For 869 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Noel Murray's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Child
Lowest review score: 10 A Love Song for Bobby Long
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 869
869 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Noel Murray
    L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Noel Murray
    The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day—and a surprising moment of parental grace—can ease a troubled mind.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    WQholly a Coen brothers movie, in that it’s full of exaggerated characters and comic cruelty, anchored to a way of looking at the world that seems to posit a fundamental absence of meaning. And yet there’s something sweet and even a little heartening about the movie, too.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    After two hours of dazzlingly fantastical images and stomach-turning gore, del Toro winds around, and finds his story's center.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The two main points Persepolis makes are that strife is relative, and all politics are personal.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Yet in his despair, there's something Kudlow misses, and it's what makes Anvil! as moving as it is hilarious.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Fateless is a strangely beautiful film, enhanced by a typically lyrical Ennio Morricone score and by Koltai's hazy, grayed-out images.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    For the most part, Willmott succeeds thrillingly.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    By the time Feuerzeig gets to his final shot--an artful portrait of Johnston's parents, with their son looming over them like a curse--he's emerged with the most harrowing and aesthetically keen portrait of madness and artistic inspiration since "Crumb."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    An intoxicating performance piece in which skilled actors pinball off each other with such energy and nuance that the audience almost forgets about the dying man on the edge of the frame. The style alone makes the movie's point.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The gut-churningly nasty Pusher III practically justifies the whole series, as it digs deep into the angst of a drug kingpin—a junkie himself—nagged by a thousand little business details and taunted by all the young, carefree libertines he sees enjoying themselves at his drug dens.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The first third of Iraq In Fragments is so intense--a masterpiece in miniature, really--that audiences may not have much emotion left for the rest.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    In the end, Black Book may be one of the most fun movies ever made about how people basically suck.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Like the best crime stories, this one isn't about how the bad guys live, it's about how WE live.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Porumboiu starts off making a mordant slice of life, but he gradually entwines the personal and the historical, then ends on a poignant note. The story and situation are slight, but in the best possible way.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    When others can't see what parents see, there's an inescapable ache. As much as anything, My Kid Could Paint That is about that ache.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    How can a freethinking father mandate his ideals without violating them? Pray covers it all, and movingly so.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Maddin talks at length about Winnipeg's hidden layers, but what makes My Winnipeg perhaps his best film to date is that so much of it is right out in the open.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Full Battle Rattle works just fine as a two-fisted combat story, with unexpected bursts of violence peppering that old universal message that war is hell.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    In tone and plot, Julia often resembles an extended episode of the AMC series "Breaking Bad"--except that Swinton's character is never NOT bad.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    A Prophet has been compared to American TV series like "Oz" for its episodic plot and large cast, but it’s more like a Gallic "Goodfellas": thoroughly absorbing, exciting, even poetic. It’s a full evening’s entertainment.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Again as with Bong's earlier films, Mother is a genre exercise that honors convention, yet weaves around it whenever possible. Bong carefully turns Mother into a classic gumshoe tale, with red herrings, interrogations, and moments of sublime suspense.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Grease is a pure pop construct, fueled by movie-star poses, hit songs, and persistent audience fantasies of being an acceptable kind of "bad." Barry Gibb-penned disco theme aside, Grease doesn't really belong to any one era. It's like it's always existed.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The Case Of The Grinning Cat is a sequel of sorts to Marker's epic three-hour 1977 documentary on the decline of the left, "A Grin Without A Cat"--though this new work is both shorter and more playful.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Woman On The Beach is a stripped-down, witty explication of how we all get stymied by the impulses and options inherent in the simple act of living.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Lee doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to filming live theater, but he moves the camera artfully and edits with an energy that matches the music.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    If a team of clever screenwriters tried to script a cautionary tale about the politics of fame (and the fame of politics), they likely couldn’t come up with anything odder or more apt than Erik Gandini’s documentary Videocracy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    A documentary that doubles as a comic thriller, and it’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Some people might find it distasteful to make a movie about guilty rich folks who give themselves permission to splurge. Others will rightly appreciate the honesty.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Restrepo can be tedious at times and nerve-racking at others, but why shouldn't it be? That's exactly what Junger and Hetherington saw on the front lines, so that's what they show, with very little filter.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    So what happens when people forget about all those people he stalked and snapped? Will his collection still be seen as an invaluable store of late 20th-century art, or the work of a celeb-obsessed hoarder?
