Indiewire's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,263 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 10.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Raid 2
Lowest review score: 0 Warcraft
Score distribution:
1263 movie reviews
  1. For a biblically-scaled film cycle so rich with irony that it seems to be chipping off the walls of the brutalist apartment complex where most of it takes place, perhaps the greatest irony of them all is that Dekalog is ultimately defined by its humility.
  2. Epic in scope yet unassuming throughout, Linklater's incredibly involving chronicle marks an unprecedented achievement in fictional storytelling.
  3. Moonlight transforms rage and frustration into unadulterated intimacy. In this mesmerizing portrait of a suffocating world, the only potential catharsis lies in acknowledging it as Chiron so deeply wishes he could. Despite the somber tone, Moonlight is a beacon of hope for the prospects of speaking up.
  4. The final beats of Guadagnino’s adaptation galvanize two hours of simmering uncertainty into a gut-wrenchingly wistful portrait of two people trying to find themselves before it’s too late.
  5. While the storytelling grows frustratingly elliptical, Lelio so desperate to constrain the drama that he resorts to removing helpful pieces of it, the scenes that remain are succinct and evocative.
  6. 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.
  7. It's Lonergan's masterfully subtle writing, littered with awkward exchanges that speak far louder than any cohesive monologue, that gives "Manchester" its humanity.
  8. Gravity lets you visit space without sugarcoating its dangers. It's a brilliant portrait of technology gone wrong that uses it just right.
  9. By the end of I Am Not Your Negro, Baldwin’s words have transcended the boundaries of their era and become timeless, functioning as both a celebration of cultural survival and a warning that the battle for its survival won’t stop anytime soon.
  10. A nuanced tale of mutual attraction that reflects a filmmaker and cast operating at the height of their powers, rendering complex circumstances in strikingly personal terms.
  11. Ever as it casts their future prospects in doubt, Virunga concludes by envying the apes’ perspective most of all.
  12. 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.
  13. It's a frantic microcosm of life itself.
  14. Before Midnight is the rare cinematic achievement that implicates alert viewers in its mission to understand the mysteries of intimate connections.
  15. Anchored by a sensational Charlotte Rampling as its lead, the movie combines Haigh's perceptive style with shades of Mike Leigh's "Another Year" to create a quietly moving and deceptively tragic look at aging romance haunted by past mysteries.
  16. Mr. Turner is a first-rate match of director and subject. Less an explication of the man's genius than an immersion into its essence.
  17. Pull back from the moment-to-moment thrill of Inside Out and it gets very deep: The scenario implicitly questions standard definitions of free will by suggesting that we're all slaves to ghosts in the machine.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. the film isn't always successful at justifying its heft, repeating the central father-daughter tension innumerable times before the pair finally start to make some progress. It's only thanks to the two actors' extraordinary authenticity that the film continues to work as long as it does.
  21. The overly earnest movie falls below the rich ambiguities that Keaton brings to the part, resulting in a measured drama so restrained it sometimes underserves the material. Where "Birdman" magnified Keaton's talent, Spotlight leans on it.
  22. La La Land is magically in tune with its reference points even as falls a few notes short of their greatness.
  23. An ode to art for art's sake, Inside Llewyn Davis is the most innocent movie of the Coens' career, which in their case is a downright radical achievement.
  24. Shrouded in grief and chilly to the core, Andrew Dominik’s mournful documentary One More Time With Feeling is at once sobering in tone and intoxicating in style.
  25. When the concept really clicks, Casting JonBenet operates as a darkly entertaining look at how gossip can fuel legend to the point where truth loses its relevance.
  26. Rather than building towards the finality of a single climax, Leviathan injects several of them into the tapestry of its elegant design.
  27. Mind-blowing in the best possible way, The Ornithologist may not work for everyone, but those willing to embrace its puzzling ingredients will find a rewarding solution: further confirmation of a genuine film artist.
  28. 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.
  29. Though its final act lacks the sharp focus of the moments leading up to it, Tower is a fascinating blend of suspense and journalistic inquiry.
