indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 594 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 14.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Meek's Cutoff
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 594
594 movie reviews
  1. Maintains a funny and sad focus on its single petulant subject.
  2. Transitioning back into a scripted dynamic after his quasi-documentary performance excursions with "Bruno" and "Borat," Baron Cohen loses none of his edge, combining slapstick inspiration and social commentary into a hilariously provocative blend.
  3. Even when that story drags, Moonrise Kingdom could be appreciated on mute.
  4. Prometheus is an unquestionable good time, one of the best big-screen science fiction accomplishments since 'Avatar.'
  5. If nothing else, this memorable effort eloquently displays Hushpuppy's fragile understanding of her world, where the only certainty is that nothing lasts forever. That makes "Beasts" into a gigantic triumph even when it falls apart.
  6. Magic Mike casts a seriously entertaining spell.
  7. While overlong and occasionally too reliant on a formulaic set of motives to drive the action forward, Easy Money retains its suave composure right through the engrossing finale.
  8. If you've never heard of LCD Soundsystem or cared much for the group's work, Shut Up and Play the Hits still manages to explore the prospects of fame and contemporary rock music's lasting relevance.
  9. Slickly made if not particularly stylish, the movie maintains its entertainment value for picking ideal models of American excess.
  10. Recently released from jail, Ai's full story remains to be told, but Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry competently summarizes his lasting relevance, regardless of what may happen next.
  11. With an eye for gritty, shameless fun, Friedkin unleashes the play's guilty pleasure center. Friedkin holds nothing back, but it's Letts' rambunctious plotting that enables the director to chart a path to the wild climax.
  12. For a quarter of a century -- unbeknownst to most Americans, including Rodriguez's original producers -- the singer landed a massive following in the country where his humanitarian outlook provided an escape for many disgruntled youth struggling under apartheid, elevating him to the stature of a "South African Elvis."
  13. Sleepwalk With Me calls to mind Judd Apatow's "Funny People" for its focus on the eccentric, obsessive nature of the wannabe comic's mind.
  14. Robot and Frank succeeds where "Ted" fails because, unlike McFarlane, Schreier and Ford render the relationship between the human character and the robot in largely credible terms.
  15. While visually scrumptious, the movie struggles to reach a greater profundity that it never quite obtains, but its childlike emulation of a grand tragedy is indelibly precious.
  16. Produced by Keanu Reeves, this talking heads survey of the transition from shooting on film to digital video is against all odds an imminently watchable overview, and not only because Reeves has decent interview skills.
  17. A gigantic physique hides the fragile man beneath and Matthiesen ably follows the journey of that persona as it tunnels through mounds of muscle to reach the surface. In essence, the lion finds his courage.
  18. The closest Brügger comes to explaining his style is an early statement on the duality of his mission to go "beyond all moral boundaries known to man while still being a respectable member of society." It's a goal enacted less with a coy wink than with a violent elbow jab to the ribs.
  19. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  20. Equally a slick political thriller, intelligent period piece and sly Hollywood satire, Ben Affleck's Argo maintains a careful balance between commentary and entertainment value.
  21. Burton's id explodes onto the screen with a plethora of demonic mutated critters.
  22. In its finer moments, however, Lee translates the book's wondrous prose into grand visual conceits meant for the big screen. Posited as a story that "will make you believe in god," instead it has the power to confirm one's faith in the cinematic experience.
  23. A personal work not because the director chooses to make himself a part of the story, but rather because he implicates all of us in it.
  24. Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
  25. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
  26. Beneath the pixelated gags, the stakes are relatively familiar. However, much of the humor in Wreck-It Ralph riffs on the nostalgia associated with real games.
  27. Leave it to Walken to upstage Beethoven.
  28. A surprisingly enjoyable tongue-in-cheek New York comedy from "Clueless" director Amy Heckerling, Vamps teeters on the brink of not quite working and yet still routinely lands its laughs.
