indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 977 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 73% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 25% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 12.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Creative Control
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 977
977 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Fincher likely prides himself on turning coal into diamonds at this point, but Flynn's script can feel so retrograde at times that one wonders whether it might have been better served by a De Palma, Bigelow, or even a Verhoeven — which is to say, a filmmaker less concerned with making the lascivious seem prestigious.
  1. Call it a Shakespearean catharsis or just call it a lark -- either way, the movie represents Whedon's least essential work, regardless of the material's inherent comedic inspiration.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part road-film, part-gambling excursion, and part-bromance, the film does show the influence of its talented directors. But falters when it comes down the story itself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    While The Trip to Italy offers all the pleasures of a posh holiday accompanied by two of the most inventive comedians today, the improvisation here lacks the total unexpectedness that the first enjoyed.
  2. The bigger these movies become, the smaller they feel. The more aggressively they reach for greatness, the more clearly they prove that its beyond their grasp. Marvel movies don't get much better than this. The trouble is, they don't want to.
  3. Long-time fans of Joplin's music will likely not find much new material to relish in "Janis: Little Girl Blue," and if the film earns any new acolytes for the songstress, it will be the result of Joplin's own charisma, not of the presentation of the film built so shakily around her.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Slow West certainly makes a valiant effort to reach beyond expectations of its genre, even leaving room for some welcome tongue-in-cheek humor when it's least expected. But at the end, all its waffling between various stylistic touchstones fails to hold much interest.
  4. For almost 45 minutes, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan is on pace to become the best, most urgent zombie movie since “28 Days Later.” And then — at once both figuratively and literally — this broad Korean blockbuster derails in slow-motion, sliding off the tracks and bursting into a hot mess of generic moments and digital fire.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Part of the problem with Merchants of Doubt is also part of its own argument: You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into, and a dispiriting number of people are less interested in facts than they are in confirming their own biases.
  5. Bogged down by flashbacks and flash forwards, The Bastards pointlessly mixes up its ingredients, creating a distancing effect from the tangible sadness at its core. The result is the rare case of a movie that confirms its maker's skill while wasting it on useless ambition.
  6. By virtue of its style and high stakes scenario, End of Watch is impressively tense, but then so are most episodes of "COPS," which don't suffer from the forced melodrama found here.
  7. Wan seems to critique the third act failings of The Conjuring during the alarmingly superior first half.
  8. Small touches point to a slightly better movie hiding beneath most of the routine, particularly the respectable finale that stops just short of the clichéd resolution expected of it. On the whole, however, The Way, Way Back dances to a tune we've heard too many times before.
  9. By its later scenes, Chef only finds respite from its bland qualities through the scrumptious-looking dishes constantly on display. As self-indulgent vanity projects go, this one's pretty innocuous, if only because it's always easy on the eyes.
  10. The director's murky, ill-conceived take on the world's oldest disaster story contains some of the most pristine visuals produced on a mass studio scale in some time. But it's also constantly tethered to a dull, melodramatic series of events out of whack with any traditional interpretation of the material.
  11. It's a shame that the divine and human elements of this story are put into competition, because either one might have flourished on its own.
  12. Marred by excessive sentiment, it has a buoyancy and a hook that makes it stand out -- but they're elements that would help it kill on Broadway (as it already has on the Australian stage) a lot better than it does onscreen.
  13. Rosewater is lacking in sophistication, but its attitude is infectious.
  14. Lee often seems unsure of whether he's directing a comedy or a civics lesson, and the film only finds its wings in the moments when he realizes that the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
  15. Whereas "The Avengers" felt like a reimagining of the paradigm for superhero movies, Age of Ultron has air of a rerun. Though impressively made and visually remarkable, it suffers from the hollowness that plagues so many blockbusters carrying the sense that we've been through this before.
  16. The story suffers from a distracting aura of self-importance. Vikander brings a remarkable tenderness to her character (who, in real life, left her husband's side much earlier) but Redmayne's sharp gaze and toothy smile make it virtually impossible to ignore the actorly feat on display.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Margherita's failure to elaborate on her grief is mirrored in Moretti's failure to construct a coherent film where the spectator can find a way into its meaning, rather than being caught in a confused web of suggestions, half-baked ideas and circular exposition.
