For 1,507 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Standard Operating Procedure
Lowest review score: 0 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Score distribution:
1,507 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Conceptually bold and rapturously beautiful Gerry, a minimalist landscape film that's unlike anything on the American independent scene.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Kaufman strikes just the right balance between playfulness and sincerity, leaping freely from one absurd situation to another before pulling back on the reins.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Virtually every Super Technirama frame of Luchino Visconti's 1963 masterpiece The Leopard could be described as "painterly" in its ornate details and exquisitely balanced color compositions. (Review of DVD Release)
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    When a director of Scorsese's caliber is working at the top of his game, it's a reminder of why we go to the movies in the first place.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    A peculiar and destabilizing tone that's far from the standard Hollywood oater, but entirely fitting for two larger-than-life characters fulfilling their roles in history.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    If nothing else, the film puts the lie to the notion that an abortion could ever be frivolous or lightly considered. On that point, everyone in Lake Of Fire agrees, whether they acknowledge the other side or not.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    4 Months unfolds like one of those street-level Dardenne brothers movies (Rosetta, L'Enfant).
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    With Standard Operating Procedure, the Iraq War finally has its Hearts And Minds.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    It may be painful at times, but Rachel Getting Married sure is one heck of a party.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    At bottom, Silent Light is less about faith than matters of the heart, and in Reygadas' hands, the ache is bone-deep.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    The film evolves into a simple, intimate, acutely emotional portrait of a family reaching a painful crossroads.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    There are many layers to the man and the movie, and it’s hard not to leave the theater shaken.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    It's an exhilaratingly unpredictable experience, and not an easy one to shake.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    In terms of scale, The Tree Of Life recalls the mammoth ambition of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," but it's also more intimate and personal than Malick's previous films, rooted in vivid memories of growing up in '50s Texas.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    The film is little more than an exercise in style, but it's dazzling and mythic, a testament to the fundamental appeal of fast cars, dangerous men, and tension that squeezes like a hand to the throat.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    The Turin Horse has a burnished beauty that's awe-inspiring, like a clear window into a faraway world as it dangles, and then falls, off the precipice.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    There's a suffocating air to The Deep Blue Sea that makes it harder to access than other period romances of its kind, but Davies aligns himself wholly with Hester.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's most completely satisfying film since the one-two of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," in part because it's the perfect distillation of both.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it's over doesn't mean it's settled.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    The film feels as beautifully calibrated as a great piece of short fiction, only with visual accents and emphases filling in for the prose. It's a relationship movie where the most important exchanges remain unspoken.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Zero Dark Thirty stands to become the dominant narrative about this important historical event, no matter its distortions, composites, or other slippery feints of storytelling. In that, it wields a dangerous power.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    A director known for the icy classicism and genre subversion of films like "Funny Games" and "Caché," Haneke has a pitilessness that could not be more perfect for Amour, which would collapse at any whiff of sentimentality.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    A chilly and extraordinarily controlled treatise on film violence, Funny Games punishes the audience for its casual bloodlust by giving it all the sickening torture and mayhem it could possibly desire. Neat trick, that.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    The audience is indicted for its bloodlust. There's perversity in paying admission to get harshly scolded, and Funny Games is not for the squeamish, but this may be one time to step up and take the licking you deserve.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    It might be fair to argue that the resonances of Upstream Color are too obscure and internal — many viewers have and will be baffled by it — but it’s the type of art that inspires curiosity and obsession, like some beautiful object whose meaning remains tantalizingly out of reach.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    Her
    Her is a 21st-century love story that perfectly captures the mood of the times and finds new inroads into the exhilaration and heartbreak that have existed since the first “I love you.”
