William Arnold
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For 1,179 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

William Arnold's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 There Will Be Blood
Lowest review score: 0 The Oh in Ohio
Score distribution:
1,179 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    The final scene of Balthazar's demise is one of cinema's most moving and haunting moments.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    The film is a hugely compelling tribute to the French Resistance movement in World War II, staged with a genuine epic flair but in the icy, downbeat, film-noir style of the director's celebrated policiers.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Above all, the film is a classic of "poetic realism," that distinct brand of pessimistic '30s French urban drama that gave lyrical, sometimes even surrealistic, interpretations to working-class romances and underworld characters, settings and dramas.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    The granddaddy of all caper/heist movies. The work that defined the genre for the subsequent four decades of filmmakers, none of whom was able to surpass it for style or suspense.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    Has the power to transport us to a different place. The spark of special anime magic here is unmistakable and hard to resist.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    The French are very much the villains of the saga and, naturally, have always hated the movie (it was banned in Paris until 1971); and it remains controversial in other quarters as well because it seems to embrace, even celebrate, terrorism as a political tool.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Wise, entertaining and often very funny.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    First and foremost, it soars because its grand design and numerous story problems were worked out half a century ago by a guy named Tolkien, and Jackson was smart enough to realize this.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    In what was indisputably his finest moment as a filmmaker, Forman summoned the absolute best work of his craftsmen -- costumes, makeup, camerawork, production design -- and merged them with his own storytelling sense and his special way with actors to create what has to stand as cinema's most successful musical epic.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    The film is an extraordinarily complex, well-rounded and multileveled portrait of how Crumb got to be the way he is, as well as a tribute to how he was miraculously able to rise above his dysfunctional roots by putting his demons into his art. [16 Jun 1995]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    It's a magical film -- an exquisitely made and exceedingly wise family drama that communicates a touching sense of the universality of the human condition, and leaves us with the rich emotional satisfaction we just don't seem to get often at the movies anymore.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    The movie never falls into gushy moments of inspiration and Schnabel never tries to manipulate any particular response from the audience. We're left to make of it what we will.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    It's cumulatively entertaining, and a fascinating and nostalgic time capsule of its era. Watch for the cameo by Brigitte Bardot.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    An unusual, visually hypnotic, American Gothic historical epic that traces the rise and tragic fall of a Western mining magnate of the Gilded Age.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    A suspenseful, elegant entertainment.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    The film's single downside is a certain nagging sense of deja vu: the fact that so many of the elements of the story -- the dark force, the all-empowering object, etc. -- have been usurped over the years (by "Star Wars" and others) that you feel as if you've been down this road many, many times before.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Most of the magic of this unusual movie comes from the freshness, imagination and sweet spirit of its animation, which is blissfully its own thing and does not show the influence of any of the reigning forces in the art form.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    So magnificent in so many ways that, for the first time, it seems to raise the docudrama to high art.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    As powerful as the movie remains and as much as I enjoyed this new cut, I have to say that the additional footage -- material that Coppola felt he had to excise 20 years ago to reach a commercial length -- has turned out to be something of a mixed blessing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    There's no denying the skill and flair with which director Paul Greengrass has restaged this unhappy event, creating an uncanny sense of immediacy and allowing us to be a fly on the wall at a seminal '70s tragedy.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Dazzles us with computer-generated animation that has never looked quite so boldly exotic or shimmeringly beautiful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    At 160 minutes, it's a bit long and uneventful for anyone who is not at least a moderate fan of the musicals.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    It's essentially a one-joke situation, but screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and first-time director Spike Jonze definitely make the most of it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    In a movie era when brand names mean very little, it shows once again that Pixar is a stamp of quality.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    It's not only the most gentle and effortlessly funny movie so far this year, it's a film with a style and sensibility that wonderfully harkens back to Hollywood's golden age of sophisticated comedy, and in particular to the masterpieces of Crowe's filmmaking idol, Billy Wilder.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    A respectful, accomplished, non-exploitative piece of historical filmmaking and -- for audiences -- a gripping white-knuckle ride all the way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Antonioni's moviemaking panache and distinctive narrative rhythm rarely have seemed so enticing and satisfying.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    It's exuberant, exhilarating, poetic and -- intentionally and not -- rather silly.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    An engrossing study in abnormal psychology, an inspirational drama that tells us a determined man really can do anything his mind can envision and is the first film that plays on what could become a phenomenon of the new millennium: World Trade Center nostalgia.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 William Arnold
