings about the momentous and the everyday. Often, however, Anderson's hushed-tone articulations of her thoughts on these subjects prove affected, and her stream-of-consciousness style, though acutely constructed, is more alienating than inviting.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Nick Schager
    A poignant sense of time's unyielding forward progress and a mood of deep adolescent sorrow aren't enough to overshadow the insufferable blankness of Goodbye First Love's navel-gazing protagonists.
    • 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
    Asif Kapadia's documentary is ultimately less affecting and insightful on a universal thematic scale than on an individual, personal one.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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