For 2,025 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 6.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Rainer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Gosford Park
Lowest review score: 0 Enough
Score distribution:
2,025 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It’s the ultimate time-travel movie into the future, a “flowing time sculpture,” in Linklater’s own words.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Despite its length, it is one of the most consistently engrossing and powerful movies ever made.
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    You've seen the rest; now see the best.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    I wish the truly searing moments in this film were not continually counterbalanced by an overall historical-reenactment stiffness in the presentation.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    As was also true of Pixar's last movie, "Cars," Ratatouille is better at pleasing the eye than the other senses.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    I almost wish Cuarón had cast nonactors, or unknown actors, in the lead roles. It’s jarring having movie stars work up their Hollywood histrionics against such a glorious backdrop. None of these arguments should dissuade you from seeing Gravity, if only because what’s good about it is so much better than what’s bad. Visually, if not imaginatively, it sends you soaring.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The problem is, the geek in question, at least as Jesse Eisenberg plays him, doesn't have the emotional expansiveness to fill out a movie. Perhaps sensing this, the filmmakers play out the story line from multiple points of view and crowd the stage with a pageant of voluble supporting characters.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 58 Peter Rainer
    By showing scenes of torture without taking any kind of moral (as opposed to tactical) stand on what we are seeing, Bigelow has made an amoral movie – which is, I would argue, an unconscionable approach to this material.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A lyrical, yet intensely rooted, tragic vision.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Renner gives a full-bore performance of great individuality and industriousness, but essentially his character is as glamorized as any classic Westerner.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    The story line for WALL-E is probably too convoluted for small kids, and sometimes it suffers from techie overload, but it's more heartfelt than anything on the screens these days featuring humans.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Rainer
    What reveals Pontecorvo as an artist, and not simply a propagandist of genius, is the sorrow he tries to stifle but that comes flooding through anyway--the sense that ALL sides in this conflict have lost their souls, and that all men are carrion.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Sweetest, funniest, most humane movie I've seen all year.
    • 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?
    • 94 Metascore
    • 67 Peter Rainer
    Because of its subject matter, and because of the actors, it's impossible to watch this film without being moved. But a martinet is running the show.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    In top form, Joel and Ethan Coen offer up feel-bad experiences that, like fine blues medleys, make you feel good (although with an acidulous aftertaste). Inside Llewyn Davis is one of their best. So many movies are emblazoned with happy faces; this one wears its sadness, and its snarl, proudly.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    In a film that overwhelmingly avoids happy-faced pronouncements, this one sticks out.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Sprawling yet cramped, There Will Be Blood may not be the best movie of the year, but it's certainly the strangest. It evokes passing comparisons to everything from "Giant" to "Citizen Kane" but it's impossible to pigeonhole.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    Smashing for much of the way; as a piece of fantasy moviemaking, franchise-style, it beats the bejesus out of "Harry Potter."
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    This is a movie of high innocence, set at a time in life when romantic love is still a frolic and the seaside is a balm that quells all ills.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    At times it's plodding and inchoate, but there's certainly nothing else like it in the movies right now, and it has at least one great sequence.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Rainer
    At its best, the film compares favorably to its obvious antecedents, "Rififi" (which Melville once hoped to direct) and "The Asphalt Jungle."
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The Canadian actress and director Sarah Polley set out to make a straightforward documentary about her mother, Diane, who died when she was 11, but by the time Stories We Tell was finished five years later, it had become unclassifiable.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    The pessimism pervading this film is summed up by Shalom, who says, speaking of the decades of occupation: "The future is very dark."
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The openness of these people is often astonishing – and a sign of hope.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It has what the most heartfelt Disney animated features used to have: rapturous imagery matched with real wit.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Rainer
    It would be a mistake to regard American Splendor as an anthem for the common man. It is the UNCOMMON that is being celebrated here.
