Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 5,846 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Dunkirk
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
5846 movie reviews
  1. It’s this hunger for the entirety of a person’s life that makes Marjorie Prime one of the most riveting, moving films of the year.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Riveting, and frankly it's great fun to see Leth best the smirky von Trier five times running.
  5. The horror-movie clichés form the backbone from which the film's humor and creativity emerge. This Cabin may not be the Parthenon, but it's definitely a place to worship the gods of horror.
  6. This feature-length expansion of Cohen's deliciously ridiculous character accomplishes what decades of Soviet propaganda failed to do: It points out and underscores issues of race, religious intolerance, classism, and all manner of very American social ills by giving the culprits just enough rope to hang themselves by their own petards (and then some).
  7. Perception is key and Control Room should be required viewing for anyone within reach of a TV signal.
  8. The dialogue is scattered with so many beautiful gems that conversations glitter.
  9. The masterful Land of Mine slowly, almost without notice, transforms into one of the most viscerally intense anti-war films since Dalton Trumbo’s "Johnny Got His Gun."
  10. 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.
  11. The film is hypnotic, which lends it an addictive sensibility that complements the need Adam and Eve have for their bloody fixes.
  12. Absolutely unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen, Step Into Liquid nearly qualifies as a religious experience.
  13. Audience fortitude aside: This is compulsively watchable stuff, a masterstroke of thoughtful direction and thought-provoking performance.
  14. The Last Station would have satisfied alone as a witty, manic lark, but as it moves toward the titular railway station, the film unfurls into so much more – a work of compassion, modulated mournfulness, and unchecked joy.
  15. 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.
  16. I laughed more (sincerely, full-throatedly) at Toy Story 3’s smart comedy than at any other film of the still-young summer movie slate.
  17. A triumph in anguish.
  18. The story (even more so if you weren't around in July of 1969) is gripping, eloquent, and powerful stuff, the right stuff right down to its pioneering heart, taking manifest destiny to the stars themselves.
  19. Remarkably, the film is composed entirely of point-of-view shots. Although she’s in the room, Viviane is not even part of the image during the early minutes of the film.
  20. Fantasies and phantasms aside, Fincher proves himself yet again to be a better cinematic psychologist of (in-)human nature than almost any other director alive. It’s another squirmily excellent date movie from hell, courtesy of contemporary cinema’s most overt nihilist.
  21. A movie with style to burn, and, initially, that is this crime drama's most mesmerizing aspect.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Fans of the show will rejoice and a few newbies will become converts. In this heightened reality, there are no rules except to get the laugh. And they do, incessantly.
  22. The hippies, the ravers, the bumbling bobbies and nonplussed locals, the mud, the rush of being in the crush, up against the barricades, torn between the need for a restroom and the need for more room, to dance, to sing, to carry on like a stark loony regardless of your faraway day job – all of this is captured by Temple's unblinking, seemingly everywhere-at-once eye.
  23. This is a Disney film, so there's never any real question regarding Bolt and his friends' ultimate success or failure, but the writing team of Dan Fogelman (Cars) and co-director Williams (Mulan) have concocted one of the most witty and often hilarious Disney outings in years.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Sometimes the most thrilling thing a film can do is shake the shackles of its own preordained genre as you're watching it. The result might turn out to be a deal-breaking tonal trainwreck, but when such a hybrid works – and Spring, the second feature from directing team Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, does work – it can make for an improbably lovely experience.
  24. But the best way to enjoy Ong Bak is on its own gritty, low-budget level, skins, brains, and guts galore, a viscerally entertaining slice of Thai filmmaking that will leave you grinning ear to ear.
  25. I think it's a mess, but - and this is a major caveat - an endearing, beautiful, hopelessly honest mess that's supported by a pair of performances so unnaturally natural that they draw you in and clutch you, struggling, to their flipping, flopping hearts.
  26. CQ
    It may not be art, but it's vastly more entertaining than anything Coppola senior has done in far too long.
  27. As with her other films, when Sarah Polley takes it upon herself to tell us a story, you can bet it’s a tale well-told and one that you’ll want to hear.
  28. Bird's grim, picture-perfect direction -- the Sierras are more character than backdrop, and everything else looks like it's already been digested and expelled -- augments what is frankly a small, albeit lusterless, gem of a horror show, for once with as many smarts as body parts.
  29. A valentine to the happenstance miracle of lovers and other strangers, a movie that regards modern romance as something that is, ultimately, old-fashioned to its core.
  30. Solomon’s skills as a raconteur, the employees’ unabashed love for their work, and the constant stream of rock music playing in the background advance the film into something much more than a talking-heads documentary.
  31. This single film beats every other Hollywood action film of the past five years, hands down. It's not even close. Welcome back, Mr. Tsui.
