Robert Wilonsky

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For 395 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 31% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 13 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Wilonsky's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 100 Spider-Man 2
Lowest review score: 0 New Best Friend
Score distribution:
395 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    It's the most uplifting movie of a numbing year -- a feel-good film full of songs about feeling god-awful.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    At last, his (Howard's) first great (and filling) movie--inspirational, yes, but far from hokey; moving, absolutely, but never saccharine; and gripping, despite its being a fixed fight.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    This movie would be worth feting in any season. It's wrenching but never manipulative, stoic but never dull, exhausting but never wearying.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    Where Peter was yee-ha giddy with the discovery of his newfound powers in the first film, he's crushed by the weight of responsibility that comes with them in its far superior successor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    The performances are uniformly remarkable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    May be the most wrenching, profound and perfectly made movie nobody wants to see.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    What makes About Schmidt so extraordinary is how ordinary its tale is; it's a gray picture about gray people looking for some kind of meaning in their gray lives.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    Treacherously funny and wrenchingly sad.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    Feels like something entirely brand-new; such are the gifts of Kaufman and Gondry, inventors and magicians.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    As giddy and antic as any great Warner Bros. cartoon of the 1930s and '40s -- it bears seeing more than once, if only to allow for the sight gags that play second fiddle to the plot, a rarity in animation -- but also resonant and real. In other words, it's the perfect movie.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    How often does one see a masterpiece about a masterpiece?
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    Its exquisiteness can overwhelm in a single sitting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Wilonsky
    It is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking, a beautiful and brutal work.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    It's everything most movies this year have not been: deeply felt, genuine, gracious.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Virgin is astoundingly astute but also wondrously clever, written with more care and joy than any hundred comedies to come out of Hollywood in years.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    That's all Full Frontal is: a brilliant gag at the expense of those who paid for it and those who pay to see it.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    That he (Hetfield), and his band, still lives is astonishing enough; that you get to see how and why in a movie so painfully intimate is nothing short of extraordinary.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    What makes Crash so gripping--so terrifying in spots, so moving in others, and even a little funny at times--is how nothing happens as we think it will.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    One of the most remarkable things about Murderball, which is easily among the year's best movies, is how little of its time is filled with the playing of the game.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    As he did in "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", Wright immerses his heroes in pop culture's detritus and diversions, but doesn't drown them in it. You don't have to be dazzled or tickled by the movie, or get every joke, to be touched by it, too.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Yes, yes--The Incredibles is beautiful to look at, but even more lovely beneath the computer-generated surfaces.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    It's vibrant and verdant and heartbreakingly inviting, begging you to escape into a lovely tale in which children, through a simple act of faith, find their own heaven on earth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    The film, from its deadpan start to its languorous finish, provides the most joyous moviegoing experience in years.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    There's something more REAL about this version, more human, more lived-in; though their words may have been penned 200 years ago, when Austen was a young woman writing about her idealized self, this cast and crew nudge the material into the now.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    As surreal as it is obscene, as clever as it is crude. It plays like some raw offspring of underground comix and the comedies of the 1920s.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Engaging and revelatory, turning forgotten footnotes and discarded minutiae into the stuff of riveting drama and poignant laughs.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    The film is a whirlwind blur, a kinetic thrill ride through the industrial backwater that was one of punk and post-punk's most fertile Promised Lands: Manchester.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Identity is an outright blast, so fun it's--pardon--scary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    De Sica's 1952 neorealist masterpiece; it's a stark snapshot in which all is revealed about the "daily life of mankind," as the director once offered by way of description.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    The first relevant film about rock and roll and the music industry, the first film that lets you in on the secret.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    It really happened, it's really corny, and it's really great.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Craig, excellent in both art house endeavors (The Mother, Enduring Love) and blockbuster think pieces (Munich), has both a nasty streak and a soft side never before seen in the series; Fleming would recognize him as most like his literary creation: damaged goods in a tailored tux.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    A gentle, frank, and often hysterical love story about two people destined, and occasionally doomed, to be together forever. Some of us should be as lucky, as blessed, as Harvey Pekar.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    The movie resonates precisely because it serves as documentary only pretending to be fiction: It's set in a real place recovering from real pain, which Lee makes tangible.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    It's a wise and powerful tale of race and culture forcefully told, with superb performances throughout.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    An ethereal, creepy, almost breathtaking meditation on the life of a mind snapped in two.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Wilonsky
