For 1,661 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Funny Games (2008)
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
1661 movie reviews
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Solomon handles their crises of conscience with a studied compassion that hangs over scenes like a lead weight, though the actors (particularly Dunst) do their best to bring more range to his gray palette.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Elf
    The cast wrings laughs out of David Berenbaum's script as if it were a damp washcloth.
    • The A.V. Club
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It’s undeniably moving, but straightforward to a fault.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film falls apart once its mysteries dissipate. With them go all the dark ambiguities that colored the first hour.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    A documentary that focuses rigorously on process and atmosphere at the expense of context and engagement.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Next Goal Wins could stand to go deeper into game strategy, or local customs and living conditions, or any number of personal stories, but the victories it does achieve are enormously satisfying.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    As it settles in, the thrilling chutzpah of The Blue Room’s opening salvo gets lost in the intricate curlicues of the plot, which take away much of its illicit rush.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    While it’s a shame Leong couldn’t find a fresher approach to Lin’s story—and that he left out any postscript about his struggles the following season in Houston—he does well in setting the stakes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    For all their brutality, the fights are so seductive and exciting that their consequences - the physical and mental toll exacted from the men and their families - sometimes fail to register.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Searching for originality in an addiction narrative like Animals is a problem, because these stories of decline and degradation tend to sound the same. So the limited time frame is the film’s strongest asset, because it’s only paying attention to the final hours.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    As her character resorts to increasingly cruel and devious pranks, Hudson only seems funnier and more endearing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Given an irresistible premise, Nathanson doesn't trust his material enough to follow through without excessive mugging, but his sense of the absurd leads to amusing digressions along the way.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The connection between Hu and Liu seems more scripted than real, founded on musty allegorical clichés about innocent country folk and corrupt city slickers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Carries a potent statement about the superficialities of appearance, and how they're more meaningful to people than anyone likes to acknowledge. But when the players themselves are conceived this superficially, LaBute winds up invalidating his own point.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Moves forward on the conviction of its performances. Brody, in particular, shows uncommon sensitivity as a politically committed and temperamental photographer who responds to MacDowell's half-crazed resolution with heartbreaking zeal.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    With its genuine interest in the immigrant experience and what it means to be an American, McFarland USA ekes out a victory in the margins, proving that a little openness and a little self-awareness can do wonders.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film is righteous but propagandistic, gearing its considerable insight into the Deepwater disaster and its aftermath into a narrow, prodding call to arms. For a documentary wide-ranging to the point of being diffuse, the last-ditch rallying cry seems entirely out of place. It undermines its own complexity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film's outsized ambitions are deceptive: Everything here is less than meets the eye.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The small grace of The Good Lie, from Monsieur Lazhar director Philippe Falardeau, is that it fully recognizes the problem of telling stories of black hardship through the prism of white charity, and does everything it can to avoid those pitfalls.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Only in the final minutes, when Kári overreaches for ironic effect, does the film plumb too far into the darkness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    With their fawning documentary Year Of The Yao, directors James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo unreflectively buy into the spin on charismatic 7'6" basketball center Yao Ming, but on a certain level, who can blame them?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    As in Hoop Dreams, troubles at home raise the stakes hugely on the court, though the dream here is far more modest: to slake their thirst for just one victory, and to know, for once, what winning feels like. Their pursuit of this elusive goal gives Medora a strong narrative through-line, but Cohn and Rothbart cling to it too fervently.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    There's ample opportunity here for a sharp consumerist satire, like a dryer cousin to the candy-colored pop-culture send-up “Josie And The Pussycats,” but Hartley misses his own joke.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film's moralistic streak leaves a sour taste, especially because its battle of the sexes is so wildly off-balance.