For 340 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 49
Highest review score: 100 Neighboring Sounds
Lowest review score: 0 Detention of the Dead
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 340
  2. Negative: 96 out of 340
340 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The character mechanics... leave the viewer always feeling a step ahead of the story and its too-late-to-excite twists. As a portrait of violence-riven motherhood, however, Riseborough gives Shadow Dancer most of its grave power.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The cumulative effect is more that of a handsomely crafted museum piece than a moving, emotional journey.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The rest is an adrenaline ride, but one more wearying than eye-opening.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Swanberg achieves an occasionally heady aura of improvisational flirtatiousness mixed with a churning will-they-or-won't-they suspense.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The film's three-pronged narrative does a fair job of laying a spooky groundwork for the revelatory emotional sadism that lies behind most acts of evil; it just takes a bit of clunky exposition to get there.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Informally sketched but deeply felt, Bradley Beesley's documentary Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo mingles with the spirited cowgirl inmates who compete in Oklahoma's annual state penitentiary rodeo.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The movie treats a girl's burgeoning sexuality as neither epic nor problematic, or mutually exclusive of feelings of love, but rather simply, refreshingly, as one part of maturing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Suffice to say, unrelenting material like this isn't for everybody. That it is a gloriously filmic gesture - by turns jaw-dropping, elusive, silly, obnoxious, painful and beautiful - is celebration enough.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Writer-director Clark's commitment to a deadpan vibe of crisp comic kink amid eccentric, left-turn sorrow can sometimes feel condescending. But within this not-so-jolly trip into the detailed recesses of simmering suburban emptiness, Hollyman takes this woman's barely controlled dignity on a quietly brave, revealing ride.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    A skillfully rendered narrative that should satisfy fans and pique the interest of the uninitiated.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    A stirring ode to cultural bridge-building.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Post Tenebras Lux is that real rarity in cinema, a visually striking archaeology of the psyche that benefits both the moviegoer primed to engage Reygadas' ideas, and the ones open to being swallowed in an art film wave.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    A transgender icon with a life as tragically short as some of the idols she worshipped, she's the deserving subject of an archivally rich remembrance, and such is James Rasin's poignant documentary Beautiful Darling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Bastards is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    With storytelling economy and dramatic precision often missing from today's independent films, Batmanglij augments the building blocks for a nifty paranoid thriller with sharp commentary on our faction-centered society and the pitfalls of reinvention.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Bhargava's naturalistic approach to capturing the sights and sounds of a city in full revelry on rooftops and in the streets is colorfully vivid - reminiscent of Wong Kar-Wai's silky urban baths - but it threatens to keep the human drama at arm's length.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Has a necessary charge to it, but also a distractingly goofy side.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Korengal is a bracing reminder of the inexplicable will to endure hell and come out the other side alive.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Predictable if measured uplift aside, Fox keeps Yossi effortlessly affecting, graced with deadpan humor and a knowingness about lonely lives.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Even with three charismatic leads, the talky, convoluted nature of the cat-and-mouse between Zhang and Huang and their respective gangs is impossible to follow or care about, and the mix of identity comedy, cartoonish violence, philosophizing and grief over killed loved ones is hardly smooth.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Resourceful writer-director Jim Mickle covers both in his realism-tinged indie Stake Land and shows that a savvy mixture of characterization, atmosphere and gore-eographed suspense can make even the most familiar fright tropes feel vaguely organic again.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    As a tale of digital power-tripping both exhilarating and terrifying, We Are Legion stands as a useful 21st century narrative.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    The surprisingly adept mixture of tones — naturalism, dysfunctional family satire, winking slasher nostalgia, twisty vengeance thriller — is offbeat enough to keep even hardened connoisseurs of body-count entertainment on their toes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Catfish was built to charm, not indict, and on that front it makes for a diverting seriocomic wade into the pitfalls of Internet-based immediacy, and by extension, the manipulative mysteries of documentary assemblage.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Any caseworking suspense is drowned out by an over-abundance of visual pizazz: disjointed shootouts, arbitrary camera angles and cinematography that draws the eye to lighting patterns, not people.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    The provocative noir experience that Talaash promises, with its jazzily scored, moodily lighted opening montage of a Mumbai red-light district at night, is nowhere to be found once this meandering mystery begins.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    As gut-punch storytelling, Viva Riva! delivers much, not the least of which is the promise of an exciting new filmmaking talent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    A farce of misunderstanding first, body-count nightmare second and at nearly all times a refreshingly upending horror-comedy bromance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The performances... are solid, and the conceit is alluringly mind-bending without ever seeming off-puttingly brainy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    Goon feels like a movie starring a gimmick, not a person.