For 1,320 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Noel Murray's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 A Christmas Story
Lowest review score: 0 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
Score distribution:
1320 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Stella Days' strongest asset is Sheen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    There's a solid framework in place here for a fun, original twist on a conventional science-fiction premise, but aside from the occasional quirky touch - Vigalondo fails to fill that frame with a picture worthy of it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The documentary seems a little structureless and unfocused at times, as Akers moves from dramatic moment to dramatic moment, not always taking care to connect them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The footage in Paul Williams Still Alive - old and new - is highly entertaining, even moving. But it's as though Kessler recorded the DVD commentary track first, then made the movie.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    This new Bel Ami has a lot to recommend it, but it never seems as artful or smart as "Dangerous Liaisons," the film it most resembles.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    Seen as some kind of absurdist, meta-textual horror story, American Animal almost works. In every other way? It's fuckin' poopy-loopy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Patience reveals through images and tone as well as through the interviews how Sebald yearned for restorative meaning in the places he toured, only to end up lost in thought.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Fitzgibbon and McCarten have succeeded in integrating cancer into a slick teen love story, but in the process, they've robbed it of some of its necessary pain.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Payback attempts something impressively difficult, but it succeeds primarily in its individual moments.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    At two and a half hours, Warriors Of The Rainbow has the shape of something weightier than the simplified good-vs.-evil movie it actually is.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    As always with Hong's films, Oki's Movie goes through stretches where it seems aimless and self-indulgent, followed by stretches where it's sharp, funny, and poetic.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The Day He Arrives is a talky movie, full of long, boozy scenes and cosmic coincidences - and in that it echoes Allen, as well as Luis Buñuel, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, and the best of British kitchen-sink drama.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    The result is a movie that's poignant, bittersweet, and true.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    This is an inspiring and important story, but worthiness doesn't automatically equal quality. Had Besson looked for unexpected ways into Suu Kyi's life, or even had he indulged his old impulses and made a slick, surface-y Luc Besson movie, then The Lady might've been more memorable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Larrain crafts Post Mortem as a slow, quiet character study, narrowing in on Castro in his home and office while the world outside descends into madness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    It's a shame that a movie about the pope as a man shows such scant fascination with the actual papacy - or with humanity, for that matter.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Keyhole's flashes of actual B-movie coherence are enough to make longtime Maddin-watchers wonder if he could've played this material straighter, with more of a plot and fewer reveries.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    It's a fascinating film to think about, but far too cool to touch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The first half hour shows a dynamic politician who gets things done; the last hour shows him ground to dust by diplomats.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Ridiculousness aside, though, Brake is reasonably impressive both as a performance piece and as an exercise in staging.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Gareth Evans' Indonesian martial-arts throwback The Raid: Redemption has a look and feel that resembles the best of '80s cult action movies: half John Carpenter, half John Woo.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The movie is caught between the poignancy of the everyday and the exaggerations of fiction.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Just as a document of the sheer physical labor that goes into covering a giant canvas with color, Gerhard Richter Painting is never less than absorbing.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    David Gelb's documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi shows what a meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro is like: each morsel prepared simply and perfectly, then replaced by another as soon as the previous piece is consumed, with no repetition of courses. Once an item is gone, it doesn't come back. That's why each one has to be memorable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The sense of enervation that creeps into the movie's second half is bothersome mainly because The Snowtown Murders is often brilliant in its depiction of the mundanity of evil.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Better Than Something doesn't really try to resolve the mystery of how someone could be simultaneously so productive and destructive.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    For the most part, it's too dry and quirky to connect. Still, those gags are something.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The movie takes some dark, violent turns once Crudup enters the picture, and loses some of its initial soft, regional charm. But Kinnear and Crudup are funny, and the plot does fold together with the kind of cruel logic that these sorts of twist-a-thons often lack.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    This aestheticizing of troubled lives proves problematic over the long haul.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Harrelson thrives amid the restlessness, and gives perhaps the peak performance of his increasingly distinguished career.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Return is unusually attuned to its protagonist's alienation, which is especially painful because its source isn't some horrendous event she witnessed, but the hundreds of annoying aspects of everyday life.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Anyone could make a film about a theater full of naked women; only Wiseman would take equal interest in the person who handles the ticket-ordering, and the one who makes sure there's a bottle of champagne on every table.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Windfall is undeniably persuasive - and is likely advocating on the right side of the wind-farm issue - but the movie's case relies more on emotional appeals and frightening images of giant machines than on real, objective number-crunching.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The action in The Front Line is bloody and tense, but the movie also reduces war to its simplest terms, defining it in terms of the reluctant soldiers who know that only accidents of birth and location determined which side of the battlefield they inhabit.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Give Don't Go In The Woods credit for not being a wholly conventional horror movie. Debit it for not caring about horror in the first place.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Though The Hunter maintains the same even tone after it turns into a chase thriller, the look begins to resemble the work of William Friedkin and Walter Hill in its clean, elemental approach to action.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    It's About You's sound is relatively clean and dynamic, but there's nothing remotely resembling a narrative here.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Angels Crest has weaknesses that are tough to overcome. It relies too much on two particularly played-out indie clichés: a spare, plunky soundtrack, and a narrative structure that teases out characters' backstory far longer than necessary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    It's also representative of Pina's major flaw: the inability of artists to get out of their own way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Say this for Albert Nobbs: It's not some run-of-the-mill "life lived in service" drama.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    It isn't just the fashions that date this documentary, or the subjects' shared experiences of the European turmoil of the mid-20th-century. It's also their work itself, which is like a relic of some ancient civilization.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 16 Noel Murray
