For 1,649 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 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Master
Lowest review score: 0 Fireproof
Score distribution:
1649 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Gives the impression of spontaneity while being meticulously planned. Most importantly, Steers and Culkin know that the best way to evoke sympathy is never to beg for it; by the end, their achievement seems hard-won.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    By the end, even Goodman seems to have lost interest.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Though Anderson's storytelling gets murky at times, it's still a fine showcase for his versatility, adding to an impressive, under-the-radar résumé that includes the underrated science-fiction comedy "Happy Accidents" and the first-rate horror film "Session 9."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    For their part, the Danes are either having more of an adventure or covering up their trauma with chest-thumping braggadocio; almost to a man, they're ready to come back for more.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Replace the toy box with the arcade machine, and Wreck-It Ralph is basically a repurposed "Toy Story" movie, suffused with the same mix of adventure and nostalgia and themes of friendship and the existential crises that come with age. A cynic might dismiss the film as reheated leftovers. But that cynic would be wrong, because those leftovers are delicious.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    I Served The King Of England views diabolical events from the sidelines, something like "The Remains Of The Day" reworked as an absurdist comedy.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Touching and wise, with fine performances and impeccable widescreen photography, The Rookie is a rare family film that encourages kids to pursue their dreams, but not before giving full weight to the consequences.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    With sumptuous widescreen photography and a pounding world-music score, the film makes for an absorbing travelogue at best, as pretty as a picture book and just as flat on the surface.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    While The Woodsman gets the psychological profile right, it fails to make Bacon a man.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    McQueen is a showy director, but his bravura long takes have the effect of heightened attentiveness, allowing scenes to build in intensity without the relief of a cut.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Despite a handsome production and two genuinely brilliant lead performances, The Theory Of Everything stumbles into virtually every pitfall that afflicts biopics about geniuses.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Wiseman's fragmented approach misses the continuity of the show, which mixes erotic dance with comedy, magic and even a little soft shoe, and tells an overarching story that Crazy Horse never quite communicates. Yet there's more than enough compensation in the scenes Wiseman does catch.
    • NPR
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    Manages to be visually arresting, packed with geeky allusions to everything from Raymond Chandler to "Blue Velvet."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    It’s undeniably moving, but straightforward to a fault.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    Save for the thrilling opening sequence, there's not much to remember about the film beyond Staunton (Vera Drake), who masks her bottomless malevolence behind a pasted-on patrician smile.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    The truthfulness of Winstead's performance - and those of her co-stars, too - has a steadying influence on James Ponsoldt's modest drama, which at times seems in danger of failing a sobriety test.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Siegel is almost too tasteful, nearly to the point where his coming-of-age story loses color and purpose. But he finds a mesmerizing presence in Ambrose, a terrific young actress who carries the film without a second of showiness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    The Boss Of It All, though clever as a piece of genre deconstruction, isn't terribly funny.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's a fittingly loose, shambling little nothing of a comedy that's occasionally inspired, but at least a draft or two short of its potential. Still, it's a pleasure to watch Faris--a gifted, likeable comedian who tends to be the best element of many terrible movies.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    At its best, the film sustains the heightened tension of great science fiction, dropping in on a frightening new world that's just this side of familiar.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Scott Tobias
    It isn't pretty to witness, but the pain of it smarts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Much like his father Ivan (Ghostbusters), first-time director Jason Reitman has a broad, anything-goes comedic sensibility that allows silly gags and incidental humor to sneak in alongside the satirical barbs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    The film insightfully probes into the things that are said and the intense feelings that are merely implied, buzzing at a low level just beneath the surface.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    If constructing a thriller could be likened to building a house, then Wes Craven's Red Eye is a perfect piece of architecture: It's clean-lined and soundly structured, without a foot of wasted space or any materials left unused.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Unsurprising tribute to the sweetness of rural dwellers.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    It's an enormous scoop for a Western filmmaker, but a potentially compromising one, too. How much can a filmmaker challenge the dubious elements of Dresnok's story? At what point can the film be considered an unwitting propaganda tool for an oppressive, totalitarian system?