indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 769 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 77% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 21% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 14.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 Pixels
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 769
769 movie reviews
  1. '71
    '71 constantly thrills without sensationalizing its surprises. The war-is-hell ethos drives it forward, so that the movie retains its suspense in conjunction with its dour outlook.
  2. Nathan never condescends to Pug or his cohorts, instead smartly allowing their brazen maneuvers to run the show.
  3. A remarkable refashioning of the Holocaust drama that reignites the setting with extraordinary immediacy, Son of Saul is both terrifying to watch and too gripping in its moment-to-moment to look away.
  4. A labyrinthine descent into the grotesque extremes of a Disneyfied society, Escape From Tomorrow is surreal for many reasons and wholly original because of them. It's also a daring attempt to literally assail Disney World from the inside out.
  5. A less controlled and slapdash character piece than "In Bruge," McDonagh's new movie benefits greatly from a plethora of one-liners that toy with crime movie clichés in the unlikely context of writerly obsessions.
  6. Hyams delivers a remarkably satisfying action-thriller hybrid that constantly pushes ahead. It's one of the best action movies of the year simply because it keeps hitting the right beats.
  7. Her
    Certainly his most deeply felt achievement, Her is both distinctly Jonze-like and something altogether different, as if the filmmaker has gone through a software update not unlike his artificial character.
  8. Herzog naturally plays up the enigma at hand with epic grandeur, occasionally overdoing it but usually hitting the mark.
  9. More meditation than movie, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is bound to mystify, awe and exasperate in equal measures.
  10. With time, the filmmaker achieves a small miracle by stringing together the movie's concise segments into an emotional whole.
  11. More traditional in terms of atmosphere and plot, Drug War nevertheless features a tense, unstoppable momentum, a morally ambiguous protagonist and hugely involving action scenes.
  12. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  13. Striking a complex tone of tragedy and uplift at the same time, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter both celebrates the escapist power of personal fantasies and bears witness to their dangerous extremes. It's the rare case of a story that's inspirational and devastating at once.
  14. Although not exactly heartwarming, Amour has a more contained vision of human relationships than Haneke's previous films without sacrificing its bleak foundation. It's his most conventional movie about death -- and the most poignant.
  15. While it has many familiar ingredients — from the atmosphere to the ensemble of Anderson regulars in nearly every role — in its allegiance to Anderson's vision, everything about The Grand Budapest Hotel is a welcome dose of originality.
  16. It's incredibly uneventful and devastating all at once.
  17. Gandolfini deserves an Oscar for Enough Said not because it's the culmination of everything that came before it but rather because it goes in a completely different direction. And his least characteristic achievement is also one of his best.
  18. Suleiman's most poignant moments are largely wordless. Nothing feels more affecting than Suleiman's ubiquitous frozen stare. Although he never utters a sound, his silence speaks volumes about the inability to resolve the social ramifications of Middle Eastern strife.
  19. Nobody else could fit the role of a crestfallen rocker that Paul Dano embodies in director So Yong Kim's remarkable For Ellen.
  20. A comedy of remarriage buried in intellectual abstraction and cinephilic obsessions, Certified Copy wanders a bit but never loses focus, with the only certainty being that its gimmick is genuine.
  21. Moment to moment, Birdman manages to shift gears, its roaming camera revealing new surprises as it glides along. That degree of unpredictability provides it with the ultimate response to the sea of formulaic mediocrities at the center of its critique.
  22. On the whole, by ceding control to his subject, Hawke makes a persuasive case for Bernstein's guru-like outlook on the value of finding personal gratification in art above all else.
  23. An ode to art for art's sake, Inside Llewyn Davis is the most innocent movie of the Coens' career, which in their case is a downright radical achievement.
  24. Cutting between various chilling anecdotes of sinister late night visions and horrifying reenactments, The Nightmare manages a tricky balance of visceral fright and sincere investigation. It's a rare non-fiction achievement that earns the ability to freak you out.
  25. While it doesn't always earn its heft, Winter Sleep is both subdued and rich in details, its plot growing slowly over a series of extensive conversations. It's a robust, challenging experience he's been building toward with his previous features, as well as an adventurous step above them.
  26. Even as The Keeping Room plays with formulaic ingredients, it manages to combine them into an eloquent portrait of gender, race and the constant march of time without overstating any of its potent themes.
  27. Representing lower-class violence taken to an extreme, the cannibalism cannot be contained by police work. The movie's gradual build to a thrilling, appropriately bloody climax intensifies this disconnect.
  28. As a sociological experiment, Five Star offers plenty of talking points, but its real triumph is that the cast delivers, yielding a story in which the heightened suspense emerges organically from a gritty foundation of realism.
  29. To Die Like a Man deserves your attention for showcasing a filmmaker with the capacity for bold narrative trickery that doesn't come at the expense of emotional investment.
  30. Directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews' directorial debut (from Matthews' screenplay) centers on a highly unlikable character who has alienated himself from social responsibility -- and forces you to sympathize with him against all odds.
  31. At times, Frances Ha strains from emphasizing the characters' snarkiness and disregarding plot. By routinely going nowhere, however, the movie eventually finds a distinctive voice that carries it through.
