indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 714 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 14.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 People, Places, Things
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 714
714 movie reviews
  1. Story comes second to Russell over the rhythms of well-timed bickering, which is a blessing and a curse in American Hustle.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    That this narrative is intense and entertaining to audiences — even those unfamiliar with the fashion world — is Tcheng's considerable accomplishment.
  2. 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.
  3. The resulting adrenaline-packed vehicle delivers a multi-directional sugar rush. It moves so quickly that the bells and whistles blur together.
  4. Helms plays angelic insurance agent Tim Lippe with gentle nobility and hilarious naivete.
  5. The Forgiveness of Blood examines the barriers of ritual and the passage from youth to adulthood in Albanian society with the perceptive detail of a grand literary feat. At the same time, it retains the simplicity of a parable.
  6. He's still cultivating his storytelling abilities, but Wheatley has clearly found his sweet spot: a darkly funny place with serious potential.
  7. Brainy and exciting at the same time, Interstellar invalidates the need for mindless Hollywood product. No matter its shortcomings, the movie achieves an impressive balancing act. It turns the mysteries of the universe into a cinematic playground, but for every profound or visually arresting moment, it also encourages you to to think.
  8. The suspense comes and goes, but A Single Shot always maintains a firm grip on its sad, deteriorating environment.
  9. 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.
  10. Joe
    If Joe marks a new beginning for some of its characters, the same description applies to its director and star.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Rock's savage wit comes through in the wry screenplay, which is loaded with topicality as it pokes fun at subjects ranging from Tyler Perry movies to Angry Birds.
  14. This admittedly uneven first feature stands out for the way it sneaks up on you.
  15. Loaded to the gills with thrill-inducing mayhem, Hobo with a Shotgun feels almost tribal in its commitment to violence.
  16. While the contradiction of punk rock parenthood may not have a solution, The Other F Word successfully has fun with the mystery.
  17. Going Clear delivers an efficient overview of Scientology's dark history with a cohesive focus on the precision of its corrupt motives.
  18. Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    In telling his story, Amalric is greatly aided by his ace cinematographer, Christophe Beaucarne, whose images pick up on a great many tiny but telling details, as if life were a mosaic composed of an almost infinite number of parts that are all equally important for the bigger picture.
    • 86 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.
  19. While We're Young is a clear-eyed satire of intergenerational tension that derives much of its comedy from a series of moments in which its mid-forties couple attempt to mesh with a younger crowder.
  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. A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  22. 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.
  23. Krisha snaps into focus whenever Shults' camera remains trained on his extraordinary lead, whose fierce commitment easily recalls a similar portrait of middle-aged alcoholism in "A Woman Under the Influence" — and, at under 90 minutes, matches its intensity in half the time.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    There’s an actual pulse and beating heart to Comet; it feels vibrant, alive.
  24. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
  25. Even when that story drags, Moonrise Kingdom could be appreciated on mute.
  26. 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 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.
  27. For all the energy of Gerwig and Kirke's shared chemistry and the lively dialogue that compliments it, the story of Mistress America never keeps pace, ultimately sagging into formula to the detriment of the potential displayed by its compelling protagonists.
  28. The extensive two-hour running time only slightly hinders a simultaneously amusing and powerful encapsulation of Brand's journey from outrageous provocateur to enlightened zealot preaching for social change.
  29. Chapiron stubbornly avoids an uplifting message, portraying his dangerous setting as a demonstration of virility that leads to madness.
    • 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.
  30. Leave it to Walken to upstage Beethoven.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    An Open Secret is an incisive and utterly unflinching look at a subject too rarely scrutinized.
  31. At its core, The Double Hour is a classic noir story of deception.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. With its palatial setting, Borgman shows how money can buy luxury, but it can't salvage the corruption that comes from within.
  38. Black Death embraces its horror roots with ample bloodshed, at which point the silly costumes and anachronistic dialogue no longer seem so absurd.
    • 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Fed Up is a glossy package that gets its warnings across loud and clear: we need to change what we eat.
  43. 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.
    • 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.
  44. Inherent Vice constantly teases at a complex meta commentary on the other movies it brings to mind, but never totally gets there.
  45. 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.
  46. You've never seen anything like Chico & Rita, simply because that jubilant palette and likeminded jazz soundtrack embraces its predictability with such vitality.
  47. Creepy implications keep Super 8 engaging, but the cast makes it click.
  48. 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.
    • 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.
  49. 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.
  50. Despite its ludicrous turns, the movie benefits from the far-fetched events for its sheer willingness to go there, not unlike Smith's goofy, self-deprecating public persona.
  51. 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.
    • 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.
  52. 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.
    • 63 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.
  53. Cold-blooded killers rarely look this pathetic, which testifies to the impressive balance of Skarsgård's amusingly low-key performance.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. In Towheads, every comic bit is weighted with an awkward blend of sadness and irreverent humor.
  57. Eventually, Soo-hyun's relentless pursuit-and-release approach outlives the director's skill and the premise starts to feel redundant.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. V/H/S 2 smartly contextualizes its nightmarish cavalcade of violence by acknowledging the luxury of enjoying it from a distance.
  64. No matter its conceptual intentions, It Follows never ventures too far from visceral horror. Mitchell populates a number of scenes with well-timed jump scares as the being frequently bursts out of the shadows or appears in unexpected forms, while the score provides a screaming punctuation mark.
  65. West, who demonstrated a penchant for extensive build-ups in "The House of the Devil" and "Trigger Man," continually makes it unclear if the inn actually harbors a ghost or if his heroine (Sara Paxton) has simply imagines it. Both she and her hilariously frazzled co-worker (Pat Healy of "Great World of Sound") want to believe in supernatural affairs for the thrill factor alone.
  66. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Huppert gives a virtuoso performance here — not only because she deftly meets the extreme physical challenges of her role, but by playing Maud with unabashed humor and heart.
  67. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. Maintains a funny and sad focus on its single petulant subject.
  71. 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.
  72. Political only by implication, Zero Bridge works in a larger sense as a story of universal longing.
  73. Pina is a beautiful, heartfelt ode and a delicious feast for the eyes, but not an essential work of art on its own terms.
  74. Before its spell unravels with overdone theatricality and on-the-nose flashbacks, Caterpillar succeeds as a kind of representational horror movie.
  75. The filmmaker is ultimately better at constructing nuanced environments and troubled figures than making every piece of the equation gel as a whole. But that's a minor issue in the overall tapestry of Chandor's carefully designed world.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. The Divide manages to transcend its numerous flaws while indulging them: No matter where it falters, the underlying purpose stays put.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. Post Mortem portrays the specter of dictatorship through the lens of one man's private hell.
  83. The real triumph of Obvious Child involves its ability to make familiar ingredients work just fine on their own terms. In doing so, it makes up for a lot of lost time in the pantheon of female-centric comedies, and studios would be wise to take note.
  84. 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."
  85. Love & Mercy is an engrossing portrait of Wilson's specific artistic inclinations, which draw from no real precedent.

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