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 People, Places, Things
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 700
700 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia plays like "Zodiac" meets "Police, Adjective."
    • 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.
  3. Going Clear delivers an efficient overview of Scientology's dark history with a cohesive focus on the precision of its corrupt motives.
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Weekend builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days.
  8. Greene's patient, understated portrait renders a universal rite of passage in strangely alluring, poetic terms.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Upstream Color is routinely confusing but not oppressively so; its final exquisite moments explain little yet still manage to invite you in.
  15. Possibly the best war movie of the year.
  16. 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.
  17. Inherent Vice constantly teases at a complex meta commentary on the other movies it brings to mind, but never totally gets there.
  18. 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.
  19. Despite its shortcomings, The World's End glistens with a comedic energy not present in equivalent mainstream blockbusters.
    • 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  22. 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.
  23. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  24. Slickly made if not particularly stylish, the movie maintains its entertainment value for picking ideal models of American excess.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  28. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  29. With the shift from conventional rock doc into something more sophisticated, As the Palaces Burn remains enthralling all the way through.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. It speaks to the masses with some treats for the discerning types in the back.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  43. 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."
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    An Open Secret is an incisive and utterly unflinching look at a subject too rarely scrutinized.
  47. 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.
  48. In the Fog develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace.
  49. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  50. Deeply sorrowful and drenched in ambiguity, My Joy adopts a patient rhythm that departs from reality while studying it in depth.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. Though hardly a singular achievement on par with its precedents in the filmmaker's career, Results shows the first indication of Bujalski's ability to tell stories on a larger scale.
  57. 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.
  58. Singled-handedly carrying the story to its inevitable conclusion, [Wasikowska] gives Tracks a level of depth that nothing else in the movie can provide.
  59. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
  60. 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.
    • 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Buzzard is among the first great American satires of the 21st century, its scathing indictment of capitalism delivered as a prolonged, disorienting punchline.
  63. While We're Young is a clear-eyed satire of intergenerational tension that derives much of its comedy from a series of moments in which its mid-forties couple attempt to mesh with a younger crowder.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Even as it delivers an emotional wallop, not every moment of "Calvary" goes down smoothly, as comedic scenes transition somewhat abruptly to tragic moments and the final reveal never reaches the heights of its Hitchockian inspirations.
  64. The Hunting Ground is at its best when it stops dwelling on variations of the problem and points toward a solution.
  65. A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  66. A personal work not because the director chooses to make himself a part of the story, but rather because he implicates all of us in it.
  67. Gray's fifth directorial effort is a conflicting experience admirable and powerfully executed in parts, cold and meandering in others.
  68. The poetic rhythm with which Hartley brings three movies of events to an end is a tight, gripping expression of closure.
  69. Moors isolates a well-known drama with the fleeting nonfiction prologue and explores it from the inside out: It's not an attempted reenactment, but it does aim to get at certain truths.
  70. While not his best work, Like Someone in Love is a nimble expression of Kiarostami's appeal: He remains one of the few directors capable of pulling you into a narrative and making you question its motives at every turn.
  71. Showing the uneasiness of a first-time documentarian, Rapaport has a difficult time exploring the drama. That has extended beyond the movie itself and into a long-running media dispute with Q-Tip, who has refused to plug the movie.
  72. You've never seen anything like Chico & Rita, simply because that jubilant palette and likeminded jazz soundtrack embraces its predictability with such vitality.
  73. Paul's increasingly hectic attempts to retrieve the book dominate the movie so heavily that it leaves little room for considering how this effort fits into the rest of his world.
  74. With its lethargic pace, Hara Kiri may disappoint more often than it delights, but the payoff is extreme in more ways than one.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite the formulaic setup, "People, Places and Things" benefits from first-rate writing and stellar performances.
  75. Buck Brannaman, the subject of Cindy Meehl's engaging documentary profile Buck, has a warm presence and knows how to tame horses better than anyone else.
  76. Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Dope provokes a discussion about the dichotomy between societal expectations of the race-defined self, as well as the democratic American right to be who you want to be — but it's an unfocused and tangential one, limited by the trappings of comedy and the flash of the hip-hop aesthetic.
  77. Like "Afterschool," Durkin's first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.
  78. Witherspoon excels as a committed figure battling through each rough day. So long as the action remains on the trail, Vallée stages an engaging survivalist tale that plays up the resolve on Witherspoon's face, complemented with the rich visuals of an expansive landscape.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  79. The real triumph of Obvious Child involves its ability to make familiar ingredients work just fine on their own terms. In doing so, it makes up for a lot of lost time in the pantheon of female-centric comedies, and studios would be wise to take note.
  80. Teller's rough, uncomplicated filmmaking style does little to elaborate on Jenison's story, as the subject's unending curiosity singlehandedly carries each scene.
  81. 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.
  82. Suspense is rarely delivered with such distinctive patience.
  83. Though the special effects win the day, Guardians of the Galaxy holds court with a sense of humor that transcends its more familiar ingredients.
  84. 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.
  85. Where "Bridesmaids" has plenty of solid gags, it's not much to look at; Submarine always has something impressive to watch even when its plot is on autopilot.
  86. Nothing about Dead Man's Burden reeks of homage to oaters of yore -- instead, Moshé has made a legitimate entry in a genre he clearly adores.
  87. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? bears the stamp of Gondry quirk but allows it to feel a lot more intimate than anything he's done since "Eternal Sunshine."
  88. Though more in love with its silliness than the insights buried inside them, Frank works to amusingly irreverent effect when combining the two.
  89. While overlong and occasionally too reliant on a formulaic set of motives to drive the action forward, Easy Money retains its suave composure right through the engrossing finale.
  90. Despite the ongoing momentum, Sleepless Night never loses touch with its story.

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