Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 4,734 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Winter's Bone
Lowest review score: 0 Catwoman
Score distribution:
4,734 movie reviews
  1. With such a frenetic, brain-melting load of images to ponder, it's easy to forget that there are also some terrific actors at work here, not the least of whom is the amazing Vinnie Jones.
  2. That Aimée & Jaguar manages so well in triple duty as a wartime melodrama with a lesbian twist is remarkable.
  3. Haynes brings the emotional underbelly to the surface, he also tricks up the visual surface with elaborate color schemes that provide unspoken clues regarding the characters’ frames of mind.
  4. Pixar's Finding Nemo may well have the best casting of any animated film of the past 30-odd years.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A remarkable balance of sentimentality and harshness, darkness and light.
  5. Castle-Hughes and Paratene are nothing short of remarkable in their roles.
  6. A spare, discomfiting score and uniformly excellent performances, and you have a quiet little masterpiece of dark and chilling beauty.
  7. Gets under your skin with its graceful edits and poetic elisions, lovely performances, and faded imagery.
  8. The movie gets goofy from time to time -- as when payola arrives in a vintage "Clash of the Titans lunchbox -- but the filmmakers and cast have the style and the swagger to back it up.
  9. A lovely, quietly thrilling thing.
  10. A bust-a-gut film experience that reveals Rodriguez as both a stylist versed in the mechanics of popular storytelling and a maverick whose ingenuity guides him along a singular path.
  11. As far from "Slacker" as you could possibly get and still be using a motion-picture camera, The School of Rock is nonetheless pure Linklater, pure rock & roll, and pure fun. Gabba, gabba, hey!
  12. McCarthy’s film is rich in tone and subtlety, but has precious little dialogue. It feels less like a modern motion picture than some odd poem long lost and then discovered in another age, a timeless, ageless gem of hard-resined emotions melting into real life.
  13. Mystic River asks plenty of questions but rarely if ever offers any answers, and certainly no easy ones. If this fine and sorrowful film is what can be expected from our aging cinema icons, here’s to the golden years, dark though they may be.
  14. It is wonderful for what it is: a delightful, thoroughly satisfying comedy of modern manners.
  15. Don’t leave until the final credits finish rolling or you’ll miss what many are considering Kill Bill: Vol. 1’s best bit. Trust us on this one.
  16. Far from being atypical, the events of June 12 and the litany of tiny nightmares that led up to that day are brutally obvious.
  17. Wisely, a lot like the real event. No answers are given, barely any questions are asked, and the film unfolds at a leisurely, inexorable pace that stymies the traditional filmmaking tropes of tension and release.
  18. As riveting as a documentary can possibly be, this slim (74-minute) film is also one of the most politically aware films of the year.
  19. An antidote to holiday cheer like no other, this French tale of psychological horror is as harsh as they come -– it’s like finding a severed finger in your stocking and then finding it’s even better with hollandaise.
  20. These people and the tale of their migration and reintegration into life’s ebb and flow will remain with the viewer long after Johnny's and Sarah’s green cards expire.
  21. A rare achievement.
  22. Doesn’t provide any answers, and that’s both its strength and weakness.
  23. Osama begins in fear and ends in terror. In between there's all manner of hopelessness, deprivation, and death, which is to say that as the first film to come out of a post-Taliban Afghanistan, it's practically a documentary.
  24. This is nobody's idea of a happy family story, but it is a pristinely chilling depiction of familial meltdown in a post-Stalinist, Twilight Zone anti-place, the dark heart of heartlessness and mysterious parenting techniques.
  25. The performances of all the central and secondary characters match the passionate intensity of the film's behind-the-scenes collaborators.
  26. One of the most suspenseful films of all time, its wartime action setting makes it easy to forget it's also one of the most spiritually righteous. [Director's Cut]
  27. In terms of sheer, unrelenting visual invention, Velvet Goldmine is a wonder.
  28. LaBute's narrative structure and visual strategies are rigorously crafted, bespeaking an almost mathematical calculation that, in compellingly contradictory ways, both enhances the dramatic experience while undermining its very authenticity.
  29. Whether strutting like a bantam rooster for the Lord, fervently calling himself a “genuine Holy Ghost, Jesus-filled preaching machine,” or humbly acknowledging the folly of his actions, Duvall inhabits the character of Sonny, completely disappearing into the man's skin.