  17. It's a period piece composed of familiar pieces, none of which have much to say beyond surface elements that have been explored countless times before. Using a typical coming-of-age mold, Chase turns cultural ephemera into formula.
  18. Like its tattered setting, The Rover is scattered with intriguing ideas never successfully fleshed out.
  19. There's an undeniable anthropological value to Allen's footage — imagine if one of David Koresh's most-trusted disciples had recorded every second of his time in the Heaven's Gate — but his film is far more compelling as an artifact than it is as a narrative.
  20. Writer-director David Ayer’s brash, assaultive Brad Pitt drama manages some evocative imagery and achieves visceral impact by enacting a hellacious atmosphere that never lets up — but Ayer takes the mission too literally, and winds up literally lost in the fog of war.
  21. The problem with Outside Satan is that the filmmaker has remained faithful to expectations without enlivening them. It's a curious exercise unworthy of his expertise, but then he may realize as much.
  22. It's one thing to make a minor, accomplished work after focusing on grander statements, but Julieta mainly disappoints because it feels like the kind of straightforward, unadventurous drama that the filmmaker generally excels at reinventing through his own peculiar vision. This time, he plays it too safe.
  23. Hooper's approach comes across as the equivalent of sitting in the front row of a stage play while the entire cast leans forward and blares each song into your eardrums.
  24. Although Farr layers on the creepy until the last frame of The Ones Below, the film's ultimate reveal is hardly shocking, and that the film spends a gratuitous amount time unspooling it long after it's clear what has gone down feels indulgent and unearned.
  25. Qhile the 90-year-old Pennebaker doesn't appear to deviate from the observational aesthetic that has defined his life's work, Unlocking the Cage is nevertheless an ill-fitting first for he and his partner: an issue-based film.
  26. A well-intentioned and resolutely minor period drama, "Big Eyes" isn't exactly a catastrophe, but its bland depiction of a fascinating story perhaps better served by the documentary treatment shows no evidence of the visionary creator behind the camera.
  27. Dreams of a Life unintentionally amounts to a mean-spirited snooze.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie casts a wide net, but doesn't explore its themes long enough to make any substantial points. Despite its authentic setting, Ten Thousand Saints never gets around to providing a gratifying story to accompany it.
  28. While not without its touching moments, "Mister and Pete" is inevitably defeated by its own good intentions.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    It's a shame that Guggenheim's slickly produced documentary examines such an important and fascinating story with such underwhelming results.
  29. It’s frustrating that West often scores with his few modest attempts to stamp his own imprint on the genre, as those flashes of fun hint at what this movie could have been.
  30. While the new Ghostbusters successfully empowers female movie stars, that’s not the movie’s selling point. However, it’s the only justification for its existence.
  31. Hiding behind a shaggy beard and a stoner grin, Paul Rudd plays an amusingly oblivious shlub in Our Idiot Brother, but the movie can't keep up with his comic inspiration.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    The movie is not without some small pleasures...but neither character is developed beyond broad characteristics, in spite of them occupying 95% of the film's taxing two-hour running time.
  32. Even as it celebrates the spirit of committed journalism that rises above the powerful forces designed to contain it, Kill the Messenger displays the same anesthetized quality that Webb's dedication to his job was meant to counteract. Renner is a different story.
  33. Trumbo works well enough as a general survey of Trumbo's life and career, a primer on a complicated man who endured a terrible injustice, but it fails to really engage with the material, to dig deep for significant themes and salient meanings
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Can Anna Kendrick save the movie musical with The Last Five Years? The answer is no — and yes.
  34. By no means a great piece of filmmaking, Blood Father nevertheless recaptures some of the rough attitude of Gibson's "Mad Max" days, as he shoots, growls and head-butts through a routine tale of angry drug lords.
  35. Lone Survivor is a grotesque action movie at times impressively directed by Peter Berg that combines the brute masculinity with the ugliness of the battlefield and viscerally unsettling shock value. But it's less a depiction of courage than a brutish magnification of anger and pain, both of which it conveys a lot better than the high ground that it reaches for.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    It's not a terrible film, and succeeds in giving us a play by play of an alleged dynamic between two individuals, but as a whole feels like a missed opportunity.
  36. Sarah's need to save her brother provides the initial raison d'être, but with the mystery is resolved early on Sarah's Key turns into a flimsy meditation on grief.