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    In the propaganda-filled realms of politics, sports, and the military, that kind of no-bullsh-- -allowed truth feels cathartic. No wonder the Tillman family has spent much of the last 10 years fighting for it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The result is one beautiful movie-and no less so for making a strong case that beauty is a lie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Even though I'm not sure I understand what Stillman was going for minute-to-minute, I was swept away by how original Damsels is, and how funny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The Future's main characters are, undeniably, dopes. But July and Linklater turn their ineptitude into a funny running joke, which becomes surprisingly affecting in the second half.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Because the movie plays on so many common fears - including fears of being in a remote house with big windows when intruders arrive - the confusion of Martha Marcy May Marlene proves effective, not sloppy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Louder Than A Bomb is a different kind of high-school movie, brimming with life and hope instead of social-climbing, bullying, and furtive first kisses.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Looper is a remarkable feat of imagination and execution, entertaining from start to finish, even as it asks the audience to contemplate how and why humanity keeps making the same rotten mistakes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The result is a movie that's poignant, bittersweet, and true.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    In keeping with Jóhann Jóhannsson's score - alternately ominous, triumphant, and elegiac - The Miners' Hymns plays on the broader emotions of the subject. The film is all about the mysterious world down below, how camaraderie turned to conflict, and the nagging feeling of loss.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Bullhead is well-plotted, with a powerful ending, but its most brutal scene comes early, explaining why for Schoenaerts, life has been one long wince.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    It's undoubtedly something extraordinary: like a live-action Miyazaki film, with Days Of Heaven narration, set in a dirt-poor community at an unspecified time of crisis.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    What binds the entertaining crime movie to its YouTube-ready musical interludes is the unspoken yearning of its two leads: he for the world of silence in which he'd rather live, and she for all the sounds that slip by every second, uncontrolled and unappreciated.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    I Wish is still amply Kore-eda-esque, full of life, heart, and funny little details about daily existence, as it meanders its way toward moments of real profundity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    To an extent, Greenfield tries to have it both ways with her film: she allows us to enjoy the fantasy of being rich, while also letting us see the bastards suffer a little.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Photographic Memory is less wry and more melancholy than McElwee's earlier documentaries; it's a lot like his superb 2003 film "Bright Leaves," which was also concerned with family history and the shifting meaning of images.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    It’s a bright, lively movie, with a vision of New York as a multicultural free-for-all, where everybody’s always looking to see what they can take from everybody else.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The effect of Room 237 is intense. It’s a deep dive into the rabbit hole of semiotics, designed to train viewers to become alert to what they’re really seeing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Neil Barsky's Koch doesn't try to do anything radical as a piece of filmmaking, but Barsky - a former newspaper reporter - covers Koch's story magnificently as a journalist.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Anyone who enjoys overpowering cinematic sensation and watching people do a job will be predisposed to like Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s avant-garde documentary about life aboard a commercial fishing vessel. Leviathan is an immersive experience, plunging viewers into darkness and chaos, amid a rush of vivid color and rapid movement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    All the way up to the stunning final shot, Ozon urgently asks whether, for storytellers, it’s better to be on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    Movies can't exactly replicate the feeling of reading a book, but Jun Ichikawa's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short story Tony Takitani comes remarkably close.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    Gets most of its legs from the acting and the dialogue, which has such a rhythmic grace that scenes from the movie can be played and replayed with no loss of thump.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    The digressiveness of Y Tu Mamá También is its masterstroke.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    The sociological angle of Festival Express is a narrow one--perhaps too narrow--and doesn't overwhelm the film's real selling point, which is some of the best-looking and best-sounding footage of counterculture icons ever screened.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    The film is best treated as a one-of-a-kind wonder: an ingenious contraption that dazzles, teases, attracts, and repels with all the mystery and sublimity of a miniature world.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    Part period piece and part coming-of-age story, King Of The Hill balances an incident-packed script with muted tones, painting a rich, absorbing picture of one boy’s struggle to live by his wits.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    The Act Of Killing raises all kinds of provocative questions about the sins of nations in transition, and about how important it is for those in power to control the narrative.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    The extraordinary achievement of Under The Skin is that while Laura develops some human qualities, Glazer resists the temptation to turn this alien’s story into the story of what it means to be human.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Noel Murray
