indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 590 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 78% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 20% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 14.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Wild Tales
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 590
590 movie reviews
  1. No matter its conceptual intentions, It Follows never ventures too far from visceral horror. Mitchell populates a number of scenes with well-timed jump scares as the being frequently bursts out of the shadows or appears in unexpected forms, while the score provides a screaming punctuation mark.
  2. 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.
  3. As a director, he finally shows a willingness to work on the same wavelength of the material instead of adding distracting bells and whistles that overstate his characters' grievances.
  4. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  5. 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.
    • 80 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  8. Slickly made if not particularly stylish, the movie maintains its entertainment value for picking ideal models of American excess.
  9. Singled-handedly carrying the story to its inevitable conclusion, [Wasikowska] gives Tracks a level of depth that nothing else in the movie can provide.
  10. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  11. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  12. With the shift from conventional rock doc into something more sophisticated, As the Palaces Burn remains enthralling all the way through.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. It speaks to the masses with some treats for the discerning types in the back.
  21. 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.
  22. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  23. 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."
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. In the Fog develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace.
  29. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  30. Deeply sorrowful and drenched in ambiguity, My Joy adopts a patient rhythm that departs from reality while studying it in depth.
  31. 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.
    • 78 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  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. A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  40. 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.
  41. Though the special effects win the day, Guardians of the Galaxy holds court with a sense of humor that transcends its more familiar ingredients.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. You've never seen anything like Chico & Rita, simply because that jubilant palette and likeminded jazz soundtrack embraces its predictability with such vitality.
  46. 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.
  47. With its lethargic pace, Hara Kiri may disappoint more often than it delights, but the payoff is extreme in more ways than one.
  48. 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.
  49. Gray's fifth directorial effort is a conflicting experience admirable and powerfully executed in parts, cold and meandering in others.
  50. Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
  51. Like "Afterschool," Durkin's first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.
  52. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
  53. Teller's rough, uncomplicated filmmaking style does little to elaborate on Jenison's story, as the subject's unending curiosity singlehandedly carries each scene.
  54. 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.
  55. Suspense is rarely delivered with such distinctive patience.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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."
  60. 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.
  61. Despite the ongoing momentum, Sleepless Night never loses touch with its story.
  62. Edited in a frenzied mashup of concert fragments and off-stage exchanges, The Punk Singer generally overcomes its rough production values by realizing the energy of Hanna's achievements in terms of her passion and physical prowess.
  63. 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.
  64. Though suffering from dry patches and a fairly mannered approach, The Invisible Woman eventually makes its way to a powerful final third documenting an ultimately tragic romance in deeply felt terms.
  65. The filmmaker's first-rate access feels like a kind of desecration.
  66. While there's a casual dissonance to each twist in its winding plot that results in a disconnected and emotionally vapid experience, Detective Dee unquestionably achieves the escapism it intends.
  67. In constructing its gripping overview, After Tiller maintains a generally straightforward roundup of talking heads, but its unassuming construction gradually generates an authoritative voice. Only once the arguments have been plainly established does the emotion truly take hold.
  68. There's no question about the efficacy of Scorsese's filmmaking prowess, only that he never knows -- or doesn't care -- to slow down and deepen the material.
  69. The scenes pile up with frenetic intensity; as with Soderbergh's other recent exercises in the suspense genre, no single cutaway goes wasted.
  70. Before its spell unravels with overdone theatricality and on-the-nose flashbacks, Caterpillar succeeds as a kind of representational horror movie.
  71. An impressive feat that relies on distraction rather than fancy effects, it's easy to get swept up and forget that it's a very sweaty retread that's been done many times before.
  72. No stranger to crafting excessive anticipation, Reichardt has funneled that skill into thriller clothing. However, like all of her output, nothing is as simple as it looks.
  73. Omar maintains an unsettling rhythm of suspense and sociopolitical critique throughout.
  74. The result is not a major work, but still a wildly funny portrait that succeeds at inducing the incredulity Morris always seeks out.
  75. Burton's id explodes onto the screen with a plethora of demonic mutated critters.
  76. 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.
  77. Computer Chess excels at conveying the frustrations of feeling trapped by forces beyond one's control, the complexities of humanity irresolvable by any neat code.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. A Most Wanted Man allows Hoffman to go out with not only one of his best performances, but one that epitomizes his strengths.
  81. An earnest, sometimes bland and unsophisticated look at Corinne's undulating relationship to spirituality in general and Christian dogma in particular. But it's also a surprisingly well-made character study outside of its specific theme.
  82. Over time, Holland's approach pushes beyond despair and turns into a pure exercise in grim atmosphere, shifting from a story of staying alive to a closeup of a private hell.
  83. The conflict in The Attack is less about the reasoning behind immoral behavior than the problems involved in any cursory understanding of it.
  84. Before all else, Villneuve's grim chronicle of the fallout when two young girls vanish in a small town succeeds at crafting one powerfully suspenseful moment after another.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Although Berlinger’s latest work is a dense, unsparing look at the offenses and trial of Whitey Bulger, it's equally concerned with capturing how the many members of Bulger's expansive web -- criminals and innocent citizens alike -- use their experiences to control their version of the man.
  85. Showcases Jones' ability to provide ample entertainment value with sharply drawn characters in a minimalist setting.
  86. Judging by Johnson's previous feature, "True Adolescence," he's better at crafting characters with credible problems than finding equally credible ways of exploring them. Fortunately, in the case of Skeleton Twins, the actors do the legwork.
  87. The story retains an inscrutable tone that sometimes makes its emotional qualities feel remote, but it still delivers a powerful message about the challenge of self-diagnosis by rooting it in universal experience
  88. While its main characters are tough-minded, Rust and Bone is itself pure heart.
  89. The story works wonderfully as an idea, but Kore-eda never quite manages to infuse it with the same depth of feeling his main character goes through.
  90. With its subject still behind bars and the Russian government on the brink of reelecting Kremlin's United Russia party, the biggest triumph of Khodorkovsky is the case it makes for a sequel.
  91. The movie contains an epic scope that feels out of sync with the smallness of its plot; you get the idea by the first act and then Laurence's world simply hangs there for another two hours like a slo-mo shrug.
  92. While both pieces of the entire package generally work independently of each other, they have just enough ingredients to necessitate a viewing of the whole thing.
  93. While Johnsen competently follows Ai over the course of more than a year of contemplation and anger, "The Fake Case" doesn't introduce anything new to the equation, and mainly succeeds by virtue of its subject's inherent appeal.
  94. 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.
  95. Joe
    If Joe marks a new beginning for some of its characters, the same description applies to its director and star.
  96. It suffers from the greater problem of emphasizing a feel-good plot within the context of mass destruction.
  97. The first half of I'm Glad My Mother's Alive effectively inhabits a child's mind in a manner that recalls Maurice Pialat's marvelous 1968 debut "The Naked Childhood."

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