indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 700 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 The Duke of Burgundy
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 700
700 movie reviews
  1. Most segments have a fair share of cheap scares, but they also delve into the art of the build-up, as if delivering a series of grim jokes with bloody punchlines. Consider it a 21st-century take on "Tales from the Crypt."
  2. Reichardt crafts a highly textured narrative that both invokes the mythology of the American frontier and cleverly transcends it.
  3. Shot in gorgeously expressionistic black-and-white and fusing multiple genres into a thoroughly original whole, Amirpour has crafted a beguiling, cryptic and often surprisingly funny look at personal desire that creeps up on you with the nimble powers of its supernatural focus.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    “The Fast and the Furious” with wheelbarrows, Paraguayan action-thriller-romance hybrid 7 Boxes is a rollicking good time at the movies that offers breathtaking action and suspense, humor and appealing characters all in one visually flashy package.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The darker undertones of the family are handled with surprising nuance considering the first-timer behind the camera. The movie deals in open secrets, implications, and unsettling histories; a sense of alienation haunts virtually every scene.
  4. Epic in scope yet unassuming throughout, Linklater's incredibly involving chronicle marks an unprecedented achievement in fictional storytelling.
  5. On the whole, Manakamana succeeds by creating the ongoing anticipation of something, anything to happen next, a wholly unique sensation specific to its inventive design.
  6. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  7. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  8. Taking its time to let the world take shape, Short Term 12 builds to an involving series of mini-climaxes without tidying up every loose end.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ida
    Pawlikowski doesn't punish his viewers, he simply challenges them. Take the vow to dedicate your attention to Ida and you’ll be rewarded deeply.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If The Raid: Redemption was a thrashing drum solo, its sequel is the opulent symphony where every instrument is played with fevered inspiration.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    By shattering genre conventions, Silva subverts traditional perspectives on modern adulthood and finds no easy answers in the process.
  9. The movie's stakes are alternately personal and political, but Petzold's skill truly comes into focus in the tense climax, when those two aims come together with a powerful act of defiance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Secret Disco Revolution is the doc that disco deserves – rigorous, critical and entertaining.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It turns material that could have resulted in a sporadic narrative into a profound statement that the Arab Spring is a continuation of humanity's constant efforts to make a better, more just world.
  10. Rather than relish in the stark proceedings, Manuscripts Don't Burn preys on its viewers' imagination, leaving several deaths and other dreary outcomes off-screen. In the unbearable tension of its final moments, the movie arrives at an expected destination, but the outcome stings more than anything preceding it.
  11. Strickland generates a discomfiting quality that keeps the mystery of his world in play. Above all else, he taps into the intangible elements of sexual attraction by bathing them in ambiguities.
  12. First Cousin Once Removed benefits from the clarity provided by Honig's published poetry, which surfaces in voiceover narration and words on the screen, rendering the undulations of his life in sweeping abstractions.
  13. Despite the ongoing momentum, Sleepless Night never loses touch with its story.
  14. A wholly original and thoroughly surprising fusion of sensory overload and liberal philosophy bound to confuse and provoke in equal measures.
  15. Heinzerling's beautifully shot, painfully intimate look at the aging couple's struggle to survive amid personal and financial strain is both heartbreaking and intricately profound. This is a story about creative desire so strong it hurts.
  16. It's a frantic microcosm of life itself.
  17. The Troll Hunter offers high-caliber entertainment despite a low-budget production.
  18. Compared to "The Act of Killing," Oppenheimer's technique with The Look of Silence is deceptively simple, but it applies a more traditional style of documentary storytelling to extraordinary goals.
  19. The cumulative impact of The Arbor is one of claustrophobia; at times, the endlessly downbeat adventures of Dunbar and her offspring grow almost unbearably morose.
  20. The Tiniest Place calls to mind Patricio Guzmán's brilliant "Nostalgia for the Light," which focuses on the remnants of Chilean atrocities strewn about the Atacama Desert. Huezo, however, relies more on irony, juxtaposing the wartime setting with storybook images, acknowledging her distance from the events in question.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite the formulaic setup, "People, Places and Things" benefits from first-rate writing and stellar performances.
