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 14.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 The Raid 2
Lowest review score: 0 In Secret
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 700
700 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Remote Area Medical lays bare the injustice of a system that fails to provide for those who need it most.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. In a sense, Heartbeats demonstrates that Dolan has a lot on his mind as a budding filmmaker.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. While Entertainment lacks the focused critique of "The Comedy," it nevertheless offers a fascinating look at the tension between personal aspirations and the harsh realities holding them back.
  11. Helms plays angelic insurance agent Tim Lippe with gentle nobility and hilarious naivete.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Over the course of 106 minutes, Rumsfeld's rambling assertions grow exhausting, particularly because Morris never manages to direct them toward a larger argument.
  17. White Reindeer eagerly pokes the mythology surrounding the holiday season narrative to find something hauntingly beautiful lurking beneath it.
  18. The issue with Post Tenebras Lux is that the narrative, not the filmmaker, feels dispiritedly half-baked.
  19. The cumulative effect is occasionally dizzying but transparent, a frantic attempt to cram themes into cinematic conceit.
  20. Beautiful Darling not only explains the appeal of its subject; it actively contributes to her ongoing mystique.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Part of the problem with Merchants of Doubt is also part of its own argument: You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into, and a dispiriting number of people are less interested in facts than they are in confirming their own biases.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. He's still cultivating his storytelling abilities, but Wheatley has clearly found his sweet spot: a darkly funny place with serious potential.
  26. Cold-blooded killers rarely look this pathetic, which testifies to the impressive balance of Skarsgård's amusingly low-key performance.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Wan seems to critique the third act failings of The Conjuring during the alarmingly superior first half.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. The whole experience is one long rant in radiant colors.
  40. The story arrives at a satisfying emotional conclusion with wonderfully thoughtful ramifications.
  41. That the movie succeeds both as a high-stakes crime thriller as well as a far quieter and empathetic study of angry, solitary men proves that Cianfrance has a penchant for bold storytelling and an eye for performances to carry it through.
  42. Nathan never condescends to Pug or his cohorts, instead smartly allowing their brazen maneuvers to run the show.
  43. The director's murky, ill-conceived take on the world's oldest disaster story contains some of the most pristine visuals produced on a mass studio scale in some time. But it's also constantly tethered to a dull, melodramatic series of events out of whack with any traditional interpretation of the material.
  44. Although Madsen's survey of warning strategies has an aimless structure prone to repetition, he creates an effective mood that transcends his time-travel gimmick and eventually becomes topical.
  45. Robot and Frank succeeds where "Ted" fails because, unlike McFarlane, Schreier and Ford render the relationship between the human character and the robot in largely credible terms.
  46. Elevate nails the mission, but not the message.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Rises above the over-tired gross-out comedy genre partly because of its meta celebrities-parodying-themselves trick, but it mostly stands out because it's genuinely funny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Whether it's purely through the use of music or through the individual, attentive care given by some of the featured nursing home workers, the proof of positive changes presented in "Alive Inside" provide a sense of idealism amid bleak situations.
  47. The closest Brügger comes to explaining his style is an early statement on the duality of his mission to go "beyond all moral boundaries known to man while still being a respectable member of society." It's a goal enacted less with a coy wink than with a violent elbow jab to the ribs.
  48. Neither surprising or groundbreaking in any particular way, the movie gives us what we want and leaves it at that.
  49. Pummeling forward from its first diner-set fight scene to a sweeping final showdown on the beach, Haywire is a literal blast.
  50. Leave it to Walken to upstage Beethoven.
  51. The absence of suspense results in something closer to a one-sided pat on the back for everyone involved, though it effectively puts forth a whole new set of challenges.
  52. The title suggests a dramatic Shakespearean twist, but Clooney's aims are much simpler. As he builds to a western showdown divorced from political specificity, the Manchurian-like manipulation turns Ides of March into an allegorical monster movie in which everyone's competing for the role of the monster and most people can't see it.
  53. Smart in spite of its irreverence, "Future Folk" is the weirdest, most enjoyable fusion of genres you'll see this year.
  54. Can actors save a mediocre movie? In London River, they come close. Blethyn's frantic, sad naivete creates a fascinating contrast to Kouyaté's understated performance.
  55. 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.
  56. Marred by excessive sentiment, it has a buoyancy and a hook that makes it stand out -- but they're elements that would help it kill on Broadway (as it already has on the Australian stage) a lot better than it does onscreen.
  57. By favoring mood over plot, "Myth" explores what it feels like to transition into youth adulthood and face harsher truths.
  58. Crystal Fairy has little to say beyond Cera's capacity to transform into an amazingly uncomfortable screen presence, something we already knew.
  59. It's incredibly uneventful and devastating all at once.
  60. The highbrow intentions of Barney's Version suffer from a constant pile up of dead ends.
  61. By making the inanimate animate, they make nature come to life, and so does Convento.
  62. 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.
  63. On the one hand, Outrage suffers from a cold removal from the events portrayed onscreen, mainly a series of arguments and gory acts of retribution. It's often a terrible bore. But the stylish execution renders many moments into imminently watchable pastiche.
