For 2,058 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Rainer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Fateless
Lowest review score: 0 License to Wed
Score distribution:
2,058 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    One of the sharpest and funniest movies about the music business ever made.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    No other concert film has ever expressed so fervently the erotic root of rock. Seeing it is the opposite of taking a trip down memory lane; it's more like a plunge into the belly of the beast.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    So intimate and sensual and funny and psychologically self-revealing that it makes most of what passes for sex in the movies look like cheap hysterics.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Jackson has a genuine epic gift: Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    An astounding, one-of-a-kind movie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A rare example of first-rate filmed opera.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    You've seen the rest; now see the best.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A love affair between performer and filmmaker. The director shows off his ardor by eliciting from his actors aspects of their gifts that they themselves may not have known they had.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It has what the most heartfelt Disney animated features used to have: rapturous imagery matched with real wit.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most joyously cinematic movie I've seen this year. Chomet's astonishing imagination conjures images you could swear you've seen in your dreams.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Jackson is rare among the makers of epic movies in that he knows how to do the small stuff, too. The Return of the King has “heart”--how else could it pump out all that blood?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most powerfully entrancing children's film in years. Of course, a true kid's classic is just as magical for adults.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Sweetest, funniest, most humane movie I've seen all year.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Altogether remarkable, a near-masterpiece.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    On the personal betrayals that accompany Capote's ache for literary transcendence. The betrayals were necessary to create "In Cold Blood." This is why Capote is such an unsettlingly ambiguous experience.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The film's final seven-minute shot is one of the great denouements in film history.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    In the end, the finest achievement of Wright's movie is that it fully captures what Martin Amis, writing on Pride and Prejudice, said of Austen: "Money is a vital substance in her world; the moment you enter it you feel the frank horror of moneylessness, as intense as the tacit horror of spinsterhood." All that, and a great love story, too.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A first-rate crime thriller from 1960.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy because these men have found something that many people, of whatever sexual persuasion, never find - true love. And they can't do anything about it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Marvelously enjoyable.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    This is a Holocaust movie that is so relentlessly observed and so aware of woe that it never feels like it belongs to a genre.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    What United 93 demonstrates, as if we needed proof, is that it is too soon - it may always be too soon - to sort out the feelings from that day.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A heartbreakingly powerful masterpiece.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Most powerfully, Berg also films a number of O'Grady's victims as they recount their trauma and, in some cases, loss of faith.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    I hate to sound blurby, but Borat is the funniest comedy I've seen since I don't know when.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    For Your Consideration is, except for "Borat," the funniest film of the year. Or, it's the funniest film that you don't have to watch through parted fingers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    At times the film is so supercharged that it glosses over the story's thematic richness and turns into a very high-grade action picture. But if that's the worst thing you can say about a movie, you're doing all right. The best thing to be said about Children of Men is that it's a fully imagined vision of dystopia.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    In tone, Pan's Labyrinth resembles a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and H.P. Lovecraft, with some Buñuel thrown in for good measure. It is a tribute to - as well as a prime example of - the disturbing power of imagination.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A lyrical, yet intensely rooted, tragic vision.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    This is a startlingly funny portrait of Gothic Americana.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Stunning.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A feel-good musical that, for a change, actually makes you feel good.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Perhaps the most cogent and straightforward dissection of the Bush Administration missteps leading up to the current Iraq nightmare.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Amir Bar-Lev's documentary is fascinating on all kinds of levels: as a movie about the nature of art, the lure and pitfalls of celebrity, and the complicated conundrums of parenting.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The movie is true to its own fierce vision and it's the better for it. I haven't seen a stronger or better American movie all year.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Delivers more goose bumps than anything Hollywood has served up in years – which I hope does not mean that Bayona, a first-time feature director and music video whiz, will be enlisted to direct "Saw V."
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The New Wave of Romanian cinema is the most exciting in the world right now. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is its latest masterpiece.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A supremely cranky and lyrical feat.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A marvelous documentary that brings home the terror and heroism brought forth by the Katrina debacle.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It's a giddy nightmare. Nothing is quite what it seems in I Served the King of England, and this is poetically appropriate. The world it depicts is too dangerous and too lovely to classify.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The personal triumphs in Happy-Go-Lucky may be small-scale but its embrace is all-encompassing. It's a wonderfully humane movie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    And yet the great conundrum of the Holocaust is that it was perpetrated by human beings, not monsters. Few movies have rendered this puzzle so powerfully.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Improbably, it's one of the most affecting films of the year, which once again demonstrates that all you need to make a good movie is talent.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Wherever you were schooled, in public schools or private, in the slums or in the suburbs, you will recognize yourself in this film and laugh and beam and cower.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Waltz With Bashir is a supremely courageous act, not only as a piece of filmmaking, but much more so as a moral testament.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    There's plenty for us to feast on in Under the Sea 3D without drawing a single drop of blood. If you have small children, you'd be crazy not to take them to this film.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Troell, at 78, continues to turn out films that will last for as long as there are movies. No wonder he feels such a deep connection to Maria in Everlasting Moments. The film is one hero's salute to another.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    As the film plays out its melancholy story, we realize that what we are watching is far rarer than the usual sports flick.