For 813 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Tower
Lowest review score: 0 I Melt with You
Score distribution:
813 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The plot is predictable, but the inevitable showdown is, appropriately, the movie's highlight, a ferocious hands-on battle — save for the balletic bamboo pole interlude — on a busy, night-lit expressway, with semis and cars roaring past. It's a climax worthy of the tribute thread running through Kung Fu Killer.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    McNaughton shows some signs of directing rust in pacing and tone, but in much the way "Henry" played out, he keeps sensationalism at bay and twisted character drama in his sights, which makes for a more pleasurably icky suspense.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Gleefully dumb but eager to entertain, this is cheeseball stuff baked with deliciously outsized performances and low comedy and photographed across mighty beautiful landscapes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    With so much conversation these days about the effects of rape culture, Felt, with its atmospheric DIY aesthetics, enters the discussion as a corrective chiller that can best be described as compassionately perverse about one type of pushback.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Though the careful mood is invariably dissipated when it comes time to kill, kill, kill, Arnby's ace in the hole remains Suhl, a young actress of Streep-ian intensity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The movie exists in a space beyond arguments about immigration policy and border security, and while sometimes a little too willfully pokey, it speaks to something indelibly human about dreams and their costs.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Whether you agree with his system-damning rhetoric or see him as no better than anyone else in our clogged punditocracy, Brand: A Second Coming is, if not a careful portrait, at least an orgy of personality.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    No matter how reflectively mellow the gray-haired, reminiscing interviewees are, the blizzard of featured illustrations from the magazine's '70s heyday offer scads of they-couldn't-get-away-with-that-today laughter.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    It's like a cozy, informational visit with a beloved professor who assumes you come with a cineaste's built-in appreciation, but enjoys connecting the dots for you in a way that makes the movement's creative signposts — nonprofessional actors, street vitality, stories about poverty and desperation — feel freshly indelible.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Aram, Aram is almost too lightweight to have real power, but its snapshot of a vibrant local community and a hollowed-out transplant's very real identity crisis feels genuine.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Whenever the larkishness thins, though, Sheil — who could easily have modeled her face for Modigliani — grounds it all as a young woman torn between dissecting a mistake and accepting a responsible future.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Zahler's still starkness, enhanced by a fondness for long shots and dark spaces, is refreshing in this shaky-cam era, and his ear for Old West sensibilities — from the mythically polite to the realistically xenophobic — is clinically effective.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    In much the way "Crystal Fairy" blossomed when we were snapped out of our chuckling repulsion, Nasty Baby rights itself intriguingly when Silva pushes his characters into unknown territory and lifestyle is imposed upon by life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    There's a chic emptiness to Entertainment, undoubtedly, and anti-comedy constructs that may rub the wrong way, but there's also a spiky intelligence at work too, one that engages through the artifice of disengagement and the illusion of "performance."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    With the intensified focus on use of force in police departments, the unsettling documentary Killing Them Safely couldn't be timelier.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The compulsively watchable oddness of Lamb and its commingling of innocence and peril keep it from easy categorization.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Prickly, suspenseful, even coolly humorous, Mojave finds noirish fun in the existential woes of a successful artist and old-fashioned movie pleasure in the parry and thrust of sharp dialogue.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Larraín, who wrote the movie with Guillermo Calderón and Daniel Villalobos, approaches the material like a scientist both fascinated and cynically bemused by how a particularly virulent sickness operates.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Take Me to the River reaches its end sadder and wiser if not satisfactorily complete as a psychodrama. But Sobel thrives on the unevenness, and it gives his admirably off-putting wade into fractured-family waters its own specialized charge.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    If its wobbliness doesn't always serve its commanding central performance, the movie does mark a sensitive, low-key approach to outsiders of any kind, one that legitimizes their struggle without selling them as ready-made saints.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The shared love of the movie's featured racers for their long-rebellious sport makes for a unifying energy, but their individual experiences — and different attitudes toward the future — provide an underlying complexity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    A Space Program may find cheeky humor in our quest for meaningful science. But it certainly hints that there's something worshipful in the details.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Even if its trajectory hews to a well-worn format, Keepers of the Game is as strong an argument that can be made for the rich emotional rewards of schoolgirls hitting the field to show everyone and themselves what they can achieve.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Director Stephanie Soechtig’s passionately contended, slickly produced film may not sway the most fervid 2nd Amendment defenders, but in its problem-solving vigor could spur a lot of others who believe in change to make that call, join that group, or vote a certain way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Almost Holy captures something meaningfully urgent in the brutal day-to-day of tough love amid a world of tougher indifference.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    It’s not a complete journalistic picture, unfortunately, and it’s ham-fistedly structured to withhold information for maximum dramatic impact. But that impact, as predictable as it is, hits hard.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Though Art Bastard is a zesty, engaging documentary about a veteran outsider, when it comes to his complexities, it’s not terribly cohesive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Men Go to Battle isn’t always effective, in that way DIY filmmaking sometimes irritates by deliberately avoiding “moments.” But as an offbeat lens through which to view an oft-mined era, it has a quiet pull.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The key to the fun is that Yeon eschews lookie-loo gore for thrilling set pieces: his fleet, imaginative action scenes recall Brad Bird’s crisp transition to real people in peril when he made his “Mission Impossible” movie.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Downriver is the kind of graceful provocation that slips around a corner before you can pinpoint its intentions, and that keeps it arresting as both an inquiry and a character study.

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