indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 827 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 76% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 22% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 14.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Manakamana
Lowest review score: 0 Pixels
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 827
827 movie reviews
  1. Creed does justice to its roots while trying something new.
  2. The climax is a little too clever and far-fetched-an unnecessarily neat finale for a movie that works fine when dealing in broad strokes, some of which are nothing short of masterful.
  3. Ornette isn't just a love letter to the liberty of jazz rhythms; it excels at expressing them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. Big Words at times seems like it's heading towards a microbudget version of "Hustle and Flow," but Drumming aims for a much smarter and subdued look at the various regrets and hang-ups haunting men of a certain age. Their blackness is only one piece of the puzzle.
  9. 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.
  10. While at times too over-the-top and operatic for its own good, those same flawed ingredients echo the rough edges that define the movie's iconic subject.
  11. With its bouncy soundtrack, deadpan humor and good-natured disposition, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is an endearing affair.
  12. Produced by Keanu Reeves, this talking heads survey of the transition from shooting on film to digital video is against all odds an imminently watchable overview, and not only because Reeves has decent interview skills.
  13. A four-and-a-half hour period piece littered with interconnected events spread across many years, it moves forward with fits of intrigue, interspersed with casual developments that deaden its momentum and call into question its monumental running time.
  14. Love Is Strange is a sophisticated take on contemporary urbanity infused with romantic ideals and the tragedy of their dissolution.
  15. 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.
  16. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia plays like "Zodiac" meets "Police, Adjective."
  17. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  18. 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.
  19. While the rousing tale of espionage has plenty of appealingly old-fashioned qualities, there's no doubting Spielberg's ability to devise visually arresting moments that speak to the movie's themes far better than its story.
  20. Clocking in at a slim 85 minutes, the whole thing flies by quite pleasingly, a warm and funny feature that reasserts the value of high quality visuals and attention to detail.
  21. Though anchored by a affecting and sullen turn by Channing Tatum, the movie derives its primary discomfiting power from Steve Carell in a revelatory performance as a monster of American wealth.
  22. 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.
  23. Weekend builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days.
  24. Though Villeneuve magnifies the pervasive dread surrounding the modern drug war, he's better at conveying the thrill of creeping through that battlefield than the complex set of interests sustaining it.
  25. Greene's patient, understated portrait renders a universal rite of passage in strangely alluring, poetic terms.
  26. 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.
  27. At times more in line with "Blazing Saddles" than the grimly bawdy qualities that define many bonafide oaters, Django Unchained erupts with a conceptual brilliance from the outset that never fully meshes with its clumsy storyline. Nevertheless, it's a giddy ride.
  28. 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.
  29. In the struggle to tell a story, Panahi reveals the redemptive power of art. No longer issuing desperate pleas, he has turned to cinema for the sake of survival.
  30. As with every beautiful, unearthly segment of "Pigeon," the only certainty is life's endlessly puzzling nature.
  31. A stitched-together combo of outlaw energy and bittersweet romance that gives the impression of Little Rascals in the big city. Like the graffiti art it documents, it's a lovingly handmade affair.
  32. 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.
  33. An expertly crafted noir-like depiction of Chubbuck's descent into psychological duress, Campos' grim character study makes up for an occasionally stifling icy tone with a stunning lead performance by Hall.
  34. Upstream Color is routinely confusing but not oppressively so; its final exquisite moments explain little yet still manage to invite you in.
  35. Possibly the best war movie of the year.
  36. TransFatty Lives stands out less for its inherently emotional topic than the appealing personality at its center.
  37. Inherent Vice constantly teases at a complex meta commentary on the other movies it brings to mind, but never totally gets there.
  38. 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.
  39. Despite its shortcomings, The World's End glistens with a comedic energy not present in equivalent mainstream blockbusters.
  40. Recently released from jail, Ai's full story remains to be told, but Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry competently summarizes his lasting relevance, regardless of what may happen next.
  41. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  42. Though at times almost too peculiar for its own good, The Lobster brings Lanthimos' distinct blend of morbid, deadpan humor and surrealism to a broader canvas without compromising his ability to deliver another thematically rich provocation.
  43. The contrast between the movie’s traditional execution and Stritch’s domineering powers create the lingering sense that she may be the project’s true auteur.
  44. Snazzily directed by J.J. Abrams with vibrant effects and a busy plot that sets the whole franchise in motion all over again, The Force Awakens delivers on expectations with a fun, polished space odyssey that embraces the appeal of the originals.
  45. As commercial entertainment, The Martian delivers on expectations of a "smart" blockbuster even as it adheres to the formula of a relatively simple feel-good drama. Though "Interstellar" aimed for more ambition, The Martian plays it safer: It's a brainy studio effort that sticks to familiar ground in more ways than one.
  46. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  47. Slickly made if not particularly stylish, the movie maintains its entertainment value for picking ideal models of American excess.
  48. Love & Mercy is an engrossing portrait of Wilson's specific artistic inclinations, which draw from no real precedent.
  49. Serra's typically cerebral direction has a more vibrant quality due to the clarity of his images, though certain drawn-out sequences have an alienating effect on the drama. Still, Story of My Death manages to connect its profound aims with a devious atmosphere to match the turn of the century backdrop.
