For 37 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

S. James Snyder's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 80 Easier with Practice
Lowest review score: 20 The Cartel
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 37
  2. Negative: 8 out of 37
37 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    Perkins asks us to bask silently in the majesty of an artist in his element; in one unforgettable shot, Francis stands atop a newly finished canvas, utterly transfixed. It’s a stirring snapshot of that strange space where the act of creating can be a religious experience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    Geraghty’s performance is harrowing: Clinging to the phone and tortured by his ecstasy, he weaves empathy out of a flawed loner’s dysfunctional fetish.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    Filmmaker Victor Nunez pairs evocative locales--beatnik Bay Area, bucolic rural New Mexico--with fleeting asides of poetry (penned by the Santa Fe–based writer Joe Ray Sandoval); these meditative detours both elevate a routine story arc and tap into tangled, twisted familial roots.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    Interviewing residents from across the spectrum, Neshoba reopens the debate: How was this allowed to happen? How do we move forward? Some questions, this compelling movie reminds us, still require answers.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    Battle offers both a sobering portrait of personal revolt (notably through activist Daniel Goldstein, whose eviction fight landed in the State Supreme Court) and a searing case study of a community dismantled by racial and economic tensions. Alas, it's not much of a battle; more like "Requiem for Brooklyn."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 S. James Snyder
    It's in the periphery of this daily minutiae that Covi and Frimmel work their neorealistic magic, turning what might have been a sappy maternal-awakening melodrama into a simplistic, genuinely sweet tribute to motherhood, Italian style.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    These ragtag rebels exude an infectious determination, and while director Dan Stone fails in the adrenaline department, he succeeds in bringing home a memorable portrait of resilience.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Director Sam Garbarski’s focus occasionally skews narrow, but he does evoke the anxiety of reconciling a strict faith with secular times.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Flimsy dialogue and fickle characters undercut the weighty historical demons in this fractured family portrait of three generations of men dealing with their emotional scars.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Swooning but shallow.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Though Hilary Helstein’s film displays depth, its structure relies too heavily on Maya Angelou’s narration to flesh out deeper implications.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Though Aron Gaudet’s documentary never quite captures the relieved atmosphere of these homecomings, it does acknowledge the dark side of a cheery platitude: those on both sides of the divide are in need of healing.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Like Moore’s modus, Shamir’s stroll is sloppy, but his willingness to tip sacred cows is truly courageous.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Playing smarter and smoother than the plot, Cisneros uncorks an antimacho performance that deviates from type. His unconventional hero is worthy of a more original treatment.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Kleine forgoes good-old-days nostalgia in an effort to examine a generation that braved the new America sans a rule book. But it’s the central mystery of Cindy’s own life--did Phyllis ever love Harold?--that turns this sociological examination into something profoundly personal.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    An illuminating profile but a sloppy snapshot of the immigrant experience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    In the director’s hands, these societal passion plays and “documentaries” offer a terrifying, top-down perversion of art itself--another insidious extension of politics by other means.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Every bit as unshakable as "An Inconvenient Truth," Werner Boote's documentary isolates the mysteries (and possible dangers) of that ubiquitous titular substance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Once upon a time, raw talent was enough to get your name in lights; as this look at the underside of showbiz reminds us, you also need to know how to sell it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    A fresh twist on a familiar fog-of-war story.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 S. James Snyder
    Damn! clearly knows a thing or two about fameballs, but it leaves the rest of the heavy lifting to the viewer.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Both Project Greenlight runners-up, directors Michael Aimette and John G. Hofmann get the teen angst and Gaelic aesthetic right; too bad their third-act thuggery isn’t just routine, but ridiculous.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Pornography: A Thriller may have a few interesting things to say about porn. But thrills? Not so much.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    That we never actually meet his Mr. Hyde is an inventive twist, but all the labored explanations (and tedious psychology) that follow the bad behavior and bloodshed make for a serious buzzkill.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Good policy does not ensure good drama; Gerrymandering summarizes an urgent issue but forgets to detail the true fallout.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Big on emotional highs but skimpy on details, Dressed rallies behind the orphan but fails to reveal the artist.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Steven Peros's character study is clearly designed as an homage to vintage Tinseltown mystique, so it's a pity that the old guard would have been mortified by Peros's rudimentary craftsmanship and Temtchine's thudding performance as a walking metaphor for L.A.'s young, A-list–averse idealists.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 S. James Snyder
    Some ventriloquists win the fame game, while some remain stuck in the D-list dugout. The fact that Dumbstruck doesn't even attempt to differentiate these camps makes the film feel as if it's just talking out of the side of its mouth.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    Timing’s everything in comedy, so perhaps Post Grad would have seemed peppier prior to the Great Recession; circa now, this comedy feels like a cynical stroll through the unemployment lines awaiting today’s class of seniors.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    That curatorial heft is sorely missing from Kalmbach’s final edit; it’s a portrait that neither feels forced nor fully formed.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    Fix
    Never mind the unreliable Angeleno characters; it’s the director-actor who’s the flakiest, as he’s unable to decide if Fix is a real-time saga of a rebel, a loser or a victim. How many face-lifts can you give a single film?
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    Writer-director Minos Papas channels both David Lynch and Dante’s "Inferno," but Shutterbug lacks the poetry--or precision--of a true phantasmic freak-out.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    After decades of endless policy debates, you’d think fixing America’s schools would be a complex endeavor. But apparently not--at least according to this tunnel-vision editorial.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    Through all the fuzzy science, Merola sees a savior; you’ll see a dull editorial masquerading as objective reporting.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    This confounding, overwrought mockumentary abruptly devolves into sitcom silliness.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 S. James Snyder
    Sure, the footwork is flawless in this 3-D rendering of Michael Flatley's high-kicking show; it's the filmmaking that's dull.