For 537 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 25% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 71% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 14.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nick Schager's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 45
Highest review score: 100 The Lords of Salem
Lowest review score: 0 Brother's Justice
Score distribution:
537 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    The Invisible Woman finds Ralph Fiennes proving as adept behind the camera as he is in front of it.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Nick Schager
    Practically guaranteed to elicit tears within its first five minutes, Alive Inside... is nonetheless more than just a tearjerker.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Comedy and shifting-allegiances intrigue more than compensate for the dearth of rousing action in this 1920s-set film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    The film rests on the desperate chemistry of a paunchy, weathered Owen and a tense, quietly ferocious Riseborough.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Debut writer-director Shaka King dramatizes her characters' descent into disarray with disarming intimacy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    A heartening but tempered portrait of the media’s ability to effect social change.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra’s documentary boasts an economical sleekness that’s in tune with the designers’ concepts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    A true-crime documentary of invigorating analytical clarity and evenhandedness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Jirí Barta's film is a disturbing through-the-looking-glass reflection of traditional fairy tales.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Nick Schager
    Doggedly manipulative and yet consistently affecting, Broken piles on the miserablism to almost unbearable effect.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    An illuminating history lesson about the Kentucky metropolis's artistic vision and philharmonic orchestra.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    A redundant if nonetheless occasionally thrilling follow-up bolstered by star Donnie Yen's precision combat skills.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    At once a disturbing vision of escape, a cautious portrait of liberation, and an exploration of authenticity and artificiality.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Palmer's grainy, handheld camerawork won't win any aesthetic prizes, but it's in tune with his subject.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Overlapping story threads, voices, and imagery result in an atmosphere of disquieting psychological confusion.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film is anchored and greatly bolstered by Bloom, who delivers a performance of quietly escalating madness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    Director Jaume Balagueró's film is nothing if not a well-executed bit of escalating craziness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    The film strikes a fine balance between hilarity and heartbreak.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nick Schager
    It's a film that paints a potent portrait of an artist of righteous, controlled fury.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Top Trailers