    Clooney has become a movie star, and the Coens have given him his very own "It Happened One Night." The man, and the movie, are downright bona fide.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Here it is -- another double cross for which you will, and should, hand over your few grubby bucks.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Scott and Olds' is an essential movie, and one of the year's very best.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    A celebration of the naughty joke and the courage it takes to tell one.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    This Shrek is both funnier and warmer than its predecessor; it's better-looking, too, no longer as clunky and junky as video-game graphics.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The filmmaker who once aimed to enchant his audiences with cheerful stories of beatific visitors from outer space now wants only to scare the hell out of us. E.T., as it turns out, is a mass murderer after all, and we are his Reese's Pieces.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Charlie doesn't have a point, doesn't give a damn about giving a damn. It is what it is: a beautiful goof, a drunken supermodel in search of one more party before the sun comes up.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's bright and spry, giggly and bouncy, but also cuddly with occasional touches of cruelty--a movie in which best friends, when let loose in the wild, suddenly realize one's a little higher on the food chain.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Hard to watch, harder still to ignore.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Provides Hoffman with what he's long deserved: a movie of his own.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Delightful almost in spite of itself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    If Allen owns The Upside of Anger, she is generous enough to loan it to Costner, who, despite the dim, glazed eyes, is more alive here than he's been in years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    If Dubus' work always resembled some sort of literary therapy session, as has often been said, then Field's version requires grief counseling. It is, at times, that devastating.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    If Steven Soderbergh taught Clooney how to act in "Out of Sight," then Reitman has taught him how to stop acting. This is the most vulnerable, the most playful, the most human performance of his career.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    A remarkable movie, because, like "Crumb" or even "American Splendor," it adores the very people most of us might ignore if they passed us on the street. It's a love letter to someone who desperately needs one, even 10 years after his death.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The movie is stirringly, thrillingly animated; Stander, as some say around Johannesburg, lives.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It succeeds where its recent predecessor miserably fails because it demands that you suffer the dreadfulness of war from both sides. That might not make it a milestone, but it's a hell of an improvement.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Willis gives a remarkable, wrenching performance: He is the most fragile indestructible man ever created.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The Guys is less a tearing open of old wounds than a balm to be applied over them. It doesn't wallow. It doesn't weep.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The movie works because Berg never forgets to keep his heart in the game and not just his head.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Hoffman, though, is the real gas--the vet getting dopey and loopy and handsy because, hey, what the hell...The midnight cowboy rides again.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Scorsese's rockudrama withstands big-screen scrutiny some 24 years after its initial release.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Penn's lead performance is the main attraction here, and it's a fine piece of work--far superior to his overly showy Oscar-winning role last year.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Audiard keeps things shaky, grim, claustrophobic, doomed. His film has the feel of documentary, as he follows Clara through the daily grind that pulverizes her. We're in her head, literally.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Anderson and Sandler were meant for each other, and their romance is, unbelievably, our reward.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Altman gladly admits there's not much of a story here; his movies are driven by characters.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's a movie about discomfort and distance, like an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" or "The Larry Sanders Show" shot in deadpan black-and-white.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    What Constantine offers is a deceptively thoughtful tale tricked up like an action movie; it's beautiful to look at but even more lovely to ruminate over.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's but a witty, engaging hodgepodge of archetypes and clichés; it retreads not only the TV show's story lines, but also those of every "Star Trek" and "Gunsmoke" episode. It needed the room of a big screen just to fit all of its influences into a single place.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's hagiography, yes, but also powerful and poignant.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Breezy and easy to swallow. Its maker, Steven Spielberg, hasn't had so much fun in two decades.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Signs blessedly displays a sense of giddy dark humor absent from Shyamalan's previous outings. It appears for much of the film he's merely having fun with the genre, goofing on its paranoid roots.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Northfork may be doomed, but the Polish brothers and cinematographer M. David Mullen (who worked with the brothers on their previous features, "Twin Falls, Idaho" and "Jackpot") make the place feel like heaven on earth.