Movieline's Scores

  • Movies
For 693 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 69% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Somewhere
Lowest review score: 5 The Roommate
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 693
693 movie reviews
  1. As a whole, however, Ruby Sparks lands like a punch. It's a smart counter-jab to the many movies out there that put forth the myth that the world is full of quirky angels in ballet flats who are just waiting for some morose protagonist to come along in need of their love.
  2. It's the kind of movie that makes the world feel like a smaller place, suggesting that the similarities connecting us across continents and cultures are more resonant than the things that divide us.
  3. Documentaries don't have to be technically great to be irresistible, and Bess Kargman's First Position, which follows six young ballet dancers as they prepare for an elite competition, is a case in point.
  4. Farmiga closes in on moments that express mood and character so lightly and perceptively that you don't notice them gently - sometimes too gently - moving the story forward.
  5. Ultimately, the effort, however rough in patches, is to be admired. We need our best minds on this subject, in all arenas, and Beautiful Boy is another jagged, early piece in a puzzle whose borders haven't formed yet.
  6. Like so many movie love stories before it - from Murnau's "Sunrise" to Linklater's "Before Sunrise," and beyond - Cairo Time is about two wandering lovers, people spending time together without realizing how precious that time will come to be.
  7. A picture that's by turns inventive, tender and boring, and one that uses a variety of novelty point-of-view techniques: If Penisvision isn't your thing, then Vagin-o-rama just might float your boat.
  8. What you DO get with Secretariat is a picture that, unlike its bland predecessor Seabiscuit, actually captures some of the thrill of racing.
  9. Breezy and enjoyable.
  10. A dump is a dump, but it's immediately clear that these are working people who are making the best of their options and who have built a shared camaraderie out of that determination.
  11. Director John Cameron Mitchell - adapting David Lindsay-Abaire's play - has a surprisingly deft touch with this admittedly downbeat material; he builds dramatic intensity in subtle layers, rather than slapping it on with a trowel.
  12. Pariah wouldn't work without Oduye's luminous performance, capturing the emotional nuances of a character not prone to letting her emotions show.
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is probably about as good a movie as you can make from just half of a rather complicated book. But then, it's not just a movie but a promise: When Part 2 arrives, next summer, a cloud of desolation is likely to descend upon us.
  14. Hansen-Løve’s gifts for mood and eliciting controlled, empathetic performances are well-suited to her sensitive material, and ultimately overshadow the film’s difficult and uneven central characterization.
  15. Soft-spoken and stoical, Brannaman is a firm but sensitive presence in front of the camera and facing down a spooked horse.
  16. It's hard to say whether Patric Chiha's unabashedly out-there drama Domain is actually good or whether it simply nuzzles very cozily against the shoulder of so-bad-it's-good. After seeing the movie twice, I'm inclined to say Domain splits the difference.
  17. Farewell, a cold war drama by the French director Christian Carion, isn't just a movie set in 1981; in many ways it feels like a movie made in 1981.
  18. More redux than sequel, the final Shrek is more parent- (and specifically dad-) oriented than ever; it may also produce the first twinge of nostalgia in the kids who thrilled to the original at a formative age.
  19. Take This Waltz is an unusually kind film about infidelity -- not because it sidesteps or shortchanges heartbreak, but because it doesn't let any one of its characters bear the full burden of blame.
  20. American romantic comedies have become so dismal over the past 20 years that it wouldn't be hard for even the Romanian film industry to show us up. I'm still waiting for the great Romanian romantic comedy (and hey, it could be out there), but for now, France saves the day with Heartbreaker.
  21. What is surprising is how poetic the movie is, partly thanks to its high-lonesome sound design and the desolate beauty of its visuals, but mostly because of its star, Liam Neeson.
  22. Bold, weird, and a little stalkerish in its intensity, Luca Guadagnino's third feature is an open cinematic buffet, as ready to satisfy as it is to displease, depending on your taste and appetite.