    The movie itself cannot begin to match its delicious high concept. It's offensively funny in places but it can't sustain itself for a feature length running time and it's not nearly as clever or as fun as it should be.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    The film concludes that there's still simply no way out of the forest.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    While it's flawed and often tedious, Kaufman's script is, on the whole, boldly imaginative and enjoyably challenging.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Like all great film noir, however, the real delight of this film is in its mood and atmosphere.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    I found it a surprisingly elegant entertainment: fast-paced, cogently written (by noted English author Arnold Bennett), well-cast (including a bit by a young Charles Laughton) and stylishly photographed on a gallery of stunning deco sets.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Ironically, the challenge of directing a Japanese-language film with a non-English-speaking cast seems to have brought out the very best in Eastwood. His vision is alternately intimate and sweeping, his touch never seemed more light and sure, and several of his scenes are so delicate, dynamic and prototypically Japanese they could have been directed by Akira Kurosawa.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Soars on its purity of form, subdued elegance and tidy professionalism.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    A funny, sad, scary and ultimately tragic coming-of-age drama/black comedy that skillfully -- and uncompromisingly -- creates its own world and uniquely pessimistic vision.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Indeed, it has to be one of the most eerie, morbidly absorbing and psychologically compelling movies ever made about a writer in the agonizing process of creating an important piece of literature.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Cinema does not get much better than this.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    A brilliantly conceived, boldly executed, cumulatively thrilling fantasy epic that expands the art of film and is sure to be the middle link of one of the movies' greatest trilogies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    People who have seen it seem to be crazy about it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    It not only pushes the computer-generated film envelope to the very edge, it's every bit as charming, funny and exciting as the original. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit more.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Gradually and inexorably, the small crises of the children assume a poignant dramatic profluence, and the soothing patience of the teacher begins to have an almost hypnotically balming effect on the viewer.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Its elements all come together with an unforced perfection, every scene feels real and alive in a way that many of his more surrealistic later films do not, and Leonard Maltin, for one, has argued that I Vitelloni is no less than Fellini's masterpiece.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    So devoid of the usual coarse Hollywood calculation that it plays like a breath of fresh air.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    McNamara finally gets to tell his side of the story -- and is somewhat humanized in the process -- but still comes off looking like a tragic character living in a state of denial.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    It's by far the most uncompromising and unapologetic gay-themed drama ever made for a wide release by a major Hollywood studio with name stars.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    That rare thing at the movies these days: a new experience. It awes us with its technological feat, it sweeps us up in its mystical spell and, with its final scene -- it takes us to an emotional climax of almost unbearable poignancy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    This is Boyle's fullest, most satisfying work and an audience-pleaser that deserves to be a big hit.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    I loved it...Without trying very hard, Farnsworth commands a unique and immensely appealing screen presence that could be called "a compilation of all the great western heroes of the movie past."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    It's an emotionally gripping, daringly genre-twisting, consummately crafted piece of filmmaking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Like Kubrick, Field doesn't make any moral judgments about his characters, and his film remains stubbornly enigmatic. It can be read as a high-class revenge thriller, an ode to the futility of vengeance or almost anything in between.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    The movie is occasionally funny, always very colorful and enjoyably overblown in the traditional Almodóvar style; and the performances -- especially Javier Cámara as the gentle, sweet-spirited Benigno -- are exquisitely tender and moving.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    The commentary alternates between witty insight and opinionated bunk, but it's always fun -- and a must-see for movie buffs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Whatever it is, the film is the first major release of the fall worth talking about: a fast-paced, visually slick, psychologically fascinating Boston-set cops-and-crooks saga.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    A dynamite comedy-drama that, unless it stiffs big-time at the box office, should be up for multi-Oscar nominations come February.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 58 William Arnold
    The movie is so surreal it's just not very involving. As an action extravaganza, it's busy but dull.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    Offers nothing new. It's actually one of Polanski's more conventional films and, ultimately, it's hard to recommend it with a clear conscience.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    All told, Knocked Up works more in spite of its low humor than because of it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    A well-made but harrowing and extremely downbeat coming-of-age drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    There's still nothing quite as thrilling on the screen as the spectacle of an icon movie star in a perfectly tailored role.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    The characters are not hugely compelling, the performances never completely grab us, and much of the story, while visually arresting, is dramatically tedious.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Both intellectually absorbing and emotionally gripping.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    As exciting and disturbing as it is in many ways, Children of Men -- based on a novel by P.D. James -- doesn't add up to a credible alternate view of the near-future: Its vision hasn't been well thought out, and, again and again, it struck me as a sloppy piece of storytelling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Simply enjoy its witty and expertly crafted scenes, its controlled performances, its eccentric but mostly admirable characters, its succession of bleak but cozily Nordic panoramas and its surprisingly optimistic view of the world.