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

Sean Axmaker's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Capturing the Friedmans
Lowest review score: 0 Mindhunters
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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Ultimately the ballet performances, and notably the work of Stiefel, a star with American Ballet Theatre, are the only moments that deserve center stage.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A beautiful and compassionate work, at once stark, sensory and spiritually grasping, that challenges us to forgive even the most monstrous sins.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Explores cloudy, discomforting realities of the Holocaust not usually addressed in such films.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    This collision of skate punk and pop-culture archaeology is the most entertaining slice of cultural history I've seen in years.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    In Wonderland, Winterbottom has found a script worthy of his passion.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Winterbottom's compassion transforms In This World from a political statement into an eloquent and involving human drama.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    A drama that embraces the ambiguities and contradictions of family ties and human nature in all its irrational glory.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    What gives the story resonance is the tenderness and sacrifice and even innocence del Toro reveals amid the savagery.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    It's almost too devastating for words, yet never less than compelling and heartbreakingly affecting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    There's a real gee-whiz kick to the fantasy of being the brainiest kid on the planet, and a down-to-earth quality to Jimmy and his not-so-bright, but ever-so-stalwart best buddies.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    He's (Carrey) a marvelous Grinch in this spirited, bustling and mostly faithful spin on Seuss.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Yimou plays his images like a visual symphony, and turns a potential costume pageant into an exhilarating national myth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    Despite the raw gut-punch of its direction, its power lies in compassion, not sensationalism.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Sean Axmaker
    The story plays out in the sensuous textures and hypnotic rhythms as the rebellious youth Torres embodies eases into a serenity and acceptance that Montenegro brings so gently to her performance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    You don't have to be a teenager to appreciate the raunchy humor and the uninhibited overkill of Seth's porn-obsessed chatter, though it probably helps to be a guy.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    There's nothing messy or unkempt about the beautifully, quietly heartbreaking story of unconditional love and emotional sacrifice.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Che
    It's all about Guevara's education as a revolutionary and his development as a leader in the jungles and in battle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's messy and unsettled, but Bellocchio's distaste for the cynicism and mendacity is potent and sincere.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's the warmest, most generous portrait of American hospitality you've seen from a European movie in some time.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The ironies and contradictions that give the first half a dark humor give way to gravity and respect as soldiers are killed (off camera).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    In a farce like this, where the story is merely a string of martial-arts movie cliches lined up to be parodied, that has its own rewards.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It could be more involving, but it's funny enough that you won't care.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A playfully offbeat, willfully wide-eyed tale of lonely, inarticulate people looking for connection in a disconnected world.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The social commentary isn't subtle, but Romero delivers the goods so effectively that many won't even notice.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Park is neither glib nor pedantic as he charts the vicious circle that leaves victims in its wake, unintentional and premeditated, and takes its dehumanizing toll on his increasingly brutal heroes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Beautifully observed tale of high-school kids in the projects outside Paris.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Affliction has rarely been so sensitively explored.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The song may be somewhat familiar, but Sach gets understated performances from his entire cast and finds interesting harmonies as they play out their clashing duets.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The funniest film you'll see this year about a political assassination.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's not really scary, but it reaches a level of insanity so unhinged and dispassionately wretched that it defies description. Inspired, but not for all tastes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    There's plenty of ammunition here for liberal conspiracy theorists, which surely will limit the audience to those already in Jarecki's political camp. Which is too bad, for it is a sobering history lesson as well as a political polemic on foreign policy and the growth of war into America's biggest business.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The sensuality is never salacious, merely curious, and the message is empowering ... at least within the confines of the insular community.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A sports empowerment fantasy of the best kind.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The camera drinks in the angles, curves and textures, and the way it all shapes the light as if it's yet another of Gehry's non-traditional materials, and Pollack creates his own video sketchbook of Gehry impressions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The restrained drama both punctures the mythic ideal of the samurai culture (trained as fighters, they mostly serve as clan bureaucrats) and spins a romantic portrait of one man who values principle over protocol despite the cost to his reputation.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It may be too intense at times for wee ones, but kids of 5 and up testing the limits of their independence in the big world should relate to Lucas, dig the crazy insect world and embrace the imagination behind the colorful adventure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The entire film is shot in split screen. Each of the unnamed characters is photographed separately in their own slice of space, the images sutured together with a purposeful imperfection, with occasional overlap and rare moments of union. It gives them the appearance of dancing around one another, almost touching but never getting past the years of emotional scar tissue, even as they work their way to her hotel room.