indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 651 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 14.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Short Term 12
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 651
651 movie reviews
  1. Greene's patient, understated portrait renders a universal rite of passage in strangely alluring, poetic terms.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Upstream Color is routinely confusing but not oppressively so; its final exquisite moments explain little yet still manage to invite you in.
  8. Possibly the best war movie of the year.
  9. 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.
  10. Despite its shortcomings, The World's End glistens with a comedic energy not present in equivalent mainstream blockbusters.
  11. 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.
  12. Inherent Vice constantly teases at a complex meta commentary on the other movies it brings to mind, but never totally gets there.
  13. 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.
  14. Incredibly heartfelt to a large degree because of its cast.
  15. 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.
  16. Melancholia hovers in ambiguity with riveting aesthetic prowess.
  17. Slickly made if not particularly stylish, the movie maintains its entertainment value for picking ideal models of American excess.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. I Wish embraces blissful ignorance, even celebrating its child characters' naivete.
  21. In each tense moment, Miss Bala has a lot to say in a few words.
  22. With the shift from conventional rock doc into something more sophisticated, As the Palaces Burn remains enthralling all the way through.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Baring all and radiating an affability that defines the movie's tone, Hunt delivers her finest performance since "As Good As It Gets."
    • 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. '71
    '71 constantly thrills without sensationalizing its surprises. The war-is-hell ethos drives it forward, so that the movie retains its suspense in conjunction with its dour outlook.
  31. 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.
  32. It speaks to the masses with some treats for the discerning types in the back.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
  36. 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."
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. In the Fog develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace.
  44. The excitement in The Soft Skin, however, gives way to an intense tragedy that's INFORMED by the thrills.
  45. Deeply sorrowful and drenched in ambiguity, My Joy adopts a patient rhythm that departs from reality while studying it in depth.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. Singled-handedly carrying the story to its inevitable conclusion, [Wasikowska] gives Tracks a level of depth that nothing else in the movie can provide.
  53. The typically great Binoche conveys a tantalizing mixture of confidence and unease as she considers her glamorous past and undetermined future.
    • 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.
  54. 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.
  55. There and gone with the fleeting nature of its youngest character's attention span, Little Feet ultimately feels more like an insightful sketch than a full-fledged movie, but it nonetheless leaves a major impression.
    • 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.
  56. A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  57. 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.
  58. Gray's fifth directorial effort is a conflicting experience admirable and powerfully executed in parts, cold and meandering in others.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. You've never seen anything like Chico & Rita, simply because that jubilant palette and likeminded jazz soundtrack embraces its predictability with such vitality.
  63. 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.
  64. With its lethargic pace, Hara Kiri may disappoint more often than it delights, but the payoff is extreme in more ways than one.
  65. 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.
  66. Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
  67. The poetic rhythm with which Hartley brings three movies of events to an end is a tight, gripping expression of closure.
  68. Like "Afterschool," Durkin's first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  69. 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.
  70. Teller's rough, uncomplicated filmmaking style does little to elaborate on Jenison's story, as the subject's unending curiosity singlehandedly carries each scene.
  71. 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.
  72. Suspense is rarely delivered with such distinctive patience.
  73. 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.
  74. Though the special effects win the day, Guardians of the Galaxy holds court with a sense of humor that transcends its more familiar ingredients.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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."
  79. Though more in love with its silliness than the insights buried inside them, Frank works to amusingly irreverent effect when combining the two.
  80. 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.
  81. Despite the ongoing momentum, Sleepless Night never loses touch with its story.
  82. 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.
    • 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. The filmmaker's first-rate access feels like a kind of desecration.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. There are moments when Tragos and Palermo run the risk of transforming their subjects into tools exploited for the sake of the movie's artistic vision, but the best part of Rich Hill is that its participants rise above the limitations of the material.
  91. The scenes pile up with frenetic intensity; as with Soderbergh's other recent exercises in the suspense genre, no single cutaway goes wasted.
  92. Before its spell unravels with overdone theatricality and on-the-nose flashbacks, Caterpillar succeeds as a kind of representational horror movie.
  93. 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.
  94. Omar maintains an unsettling rhythm of suspense and sociopolitical critique throughout.

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