  30. Stories We Tell marks the finest of Polley's filmmaking skills by blending intimacy and intrigue to remarkable effect.
    • 91 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.
  31. The sturdiest ingredient in 13TH is the testimony from people who clearly know what they’re talking about.
  32. 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.
  33. "Mad Max" doesn't just depict conflicts with evildoers in a tattered existence. It delivers a rare alternative to aggressively stupid action movies. At a time of great need, Max rides again.
  34. Story comes second to Russell over the rhythms of well-timed bickering, which is a blessing and a curse in American Hustle.
  35. Carried by an appropriately low-key Adam Driver and Jarmusch's casual genius for capturing offhand remarks, Paterson is his most absorbing character study since "Broken Flowers" -- and far more grounded in real life. There's no context necessary to recognize it as his most personal work.
  36. 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.
  37. At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, "The Overnighters" transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest.
  38. Lowery manages to find entertainment value and genuine intrigue from his outlandish scenario, synthesizing the magical realism of his earlier films with a tighter grasp of tone.
  39. Elle doesn't always maintain the clever balance of naughtiness and dramatic confrontations that make it such an appealingly unconventional romp.
  40. A remarkable refashioning of the Holocaust drama that reignites the setting with extraordinary immediacy, Son of Saul is both terrifying to watch and too gripping in its moment-to-moment to look away.
  41. Much of the movie relies on Cotillard's jittery expressions as she veers from tentatively hopeful to despondent and back again, sometimes within a matter of minutes, reflecting the ever-changing stability of job security among the lower class.
  42. Hoss' portrayal of a woman at odds with her surroundings is in a class by itself.
  43. Winsome, sweet, and often very funny, The Other Side of Hope is more of the same from Kaurismäki, and thank God for that.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. The endless chaos of nature embodies the abstract threat of imminent destruction; by imbuing these shots with a combination of mystical allure and darker possibilities, Diaz creates a haunting atmosphere that makes it possible to absorb the story even when it slows to a crawl.
  47. 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Revealing both the dangers and payoffs of artistic ambition, Whiplash is sure to establish Chazelle as a directorial force to be reckoned with.
  48. Things to Come may lack the urgency or cool that flecks the writer-director’s previous movies, but this is perhaps her richest piece to date, a warm, funny and profoundly sensitive portrait of letting go and learning to make new memories.
  49. While it has many familiar ingredients — from the atmosphere to the ensemble of Anderson regulars in nearly every role — in its allegiance to Anderson's vision, everything about The Grand Budapest Hotel is a welcome dose of originality.
  50. While it doesn't always earn its heft, Winter Sleep is both subdued and rich in details, its plot growing slowly over a series of extensive conversations. It's a robust, challenging experience he's been building toward with his previous features, as well as an adventurous step above them.
  51. Kechiche excels at capturing his protagonist's emergence in the world.
  52. Poitras, an expert filmmaker as keyed into pace and mood as the topic they support, delivers a mesmerizing look at both how Snowden managed to release his information as well as why it all matters.
  53. Grounded in lively performances by Chris Pine and Ben Foster as a pair of bank-robbing brothers, with a capable assist from a no-nonsense Jeff Bridges as the sheriff on their tail, Hell or High Water tries nothing new but delivers a fun ride.
  54. A disorienting puzzle of a movie with many exhilarating pieces, Anomalisa nevertheless maintains a straightforward trajectory involving Michael's internal strife.
  55. Moment to moment, Birdman manages to shift gears, its roaming camera revealing new surprises as it glides along. That degree of unpredictability provides it with the ultimate response to the sea of formulaic mediocrities at the center of its critique.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Though Braga's performance sometimes outshines Mendonça's leisurely two-and-a-half hour narrative, in its better moments the two work in marvelous harmony.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Brooklyn showcases a number of appealing ingredients, but ultimately lacks an adequate story to prop them up.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Opting for an observational mode that is nevertheless highly stylized, Rosi understands that an urgent frontline missive needn’t be ugly.
  59. Despite the unruly music at its center, the filmmaker has crafted a uniformly gentle ode to growing up.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. The magic of Uncle Boonmee is that it makes all viewers feel like the strange ones.