  30. "Always be good to rock and roll and it will always be good to you," the film quotes Phil Spector as saying, and a more fitting explanation of the Bingenheimer mystique you'll likely never find.
  31. Proof that movies don’t always have to be busy to entertain and enrich, this tale of life at a bucolic Korean monastery is at once profound and simple.
  32. As we are informed in the film’s prologue, "Cats live in loneliness, then die like falling rain." Sh--, man, whatever. This is so stupid it’s positively genius.
  33. By far the most gorgeous slice of sunlit sadism so far this summer, I’m Not Scared also manages to be oddly sweet: a boy’s life, with treachery.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Disney's latest animated feature hearkens back to its heyday fare, a sweet and captivating tale that pits gentle, enduring goodness against dark, malevolent forces.
  34. This is a determined, resolutely paced, and atypical samurai movie, more an epic of the heart than of the battlefield, and all the more powerful for it.
  35. The movie occasionally continues on too long with certain scenes and may strain the sensibilities of anybody not caught up in its delirious visuals and melodrama, but The Saddest Music in the World nevertheless beckons with a seductive and unforgettable melody.
  36. Watching and listening to these two is a charming experience; their conversation has the ring of veracity, and rarely does the viewer's interest stray.
  37. Perception is key and Control Room should be required viewing for anyone within reach of a TV signal.
  38. Riveting, and frankly it's great fun to see Leth best the smirky von Trier five times running.
  39. Among the many things that Baadasssss! is, it is also a movie about moviemaking. In fact, the film should be a primer for anyone about to make an independent film.
  40. The bulk, the heft, and the girth of Bukowski: Born Into This arrives in the form of the author himself, giving beery readings to Berkeley audiences clearly enjoying a contact high or sitting, ill-kempt but quiet, pensive, Heineken in one yellowy paw, in his apartment.
  41. The movie is slight but transfixing.
  42. It's a keeper, a tumultuous love story set against the backdrop of 24 hours of really, really inclement weather in the Oklahoma heartland.
  43. Love, death, hope, and hatred: Spider-Man 2 has ’em all, in spades.
  44. Although the characters and their backstories are carefully thought out, Delpy and Hawke deliver their dialogue as if spontaneous and unmeditated.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The range of characters here is daringly broad, but Sayles is able to touch on the humanity of each (with considerable help from a gifted and eminently watchable cast), and the details of the region -- the heat, the beautiful but often unforgiving landscape, and especially the pride of the residents -- are vivid and true.
  45. This may be the first film to examine the intricacies of the Colombia-to-U.S. drug route in any detail.
  46. A wholly original creation, crossed with shadows and light and the everyday madness of Savannah and its remarkable citizens.
  47. Shimuzu sees darkened staircases and hears the rustle of dead autumn leaves and reacts as if from the devil’s own haiku. And his dread is catching.
  48. Casting is everything, and the casting of Stallone -- playing way against type -- as the powerless hayseed sheriff in Cop Land is nothing short of inspired.
  49. There's even a Simon and Garfunkel tune on the soundtrack, which makes Braff's character seem like the only living boy in New Jersey, which, of course, he may well be. L'chaim!
  50. We've come to expect each new Demme film to percolate to an urgently musical beat. (The Manchurian Candidate also features a few cameos by musicians as diverse as Robyn Hitchcock and Fab Five Freddy.)
  51. It was the greatest rock & roll party you never heard of.
  52. This modest French-language film follows the time-honored cinematic tradition of plot as spearheaded by a simple twist of fate.
  53. Cyberpunk meets renegade romance, à la Orwell.
  54. You can't help but feel conflicted watching this superb documentary about the seminal New York-based punk rock vanguard, the Ramones.
  55. A terrific piece of work.
  56. The most costly and the most popular film in South Korean history is also one of the most gripping and epic war films ever made, and certainly the only one I can think of the portrays the Korean war from the viewpoint of both sides of the conflict.
  57. Everything here from costuming and production design to the note-perfect score from Edward Shearmur works in tandem to create not so much a film as a singular and joyous tribute to a vanished age when wonder only cost a nickel and played three time daily at the Bijou.
  58. The most original comedy from either side of the pond in years.
  59. There's a genuine sense of loss when dreams go unrealized, and in these moments Dig! transcends the typical "rock movie" format and aspires to something greater: an examination of why we create and what we receive from art.
  60. Niccol's futuristic fable is a gorgeous construct, from its cast on down to the brilliant, clinical nature of the set design that reflects a future in which even a particle of saliva can be one's undoing.