    • 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
    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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Rainer
    Jarecki shows off this footage as evidence of a truly dysfunctional family in various stages of denial. What it reveals at least as much is the modern phenomenon of reality-TV self-exposure carried to such lengths that, by comparison, the Osbournes look like the Cleavers.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    The film suffers from late-stage Scorsese-itis – wacky, low-slung, high-octane melodrama with lots of yelling and overacting.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    The film's final seven-minute shot is one of the great denouements in film history.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 25 Peter Rainer
    The effect is intended to be ghastly – which it certainly is – but I was equally repelled by this film’s conceit. Oppenheimer allows murderous thugs free rein to preen their atrocities, and then fobs it all off as some kind of exalted art thing. This is more than an aesthetic crime; it’s a moral crime.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Rainer
    Coppola both wrote and directed, and there’s a pleasing shapelessness to her scenes. She accomplishes the difficult feat of showing people being bored out of their skulls in such a way that we are never bored watching them.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The director is fortunate to have cast actors who fully embody their roles. Muehe, who once played Josef Mengele in Costa-Gavras's "Amen," has the ability to let you see far beneath his masklike countenance. Koch, dashing and intense, is entirely believable as a man of the theater; Gedeck exudes a sensuousness that this covert society cannot abide.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Petit, by the way, is still very much alive and spry. I saw him at a screening of the film at the Sundance Film Festival where he spoke to the audience afterwards. On his way up to the podium, he tripped.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Ida
    What comes through so powerfully in this movie is a portrait of an entire generation making its way from death throes to new beginnings.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The film pays off in the end when, almost imperceptibly, the rush of emotions it stirs in us rises to a soft crescendo.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Perhaps the most cogent and straightforward dissection of the Bush Administration missteps leading up to the current Iraq nightmare.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    The Artist is full of homages to many other films. I suppose it will be fun for cinéastes to pick out the references, but not all of them – like the ones from "Citizen Kane" or "Sunset Boulevard" – are especially germane.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    For most of Eternal Sunshine, I found myself fighting off Gondry's hyperactive intrusions in order to get at the melancholia at its core. Fortunately, the idea behind this movie is so richly suggestive that it carries you past Gondry's image clutter.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima is his companion piece to "Flags of Our Fathers" and in almost every way is superior.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The film drags a bit and Irglova's inexperience as an actor sometimes leaves her costars in the lurch. But it's a sweet little film just the same.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Rainer
    The funniest and most emotionally charged erotic road movie since Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Often remarkable and often exasperating.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Given the subject, the movie is too romanticized, and Christie's eyes remain too sharp here to convincingly convey someone whose memory is fast slipping away. Much of it is powerful anyway.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    It's a marvelous performance in a marvelous movie, one that sneaks up on you while you're watching it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    With scrupulous fairness, Ferguson meticulously lays out for us the whole sordid mess.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    Jackson has a genuine epic gift: Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    A remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship. It honors the audience's intelligence, which makes it a double rarity.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Up
    As a piece of poetic compression, it ranks with the opening of Orson Welles's "The Magnificent Ambersons."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Gustave’s protégé, the “lobby boy” Zero Moustafa (played as a young man by Tony Revolori and as an adult by F. Murray Abraham), is as much an enigma as Gustave.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Sonia may seem happy-go-lucky at the start, but grief steels her. It makes her grow up very fast. She becomes a kind of heroine in the course of the film, which ultimately owes its stature to her presence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Garrone's messy storytelling compounds an already messy history. He's a powerful filmmaker, though, and a fearless one.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    His greatest legacy, however, as this film documents, was his courage in the endgame of his life.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    If one buys into the whole grace under pressure thing, All Is Lost – the title is its own spoiler alert – is first-rate.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Rainer
    More often McNamara comes across as Exhibit A in Morris's latest metaphysical creepshow.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    It's minor, but powerfully so.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    One of the funniest and happiest movies I’ve ever seen about early adolescent girls and their wayward, fitful joyousness.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Peter Rainer
    Particle Fever doesn’t prompt us to say: “Gee, these superbrains are just like us, except for the brains.” The film allows for our awe. It also demonstrates that science is the most human of activities, with all that that implies.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    By all odds, Tarnation should have been an unwatchable, masochistic morass, but Caouette's love for the broken Renee--which is the true subject of the film--is awe-inspiring.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    Moneyball presents a misleading story line in order to prop up Billy Beane as some kind of would-be miracle worker antihero. In truth, he's just another tobacco-chewing go-getter trying to make sense of a game that, thankfully, has never quite made sense.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    It’s a hyper-aestheticized meditation on the meaning of history, visually astonishing, dramatically stilted. No masterpiece, but quite a feat (and quite effete).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    Whenever Jones is on screen, the film's energy level kicks up several notches, an indication, I think, that Spielberg otherwise overdoses on directorial decorum.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Rainer
    It’s a filmmaker’s conceit. These filmmakers may come from Nebraska, but, from the looks of things, they don’t want to be spending much time there.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 Peter Rainer
    The entire film has the glibness of a music video. Boyle has managed to make dire poverty seem glossy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    The emotional honesty of this movie rescues it from sentimentality. To Be and to Have is about more than a dedicated teacher and his pupils; it’s about how difficult and exhilarating it is to grow into an adult.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    Positioned somewhere between sitcom and piercing human drama, The Kids Are All Right, is both overtly familiar and cutting edge.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Rainer
    It's a transcendently uplifting tragedy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 42 Peter Rainer
    The melancholy in this film is just as trumped up as the frenzy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    The sheer sensuousness of all these bric-a-brac memories is sustaining.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Peter Rainer
    In some ways the movie might have been better if it had been about those two Hollywood guys with only occasional blips from the hostage crisis in Iran.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Rainer
    Creepily evocative.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Rainer
    As with much of Soderbergh's avant-garde work, his garde isn't quite as avant as he would have us believe it is. Still, Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a mélange than it already is.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Rainer
    Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
    • 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.