    A movie about self-absorbed douchebags that wallows in their douchebaggery.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Emily Browning gives a game performance as the unconscious sex object, but Leigh doesn't provide her with a lot to work with in terms of motivation, dimension, or any kind of rich interior life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    It's so much fun that as Tomboy moves toward its conclusion, the inevitable end of Héran's days as Mikael feels like watching someone die.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The movie suffers from backstory-heavy voiceover narration in its first half, followed by an excess of quirky laugh lines down the stretch, just when it seems to be finding a stronger rhythm. There's a shameless crowd-pleasing element to The Descendants that keeps its harder truths about family relationships at bay.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Even without the fine psychological shading, Garcia's story is a doozy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Mostly, though, the pleasure of The Love We Make comes from watching one of the most famous musicians in the world looking totally chill, whether he's rehearsing with his band or casually chatting with Bill Clinton.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The Conquest offers that familiar thrill of being allowed to peek behind the curtain and see what our leaders are really like, and while it's more rote than revelatory, that may be because the American way of wielding power - and telling stories about it - has gone global.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    There's a difference between "funny" and "comedy," and the movie adaptation of Killing Bono tries way too hard to be nutty, at the expense of just getting across what McCormick knows.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    There are very few light, casual moments in The Look; even when Rampling pops into a deli to buy a sandwich, we hear her in voiceover talking about her demons. An hour and a half of this is frankly exhausting.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Contrivances aside, though, Janie Jones is one of the more realistic depictions of what the rock 'n' roll lifestyle is really like.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Roughly 99 percent of the time, if a movie that seems like it should be a big deal appears almost out of the blue, it's because it's lousy. The Double doesn't exactly buck that trend.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If The Catechism Cataclysm does have something to say, it's that it's possible to enjoy a trip even when it isn't really going anywhere.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The moral to Clash's story? It's surprisingly easy being red.
    • 75 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Had Almodóvar embraced the genre more, and changed his style to suit a story in which human beings get hacked up and transformed, he might've naturally found his way into a more potent, satisfying narrative, rather than one that dawdles and dead-ends.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The significance of that group anecdote - from the message of unity to the way Mardi Gras gave some gay New Orleanians a way to explain their lives to their parents - can't be overstated, either for its impact on human rights or its power to move.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is too slick and too cute; Tudyk and Labine are terrific comic actors, but the movie might've been better served by less-recognizable faces.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Writer-director Jeff Nichols re-teams with his "Shotgun Stories" star Michael Shannon for his second feature, Take Shelter, which has a similar setting, but a different mood. Nichols is still concerned with family legacies, and the ways people in smaller communities relate to each other, but Take Shelter is slower and smoother, deliberately developing a mood of creeping dread.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    What makes Pearl Jam Twenty a little better than the average fan-friendly documentary is that Crowe focuses on the more significant parts of the Pearl Jam story: not how the group wrote "Alive," but how it's struggled with maintaining artistic credibility while selling millions.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Bate invites a disparate bunch of SULM true-believers to explain their obsession, and many of them point to the same spirit of voyeurism that makes YouTube videos go viral today: that sense of getting an unfiltered look into how other people live.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The characters remain governed by what they've been told about themselves for years - that they're ugly, devious, mean, low-class, or silly - until a fresh set of eyes changes what they see in the mirror. Knowing this mutual moment of stark self-awareness is coming doesn't make its arrival any less powerful.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The Ides Of March goes down easily, with a sophisticated bustle and a strong third act twist to test the hero's mettle. But it all feels a bit inconsequential - perhaps by design.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Illustrates how the rhetoric of civil rights changed after the breakthroughs of Martin Luther King. With the world's media finally paying attention, critical thinkers like Carmichael, Davis, and Malcolm X were able to push back against the fretful questions about violence, and redefine the story of blacks in America over the centuries as one defined by violence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Most likely, The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu will mean the most to actual Romanians, who will recognize the locations and fashions, and may even know what the government's documentarians left out of the picture. But the movie offers plenty to captivate even outsiders.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    A historical epic with elements of wu xia, supernatural thrillers, and drawing-room murder mysteries.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    A corporate crime thriller that explores the relationships of women in power, but while Corneau delivers a slick, well-acted piece with a surprising mid-movie twist, Love Crime is too thin and too on-point to deliver the jolt he and co-screenwriter Nathalie Carter most likely intended.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The movie has no story per se, and there are times when it does seem like Park is hovering, vulture-like, over his subjects' shoulders, waiting for a disaster. But Iron Crows isn't devoid of natural human exuberance, nor is it immune to the awesome spectacle of a dangerous job.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    It's tough to keep track of everything Jeff Warrick's subliminal-advertising documentary Programming The Nation? does wrong.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    What's missing from Mozart's Sister, though, is the kind of fervor that made "Amadeus" so memorable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Mysteries Of Lisbon is an odd kind of epic: It's digressive and even trifling at times, and though a large cast wanders through the frame, the individual scenes tend to be focused on just two or three people, having winding conversations about political intrigue and affairs of the heart.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Life In A Day serves as a fine time capsule, recording some of what life was like on Earth in 2010.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The Woman With The 5 Elephants isn't flawless; as articulate and fascinating as Geier could be, she was also dry at times. But Jendreyko cleverly parcels out her personal history, and he isn't afraid to break up the talkiness with long silences and luminous images.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    Salvation Boulevard doesn't seem to have any higher aspiration than illustrating how religious people can be hypocrites. (Gosh, who knew?)