  37. Go For Sisters, like the filmmaker's previous features "Amigo" and "Honeydripper," sustains a feeble premise with richly defined characters and strong performances, yielding an underwhelming but nonetheless sustainable viewing experience.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Trevorrow, like so many directors given the responsibility of delivering a straightforward blockbuster designed to satisfy bottom-line expectations, struggles to find the balance between silly and serious.
  38. Paranormal Activity 3 hardly adds anything new to the situation; instead, it pretends to fill a gap while basically just heaping on one calculated "boo!" after the other.
  39. Welcome to the world of white people problems, ground zero for the strain of American comedies that Apatow does best. But does he really?
  40. Unfortunately, Lawless lacks the same darkly energizing spirit that made "The Proposition" such a revelation: It has plenty of gunplay, scowling showdowns and dust-caked setpieces, but little in the way of dynamic filmmaking to imbue those elements with life.
  41. A Hologram For the King never congeals into a single, involving story.
  42. Intentionally or not, however, Fading Gigolo actually functions as something of a statement on Allen's persona—onscreen and off—as it has been understood in the public eye. And the resulting conclusion, like the movie, is a decidedly mixed bag.
  43. Sandberg unquestionably has an eye for a great horror motif — and, given the frequent use of absolutely gut-churning ambient sounds and hair-raising scratching noises, an ear for it, too — and he’s assembled a strong cast to tell Heisserer’s expanded story, but even those smart decisions and clear talents can’t push Lights Out to brighter heights.
  44. Gyllenhaal's alarmingly effective presence is enough to act circles around the soapy narrative of a fallen athlete's comeback so tightly that it crumbles in the very first act.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Gift to Stalin could have benefited from a less complex approach, something that would've actually hit the notes the filmmaker had aimed for. Unfortunately, he needed to try it all. Little of it succeeds, which can be rather draining at times, and not in the way he intended it to be.
  45. There’s just enough history about lucha libre to make you curious to learn more.
  46. Benoît Jacquot’s The Diary of a Chambermaid is a gorgeously mounted and dramatically inert bit of fluff that drapes itself over a smoldering Léa Seydoux but never manages to catch fire.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Akin ultimately fails to make the material work, especially in the second half of the film, when it develops into a disappointing adventure story.
  47. At times Midnight's Children balances off its earnestness with a sweeping view of history and tangible human drama, but the allegorical qualities of Rushdie's novel fail to translate as anything but a shrill, on-the-nose instance of thematic overreaching.
  48. It’s a dazzling showcase of fantasy-based filmmaking in the 21st century that also manages a feeble attempt at injecting feminist politics into an antiquated narrative. Yet its eventual climax strains from the obviousness of these efforts.
  49. For all its vibrant, flamboyant aspects, “Dom Hemingway” is a resoundingly empty star vehicle. It gives Law a character too thinly crafted to justify his eccentricities. He acts his heart out for a role that has no heart.
  50. A gleefully over-the-top celebration of silliness too in love with its outrageous characters and premise to make them gel. Scene after scene features a self-satisfied kookiness akin to spending time with a terrible comic unwilling to give up the mic.
  51. While certainly the most dazzling Superman movie to hit the big screen, the 143-minute Man of Steel is also the longest, and it only justifies that heft because it leaves room to keep the effects coming.
  52. The actor's pathos and deadpan skills are buried in the material, which also suffers from a continuous lack of inspiration. It's high-minded entertainment with low ambition.
  53. In theory, Election Year offers a form of catharsis from contemporary anxieties by turning them into entertainment. Instead, this latest entry in a ridiculous franchise has become a victim of its own sick joke.
  54. While Redford frames the drama with a tense atmosphere, it doesn't shake the sense that we're watching a tame made-for-TV affair.
  55. Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby has the hallmarks of a contemporary Hollywood spectacle. It's missing the explosions, but make no mistake: Gatsby is one glitzy misfire.
  56. Magic in the Moonlight belongs to the pool of lesser Allen comedies, yet Firth and Emma Stone — as the alleged necromancer Sophie Baker, the object of Stanley's scrutiny and eventually his affections — bring all the zany energy they can muster.
  57. Even Allen himself, appearing in front of the camera for his first role since 2005's "Scoop," looks a little lost in the mess.
