For 291 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Paula Nechak's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Endurance
Lowest review score: 0 Held Up
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 291
291 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The film's only misstep is its again-used theme (especially when it comes to a woman's rite of passage) of exacting some punishing loss when our heroine pushes to transcend her limitations by seeking a better life.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    As dark as a Greek tragedy yet it has a vibrance and joie de vivre that can't be contained by grief.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Difficult to weigh and rate precisely because it deals with real life and real people.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    A radically disturbing and memorable movie whose images don't easily fade or diminish in power.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    Fascinating, visually gorgeous cinematic study that will frustrate some viewers by its ambiguity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    A hard film to shake and makes us think and think again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    A darkly funny journey about life ticking by and the change to make wrongs right.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Paula Nechak
    Even knowing the happy outcome, Butler masterfully keeps us on the edge of our seats, and communicates the full horror and seeming hopelessness of the crew's situation every step of the way.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    John Cameron Mitchell credits Plato as the inspiration for his rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Now Mitchell has turned his play into a raucous, touching celebration of a film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    At times, the self-congratulatory tone makes for smug viewing and slow going. In spots, the pace is so all-exclusive that not every viewer will be able to get up and dance to it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    More intelligent and thought-provoking than the usual dumb and dull-witted fare for children.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    It's LaPaglia's finest, deepest role and he's matched by Armstrong, who makes Sonja's undaunting optimism palpable within a trying marriage that's gulping for breath.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Because the subjects are all mellowing into grandparenthood and their abrasive, wilder days are behind them, this particular "scrapbook" isn't as heavy hitting and hard-edged as its predecessors.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    While Shrek may trek into that dark territory and has some questionable values simmering beneath the surface, its characters are delightful enough and the film is just sweet-natured and visually sophiscated enough to avoid sinking into the swamp.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Cruz is tough and sexy as the no-nonsense Raimunda and she's being deservedly talked up for an Oscar nomination in a tight best actress year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    There are too few surprises and even less subtlety in the telling. We can only sit and wait for the next bomb to drop on this poor exploited girl.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    It's a solid study in paranoia and gamesmanship.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Daniels gives a career-best performance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Makes a case that despite human inability to empathize with the emotional lives of other animals and creatures and to believe they are here only to serve our needs and convenience, birds are as capable of courage, violence, affection and commitment to family as we are.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    The actors are all well-cast, thoughtful and sometimes funny. Tabu was apparently not Nair's first choice, but after watching her in the role it's hard to imagine anyone else -- she's heartbreakingly good.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    As entertaining as it is a viable, political message destined to make viewers rethink their stance on war.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    Pawlikowski has made a gorgeously ambiguous film -- based upon a novel by Helen Cross -- that is blessedly hard to tag; in fact, it's a compilation of genres and moods -- comedy, romance and diabolical thriller -- and that is its core strength and freshness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    This bloodless, nuanced little thriller carries small weight save for Huppert's enigmatic, thrifty performance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    If you're a fan of Maddin's expressionist style, you'll find the humor within. Everyone else will be scratching their heads, despite Maddin's extraordinary visual imagination.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    It's more strangely and elementally touching than its predecessors.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The film is many things: dark fable, gritty thriller, satirical social commentary, horror film and a love story that's blessed with a marvelous, near slapstick physicality.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Isn't so emotionally powerful as the Oscar-winning "When We Were Kings" but which -- in its more intimate way -- still packs a punch.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    The performances by Davidtz, Weston, Wilson and especially Adams stand out as Morrison paints his character study with raw, true bits continually tested by the absurdities of pain life dishes up.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Noyce's movie is a testament to endurance -- the camera caresses the landscape -- instilling us with a respect and reverence for it, its harsh ways and the attachment to it that Australia's indigenous people hold.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    The real find in this lovely family film is Castle-Hughes, who makes Pai's confusion, emotional fragility and devotion palpable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Exquisite and fragile in visuals and tone, yet has some difficulty with a choppy narrative.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    In remarkably compact and quietly concise vignettes, we're introduced to each member, and immediately understand what they're all about.