For 1,383 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 35 Shots of Rum
Lowest review score: 0 Bruce Almighty
Score distribution:
1,383 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    He's (Corbijn) a patient, fastidious filmmaker with a great eye-ideal for his subject here-but his austerity doesn't entirely erase the suspicion that he doesn't have much on his mind. His film is a triumph, but it may be a triumph of style over substance.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Going The Distance could stand to color outside the lines a bit more, but it's perceptive about the problems of young people torn between pursuing love or their nascent career ambitions, and the witty script, by first-timer Geoff LaTulippe, is spiked with refreshing profanity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    What was scary once is scary twice, like a carnival funhouse remodeled with a few new mirrors and spring-loaded spooks.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The film rescues the story from tabloid hell, and asks for a saner assessment of a deeply flawed man.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Patrick Wilson rounds out the cast as McAdams' love interest, but his presence seems necessary only to classify Morning Glory as a romantic comedy. The heart of the movie is really McAdams' wonderfully contentious relationship with Ford.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Madsen casts doubt on the notion that this Pandora's box will never be opened, either by some cataclysmic event, like another Ice Age, or drilling by future generations who may not be aware of Onkalo, or even able to decipher warnings of its contents. Something terrible seems likely to happen-just not today.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The cast, anchored by sweetly goofy Ed Helms, redeems the film at every turn, adding humor and dimension to characters who might have otherwise drowned in tacky grotesquerie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's a small victory for flash in its eternal war with substance, but in this case, the flash is enough.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    All calculation aside, scary is still scary, and Insidious makes up in old-fashioned tension what it sometimes lacks in originality.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Super exists in the no-man's land between indie quirk and raw exploitation, and when it works, it's thrillingly off-balance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's no surprise that Bridemaids sputters, coughs, and lurches, but it's a winning shambles, buoyed by a sharp, balanced comedic ensemble and some truthful observations about how close friends adapt when their lives fall out of step.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Rossi never gets around to exploring his opening question: What would the world be without The New York Times? Perhaps, as with a lot of his subjects here, the answer is just too painful to consider, no matter the economic realities.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Romantic comedies - and this is one, in spite of its phony irreverence - turn largely on star power, and theirs is transcendent, whether they're casually trading one-liners on the streets or doing running commentary on their sexual escapades. They'd have been better off staying in bed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Gosling and Stone, too, have wonderful chemistry; their all-night "seduction" sequence is the film's highlight, witty and effortlessly sexy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    There's nothing particularly distinctive or engaging about Wetzel's fly-on-the-wall style, which feels like second-hand Frederick Wiseman. But for hardcore foodies, El Bulli offers a clear, unvarnished look at the master at work.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Ideally cast as Reiser's stand-in, Joseph Gordon-Levitt digs into a character role that also gives him a chance to show off the comedic chops he developed during his years on "3rd Rock From The Sun."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Those schooled in Eastern European history may have better luck deciphering it, but what keeps it compelling throughout is Loznitsa's direction, which favors sophisticated long takes and particularly suspenseful use of foreground and background action. His next film should be a doozy.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The mix of blunt sexual politics and dime-store-paperback luridness has the bracing quality of tub-brewed rotgut. It eats away at the stomach lining - that is, if it can be stomached at all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    If nothing else, Margin Call serves as a rebuke to "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" emphatic style - which ultimately glamorizes the profession it means to shame - and brings this dangerous numbers game back to the trading-floor desktops and mahogany-covered conference tables where it belongs. It isn't sexy, but the stakes feel much higher.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Paranormal Activity 3 has one new technical wrinkle, and it's brilliant: In addition to the cameras in the bedroom, Smith mounts a third to the base of a rotating electric fan, so it pans back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen and back again.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The Last Rites Of Joe May succeeds in some of the smaller details and the soulful performances.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The Lie's payoff strikes an unexpected, refreshingly open note that makes this slight little indie more resonant than its scale suggests. The line this couple is about to cross is significant, and the film takes it seriously.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's common for coaches to take roles as father figures on a high-school and college level, but Undefeated gets into how that dynamic works on both ends, as Courtney seeks to salve the pain of his family history.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's a chilling film about the routine business of unspeakable acts.