    If the movie is about any one idea in particular, it’s about how parents do their best to stay on top of how their children grow, by taking pictures and documenting the memorable occasions, only to learn too late that most of life happens between the posing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Moon is enjoyable as much for its small scale and solid execution as for its crazy twists and creeping existential dread.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If The Beaches Of Agnès has no clear structure, that's only because neither does Varda’s life--except in retrospect.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Antichrist is a boldly personal film, tossing all von Trier’s ideas about faith, fear, and human nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria, full of repulsive visions and fierce scorn. It’s also the most lush-looking movie von Trier has made in about 20 years.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Its final scene is almost overpoweringly tender and beautiful, offering a hopeful rejoinder to all the prior scenes of family members shedding their shared legacy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    It's a cogent, often infuriating explication of how the execution of the war went awry.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    It's more clever than funny, but it's very clever.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Hunger may be criticized for being willfully arty, or for reducing a complex political situation to a broadly allegorical vision of martyrdom, but it's never less than visually stunning.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    A beautifully choreographed and photographed story about tradition and modernity in rural Asia.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    It's hard to explain exactly why Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima is so much better than its companion World War II film "Flags Of Our Fathers," except to say that Flags tries too hard to emphasize the ironies of selling a war, while Letters deals with the ins and outs of the war itself.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Akin divides The Edge Of Heaven into thirds, and ends the first two sections with emotionally devastating scenes of violence, before easing into a third section that deals with the repercussions and lessons learned.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Mostly though, the movie feeds off Rourke, who plays a genuinely decent guy who never lets his dawning self-awareness interfere with his responsibility to give the fans a show.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Revanche is, first and foremost, a good story, craftily told.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    There are two Bronsons on display here: the impossible thug that we don’t dare release into polite society, and the guy we enjoy watching do his terrible thing. The man and the movie are both living, punching contradictions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Though The President's Last Bang is undeniably dense-with more than a dozen significant characters-the particulars aren't too tough to understand.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Comes closer than most to seeing the whole picture.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    For all Dead Man's Shoes' well-paced, well-observed boondocks melodrama, its premise seems simultaneously slender and overheated.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The War Tapes falls just short of greatness, because its scope is too limited.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The Bridesmaid goes slack at times, as it follows multiple Magimel family subplots, but as always, Chabrol stages everything with an elegant economy, moving the camera in short bursts that direct the eye but don't distract. Still, the movie would fail completely if not for the dynamic between the two leads.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    While all the "Up" films hold a fascination akin to a Christmas letter from an almost-forgotten friend, 42 Up didn't show much progress from "35 Up." Even fans of the series had to wonder whether the faces of England were going to remain permanently frozen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    While Jonestown lacks the power of revelation, it's a first-rate piece of journalism, as fascinating and thorough as any magazine article.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Ultimately, Cocaine Cowboys' lesson isn't that crime doesn't pay, but that it maybe pays too well.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    O'Toole is frail and probably won't make many more movies. So Venus is pitched partly as a fond farewell to a beloved artist, and his whole beautiful generation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    A little too neat, and self-consciously vague at the end. But it's fascinating to observe and try to interpret François' mysterious smile as she eyes her boss.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If modern art-lovers want to understand what the Jack Smith experience was like, Jordan's documentary may be their best chance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Like a lot of folk tales, Ten Canoes peters out into something more prosaic than profound, but it flows like water, and has a deceptively gentle pull that proves hard to escape.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Time could almost be written off as misogynistic, except that it's so specific about its rage. It's almost as though Kim was so fed up with having the same argument with his girlfriend, all he could do was make a movie.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Ultimately, the film is just a smart caper picture with some good performances, but at times it's VERY smart, and Hoffman's performance in particular is one of the most natural and unexpectedly affecting that he's given in years.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Temple introduces viewers to Strummer the punster, Strummer the womanizer, and Strummer the poseur, whom his mates could only really talk to when no one else was around.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If the film has a significant flaw, it's that Venditti never explains in the film how she found Billy, or why she's interested in him. Billy The Kid often plays more like an extended home movie than something intentional and artful.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    While some of the trappings and even some of the plot elements could easily be called unoriginal, Bayona and screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez arrange them in a fresh way, crafting an emotionally resonant, nerve-jangling experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Tonally, The Band's Visit steps gingerly on the line between “sweetly humane” and “cloyingly quirky.”
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Amalric gives another in a recent string of riveting performances, and Klotz gets a lot of play out of the ironic distance between musical expression and corporate rigor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Unlike Salvadori's previous comedy, 2003's "Après Vous," Priceless is less preposterous, and more grounded in character.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Body Of War purposefully depicts an America in turmoil. But it also depicts an America far more capable of living with contradictions than the "Red State/Blue State"-obsessed cable-news pundits would have us believe.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Attempts to look beyond the hysteria and consider exactly how and why a culture that values physical power has internalized the idea that steroid use in sports is a scourge.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    All told, Ellison is a fascinating person to spend 96 minutes with. But you probably shouldn't risk that 97th.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Describing the early stages of their sexual attraction, Bachardy sums up the whole outrageously fortunate arc of his life. "It was exactly what the boy wanted," Bachardy says. "And he flourished."