  21. Rather than building towards the finality of a single climax, Leviathan injects several of them into the tapestry of its elegant design.
  22. The magic of Uncle Boonmee is that it makes all viewers feel like the strange ones.
  23. Ornette isn't just a love letter to the liberty of jazz rhythms; it excels at expressing them.
  24. Byington excels at turning the edict that time waits for no one into a sensory experience. No matter how sly it gets, Somebody Up There Likes Me still retains that fundamental truth.
  25. Buzzard is among the first great American satires of the 21st century, its scathing indictment of capitalism delivered as a prolonged, disorienting punchline.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The movie delivers a bewitching dissection of happiness and unhappiness in love. Digging for Fire is a promising peek into the future of Swanberg, and one that only signals more to come.
  26. As with "Shotgun Stories," Nichols assembles a tense portrait of blue-collar life, while deepening his thematic interests and working on a bigger scale. Burrowing into the subconscious of a damaged man, he delivers a modern American epic with extraordinary restraint.
  27. More than a powerful elegy, 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing triumph of art and polemics: McQueen turns a topic rendered distant by history into an experience that, short of living through the terrible era it depicts, makes you feel as if you've been there.
  28. The beautiful desolation of Bombay Beach makes it difficult to describe as a documentary. Alma Har'el's directorial debut takes a nonfiction setting and displays its haunting qualities in poetic terms.
  29. Before Midnight is the rare cinematic achievement that implicates alert viewers in its mission to understand the mysteries of intimate connections.
  30. At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, "The Overnighters" transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Via his subject’s idiosyncracies – VanDyke is a habitual hand-washer and diagnosed OCD-ite – Curry starts to weave a subtle, but nonetheless eloquent critique not just of one man's compulsions, but a culture's.
  31. While adhering to an internal logic that makes each punchline land with a satisfying burst of glee, the movie nevertheless stems from genuine fury aimed a broken world. It's the rare storytelling endeavor that manages to be laughably absurd and profoundly tragic at the same time.
  32. Bigelow delivers an acute realization of the mission's execution that's eerily in sync with the way it played in the popular imagination. Visually, the events unfold as a mashup of shadowy movements with flashes of green night vision. It's simultaneously predictable and tense.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Poignant without being melodramatic, overflowing with unforced charm, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl holds a unique appeal that's certain to last.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fiennes wisely stays out of his way here. Zizek is the star, edited down to digestible elements, with archival footage used adroitly to drive his arguments home.
  33. Stories We Tell marks the finest of Polley's filmmaking skills by blending intimacy and intrigue to remarkable effect.
  34. 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.
  35. The Descendants constantly hovers on the brink of a dark comedy. But it never takes the big plug. By treading carefully, Payne has created his warmest, most earnest work, if not his best.
  36. Showcases Jones' ability to provide ample entertainment value with sharply drawn characters in a minimalist setting.
  37. Omar maintains an unsettling rhythm of suspense and sociopolitical critique throughout.
    • 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Although Madsen's survey of warning strategies has an aimless structure prone to repetition, he creates an effective mood that transcends his time-travel gimmick and eventually becomes topical.
  40. It's an unflinching update to media scholar Neil Postman's prophetic claim about the deadly impact of television on cultural identity: Smartphones in hand, we face the danger of filming ourselves to death.
  41. I had to see the new version twice to realize that there's so much to appreciate about this multilayered production.
  42. 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.
  43. It may go without saying that Poetry adopts a lyrical tone, but this forms the crux of its appeal. In this case, the title says it all.
  44. Think "Death of a Salesman" with demons.
  45. Sister may not arrive at a happy ending, but the lack of resolution -- capped off by the powerful last image --completes its journey to a place of rousing emotional clarity.
  46. 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.
  47. A rich, almost impermeably strange example of Costa's slow-burn approach to abstract storytelling, Horse Money is more subdued and cryptic than its predecessors, to the point where it might be more appropriately described as a cinematic tone poem.