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The director's tenacity has resulted in a breathtaking as well as heartbreaking adventure of life and death.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Dizdar humorously compares and contrasts extremes in economics and lifestyles and looks at the west through the eyes of an outsider.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    For all its moodiness, despair and disconnect, I've Loved You So Long is all about acknowledging human error and embracing ties -- to family and life -- that can't be undone.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Ullmann has honed a too-long and sometimes relentless film that delves into the selfishness of passion but also captures the elusiveness and unpredictability of love.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Sandler and Watson make something out of their underwritten roles, and that they do is testament to their talents: They make this punchy romantic comedy more engaging than it should be.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    In its austere visual understatement rests a ton of emotional power.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    There are two reasons Ramsay succeeds with a story that might at best be called morbid: She visually transforms the dreary expanse of dead-end distaste the characters inhabit into a poem of art, music and metaphor -- and she has the perfect actress to embody Morvern.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    It's a well-acted but rote and strictly by the book "war movie."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The Cockettes is a fascinating poke into the soul of the '60s and it moves past a simple chronology of a counterculture phenomenon to examine how this predecessor to glitter rock and camp movies, such as "The Rocky Horror Show," could ever have ascended to such heights.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 33 Paula Nechak
    Assails with its in-your-face, repulsively compelling (like a train wreck) brutality.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Paula Nechak
    While the film shuns the glamour or glitz that an American movie might demand, Scherfig tosses us a romantic scenario that is just as simplistic as a Hollywood production.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    This devastating film is buoyed by Dequenne's bravura willingness to go all out; she's a baby-faced kid when the camera focuses full on and an exceptionally beautiful young woman in profile.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    Meanders as aimlessly as its drugged-out characters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Breathtaking visual accomplishment.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    (Arteta's) yanked an eerily accomplished performance out of his lead actor.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    The film manages to make the ordinary extraordinary. It takes visual risks, tells its story subjectively through images and moves confidently to a stunning, imaginative climax.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    It's a quiet anti-war film full of lovely, heartbreakingly assured performances and real situations and responses.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    While young Coppola is a pro with her camera, she'd be wise to brush up on her storytelling skills.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    The film is so crisply acted and smartly drawn that you barely notice the cracks in the veneer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    It demands people pay attention and look inward to find the private compass that will navigate us through murky sensibilities that are as capable of seducing us as they are Tom Ripley.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    There is a certain poignancy to a film that metaphorically examines the stages of a woman's life through each character.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Quite long and violent enough to have made several critics squirm in their seats during a recent press screening.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    An indie film that was lavishly praised and won the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, rolls along in the well-rutted, dusty tire tracks of other mother-and-daughter road trip
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The real humor comes, once again from Murphy, whose Donkey is so genuinely funny and clever that he very nearly steals the film. Except that it's stolen by Banderas as a rogue Puss In Boots.
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Captures the lovely, heart-and-eye-opening ode to youthful possibility with affection and compassion.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The film is so full of ideas and so dense that its narrative splinters, moving tangentially, and ultimately is weighed down by its rant and rhetoric.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    The film is thriller, comedy and rite-of-passage story, but Boyle never loses sight of what's at its core.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The two young actors -- Hutcherson and Robb -- are terrific and unpretentious.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Works well as a metaphor for a more innocent time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    More like the kid shows that populate Nickelodeon.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Brooks has made a movie that is about separation from convenience and having to deal one-on-one with a stranger in a strange land. The result is a profound and moving movie.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Ok, I admit at first I was just laughing at the sheer gutsiness of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. But after 10 minutes, I was laughing at the script.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    It's a taut, unexpected study that asks many questions about retribution and redemption.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Although the start of the movie is a little fragmented, and the last quarter turns predictably rote, the middle is heartfelt, wonderfully diverse and empowering.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Not only feels real, but it avoids preciousness and cute eccentricity and, in its lean, almost grave, cut-and-dried delivery makes more of an emotional impact because we're able to imprint our own memories of adolescence upon it.