  29. The story retains an inscrutable tone that sometimes makes its emotional qualities feel remote, but it still delivers a powerful message about the challenge of self-diagnosis by rooting it in universal experience
  30. Wright's extraordinary long takes draw you into the universe of Anna Karenina with a seamless approach that a straightforward literary adaptation could never accomplish.
  31. Gibney's narrative drags to some extent when the focus widens to explore the Vatican's overall policy for covering up sex scandals, but he successfully demonstrates the systematic failure of a system designed work flawlessly on the basis of spirituality that never existed in the first place.
  32. While its main characters are tough-minded, Rust and Bone is itself pure heart.
  33. Beware of Mister Baker won the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, perhaps because it was the best embodiment of a recent trend in the non-fiction realm.
  34. A bonafide family drama, proof that the noir has humanistic roots. It left me feeling thankful for persistent movie traditions.
  35. The movie isn't political so much as philosophical, trashing the notion of the American dream as anything more than fodder for an endless rat race.
  36. By making the inanimate animate, they make nature come to life, and so does Convento.
  37. More blatantly an exercise in style than anything on par with the director's crowning achievements, and suffers to some degree from the predictability of its premise.
  38. The scenes pile up with frenetic intensity; as with Soderbergh's other recent exercises in the suspense genre, no single cutaway goes wasted.
  39. While not his best work, Like Someone in Love is a nimble expression of Kiarostami's appeal: He remains one of the few directors capable of pulling you into a narrative and making you question its motives at every turn.
  40. Intermittently action-packed and lethargic, the movie dances around formula. By delivering an expressionistic character study with bursts of intensity unlike anything else in his oeuvre and yet stylistically representative of its entirety, Wong practically has it both ways.
  41. Rubberneck has more in common with the growing Karpovsky oeuvre than it may appear -- and even inadvertently critiques it.
  42. To the Wonder renders the familiar terrain of romantic dysfunction on a grand scale. Malick haters may not change their tune, but at least they can admit that To the Wonder maintains a consistent thematic focus.
  43. Fruitvale is largely sustained by Jordan's career-making performance and the way Coogler uses it to analyze his subject...It's a fascinating investigation into the contrast between media perception and intimate truths.
  44. A stitched-together combo of outlaw energy and bittersweet romance that gives the impression of Little Rascals in the big city. Like the graffiti art it documents, it's a lovingly handmade affair.
  45. Moors isolates a well-known drama with the fleeting nonfiction prologue and explores it from the inside out: It's not an attempted reenactment, but it does aim to get at certain truths.
  46. Chapiron stubbornly avoids an uplifting message, portraying his dangerous setting as a demonstration of virility that leads to madness.
  47. Boyle's filmmaking style has a marvelous rhythm that weaves pop sensibilities into fluid and persistently exciting narrative experiences; he shakes these ingredients like colored sand in a jar, leading a fascinating degree of discombobulation.
  48. In its wonderfully irreverent way, Wrong makes it clear that this reality is never to be trusted as anything more than a succession of strange moments that coalesce into an abstract representation of the subjectivity that traps us all. This is the essence of new film noir, which challenges our perceptions through a series of compellingly ambiguous moments.
  49. If nothing else, Blancanieves offers an excellent case for revisiting the early days of cinema -- and for recognizing how much has been lost in its absence. While "The Artist" recalled the silent film industry, Blancanieves solely pays tribute to the art.
  50. He's still cultivating his storytelling abilities, but Wheatley has clearly found his sweet spot: a darkly funny place with serious potential.
  51. The filmmakers have crafted seriously derivative fun that plays like "Scream" molded with "Cabin Fever" in the twisted universe of "Final Destination." It's a familiar ride, but a relentlessly wild one as well.
  52. Nothing about Dead Man's Burden reeks of homage to oaters of yore -- instead, Moshé has made a legitimate entry in a genre he clearly adores.