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Pleasing mainly just as a message-in-a-bottle from a restless, persecuted artist-that is, until the amazing closing shot, which brings the volatility of post-Green Revolution Iran home with unforgettable force.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    When the goal is simply to be as faithful as possible to the material - as if a movie were a marriage, and a rights contract the vow - the best result is a skillful abridgment, one that hits all the important marks without losing anything egregious. And as abridgments go, they don't get much more skillful than this one.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    More than any masculine heroics, Pearce's primary job is maintaining the tone: smug, irreverent, and giddily punch-drunk.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The dramatic stakes are high in Fightville, and Epperlein and Tucker shine a little light on the margins of this marginalized sport.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The key point about God Bless America is that it's extreme but not exaggerated, a dark comedy that indulges - and questions - a violent, misanthropic fantasy about laying waste to the cultural landscape while staying grounded in a recognizable reality.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The best moments of Maïwenn's Polisse, about the dedicated members of a Child Protection Unit in northern Paris, have the same quality, a fly-on-the-wall docu-realism that feels eerily like the real thing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The scenes between Gelber and Blair are the strongest in Dark Horse, because they form a bond not out of shared interests or passion, but a weary kind of compromise.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Working from Chantal Thomas' novel, Jacquot doesn't entirely scrape the gloss off this love triangle, which plays neither as a florid bodice-ripper nor as emotionally complex as it might have been. It stays on the surface, but at least that surface is gorgeous.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    In easily her best performance - and sadly, one few will see, given the film's modest release strategy - Jessica Biel stars as a single mother in Cold Rock, Washington.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It also, in its best moments, makes horror out of the 21st-century obsession with self-documentation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Markevicius tells this incredible yarn through the significantly less exciting format of an ESPN-style documentary, which gets the job done with minimal flourish. Still, he employs former Lithuanian greats like Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis to serve as guides to the country's past and present, and the basketball culture that's thrived there under the best and worst of times.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    For most of the way, right up until a hastily contrived and deeply unsatisfying ending, the film perceptively sketches a fractured identity, a man who enters a new life carrying painful remnants of the old.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Radio Unnameable is at its best when it tries to find some visual analog to Fass' vibe, courtesy of cinematographer John Pirozzi, who takes beautiful snapshots of a sleepless city. It also, in the Fass way, does a little meandering.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Hits the sweet spot between stunning ineptitude, hilariously dated period touchstones, and a touching naïveté that gives it an odd distinction. As with the other so-bad-it's-good sensations that have toured the midnight circuit over the last few years - "The Room," "Birdemic," "Troll 2" - its awkwardness comes partly from a foreign-born auteur making an American film, and the culture clash plays out for all to see.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    A hypnotic 80-minute drift through nocturnal New Orleans that seeks more to pick up on bits of culture and atmosphere than to tell any stories. They blow up the conventions of documentary realism to capture the city's soul, a much more abstract, elusive undertaking.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Save The Date's achievements are modest - it could be funnier and more affecting, and it ends with a shrug - but the film is wise about sibling relationships, the uncertainty of youth, and smaller matters, like the way people relate to each other after a break-up.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's a struggle at times, mostly because the action-movie clichés haven't been weeded out of the script, but the film is cheerfully, irresistibly destructive - an old-fashioned, "Rio Bravo" shoot-'em-up with the hicktown spirit of "Tremors," though it isn't as good as either.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Benson and Moorhead have made a horror film for jaded aficionados, deconstructing and reconstructing tired elements into a gnarled, distinctive Frankenstein's monster. This monster might ransack a village, but it would have to think about it first.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    If nothing else, Shortland gives Rosendahl a star-making platform on par with Cornish’s in "Somersault": She’s a magnetic screen presence who subtly conveys not only the struggle and guilt inherent to her situation, but also a residue of hate that’s carried over from her parents. The actor, like her character, shoulders a heavy burden.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Modest, personal, and nicely proportioned, Red Flag resembles one of Hong Sang-soo’s self-reflexive doodles about relationships and filmmaking — "Oki’s Movie," in particular — and it wisely doesn’t take too big a bite.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The film is less about people or this specific herding ritual than about the majesty of the landscape and the interplay between these animals, their keepers, and the dictates of nature itself.