  23. Gallenberger tells Rabe’s story deftly, establishing essential elements of the man’s personality in subtle shorthand.
  24. Carancho moves into heist mode in its final act, and the lovingly balanced, placid frames give way to thrilling turbulence.
  25. Set to a score by Carter Burwell that takes breaks for tunes like P.P. Arnold's "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and Linda Ronstadt's "Different Drum," existing in a start contrast from what's unfolding on screen, Seven Psychopaths is a ball.
  26. Margin Call's strengths are of mood and the slick surfaces of things, and these elements are haunting long after the credits have rolled.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wright applies an artful eye to carnage; he and production designer Sarah Greenwood exhaustively deploy their love for finding colors that mirror the characters' psychological states.
  27. The Town lacks Gone's operatic ambitions. And the irony is that that lack of a grand or even grandiose plan keeps this very good film from being a truly great one.
  28. The Other Guys isn't easy to peg. It's not a comedy that loosens you up and mellows you out; it works by needling you progressively into a state of anxiety.
  29. You don't have to believe all of it - or even any of it - to enjoy the rascally charms of Mr. Nice.
  30. As rollicking and rough as a drive down a dirt road with no suspension, Lawless is a tale of three-bootlegging brothers from Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia, who are, in the words of one character, some "hard-ass crackers."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The normally sly Wilson - who was once in the running to play James Bond - was directed by Beauvois to surrender ego. Wilson accomplishes this with a minimum of fuss.
  31. It looks more like your teenage world than such films generally allow, and it's not pretty. It's beautiful.
  32. Crude, violent and deeply enjoyable.
  33. But damned if Boyle, with the help of his star, doesn't make the experience almost… cheerful.
  34. It's startlingly funny in an uncomfortable, envelope-pushing way that's all the more effective for how it sneaks up on you.
  35. The writing is relaxed in the right places and heightened to a largely effective degree when it counts.
  36. The Snowtown Murders is the latest and bleakest in a string of Australian crime films showing flashes of virtuoso talent, and has more than a little in common with David Michôd's 2010 hit "Animal Kingdom."
  37. Think Like a Man is rowdy and funny and showcases an immensely likable ensemble cast it uses to delineate its war between the sexes.
  38. It reminds me more of Shane Black's "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," though ultimately it's darker and more raggedy around the margins. Still, Monahan, like Black and unlike Ritchie, has some feeling for his characters.
  39. It's all goofy stuff, played for laughs, but it's clear we've been catapulted into a world where things are not quite right.
  40. The Invisible War might be best judged as a piece of activism, in which case it's already succeeding - after seeing the film in April, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta took the responsibility for sexual assault investigations away from commanding officers and put them in the hands of higher-ranking officials.
  41. A sweeping theme writ small and somewhat gnarly, The Milk of Sorrow is, as Llosa has written, about "unresolved, violent, personal and collective memory" and a "metaphor for breakdown."
  42. A brightly lit nightmare of patriarchy run amok.
  43. Laure is pleasingly uncute, with a gruff demeanor that gives way to affecting glimpses of vulnerability.
  44. In short, Cronenberg has made an elegant film, with spanking. There's some mildly kinky sex in A Dangerous Method, but Cronenberg makes it neither exploitive nor so tasteful that it loses its charge.
  45. The Ides of March doesn't cut as deeply or as sharply as Clooney might like, but at least he found the right actor to navigate its dark emotional twists and turns.
  46. But at the risk of overintellectualizing what probably is, at heart, just a bunch of overgrown guys acting out, I will venture that many of the gags in Jackass 3D show plenty of visual wit, if not brilliance.
  47. The pleasures of the period ghost story The Woman in Black are something like the creepy shiver of delight you get from Edward Gorey's illustrated poem "The Gashlycrumb Tinies."
  48. With Huppert as her paradoxical lightning rod, Denis courts class and colonial tensions until they fly apart in the last moments of the film.