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    In the end, this melancholy, inspiriting movie achieves a breathtaking emotional harmoniousness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The scene is so emotionally ravishing that it breaks you apart. The peacefulness that finally descends on Séraphine in the film's final moments is more than a balm. It's a benediction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Plenty of terrible movies know how to work your tear ducts. Here's a weepie that, in Pfeiffer's performance, touches you on the highest levels.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A marvel.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Hands down the funniest movie I've seen all year and also the smartest.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Toy Story 3, has more emotional power than either of its predecessors. Come to think of it, it also has more emotional power than most of the live-action movies out there.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It's a strange, one-of-a-kind film that was to be Benacarraf's only full-length feature.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    An amazing, galvanic experience. It's about the hushed-up story of Benito Mussolini's first wife and child, but no one will ever mistake this movie for a standard biopic. It's too raw, too primal.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Altogether fascinating.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Granik filmed in actual locations and enlisted many locals as actors. They blend unobtrusively with the professionals in the cast.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Fan's camera moves sinuously through these people's lives and gives a human face to a national panorama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship. It honors the audience's intelligence, which makes it a double rarity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A breathtakingly beautiful achievement in every way.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A quintessential Mike Leigh performance. It deepens as it goes along until, in the end, in its final close-up, it overwhelms.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Despite its length, it is one of the most consistently engrossing and powerful movies ever made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It's a transcendently uplifting tragedy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    These paintings speak to us; they both compress and elongate time. In Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Herzog is reaching for ways to comprehend what he imagines to be the emblems of the birth of the modern soul.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Says Lauro: "This is about as close as you can get to the way it sounded during slavery days." Lauro and McGlynn understand, too, that these clips must be experienced whole. They let the music unfold in real time, not snippets.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A semi-improvised, microbudget marvel with a range of feeling that shames most big-budget star-driven movies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Clooney and Payne are coconspirators, too. They know that the story they are telling is too emotionally complicated to muck up with a lot of preening and artifice. They head right into the sad and crazymaking humor of the situation. This is a modest marvel of a movie.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A Separation is not the work of a constrained artist. It's a great movie in which the full range of human interaction seems to play itself out before our eyes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The reason we feel so close to Socha, a man who at first seems nothing more than a racist scoundrel, is that his moral odyssey, with its advances and retreats, is so emotionally believable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A marvelously captivating animated feature.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    In Panahi's case, he is insuperably handicapped by his current constraints. And yet, despite everything, here is This Is Not a Film, which is emphatically a film – and an extraordinary one.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    By holding the shot, as she so often does in this film, Takesue is encouraging audiences to take a deep, long look at things they might otherwise miss.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The performances by Phoenix and Hoffman are studies in contrast. Phoenix carries himself with a jagged, lurching, simianlike grace while Hoffman gives Dodd a calm deliberateness. Both actors have rarely been better in the movies. The real Master class here is about acting – and that includes just about everybody else in the film, especially Adams, whose twinkly girl-next-door quality is used here to fine subversive effect.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Photographic Memory is about the permanence and impermanence of what we choose to preserve: on film and in our heads (which is often the same thing). I would like to think that one day Adrian might look at this documentary and see it as a supreme act of paternal love.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Before Midnight is the fullest and richest and saddest of the three movies in the trilogy. Make it a quartet, I say.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    I have rarely seen a movie that better expressed the revivifying nature of music. (Many of the women, not surprisingly, grew up singing gospel in church choirs and had preachers for parents.)
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The fierce, questing intelligence of these students and educators is a perfect match for Wiseman’s own.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Her
    The wistfulness in this movie is large-souled. Theodore may worry that his love for Samantha makes him a freak, but Amy knows that “anybody who loves is a freak.” All this may sound touchy-feely in the worst way, but Jonze is trying to get at how we seek romantic connection in this brave (or not so brave) new world. Like Theodore, he risks looking foolish.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    There is no need for Murmelstein to break down here. In The Last of the Unjust, it’s as if the whole world is weeping.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A lousy title for a marvelous movie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The enchanting French-Belgian animated feature Ernest & Celestine is so liltingly sweet and graceful that, a day or two after I saw it, it seemed almost as if I had dreamed it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Maier is a great artist who discounted adulation entirely. Her life was a masquerade; her genius, quite literally, was unexposed.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It’s the ultimate time-travel movie into the future, a “flowing time sculpture,” in Linklater’s own words.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The story is so powerfully observed that it does indeed become larger than itself – an American tragedy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    This delicate, hand-drawn marvel is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Frederick Wiseman’s documentary National Gallery is for art lovers, movie lovers – basically for anybody. Ostensibly a film about London’s famous museum, it’s really about the experience of art in all its manifestations.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Ballard filmed across hundreds of miles of South African desert, and there are times when the whole throbbing universe seems to resound for him.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Essentially two movies for the price of one. But those halves add up to more than most movies right now.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Baumbach captures the ways in which children takes sides in a war they can't even begin to comprehend.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    The visuals are irrepressibly witty and so is the script, which morphs from the classic fable into a spoof on "War of the Worlds." I prefer this version to Spielberg's.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    There's ample reason to stay with this series. When Harry says "I love magic," you believe it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    The Ice Harvest isn't a subversive piece of work; it's not making some grand statement about the dark side of the holiday spirit. But what it IS saying in its grimly funny way is that we can't always control the timing of our disasters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Spiritual redemption is a big theme of Narnia, but on a purely entertainment level, the movie also goes a long way in redeeming the current sad state of children's fantasy filmmaking.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Blossoms of Fire fulfills the first criterion of any good ethnographic study: It's about an inherently interesting subject.

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