For 158 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ray Bennett's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Mamma Mia!
Lowest review score: 20 Silent Hill
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 158
  2. Negative: 12 out of 158
158 movie reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The performers are all good with Baquero poised and beautiful as Ofelia and Verdu vital and spirited as the rebellious Mercedes. Lopez gives an extraordinary performance as the bestial captain, an irredeemable villain to rank with Ralph Fiennes' Nazi in "Schindler's List."
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The film is dark, gloomy and without music, but it is also observant and highly suspenseful, with Mungiu using his often static camera to balance banal cruelty with simple generosity.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    It is a tremendous achievement that shines a light on the way many countries use criminals to further their domestic and international goals. Politically informative, it also offers great drama with excitement and suspense, and no little tragedy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Ray Bennett
    Director Julian Schnabel and screenwriter Ronald Harwood have performed a small miracle in adapting for the screen Jean-Dominique Bauby's autobiography The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The Coens' typically superior filmmaking sustains the electrifying mood for most of the picture, but they are undone by being too faithful to the source novel by Cormac McCarthy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    Polished, funny and utterly charming.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    The film clearly wishes to explore the topic of children having children, but it only inspires a great desire to smack them both.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Ray Bennett
    Anne Proulx's 1997 short story in the New Yorker has been masterfully expanded by screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana to provide director Lee with his best movie since "Sense and Sensibility" in 1995.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The director, who also wrote the script, achieves a keen-eyed view of the Turkish expatriates in this film while sustaining his remarkable ability to make them universal.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 30 Ray Bennett
    Surrealism is one thing, but The Intruder appears so ill defined and random that it ends up looking simply inept.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    With compelling and charismatic performances by Keira Knightley and James McAvoy as the lovers, and a stunning contribution from Romola Garai as their remorseful nemesis, the film goes directly to "The English Patient" territory and might also expect rapturous audiences and major awards.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Owen carries the film more in the tradition of a Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda than a Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford. He has to wear flip-flops for part of the time without losing his dignity, and he never reaches for a weapon or guns anyone down. Cuaron and Owen may have created the first believable 21st-century movie hero.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Assayas makes the point that objects of fascination and affection to one generation may be far less so to the next. And he observes the role that people-friendly museums can play in keeping a nation's treasures safe with pleasing subtlety.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    It's very difficult to mesh fantasy with reality, but with great charm and a light touch, Almodovar shows exactly how it should be done.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    As surprising as it is delicious with an indelible performance by new star Sally Hawkins.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    The film captures the energy, the stresses and the tension of people striking punching bags and each other but without narration, it all feels a bit random and uninteresting.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    A penchant for suffocating close-ups and an overabundance of scenes that go on far too long mar Abdellatif Kechiche's The Secret of the Grain, an otherwise engaging drama about an immigrant Arab family in France.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Ray Bennett
    Paced at warp speed with spectacular action sequences rendered brilliantly and with a cast so expert that all the familiar characters are instantly identifiable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    It's a sympathetic portrait of a complex man driven by an anger that still bubbles beneath the surface.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Atmospheric but pedestrian, it is a retelling of the classic tragedy of all civil wars, from the U.S. to Vietnam to England, where brother is pitched against brother.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Turns Jane Austen's nimble satire into a lumbering gothic romance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Trite, grim and feebly provocative.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 40 Ray Bennett
    The project suffers badly from being largely improvised as the pair fall back on familiar impressions and old jokes. Lazy and indulgent, it smacks of being what the British call a "jolly," that is a freebie with no obligation to turn in work afterward.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Some of the metaphors are a bit too literal but the director largely succeeds with his story and the surprises are convincing. Best of all the film has a terrific sense of humor and the young actresses exploit it delightfully.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 30 Ray Bennett
    Filmed in permanent twilight with a static camera and no music, it is gloomy and unrewarding with an oblique and uninformative script.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Clever and fast-paced thriller.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    Bright Star may not be a joy forever but it will do until the next joy comes along.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The film belongs to Jarvis, however, and she makes the most of it with expressive features that convey Mia's mixed-up emotions from raging temper to sweet vulnerability. She will go far.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    All the action is staged with energy, but it gets relentless without anything really funny going on.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Ray Bennett
    By this time, cinematographer Fred Kelemen's mostly stationary camera has revealed about all there is to see in a fine array of textures in such things as the wooden table, the rough floors, the walls of stone, the ropes on the horse and the skin on the boiled potatoes. That does not, however, make up for the almost complete lack of information about the two characters, and so it is easy to become indifferent to their fate, whatever it is.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Moviegoers who know their American political history will respond to the film's immediacy and forgive the film's tight focus and narrow view. Anyone hoping for an entertaining drama about newsmen and politics along the lines of "All the President's Men" will be disappointed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Acutely observed but gloomy and lacking narrative, it tells of 12 months in the life of a decent but dull suburban couple and their friends, most of whom you would go out of your way to avoid at a party.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Ray Bennett
    Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in Coriolanus as William Shakespeare's Rambo in a production that delivers heavyweight screen acting at its best.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Ray Bennett
    A ferociously entertaining thriller with sympathetic characters, stunning set pieces and pulsating excitement.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Only the film's slow pace softens its powerful message.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    In a fine ensemble with many well-drawn smaller characters, Bleibtreu ("Run Lola Run", "The Baader-Meinhof Complex") as the hapless brother, Unel ("Head On") as the fussy chef and Bederke, as a waitress, all stand out.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    Complex but cold tale.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The film gets seriously weird as it goes along, but without losing its sense of direction or taste for offbeat humor.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Based on the novel by Ruth Rendell, the film could do well with audiences who have a taste for creepy films about murder in the suburbs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Expertly fashioned documentary-style drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Phoenix plays the romantic lead with great intelligence and enormous charm, making his character's conflict utterly believable, and Paltrow positively glows as the radiant shiksa who dazzles him.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    The cast is uniformly fine, but Abbass and Lipaz-Michael shine as two women who bond in the fear that the best of their lives is over and neither of them is happy with what the future holds.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Ray Bennett
    Dull film about pedophilia that fails to shed any light on the topic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    The star of the show is undoubtedly Blanchett, who has great fun playing Dylan as a showboat who quite knowingly goes about creating his reputation for rebellious independence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    Cantet keeps a lid on a story that he could have easily exploited, but he makes his points about beauty, fulfillment, self-indulgence and delusion with a measured hand.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    A repellent movie filled with gratuitous violence, Election is bound to find an appreciative audience among those who like their cinematic criminals noisy, stupid and deadly.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Smartly put together, with interesting characters and caustic wit.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    While the men are Danish, there is a universality to their story and a vitality in the filmmaking that should see the documentary in demand around the world.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    It is a sumptuously told tale of childlike wonder in the face of darkest corruption and war, mixing high comedy, surreal sequences and genuine drama viewed from a wise, jaundiced perspective.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Grungy and uneven, but it has a rollicking pace and clearly intends to be good fun so that audiences may overlook its unsteady rhythms, pretensions and inconsistencies and take it for the fast and very furious ride it wants to be.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    It's a well-constructed and thoughtfully paced drama and almost a thriller, but in the end credibility and tension get lost in the mail.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Matt Dillon is pitch-perfect as Bukowski's alter ego Hank Chinaski.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    It succeeds on almost all fronts. The epic film is a high-octane adventure rooted in fact with a raft of arresting characters, big action sequences and twists and turns galore.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Brutal but believable, the film in some ways harks back to early Hollywood, when Jimmy Cagney or Richard Widmark played callow villains out of their depth in everyday life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    With a cast of Scottish, German and French actors all speaking their own language, writer-director Christian Carion has fashioned a deeply moving and uplifting piece.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    The observational detail is impressive and the two men's growing affection is well-drawn but Takerman's depiction of the conventions and strictures of religion and the impulses of two closeted gay men are too understated to achieve universality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    The filmmakers succeed brilliantly in weaving these stories together, taking time to explore depth of character and relationships. The suspense builds throughout as everyone involved becomes lost in a place they don't understand with people they don't know if they can trust.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    There is a lot of very black humor; and it develops, somewhat surprisingly, into something suggesting a kind of cheerful pessimism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Played for laughs drawn from characters rather than funny lines, the Norwegian film is a charmer with Stellan Skarsgard for once in a role worthy of his attention.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    That rare beast, a terrific movie that boasts intelligent wit, expert storytelling, delightful characters and grown-up dialogue plus suspense and a wicked surprise ending.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    By keeping his (Daly) focus on the two remarkable youngsters without an ounce of sentimentality he succeeds in making something true and satisfying.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Fierce and tragic tale of lost hope.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Will mesmerize some and mystify others, while many will be bored silly. It's not a dream, Kaufman says, but it has a dreamlike quality, and those won over by its otherworldly jigsaw puzzle of duplicated characters, multiple environments and shifting time frames will dissect it endlessly.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Strong performances by Kristin Scott Thomas as the stern Aunt Mimi, who raised the future Beatle from the age of 5, and Anne-Marie Duff as his troubled mother heighten the dramatic appeal of what otherwise is quite a dull film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Astonishingly powerful documentary about really, really hard work.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Ray Bennett
