For 2,135 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Rainer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Listen to Me Marlon
Lowest review score: 0 Mixed Nuts
Score distribution:
2,135 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's an opulent, if instantly disposable, kinetic joyride.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof. But the director, E. Elias Merhige, and his screenwriter, Steven Katz, occasionally bring some rapture to the creepiness, and Dafoe's vampire, with his graceful, ritualistic death lunges, is a sinewy, skull-and-crossbones horror who seems to come less out of the German Expressionist tradition than from Kabuki.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Has an appealing rawness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The entire remake has been dumb-dumbed by John Hughes, who wrote the script and produced.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Franklin directs smoothly, but except for Freeman, the theatrics are pretty pro forma.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    What's weird about subUrbia is that Linklater's zoned-out technique is wedded to Bogosian's in-your-face power-rant oratory. The result is like local anesthesia--you can see the incisions, but you can't feel them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Suggests a cross between "Sunset Boulevard" and "All About Eve." The suggestion, alas, doesn't go very far, but Bening's performance approaches the pantheon.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Anderson is something of a prodigy himself, and he's riddled with talent, but he hasn't figured out how to be askew and heartfelt at the same time. When he does, he'll probably make the movie The Royal Tenenbaums was meant to be, and it'll be a sight to see.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Except for a few brilliant flashes, mostly from Peter O'Toole as Hector’s father, the Trojans' magisterially woebegone King Priam, Troy is a fairly routine action picture with an advanced case of grandeuritis.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    LaBute is attacking our society’s obsession with the surface of things, whether it be a painter’s canvas or a human one, but his drama is, in itself, relentlessly superficial.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    I wanted to be transported by this movie; I wasn't quite. But I respect it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Fortunately, there are more than enough moments when the heavy-handedness gives way to the sheer bliss of ordinary magic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Watching it is like getting a peek behind the curtain. But it's frustrating, too, because the casting of Emadeddin as a murderer-in-the-making precludes any psychological depth. And as an indictment of social inequality, which is the film's calling card, Panahi inadvertantly makes a far better case for the haves than for the have-nots.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    He doesn’t entirely succeed, but the attempt has poignancy: As uneven as much of his recent work has been, Bertolucci's still in love with the movies, and his ardor--if not always the ends he puts it to--is exhilarating.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The problem is that Allen is getting a bit long in the tooth to be playing a romancer-rescuer, and since he and Helen Hunt have a rather frigid actorly rapport, we have plenty of time to notice the awkward, and barely acknowledged, disparity in their ages.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    At one point, Val bemoans how stupid the country is, how dumbed-down everything has become. Allen's new movie is far from dumb, but it has an air of abdication about it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    What makes Nolte so much stronger than the other performers is precisely this sense of mysteriousness and indirection, which doesn't really correspond to the Adam Verver of the novel but certainly jibes with James's overall method.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Lee has phenomenal presence, and his movements are so balletically powerful that his rampages seem like waking nightmares. Lee keeps you watching The Crow when you'd rather look away.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    I'm not sure I have it in me to rant yet again about what a deprivation it is for our finest actor to deny us his genius in this way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Despite all the computer-generated effects and highflying superhero theatrics, this roughly $120 million movie is, with few exceptions, remarkable only in its small human touches.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Fitfully effective as a battle movie, and Mel Gibson does his rugged best to take center stage without seeming to. But the movie is self-righteous in a way that's frequently unseemly.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    There is in The Mother a rich understanding of where old age takes you. Along with the myth that seniors don't have sex drives, the film dispels a larger one: that the years bring wisdom.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Were it not for these performances (Blanchett, Ribisi, Swank, Reeves), The Gift would be fairly negligible.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    I don’t mind the movie’s retro-ness, but I wish Mostow didn't take pulp so seriously.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    I realize that Fosse's dark sizzle might seem a bit dated today, but surely something halfway snazzy could have been devised for this movie. It's toothless.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It’s the difference between artistry and knowingness. About Schmidt doesn’t bring us deeply into the lives of its people because it’s too busy trying to feel superior to them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Demme’s Manchurian Candidate is far from a disgrace, but it's not freewheeling enough, not strange enough to make sense of our gathering dread.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    A great deal of energy is expended on metaphysical ruminations that become ever fuzzier. The film is intended as an allegory, but it works best as a jailbreak romance. In this movie, lowbrow trumps highbrow every time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's a sinuous, bittersweet odyssey, and although the filmmaking lacks finesse, the actors, especially Mandvi, with his bright, sorrowful beauty, and the great Om Puri, who plays Ganesh's father-in-law with an infernal crankiness, are always worth watching.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    A sentimental, feel-good look at a family in mourning, but Jake Gyllenhaal rises above the clichéd script with a brilliantly creative performance.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Fortunately, most of the malarkey in this movie seems intentional in the same Sunday-afternoon-serial way as the Indiana Jones movies (some of which Johnston worked on).