  61. Sometimes people grow up sane despite the best efforts of society to drive them mad. This is the case for filmmaker Jonathan Caouette.
  62. As concert films go, this is heady stuff.
  63. Sharp scripting, note-perfect performances, and nimble direction and technical execution combine to make Wag the Dog one of the wittiest and most mordant political satires to come along in quite some time.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    All those seriously interested in foreign cinema are encouraged to take a look at this atmospheric drama -- sure to be remembered as one of the key achievements of the Hong Kong cinema in the 1990s.
  64. Closer is an un-love story as honest and naked as Cupid in the devil's dock, the whole truth, and nothing but.
  65. I don't know if the many plot swerves withstand a second viewing, but I suspect the meat of the matter – the swooning visuals, the expert choreography, the teasing love story – does.
  66. An order-of-magnitude leap forward in animated storytelling.
  67. A devastating portrait of impoverished Calucutta children.
  68. An unexpected classic.
  69. One need not necessarily appreciate Darger's art to enjoy Yu's sympathetic, intimate, and often breathtaking journey into the workings of his mind.
  70. A real winner -- smart, funny, subtle, and resonant -- and there's not a hanging chad in sight.
  71. The kind of movie that gets under your skin and takes root.
  72. Nobody Knows is the rare film that successfully tells its tale of childhood from the children’s point of view.
  73. Mary Harron's movie turns out to be anything but a sensationalistic bio-picture; it neither sanctifies nor demonizes the shooter or her famous victim. What the movie accomplishes is something trickier: It treats its two principals, Solanis and Warhol, with respect and humanity.
  74. This is horror with a wink and a nod to drive-in theatres and sweaty back seats. This is how it's done.
  75. The stunning vitality and passion of this film arises not only from the high-voltage personalities involved (especially Ali and King) but from the way they galvanized political and ethnic pride among the people of the poor West African nation.
  76. Well-considered, beautifully made, and often gripping in its narrative, the film epitomizes the best the documentary format can offer.
  77. Much has been made about the film's "humanizing" of Hitler, but he's only human here in the most prosaic of terms.
  78. This second incarnation of the Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt-produced animation anthology is, if anything, even better than the first.
  79. If Victorian Manchester had been remotely like this, H.G. Wells never would have bothered to pen "The Time Machine" – he'd have just stepped outside and into the fray.
  80. Honestly, this ultra-noir adaptation of Frank Miller's black-and-white cult comic series is a visual feast ripped straight from the original medium's blood-soaked pages.
  81. Though the story is thinly conceived, Antal throws a fantastic curveball in the second act. Kontroll is a hot ticket.
  82. The film's content is adult – and for the first time in Araki's career, so is the director.
  83. Provides that rarest of documentary accomplishments: a glimpse into the artists' sunny, dark hearts.
  84. Jacquet's penguins are as absorbing and incredible as any man-made phantasmagoria you'll find in the multiplex this summer, and it's all real.
  85. It's a magnificent film – thoughtful but not distant, aesthetically and technically sophisticated but staged with restraint and delicacy.
  86. Co-directors Rubin and Shapiro deliver the rare documentary that totally entertains, informs, and inspires.
  87. At the very least, The Aristocrats provides a survey of some of the best comic minds in the business.
  88. The sum is something deeply profound: about awkwardness, culture clash, failed connections, and – ultimately – the strength that comes from surviving a trial by fire.
  89. Sauper's delicately horrific documentary is a short, sharp slap in the face of the developed world, and a long overdue one at that.
  90. A truly provocative essay.
  91. One of the most emotionally honest movies about drug addiction ever made.
  92. Substantive and imaginatively filmed but is not an off-putting art movie; rather, it's the kind of solid but accessible filmmaking that prevailed in Hollywood's golden age.
  93. Face/Off works like a charm right on down the line thanks to brilliant, exhilarating performances from Cage and Travolta, and the many tremendously enjoyable action set-pieces that are Woo's hallmark.
  94. Lodge Kerrigan is one of the great, though largely unheralded, filmmakers of our time, and with Keane, his third feature, he finally shows himself to be in full command of his uncompromising talent.
  95. Keeping with the spirit of its lead characters, Oscar and Lucinda is a movie best met with a gambler's faith: You may not be certain what it means in the end, but its magnificent payoff is nevertheless a sure thing.
  96. A History of Violence poses the right question: Are those who don't study history doomed to repeat it?

Top Trailers