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Though it's unflinching in its depiction of homosexual affection, the marvel of the movie is the dexterity with which it transcends the specificity of its characters and gay theme to be a universal human statement and profound political epic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    Undeniably riveting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    It's a daring failure that should delight many devotees of Classic Hollywood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Moves along its course and overflows at its climax with that indefinable but unmistakable assurance of a master filmmaker who knows just what he wants to say, is in total command of his medium and is in no mood to make any compromises.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    It's a terrific movie -- intelligent, magnificently acted, highly compelling as a thriller, and downright scary in its implications for the corporate-run world of the new millennium.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    This is an adrenaline-pumping, devilishly well-made thriller set against the downfall of an American family.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    While it's being sold as "an effervescent comedy," Happy-Go-Lucky is nothing of the sort. It's rather grim, the laughs are few.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    This latest remake goes back to the spirit and letter of Eric Knight's 1940 novel.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    The film's real feat may be in its production design, in the sumptuousness and veracity with which it re-creates central Saigon and the Vietnamese countryside of the '50s: an exotic lost world of brothels and opium dens, trishaws and ao-dai dresses, Ming-deco interiors and water buffalos in rice paddies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    It's a brilliant little microcosm of the '60s experience that, in a most gentle way, shows us how the counterculture probably was doomed from its inception.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    For three-fourths of its journey, Adaptation is, for my money, the movie of the year: an incredibly audacious and original exercise that challenges the conventions of moviemaking and stretches the boundaries of fiction -- almost, but not quite, to the breaking point.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    It's a chilling tale that leaves us with the fear that Latin America's exploding social problems may well be beyond solution.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Comes together with a wry sense of humor, a total lack of gratuitous movie nonsense and a graceful dignity that allows the humanity of his characters to shine through in a very special way.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    One more good thing is that the movie doesn't overstay its welcome. At 76-minutes, it's wisely calculated to give us as much of its ghoulish whimsy as we can take in one sitting, and not a second more.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Forget "Raising Helen" and "The Notebook," this is the movie summer's most touching young romance.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 58 William Arnold
    Paranoid Park is a movie about its teen hero's inability to express his feelings: to himself, to his parents, to his friends and, unfortunately, to the audience.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    A landmark film, the unnecessary tinkering has not perceptibly harmed its overall effectiveness and it's a special Halloween treat to see it digitally spruced up and on the big screen for the first time in 25 years.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 William Arnold
    Its dazzling blend of rock magic and 3-D technology just may be ushering in a whole new kind of musical theater.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    In its defense, I can only say that, technically, it's an exhilarating piece of filmmaking; it offers a commanding comeback role for Carradine, and it serves as a summation, dead end and, perhaps, epitaph, for Tarantino's unique contribution to world cinema.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    There's nothing harder for an actor to play than a thoroughly good character, and Staunton does it with a dowdy, sublime originality.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    An extraordinarily taunt and suspenseful psychological thriller.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    Often distastefully juvenile.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Mesmerizing and curiously satisfying idyll that gradually, slyly maneuvers us into a whole new way of looking at the delicate relationship between man, art and Mother Nature.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    Based on a best-selling book by Fortune magazine writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, the film approaches Enron through the Horatio Alger saga of its founder, Kenneth Lay, the son of a dirt-poor Missouri Baptist minister.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    Fernando Meirelles's MTV-grandstanding worked for "City of God," but it's just not necessary for, and gets in the way of, a script this literate and solid. In the end, The Constant Gardener works in spite of, not because of him.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    Potter 3 is, in its heart of hearts, a teenage angst movie...Cuaron has done a masterful job of bringing off this shift in the Potter paradigm without disrupting any disruption in the established style of the series and without any pandering concessions to the teen-movie genre.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    A spellbinding action-drama, skillfully built upon a scary corporate conspiracy, chock-full of enjoyable downbeat performances.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    It's a gripping outdoor adventure and the movies' most inspiring epic survival story in years.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 William Arnold
    An unusually engrossing World War II epic.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    There's a satisfying craftsmanship to every sequence, the direction is stylish without being show-offy, the plot mechanics are convincing, the pace is breakneck and compelling, and the film does something unique and interesting with its Hitchcockian concept.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    A funny, rousing crowd-pleaser.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    A first-rate student film, but not much more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 William Arnold
    It's absorbing and often excruciatingly suspenseful, and it gives Viggo Mortensen a strong, change-of-pace vehicle to follow up his "Lord of the Rings" triumph.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 William Arnold
    As riveting as it may be, his film is a total shaggy-dog story.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 William Arnold
    It's a rich, engrossing ensemble drama that reveals itself very slowly, is filled with multidimensional characters and multi-layered performances, and works toward an amazingly verisimilitude. [19 Jan 1996]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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