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Sam Rockwell plays Barris with a hipster’s shimmy that’s creepily effective -- The problem with making a movie about a hollow man is that, when things start to get heavy, you’re stuck with nothingness at the core.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Though worth seeing, should be better than it is.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    This time around, Harry Potter has more to worry about than the Dark Arts -- though parts of The Chamber of Secrets are spellbinding, he seems to be suffering from a bit of sequelitis.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Despite its exuberant perversities, Waters’s take on erotomania is almost quaint.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Leconte films in an austere yet invigorated style; the action never settles into stiff tableaux.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Fry's saving grace is his love of actors. The younger and less familiar performers are more than adequate, but it's the older guard that shines. Broadbent is marvelously rummy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Writer-director Billy Ray is so eager to be fair-minded about everything and everyone that you can't help thinking he's a patsy, too. If he directed a movie of Othello, he'd probably try to make us feel warm and fuzzy about poor, misunderstood Iago.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Shyamalan wants to be the metaphysical poet of movies, but he's dangerously close to becoming its O. Henry. The best surprise ending he could give us in his next movie would be no surprise ending at all.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Some directors can profit from the strictures of a strong narrative, but, for Linklater, the conventionality of The Newton Boys works against the glide of his free-floating style.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Writer-director Andrew Niccol throws around a lot of intriguing ideas in this film, and even though his ambitions are more expansive than his talent, he's managed to come up with something that credibly resembles the shape of things to come, Hollywood-style.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Pretty much the whole movie is a series of poses, static and uninvolving, except for cinematographer Eduardo Serra’s lighting, which makes everything look convincingly Vermeer-ish. I’d like to see what he could do with Rembrandt.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    You can believe this man (Jones) left his family because he felt born into the wrong tribe. Now if only he had picked the right movie . . .
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The best new addition to the corp is Alan Cumming’s Nightcrawler.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It might seem as though there is nothing new to be done with the crime thriller, but The Code (La Mentale), directed by Manuel Boursinhac and written by Bibi Naceri, provides a new twist.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    In U-Turn Stone is reaching for the pulp without the politics. He's trying for noir as ritual dance. But Stone is too frenzied a filmmaker to keep the dance steps simple.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Secretary is deeply conventional: Edward and Lee accept their bondage as the way to a more fulfilling life. It's the filmmakers who need to be spanked.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    A lovely minor achievement. It would have been major if Breillat had been more expansive with respect to Anaïs instead of contentedly letting her go on about her lumpish ways.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Taking Sides has a padded-out, stagebound quality that is anything but lyrical. And Szabó, a Hungarian best known for "Mephisto" and "Colonel Redl," is not at his best here.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    If you're young enough to have missed some of the better Lemmon-Matthau pairings, like "The Fortune Cookie" or "The Odd Couple," then Grumpy Old Men won't seem so grumpy. [25 Dec 1993, p.2]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The effect is a bit like watching "Gone With the Wind" with a dumpling substituting for Scarlett O’Hara.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    What saves it is Dennis Quaid.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Should be remembered for a pair of performers -- Derek Luke and Viola Davis, whose cameo as the mother who abandoned him cuts through the sap like an acetylene torch.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Directed by Alan Rudolph and co-scripted by him with Randy Sue Coburn, Mrs. Parker is a real odd duck of a movie. It seems to have been made both as tribute and put-down. The sporty conviviality of the Algonquin Round Table is celebrated, and yet there's a hollowness to the confabs.[21 Dec 1994, p.4]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    A bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's one of the weirdest achievements in film history: Temperamentally, Spielberg and Kubrick are such polar opposites that A.I. has the moment-to-moment effect of being completely at odds with itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The audience for Hannibal is far more primed for a good time; if the film is a hit, it will be because Lecter has been cartoonized; his ghoulish panache, his double entendres about cannibalism, and his pet phrases like "goody-goody" and "okeydokey" all serve to make him a figure of fun.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's a movie about the warm feeling you get when you belong to a family, and, throughout, the thermostat is turned up high.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Spartan is a character study embedded in an action-hero scenario. Neither aspect ever really breaks loose.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Neil Young’s concept album turned concert tour turned movie, which is like nothing I’ve ever seen--at least not in an unaltered state.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Even in a piffle like Something’s Gotta Give, Keaton reminds us of her uncanny ability to inhabit her characters' knockabout emotions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    This may sound like an Oprah episode, but the outcome is far from predictable and carries the force of a tragedy in which everyone, and no one, is to blame.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The Last Samurai is an idyll in which the savageries of existence are transcended by spiritual devotion. That’s a beautiful dream, and it gives the film a deep pleasingness, but the fullness of life and its blackest ambiguities are sacrificed.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It’s powerful, all right, and Downey’s performance is lacerating, but missing is any sense of lyricism in Dark’s hallucinatory yearnings. Without that leap of transcendence, this new Singing Detective doesn’t sing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's plotless. It fits no category -- "docudrama tone poem" probably comes closest.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    French Kiss tries to be a glass of pink champagne, but some of the fizz has gone out of the bottle. But director Lawrence Kasdan and screenwriter Adam Brooks cram so many potshots into the piece that, after a while, it makes you laugh anyway.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    If the filmmakers had made a point of satirizing the new makeover culture in ways that went beyond camp jibes at décor and suburbia, they might have come up with a classic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    CQ
    Not everything in this ambitious comic escapade works, but Coppola, along with his sister, Sofia, is a real filmmaker. It must be in the genes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    There's something a bit condescending about how the movie devolves into a falling-out-between-friends scenario, as if the only way our attention could be held by this subculture were if it was presented to us sentimentally.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Inspires the requisite shock and awe, but a little goes a long way. About the fifth time I saw someone slip-sliding away from a 60-foot wave, I longed to hear someone on the soundtrack say, “That guy is really nuts.”