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Adapted from a long-running stage play, The Dinner Game has been refined to peak comic efficiency, with every misunderstanding and hare-brained scheme neatly cascading into bigger and bigger catastrophes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Until its pat, implausible conclusion, the film has the edgy nerve of a classic amour fou, charting a complex relationship with the sort of bumpy, unpredictable spirit that would do Cassavetes proud.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    The film might have been more powerful, not to mention fair, if the nuns believed they were doing right; only on movie night, when McEwan sees herself in Ingrid Bergman in "The Bells Of St. Mary's," does Mullan grant her so much as the delusion of rectitude.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Agreeably soft at heart, a fun and progressive entertainment that above all wants to give love a wide berth, no matter what imposing obstacles have to be cleared from the aisle first.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Serves as a fascinating window into an era of radical dissent that now seems centuries past.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    One minor element in Le Divorce, the sale of a disputed and possibly valuable painting that once belonged to Watts' family, welcomes scene-stealing bits by Bebe Neuwirth and Stephen Fry as appraisers with clashing motives.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Though it gets far too cute, The Cuckoo settles into the snappy rhythms of a promising sitcom pilot, at least until Rogozhkin decides to get serious.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    With the exception of Hilary Swank, whose earnestness spoils the fun, a stellar cast seems in on the joke.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    An absorbing and meticulous piece of reportage.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Mostly it's just a good yarn, with attractive picture-postcard vistas and an agreeable strain of light humor.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Though the plot's soap-opera turns become tidy and predictable, the film shows remarkable attunement and sympathy toward a group of characters whose lives intersect and unravel on a cruel twist of fate.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Funny and endearing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Through Brody's remarkably controlled, self-effacing performance, Polanski succeeds in making his hero an invisible man, but the sights he conjures are surprisingly artless and ordinary, familiar from a dozen other Holocaust dramas. Among the casualties in The Pianist is a great director's imagination.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    The Mask Of Zorro is disarming for the same reasons, coasting on the charisma of its stars and a few exciting action setpieces.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Shows an unusual degree of generosity toward all its characters, and its tenderness yields some affecting moments, even if they don't ring entirely true.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    For a big-budget Hollywood feature, the film places an unusually high amount of stock in the audience's imagination; not since "The Others" or "The Blair Witch Project" have so many shocks been indirect or kept teasingly out of view.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Much like his overrated 2000 opus "Platform," Unknown Pleasures spends more energy fussing over the backdrop than on the poor souls languishing in the fore, who have little to do but wander aimlessly and symbolically as life passes them by.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Kudlácek rounds up a who's-who of experimental filmmakers, Haitian artists, dance choreographers, archivists, and programmers, all of whom reflect intelligently (though dryly) on Deren's importance in underground cinema.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    A dense, challenging work by any measure, Japón snakes toward a justly celebrated final shot that's technically astonishing and immensely powerful, cementing the arrival of a promising new talent.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Sweet-natured and likable to a fault, the film studiously avoids confronting the darker themes of death and religion that bubble up from its story, no matter how central they are to the characters' lives.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    At once predatory and vulnerable, Jung has a primitive intensity that speaks louder than words, carrying an enigmatic and often maddeningly elusive film that's short on dialogue, rational behavior, and narrative logic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Less a fantasy than a somber, enveloping mood piece, which is a large part of what makes it so strangely, irrationally compelling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    The film seems content with the more modest ambitions of a romantic comedy, albeit one with unusually potent wit and intricate construction. The old Ealing could never have afforded Parker's deluxe treatment of the material; the new Ealing seems to have forgotten the benefits of economy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Smartly conceived and meticulously executed, if too slight and gimmicky to have much resonance.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Calls on De Niro to drum up the sort of emotional intensity that's been allowed to atrophy of late. City By The Sea isn't always worthy of him, but it makes enough demands to bring out his best.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    In its strongest moments, Tully has the quality of a good short story, in the way it details the underlying affection and resentment that creeps into the lives of its four main characters, played with great sensitivity by a cast of mostly unknowns.