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    In the end, this is a film about retribution and justice within unjust circumstances. Each character has a personal code of honor -- Arthur, Charlie and Capt. Stanley are all given their dignity -- and it's that code that sets the film apart.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    But the irony of Les Destinées is that while Assayas is a pro at examining the inner workings of present-day connection and nuance, he's so overwhelmed by the sheer historical scope and detail of this massive saga that after three hours we're starved for emotional involvement with such inaccessible characters.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    An odd charmer with a whisper of autobiography (Blitz makes his film's protagonist a stutterer, just as the director was in school) and it's made even better by young lead actor Reece Thompson.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    An original, well-crafted plea that uses restraint instead of titillation to make a cautionary tale that aches with pathos and power.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    A terrific movie about middle-age malaise and a comedy of unusual wit and drollness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    An empowering film for children, showing them at their most capable, working through problems and finding innovative solutions to overcome what seems like an insurmountable obstacle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    Craig's got the stuff but the ending of this cake is soggy for its protagonist and audience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Dedicates itself to the beauty and thrill of bodies and motion and in doing so upstages Altman's cinematic conduit. The medium ultimately surpasses its messenger.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Sometimes so intimate it's embarrassing, and the messiness at falling in love at any age is disquieting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    The two women -- as well as the always marvelous Bill Nighy as Blanchett's "older" husband -- run roughshod over its third act flaws and, with their exquisitely detailed performances, make it better than it is. It's an actor's triumph.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    First-time feature film director Max Farberbock has given a terrific visual style, resonance, sense of hope and power to the material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Something doesn't quite gel in the end.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Original, imaginative and stylish.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Has difficulty reaching a resolution. In the final half-hour, the film becomes almost hysterically out of sync with its prior quiet reserve.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Nettelbeck has created a movie recipe that ladles great dollops of dessertlike joy and equally dark tragedy around her strong-willed heroine. It wouldn't work without actors capable of finding vulnerability, humanity and kindness in sometimes inaccessible characters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Lurches toward an offbeat honesty but it also very nearly crashes in its quirkiness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    If ever a film seemed poised to take over the spot occupied by the surprise indie hit, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," it's Real Women Have Curves.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Paula Nechak
    Daring, gorgeous.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    The most fascinating aspect of the film is how the point of view shifts -- each character, as seen through another's eyes, is something else entirely.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Often as stillborn in pace as it is conceptually compelling.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Unfortunately can't transcend its theatrical roots and the actors, good as they are, seem like they're grandstanding.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Gorgeously evocative visually.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Its only constant is that it's strangely eloquent and quite original.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Like a family visit during the holidays. Tensions run high, not everyone is likable but being there's an uneasy comfort because everything is so familiar.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Paula Nechak
    Never offers much enlightenment through its message.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Paula Nechak
    Occasionally falters in its symbolism and storytelling, but still unnerves because we're never quite sure of our bearings, or whose "reality" we're watching.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Instead of making fun of the series' fans and their lifestyle, Galaxy Quest targets actors and how an onscreen image can forever lock a performer in a particular role. And that proves to be its saving grace.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    A genre-twisting surprise.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    While there is a faithful following of kids, it just never seems as exciting or sad or emotional -- or as ablaze with personalities -- as what has gone before.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    The actors navigate tough characters through emotional mayhem with such intense determination it's a shame they're undercut by the intrusive voice-over.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Paula Nechak
    Allen has avoided his usual stable of jokes and one-liners, and the result is a film that feels and looks fresh from the maestro of urban angst.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Paula Nechak
    Doesn't offer much texture or depth of character.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Paula Nechak
    There are some nice ideas floating around this ambitious film, as well as attempts to say them in a unique way.

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