For 884 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sean Axmaker's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Pulse
Lowest review score: 0 National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 884
884 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A grueling and deeply affecting human drama.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Like the folk tales from centuries past, Pan's Labyrinth is a dark odyssey with nightmarish visions and cruel threats, but coming through the sacrifice and suffering is the childlike belief in magic and imagination that for Del Toro represents the hope and optimism of a happily ever after in this cruel world.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    With The Dark Knight, the cinematic superhero spectacle comes closest to becoming modern myth, a pulp tragedy with costumed players and elevated stakes and terrible sacrifices. It's the new gold standard for superhero noir.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The young cast, all nonactors who developed their characters with Cantet and Bégaudeau, brings the weight of full lives to each of the students.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Strong, evocative storytelling pared to the bone and braced with a sensibility perfectly matched to the material.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Beautiful, elevating and achingly sad.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A classic fairy tale with a contemporary sensibility and a spooky horror under the candy-house fantasy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Giordana's redemptive vision provides a sense of discovery and a well of hope in the most devastating of troubles, and beautiful surprises in love, friendship and family.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    What begins as an introspective odyssey examining the effects of war on the young Israeli soldiers turns into a provocative exposé on the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    True to the characters and their conflicts, the resolution is neither neat nor expected. True to Demme, it's honest and generous and very human.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Fascinating memoir of coming of age in Iran.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    While Look at Me at times falls into familiar plotting, it never offers false hope or false characters.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Desplechin fearlessly dives into raw, bitter revelations and surfaces with hope as our heroes try again to get it right.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    5x2
    Ozon's greatest special effect is holding the camera in tight on the faces of Bruni-Tedeschi (one of the most expressive faces in French cinema) and Freiss.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The result is rich, lush -- simply exquisite.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's Treadwell's contradictions and controversies that fascinate Herzog the filmmaker, inspiring him to create this enthralling documentary portrait, his best film in years.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Kurosawa leaves much of the explanation enigmatic but he fills the film with an eerie emptiness, where suicides erupt out of nowhere and mankind dissolves in an oily smudge of hopelessness, adrift between life and death.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Though he's foggy on the specifics, Angelopoulos makes the tides of history felt through each painterly frame.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    This beautifully sculpted poetic naturalism has more in common with the expressive use of words in the great screenplays of '40s and '50s than with modern movies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Confronts the line between the celebration and the exploitation of innocence with an uneasy tension that is discomforting at best.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's the most intense, unpredictable and thrilling cinematic experience I've had the pleasure to squirm through in ages.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Tommy Lee Jones steps behind the camera to direct himself in the most impressive directorial debut the American cinema has seen in some time, a contemporary western both rough and poetic, laconic and passionate.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The texture and intensity of the odyssey makes it spellbinding.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A hauntingly poetic triumph.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A sly, smart and very funny caricature of corporate politics and image culture.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Director Mohammad Rasoulof has fashioned the ultimate metaphor for a society adrift from its culture.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Devastating, uncompromising and riveting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The style is pure Hou: richly textured atmosphere, tiptoeing camerawork and long, languorous takes of scenes full of privileged moments of human activity.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The language and the landscape is French, but the sensibility and style is unmistakably Eastern European.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    When Riyadh's family jokes about the purple stain that marks them as resistance targets after they vote, the black humor speaks volumes about them as individuals, as Sunnis and as Iraqis with a dream of a better way.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Bujalski's gift for capturing the awkwardness of social relationships and the messy, unkempt details of everyday life is revealing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    For all the ephemeral pleasure of the company of old friends, there is a chasm between them and the dynamics shift from moment to moment. The beauty of the film is how director Kelly Reichardt brilliantly captures those moments with lucid simplicity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Oregon-born and Seattle-based director James Longley profiles three lives in his impressionistic portrait of Iraq's Sunni, Shia and Kurd communities.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's unmistakably the work of aging cinema activist Loach, who wears his social-justice heart on his sleeve and pauses the story for lively debates among the characters, especially as Sinn Fein signs a treaty that many think betrays the cause.