  32. These scenes of debauchery and lust that make up the film's centerpiece are among some of the most powerful and disturbing ever put to film.
  33. Durkin's film seems to exist in its own fractured dream state. It's hypnotic, narcotic, and trembling on the verge of either dread or redemption or some hazy state of nothingness in between.
  34. Although Nicholas Nickleby occasionally evidences a simplicity that resembles a Junior Scholastic production, the movie's enthusiasm is contagious.
  35. The most stylish and original John Grisham story on film.
  36. An American remake of Jorge Michel Grau's 2010 Mexican shocker, this Sundance and Fantastic Fest fan favorite is undeniably creepy stuff that’s been given a dusty, American Gothic anti-sheen courtesy of cinematographer Ryan Samul.
  37. It takes a village, I've heard it said. It takes a village not only to raise a child but also, in this case, to aid the delusional and help restore good mental health. Or so Lars and the Real Girl would have us believe.
  38. High spirits mark the first half of the film; quite simply, these guys are just fun to be around – most especially Howard, all half-lidded, cat-who-got-the-cream coolness.
  39. A spare and perfectly droll kinda-sorta comedy from Norwegian director Hamer.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Overall, The Lobster packs a wicked punch, eviscerating modern romance in surprising and evocative ways.
  40. The most originally funny movie to hit U.S. screens in a while.
  41. Dallas Buyers Club is an indelible story about one man’s unwillingness to go gently into that good night, and the personal growth he experiences along the way.
  42. This artful documentary about renowned Tokyo sushi master Jiro Ono is not going to help save Charlie the Tuna one iota.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    A deeply soulful film, shot through with loss, regret, and hope. Like almost all great sci-fi films it’s less about the alien unknown than it is about the human condition.
  43. Works best when it works its mournful magic alone, without fanfare, using only the flickering fear in Cole's gaze as it meets the compassion in Crowe's.
  44. If only Cartel Land were as rigorous in its thinking as it is in its filmmaking methods, the film might strike an even deeper blow than it presently does.
  45. By the end of this tight and timely documentary – once again, we’re a nation in chaos, breeding some ridiculously fine rock & roll while the world burns.
  46. Sweetgrass’ unbroken shots of often-repetitive activity have a beguiling quality to them, their very monotony encouraging a deeper absorption and reflection, but hard facts aren’t easy to come by.
  47. The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food and public health, accessible to the documentary-shy and wildly appropriate for older kids, who may further respond to its generational emphasis.
  48. With its wonderful veteran cast, its heart on its sleeve, and a love for the landscape that suffuses its technique, Don't Come Knocking is a peculiar but rewarding escape.
  49. Teacher’s Pet feels more like Ren & Stimpy's John Kricfalusi on a mild dose of Prozac, and I mean that in the very best way.
  50. But for all the film's griminess and doom, bad behavior and bad luck, it's hope that engines Head-On.
  51. For the incomparable Streep, it’s yet another performance in high C.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Johnston's childlike stream of unrequited love landed him on MTV, Atlantic Records, and now a feature-length theatrical recounting of his life. Take that, Satan.
  52. Remarkable debut feature by New Yorker Ben Younger.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Brutally frank, and with a biting sense of humor and an earnest love for her husband, Michel, at least for me, becomes the emotional center from which the film radiates.
  53. Kore-eda is one of the most optimistic and humanist filmmakers working today, and even though Our Little Sister isn’t quite as finely articulated as some of his previous work, his core compassion for humanity comes through clearly.
  54. What's fascinating is the depth of humanity Cruise finds within the character of Jerry and also Cruise's generosity toward the other actors in the story -- a generosity that allows all the other performers to shine and create vivid and memorable characters.
  55. Hell or High Water is a good but not great movie with sensational lead performances that elevate it to enjoyably memorable status.
  56. Without the luminous Danes in the title role, Shopgirl would have the flair of an ordinary sales clerk.
  57. The Gift, a psychological roller coaster on a doomed track, is one of the best directorial debuts in ages, hands down.
  58. Eastwood keeps his direction lean and mean. There’s not an ounce of wasted screen time in Sully’s 96 minutes, but the story, an example of “truth is stranger than fiction,” has all the thrust it needs, and then some.
  59. It starts off slow and somewhat clunky, but by the time the mind-blowing third act arrives, it’s all a fan can do not to stand up and cheer.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    A curious filmgoing experience: Virtuosic, assured, and possessed of undeniable aesthetic force, it’s also hard not to turn away from.
  60. Deliciously bleak, black political satire from British director Armando Iannucci.
  61. Woody Allen generates films with such rapidity and inconsistency that you can never be certain if this season’s offering will be a hit or a miss. I’m happy to report that Irrational Man is a delight.
  62. Gleefully, goofily over-the-top.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    In every way, this is an enthralling but heartbreaking story, beautifully done.