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Yes, the idea that the tree/father is literally tearing this family apart is way too blunt, but Gainsbourg and Davies sell it by playing the scenes naturally, with minimal histrionics.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The Ledge is a sometimes-fascinating, often-aggravating chamber thriller that works best when it's doubling as an inquiry into faith.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    It's clear what Breillat is trying to do here in the abstract - and The Sleeping Beauty is never less than gorgeous to look at - but the movie doesn't hang together as a story, and "stories" are what these fairy tales are meant to deliver.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Nothing about The Ward's script or direction has much snap. The dialogue is never witty, the characters are indistinct, the story is set in 1966 for no relevant reason, and the scares are strictly of the "thing jumps loudly out of the shadows" variety.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    deWitt's script is much better than anything Jacobs has worked on before, with a story that gets richer as it goes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    It's best enjoyed as a crackling performance piece.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    What's missing from Kidnapped is a grander context - or richer subtext - to all the terror.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Most viewers should find the documentary Battle For Brooklyn gripping and provocative, no matter their opinions about eminent domain, historic preservation, or public dollars going to support private development.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The trolls are the best part of Troll Hunter; they're funny and creepy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Make no mistake: The Trip is a fine, funny movie. But there's no reason why it couldn't have been even finer and funnier.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    The smartest move that McGlynn makes in Rejoice And Shout is to let those old performances run on at length.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The result is a film that's long and choppy, with little narrative momentum. And yet at times, Mr. Nice is frustratingly close to brilliant.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    It's a lousy movie, but it has spunk.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Writer-director Dan Rush could've approached this material in dozens of ways, but the way he chooses-turning it into an occasionally wry, ever-earnest dramedy-is precisely the wrong one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    True Legend's heart is in the right place. It's just the body that's weary.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    It's a hyper-violent, self-conscious throwback, with the sickly plastic aroma of a tape that's been gathering dust in the corner of a video store since 1984.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    It might've mattered to the audience too, if we had any inkling from the first hour of The Robber who this guy is, or why we should care what happens to him.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    At its most compelling when Rosenthal explores why the crassest entertainment is internationally successful, even in the home of theatrical naturalism.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    It's just too bad that Legend Of The Fist breaks up that action with long scenes of well-dressed men and women sitting around in nightclubs, talking politics.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Tavernier turns a tale of courtly duty and manners into a tense, twisty drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Pretty to look at, making good use of the scenery in and around Turin; if nothing else, the runaway plot keeps the movie unpredictable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    To Die Like A Man is powerfully controlled, and builds to a moving finale in which the characters are stripped down to their essences: no flowers, just stem.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    In the end, Blank City becomes not just a salute to the artistic adventurousness of a bygone New York, but a reminder that new strains of creativity keep emerging, just when the scene looks stalest.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Though Circo is pretty bleak, Schock doesn't skimp on the exotic wonder of a life on the road, surrounded by color and danger.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Queen To Play has a winning heroine, who fantasizes about being special and then works hard to make it happen. Too bad the rest of the movie is so common.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Funny, twisty, and sometimes bittersweet, Potiche is a fluffy good time, but not entirely insubstantial.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    My Perestroika is fairly foursquare as documentary filmmaking goes; it isn't stylistically snazzy, nor doggedly vérité. Its closest kin in the genre is Michael Apted's "Up" films, which are similarly focused on how people change over time.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    It's also poetic and meditative in a way that never feels pretentious.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Cracks stumbles down the stretch, when the melodrama finally washes in and the behavior becomes more extreme.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Black Death bears some similarities to a zombie movie in the way the plague inevitably overtakes the populace, and it also has one foot in the "creepy community" genre, alongside films like "The Wicker Man" and "Two Thousand Maniacs!"