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    A singularly beautiful nostalgia piece that radiates with love and sadness, and doesn’t extract one type of feeling from another. It’s a film of aching bittersweetness, impeccably realized, past perfect.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 95 Scott Tobias
    There are times when the title is more a wish than an action - because just as cocaine addicts are forever chasing that first high, there's always the hunger to recapture a lost feeling again, even for those who have spent years in recovery. Pity those who fall off the wagon.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Manages to be visually arresting, packed with geeky allusions to everything from Raymond Chandler to "Blue Velvet."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It's mysterious and bold at every turn, and refreshingly removed from the commonplace.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    In Chéreau's hands, Gabrielle has an operatic quality that throws the repressive environment into sharp relief; the film works like a pressure cooker, seething with bottled passions that intermittently burst through with startling cruelty and violence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Gosling excels at playing contradictory characters like this one, having kick-started his career as a Jewish neo-Nazi in "The Believer," but here, his inner turmoil rarely gets vocalized. It's a remarkably subtle performance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Bujalski's brand of stylized dialogue sounds genuinely fly-on-the-wall.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Damon's minimalist style is key to why the Bourne movies have become an oasis from other blockbuster action fare.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    There's a bittersweet quality to McCandless' story that Penn captures intuitively.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Though its procedural goes a little soft in the middle, Gone Baby Gone quietly accumulates in power, leading to one of the more subtly devastating final shots in recent memory.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    After Hours is a caffeinated black comedy with an emphasis on speed. With a small crew and a tight shooting schedule, Scorsese transformed limited means into a staccato burst of creative energy, playing up the extreme paranoia and frustration of a data processor stranded in Soho.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It isn't particularly original--for one, it owes an unacknowledged debt to the French film "Them"--but as an exercise in controlled mayhem, horror movies don't get much scarier.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It's a righteously nasty piece of work, and a rare example of a movie that traffics in B-movie grime without a trace of "Grindhouse"-style self-consciousness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    As loose and playful as major studio movies get.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Having the dog around raises the emotional stakes tenfold, and develops a kinship with Vittorio De Sica's Italian neo-realist classic "Umberto D.," which also revealed societal ills through a poignant dog-owner relationship
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The beauty of The Class is that it puts the lie to the one-teacher-can-make-a-difference myth propagated by so many other films.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Gomorrah takes place in a world where decency can't take root and we can only watch in horror as crime overwhelms society's most vulnerable-- women, children, law-abiding citizens, and the conscientious few who want to get out of the game.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    For the first hour or more, The Hurt Locker boldly forsakes any conventional narrative hook beyond the ongoing tensions between these men and the terrifying grind of defusing bombs day after day.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Raimi’s new film feels distinctly unburdened and fun, happily frolicking in its own pulp silliness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Humpday carefully raises the stakes until it hits a finale loaded with humor, tenderness, and delicious ambiguity. It’s like "Old Joy" by way of Judd Apatow.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    There’s a purpose to all this madness--though to talk about the primary reason the film succeeds would be giving the game away--but it should be appreciated first as a vivid, waking nightmare.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    A remarkably nuanced, ever-evolving performance (María Onetto).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Afterschool wears its many influences on its sleeve, but it’s very much a movie of the moment. The passing of time and the evolution of technology may give it an expiration date, but more likely, Campos’ film stands to be an essential document of what it was like to be a young person in the late ’00s.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It isn't pretty to witness, but the pain of it smarts.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The film is an imposing, prismatic achievement, and strongly resistant to an insta-reaction; when it’s over, Nolan still seems a few steps ahead of us.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Carlos is mostly tense and thrilling, revealing the poisonous side of global citizenship.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Finds connections deeply embedded in a soccer culture fueled by the country's thieving cocaine trade.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It helps that the actors' faces are so mesmerizing, particularly Manjinder Virk as Lorraine.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The great Kôji Yakusho stars as a revered samurai who decides that enough is enough, and sets about assembling the assassins of the title like a men-on-a-mission movie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Never to be confused for the rom-com starring Amy Adams - though that would be the mother of all video-store mix-ups - Leap Year lets actions speak louder than words, and the actions here are shockingly explicit.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    To an equal extent, Project Nim shows the human capacity for cruelty and narcissism as well as compassion and selflessness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    McKinney may well be a madwoman, but Morris connects so deeply to her obsessions that the film's tone never seems exploitative or mocking.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It's a complex fusion of film history and personal history, filled with dazzling embellishments and unabashed sentiment about the glories of cinema.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Without soft-pedaling it in the least, Bonello nonetheless mourns the passing of a time where prostitutes didn't control their destinies, but at least had each other.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The body means different things for each of them, and Ceylan's mesmerizing existential drama takes its time establishing the players and bringing their inner lives into focus. It's cinema as autopsy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    In truth, Haywire is simply a delivery system for ass-kickings, calibrated to the specific talents of Gina Carano, a former mixed-martial-arts star and American Gladiator whose fists (and feet) of fury can rattle skulls and cave in chests.