For 186 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 31% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nicolas Rapold's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 These Birds Walk
Lowest review score: 0 Neander-Jin: The Return of the Neanderthal Man
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 186
  2. Negative: 25 out of 186
186 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Nance turns his thought into a performance of vulnerability that’s all too relatable in its indulgences. It has heart without becoming cloying.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Nicolas Rapold
    The filmmakers record the flash of youth’s headlong energies, its bumps and bruises, and its melancholies and brilliant chaos.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Nicolas Rapold
    Let the Fire Burn relentlessly sustains its tragic momentum.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Sallitt lays down a customarily restrained mode of acting (the kind that somehow seems less flat and more natural in French cinema), but it’s in the service of a rare lucidity about feeling.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    Shola Lynch’s documentary about Angela Davis, the activist and beacon of counterculture radicalism, is a snappily edited, archivally wallpapered recollection of fearless behavior in the face of an antsy establishment. But it’s equally significant as a pointed act of retelling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s the no-nonsense filmmaking, seamlessly integrating even dreams and visions, that keeps us fixed on the bold line of the student’s trajectory, all the way through to a transcendent ending.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    A Band Called Death is more concerned with bringing out the personal connections behind their driven music than with insisting upon the group’s distinction in the perennial music history search for oddities and firsts.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Ponsoldt ably charts a journey through the high stakes of adolescence, with both Sutter and Mr. Teller showing great promise.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Berliner’s film bravely brings us to the edge of language and experience.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    This static documentary portrait relies on the usual panning over photos and tag-team interviews, but the format, like the radio length of a song, doesn’t get in the way of its subject’s heart.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Miyazaki renders Jiro’s life and dreams with lyrical elegance and aching poignancy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    As soon as The Berlin File takes flight with its exhilarating action set pieces, memories of any muddles evaporate amid the tension and vivid engagement with settings, from courtyards to fields.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Though some of the writers inject a force of metaphor and strength of voice, no one would confuse the movie with a short-story collection. But it’s more ambitious and effective at blunting cynicism than most consciousness-raising efforts.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s not unlike many of Mr. Strickland’s beloved Italian films, which could be superb exercises in cinematic style and atmosphere while remaining imperfect.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    A deserved tribute that puts us inside the music, and the head space, of a great, lost band.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The Shine of Day pulls itself together with an ending that feels a bit ready-made for drawing out the parallels between its kindred performers. But the movie gratifyingly observes the openness that seems the base line for Philipp and Walter, and the glimmer of realization in a stage actor about the void that may lurk among his many liberating roles.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Smash and Grab has a grating, repetitive score and can look a little homely on the big screen. But unlike many true-crime accounts, it cherry-picks its material successfully and preserves the conspiratorial sense that we’re learning the ins and outs of an illicit art.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s gratifying to see the care taken with his characters, though it would be no betrayal of them for Mr. Hartigan to flesh out their world and their lives further.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Platt’s good-humored attitude helps keep the potent material from turning mawkish, and having his perspective also wards off a sense of exploitive voyeurism.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The real pleasure of this film lies in its recognition of session artists and in the oddities and mysteries within the evolution of any given item of pop culture.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Reich ties together his talking points with a reasonable-sounding analysis and an unassuming warmth sometimes absent from documentaries charting America’s economic woes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    What little we learn of Pascal, who has worked in Switzerland as a shepherd for more than 30 years, and Carole, who is a former dietitian, fits in a scene or two, but their practical journey yields a certain contemplative equanimity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Feeling a little stage-bound because of frequent far-back long shots, the show can’t quite become a true extravaganza on screen. But Peaches — even without commanding the screen — shines through, vulnerability winning out over bravado here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    With their sensitive feature clocking in at an hour, the filmmakers make you wish only that they had developed their material further.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    This heart-wrenching and deceptively conventional documentary manages the tensions in its subject and in the vérité approach in a fruitful, illuminating and surprisingly moving way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The movie is not always well unified and sequenced, but that seems to reflect Mr. Henin’s ambivalence over a past that’s like a book he is at once rereading and rewriting.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Ms. Wallach has fashioned a multifaceted, informative portrait conveying the emotional urgency of the Kabakovs’ work.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    12 O’Clock Boys packs more life into its 72 minutes than many longer documentaries do.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Chow has perhaps achieved more sustained and elaborate adventures, but he hits a sweet spot of comedy that never grows too self-aware or forgets the value of a good, clean demon whomping.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Ms. Lee could have delved more deeply into Ms. Boggs’s thoughts, and slips into glib autopilot by using archival footage with sound effects or repeating ideas of personal transformation. But in sharing her subject’s life achievements, she raises meaningful questions and keeps them profitably open.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The fearless streak displayed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble deserves its equivalent in a bolder movie technique. But Mr. Atlas delivers a rousing finale.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The pleasant surprise of Gareth Evans’s sturdy sequel to “The Raid: Redemption” is that neither its undercover drama nor its two-and-a-half-hour length bog down the bracing, and numerous, fight fests.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Rather than distressed retro photography, or Guy Maddin mash-up fantasias, the movie’s often deadpan episodes feel like something out of one-act theater