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    HappyThankYouMorePlease has a different vibe than "Garden State" or "HIMYM." It's more like a late-'80s/early-'90s Woody Allen film, after Allen stopped separating his comedy and drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    This is a movie about the casual ways people know each other, even when their relationships are hard to explain-or perhaps even justify.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Vanishing On 7th Street does work well as a kind of mood-piece, observing all the ways we surround ourselves with the illusion of warmth and security, before the shadows creep in.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Whenever all the pieces are in place, though, Lee reverts to the kind of storytelling he does best.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The movie does have a charm that develops gradually.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    The book may have been too unwieldy for Roos to wrangle. There's a lot of story (and backstory) here, which Roos tries to squeeze in every which way.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Kaboom is pure fantasy in every sense of the word: It's a riff on sexy, sassy teen movies and conspiracy thrillers that at times seems to exist only so Araki can get his beautiful young cast to strip off their clothes and pair off in every conceivable combination, just as he used to do in his earlier, more scandalous films.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Intentionally or unintentionally, there's a degree of accusation to The Woodmans that's discomfiting, almost as if Willis is indicting Francesca's parents for being so self-involved-even though they're just answering his questions as honestly as they can.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Skarsgård brings some redemptive soul to the role of a man who gradually begins to understand the aptness of his favorite Pretenders album: "Learning To Crawl."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    By making the jokes more personal, Suleiman charts the process by which the concept of "home" loses its meaning.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Too shaggy at times, with digressions into science and history that come out flat and awkward. But there's a sweet, unshakeable poetry in the main idea of the film.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Tiny Furniture offers a 21st-century, East Coast spin on "The Graduate," but with comedy-writer-ish dialogue and a mannered style that never fully gels.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    The film isn't erotic or profound. It is occasionally comic, though-like reading the finalists for one of those Bad Sex In Fiction awards.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The cast doesn't treat The Company Men like a slideshow. They take something overly schematic and imbue it with real anxiety, shame, and humility.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Slight but fun.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The problem with Kawasaki's Rose is that the theme is far more compelling than the movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The problem is that Hughes fails to imbue this homage with anything personal. Aside from splicing together a policier and a Western, there's no spin here, just a checklist of clichés.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Most fan-docs are fairly remedial, but Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields is more sophisticated than the norm, in keeping with its subject.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Gareth Edwards' low-budget science-fiction film Monsters is both a testament to what the latest technologies allow filmmakers to do, and-on the downside-a testament to the enduring importance of a good script.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Deepens as it plays out, and rewards viewers who stick with it through the clumsier passages. The film is moving and thought-provoking.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Viewers' interest in Boxing Gym will likely wax and wane, depending on their interest in martial arts.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Conviction is like "Erin Brockovich" meets "Rudy."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    While Tamara Drew is enjoyable throughout-right up to its loony, loony ending-it's more than a little scattered.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Noel Murray
    Somehow, all of these scattered pieces of film and video fit together, as do the ideas they represent.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    It's hard to know what's really happening in the movie versus what's merely running through the characters' heads, and the poignant final shot muddies the picture even more, raising the question of just when (or if) the story jumps from real to imaginary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Noel Murray
    The result is a movie that feels both fussed-over and meaninglessly cruel.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Grapples with tough subject matter, and earns a little leeway in its approach.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Copti and Shani show characters of different backgrounds interacting peacefully as individuals, then show how those characters subtly change when their affiliation with a group becomes an issue. And always the threat of violence looms.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Noel Murray
    Reconstruction doesn't evoke much emotion beyond cool ennui. At that, the film excels.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    All the nudity in Zerophilia is either prosthetic or body-doubled. Which means the sex scenes--and the feeling and meaning behind them--are just as phony.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The movie comes to life whenever Hamed Behdad appears.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    More essay than documentary—and by no means a monster movie--Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo takes a closer look at the Japanese obsession with insect-collecting, and considers it as a partial explanation of the country’s national character.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Anyone looking for history lessons from Rae's documentary will have to be patient and alert enough to pick through the poetry.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Once again with the Duplasses, there just isn't enough of anything: not enough funny lines, not enough variation of mood, not enough plot. If these guys were students, Cyrus might merit a "promising." But this is their third movie. It's time for them to stop turning in first drafts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Girls Rock! is cutesy and quick-cut, emphasizing the absurd while trying to keep the audience's interest with animated interludes and footage from corny old industrial films.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    Though its milieu is often ugly and its story fairly soft, You'll Get Over It gets by thanks to its cast. The French film industry has a knack for finding attractive, expressive young actors, and this movie is no exception.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Noel Murray