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Anyone who claims to support the troops owes it to them to see the film and hear their stories.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    This scruffy, unkempt tale lacks the narrative satisfaction of Kaufman's dramatic design, but between the chaotic zigs and creative jags, it proclaims its own kind of messy authenticity and a bittersweet beauty.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's filled to overflowing with mischievous gags for kids and adults alike, tickling the periphery of the story and crammed into every frame with playful abandon. It gives potty humor a good name.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It has a tendency to overextend its outrageous arias, but this pop-art confection both spoofs and celebrates the crazy conventions of movie melodramas and genre cinema with pure affection.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Sweet and sour and sexy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Where you might expect either overheated teen melodrama or cartoonish farce, Nobuhiro creates a lively, engaging, character-driven piece with flourishes of offbeat humor dancing around the dynamics of the foursome as they pull together in rehearsals.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    These are mortal souls and unglamorous bodies and Ferran explores their affair in its earthy, physical and fleshy reality.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    With less lampooning and satirical asides, Sicko may be less "entertaining" than Moore's previous films, but it's also more affecting and effective.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's all about the sheer visceral rush of mega action.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    While Margot's casual cruelty and the scenes of squirmy discomfort are sometimes painful to watch, the rendering of this disastrous family reunion is seriously, savagely droll.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Captures the overwhelming and uncontrollable emotional assault of loving and living through captured moments and sensuous images.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Mamet is more respectful than exciting as an action director, but his fascination with how things work, be it the mechanics of designing and promoting a big pay-per-view event or battling a world-class Jiu-jitsu master, makes it all quite mesmerizing.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    One of the most hilarious and engaging films from producer Judd Apatow's often inconsistent comedy factory, thanks to inspired dialogue, dynamite chemistry between Rogen and Franco and perfectly pitched stoner gags (undoubtedly the result of copious research).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Ceylan has an unerring gift for camera placement, and his slow, measured scenes can be as hypnotic as they are lovely -- at times, too much so, with the characters constrained by his poetic perfection.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Fumbling characters find that survival is not a matter of economics alone, it's also a matter of hope.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Captures the pain and desperation of adolescent powerlessness and humiliation with powerful intimacy, strung out to almost 2 1/2 lazy hours of stories that wander through an ever-widening group of characters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    This is a film about anger, shame and helplessness, and it offers no answers, merely hard questions and angry challenges.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    While the characters lack the quirks and affectations that have enlivened the impulsive figures from past Dogme films, the passion of the players and Bier's sensitive direction give these utterly normal figures a vivid aliveness, along with dignity and everyday beauty.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's smart, instructive political cinema that tackles complex issues of the globalization with practical examples and vivid images and presents its effects in immediate human terms.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A delight, a vigorous, vibrant romantic comedy that mines emotional desperation and frustration for all its comic potential, but never at the expense of its temperamental heroine.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The most pure of Mamet's works to come to the screen.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Deliciously dark tale of insidious seduction.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Underworld opera of the bravura kind, this is driven, like most Hong Kong action, more by emotion than logic.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The three stars communicate the fears and dreams and frustrations of teenage girls with subtlety, sensitivity and dignity.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    An inspirational documentary that treats thinkers (so often the villains of our entertainments) as heroes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The funniest thing I've seen this summer.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Carrera's direct, unadorned style has none of the searing imagery or cinematic imagination of "Y Tu Mama," but it bristles with passion, anger and a palpable sense of betrayal.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A mix of the poetic and the polemic, the film is oddly abstract and untethered.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Looks simultaneously ahead of its time and delightfully quaint, a simple romantic comedy that revels in the dreamy artifice of a meticulously re-created fantasy Las Vegas.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    An alternately angry and sad portrait, passionate in its presentation and moving in its portrayal of individuals who sacrifice their love for the tenets of their religion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    In the face of intolerance, Two Family House lovingly celebrates the triumph of love and acceptance over prejudice.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    This community finds its balance with an easy effortlessness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's an appealing mix of an old Hollywood movie world of Upper East Side sophisticates with the character-driven spontaneity of a modern American indie, all very slight and light but deftly done.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Fresh, vibrant and vital, this interpretation reminds us why Shakespeare is timeless.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Sweet, sexy, and unexpectedly enchanting, Yana's Friends is the little feel-good comedy that could.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Lin energizes the grungy palette with stylistic zing, a hopped-up pace and understated humor. His cast carves out vivid characters and the open-ended aftermath takes stock of the moral scarring without moralizing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    This is no Disney fable and the apocalyptic vision isn't for everyone, but science-fiction fans and adventurous filmgoers will find this ingenious explosion of retro-cyberpunk a compelling dystopian vision with a gleam of hope.