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The King of Escape is more loosely put together than “Stranger,” and, considering what happens, it’s relatively underplayed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Despite the bracing beauty of the wilderness, and the respite provided by cubs at play, the movie is primarily a sobering treatise on survival.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Pulp done with passion can be its own reward, as the veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Dante Lam shows with his feverish cop thriller That Demon Within.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Fleifel helps walk us through the history with an ingratiating voice-over that lightens the seemingly permanent clouds of a dire history.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Voss’s metaphors pile up helplessly: Finance is like being in the army, like catching a virus and as hard to grasp as quantum particles. The film in which he appears is a vertiginous look inside the bubble behind the financial bubble, with no end in sight.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    If there’s a certain depth missing in The Amazing Catfish, the film brings forth the small-scale pleasures and poignancy of an ambling short story.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    This succinct documentary sticks smoothly to its beat.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    The graceful flow avoids the spoon-feeding of pocket biographies, and even if the material can feel lean at times, Mr. Klinger shepherds along a valuable encounter with a sense of easy, generally uncanned observation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Bringing out truths about fatherhood, love and pride without dissolving into crowd-pleasing, that material feels like the genuine article. Fluffy, not fluff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Nicolas Rapold
    Regular hazily scored, gauzy interludes cut into the film’s immediacy and tone. But the filmmakers shade in humble, sympathetic portraits of these children.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The latest production from the BBC Natural History Unit is a typically eye-catching, years-in-the-making chronicle of animal life that is tainted by the urge to anthropomorphize.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The bare facts of the feat seize the imagination, even if Ms. Tobias’s competent documentary doesn’t quite rise to the challenge.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The filmmakers behind Elemental might have done better to commit to a single portrait and been more fearless about avoiding familiar oratory, but small steps are progress too.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    For all its faults, “We Steal Secrets” reminds us that despite the potential of WikiLeaks, its project of truth and consequences remains treacherous and complicated in practice.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    There’s a lot to learn from How to Make Money Selling Drugs, but sometimes there’s just a lot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Though not terribly nuanced, a bit muddled and lacking certain perspectives, “Zipper” drives home the fragile identity of even the city’s signature locales and the alarming cultural myopia of much redevelopment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s fortunate that the cartoons on display are such instantly satisfying works of popular genius, because, despite its subject, “Herblock” shows how even an edifying talking-heads documentary bumps up against the limitations of the format.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The film falls short of explaining Mr. Ali, who, like many outspoken individuals, can stubbornly repel scrutiny, nor will it pacify the many who opposed his conscientious objections. But it also underlines one enduring quality: namely, that he probably couldn’t care less what people think.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Meyer adheres to a cinema of broad experience by casting rugged but uninspiring nonprofessionals and focusing on the rebels’ long, lonely struggle rather than on triumph and tactics.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Meltzer doesn’t quite find an effective tone or structure to stay on top of his unsettling person of interest.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Seriously, if not always elegantly, the film portrays the great Ip Man as someone trying to survive, which is to say just as often a victim as a victor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Ms. Passon ultimately seems to skirt some of the larger life questions hinted at along the way.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The hormonal realism to the performances and a laid-back run-up give the film a fairly legitimate feel for adolescence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The fuzziness of Mr. Avitabile’s sentiments on boundary-blind unity is echoed in the movie’s slack, tag-along portraiture.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Golden Slumbers has a tendency to wallow in its romanticism, not to the point of trivializing its history, but definitely dropping off into somnolence.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Zizek’s daisy-chained improvisations amount to an argument on behalf of complexity and unseen depths, and, like much academic writing, it risks monotony and becoming as reductive as it can be seductive.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Lee’s film is more traditional than its sexually frank humor might indicate, with faith and charity ultimately given pride of place (right alongside human pettiness). But even if some of the crudeness and the drama feel forced, it’s hard to hate.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Ms. Hanna’s creativity and force are catching. But other voices are needed to evaluate her achievements with a fuller sense of cultural context and perspective.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Desultory, dauntingly DIY but secretly efficient, Breakfast With Curtis is something like a leafy summer afternoon in movie form.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Dutifully hitting its marks up to a point, this story of a married man struggling to stay closeted proves to have a maturity that eludes more overtly ambitious dramas on the subject.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The Cold Lands feels as if it were just taking hold when it reaches the end of the road.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Though not very ambitious, this winsome, whisper-thin tale shimmers along with the charming urge to connect and reveal yourself that links its two correspondents.