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Even though The Devil's Own reportedly cost close to $100 million, it comes across as a sleek, medium-grade character study occasionally punctuated by gunfire. If this is what $100 million buys these days, can $200-million movies be very far off?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    It's all been done before, and better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Nothing that Davies does is ordinary or artless but his craftsmanship has its suffocating side too.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    The filmmakers betray the essentially childlike appeal of Shrek by piling up all these too-hip Hollywood references aimed at adults. It's not just kids who will feel cheated.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    The Good German is a prime example of a movie made by highly skilled and intelligent filmmakers that nevertheless seems misguided from the get-go.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Haskins comes across as too pure. When he plays only his black athletes in the championship finals, his monomania is presented as a good thing. After all, he won, didn't he?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Jarecki's thesis is that law enforcement targets minority communities, but his analysis is far too simplistic. Since when did pushers become victims?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    The movie, at its best, is compellingly odd, which is also the most accurate description of Carrey's performance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    There is no law requiring a biopic to make “nice” with its subject, but Get On Up, which presents Brown almost entirely unflatteringly except as a performer, makes you wonder why the filmmakers (including Mick Jagger, one of its producers) took the trouble.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    One thought that occurred to me while pacing myself through Flypaper: With the economy being what it is, will there be a rash of bank robbery movies?
    • 35 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    I'll say this much for Jumper – it's got a great premise. Or at least the beginnings of a premise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Green Zone wraps up with a wish-fulfillment fantasy that is about as believable as watching reinforcements riding in to save Custer.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Simon Pegg, of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," is onscreen almost constantly in Run Fatboy Run, and his mugging and smirking and preening wear out their welcome fast.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    The Da Vinci Code is so transparently pitched as pulp entertainment that, in the end, it's about as subversive as "Starsky and Hutch."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    When the military brass warns that "we're about to be colonized," you wonder if they mean to shut down the borders. It's probably not coincidental that the film is replete with Latino actors, or that one of the prime subplots involves a Hispanic father trapped behind enemy lines with his young son.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    The latest cinematic adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's novel, is like "Masterpiece Theater" without the masterpiece.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Rappoport is a powerhouse performer but the movie is an unstable concoction of political melodrama, film noir, and weepie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Although Casanova is far from a stinker, I can't join in the chorus of praise for what is essentially a coy farce replete with arch performances and even archer dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Laggies itself isn’t exactly slow – its pace is pleasantly meandering – and it’s far from aimless, although what it’s aiming for isn’t always clear.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    A more contrived and tenuous premise you would be hard-pressed to find, although, since this is a romantic comedy, suspension of disbelief comes with the territory.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    There is nothing surprising about the way this overlong movie, written and directed by David Dobkin, plays itself out.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    A movie with ambitions as high-flying as its superhero but a success rate decidedly lower to the ground.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    The film is best when it focuses on Barnabas's culture shocks in this brave new world. Depp has fun with the character's bafflements without camping it up. What's missing overall is the sense of fun Burton once evinced in films like "Beetlejuice."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    I suppose it's a good thing that this movie has so many crisscrossing subplots. If one gaggle of whiners gets on your nerves, rest assured the scenery will soon change and another will take center stage.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Schmaltz this thick requires a director who can at least make us feel that our tears are not being shamelessly jerked. But St. Vincent is too clunky to hide its tear-slicked tracks. Maybe that’s a good thing. At least that’s more endearing than being worked over by a smooth operator who knows exactly which buttons to press.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Framed as a cautionary thriller about the perils of high-stakes terrorism, but I took away a different message from it: Don't forget your briefcase at the airport.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    A sloggy, heartfelt piece of quasi-magical realist storytelling.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    Reilly is a good foil for Ferrell, but too many of their scenes together have the effect of improv night at the comedy club.

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