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Caetano's blunt, deterministic ending underlines the point too neatly, but in dignifying an outcast whose life is treated as anonymous and disposable, he puts a human face on a national tragedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Higuchinsky turns the screen into another giant vortex, drawing the characters and the audience deeper into a dark, captivating spell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Intoxicates and overwhelms at the same time, giving off so much pleasure in a small space that the effect can be suffocating.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Though the laughs in Songs From The Second Floor tend to stick in the throat, they're also cathartic and oddly comforting, because the world outside the movie theater is bound to look cheerier than the one on the screen.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    If nothing else, The Believer trusts that faith can not only withstand a little skepticism, but also gather strength and meaning from it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    With no greater ambition than reworking the Police Academy movies, Broken Lizard comes up with a winning formula: one part laughs to two parts goodwill.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    The best scenes play like "Frankenstein" revisited, with a comically bedraggled Pacino cast as the mad scientist trying to protect his runaway creation from a rabid public.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Ends with horrific revelations that are made all the more powerful by the lightness that precedes them. Simultaneously sad and hopeful, Ghobadi suggests the resiliency of a culture in which war is part of the fabric of everyday life.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    May
    May represents something rare and unfashionable-–a smart, twisted little slasher comedy that doesn't skimp on the gore.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    There's a surprising intelligence and gravity working beneath its bubbly surface, informed by an unusual degree of empathy for its adolescent audience and a rare willingness to confront the darker regions of youth experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Can't help but be deeply engrossing, as it taps into a highly charged atmosphere that one parent dubs "a different form of child abuse."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Takes the form of a wounded behemoth, battling to negotiate a compromise between a strong artistic vision and franchise expectations. It doesn't fully succeed on either count, but its integrity and substance stand out like an oasis in a field of cotton candy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Until filmmakers get a little distance, maybe they'd be better off ignoring such projects.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    There are strong ideas at play in Noé's undeniably audacious and technically stunning second feature, which goes as far as any film can in revealing the breakdown of order and the deterioration of the rational mind.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Freaky Friday mines a lot of laughs from common misapprehensions adults have about adolescent life, with fun bits of observation about schoolwork, dating, and other practices where kids have to bend the rules in order to survive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Though the results are a matter of record, the uplift is nevertheless intoxicating, even enough to compensate for a film that routinely substitutes corny iconography for real imagination and vision.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Camp offers plenty of reasons to bristle at its cheery shamelessness, but it's too high-spirited and charming to resist.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    A refreshingly old-fashioned splatter movie.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    May be Assayas' airiest work to date, an intriguing trifle that leaves its considerable pleasures to lounge around on the surface.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    For all its aloof indirectness, The Flower Of Evil wants little more than to sling another arrow at the bourgeoisie, something Chabrol has done with greater flair on many other occasions.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    When Porn Theatre stays in the darkness, its minute observations about grindhouse culture are hypnotic in their accumulating detail.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Shattered Glass simply sinks its teeth into a juicy story, never better than when Sarsgaard methodically paints the sniveling Christensen into a corner.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Provides enough happy endings to make the audience forget that romance and Christmas miracles don't always work out.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    While In America doesn't convince as an immigrants-in-the-U.S. story, it resonates powerfully as a portrait of grief and reconciliation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Though it's still too reliant on a sloppy, gag-a-second style, Stuck On You gets through the arid stretches by leaning on some winning performances, most notably from a hilarious Seymour Cassel.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    To its enormous credit, doesn't cast the conflict as cut-and-dried exploitation. It presents something altogether more complex--too complex, unfortunately, for an 85-minute documentary to elucidate perfectly.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Cobbled together from borrowed parts, Jean-Claude Brisseau's Secret Things makes a fearsome Frankenstein monster out of other movies, yet the influences are so thoroughly digested that they come out seeming wholly original.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    At its heart, Touching The Void contends with the physical and spiritual dilemma of facing the unknown and overcoming paralyzing fear in order to emerge reborn on the other side. But the film's appeal is even more fundamental than that: It's just one of those stories that catches the breath, no matter how often it's told.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    It's rare for a comedy to be as fully worked-out and exquisitely timed as An Amazing Couple; just don't expect to warm to it.