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Sometimes genre-based filmmakers don’t know how to make their material fun without making fun of their material, but that’s not a failing of Mr. Kren’s.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Wechsler’s film might be loose to a fault, but Mr. Weber’s work yields its share of gratifying, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it New York moments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The filmmakers are blessed and cursed with a subject who seems to lack the usual filters. We in turn witness Mr. Foulkes in action, at length — revamping his works, railing against the art world and speaking his neurotic mind.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Despite Mr. Maren’s own ample experience as a writer, the references to book culture don’t feel vivid enough to act as more than scene-setting, and the film’s strength lies in the family relationships.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The Life & Crimes of Doris Payne has an embarrassment of riches in Ms. Payne’s story, and it’s often a ripping good yarn, but, as a film, it lacks the nimbleness and resourcefulness of its subject.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The severely beautiful film is painted in a dauntingly austere manner, as if lost in a war against itself, with confrontations underplayed and the rural landscapes making more of an impression than the detoured drama.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Gordon is likable, though it would be naïve to think he is unaware of cultivating his own image here.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The behind-the-scenes component, juiced with razzle-dazzle excerpts from the “Fela!” production, is sound, in theory. But — like many sequences — it’s not so tightly executed, and this strand tends to knock the documentary off balance.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s Shannon’s slow, steady world of hurt that makes the film watchable.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    The filmmaker strikes gold in her varied selection of defectors, especially the military man fed up with the myopic chain of command.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Documentarian Mark N. Hopkins gives us a mature look at the bracing yet very human personalities attracted to crisis.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    While these ninnies' antics and banter are remarkably entertaining, the quality of the satire depends on when the movie is sending up ludicrous extremist logic and when it's just engaging in repetitive buffoonery.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Nicolas Rapold
    Like most primates, Nénette is both fascinatingly familiar and strange, capable of almost human expressions yet totally unknowable (as well as massive and hairy).
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    A film plunked somewhat unfortunately between the inspirational and the ordinary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    As heartening as it is to see a slum child tutored about vicious cycles of adversity and using the buzzword “partnership” with aplomb, the film comes to feel cut and dried.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Ms. Ambo communicates the notion of compassion and calm as something teachable, but perhaps feeling already convinced, she’s less ambitious as a filmmaker about taking her subject and her portraits to another level.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    What pops more than the gunfire are the line readings, where Ms. Parker, especially, but also Mr. Malkovich and Ms. Mirren, can give personality to standard action repartee.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    As Terraferma tightens its focus on a courageous resolution of tough issues, too much nuance is jettisoned along the way.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Some low-budget manifestations of the supernatural jazz up the frights now and again, but as the novelty of worshiping a hole in the ground fades, the film paints itself into a corner.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Suri Krishnamma’s Dark Tourist takes an effectively unpleasant trip down the lost highway of a morbid mind before its bad choices start catching up with it.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The burlesque take on high school has some fine, ridiculous moments and lets the movie get away with more than a serious drama might.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    As flatly directed by Christian Vincent, Haute Cuisine is a reserved, très simple tale that raises the occasional smile and tummy rumble but keeps hiccuping because of the drawn-out parallel story about her subsequent tour of duty.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    [Mr. Greenbaum] is observant of tears and laughter alike, but he might have made fewer sacrifices in the name of a tidy package.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The Institute stumbles between documentary and exploratory simulation, at once confusing and pedantic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Lifted by the sepulchral Stephen McHattie as Lisa’s nemesis, the film’s frazzled thought experiment becomes an adequate yarn.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    This dully structured film makes its points early and often, treading water before a purposely delayed big finish.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    But viewers looking to learn more about Mr. Watterson and his creation than what’s contained in his Wikipedia entry may come away as hopped-up with impatience as Calvin when confronted by parental indifference.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The strategy and strategizing of Beyond Outrage still feel like overkill (if you’ll pardon the expression).
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The root of the movie’s appeal is less the scripted story than watching three game oldsters.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    It’s informative but not enlightening, and Mr. Berlinger packs in chattering news clips and a score that’s audible under the interview.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Mr. Song puts his usual big heart into the character, though there aren’t many layers or nuances to the drama. Every scene does its job, tears flowing on cue.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The naval collisions and melees play out in panel-like renderings that are bold and satisfying for the first half-hour but lack the momentum and bombastic je ne sais quoi of “300.”
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    Not that some of this isn’t amusing, but you feel the considerable improvisational skills of the cast going to waste.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    The movie proves to be a fragile conceit. It’s as likely to fall apart and cause frustration as it is to induce a reverie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nicolas Rapold
    A movie whose techniques present problems not containable by the noble intentions of its makers.