  64. In spite of the constant activity, there's not a whole lot going on, but it's still a fun place to visit.
  65. Metabolism contains enough moments that reward patience to balance off the eventual teetering off of its strengths.
  66. As the portrait of a relationship meltdown involving two eccentric creative types prone to self-doubt, July's sophomore feature bears a strong resemblance to husband Mike Mills's upcoming "Beginners," although July's version of the story has a more experimental edge.
  67. Kazan has fun with a silly premise and smartly plays it straight when the occasion calls for it, while keeping the cutesy, fantastical extremes of the material at bay. It's less fairy tale than shrewd exaggeration on the pratfalls of desire.
  68. Eventually, Soo-hyun's relentless pursuit-and-release approach outlives the director's skill and the premise starts to feel redundant.
  69. Takei is a natural storyteller who lends an enjoyable flow to the movie’s uncomplicated proceedings.
  70. With its palatial setting, Borgman shows how money can buy luxury, but it can't salvage the corruption that comes from within.
  71. Rosewater is lacking in sophistication, but its attitude is infectious.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Alan Partridge stays true to this small, very specific world of regional British radio and this class of local celebrity while also injecting the high-level drama needed to carry such a story to a much larger audience. It’s this balance that should win the film over for Alan Partridge fans and the general movie-going public alike.
  72. A less controlled and slapdash character piece than "In Bruge," McDonagh's new movie benefits greatly from a plethora of one-liners that toy with crime movie clichés in the unlikely context of writerly obsessions.
  73. By the standards of Jordan's earlier films, "Byzantium" is unquestionably a minor achievement, but its technical specs help flesh out a thick environment that elevates the proceedings to a lyrical plane.
  74. Coppola presents a smart cross-examination of the impact of media exposure on fickle young minds. While the ambitions of its young thieves often blur together and lack precise definition, The Bling Ring is the director's breeziest work, allowing the story to glide along with the ease of a heist movie.
  75. Douglas Miller's Dinosaur 13 is both awe-inspiring and tragic. Conventionally made but featuring an undeniably compelling story at its core, Miller’s debut benefits greatly from the combination of passion and sadness embedded in its subjects’ tale.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Amini's directorial debut is a quiet and graceful achievement that suffers from a number of shortcomings but still works on its own terms.


  76. Well made as it is, Don Jon suffers from a half-baked scenario that never manages to make its characters as intriguing as the problems that afflict its protagonist. It's a movie that shows better than it tells, even as it leaves much up to the imagination.
  77. It's an unflinching update to media scholar Neil Postman's prophetic claim about the deadly impact of television on cultural identity: Smartphones in hand, we face the danger of filming ourselves to death.
  78. The Snowtown Murders manages to become a compelling exercise that excels at making horrible acts look shockingly listless.
  79. The result is an uneven drama with genuine intellectual heft that often outshines its flaws.
  80. The Butler carries an authenticity that sustains it through its cloying stretches.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The darker undertones of the family are handled with surprising nuance considering the first-timer behind the camera. The movie deals in open secrets, implications, and unsettling histories; a sense of alienation haunts virtually every scene.
  81. It's impossible to look away -- not only because the sense of anticipation is so vivid, but because there's no other way to follow the bizarre plot than keep with it.
  82. Decker's narrative work practically celebrates a willingness to follow outright silly pathways in order to arrive at unsettling results.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even as the story’s increased tension weakens its subtleties, Zobel's sensitive handling of the emotional tone throughout grounds the film with an overarching realism despite the far-fetched setting.
  83. The filmmakers have crafted seriously derivative fun that plays like "Scream" molded with "Cabin Fever" in the twisted universe of "Final Destination." It's a familiar ride, but a relentlessly wild one as well.
  84. The Love We Make provides sufficient behind-the-scenes nuggets for diehard fans of McCartney and Maysles alike.
  85. In a incredibly contained performance that ranks among the best of her career, Juliette Binoche portrays a woman trapped by mental and physical constraints alike.
  86. The reason to care about Life, Above All doesn't stem from its bleeding-heart plot...The reason to care is newcomer Khomotso Manyaka, who nimbly shoulders a role that places her front and center in nearly every scene.
  87. The Bay manages to scare up a real fear of environmental neglect. It's quite possibly the first example of jump scares used in service of activism.
  88. It's a period piece composed of familiar pieces, none of which have much to say beyond surface elements that have been explored countless times before. Using a typical coming-of-age mold, Chase turns cultural ephemera into formula.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Drawing from the wellspring of her own life, Forbes' agile tone allows the film to indulge in heartbreak and humor with equal measure.
  89. It's almost enough to make you wish that Kokidas and co-writer Austin Bunn had fictionalized the story. But then again, a beardless Ginsberg isn't really Ginsberg at all, which gives Radcliffe all the room to play around with the character that he needs. It might be best spell yet.
  90. For anyone frustrated with countless formulaic exercises that drain modern horror of fresh ideas, Tucker & Dale is a downright cathartic indictment that encourages comparison to the "Scary Movie" franchise. It's mostly a smart spoof that looks awfully dumb for a reason.
  91. The material, however, takes a Raymond Carver short story and plays it almost too straight. Ferrell looks uncomfortable, but not amusingly so.

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