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The familiar majesty of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline is replaced with anticipation and imagination. The sense of hope and wonder is the greater for it, and the sense of promise glows from the screen.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's a dissection of how the media found and fed and nurtured the story in their insatiable need for content to fill their news hours and talk shows, how it just as quickly turned on them and transformed the story from celebration to vilification, and how the public turned right along with them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Hou's first film made outside of Asia is his most emotionally turbulent, yet he remains, like the balloon, outside looking in, a compassionate but distant observer capturing it all with a graceful restraint and floating beauty that ultimately carried me away with it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Morris challenges us to understand what the pictures show and what they don't show, and to see them in context. And he confronts us with the most important question surrounding them: Do they reveal a crime, an aberration in the system or standard operating procedure?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The most emotionally rich and cinematically thrilling film I've seen all year, a film that pulses with human life in all its terrible and beautiful irrationality.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's a tender, tough, uncompromising film, photographed with a disarming directness and seeming simplicity that looks almost naked next to the dramatic constructions of most films. It just makes her precariousness all the more real.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Densely layered, demanding and beautiful, Ruiz has found the perfect venue for his passions and created the most cinematically breathtaking film of the new millennium.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    O
    Sensitive and vivid response to the tangled issues of teen violence, race and self-esteem.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Vital and alive. Frustration and malaise rumble through every richly textured frame, but behind it all is a restlessness and a desire for something better.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The plot is often bewilderingly complex and the dense layers of subterfuge hard to follow, but by the climax the fairy tale has been twisted into a fascist fable of realpolitik mercenary opportunism.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The total effect is mesmerizing, an eye-opening tour of modern Beijing culture in a journey of rebellion, retreat into oblivion and return.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Aoyama's monochrome images are filled with a simple shadowy beauty and his scenes are rich in tender sensitivity and empathy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Achieves its social commentary through passion and poetry.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's a rich work, lush and lovely and bustling with activity but paced at a contemplative stroll, like a time lapse recording in first gear.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Secret Ballot is an education hiding in a comedy, a parablelike portrait of the irresistible forces of modernization and democracy meeting the immovable inertia of tradition, culture and power relations written in the blood of the past.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    This bracing portrait of a woman who painfully accepts her responsibility as a citizen is a revelation.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A masterpiece.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Think of easy jazz or soft soul, with Rudolph's cinematic improvisations soaring and circling the melody while adding quirky variations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The most sensuous and intimate work of cinema of the past few years, a film that luxuriates in the immediacy of the moment. There is no guilt to the act, only exhilaration, joy and freedom. At least for the moment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    From the first voyeuristic peek into the ruthless world to the haunting, accusatory, unforgettable final image, it's a brilliant, stunning piece of work, perhaps not Assayas' best, but certainly his most fearless and impassioned.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    There's not a smarter, more demanding American film from the past year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Makhmalbaf's astounding and haunting imagery tells a story of devastation, desperation and poverty.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The Dardennes's masterful casting and austere style amplify this simple but powerful parable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Inspiring without sinking into sentimentality or cliche, Hearts of Atlantis is intelligent, heartfelt and genuine, a rare story of childhood for adults.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    It's a chilly, lonely introduction to a man who has effectively stepped out of the social world of adult responsibility.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A vivid, thoughtful, unapologetically raw coming-of-age tale full of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A celebration of the human spirit nothing short of sublime.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    In the best Altman manner there are no real heroes and villains, only people trapped by their vanity and ambition and the straitjackets of classism.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Some may find it slow. I found it utterly spellbinding.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    As empowering and triumphant a film as you'll see this or any year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    In today's cynical cinematic climate, there's something beautiful in Miller's simple poetic justice.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    There may be no more sensual director in the world today than Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    What's most devastating in Capturing the Friedmans is how Jarecki puts the sureness of justice into doubt as he shows Truth (with a capital T) at the mercy of perspective and perception, context and emotion.