indieWIRE's Scores

  • Movies
For 619 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 The Tiniest Place
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 619
619 movie reviews
  1. Joe
    If Joe marks a new beginning for some of its characters, the same description applies to its director and star.
  2. 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
  3. While its main characters are tough-minded, Rust and Bone is itself pure heart.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. A Most Wanted Man allows Hoffman to go out with not only one of his best performances, but one that epitomizes his strengths.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. It suffers from the greater problem of emphasizing a feel-good plot within the context of mass destruction.
  11. 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."
  12. The Forgiveness of Blood examines the barriers of ritual and the passage from youth to adulthood in Albanian society with the perceptive detail of a grand literary feat. At the same time, it retains the simplicity of a parable.
  13. The opposing genre extremes never entirely come together.
  14. Only the band's continuing popularity makes his journey stand out. Like its director-star, Mistaken For Strangers struggles admirably but can only go so far before letting the established talent win out.
  15. Gibney's narrative drags to some extent when the focus widens to explore the Vatican's overall policy for covering up sex scandals, but he successfully demonstrates the systematic failure of a system designed work flawlessly on the basis of spirituality that never existed in the first place.
  16. With its persistent inventiveness and a lack of unearned sentimentality, the movie provides an antidote to a lot of lazily produced dramas about death, American or otherwise.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The Taiwan Oyster manages to be consistently engaging despite its flaws.
  17. Intermittently action-packed and lethargic, the movie dances around formula. By delivering an expressionistic character study with bursts of intensity unlike anything else in his oeuvre and yet stylistically representative of its entirety, Wong practically has it both ways.
  18. Magic Mike casts a seriously entertaining spell.
  19. At its core, A Screaming Man emphasizes the strength of family bonds. It's a sad, moving portrait that has nothing to do with its chaotic setting.
  20. If you've never heard of LCD Soundsystem or cared much for the group's work, Shut Up and Play the Hits still manages to explore the prospects of fame and contemporary rock music's lasting relevance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    “The Fast and the Furious” with wheelbarrows, Paraguayan action-thriller-romance hybrid 7 Boxes is a rollicking good time at the movies that offers breathtaking action and suspense, humor and appealing characters all in one visually flashy package.
  21. Exhibition infuses its cerebral exposition with a strong dose of humanity.
  22. Unlike the polished universe of Pixar's "Brave" or countless other recent CGI efforts, ParaNorman maintains a delicate, handcrafted look that underscores its ideas.
  23. Never indulging in outright scare tactics or loose improvisation, the movie primarily works like an awkward narrative that plays with perspective.
  24. Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.
  25. Despite its meandering plot, Bellflower presents its doom-laden vision as an astonishingly distinctive state of mind, arguing that the end of one self-made world always marks the start of a new one.
  26. Creepy implications keep Super 8 engaging, but the cast makes it click.
  27. Beneath the pixelated gags, the stakes are relatively familiar. However, much of the humor in Wreck-It Ralph riffs on the nostalgia associated with real games.
  28. Post Mortem portrays the specter of dictatorship through the lens of one man's private hell.
  29. Duplass' feisty energy is matched by DeWitt's constant smarminess, while Blunt's shy, fragile behavior balances off the forceful personalities surrounding her.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Knappenberger has delivered a film brimming with outrage, whose zeal becomes persuasive once Swartz takes on his activist mantle.
  30. Jacobs, working from a script by Patrick de Witt, takes a conventional coming-of-age story and does it proud, enlivening the plot with an almost experimental portrait of alienation and despair.
  31. Barker's screenplay demonstrates a conviction that its genre can command great importance, allowing it to transcend the easy shocks associated with the exploitation movie experience and create an entirely fresh rhythm.
  32. Progressing with a coldly observational pace, Rapt often strains its drawn-out structure, creating a lethargic experience despite essentially taking the form of a Bressonian suspense-thriller.
  33. It's fascinating to watch Murray act circles around his existing appeal and play into it at the same time. Melfi's likable but utterly formulaic movie never rises to a similar level of ambition, which in this case actually works in its favor. It gives Murray room to play.
  34. At its core, The Double Hour is a classic noir story of deception.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Fed Up is a glossy package that gets its warnings across loud and clear: we need to change what we eat.
  35. Winstead's performance provides a trenchant wakeup call even when the movie can't keep pace.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If The Raid: Redemption was a thrashing drum solo, its sequel is the opulent symphony where every instrument is played with fevered inspiration.
  36. No matter its silliest missteps, Welcome to New York has an impressive engine of ideas in line with the director's other New York stories.
  37. Despite its predictably cheery vibe, Being Elmo implies a certain darkness lingering beneath the surface of Clash's life.