  32. Ignore the precise religious context and it stands perfectly well as a restrained look at personal convictions in the face of certain death.
  33. Kazan has fun with a silly premise and smartly plays it straight when the occasion calls for it, while keeping the cutesy, fantastical extremes of the material at bay. It's less fairy tale than shrewd exaggeration on the pratfalls of desire.
  34. Computer Chess excels at conveying the frustrations of feeling trapped by forces beyond one's control, the complexities of humanity irresolvable by any neat code.
  35. Dickinson's hauntingly naturalistic look at disgruntled young adults trapped in the country following an urban disaster plays like "Martha Marcy May Marlene" transported to a post-apocalyptic survival narrative -- with lots of yoga and sex.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  36. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  37. Poitras, an expert filmmaker as keyed into pace and mood as the topic they support, delivers a mesmerizing look at both how Snowden managed to release his information as well as why it all matters.
  38. Love Is Strange is a sophisticated take on contemporary urbanity infused with romantic ideals and the tragedy of their dissolution.
  39. While not designed to entertain on the level of style and spectacle that one expects from a Bond film, this tense period drama from the director of "Man on Wire" presents a far more credible take on the daring exploits of British agents.
  40. Anchored by a sensational Charlotte Rampling as its lead, the movie combines Haigh's perceptive style with shades of Mike Leigh's "Another Year" to create a quietly moving and deceptively tragic look at aging romance haunted by past mysteries.
  41. Like "Afterschool," Durkin's first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.
  42. The poetic rhythm with which Hartley brings three movies of events to an end is a tight, gripping expression of closure.
  43. Playing make believe with murderers, Oppenheimer risks the possibility of empowering them. However, by humanizing psychopathic behavior, The Act of Killing is unparalleled in its unsettling perspective on the dementias associated with dictatorial extremes.
  44. Swanberg once again shows a capacity for capturing small moments that exist outside the direction of the plot. At the same time, the effective fragments of "Drinking Buddies" take his oeuvre in a new direction by accumulating into a reworking big picture.
  45. There's no doubting that Holy Motors is an ungodly mess of images and moments, some more alluring than others, but it sure leaves a mark.
  46. Stillness dominates, from the first shots of cornfields at sunrise to the final one that finds Helmer lying among them. When "It's All So Quiet" comes full circle, the title is virtually an understatement.
  47. In the struggle to tell a story, Panahi reveals the redemptive power of art. No longer issuing desperate pleas, he has turned to cinema for the sake of survival.
  48. This is an idea familiar to anyone who has waded through Bigelow's universe of conspiratorial agendas in which no good deed goes unpunished, and might not be a good deed at all. Cartel Land plants that dilemma in our backyard, and ends with the tangible perception that it won't go away anytime soon.
  49. That the movie succeeds both as a high-stakes crime thriller as well as a far quieter and empathetic study of angry, solitary men proves that Cianfrance has a penchant for bold storytelling and an eye for performances to carry it through.
  50. Though at times almost too peculiar for its own good, The Lobster brings Lanthimos' distinct blend of morbid, deadpan humor and surrealism to a broader canvas without compromising his ability to deliver another thematically rich provocation.
  51. Exhibition infuses its cerebral exposition with a strong dose of humanity.
  52. If you can groove with Jarmusch's patient, philosophical indulgences and the wooden exteriors of his characters' lives, the movie rewards with a savvy emotional payoff about moving forward even when the motivation to do so has gone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Whishaw's sensitive performance gives Lilting its emotional intensity.
  53. Despite the cerebral formalism that pushes it forward, Mond has made a genuine tearjerker.
  54. A viscerally charged movie that foregrounds surface tensions and gripping performances, Ginger and Rosa is the filmmaker's most accessible and technically surefooted work to date.
  55. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  56. For American audiences, each gag has added appeal because it contains an uneasy humor that's often explored but never fully exploited in these parts.
  57. You couldn't ask for a more appropriate genre of music to carry a movie. As Didier explains the bluegrass appeal, "the banjo sort of snarls," bringing a primal form of energy that even he can't put into words. It's also the element that manages to rescue "Broken Circle" from the meandering nature of its structural looseness, which sometimes distracts from a thoroughly involving story.
  58. Unable to express the sorrow of Cory's passing or the larger sense of detachment from the world it represents, most of the people in Putty Hill try to remain disaffected. By pestering them with questions, Porterfield gets under their skin - and, in the process, ours as well.
  59. Mr. Turner is a first-rate match of director and subject. Less an explication of the man's genius than an immersion into its essence.
  60. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? bears the stamp of Gondry quirk but allows it to feel a lot more intimate than anything he's done since "Eternal Sunshine."
  61. Farhadi's new movie confirms his unique ability to explore how constant chatter and anguished outbursts obscure the capacity for honest communication.
  62. Simmien both mocks and provokes the nature of our seemingly progressive times by illuminating misguided assumptions and fears embedded in forward-thinking discourse. But Simien's relentless screenplay is never too self-serious or didactic, instead pairing culturally-savvy brains with a goofy grin.