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Sags into a dreary, humorless family melodrama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Leaves all the real risks to the young warriors at Ia Drang and collects easy dividends on their bravery. In the end, it honors them by paying tribute to itself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    As Collyer risks caricature—if a caricature of Florida is even possible at this point—Watts and Dillon ease Sunlight Jr. back to more grounded, fundamental truths.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Save for two spectacularly impressionistic sequences, Taymor brings little of that imagination to Frida, a turgid and conventional biopic that skips through the major incidents in Kahlo's life without giving them any special resonance, or even much visual panache.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    For a comedian who thrives on spontaneity, the heart of Reno's act seems conspicuously canned.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Mommy puts all its personal baggage on the table like Ally Sheedy emptying her purse in The Breakfast Club, and Dolan is to be admired for sharing so much of himself, and doing it with such evident passion. But it isn’t enough for an artist simply to share—he has to shape, too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Medem turns screenwriting into a feng shui exercise, shifting story elements like pieces of furniture around a room, as if the best films are the ones that end up facing southeast.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Both too obvious and needlessly complicated, Ju-On juggles several non-chronological chapters based on different characters, ensuring that none of the corpses-to-be make much of an impression.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Aided by raw, committed performances from her two leads, Goldbacher makes them tough company for themselves and anyone else around them, on or off the screen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Haggis, who wrote the fine adapted screenplay for "Million Dollar Baby," embeds Crash's script so deeply in allegory that every revelation feels manipulative and programmatic, in spite of some terrific individual scenes and performances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Playing against rubber-faced type, cult icon Bruce Campbell grounds his Elvis in a wry, understated swagger that holds the film's wacky excesses in orbit and does more honor to the legend himself than a thousand Vegas lounge-show wannabes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Director Jon Favreau, who dipped profitably into family entertainment with 2003's "Elf," effectively recreates the illustrative universe of a good children's book, but he's stuck with a story that noisily grinds its gears.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Feels more like a clever student short that got out of hand than the Kafka-esque nightmare that director Greg Harrison (Groove) likely intended.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Shlam and Medalia haven’t constructed the film particularly artfully—it’s sluggishly paced, and the two boys at its center aren’t vividly drawn—but Web Junkie is a case where the access is so unexpected and revelatory that it’s a wonder just to have the footage.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The small achievement of Devil’s Due is how much it both exploits the video-cam approach and overcomes some of its limitations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    With Heaven, Tykwer completes his self-appointment as Kieslowski's heir apparent, but since he has always been a better filmmaker than a thinker, his ideas drift into the ether.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Based on its thrillingly fractured first half - not to mention "Moon" in its entirety - Jones seems much smarter than he allows the film to be in the end. It wriggles out of its own intriguing puzzle.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Edgerton may write himself out of the problem too easily, but at least the problem itself is fascinating to consider.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Alternately exhilarating and tedious, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is Sono’s tribute to moviemaking—specifically an elegy to 35mm film, though the tone could hardly be called mournful.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    With his bleached-blond hair, implacable European accent, and nerdy devotion to cool rationality, Ribisi acts like a cross between a young Reich officer and the Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons," and his unashamed hamminess steals the movie.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Barrymore has rarely been so bright and effortlessly charming, but it's all lost on Fallon, who often resembles one of those unfortunate SNL guests who freeze up on live TV, completely out of their element. If Fallon wants a life after SNL, he might want to try another medium.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Following up his acclaimed debut feature "Down Terrace," a gangster drama that also mixed genre shocks with dark comedy and explosive family spats, Wheatley gives Kill List a discordant tone that makes it feel like a horror film even when it isn't.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The only character who stands out is a relentlessly clowning man-child named Taloche (James Thierree), but only as a symbol for the irrepressible spirit of an entire people.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    What's good about Next Stop Wonderland -- and nearly good enough to warrant recommendation -- has nothing to do with Anderson's sloppy, disjointed filmmaking, and everything to do with Hope Davis' far more disciplined and appealing lead performance.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    One of the film's oddest missteps is in making the boy-band gig just another occupation, instead of using it as a central way to illuminate the brothers' unusual bond.