  53. Berberian Sound Studio constructs a perpetually strange, unseemly series of events overshadowed (and sometimes consumed by) the spooky movie-within-a-movie that hangs over every scene.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The film seems to have been made to suggest something of Faulkner's style in a cinematic medium, and it's certainly laudable that there have been very few concessions to the marketability of a project like this.
  54. With its palatial setting, Borgman shows how money can buy luxury, but it can't salvage the corruption that comes from within.
  55. Gray's fifth directorial effort is a conflicting experience admirable and powerfully executed in parts, cold and meandering in others.
  56. At times a rich, intimate observation of emerging sexuality, the movie also maintains a quiet, observational rhythm that peaks around wintertime when things grow dark for the character and then more or less watches her grow up.
  57. V/H/S 2 smartly contextualizes its nightmarish cavalcade of violence by acknowledging the luxury of enjoying it from a distance.
  58. Directed by Blume's son Lawrence, this gentle drama based on Blume's 1981 novel works surprisingly well considering the numerous trappings of the material, while demonstrating exactly why it's so difficult to bring Blume's work to the screen.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Rises above the over-tired gross-out comedy genre partly because of its meta celebrities-parodying-themselves trick, but it mostly stands out because it's genuinely funny.
  59. A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  60. Big Words at times seems like it's heading towards a microbudget version of "Hustle and Flow," but Drumming aims for a much smarter and subdued look at the various regrets and hang-ups haunting men of a certain age. Their blackness is only one piece of the puzzle.
  61. Combing a memorably gritty Ryan Gosling performance with the breakneck tempo of the getaway cars his character handles for hire, Refn churns out a hyperactive love letter to road rage with unapologetic glee. It's a total blast.
  62. Blue Jasmine belongs to Blanchett, who appears in almost every scene and frees it from the limitations of Allen's style, pushing it to far sharper results than any of the more traditional movies, good and bad, that he's churned out in the past dozen or so years.
  63. Dealin' With Idiots is powered by a cast of terrific character actors.
  64. Anchored by a funny and especially credible performance by newcomer Miles Teller, Ponsoldt's follow up to his alcoholism portrait "Smashed" has all the hallmarks of a bittersweet teen drama with flashes of realistic comedy on par with "Say Anything" and "The Breakfast Club."
  65. Make no mistake: Mickle wants to make you jump and scream, but death only arrives in this movie once its world comes to life, which makes each sudden turn all the more intense.
  66. Before all else, Villneuve's grim chronicle of the fallout when two young girls vanish in a small town succeeds at crafting one powerfully suspenseful moment after another.
  67. In its revelations of Salinger's flaws, the documentary capably strips away the fanaticism associated with his books to create the impression of a human being.
  68. There's a certain elegant simplicity to the movie's execution that maintains a spirit of familiarity but also keeps the material afloat.
  69. The grim subtext of The Wind Rises goes largely unacknowledged, leading to a gaping hole in this otherwise beautifully realized narrative that celebrates the power of curiosity as a motivating force.
  70. Joe
    If Joe marks a new beginning for some of its characters, the same description applies to its director and star.
  71. It's impossible to look away -- not only because the sense of anticipation is so vivid, but because there's no other way to follow the bizarre plot than keep with it.
  72. No stranger to crafting excessive anticipation, Reichardt has funneled that skill into thriller clothing. However, like all of her output, nothing is as simple as it looks.
  73. A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer's movie is ultimately too aimlessly weird to make its trippy narrative fully satisfying, but owes much to Johansson's intense commitment to a strangely erotic and unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.
  74. The suspense comes and goes, but A Single Shot always maintains a firm grip on its sad, deteriorating environment.
  75. The curious thing about C.O.G is that it doesn't play like a straightforward adaptation. Much of the mood comes from ingredients that have nothing to do with story or dialogue.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Myers brings energy to his first film the way he brought it to his early comedy – a little too much.
  76. With "Gravity" around the corner, Metallica Through the Never isn't the year's most groundbreaking achievement, but it's surely the most earth-shattering, and that's enough to make it one helluva comeback story.