    As Polanski leads the audience step-by-step through Levin’s queasy plot, he pushes them toward a conclusion straight out of a Louvin Brothers gospel song. Oh yes, brethren: Satan is real.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    Jacobs focuses almost exclusively on Dobson's theories and mission, which he illustrates by contrasting jaw-dropping images of the sun's surface with people ignoring Dobson's entreaties to "Come look at the sun."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Wajda makes the murders look horrific and jangled, like something out of "Hostel," then ends Katyn with extended darkness and silence, allowing the audience to mourn for the death of a nation.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Crude is so crammed with facts and figures that it can be a little dizzying, but what’s more important is what Berlinger records between all the talking-head interviews and vérité footage.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Though Phantom Of The Cinematheque is fascinating throughout, Richard squanders a chance to recreate one of those long Parisian nights where Langlois held court for his fellow movie buffs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Even though 2 Or 3 Things' central irony is blunt, Ludin's tone remains measured throughout, and never self-serving.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Kisses is dreary to a fault. It looks fantastic, with its shadowy Dublin alleys illuminated by the heroes' light-up Heelys. But the writing doesn't have that same glow.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Universe deals extensively with Haring's personal life--his open homosexuality, his regular visits with his family, etc.--but it doesn't penetrate too far below the surface.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    The Take tells a compelling story of courageous, industrious people, but it begs for a second act.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Noel Murray
    The strength of Eastwood’s Bridges is in its patience, and how it lets the love story develop from start to finish, even though the audience knows from the beginning the broad strokes of what’s going to happen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    The sensual sex scenes and raw violence of God's Sandbox make it pretty much an exploitation film, and as an exploitation film, it isn't bad.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    At a certain point, Hammett gets unreasonably convoluted, but since its hero seems just as hopelessly confused by what develops, it's easy to just soak in the rich atmosphere, courtesy of Coppola's ace production designer Dean Tavoularis and a terrific John Barry score.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Ti West’s retro “Satan rules!” thriller The House Of The Devil gets the look and tone of early-’80s horror schlock exactly right.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Gleize establishes her multiple plotlines fairly cleanly, though once disentangled, the individual stories don't offer enough incident to be meaningful. They don't mean that much all put together, either, but Carnage is still highly watchable, thanks to Gleize's keen eye.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    The original musical holds up well, and Marshall and Condon’s adaption doesn’t wreck it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    There's something uniquely pleasurable about watching a director in total command of his craft, even when that craft is in service of a scattershot melodrama with pale intimations of social relevance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    No Restraint misses a lot of opportunities, like the chance to contrast Barney's work with artists working on a lower budget, or to examine his positive and negative influence on modern art, or to break down an economic model based on selling off the pieces Barney discards along the way.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Stolen is mildly engaging, inasmuch as it poses a riddle and makes the audience wait for the answer, in the classic mystery mode.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    De Caunes and screenwriter René Manzor do well when they dwell on history from a mundane human perspective, but Monsieur N. is too dry and too unsurprising for its two-hour running time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Noel Murray
    As a piece of filmmaking, the documentary The Five Obstructions is nowhere near as artful as Leth’s films-within-the-film.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    At one point, David Cross tells Gurwitch to enjoy being unemployed, because "When you're fired, you're interesting." But as Fired! proves, that ain't necessarily so.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    The paltry amount of live performances is a crime. In some ways, Smith singing "Gloria" live would've been all the context anyone would ever need.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The Fog's plot is convoluted and goofy, mainly because there's no way to sensibly resolve the "What's hiding in the places we can't see?" concept and the "Oh, it's pirate ghosts with meat-hooks" market concessions. Carpenter mostly tries to create an unsettling mood by having lights inexplicably come on and small objects move on their own.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Some kind of wonderment.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Noel Murray
    In the process of becoming characters, the writer-stars have diminished themselves.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Noel Murray