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Isn't about a May-December romance or a brief encounter in a faraway place. It's about being alone in a crowd and the power of unexpected friendships.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    There are two kinds of people, my friend. Those who love Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and those who resist the machismo and gallows humor of what is arguably the definitive spaghetti western.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Romantic, real and as generous as it is vulnerable, the art of conversation has rarely been so acute, honest and revealing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Like the schoolkids in this adventure, from the opening images to the closing credits, I do, I do, I do believe in fairy tales.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    51 Birch Street, like the best of the recent wave of personal documentaries, is both a compelling story and an eye-opening bit of social history.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A charmer of a film and a delightful piece of storytelling.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Long for an animated feature and too demanding for very young children, but it's also filled with delights.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A witty little comic gem with a heart and a soul.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Joaquin Phoenix is as good as he has ever been in James Gray's Two Lovers, a discomfortingly honest drama about the frustrations of love and desire.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    The sudden turns of temperament are a treat after the smart-ass attitude of American horror flicks, and the film is full of minor surprises, squirming in unexpected directions without leaving the conventions behind.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's a bracing reminder that before Hitler took power, it was handed to him. The lesson resonates long after the credits roll.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's a big enough film to hold all the contradictions. Green has an ego and a gift for stealing the spotlight with a wink and a grin. Yet his respect for the kids is genuine.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Movie magic is only as powerful as the imagination that casts it. Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki's imagination is the most creative in animated filmmaking.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A film more textural than narrative, it's for viewers willing to lose themselves in a truly sensual jungle experience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's a volatile subject and Abu-Assad's thoughtful thriller stokes the debate.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's great to see action stars cast for their moves -- their grace in motion is thrilling -- but they also have the charisma to pull off the characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    The most imaginative and delightful computer-animated movie of recent years outside of the Pixar brand, Monster House is a Halloween ghost story by way of monster-movie adventure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Cements director's place as mob-movie master.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Even if you don't like the stories, the filmmakers seem incapable of finding a corner of Paris that is not photogenic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Olivier Dahan's sprawling portrait of the life of Edith Piaf is the kind of grand, passionate historical drama that no one seems to be able to pull off any more.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A bare outline of the plot reads like a space-adventure thriller with end-of-the-world stakes and a hint of celestial spirituality, and the haunted spaceship twist in the third act is pure B-movie madness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Pitt won the Best Actor award at Venice for his Jesse...Yet it's Affleck who impresses most as the wary, skittish Bob.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Faced with an artist defined more by his lyrics than his life story, Haynes delivers a song-cycle of a movie: vivid, exaggerated, contradictory impressions of a man who confounds a culture still looking to define him.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Perhaps the most ingeniously imaginative element in Son of Rambow, a film exploding with imagination (some of it scrawled directly over the film in animated expressions of Will's private world), is its very conceit.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A deliciously vivid adventure fantasy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    The Divine Intervention of the title lies somewhere between hope and fantasy. In a world in which Santa Claus is assaulted in Nazareth, what do you have left?
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Shooting with a respectful remove that captures an intimacy by sheer doggedness, Finkiel creates a rich atmosphere by simply looking, listening and peering past the surfaces.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Played by Lucy Russell with a defiant, unapologetic embrace of aristocratic privilege, Grace is a maddening yet fascinating character.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Deftly weaves history, film and memory into an imaginative meditation on why the movies become a part of our lives.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Energetic and inventive, it's a satirical, smart, grown-up thriller.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    The stripped-down dramatic constructs, austere imagery and abstract characters are equal parts poetry and politics, obvious at times but evocative and heartfelt.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Mehta's feisty, featherweight romantic comedy makes the case that even the most flamboyant cinematic conventions are as universal as they are exotic, especially when they conspire to produce that glow of happily ever after.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    He (LaBute) pulls the farce and the violence and the fantasies together with a deft touch and a sweetness rare in American films -- especially his.