  49. Warmly observed and solicitous of its audience to the point of caress, Win Win is as comfortable an experience at the movies as you might have this year.
  50. The result is a kind of homespun video scrapbook, bumpy seams and glue splotches and all; it's flawed, but at least it feels handmade and human.
  51. Aside from the showy, overwrought credits sequence, it's silly and self-conscious and still scary as hell.
  52. The real strength of The Kid with a Bike is the cautious but generous warmth of its storytelling. Not much happens in The Kid with a Bike, but it leaves you grateful that the worst doesn't happen - with these characters, you might not be able to bear it.
  53. Bobby and Peter Farrelly's The Three Stooges is not particularly great, though it is possibly brilliant, a picture that goes beyond homage to become its own rambunctious invention - it's one big eye-poke, with footnotes.
  54. Ferrell as Nick Halsey still feels like a fresh idea, a testament to the actor's reliable but rarely tested mettle as much as his long parade of post-2006 buffoons.
  55. It's not a film that's easy to love, but like a song you at first can't stand but then end up humming all day, it works its way past your defenses and curls in close.
  56. The climax errs on the side of the overwrought and overdetermined, like an earnest adolescent's first attempt at a short story. And yet Papoulia's extraordinary performance lingers, as does the film's provocative existential fog.
  57. Aronofsky isn't loose enough, or canny enough, to be in touch with its camp soul.
  58. The pleasures Get Low offers lie in the process of simply getting there, in watching performers take material that has some limitations (the script, inspired by a true story, is by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell) and turn it into something that has the rough-hewn, no-nonsense veracity of folk music.
  59. An elegantly observed, sleekly packaged look at an artist whose career-long balance of enigma and self-exposure culminated in a 2010 retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.
  60. On the surface, The Salt of Life may seem like a movie made just for old folks. The trick is that it really is about the youth that stays with you, even when your aging body is working hard to convince you otherwise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hit the B-movie sweet spot just right, as Jason Eisener mostly does in his gleefully gory Hobo with a Shotgun, and you could find yourself living the dream.
  61. Rivers appears to have more energy than most 30-year-olds; she gets more done in a day that some of us could accomplish in a week.
  62. As is often the peril with movies of giant ambition, Cloud Atlas walks a crooked line between the glorious and the ridiculous.
  63. This is a household in which the rules are very formal, and they're matched by the formality of the filmmaking.
  64. It deserves to be seen on a hot Saturday afternoon in a theater (preferably an air-conditioned one) peopled with other people, the way many of us used to see movies as kids.
  65. Fittingly, there is something both thrilling and deeply unpleasant about looking at Galella's body of work -- there is casual genius in some of the captured moments, a combination of access, timing, and luck, with the subject almost always carrying most of the image's weight.
  66. It's a mark of Shelton's ability to create living characters from seemingly minor shared moments -- the ones that wind up meaning everything.
  67. A smart, sophisticated songsmith in the tradition of Cole Porter, or an inscrutable, pretentious twit? In the course of his near-20-year career, Stephin Merritt - the sort-of frontperson for the indie-rock collective Magnetic Fields - has been considered both.
  68. Unsettling, energizing and more than a little mystifying, Amer is the kind of movie that may leave you feeling indifferent or puzzled at the end. But damned if it doesn't return, days later, to visit - kind of like a killer in black leather gloves.
  69. Its triumphs are bittersweet, but they're irresistible.
  70. In catsuits, swimsuits, and skimpy underthings, Saldana is as potently elusive as a shadow can be.
  71. Rid of Me is a ragged film that doesn't always work. Beyond just the midpoint shift, it does seem frequently uneven tonally.
  72. Hill cuts a hilariously adversarial figure.
  73. This is a love story in which one of the partners repeatedly does some really bad stuff, and while it's easy enough to admire him for his ability to get away with it all, it's harder to square the way he so cheerfully dupes innocent people, including his beloved.