  63. An amazing, bracing, funny, audacious, tender, and sobering piece of filmmaking. Few movies have ever dared to be this remorseless in their portraits of addiction.
  64. Where to Invade Next is a return to form, albeit a humorously kinder, gentler, and frankly more inquisitive outing than anything Moore has done since his Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or-winning "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  65. More than worthy viewing. What it lacks at times in elegance it possesses in intensity and feeling.
  66. The Hangover instantly has the feel of one for the ages.
  67. No matter where your political gullibilities lie, Green Zone is a riveting piece of actioneering.
  68. Iris is difficult to watch, given that it requires you to witness the transformation of the title character from a literate, vibrant woman to the ghost of her former self.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    At one point, a rapt concertgoer enthuses about Russell, “The guy’s a gas!” So, too, is this thankfully restored film.
  69. A laugh-aloud film that exemplifies the snap-crackle-pop of exquisite comic timing.
  70. Perhaps every decade gets the Jane Eyre it deserves: Is the emphasis of conscience over passion emblematic of our times?
  71. What’s great about this “documentary” – Cave gets a script credit alongside the directors, which kind of invalidates the whole notion of hands-off documentary filmmaking – is that it delves deeply into Cave’s notoriously fussy creative process without ever becoming stodgy or dull.
  72. Slash is an endearing, sweet, and altogether badass ode to being young, weird, and subversively creative.
  73. Loaded with sass, sex, and sadistic violence, Deadpool is not your youngster’s comic-book origin story. Deadpool earns every bit of its R rating, a quality that’s sure to appeal to fans weary of the macho, apple-pie-eating, altruistic superheroes who buck for attention in the comic-book stables.
  74. Beneath its layers of epic detail, this Zatôichi is cinematic cotton candy.
  75. Crude's moving testimony and careful documentation make it hard to turn away from this issue. It will certainly remain in your mind the next time you stop for gas.
  76. This indie rambler was my favorite movie of South by Southwest 05, where it premiered. But before I go any further, let's establish that Mutual Appreciation is not for you if you go to the movies to see things blown up or if you expect such conventional niceties as a three-act structure or lighting effects not achieved by yanking up a window shade.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    The quartet of actors are all high-caliber pros, and the performances are marvelous, especially Linney, whose Claire hides depths of self-deception.
  77. The terrific ensemble acting and Troche’s genuine, nonjudgmental interest in exploring the weird places wounded people go, both internally and externally, amount to an insulated but moving portrait of the real nuclear family.
  78. The most punishing movie of 2015, The Revenant, is almost as brutal an experience for the viewer to watch as it is for its title character Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) to undergo. That’s not meant as a knock, but rather as a warning that the film may leave you as near-speechless and mono-minded as its battered returnee from the dead.
  79. Elf
    A movie that’s so profoundly ridiculous that it has to be admired, if for no other reason other than its sheer willingness to run with its premise and take it to the end of the line.
  80. Let’s be honest: With a cast like this, it doesn't matter too much what the characters are doing onscreen, or if it makes about as much sense as a monochrome rainbow.
  81. Winnie the Pooh doesn't reinvent the wheel, just gives it an affectionate spin, and that is no more and no less than what one would hope from a family reunion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Brandon’s odyssey, filtered through Tipping’s lens, is at times funny, harrowing, and well, somewhat annoying (way too much slow-mo), but the talent here is clear.
  82. Even our First Lady isn’t safe from this documentary. Fed Up contends that Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity and her Let’s Move campaign have been co-opted by the food industry. Ever notice how no one ever talks anymore about her vegetable garden on the White House lawn and its consequent argument for the consumption of freshly prepared foods over the processed varieties?
  83. It is easy to describe what occurs in Le Quattro Volte; less easy, however, to explain it. Calculatedly meditative yet casually metaphysical, Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times in English) is austere, funny, beautiful, and transfixing.
  84. This French import is a worthy entrant into the adrenalized cadre of action films like "Run Lola Run" and "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior" (which Besson produced). What District B13 lacks in story development it compensates for with stunningly realistic action.
  85. Abundant arthouse crowd appeal.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    No one in the movie is entirely right in the head, least of all James, whose rapidly disintegrating sanity provides Pitt with his juiciest role since "Snatch," one he chomps into with all the relish of a guy who’s been playing suave leading men for too long.
  86. Like a kindler, gentler "Bully," Mean Creek hinges on the bullied fighting back against the aggressor, but offers a more expansive examination of aggression and, even more significantly, passivity.
  87. Leary, Demme, and screenwriter Mike Armstrong have come up with a brilliant, harrowing portrait of misplaced loyalties and savage valor that may be one of the best character-driven ensemble pieces to come around in some time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    The film delivers some of the most spectacular and intricately choreographed martial arts fighting ever seen on film.

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