indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 626 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 78% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 20% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 14.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Wild Tales
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 626
626 movie reviews
  1. Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The movie is an impressively realized work of minimalist storytelling that foregrounds Redford's physicality more than any other role in his celebrated career. His performance defines the movie to an almost shockingly experimental degree.
  6. 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.
  7. Farhadi's new movie confirms his unique ability to explore how constant chatter and anguished outbursts obscure the capacity for honest communication.
  8. Kechiche excels at capturing his protagonist's emergence in the world.
  9. 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.
  10. The movie makes a strong case against the captivity of killer whales under sub-circus conditions, but the stance is made even more horrifying because so little has changed in the history of the organization. Blackfish is less balanced investigation than full-on takedown of a broken system.
  11. Smart in spite of its irreverence, "Future Folk" is the weirdest, most enjoyable fusion of genres you'll see this year.
  12. The conflict in The Attack is less about the reasoning behind immoral behavior than the problems involved in any cursory understanding of it.
  13. With a keen eye for the capacity of fine art to address a complex range of attitudes and experiences, Museum Hours effectively applies Cohen's existing strengths to a familiar scenario and rejuvenates it by delivering a powerfully contemplative look at the transformative ability of all art.
  14. 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.
  15. In constructing its gripping overview, After Tiller maintains a generally straightforward roundup of talking heads, but its unassuming construction gradually generates an authoritative voice. Only once the arguments have been plainly established does the emotion truly take hold.
  16. In "Adventureland" and this summer's "The Way Way Back," disillusioned teens have worked through their issues in the weeks leading up to college by taking on quirky summer jobs. However, Carey's wacky sensibilities retain a notably fresh quality by using the same framing device as an excuse to bat around one funny idea after another. The story transcends the derivative scenario through a noticeable lack of verbal censorship.
  17. 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.
  18. Gravity lets you visit space without sugarcoating its dangers. It's a brilliant portrait of technology gone wrong that uses it just right.
  19. The story arrives at a satisfying emotional conclusion with wonderfully thoughtful ramifications.
  20. 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.
  21. The story transitions from a believable portrait of young culture junkies into a showcase of Matt's burgeoning rage so well that it practically implicates viewers in the process.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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."
  27. 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.
  28. White Reindeer eagerly pokes the mythology surrounding the holiday season narrative to find something hauntingly beautiful lurking beneath it.
  29. 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Revealing both the dangers and payoffs of artistic ambition, Whiplash is sure to establish Chazelle as a directorial force to be reckoned with.
  30. Nathan never condescends to Pug or his cohorts, instead smartly allowing their brazen maneuvers to run the show.
  31. 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  32. Love Is Strange is a sophisticated take on contemporary urbanity infused with romantic ideals and the tragedy of their dissolution.
  33. 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.
  34. '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.
  35. 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.
  36. Omar maintains an unsettling rhythm of suspense and sociopolitical critique throughout.
  37. 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
    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.
  38. Mackenzie (whose previous credits include "Perfect Sense" and "Young Adam") applies a sharp kitchen sink realism to this haunting setting and directs it toward an ultimately moving family drama that just happens to involve vicious convicts.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Although Berlinger’s latest work is a dense, unsparing look at the offenses and trial of Whitey Bulger, it's equally concerned with capturing how the many members of Bulger's expansive web -- criminals and innocent citizens alike -- use their experiences to control their version of the man.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Alan Partridge stays true to this small, very specific world of regional British radio and this class of local celebrity while also injecting the high-level drama needed to carry such a story to a much larger audience. It’s this balance that should win the film over for Alan Partridge fans and the general movie-going public alike.
  39. In Oculus, the horror is at once deceptively simple and rooted in a deep, primal uneasiness. Its scariest aspects are universally familiar.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
  45. The tense, involving result confirms Sciamma's mastery over the coming-of-age drama, a genre too often reduced to its simplest ingredients.
  46. Despite the unruly music at its center, the filmmaker has crafted a uniformly gentle ode to growing up.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Shot like a dream, spoken like an elegy, it takes nonfiction where it seldom wants to go – away from the comforting embrace of fact and into a realm of expressionistic possibility.
  47. While blatantly topical, this is not a political film of the moment, but rather a calculated meditation on self-defined purpose in the midst of societal confusion.
  48. Exhibition infuses its cerebral exposition with a strong dose of humanity.
  49. 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.
  50. From one mesmerizing scene to the next, The Tribe never loses its flow. Even its harshest moments are defined by vibrant motion.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Even after a superbly made two-hour-long documentary, Kuti keeps many of his secrets to himself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Whishaw's sensitive performance gives Lilting its emotional intensity.
  51. 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.
  52. What Now? Remind Me sketches out the tragedy of living a full life and being aware of it slipping away.
  53. Portraying a generation so energized by possibilities that it was bound to be let down, Eden offers a wise assessment of the interplay between fantasy and reality on the path to adulthood. The seductive rhythms are a perfect match for a movie that analyzes the unstoppable flow of life.
  54. 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.
  55. The poetic rhythm with which Hartley brings three movies of events to an end is a tight, gripping expression of closure.
  56. Hoss' portrayal of a woman at odds with her surroundings is in a class by itself.
  57. 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.
  58. Cold-blooded killers rarely look this pathetic, which testifies to the impressive balance of Skarsgård's amusingly low-key performance.