    What's most surprising about Never Been Thawed is that it's not completely awful. It's just a little awful.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The contrast of a warm maternal figure and a remote army outpost is undeniably affecting. But when Vishnevskaya opens her mouth, she spoils the mood.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    Mainly, Good Dick just proves that TV actors like Ritter make good indie-film hires, because they'll go along with whatever ridiculous nonsense a novice filmmaker concocts.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Prodigal Sons comes packed with multiple hooks. Aside from the sex-change angle, the movie takes a turn when Marc---whom Reed’s parents adopted before she was born--learns that he’s the biological son of Rebecca Welles, and the grandchild of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Dark Star has a stoner sardonicism: The movie feels like the product of long nights at the dorm passing around The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics and Arthur C. Clarke paperbacks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    These characters are still rich, and their potential growth still compelling. Here's hoping we meet them again in another five years.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    The Barbarian Invasions' flaws are mainly glaring because the movie is occasionally so winning.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    This story--or stories like it--has been told and re-told too often. Lemon Tree works best when Riklis cuts out the predictable melodrama and trusts the fertility of his central metaphor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The Wild Blue Yonder has a small message to deliver about the importance of ecological conservation, but mostly, it's an excuse to cut together mesmerizing undersea and outer-space photography while a hypnotic soundtrack drones on.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    In their attempt to make rural life look magical, Scott and Pouliot dehumanize their characters, substituting quirks for true individuality.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The movie ends abruptly, setting up an epilogue that viewers will have to provide for themselves. Jerichow's sparseness, tiny cast, and minimal plot can make the film seem a little elusive, but there’s a certain elegance to Petzold's concision, too. He shows all he wants us to see.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Hardcore Disney fans will appreciate how serious-minded and intimate this movie is, but for others, Walt & El Grupo might feel like an expensive vacation slide show, assembled by strangers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    The absence of style can be numbing, but it serves a purpose, positioning the documentary as a public record, not a work of art. As such, the film is eye-opening.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    It's neither conceptually bold nor slyly satirical when Billy dresses up as a Southern evangelical and sings made-up hymns about "the shopacalypse."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Though the oppressive artiness makes the early scenes fairly ridiculous, the director's odd methods add rare tension to the climax, as it becomes evident that the finale won't be so predictable in Campion's hands.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    When El Bola isn't drawing cheap sentiment from the sight of a bruised and scarred little boy, Mañas raises vexing questions about how and why parents leave lasting impressions on their children, and whether good intentions really matter.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Montenegro's performance is typically multifaceted, displaying keen wit and a thick streak of self-doubt.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    When the crazy comes, it's pretty good crazy. Ferrell is in full-on brazen redneck mode, doing a variation on his "Saturday Night Live" George W. Bush impression.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    It all begins to feel tawdry, especially since Paul H-O never seems to realize that even though he wants everyone to know who he is, he’s never given a good reason why we should.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    In short, this is a movie about bruised people bruising each other, and if Downloading Nancy had more of an openly pulpy sensibility, then the repugnant premise might’ve had some lasting impact.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Because the audience isn’t privy to the hero’s thoughts, the final 15 minutes or so of Big Fan are white-knuckle.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Comes closer than most to seeing the whole picture.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    The tone is so smart-ass that it’s bound to put a lot of viewers into a default defensive posture.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Scheinfeld captures the essence of the Nilsson experience, and how, according to his attorney, "He would turn up at your door at 4 in the morning, and you knew that the next three days were going to be an adventure."
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Whatever The Blood Of My Brother's journalistic weaknesses, it's valuable as yet another view of what may end up being the most thoroughly documented war ever waged.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    About A Son may not let in anybody who doesn't already have one foot in Nirvana's doorway, but those people are invited in fully, to experience the contradictions and preoccupations of a man whose music defined his era.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    If the people in Chrystal are intended to be authentic, why do none of them look like they've ever seen the inside of a Wal-Mart?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Peepli Live has a lot in common with Billy Wilder's black comedy Ace In The Hole, in that it explores the cynicism of modern life with wit and honesty.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    It IS a little obvious, but that's the way it goes with spiritual enlightenment. The film's lessons are plain--spoken aloud, even--and deal with the close relationship between what can be shed in this life and what binds people to the world in spite of their best efforts to purify.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The movie goes out on a high, but until then, it plays almost like the pilot for a TV series. But it would be a GOOD TV series.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Typically, Leigh withholds his own judgment as to whether Hawkins is a delight or a terror. But he does create a noticeable tension between the audience's expectations and the way the story plays out.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Well-plotted, with a strong lead performance by Michael Shannon, and a fair amount of authentic regional flavor. It isn't really meant to be a treatise on Southern life. At heart, it's a country-fried genre film, minus the peppery white gravy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    Predictable and corny, but to their credit, Cary and Rose strive to make the situation real.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    Mostly though, The Goebbels Experiment proves that historical figures have the worst perspective on themselves.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Remarkable for the intensity of the interviewees, who show a new kind of all-American gumption in the way they filter the mannerisms of low-rung celebrities through their own geeked-out, violent imaginations.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Though it's a well-worn story, Candy does touch on a universal anxiety. For two people basking in the heat of an all-consuming love, what happens when the power gets cut off?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Maggenti is still trapped behind surfaces, enamored of the IDEA of making a buoyant, urbane romantic comedy, while falling short of anything really resonant or personal.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The relentless negativity in Must Read After My Death can become overwhelming at times, but it's undeniably mesmerizing.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 33 Noel Murray
