For 709 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 15.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nick Schager's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 46
Highest review score: 100 The Lords of Salem
Lowest review score: 0 Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Score distribution:
709 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    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.
    • 63 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Nick Schager
    Debut writer-director Shaka King dramatizes her characters' descent into disarray with disarming intimacy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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