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It's glorious while it lasts, but then the film goes back to figuring out how to keep its oversized vessel from taking on water.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    In its amalgam of classic Hollywood war movies and courtroom dramas, Hart's War takes the audience to a place that never existed in order to teach it a lesson it already knows.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It’s false as social document, often gripping as entertainment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    In spite of the uniformly strong performances, 13 Conversations largely factors out human nature, leaving a giant puzzle where each piece is pre-determined to fall into place. In the end, the Sprechers have a movie for people who brag about finishing the New York Times Sunday crossword in pen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    While The Woodsman gets the psychological profile right, it fails to make Bacon a man.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The natural chemistry between Ellefsen and Nordin keeps the film pleasant and inoffensive, but is there any question about where or when or how it will go?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Because Quitting admits its basic falsehood up front, the film is never emotionally affecting, but Jia's participation in this confrontation of his past shows remarkable courage and honesty, especially when his behavior doesn't inspire much sympathy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Schrader has always been better as a writer and a critic than as a dramatist, which is why his most successful work has either been published in film journals or directed by Martin Scorsese. His flat, awkward staging diminishes some good performances -- particularly those of Nolte and a welcome Sissy Spacek.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    When it comes time to get to the bottom of what’s really going on, McDowell and Lader start losing the thread.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The best that could be said of Ragnarok is that it delivers the goods—nice scenery, crisp pacing, the requisite horror and suspense beats—but it needs something, anything, to give it some distinction.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    May be a bloodless piece of thriller craftsmanship, but at a time when craft has become negligible, its efficiency and whipcrack timing are increasingly uncommon virtues.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Has an exhilarating edge. It's only when they open their mouths that the movie gets into trouble.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    There’s nothing out of order here—the locales are appropriately dingy and atmospheric, the lead character is compellingly rotten, the plot tightens to a vise squeeze in the third act—but every beat that isn’t provided by The The strikes exactly where it’s expected.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It's a cold-blooded business — and all sentiment aside, it's clear that Pineda is as replaceable as anyone.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Weintrob's background in interactive media keeps the film's technology unusually current, but his predictable tongue-clucking over Internet relationships places him squarely in the Luddite camp.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Born to play a Western hero, Jones sells the film's syrupy message with a soulful, wounded performance, relieved at times by his agreeably cantankerous sense of humor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Keshales and Papushado have great filmmaking chops—as Israeli imports go, this is as far from the austere norm as it gets—but there’s a hollowness at the core of Big Bad Wolves, a creeping sense that they have no clear perspective on they mayhem they’re presenting.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Past the novelty of its conceit and casting, and the animating intelligence of its first-time director, Henry Hobson, Maggie is a bit of a drag.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The payoff may be predictable, but Banker and Everson are refreshingly unclear about how they—and viewers—feel about it. They just stay true to their protagonist’s feelings, see their premise through to the end, and leave it others to sort out. For a thesis-statement of a movie, that’s the riskiest possible conclusion.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The good news about Outrage, his grisly return to the genre, is that Kitano doesn't have to shake the rust off - his impeccable compositions and clean, minimalist sound design are still calibrated for maximum impact. Even as dozens of bodies pile up, each act of violence feels as bracing as the sound of a gunshot ripping through the night air.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Naim directs The Final Cut as if it were the pilot to a TV series: He teases the audience with all sorts of story threads, focuses on a minor self-contained mystery, and leaves the rest for future episodes that will never come.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It's a powerful idea in the abstract, the culmination of three acts that cover a 25-year catastrophe with a time-lapse breathlessness. It just never leaves the abstract and becomes flesh.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Cullman and Grausman extend a lot of sympathy to this strange, lonely, sick man as he goes about his business. But perhaps he’d been better left alone.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    There’s a sense with Jimmy P. that Desplechin and his co-screenwriters, Julie Peyr and film critic Kent Jones, are doing everything they can to steer away from contrivance and stick as closely to Devereux’s recollection as possible. What they’re left with is a rigorous, keenly intelligent therapy session that’s largely absent of dramatic tension.