  63. Director Bennett Miller has produced a warm and generally agreeable character study about the pratfalls of athletic institutions and the willingness to think outside the box.
  64. 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.
  65. Love & Friendship may not be traditional Austen, but it's pretty stellar Stillman.
  66. At two and a half hours, Lincoln contains only a single battle scene in its opening seconds. The rest is pure talk, a keen dramatization of Doris Kearns Goodwin's tome "Team of Rivals," that delivers an overview of Lincoln's crowning achievement in chunks of strategy talk.
  67. Director Lenny Abrahamson seamlessly translates Donoghue's work into cinematic terms with his relentlessly compelling adaptation. However, the drama owes just as much to its two stars, Brie Larson and newcomer Jacob Tremblay, whose textured performances turn outrageous circumstances into a tense and surprisingly credible survival tale.
  68. It's a sad, thoughtful depiction of midwestern eccentrics regretting the past and growing bored of the present, ideas that Payne regards with gentle humor and pathos but also something of a shrug.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. A nuanced portrait of a city in flux (or decline) that uses the impressionableness of adolescence to shake our own understanding of gentrification and its residual effects, Little Men is that rarest of beasts: a truly hopeful heartbreaker.
  72. What Now? Remind Me sketches out the tragedy of living a full life and being aware of it slipping away.
  73. 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.
  74. Herzog naturally plays up the enigma at hand with epic grandeur, occasionally overdoing it but usually hitting the mark.
  75. The Big Sick plays less like a great movie than a platform for its appealing tone, but it’s so well acted and dense with insights into the culture clash at its center that nothing about the central dynamic is strained.
  76. 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.
  77. Ignore the precise religious context and it stands perfectly well as a restrained look at personal convictions in the face of certain death.
  78. More traditional in terms of atmosphere and plot, Drug War nevertheless features a tense, unstoppable momentum, a morally ambiguous protagonist and hugely involving action scenes.
  79. This is a quiet little masterpiece of images, each one rich with meaning, that collectively speak to a universal process.
  80. 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.
  81. It’s at once a celebration of individuality and its potential to unnerve those who resist it.
  82. Gemini resists easy categorization, evades tidy plot points and sometimes lead to frustrating dead ends. But it’s an absorbing world defined by open-ended possibilities, a kind of comedic psychological thriller in which the thrills exist in air quotes.
  83. Steve James's The Interrupters runs long, but earns its heft.
  84. Hirokazu Kore-eda may only make good movies, but After the Storm is one of his best.
  85. 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.
  86. Shot over the course of several years, the movie blends an intimate perspective with trenchant investigative chops, uncovering a transitory figure whose romantic ideals give way to a harsh reality check.
  87. A testament to the power of community to heal the deepest wounds, My Life As A Zucchini takes on heavy subject matter with a light hand, and comes up with a delightful tale that is equal parts wrenching and uplifting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Amy
    Kapadia leaves it up to the audience to determine whether Winehouse's situation could truly have gone another way. Whether he has or hasn’t captured the true essence of the singer may require further debate, but what’s beyond question is that Amy is an extraordinary, powerful work.
  88. The Treasure may not be a major work from Porumboiu or his filmmaking tradition, but it proves that even cerebral formalism has its soft side.
  89. Baker once again manages to match underrepresented faces in American cinema with material that lets their personalities shine.
  90. The tense, involving result confirms Sciamma's mastery over the coming-of-age drama, a genre too often reduced to its simplest ingredients.
  91. 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.
  92. Princess is an arresting and taxing film experience, and although Ezer’s execution and vision are clear-eyed and she’s portraying experiences that still (tragically) occur in the real world, it’s difficult to wonder what the film itself is hoping to accomplish.
  93. I had to see the new version twice to realize that there's so much to appreciate about this multilayered production.
  94. It portrays the struggle from the inside, from about as far from the filter of mainstream media as one can get, capturing tense shootouts and the extremes of revolutionary spirit in unnerving detail.
  95. 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.

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