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Miss Bala toes a delicate line between exploitation movie and movie about exploitation, but that's part of what gives the film its charge - this isn't some flaccid docudrama about how the cartels are poisoning the country, it's a lively, white-knuckle thriller where any such proselytizing is reduced to implication.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The second half of The Kid With A Bike diverges so much from the first that they seem like two different movies - the first a drama about an orphan's search for home, the second a moral thriller about the terrible things all people, no matter their social station, are willing to do in the interest of self-preservation. Both sections are riveting in their own way, and punctuated by startling shocks and bursts of emotion.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It's an austere Russian drama with shades of Hitchcock.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Though Dick focuses heavily on just a few women, The Invisible War builds to a stunning montage of victim after victim telling their story to the camera without pseudonyms or silhouettes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The miracle of Nolan's Batman trilogy is the way it imprints those myths with the dread-soaked tenor of the times.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    There's genuine pain at the core of Heidecker's character - or at least a numbness where the pain used to reside - but the film is keen on obscuring it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    The six men have different personalities that suggest varying styles of leadership, but what's remarkable about The Gatekeepers is how they speak in one voice about the moral complexities of their former jobs and their extreme pessimism about the future.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Beyond The Hills has a rich understanding of the appeals and perils of religious values that provide structure and meaning to some while seeming cruel and irrational to outsiders. It’s a world within a world, and Mungiu peers from a clear window.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    As the film takes shape, the form and the subject develop a fascinating symbiosis, with Derrida cast as an active participant in the deconstruction of his own documentary.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Emerges as something rare, an issue movie that's so honest and keenly observed that it doesn't feel like one. It earns its thesis statement through minute details and a unique grasp of a commonplace problem.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Though shorn of 20 minutes for its U.S. debut, the film's wry comic portrait of the Japanese Occupation during WWII hasn't lost any of its incendiary brilliance, both as a political provocation and as a brusquely humane take on the horrors and absurdity of war.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Seasoned with amusing bits of fantasy, like a pizza topping that briefly curls into a smile, Friday Night captures the city at its most inviting, alive with the feeling that wonderful things can happen to ordinary people.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    An inspired, original, and gracefully integrated collaboration of theater and cinema that complements not only both forms, but also the seductive, dreamlike qualities of the source material.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    A viscerally punishing study of repression and masochism, carried out with the utmost discretion and chilling reserve.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Malick's powerful intermingling of brutality and beauty, his signature cutaways to indigenous flora and fauna, and the gentle lyricism of his disjunctive narration and painterly images are too rich to fully register in a single viewing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    A superb portrait of a band and an industry in flux.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    By turns playful, harrowing, intensely moving, and uproariously funny, Chain Camera cuts away all documentary artifice and goes straight to the source, allowing these kids to reveal themselves with the utmost directness and candor.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    With startling clarity and dreadful logic, Loach and Laverty make sense of every bad choice Compston makes until he runs out of options, locked into a destiny that he can't escape, mainly because his good intentions are clouded by tragic naivete.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Payne, the great satirist behind "Citizen Ruth" and "Election," loves to populate his films with throwaway details, which in About Schmidt accumulate into a portrait of Midwestern life that's almost chilling in its exactitude.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    First-time director Jarecki, better known as the co-founder of MovieFone, skillfully integrates the home-movie footage with his own thorough inquiry, weaving past and present into a patient, deeply engrossing piece of storytelling that's rich in ambiguities.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Few directors are capable of marrying ideas and entertainment—one is often sacrificed for the other—but Spielberg peppers one gripping action setpiece after another with trenchant details about a near-future robbed of the most basic freedoms and privacy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Fast, exhilarating new comedy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    The Dardennes sustain that tension through a masterful closing drive that resembles the final third of "In The Bedroom," only without the same dreadful inevitability.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Though glazed in chilly surfaces -- the Kubrickian spaces, Cliff Martinez's gorgeous ambient score, the elliptical editing rhythms of Soderbergh's recent work, particularly "The Limey" -- the film contains a surprising depth of feeling within its egg-shaped head.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    If The Winslow Boy has a flaw, it's that Mamet's style is impeccable to a fault, too cool and remote to have much of an emotional payoff. But since few directors can even approach his level of precision, that's a very minor complaint.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    A grand achievement in history and anthropology, supporting its ambition and scope with a sumptuous re-creation of the period and an immediacy that allows a forgotten past to barrel into the present.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Edited with an impeccable sense of timing and rhythm, with each new revelation and insight planted at just the right moment, Bus 174 examines an already gripping story from a moving and untold perspective.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    On a production of this magnitude, few actors have the presence to assert themselves above the cacophony, but Crowe carries the film with the rare combination of charisma and brute masculinity that has made him a star.