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Despite the cat-and-mouse games between cop and criminal, this is less a battle of wills than one man's battle for his own soul. Nolan bravely treads where few American films dare to delve -- into the world of ambivalence and ambiguity -- and emerges with a compelling portrait.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The poetic justice strains the verisimilitude of a film otherwise grounded in a tough reality, but there is a guilty satisfaction to it all.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Pleasantly modest, endearingly etched and briskly set to a pounding beat.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo creates the same world of devils and innocents that grounds so much of Spain's modern, seeped-in-Satanic-evil horror, recast in a secular cinematic vocabulary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    From Harry's perspective, it's a grotesque life, a dead end for his new protege Michel, but Moll also shows the sensitivity beneath the sniping and that's where With a Friend Like Harry ... really scores
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The biggest surprise for Miike fans and musical lovers alike is that for all the black humor of this deliriously bizarre fantasy "Happiness" is a warmhearted film about sacrifice, support and four generations of family togetherness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It becomes a dreamy study in stillness broken by suicide fantasies, flashbacks, and the hired killers, but even the violence has a meditative even melancholy quality to it, as if it's all been processed through the eyes of its Zen hero.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A mix of H.P. Lovecraft madness, David Cronenberg biological mutation and David Lynch small-town weirdness, it teasingly dangles explanations never delivered and escapes never sought, while diving into one of the most gonzo horrors to twist onto celluloid in years.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Singer deftly crafts a sleek, unusually tight film that balances comic-book adventure, pulp opera and the fear of being different.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It lacks history, background and cultural roots, but it's undeniably infectious.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Completely -- and quite cleverly -- contrived, a cascade of stupid mistakes and miscommunication stirred into a visceral stew of gooey blisters and flaying layers of bloody flesh.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It is passionate and angry and rousing where you might expect it to become numbing and depressing.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Bruckner's restrained performance reveals a girl drowning in her own lack of self-esteem. When she finally comes up for air, she shatters the surface with a force that, in the hands of a less thoughtful director, could send her spinning down the melodramatic road to ruin.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The nuttiest big-screen video game you'll ever have the pleasure of seeing somebody else play.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Gunnarsson masterfully weaves these strands into a bold, multilayered tapestry surrounding a powerful story.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Scott owns the film from scene one.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Anderson is a hopeless romantic in a cynical world, and for a brief moment he makes the case that true love is the only power that can crack time and space.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    An honorable and often enticing piece of personal filmmaking.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Confidently directed and elegantly designed, this smart drama is sensitive, sympathetic and refreshingly free of glib moralizing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Pfeiffer devours every one of her scenes with a ferocious performance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A punch in the stomach of a movie. It is as ugly as it is beautiful, as full of peaks as of lows. It's a character-driven movie about people on an emotional edge who are ridding themselves of the things that can no longer work without inflicting damage.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A satisfyingly nasty piece of work so black and cruel it's often more sick than funny.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Saw
    The filmmakers piece it together with almost clockwork perfection and deliver it with masterful misdirection, creating the most ingenious, eccentric and brazenly jaundiced psycho-thriller to come along in years.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Ararat is less about history than the necessity of dialogue and debate, and the devastating effects of stifling dialogue.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Doyle's handheld camerawork is intimate and curious and his hazy colors radiate off the screen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    What it lacks in melodramatic punch it makes up for in unexpected shadings in the characters, predator and victim alike.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's both innocent and bizarre, with a mischievous sense of fantasy marked by simple but striking cinematic magic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    A smart, savvy and satisfying Hollywood comedy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Surprise of surprises, it's a blast.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's bloody brilliant.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    The impressive marriage of CGI backgrounds and traditional hand-drawn characters gives Oshii more tools to sculpt his vision in color and light.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Delivers the expected adrenaline-driven thrills with a fresh eye and a refreshing attitude.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Cruise is a man whose youthful cockiness has aged into self-assurance and cool confidence. It's a masterstroke of casting. The dynamism of Collateral, however, comes from Jamie Foxx.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It makes for one of the best and most haunting of the recent Asian horror films.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    If you're sick of the gross-out gags and sex jokes of contemporary teen comedy, this defiant blast of idiosyncratic individuality just could be your tonic.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Michell captures the awkwardness of real-world behavior with gentle, unforced humor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    Or
    Yedaya is respectful and sensitive of everyone in Or's life and creates a beautiful, complex and rich relationship between mother and daughter, loving and protective of each other, but not of themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Sean Axmaker
    It's a fantasy of a crime epic, to be sure, but it's a glorious fantasy in which the unspoken bonds of brotherhood bathe every shootout and sacrifice in the light of myth.