  59. Helms plays angelic insurance agent Tim Lippe with gentle nobility and hilarious naivete.
  60. Political only by implication, Zero Bridge works in a larger sense as a story of universal longing.
  61. Eventually, Soo-hyun's relentless pursuit-and-release approach outlives the director's skill and the premise starts to feel redundant.
  62. Black Death embraces its horror roots with ample bloodshed, at which point the silly costumes and anachronistic dialogue no longer seem so absurd.
  63. Dupieux's utterly zany slice of narrative subversion transcends that singularly goofy premise to create one of the more bizarre experiments with genre in quite some time.
  64. The resulting adrenaline-packed vehicle delivers a multi-directional sugar rush. It moves so quickly that the bells and whistles blur together.
  65. At its core, A Screaming Man emphasizes the strength of family bonds. It's a sad, moving portrait that has nothing to do with its chaotic setting.
  66. At its core, The Double Hour is a classic noir story of deception.
  67. The climax is a little too clever and far-fetched-an unnecessarily neat finale for a movie that works fine when dealing in broad strokes, some of which are nothing short of masterful.
  68. Loaded to the gills with thrill-inducing mayhem, Hobo with a Shotgun feels almost tribal in its commitment to violence.
  69. Before its spell unravels with overdone theatricality and on-the-nose flashbacks, Caterpillar succeeds as a kind of representational horror movie.
  70. Where "Bridesmaids" has plenty of solid gags, it's not much to look at; Submarine always has something impressive to watch even when its plot is on autopilot.
  71. The central appeal of The Trip is that it's only a comedy in bits and pieces. Overall, however, Winterbottom constructs a thoughtful and generally sad portrait of Coogan's persona as a man unsure of his next move.
  72. Unlike recent activist documentaries about animal cruelty like "The Cove," Leeman's narrative doesn't feature any real villains. Balding's bond with Flora leaves him in a perpetual state of uncertainty about which possible new home for his elephant would provide the safest habitat.
  73. Creepy implications keep Super 8 engaging, but the cast makes it click.
  74. Buck Brannaman, the subject of Cindy Meehl's engaging documentary profile Buck, has a warm presence and knows how to tame horses better than anyone else.
  75. The movie works best when probing the nature of human interactions with Nim: He appears to form a close friendship with the stoner psych major Bob Ingersoll, not only foraging for food with him but also sharing joints.
  76. Showing the uneasiness of a first-time documentarian, Rapaport has a difficult time exploring the drama. That has extended beyond the movie itself and into a long-running media dispute with Q-Tip, who has refused to plug the movie.
  77. Progressing with a coldly observational pace, Rapt often strains its drawn-out structure, creating a lethargic experience despite essentially taking the form of a Bressonian suspense-thriller.
  78. The result is not a major work, but still a wildly funny portrait that succeeds at inducing the incredulity Morris always seeks out.
  79. As the portrait of a relationship meltdown involving two eccentric creative types prone to self-doubt, July's sophomore feature bears a strong resemblance to husband Mike Mills's upcoming "Beginners," although July's version of the story has a more experimental edge.
  80. Santana was cast prior to making her gender transition and had never acted before. Her personal experience brings such legitimacy that she would probably succeed in the role even if she sucked at line reading. Fortunately, she doesn't.
  81. Despite its meandering plot, Bellflower presents its doom-laden vision as an astonishingly distinctive state of mind, arguing that the end of one self-made world always marks the start of a new one.
  82. For everything that Mozart's Sister imagines, it leaves much more up to imagination.
  83. The first half of I'm Glad My Mother's Alive effectively inhabits a child's mind in a manner that recalls Maurice Pialat's marvelous 1968 debut "The Naked Childhood."
  84. Director Bennett Miller has produced a warm and generally agreeable character study about the pratfalls of athletic institutions and the willingness to think outside the box.
  85. The title suggests a dramatic Shakespearean twist, but Clooney's aims are much simpler. As he builds to a western showdown divorced from political specificity, the Manchurian-like manipulation turns Ides of March into an allegorical monster movie in which everyone's competing for the role of the monster and most people can't see it.
  86. Artistically, however, the movie delivers on a surprisingly effective scale, no matter how Lonergan sees it. Alternately perceptive, subversive, tragic and profound.
  87. Estevez treats the drama with a straight-faced, utterly earnest approach with dual respect for the material and the audience's awareness of how it can go wrong. By playing it straight, The Way never goes off the deep end.
  88. Despite its predictably cheery vibe, Being Elmo implies a certain darkness lingering beneath the surface of Clash's life.
  89. Catechism sometimes feels intentionally obscure, much like Rohal's last movie. It's essentially a hilariously brazen lark, which is reason enough to embrace it.
  90. In Sundance terms, Like Crazy qualifies as this year's "Blue Valentine," but it's more observational about the details of a doomed relationship than relentlessly bleak like the aforementioned Derek Cianfrance movie.
  91. While the contradiction of punk rock parenthood may not have a solution, The Other F Word successfully has fun with the mystery.
  92. The Artist plays around with the distinction between silent and sound cinema, resulting in the superficial entertainment value of a high concept film school joke. But it's a charming and supremely gorgeous joke -- sometimes too clever for its own good, other times not clever enough, and always at least an attractive diversion.

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