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 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sean Axmaker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Descent
Lowest review score: 0 What Love Is
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 884
884 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A grueling and deeply affecting human drama.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Doyle's handheld camerawork is intimate and curious and his hazy colors radiate off the screen.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Long for an animated feature and too demanding for very young children, but it's also filled with delights.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A charmer of a film and a delightful piece of storytelling.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A masterpiece.
    • 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
    As empowering and triumphant a film as you'll see this or any year.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Some may find it slow. I found it utterly spellbinding.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    When it was released in the United States more than 30 years ago, its distributor hacked away 40 minutes of its precise structure. This rerelease restores every meticulous second of Melville's cinematic fantasy.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Strong, evocative storytelling pared to the bone and braced with a sensibility perfectly matched to the material.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    In the world of comic-book movies, American Splendor is the real deal, the warts-and-all adventures of the most unlikely hero on the comic stands.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Fascinating memoir of coming of age in Iran.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Sean Axmaker
    A film of minor pleasures.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Mühe's performance is brilliant, communicating more turmoil and pain with the droop of a lip and a flicker of the eye across an otherwise intently passive face than all the emotional storms of the cast.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A vivid, thoughtful, unapologetically raw coming-of-age tale full of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
    • 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
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    There's nothing messy or unkempt about the beautifully, quietly heartbreaking story of unconditional love and emotional sacrifice.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Beautiful, elevating and achingly sad.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    What it lacks is an intensity, a passion at the center...It is, nonetheless, a lovely and often powerful film.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's all about waste and destruction, and not just the toxic waste -- illegally dumped in landfills -- that is poisoning the farmland and the aquifers in the region.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A hauntingly poetic triumph.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A celebration of the human spirit nothing short of sublime.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    Oliviera's mastery is a joy to experience and his bittersweet comic touch adds a loving absurdity to what could have turned maudlin or morose.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Ten
    There's no doubt that Kiarostami is giving us a lesson in social politics, but the education lies in the mosaic pieced together from conversations and situations.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    There's not a smarter, more demanding American film from the past year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's as much conceptual art as dispassionate survey of the bloodless assembly line nature of the modern food industry, all process and work, automation and repetition.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Devastating, uncompromising and riveting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The Dardennes's masterful casting and austere style amplify this simple but powerful parable.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 58 Sean Axmaker
    Under Schnabel's direction, it becomes stilted and static, if not simplistic.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Sean Axmaker
    The humorless and self-important execution attempts an operatic scale but only succeeds in sinking the remnants of the story's integrity. By the time it makes landfall, this incoherent production has blown itself out.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A drama that embraces the ambiguities and contradictions of family ties and human nature in all its irrational glory.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    There may be no more sensual director in the world today than Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Yimou plays his images like a visual symphony, and turns a potential costume pageant into an exhilarating national myth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    The texture and intensity of the odyssey makes it spellbinding.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A mix of the poetic and the polemic, the film is oddly abstract and untethered.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Sautet lets the film wander from Ventura's desperate odyssey, but when the irresistibly charming young Jean-Paul Belmondo enters the picture as an unflaggingly loyal ally, his wandering is forgiven.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It lacks history, background and cultural roots, but it's undeniably infectious.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Think of this corrective to Kipling as "The Longest Yard" meets "The Seven Samurai" with cricket bats, choreographed dance numbers, romantic triangles and a rousing call to solidarity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Both blunt and complex, Sauter's illustration of economic Darwinism at its most primal and unforgiving is a harrowing vision of human life as collateral damage in the modern global economy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's a twisted but beautiful love letter to a city, not factually correct but emotionally true.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Hammer filmed on location with local nonactors. Their lack of polish is evident -- Smith's inexpressiveness, though part of his character, is simply blank at times -- but their conviction can be just as powerful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    Achieves its social commentary through passion and poetry.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Varda sees herself as a gleaner as she searches for the people and cultural activities missed by the rest of the media.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's a pleasure to see mature portraits of adult characters who put their vulnerabilities on the line. I enjoyed my time in the company of these strangers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Cronenberg's most disciplined exploration yet of that shadowy realm: the world refracted through the prism of a schizophrenic mind.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Cements director's place as mob-movie master.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It is passionate and angry and rousing where you might expect it to become numbing and depressing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Venus is the second film from director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi to explore the sexual lives of folk that the movies treat as sexless -- the elderly. But where "The Mother" was a cold film of sexual greed and emotional pettiness, this robust yet delicate comic drama finds a kind of dignity in the old lothario whose vital life force struggles against a failing body.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    At once an elegy for the communal experience of cinema-going and another quintessentially Tsai portrait of loneliness and isolation.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    Linklater powers the film with the energy and attitude and beat of his soundtrack.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's a little long and dissipates some of its power in an unfocused subplot, but the skewed sensibility of the film is both innocent and feral and offers a smart and satisfying reworking to the familiar genre. An American remake is already in the works.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A rousing celebration of a genuine people's hero and a timely reminder that a free press is the greatest weapon in the arsenal of democracy and freedom.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's almost too devastating for words, yet never less than compelling and heartbreakingly affecting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Sean Axmaker
    The script is as sloppy as Song's unkempt cop, sprinkled with intriguing ideas and imaginative details that, like the investigation, simply get lost in blind alleys.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Sean Axmaker
    I'd like to think it's all a joke, that far from a dream this is actually Linklater's idea of a nightmare.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The restraint of both director and actor makes this steely gangster drama reverberate long after it ends. This kind of mystery is rare in a film culture that demands answers before the credits roll.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    Steel and Morris are simply a couple of ordinary citizens who stand up for their ideals and their rights in the face of intimidation. Which is what makes this underdog story matter.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A witty little comic gem with a heart and a soul.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Hot Fuzz is something all too rare in movie comedies: a story rather than a string of disjointed skits, with hearty characters behind its caricatures.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's a simple film with a direct message, but the glimpses of the surrounding social culture that has adapted to the horrors give this Third World "How Green Was My Valley" its identity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The funniest thing I've seen this summer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    The live camel birth (shown in all of its excruciating beauty) is enthralling, and the cultural details, however staged, provide a vivid window into a world that is fast disappearing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Jia's compassion for the drifting souls struggling to create a life for themselves in such a transitory existence makes the metaphor resonant.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    An engaging and generous profile of the fascinating folks who have chosen to live at the end of the world.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 67 Sean Axmaker
    Blunt, somewhat artless, but very effective.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    It's so beautiful and moving and simple that I'm willing to forgive Majidi his contrivances.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It may not keep you guessing to the end, but there are enough surprises and wry revelations, right down to the last play, to make this a most satisfying cinematic confidence game.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 58 Sean Axmaker
    Feels like the effort of a tired artist reworking the same themes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    These are mortal souls and unglamorous bodies and Ferran explores their affair in its earthy, physical and fleshy reality.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sean Axmaker
    A classic fairy tale with a contemporary sensibility and a spooky horror under the candy-house fantasy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    Winterbottom carves his own intimate tale out of the sprawling material, a modest miniature with witty flair and moments of humility.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    In the face of intolerance, Two Family House lovingly celebrates the triumph of love and acceptance over prejudice.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Danny Aiello is right at home as owner Louis, a paternal Italian father to all but his own son, reigning over the throng from his corner table like a benevolent lord and maybe underworld gangster.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Sean Axmaker
    The faces of its inarticulate characters tell the story, and Majidi has put some amazing faces on the screen.

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