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Accepted as fantasy, 5 To 7 has a bright, literate charm that’s hard to resist, thanks to the scattered witticisms in Levin’s script, a deftly managed tone, and fine performances across the cast.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Ned Rifle feels closer to vintage Hartley than anything since 2001’s crazily underrated flop No Such Thing knocked him into semi-obscurity, but its dogged insularity stifles the modest pleasure of hearing the director’s distinct voice and watching his old favorites slip back into familiar roles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    A pleasantly inconsequential small-town quirkfest that's presumably more meaningful to native audiences.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    With just a couple of strong casting choices and a winsome tone, an old formula can still work, and The Grand Seduction comes out of the lab with a disarming readiness to please.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film too closely resembles what it's attempting to spoof--minus the obvious payoffs, of course.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    A solid, middle-of-the-road Leonard adaptation that lacks the singularity to be something more.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    For all of Audrey Tautou's considerable charm in the title role, Jeunet's need for a well-ordered universe proved as suffocating and exhausting as being trapped on an amusement-park ride.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Runs more smoothly and stylishly than the average teen comedy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Holm carries Napoleon's regal bluster without edging into cartoonish folly, taking him seriously enough to make an absurd situation solemn, and keeping the film from winking too coyly at its audience.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Best of all is the half-surreal, half-touching scene of the couple ordering Chinese delivery - needless to say, the tip is sizable - and inviting the courier to Skype his family one last time and share in a moment of common humanity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The great character actor Gary Cole, in particular, stands out as Bosworth's father, who tries to impress Duhamel by reading the trades, thumbing through Julia Phillips' autobiography, and donning a Project Greenlight T-shirt.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It’s a call to action in the form of an adoring profile, which is effective (and affecting) strategy, but narrow, propagandistic filmmaking.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Doesn't function nearly as well as a standalone piece, mainly because it's stuck with the thankless task of mopping up after the other two.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The Visitor is like a puzzle jammed together by a 3-year-old, with the polyglot pieces forced into place whether they fit or not. In other words, it’s an essential curiosity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    If there’s any thought to the screen musical being revived as more than a Broadway brand extension, Kendrick makes the emphatic case that she’s the star it should be built around.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    The film comes to life whenever the cartoonishly vindictive Gong throws a tantrum, but she played virtually the same role in Zhang Yimou's "Shanghai Triad," which presented a far more compelling rationale for her star fits. Without her, this expensive piece of backlot pageantry turns vivid history into an ossified tchotchke.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    There isn’t a bad scene in Borgman... But van Warmerdam just keeps on teasing and teasing, until the creeping suspicion sets in that teasing is all the film is going to do.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Norte is the rare film where the characters seem simpler the longer we spend time with them. They’re humans that evolve into types.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    But de Heer's high-concept feminist tract loses some of its integrity over time, as it slowly devolves into a seedy, voyeuristic thriller that takes all too much pleasure in turning the screws.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    For all the formidable intellect that went into its conceit, When Evening Falls On Bucharest has a slightness that isn’t helped much by the weight of the discussion, which occasionally presses it into a flat soufflé. But Porumboiu’s insight into the filmmaking process itself is often fascinating.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Be Cool more often evokes the image of a screenwriter furiously trying draft after draft to accommodate all the stars. Accommodating the audience becomes a distant priority.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    If the purpose of The Hunting Ground is to raise awareness and call viewers to action, then mission accomplished. But the tactics used are often graceless and propagandistic, and take away from the moving testimonials and the on-the-ground organization at the film’s core.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Both the actor and the character deserve a better movie, one that might have channeled the latter's desires into more than just a few rote genre thrills.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    There's at least one good movie in The Man Who Copied's 124 minutes, but Furtado never settles on it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Settles into pleasant monotony and repetition, without any narrative arc or purpose. Seasoned bird-watchers, however, may find that the sensory overload leaves them close to spiritual nirvana.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    Farmiga and Garcia have a chemistry that’s unassuming and sneaky, and the pleasure they get from each other’s company ultimately proves infectious.

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