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The star's the thing, the only thing, and he's brilliant at playing a thinly veiled version of himself.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Not only an exceptional thriller, but a transcendent summer movie: It assumes, for two hours, you've brain and heart enough to stick with a film that doesn't condescend, doesn't beat you up and doesn't dumb you to death.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    My Kid Could Paint That's about art—and it IS art, among the best documentaries ever made about that elusive process of manufacturing something out of nothing. But it's also a must-see for every single parent who believes their children are special, when all they want to be is your children.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It just feels like the real thing, which is a trick few writers can muster and even fewer directors can master.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's more like the déjà vu machine. But that does not negate this movie's copious pleasures, chief among them its prudent decision to act like it's never supposed to be more than good time, a thrilling test-drive in a car you love but can't afford to actually buy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Rodriguez clearly assumes Sin City to be his "Pulp Fiction," his rambling portmanteau--a blending of disparate tales to form a complete, overwhelming epic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    It's not hard to see why actors love working with Penn, even in the smallest roles; he lets them speak monologues even when they're saying nothing at all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    The film is ultimately so extraordinary because it deals with something so ordinary: the desire to be better than we are, without knowing how to do it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    If there's a flaw with the film, it's that Justman doesn't trust his narrators enough; too often he'll stage a re-enactment while someone's talking, as if he's afraid the mere tales themselves won't hold our interest. But they will, as long as there's a kid slapping a bass, a sampler swiping a groove or some middle-aged couple slow dancing to Marvin Gaye or the Miracles.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    As stirring as it is slight, as effective as it is familiar.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Capturing the Friedmans does not end after its credits roll; audiences will try the case over and over again in their heads. Jarecki does not judge, but leaves only tragic clues for us to ponder.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of About a Boy is how substantial it plays -- as a feel-good film with weight, a knowing comedy with dramatic depth.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    As enormously entertaining as it is appalling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    What makes Silverman a truly gifted comic is her timing and delivery.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Wilonsky
    Garden State charms with ease and moves with grace; it's warm but never mushy, languorous but never groggy, rueful but never despondent. It's like a perfect pop song--that thing that makes you smile and tear up at the same time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Robots doesn't rely on being current, which will ultimately render it as timeless as any great fable. At its center is a big, beating heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Elf
    Elf may be no more than a pleasant, amusing trifle, a grin that fades well before Thanksgiving, but it also will endure in the way all decent Hollywood-made Christmas fairy tales last if they're rendered with good cheer and good will.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    This is phony, absolutely, but the good feeling it leaves behind is plenty real.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    A remarkable movie with an unsatisfying ending, which is just the point.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    That's where the movie falters: It tries to give Garcia's book a heart and conscience it didn't need and never demanded.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    The Dancer Upstairs would have made a suitable double feature with "The Quiet American"; both films unfold slowly, build toward an anxious climax and end with a shrug of grief.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    It's a thoroughly delightful throwaway--the kind of movie for which cable television was made, from the maker of "Music & Lyrics" (Marc Lawrence), who knows his way 'round a snappy tune.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Perfectly acceptable, deliriously charming...a goofy Bmovie dolled up like a square-jawed A-list blockbuster.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    The Weather Man is not the wacky movie Paramount is selling, nor is it cynical Oscar bait. It's just a little movie about little people trying not to get wet or freeze to death or get burned when they walk outside, and good luck with all that.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    As frantic and frenzied as its source material.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Nathaniel will sometimes take it too far. It's particularly distracting, and even a little distancing, when he waits till the end of a lengthy interview to tell one of his father's former collaborators and friends that he is Louis' son.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Steers' film will likely polarize the audience, which, if nothing else, gives it rare resonance; at least it makes you feel, where many similar indie efforts make you sleepy.
    • New Times (L.A.)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    The Ladykillers fits snugly among the Coens' lighter and breezier movies--the ones you forget after you see them once and begin to appreciate and finally adore the more often you revisit them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    Zucker!'s a bona fide hit in Germany, where, apparently, there's been a shortage of Jewish comedies since, oh, 1939, give or take. But it deserves its imported rep; rare's the movie that has an Orthodox Jew tripping on Ecstasy while getting a massage from a Palestinian prostitute hours before his mamala's funeral.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    A fun and loving biopic
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Wilonsky
    One expects more from writer-director Wes Anderson (and his co-scribbler, Owen Wilson) than such frivolous fun that bears no lingering effect.

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