For 1,549 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Lowest review score: 0 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Score distribution:
1,549 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Bujalski’s funny, diverting character piece has a lived-in quality that’s no small achievement.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Immensely likable.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Funny and endearing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Head Games is particularly devastating when it shifts from the NFL and NHL, where brutality and headshots are a given, to girls' soccer and under-14 football leagues, where still-developing young necks and skulls make kids perhaps more vulnerable to head trauma than their professional counterparts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    While the film remains intelligent and transporting, a gorgeous travelogue into another time and place, it nonetheless feels like it's going through the motions, applying period gloss to a story that needs to be more tactile.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    The fact that Morris applies the same basic methodology to The Unknown Known that he did to the The Fog Of War makes the contrast between the two men meaningful, and says something profound about Rumsfeld, too.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    For the fascinating character study Imelda, Ramona S. Diaz was given a month's access to the former first lady, who supplies so many bizarre equivocations that it's hard to tell whether her actions were malicious or merely delusional.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Scott Tobias
    Though some of the heated exchanges in Forgiving Dr. Mengele seem awkward and staged, they put Kor at the center of a riveting debate over how best to come to terms with past horrors, and the potential (and limits) of putting them to rest.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Chronicle becomes what "Hancock" wanted to be - a dark superhero story with firm footing in the everyday. Perhaps now the found-footage gimmick has been fully exploited; let us never speak of it again.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Denis’ atmospherics, as usual, carry the day.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Scott Tobias
    Donaldson also misses the chance to score some easy laughs from his petty criminals, who are infinitely more audacious than they are competent.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The trouble with artists making documentaries about other artists is that art tends to get in the way.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Though comparisons to "The Blair Witch Project" are inevitable, the impeccable first-person camera technique not only makes sense dramatically, but also facilitates a complex and queasily ambiguous relationship between the conspirators and the audience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    It remains to be seen whether Kill Bill is merely a skilled slice of juvenilia or a pastiche with real emotional and thematic underpinnings, but based on Tarantino's storytelling command in the first half, it's worth giving him the benefit of the doubt.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Scott Tobias
    So why, given its moment-to-moment surplus of visual imagination, does the film feel so hollow and unsatisfying?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Operation Filmmaker takes a thrilling left turn from its original conceit, and Davenport does a nice job rolling with the punches.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Scott Tobias
    There's plenty of black comedy in their twisted affair, but a more substantial documentary wouldn't leave you smiling.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    An absorbing and meticulous piece of reportage.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Scott Tobias
    Makes up in action what it lacks in storytelling finesse.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's Sightseers belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like "Kind Hearts and Coronets" and "The Ruling Class" — satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Writer-director Michael K. Roskam takes his time in revealing why Jacky needs to shoot up, but that LaMotta restlessness is unmistakable - this bull here can rage.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Though Cronenberg makes some creepy insinuations, eXistenZ is more effective as a black comedy than as a visceral shocker.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Scott Tobias
    Makes heavy demands of even jaded viewers, who are unlikely to stomach de Van's anatomical noodling from the same curious distance. But for the brave, the film's literal journey to find the "I" inside the body moves forward with a riveting single-mindedness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Gibney has enough material for a dozen movies here, but his attempt at an overview, however unwieldy, paints one hell of a nauseating picture.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Scott Tobias
    Doubt is a complex, thematically loaded piece of work, and though it isn't enhanced on film, it deserves the wider exposure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    The heart of Addiction Incorporated is what happened after DeNoble was canned and later emerged as a key witness in news reports, courtrooms, and Congressional subcommittees. Bound by a non-disclosure agreement, DeNoble operated like a character in a real-life John Grisham thriller.
    • 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.
    • The A.V. Club
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    It makes a persuasive argument — which it makes easier by not allowing any counterargument — but it’s unpersuasive as a piece of filmmaking. In laying out its case, it’s manipulative and dull by turns.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Scott Tobias
    There's a weary soul to HERE, embodied by Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal as two loners who meet in a café and impulsively decide to travel the country together, prompted more by mutual intuition than any meaningful exchange of words.

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