    The movie's more damnable problem is it irrelevance.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    The documentary is short, vividly shot, and packed with interviews in which desperate young men and women let loose their personal philosophies. In fact, there's so much philosophizing that there's not much time left for rap.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    von Donnersmarck gives his debut feature, The Lives Of Others, no particular style, and the absence of visual risk-taking renders an exciting premise ponderous and stolid.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    A Film Unfinished is affecting as a rare document of a terrible place and time, and those who lived there.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Séraphine is far more powerful when it lingers on Louis at work.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Jaud isn’t telling a story so much as he’s making a case, and while his case is persuasive, it doesn’t really work as a movie. The information in Food Beware could fit just as easily--and just as effectively--into a pamphlet.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Walker has something important to say with Countdown To Zero, but if this movie were standing on a doorstep with a petition, most reasonable people would sign it quickly and send it on its way, rather than inviting it in to chat.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    In many ways, Fugitive Pieces is a beautiful film. But it's a bit TOO beautiful.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Afghan Star offers a reminder of how much has changed in Afghanistan from the late ’70s--when Kabul was a secular-oriented city with co-ed universities and a thriving nightclub scene--to the rise of the Taliban.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    It’s refreshing not to be led along or handled by a filmmaker, but given the almost-novelistic structure of The Father Of My Children--which juggles half a dozen or so major characters and follows their reaction to a crisis in obsessive detail--the movie could stand to be a little more dynamic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Noel Murray
    Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    From Valentino Garavani's imperious carriage and diva fits to his coterie of tiny dogs, the subject of Tyrnauer's doc comes off like a fictional character, scripted by a writer with a weakness for cliché.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    Listening to Berg's characters talk so naturally, honestly, and colorfully about the small, surmountable problems of their daily life is so engaging that whenever Kempner cuts away to another dry historian or fervent fan, it's doubly aggravating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Nearly a quarter of the way through Earth Days, the movie seems on-track to being just another tongue-clucking “Isn’t it a pity” doc, painted in broad strokes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Noel Murray
    After the first hour, it's clear the movie isn't going to offer any surprising new insights into messed-up modernity.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    What begins as a multilayered tale of scientific discovery and cultural history gets reduced to a single maudlin idea: that even Charles Darwin had to evolve.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Vincere starts to run dry of stunning visual gambits and become redundant in its second hour, as the madhouse sequences dominate, but Bellocchio’s central premise retains its power and poignancy throughout.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The particulars of her situation are well-imagined, but Wolman's characters remain little more than mouthpieces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Leth shows how wrung-out and careless everyone gets amid constant bloodshed. "We don't need peace," one says. "We need school for our kids. Food. Sleep."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Undoubtedly, everything documentarian Darius Marder shows in his debut film Loot actually happened, but Marder’s approach to this “truth is stranger than fiction” story is so forced that the movie FEELS phony.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Peter Yates-directed cop thriller that relies on McQueen's chiseled features to hold an audience's attention through what's essentially a 45-minute TV show stretched to two hours. Aside from the famous car chase through the streets of San Francisco, Bullitt is primarily watchable for McQueen's performance as a cop breaking the rules to break a case, as well as all the '68 cinema signifiers: lens flares, soft-focus foregrounds, a jazzy Lalo Schifrin score, and vivid location shooting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Iron Island is at its most compelling early, as Rasoulof explores his human-scaled ant farm, detailing how people make lives for themselves in cramped quarters, using cardboard partitions and jerry-rigged appliances.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Between their bickering, Grønkjær's offscreen prompting, and the sappy, ubiquitous soundtrack, The Monastery is like the opposite of "Into Great Silence."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    It's an old-fashioned hoke-fest, in which the otherness of Germany is connoted by having everyone speak with a British accent.
    • 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
    • 80 Noel Murray
    The documentary was shot on film, and Moormann's snappy editing and subtly moving camera match the energy of the jump-blues and roots-rock that Dowd loved.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Noel Murray
    For all the smart visual design, though, She's One Of Us is frustratingly clinical.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Besides the restless style, Dans Paris is remarkable for being more about familial bonds than French cinema tends to be.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    If nothing else, Terror's Advocate offers a useful summary of the last half-century of global politics, and how changing public perceptions can make goats out of heroes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Tonally, The Band's Visit steps gingerly on the line between “sweetly humane” and “cloyingly quirky.”