  38. Unlike recent activist documentaries about animal cruelty like "The Cove," Leeman's narrative doesn't feature any real villains. Balding's bond with Flora leaves him in a perpetual state of uncertainty about which possible new home for his elephant would provide the safest habitat.
  39. For everything that Mozart's Sister imagines, it leaves much more up to imagination.
  40. Edge of Tomorrow is slick, but once its fancy plot dressing takes form, it has little more to offer aside from a few impressive action sequences and the infallible grin of its nimble lead.
  41. Recording "Body and Soul" with Bennet only a short period before her death, Winehouse's simultaneously effusive presence not only illustrates her fragility but stands in sharp contrast to the stable work ethic that Bennett has cultivated over the course of his 60-year career.
  42. Black Death embraces its horror roots with ample bloodshed, at which point the silly costumes and anachronistic dialogue no longer seem so absurd.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fiennes wisely stays out of his way here. Zizek is the star, edited down to digestible elements, with archival footage used adroitly to drive his arguments home.
  43. With self destruction as destiny, Reitman has made the equivalent of a Roland Emmerich disaster movie writ small, an apocalyptic scenario internalized by a single person.
  44. While not designed to entertain on the level of style and spectacle that one expects from a Bond film, this tense period drama from the director of "Man on Wire" presents a far more credible take on the daring exploits of British agents.
  45. Make no mistake: Mickle wants to make you jump and scream, but death only arrives in this movie once its world comes to life, which makes each sudden turn all the more intense.
  46. Sleepwalk With Me calls to mind Judd Apatow's "Funny People" for its focus on the eccentric, obsessive nature of the wannabe comic's mind.
  47. Though Get On Up never congeals into a satisfactory whole, its fragmentary portrait of the singer at the height of his fame — intercut with his troubled single-parent childhood — effectively shows his invasive power in popular culture.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    It's a reserved, almost conservative performance, and in holding so much back so much of the time, Cumberbatch makes his few outward displays of emotion far more impactful.
  48. Di Stefano's memorable debut feature makes up for its lack of sophistication with constant forward motion.
  49. Padilha channeled national frustrations into zeitgeist entertainment. The follow-up, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, has less success than the first installment in achieving that aim, but still keeps the snazzy combination of spectacle and polemics in check.
  50. A gigantic physique hides the fragile man beneath and Matthiesen ably follows the journey of that persona as it tunnels through mounds of muscle to reach the surface. In essence, the lion finds his courage.
  51. In Sundance terms, Like Crazy qualifies as this year's "Blue Valentine," but it's more observational about the details of a doomed relationship than relentlessly bleak like the aforementioned Derek Cianfrance movie.
  52. The measured vérité style of Frederick Wiseman meets the visual polish of Terrence Malick in Dragonslayer, a fascinating slice of crude Americana from first-time director Tristan Patterson. However, it stands alone with an infectious hard rock attitude.
  53. Swanberg once again shows a capacity for capturing small moments that exist outside the direction of the plot. At the same time, the effective fragments of "Drinking Buddies" take his oeuvre in a new direction by accumulating into a reworking big picture.
  54. You couldn't ask for a more appropriate genre of music to carry a movie. As Didier explains the bluegrass appeal, "the banjo sort of snarls," bringing a primal form of energy that even he can't put into words. It's also the element that manages to rescue "Broken Circle" from the meandering nature of its structural looseness, which sometimes distracts from a thoroughly involving story.
  55. Subtitled "a musical adventure," the actor-director's love letter to some 800 years of Neapolitan expression probes its subject with a wide romantic outlook.
  56. For Godard junkies Goodbye to Language is rich with Godard's temperament—and thus an enjoyable provocation, even if it doesn't all add up. But what Godard movie truly does?
  57. In a sense, Heartbeats demonstrates that Dolan has a lot on his mind as a budding filmmaker.
  58. The Spanish auteur has a good time with outrageous plot twists and offbeat sexual intrigue. However, Almodóvar appears unmotivated to even try holding it all together. Instead, he lets the mess pile up and enjoys it.
  59. Rampart is co-written by crime writer James Ellroy as a messy, disorienting noir, and shot by cinematographer Bobby Bukowski with an unsettling degree of realism.
  60. 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.
  61. The calibration of mature performances and a reasonably credible, if somewhat familiar, scenario make "Eleanor Rigby" a lot more watchable than the strange conceit of the production.
  62. While visually scrumptious, the movie struggles to reach a greater profundity that it never quite obtains, but its childlike emulation of a grand tragedy is indelibly precious.
  63. The Safdies have stood out over the last few years for continually challenging audience expectations even while seeming to adhere to conventional storytelling traditions, and that's certainly true here: You've never seen a sports movie like this before.