  74. The film is, underneath its surface of warm fuzzies, a precision instrument aimed directly at the heart of its intended, underserved older audience.
  75. There's a degree of gruff integrity at work for at least two-thirds of Alexandre Aja's grindhouse piranhapalooza Piranha 3D, in which a megaschool of man-eating fish thought to be extinct burst through an underwater fissure to terrorize a normally placid lake in Arizona.
  76. Spirit counts for something too, and John Carter has plenty of that, in addition to the requisite dashes of wit.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's BFF and hetero life partner Dr. Watson who forms the tale's real love triangle with Holmes - escalating the first film's bromantic undercurrent of mutual admiration and "circumstantial homosexuality" to overt, unabashed man-love and dangerous attraction - with tantalizingly evil interloper Professor James Moriarty.
  77. What Cedar captures here is the way a father and son can be bound so tightly they almost choke the air out of one another. You can't exactly call it affection; it's that far more complicated thing we call kinship.
  78. To Stewart and screenwriter Cory Goodman's credit, the whole set up takes about 10 minutes flat, leaving Priest's remaining 77 minutes to the dark, desolate action at hand. Even more to their credit, there's something evocative in that darkness, something poetic in its desolation.
  79. There are a couple of scenes of pure, sentimental genius, as well as appealingly boggled turns by Rudd and Wilson.
  80. But what makes Burlesque truly delectable - for the first half, at least, before its going-nowhere storyline really heads south - is its less obvious camp value.
  81. Leaving is a bit too dry and controlled, as well as too relentlessly bleak, to be a satisfying melodrama.
  82. By the time he's putting the entire metro area on notice -- having thrashed his father and all the local bullies -- Andrew has no camera and the metaphor has run away with the story entirely. The crazy thing is it almost works.
  83. It's the most imaginative picture in the franchise.
  84. There's such a thing as having too much reverence for your material, and although Davies is an extraordinarily gifted and principled director, The Deep Blue Sea may suffer for that reverence.
  85. Bale's presence in the film is a kind of misdirect, a calculated element intended to better its international commercial prospects -- his character makes a clumsily predictable journey from cynical drunken expat to hero willing to sacrifice a chance to escape the country in order to care for the children who've ended up in his charge.
  86. Ted
    One of the tricks of Ted -- perhaps its smartest one -- is that everyone, not just John, knows the bear can talk.
  87. There's a sliver of a plot to The Raid, but it's really not worth going over -- when the characters pause to talk, which is rare, it does tend to kill the film's momentum.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Forget modulation, nuance or storytelling, this is a movie that hits hard from first to last, no questions asked or logic followed.
  88. Veering between the windswept and the simply windy, The Tempest, I suspect, will provoke purists and only intermittently win the attention of less interested parties.
  89. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is, for the most part, an effective love story, but the two figures in thrall to one another aren't the ones you think: The magnetism between the movie's two male stars, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, is what really makes the movie tick.
  90. The result is way out there - so far that you won't quite recognize the terrain, and still feel strangely at home. The look has the impossible feel of a CGI soundstage: Not cheap, not even necessarily fake, just… weird.
  91. Ifans takes dorky, grandiose dialogue and turns it into something almost - well, Shakespearean.
  92. Pattinson does a quietly marvelous thing in finding vulnerability in Eric without making it seem like softness.
  93. Ultimately -- and perhaps fittingly -- Cropsey is most effective as a study of Staten Island and its inhabitants, specifically the half-life of grief as it is manifested in a self-contained community.
  94. The primary weakness of Affleck's film is the actor himself, who can't seem to find much in "exfiltration" specialist Tony aside from a dedication to his work and sorrow over the potential breakup of his family.
  95. How much human love is too much for an elephant? That's the question Lisa Leeman's One Lucky Elephant attempts to answer, without sentimentality but with the right amount of compassion.

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