indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 580 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 79% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 19% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 14.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 77
Highest review score: 100 Barbara
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 580
580 movie reviews
  1. The magic of Uncle Boonmee is that it makes all viewers feel like the strange ones.
  2. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  3. Reichardt crafts a highly textured narrative that both invokes the mythology of the American frontier and cleverly transcends it.
  4. 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.
  5. The Troll Hunter offers high-caliber entertainment despite a low-budget production.
  6. 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.
  7. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  8. It's a frantic microcosm of life itself.
  9. 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.
  10. Despite the ongoing momentum, Sleepless Night never loses touch with its story.
  11. Ornette isn't just a love letter to the liberty of jazz rhythms; it excels at expressing them.
  12. 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."
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Before Midnight is the rare cinematic achievement that implicates alert viewers in its mission to understand the mysteries of intimate connections.
  17. Stories We Tell marks the finest of Polley's filmmaking skills by blending intimacy and intrigue to remarkable effect.
  18. 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.
  19. A wholly original and thoroughly surprising fusion of sensory overload and liberal philosophy bound to confuse and provoke in equal measures.
  20. 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Secret Disco Revolution is the doc that disco deserves – rigorous, critical and entertaining.
    • 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
    • 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.
  23. Epic in scope yet unassuming throughout, Linklater's incredibly involving chronicle marks an unprecedented achievement in fictional storytelling.
  24. At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, "The Overnighters" transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest.
    • 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
    • 89 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.
  27. Rather than building towards the finality of a single climax, Leviathan injects several of them into the tapestry of its elegant design.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Never indulging in outright scare tactics or loose improvisation, the movie primarily works like an awkward narrative that plays with perspective.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Ignore the precise religious context and it stands perfectly well as a restrained look at personal convictions in the face of certain death.
  37. 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.
  38. Showcases Jones' ability to provide ample entertainment value with sharply drawn characters in a minimalist setting.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Greene's patient, understated portrait renders a universal rite of passage in strangely alluring, poetic terms.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Herzog naturally plays up the enigma at hand with epic grandeur, occasionally overdoing it but usually hitting the mark.
  46. More meditation than movie, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is bound to mystify, awe and exasperate in equal measures.
  47. Film Socialism is a weighty, intentionally cryptic product that's easy on the eyes and heavy on the mind.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. By favoring mood over plot, "Myth" explores what it feels like to transition into youth adulthood and face harsher truths.
  51. Steve James's The Interrupters runs long, but earns its heft.
  52. Weekend builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days.
  53. With its bouncy soundtrack, deadpan humor and good-natured disposition, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is an endearing affair.
  54. Like "Afterschool," Durkin's first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. I had to see the new version twice to realize that there's so much to appreciate about this multilayered production.
  60. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia plays like "Zodiac" meets "Police, Adjective."
  61. 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.
  62. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  63. Possibly the best war movie of the year.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  67. Duplass' feisty energy is matched by DeWitt's constant smarminess, while Blunt's shy, fragile behavior balances off the forceful personalities surrounding her.
  68. Extraterrestrial can be forgiven the tangents into melodrama due to Vigalondo's seamless ability to navigate those soapy waters.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. Nobody else could fit the role of a crestfallen rocker that Paul Dano embodies in director So Yong Kim's remarkable For Ellen.
  72. 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.
  73. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Suspense is rarely delivered with such distinctive patience.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. It's incredibly uneventful and devastating all at once.
  85. Upstream Color is routinely confusing but not oppressively so; its final exquisite moments explain little yet still manage to invite you in.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. Xavier Dolan's I Killed My Mother marks the emergence of an exciting new filmmaking talent. The Montreal actor, a mere 20 years old, displays a startlingly mature perspective on human behavior in his triple threat position as writer-director-star.
  93. 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.
  94. Atmospherically, Spring Breakers is an elegant evocation of noir storytelling, littered with misdeeds with girls and guns at every turn.
  95. Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.

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