  58. Shows none of the edgy storytelling looniness present in Stiller's finest work. Instead, every element seems calculated to service an easygoing commercial product that plays up the sentimentality of the scenario while rendering it inoffensively bland.
  59. This is still a pretty familiar journey that's easier to pity than hate -- much like Caplan's character.
  60. Maïwenn's evidently tight control over her performances once again shows its strength within the context of individual scenes, where the characters' attitudes often convincingly shift from blithe to furious in a matter of minutes. But the overall arc of their developing relationship fails to convince.
  61. In between the meandering exchanges lies an unquestionably thoughtful interrogation of a broken system.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Eubank’s talent for creating impressive worlds with few resources is the movie's strongest aspect, but the concept feels like a never-ending exposition of technique without sufficient depth.
  62. Too robust to sink into the rhythms of a character study, but too financially limited to tell a story that matches the sweep of its director’s vision, Free State of Jones is a film divided against itself, and it cannot stand.
  63. The movie's uneven tone and ridiculous twists never quite gel, but Knock, Knock is so eager to please that it's hard not roll with the absurd depravity on display — which has been the essence of Roth's appeal from the outset.
  64. A loud, visually assaultive assemblage of genre tropes as technically accomplished as it is difficult to watch, "The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears" has plenty to impress while simultaneously offering so little.
  65. As ghost stories go, this one's done just well enough to provide reminders of how it has been done better.
  66. Nearly (but not quite) redeemed by its good nature and the megaton charisma of its two stars, Central Intelligence is a dopey blockbuster diversion that will surely keep United Airlines passengers entertained during the dog days of summer.
  67. Ultimately, Robbins’ domineering character is so well-calculated that it appears Berlinger couldn’t peer beyond the curtain even if he tried. That fascinating dilemma makes the movie worth watching even though it presents an incomplete picture.
  68. Exodus: Gods and Kings illustrates a typical contradiction of commercial entertainment: By playing it safe, the movie fails to enrich the material, and never captures the energy that has made its narrative so captivating for millennia.
  69. Those expecting a balanced perspective might be tickled by the couple's chemistry but disappointed when the film opts not to make that relationship more central to the plot.
  70. Smothered by its lighthearted approach, The Monuments Men attempts to make a grand statement about the valiance of dying for the sake of art, but fails to create it.
  71. Expert craftsmanship can't rescue Triple 9 from the constant feeling of a pulpy remix.
  72. Love plays out like the fragmented outline for a more engaging movie. But the one found here lacks substance both on the level of story and graphic reveals.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    The numerous belly laughs are undermined by jarring flashes of darkness that never organically sync with the plot.
  73. It never crystallizes into a singular experience, and instead collapses in a rush of well-intentioned innovations.
  74. Emmerich takes the story at face value and delivers a film unlike any of his others. That is to say, a boring one.
  75. Unfortunately, while Julianne Moore and Ellen Page go great lengths to make the central romance convince, Nyswaner's undercooked script and Peter Sollett's direction have the opposite effect, reducing Freeheld to a tired formula.
  76. The bone-crunching action and relentlessly blood-letting feels out of place, and as those sequences start appearing with more frequency, the film loses much of its rangy charm.
  77. Portman's screenplay shortchanges the dramatic potential of the material in favor of a by-the-numbers period piece.
  78. Ellen Barkin puts on a bold, candid performance in Cam Archer's Shit Year, but the enigmatic movie is composed of too many fragments to sustain her efforts.
  79. A supremely dense coming-of-age drama steeped in weighty blather at the expense of emotional validity.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    The Sacrament is a missed opportunity to further expand West's pallet. Instead of twisting conventions and playing with expectations, West plays into expectations.
  80. An uneven, intermittently thoughtful but largely preachy overview of WikiLeaks' rising influence that has less of an issue determining Assange's character than it does with telling a compelling story.
  81. The younger Mann goes through the motions of a gritty murder mystery with plenty of technical proficiency but only a modicum of soul. The Mann touch is not only in the DNA of the director but in her movie, which inadvertently makes the case that atmosphere is more hereditary than innovation.
  82. Eventually suffers from a lack of new ideas beyond its initial premise that finds the two brothers inadvertently swapping roles. Once that happens, the movie takes one bland twist after another.
  83. [Dolan's] crafted the semblance of a substantial movie that never quite gets where it was supposed to go.

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