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Kitano's gentle side reigns in Dolls, a gorgeous meditation on love and devotion, but the film's hypnotic tone and beautifully formalized color scheme makes it unlike anything he's done to date.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Plays like a 90-minute wake, albeit a warm and humorous one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    With Depardieu’s intensely physical performance at its core, Welcome To New York achieves a level of intimacy that’s rare for films about public figures—and, in this case, exposes Strauss-Kahn for all to see.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    In the end, the film belongs to Baye, a veteran French actress who handles the part with toughness and vulnerability without overselling either facet of her character.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 65 Scott Tobias
    It's the warm tenor of the film that ultimately rescues it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    22 Jump Street squeezes every last drop of comic inspiration it can get from Tatum and Hill, as well as the very notion of a sequel to such a superfluous enterprise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Steinbauer's eagerness to draw information--and, let's face it, exclusive new clips--out of his recalcitrant subject borders on exploitation at times, but the smart, cagey Rebney has an agenda of his own that Steinbauer can't entirely control or define. The documentary gives him a forum to be his funny, irreducible self, which is a luxury the accidentally famous are rarely afforded.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Some of the strongest scenes are candid front-stoop sessions in which the kids swap gossip and float some hilariously pre-sexual theories on romance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Mara's Salander is the film's lifeblood, a shrewd yet vulnerable outsider whose resilience and pluck help Fincher elevate The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo above the standard procedural. But just barely.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Just because the live-action Seusses have dialed down expectations doesn't mean that Horton shouldn't aspire to more than time-wasting mediocrity. There are precious childhoods at stake here.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Babenco's hard work is undercut by his squarely theatrical notion of realism: Specifically, how did the touring company for "West Side Story" wind up in such an awful spot?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Folds like a house of cards, collapsing under its own flimsy foundation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Lourdes starts from the unexpected position of believing miracles are possible, but it doesn’t paper over the religious and practical problems they raise--for the blessed and bereft alike.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Through Bingenheimer, the film not only gets the last word on the peculiar allure of celebrity, but also captures a fascinating shadow history of West Coast rock, which owes no small part of its livelihood to Bingenheimer's influence as a tastemaker.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Every time the pace starts to flag, it coughs up one hilarious left-field interlude after another.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    The Descent sustains a level of intensity that most horror films can barely muster for five minutes.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Rain lays so much portent on every scene that it becomes ungenerous and morally forbidding, as if each bummed cigarette or leisurely cocktail will lead the family that much closer to oblivion. In this case, the punishment is far greater than the crime.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Poking fun at uptight British civility has long been a monocle-shattering comedic staple, and Mrs. Henderson Presents gets by for a while on its genial naughtiness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Currently serving out a sentence that will likely consume the remainder of his life, Spector turns the interview into a trial on his own terms--one that's gripping, revelatory, and a little self-incriminating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Scott Tobias
    As a loaded summary of an important, disquieting chapter in Illinois legal history, A Murder In The Park gets the blood boiling, and suggests a justice system open to manipulation by bad actors.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Scott Tobias
    With Standard Operating Procedure, the Iraq War finally has its Hearts And Minds.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    What saves I Love You, Man, at least partially, is the relaxed chemistry between Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, both very funny men who are genuine enough to push back against a premise that's often maddeningly artificial.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Dekker knows who she is, what she wants to do, and how to get it done, and Maidentrip wisely sails off the tailwinds of her confidence and boundless curiosity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Arriving in the middle of Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Winter Soldier is among the best of the nine films released so far—roughly on par with the first Iron Man and The Avengers—but if the film has one major flaw, it’s the obligation to serve a larger franchise that keeps taking on weight.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Through it all, Vicky Cristina Barcelona remains unaccountably romantic, a confirmation that love, elusive and painful as it can be, is still worth pursuing.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In trying to find the decency in a killer, the film anxiously accounts for his every misdeed. It's a little like watching "City Of God" morph into "Three Men And A Baby."
    • 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.