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    Hammer has a nice eye, and his premise develops engagingly in the final half hour, as he raises provocative questions about whether one man can truly step in for another.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    There are certainly worse ways to spend the holiday season than in the company of two charming old actors, being reminded that human companionship makes life worth living, even as it makes dying a little tougher.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    As a political thriller, Christian Carion's Farewell is fairly feeble, rendering some of the oldest clichés of Cold War potboilers without much urgency or stylistic flair.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    For all Dead Man's Shoes' well-paced, well-observed boondocks melodrama, its premise seems simultaneously slender and overheated.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Noel Murray
    JFK
    So is JFK a good movie? Actually, it’s a great movie that looks better with each passing year. Even aside from what it’s saying, and even with the many, many forced moments, JFK has a mad genius about it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    The new English track is predictably clumsy, but the story and images overcome it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    The problem with Exterminating Angels is that its explanatory side overwhelms its playfully perverse side.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Noel Murray
    The movie winds its way artfully from a straight animal study to something more profound. It's hard to shake the film's astonishing final thoughts and shots, as Bittner nervously contemplates parrot eggs while hawks circle overhead.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Ewing and Grady practically squander the African material, and The Boys Of Baraka doesn't really come to life until the boys return to Baltimore for what turns out to be a permanent summer vacation, due to political unrest overseas.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    While Mammoth is frequently poignant and beautifully acted--especially by Williams, who’s so lost and lonely that she becomes casually cruel--the movie lacks the personal touch that’s distinguished even Moodysson’s “difficult” films.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    The sketchily symbolic characters and flat plot just frame an atmosphere of sticky heat and Biblical reckoning.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    The gold standard for the modern monster movie remains "Tremors," which combines genuine thrills with clever plot twists and distinctive characters. By contrast, Black Sheep has a bunch of one-note living jokes running around willy-nilly while being chased by killer sheep.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The director deserves kudos for setting her movie during such a gray, dreary Toronto winter. It couldn't have been easy to find a climate that so resembles adolescence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Noel Murray
    Cutesy and slight, but it's also polished and well-lit, and Muyl makes a weeklong hike roll by pleasantly, reducing it to about 80 minutes of screen time.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    For all the hubbub, the film succeeds in relating Shakespeare to modern times, thanks mainly to the use of energetic pop music and the gameness of the performers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    It doesn't help that Sullivan has twice as much screen time and half as much charisma as Braun.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Cox’s character is a living, hissing embodiment of the idea that no good deed goes unpunished. As an actor stuck in a movie that wastes his talents, Cox can surely relate.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Doesn't rise to the level of Bujalski's breakthrough feature "Mutual Appreciation," mainly because Swanberg doesn't have Bujalski's eye.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Spellbinding.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Berri's work never really rises above the gradual or the mild, and it eventually settles gently into one of those elliptical conclusions that mark mainstream French cinema at its most tasteful and staid, but the film's fully realized performances and sharply observed moments make it a pleasure, albeit a minor one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    What makes I Love You, Daddy at times frustrating but ultimately enthralling is that the whole picture feels like an exploration — and one where not even C.K. knew where he was going when he started shooting.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    Finishing The Game doesn't get anywhere that "Hollywood Shuffle" didn't go to first, even if it has its own set of specific complaints about how show business treats Asians.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Branch also adds some welcome visual pizzazz when needed, and admirably tries to keep the movie from becoming the story of a heroic creative adventurer and the people who try to drag him down. The characters in Multiple Sarcasms are more nuanced, and don’t reduce to a generic good or bad.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Noel Murray
    Reilly's appearance in Piggie amounts to little more than a cameo, but he's lively and real in ways that the rest of Bagnall's cast is not. It's the material's fault.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    In spite of a little bit of sex and a lot of strong profanity, Ordinary Sinner is pretty reminiscent of an old Afterschool Special.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The movie builds goodwill doggedly, and then pays it all off with a farcical finale with a rousing message: We're all Aborigines! Who knew?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Noel Murray
    As documentary moviemaking, though, Ellis and Mueller's work falls a little flat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    Geller and Goldfine have assembled a vital historical document, covering a cultural era now mostly lost, corrupted imperceptibly but permanently when fledgling ballerinas started dreaming about Broadway and Hollywood instead of Swan Lake.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    At the start of Gerrymandering, Reichert quotes Thomas Pynchon, writing, "Nothing will produce bad history more directly nor brutally than drawing a line." The same could be said of documentaries.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    As a place to enter and meditate, Into Great Silence is imminently worthy, but as a documentary, it doesn't do enough to probe the meaning of the quotation Gröning returns to repeatedly: "Oh Lord, you have seduced me, and I was seduced."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Noel Murray
    What Suleiman is trying to say becomes less important than the increasing boldness with which he says it. In the end, Divine Intervention has too many visionary setpieces, and not enough insight.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    When Down Terrace gets in a good groove, Wheatley and Hill's dialogue is both funny and pointed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    The very definition of "breezy." It's a featherweight romantic comedy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Even at its most upbeat, The Maid is something of a tragedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Noel Murray
    No movie that opens with the line "Time was never a friend to Bobby Long" could possibly be any good, and sure enough, A Love Song For Bobby Long lives down to its squibbed kickoff.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    The War Tapes falls just short of greatness, because its scope is too limited.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Noel Murray
    Builds slowly--maybe too slowly--to a mano-a-mano standoff, just like "The Twilight Samurai," and just like the earlier film, the new one presents its climactic swordfight matter-of-factly, with no superheroics and a lot of hesitation.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Noel Murray
    It's hardly a rosy picture of what it's like to be gay and 60 in Paris. But it's an engrossing picture.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    A Secret is suitably tense, sad, and deeply poignant as it moves toward an epilogue exploring the idea that everything rots and decays, no mater how well-maintained.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 42 Noel Murray
    Director Tom DiCillo does his damnedest to make his documentary about The Doors unwatchable, but the subject matter is too compelling--and the vintage footage too electrifying--to be completely worthless.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Noel Murray
    Thoroughly populist and middlebrow, full of all the high wigs, thick powder, perfect diction, and straightforward dialogue that define bodice-ripping prestige pictures about silently suffering souls.

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