  64. Helms plays angelic insurance agent Tim Lippe with gentle nobility and hilarious naivete.
  65. While not the director's canniest piece of filmmaking, it's unquestionably his angriest, politically motivated achievement. Every missive hits its target hard with a comedy-horror combo aimed squarely at the kind of commercial stupidity that Cronenberg has avoided throughout his 45-year career.
  66. Sweetly funny and relatable, Happy Christmas builds on the director's previous work by channeling its strong aspects — naturalism and self-effacing, true-to-life humor — into a relatively straightforward but utterly enjoyable character study.
  67. In Another Country is a paragon of any given Hong movie's intrinsic charms, and yet it also manages to break from the pattern by including an English-speaking character as one of its leads.
  68. Though never entirely the sum of its parts, Party Girl delivers a gentle, somber portrait of the aging process that's consistently believable precisely because not much happens.
  69. Though it lacks a cohesive means of fusing together its interlocking vignettes, Palo Alto effectively showcases the despair and sophomoric rebellion of teen life with a mature eye that clearly establishes a new filmmaker to watch.
  70. Over the course of 106 minutes, Rumsfeld's rambling assertions grow exhausting, particularly because Morris never manages to direct them toward a larger argument.
  71. Jones' alternately skillful and irreverent approach results in a mixed bag of possibilities, with many terrifically entertaining on their own even as the overall picture remains muddled.
  72. White Reindeer eagerly pokes the mythology surrounding the holiday season narrative to find something hauntingly beautiful lurking beneath it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    In telling his story, Amalric is greatly aided by his ace cinematographer, Christophe Beaucarne, whose images pick up on a great many tiny but telling details, as if life were a mosaic composed of an almost infinite number of parts that are all equally important for the bigger picture.
  73. The issue with Post Tenebras Lux is that the narrative, not the filmmaker, feels dispiritedly half-baked.
  74. The cumulative effect is occasionally dizzying but transparent, a frantic attempt to cram themes into cinematic conceit.
  75. Beautiful Darling not only explains the appeal of its subject; it actively contributes to her ongoing mystique.
  76. Bogged down by flashbacks and flash forwards, The Bastards pointlessly mixes up its ingredients, creating a distancing effect from the tangible sadness at its core. The result is the rare case of a movie that confirms its maker's skill while wasting it on useless ambition.
  77. A viscerally charged movie that foregrounds surface tensions and gripping performances, Ginger and Rosa is the filmmaker's most accessible and technically surefooted work to date.
  78. Boone’s unobtrusive style takes cues from the subdued nature of the material, but there’s little about the movie that makes the filmmaking stand out. Instead, it derives its chief strengths from a series of efforts to take the drama seriously, mainly embodied by Woodley’s onscreen investment in it.
  79. He's still cultivating his storytelling abilities, but Wheatley has clearly found his sweet spot: a darkly funny place with serious potential.
  80. Cold-blooded killers rarely look this pathetic, which testifies to the impressive balance of Skarsgård's amusingly low-key performance.
  81. Unquestionably stands above the market standard for middlebrow comedies, but it repeatedly approaches greatness and stands down, beholden to forces quite possibly beyond the directors' control.
  82. By virtue of its style and high stakes scenario, End of Watch is impressively tense, but then so are most episodes of "COPS," which don't suffer from the forced melodrama found here.
  83. Potiche successfully satirizes the gender politics at its core. At the same time, it knowingly mocks the obsession over debates about the suppression of women that pervaded the culture during the movie's setting.
  84. Wan seems to critique the third act failings of The Conjuring during the alarmingly superior first half.
  85. As slickly paced as a big-studio espionage movie, it nearly succeeds as a pure adrenaline-rush thriller. In the end, the problem isn't that there's too much plot, but rather a certain dramatic illogic.
  86. No matter how much The Theory of Everything showcases the incredible process through which Hawking maintains a connection to the rest of the world, it falls short of burrowing inside his head.
  87. It's a movie that must be seen, processed and discussed, perhaps the first of its kind to transform the audience into a focus group.
  88. Treasuring small victories and mood above all else, Land Ho! makes it possible to engage with its subjects' pathos and experience their sense of renewal along with them.
  89. To Die Like a Man deserves your attention for showcasing a filmmaker with the capacity for bold narrative trickery that doesn't come at the expense of emotional investment.
  90. Given the saturation of the found footage horror genre, Cordero's approach delivers a much shrewder alternative that goes beyond the power of suggestion by rooting its otherworldly fears in authenticity.
  91. Small touches point to a slightly better movie hiding beneath most of the routine, particularly the respectable finale that stops just short of the clichéd resolution expected of it. On the whole, however, The Way, Way Back dances to a tune we've heard too many times before.
  92. By its later scenes, Chef only finds respite from its bland qualities through the scrumptious-looking dishes constantly on display. As self-indulgent vanity projects go, this one's pretty innocuous, if only because it's always easy on the eyes.

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