  63. While Entertainment lacks the focused critique of "The Comedy," it nevertheless offers a fascinating look at the tension between personal aspirations and the harsh realities holding them back.
  64. Duplass' feisty energy is matched by DeWitt's constant smarminess, while Blunt's shy, fragile behavior balances off the forceful personalities surrounding her.
  65. With the shift from conventional rock doc into something more sophisticated, As the Palaces Burn remains enthralling all the way through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Even after a superbly made two-hour-long documentary, Kuti keeps many of his secrets to himself.
  66. The contrast between the movie’s traditional execution and Stritch’s domineering powers create the lingering sense that she may be the project’s true auteur.
  67. Gravity lets you visit space without sugarcoating its dangers. It's a brilliant portrait of technology gone wrong that uses it just right.
  68. Whereas "45365" took the form of a scattered collage, with disconnected events and a vast ensemble of characters stitched together to represent a year of activity, Tchoupitalas brings greater clarity to a similarly diffuse canvas by situating it around a trio of innocent observers.
  69. It portrays the struggle from the inside, from about as far from the filter of mainstream media as one can get, capturing tense shootouts and the extremes of revolutionary spirit in unnerving detail.
  70. The story arrives at a satisfying emotional conclusion with wonderfully thoughtful ramifications.
  71. Kechiche excels at capturing his protagonist's emergence in the world.
  72. With an editing approach that seamlessly blends past and present, Central Park Five contains a fluid, engaging storytelling that does away with the dry voiceover commentary and theatrical music choices that typically account for the narrative flow of most Burns films.
  73. From one mesmerizing scene to the next, The Tribe never loses its flow. Even its harshest moments are defined by vibrant motion.
  74. This could be a recipe for excessive self-indulgence, but the meta quality of Red Flag is entirely irrelevant to its low key charm and persistent irreverence -- anchored, as always, by Karpovsky's loopy screen presence.
  75. Possibly the best war movie of the year.
  76. Cheatin' is gleefully enjoyable and loaded with unexpected twists at every turn.
  77. With a dense, often impermeable style and a mentally unstable protagonist, Simon Killer is like watching the disturbed anti-hero of "Afterschool" all grown up.
  78. Much of the movie relies on Cotillard's jittery expressions as she veers from tentatively hopeful to despondent and back again, sometimes within a matter of minutes, reflecting the ever-changing stability of job security among the lower class.
  79. Frammartino keeps the material engaging simply by aiming the camera at his subjects and letting the material organically emerge-rather than enforcing the supernatural element with overstatement.
  80. Aferim! amounts to a serious endeavor designed to explore many facets of its era through the lens of people trapped in it. Their crude dialogue, real as it may be, hints at comedic possibilities while offering a shrewd look at people defined by their circumstances.
  81. What Now? Remind Me sketches out the tragedy of living a full life and being aware of it slipping away.
  82. Rampart is co-written by crime writer James Ellroy as a messy, disorienting noir, and shot by cinematographer Bobby Bukowski with an unsettling degree of realism.
  83. In a incredibly contained performance that ranks among the best of her career, Juliette Binoche portrays a woman trapped by mental and physical constraints alike.
  84. Hoss' portrayal of a woman at odds with her surroundings is in a class by itself.
  85. The measured vérité style of Frederick Wiseman meets the visual polish of Terrence Malick in Dragonslayer, a fascinating slice of crude Americana from first-time director Tristan Patterson. However, it stands alone with an infectious hard rock attitude.
  86. In the movie's final shot, Jung's confidence crumbles and he looks supremely troubled, still uncertain of a world he once believed could be explained with textual prowess. Better than any analysis, his expression sums up the dangerous method at the heart of every Cronenberg movie.
  87. Suspense is rarely delivered with such distinctive patience.
  88. The visual collage retains a consistent melancholy, resulting in an experience that's both deeply affecting and-since José never actually appears on-camera-utterly detached.
  89. Extraterrestrial can be forgiven the tangents into melodrama due to Vigalondo's seamless ability to navigate those soapy waters.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Little Accidents takes its time, but Holbrook’s confident performance makes his story riveting throughout, reflecting both the gravity of his situation and the enormous consequences his choice will have on the entire town — certain individuals in particular.
  90. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
  91. Potiche successfully satirizes the gender politics at its core. At the same time, it knowingly mocks the obsession over debates about the suppression of women that pervaded the culture during the movie's setting.
  92. Though anchored by a affecting and sullen turn by Channing Tatum, the movie derives its primary discomfiting power from Steve Carell in a revelatory performance as a monster of American wealth.
  93. Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.
  94. The Safdies have stood out over the last few years for continually challenging audience expectations even while seeming to adhere to conventional storytelling traditions, and that's certainly true here: You've never seen a sports movie like this before.
  95. Clocking in at a slim 85 minutes, the whole thing flies by quite pleasingly, a warm and funny feature that reasserts the value of high quality visuals and attention to detail.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This documentary is not a dry, academic history of youth culture, but rather a vibrant political statement that shows the powerful force of teenagers and their ability to foment social, cultural, and political change.

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