  77. Gavras never forces the material into allegorical turf; it's a relatively straightforward look at the ramifications of getting blinded by dollar signs, with perhaps one of the most clearly defined visions of economic depravity since "Wall Street."
  78. Teller's rough, uncomplicated filmmaking style does little to elaborate on Jenison's story, as the subject's unending curiosity singlehandedly carries each scene.
  79. Macdonald's movie is a kind of fairy tale. While in the Marvel franchises, the good guys always win, The House I Live In explores the far more tangible process of simply remaining alive at all costs -- and finding, against impossible odds, justification for living through another day.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Wiseman takes it all in, but don’t fall victim to the common error of ascribing objectivity to the veteran docmaker. Wiseman is a radical shaper and editor of his subjects.
  80. Schroeder tracks the end of innocence in much the same way that the strip captured it each time out. Unlike "Salinger," he hardly makes a spectacle out of Watterson's secluded tendencies. The pileup of interview subjects speak eloquently on his behalf.
  81. Edited in a frenzied mashup of concert fragments and off-stage exchanges, The Punk Singer generally overcomes its rough production values by realizing the energy of Hanna's achievements in terms of her passion and physical prowess.
  82. It's been so long since Lee made such a thoroughly amusing work that fans should have no problem excusing its messiness. But make no mistake... Oldboy is all over the place, sometimes playing like a subdued melodrama and elsewhere erupting into flamboyance and gore.
  83. Story comes second to Russell over the rhythms of well-timed bickering, which is a blessing and a curse in American Hustle.
  84. The Last of the Unjust rewards those willing to invest in Lanzmann's pensive technique with a complex tale that's alternately sad, enlightening, unexpectedly witty and ultimately exhausting, but carried along throughout by Lanzmann's commitment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Nymphomaniac is indeed a major work that tries and, to a large extent, succeeds to organically synthesize the world, ideas and filmmaking savvy of von Trier in one sprawling and ambitious cinematic fable. Somewhat shockingly given the subject matter, the most stimulating material in Nymphomaniac isn't the explicit sex but how sexuality is discussed and understood.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    At its best, the film doesn't strain for meaning but instead treats all of its intellectualizing as a lark that can be taken seriously but doesn't need to be.
  85. Douglas Miller's Dinosaur 13 is both awe-inspiring and tragic. Conventionally made but featuring an undeniably compelling story at its core, Miller’s debut benefits greatly from the combination of passion and sadness embedded in its subjects’ tale.
  86. In Towheads, every comic bit is weighted with an awkward blend of sadness and irreverent humor.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Even as it delivers an emotional wallop, not every moment of "Calvary" goes down smoothly, as comedic scenes transition somewhat abruptly to tragic moments and the final reveal never reaches the heights of its Hitchockian inspirations.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The Babadook isn't a transcendent horror film. But its ability to handle and manipulate the conventional tropes apparent in so many of its peers makes it a satisfying ride.
  87. Sweetly funny and relatable, Happy Christmas builds on the director's previous work by channeling its strong aspects — naturalism and self-effacing, true-to-life humor — into a relatively straightforward but utterly enjoyable character study.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Drawing from the wellspring of her own life, Forbes' agile tone allows the film to indulge in heartbreak and humor with equal measure.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Even if the film doesn't leave much to ponder past the closing credits, it's enjoyable while it's unfolding, doing justice to the strengths of Shelton's ever-expanding filmography.
  88. Treasuring small victories and mood above all else, Land Ho! makes it possible to engage with its subjects' pathos and experience their sense of renewal along with them.
  89. There are moments when Tragos and Palermo run the risk of transforming their subjects into tools exploited for the sake of the movie's artistic vision, but the best part of Rich Hill is that its participants rise above the limitations of the material.
  90. Savagely assaulting the desperate state of a blue collar family man, the comedic thriller Cheap Thrills establishes a ridiculous premise early on and takes it to various extremes, again and again, until you just have to accept the crazy venture on its own terms or simply give up.

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