    • 70 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Taken together, the stories are a watershed of feminist clichés, composed of half-hour sections that are too tidy by half, and overlaid with writerly voiceovers that suggest an author too enamored of her own narration. But one salvageable piece emerges in the middle: a sharp and acerbically funny segment that seems written specifically for Parker Posey.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Immensely likable.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though thirteen too often mistakes hard realism for overheated spectacle, the heightened drama brings out the best in Wood and Hunter, who turn their climactic scene into an actors' workshop, charged with raw emotion. As the film barrels toward the outrageously histrionic, they nearly pull it back from the brink.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Far from being a liability, Dolan's youthfulness gives it unmistakable vibrancy: This is a love-crazy, movie-crazy affair, laying bare its emotions just as plainly as its influences.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    For the soldiers, it's about living to see the next day and living with the things they see, and Gunner Palace honors their perspective like no other Iraq documentary has to date.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    Few filmmakers could produce so grand a spectacle, but Zhang used to be good for more than just eye candy.
    • 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?
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Has a gentle, hypnotic tone that's insistently sweet and elegiac, in spite of the horrors that overwhelm the frame. In its juxtaposition of the serene and the violent, the beautiful and the brutal, the film achieves a balance that's exquisitely judged, tiptoeing artfully through a cultural minefield.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Perhaps because the trial hits so many delays and roadblocks, Twist Of Faith doesn't gather much dramatic momentum, though there's something to be said for the emotional grind of running in place.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Matti’s primary order of business is regularly serving up tense, stylish action sequences, and he proves more adept choreographing those than sorting out the convolutions of his parallel plotlines.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 20 Scott Tobias
    Debrauwer's characterization is as sharp and incisive as a butter knife.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Abouna starkly defines the masculine and feminine influence in raising children, and what happens when they're not so complementary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    When it steers away from campaign-ad testimonials and considers Kerry's moral awakening in Vietnam and beyond, Going Upriver features some tremendously powerful scenes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though Kenner’s slick graphics and attractively photographed talking heads call Errol Morris to mind, his methods are significantly less subtle.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Storytelling clarity has never been a Kurosawa strong suit, yet Pulse baffles even under those standards, so it's best to just get on his abstract wavelength and ride the thing out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    While Lenny Cooke’s considerable social and emotional resonance still doesn’t measure up to Hoop Dreams’, the Safdies beautifully evoke the other side of the professional game, the many basketball casualties who don’t get movies made about them.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though Pieces Of April comes together with improbable grace, Hedges evokes unearned tears from a premise that's already loaded from the start. Like Holmes, he serves up boxed stuffing and canned cranberries, then fishes for compliments to the chef.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Scott Tobias
    Much like "School Of Rock," Bad Santa salvages a tired, paint-by-numbers formula by resisting it every step of the way, stubbornly refusing to stop its juvenile fun until the last possible moment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    Morel tries to keep the energy up for 85 minutes straight, but the film never manages to top itself, and in spite of the political overtones, it doesn't provide much thematic sustenance.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    Plays like an extended episode of "Deadliest Catch" with eco-warriors as the stars--in fact, the Animal Planet show "Whale Wars," now in its second season, follows Sea Shepherd’s exploits--and it’s frequently a rousing adventure.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Strayed moves forward with an absorbing ruthlessness, yet without sacrificing those tiny incidental details that lend it singularity and power.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In spite of the title, there's nothing particularly "real" about Lars And The Real Girl, just a couple layers of quirk several stops removed from the world as we know it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    It’s not always easy to sort out the legitimately inspired touches from the merely campy ones, but the film has a deranged, go-for-broke spirit that makes such distinctions irrelevant.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    As long as Unstoppable stays on the train, it's queasily effective.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Though it occasionally dips too deep into a well of redneck humor, Slither cleverly exploits the nervous laughter that fills a theater whenever a horror movie gets too frightening to bear.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Enter The Void is a trance-like experience, feeding the shimmering neon of Tokyo at night into a spectacular hallucinogenic head-trip.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Scott Tobias
    Willis does everything short of donning a cape and reversing time by orbiting the Earth at light speed, and the air of cheerful ridiculousness recalls Luc Besson-produced action films like "Transporter 2" or "District B13."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    The mimicry is so pronounced that it’s hard to locate a distinct, original sensibility beyond the film’s apparent influences. But talented young directors often need time to develop into singular ones, and there’s value in Coppola’s sensual, always-sympathetic feel for lost adolescents.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Bujalski’s funny, diverting character piece has a lived-in quality that’s no small achievement.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Lacking a more specific sense of time and place, Cinderella Man leans heavily on the technically proficient Crowe to slip into Braddock's skin, but he can only do so much with a character who's ready to be mounted in bronze over Central Park.

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