  48. By favoring mood over plot, "Myth" explores what it feels like to transition into youth adulthood and face harsher truths.
  49. Upstream Color is routinely confusing but not oppressively so; its final exquisite moments explain little yet still manage to invite you in.
  50. American action movies are almost entirely defined by cutaways, blaring music cues and grunts. The Raid: Redemption, a hyper-energetic Indonesian martial arts movie, delivers an effective rebuke to that meek norm. Bones break, blood flows and swift, excessively complicated fight choreography puts virtually everything released in North America since "The Bourne Ultimatum" to instant shame.
  51. Steve James's The Interrupters runs long, but earns its heft.
  52. With its bouncy soundtrack, deadpan humor and good-natured disposition, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is an endearing affair.
  53. Never indulging in outright scare tactics or loose improvisation, the movie primarily works like an awkward narrative that plays with perspective.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    As told through Heller’s acutely sensitive vision, the result is less off-putting and more of an authentic insight into a perspective grossly underrepresented in American cinema.
  54. Jacobs, working from a script by Patrick de Witt, takes a conventional coming-of-age story and does it proud, enlivening the plot with an almost experimental portrait of alienation and despair.
  55. The conflict in The Attack is less about the reasoning behind immoral behavior than the problems involved in any cursory understanding of it.
  56. Baker once again manages to match underrepresented faces in American cinema with material that lets their personalities shine.
  57. 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.
  58. Imagine "Harold and Maude" directed by Eric Rohmer with shades of film noir and doused in philosophical chatter enhanced by ample white wine. But Domain isn't pure formula, because the subversion of expectations is its centerpiece.
  59. In Oculus, the horror is at once deceptively simple and rooted in a deep, primal uneasiness. Its scariest aspects are universally familiar.
  60. Tales from the Grim Sleeper concludes by offering up the haunting possibility that even if the killer has been caught, the systemic failures that let him get away with it for so long remain firmly in place.
  61. The reality-show aesthetic pervades the movie as well. Garrone's roaming camera style draws you into each moment with extreme close-ups and long takes that wander through each scene and get lost in it. Luciano's plight is crushing because Garrone renders it with such detail.
    • 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.
  62. Greene's patient, understated portrait renders a universal rite of passage in strangely alluring, poetic terms.
  63. In Another Country is a paragon of any given Hong movie's intrinsic charms, and yet it also manages to break from the pattern by including an English-speaking character as one of its leads.
  64. Ever as it casts their future prospects in doubt, Virunga concludes by envying the apes’ perspective most of all.
  65. 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.
  66. The Witch becomes a focused portrait of fixed rituals crumbling in the face of inexplicable forces, evoking the fear of change lurking in the shadows at every moment. Despite the setting, its scares are uniquely contemporary.
  67. Smart in spite of its irreverence, "Future Folk" is the weirdest, most enjoyable fusion of genres you'll see this year.
  68. 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.
  69. The tense, involving result confirms Sciamma's mastery over the coming-of-age drama, a genre too often reduced to its simplest ingredients.
  70. The first-time director's refreshingly credible portrait of a boho character with Middle Eastern origins rectifies the aforementioned canonical gap in a witty, naturalistic generational snapshot.
  71. Despite the unruly music at its center, the filmmaker has crafted a uniformly gentle ode to growing up.
  72. 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.
    • 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.
  73. With its persistent inventiveness and a lack of unearned sentimentality, the movie provides an antidote to a lot of lazily produced dramas about death, American or otherwise.
  74. Film Socialism is a weighty, intentionally cryptic product that's easy on the eyes and heavy on the mind.
  75. Mills fashions the set-up for an overwrought, thoroughly depressing character study into an oddly charming comedy. It's a midlife crisis gently portrayed with sympathy rather than grief.
  76. Weekend builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days.
  77. 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.
  78. '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.
  79. Nathan never condescends to Pug or his cohorts, instead smartly allowing their brazen maneuvers to run the show.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. Herzog naturally plays up the enigma at hand with epic grandeur, occasionally overdoing it but usually hitting the mark.

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