  50. Although wobbly in parts like so many cinematic anthologies, Garrone's alternately silly and entrancing adaptation of Giambattista Basile's Neapolitan stories provides a welcome gothic antidote to more stately treatments of similar material.
  51. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  52. Going Clear delivers an efficient overview of Scientology's dark history with a cohesive focus on the precision of its corrupt motives.
  53. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  54. With the shift from conventional rock doc into something more sophisticated, As the Palaces Burn remains enthralling all the way through.
  55. Berberian Sound Studio constructs a perpetually strange, unseemly series of events overshadowed (and sometimes consumed by) the spooky movie-within-a-movie that hangs over every scene.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Littered with clever dialogue, a beautifully constructed narrative, as well as moments that shift between the energizing and sheer terror, there are a slew of endearing qualities worth sifting through.
  56. 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.
  57. The Last of the Unjust rewards those willing to invest in Lanzmann's pensive technique with a complex tale that's alternately sad, enlightening, unexpectedly witty and ultimately exhausting, but carried along throughout by Lanzmann's commitment.
  58. Mungiu's method creates the feeling of being submerged in a maze of confrontations and chatter, but the build-up gets so tiring that the concluding scenes come as a relief instead of a payoff.
  59. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
  60. With up-close footage of police beatings and hordes of angry protestors calling for the country's president to resign, Winter on Fire features the intensity of an action movie and the fury of a clear-eyed polemic.
  61. 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.
    • 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Simmien both mocks and provokes the nature of our seemingly progressive times by illuminating misguided assumptions and fears embedded in forward-thinking discourse. But Simien's relentless screenplay is never too self-serious or didactic, instead pairing culturally-savvy brains with a goofy grin.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Pearl Button is a vivid, essential portal to understanding not only the heritage of a nation, but also the art of nonfiction cinema.
  65. If you can groove with Jarmusch's patient, philosophical indulgences and the wooden exteriors of his characters' lives, the movie rewards with a savvy emotional payoff about moving forward even when the motivation to do so has gone.
  66. It speaks to the masses with some treats for the discerning types in the back.
  67. 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.
  68. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  69. For a quarter of a century -- unbeknownst to most Americans, including Rodriguez's original producers -- the singer landed a massive following in the country where his humanitarian outlook provided an escape for many disgruntled youth struggling under apartheid, elevating him to the stature of a "South African Elvis."
  70. 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.
  71. Viewed as a single experience, Oki's Movie is a curious oddity worthy of multiple viewings and lengthy contemplation, but its tricky formalism makes it less overtly satisfying on an emotional level.
  72. Gandolfini deserves an Oscar for Enough Said not because it's the culmination of everything that came before it but rather because it goes in a completely different direction. And his least characteristic achievement is also one of his best.
  73. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
  74. Beware of Mister Baker won the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, perhaps because it was the best embodiment of a recent trend in the non-fiction realm.
  75. In the Fog develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace.
  76. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  77. Deeply sorrowful and drenched in ambiguity, My Joy adopts a patient rhythm that departs from reality while studying it in depth.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Perry and editor Robert Greene switch back and forth between twin time-frames with no fuss or warning - and flashes of virtuoso flair - finding ironic parallels between the happy gathering of the previous summer and the more fraught atmosphere of the present day.
  78. 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.
  79. A meditative universe of self-contained artistry, Junun offers no clear-eyed statement on its subject, but develops an enveloping internal logic about the thrill of artistic innovation.
  80. 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.
  81. A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer's movie is ultimately too aimlessly weird to make its trippy narrative fully satisfying, but owes much to Johansson's intense commitment to a strangely erotic and unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.
  82. A spectacular noir epic that's equal parts murky, bloated, flashy and triumphantly cinematic. Four years after Nolan's "Batman Begins" sequel "The Dark Knight" rattled audiences with a similar audiovisual overload, the new movie falls into the same rhythm and remains viscerally satisfying even when the story falters.
  83. Only Boyle's unstoppable tendency to mouth off sustains the routine plot, but McDonagh pushes the limits of what he can make Gleeson say without making the crude nature of his asides overwhelm their comic potential.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The director ensures this chamber piece of moral conundrums never seems too heavy-handed; his fluids camera roams through each room so that at no time does the theatrical set-up feel like a limitation.
  84. From one mesmerizing scene to the next, The Tribe never loses its flow. Even its harshest moments are defined by vibrant motion.
  85. 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.
  86. Singled-handedly carrying the story to its inevitable conclusion, [Wasikowska] gives Tracks a level of depth that nothing else in the movie can provide.
  87. Miller applies Gerwig to the center of a busy story with simple themes, but it glides along so effortlessly that its reductive qualities barely register. The filmmaker's exceedingly smart screenplay is the real plan, and Gerwig's performance puts it into action.
  88. As cinema, it's alternately engaging and overly blunt. But there's no denying its efficacy as a major celebratory gesture.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  89. As a conversation starter, The World Before Her gets the job done. By virtue of the topic and interviews, Pahuja showcases plenty of tensions between old world values and idealistic goals. That's hardly enough to make its narrative persistently alluring or emotionally sound.
  90. 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.
  91. Buzzard is among the first great American satires of the 21st century, its scathing indictment of capitalism delivered as a prolonged, disorienting punchline.

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