    There is little suspense, however, and while all the attention on the small details of their lives is laudable, it isn't very interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Ray Bennett
    Very funny and a bit sentimental, it's naturalistic comedy of the highest order, with Evets and Henshaw standouts among a terrific cast.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Cruz's performance deserves to be seen widely, and it should place her again in line for prizes, but the story's pretensions and downbeat mood will not endear the film to audiences.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    Being in Paris is to be inside a work of art, and it is no surprise that in the charming collection of vignettes that make up Paris je t'aime, the art is love.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The film is about vanity and pride, and the caging of beauty. Its elaborate fabrication has an intoxicating quality that captures the imagination like all good horror stories.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Herzog's strangely beautiful film has marvelous music and hypnotic imagery. A documentary for stoners and people who are that way naturally, it is a cautionary tale for wishful thinkers.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    The film is neither intelligent enough nor silly or grotesque enough to become a lasting favorite.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Presented as a straight documentary about an American pop singer who had one U.K. hit in the 1960s as a member of a boy band and has gone missing ever since, but it plays like the slyest of spoofs.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    The real-life tale of a group of female machinists who took on the Ford Motor Co. in England and earned equal pay for women gets a rousing and entertaining telling in Nigel Cole's crowd-pleasing Made in Dagenham.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    The film is well worth seeing for its views of the parched wilderness of far-flung Brazil and its talkative depiction of an unlikely friendship.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    The drive to keep alive the name of a young American woman who died beneath a U.S.-made bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier in Palestine continues in Simone Bitton's sober documentary Rachel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Shot on beautifully utilized film but employing images vividly from the Internet and mobile phones, it's an examination of the power that false ideas may have on people's imagination and beliefs when they are repeated over and over.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    The film may attract older moviegoers curious to see their generation represented onscreen doing what comes naturally for once. It's doubtful that the general audience will be so inclined.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The brutality of the fights and Schizo's growing ability to outfox his enemies make for a taut and exciting little picture.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Jaunty and entertaining.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The movie is filled with small moments of tenderness, insight and considerable wisdom.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Well crafted and acted, Declan Recks' Irish domestic drama Eden, adapted from his own play by Eugene O'Brien, offers an intimate portrait of a husband and wife who have stopped communicating with each other.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    It's an impressive movie, but the indie filmmaker has little to add to the debate beyond the eternal truth that the innocent always suffer most.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 20 Ray Bennett
    An embarrassment to all concerned, the film was written, directed and produced by Soderbergh for reasons that are not readily apparent.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    A winning combination of laughs and genuine shocks.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Thought-provoking story of how terror and paranoia affect two Americans who love their country.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The kind of drama that British television used to do so well, a well-constructed, smartly observed story of ordinary people learning how to communicate with one another.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The film is in the tradition of fighting-the-system stories drawn from real life such as "Erin Brokovich," and its powerful emotional appeal should draw a substantial grownup audience.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    As much a memorial as it is a docudrama and as such it will interest educators and students, and make for sober television. It's a pity, though, that more of an attempt wasn't made to understand the killer and explain such things as why no one apparently thought to phone for help or hit the fire alarm.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Ang Lee's lugubrious spy epic Lust, Caution brings to mind what soldiers say about war: that it's long periods of boredom relieved by moments of extremely heightened excitement.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    A performance film, but sadly the majority of the performers are not the acts that have played at the long-running pop festival over 35 years, but the exhibitionists who make up the crowd.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    The film's economical style, vivid cinematography and tremendous acting should attract audiences far and wide.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    Colorful, noisy and brimming with special effects, the picture may please young audiences simply looking for loud action, but its corny storyline and brittle lack of warmth may discourage both parents and children.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    Blandly interesting.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    The real pirate radio ships, whose days ended in 1967, wound up being towed away for salvage but the film avoids that fate -- like the best rock songs -- with a rousing finish and a pleasing climax.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Ray Bennett
    The most affecting scenes, however, involve the class of Israeli teenagers visiting Auschwitz.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Ray Bennett
    Beautifully shot and well acted, the film might well cause controversy among fundamentalist believers as a provocative allegory challenging the power of faith.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Ray Bennett
    The script by first-time director Li Yu and producer Fang Li introduces some degree of subtlety in the responses of the four principals, but the plot doesn't really hold up.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    The new picture allows hardly any flourishes of style and character in the 007 tradition, but moviegoers seeking an adrenaline rush will be well pleased.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Ray Bennett
    Affectionate, funny and action-packed sci-fi spoof.

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