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 3.3 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
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's probably too early to peg Frankenweenie as Burton's comeback vehicle, but it's certainly the director's best movie in twenty years.
  1. Working with the great cinematographer Roger Deakins, Mendes also presents some stunning sequences of beauty in a film where you might not expect such a thing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Gallenberger tells Rabe’s story deftly, establishing essential elements of the man’s personality in subtle shorthand.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. A brightly lit nightmare of patriarchy run amok.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. What you DO get with Secretariat is a picture that, unlike its bland predecessor Seabiscuit, actually captures some of the thrill of racing.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Aronofsky isn't loose enough, or canny enough, to be in touch with its camp soul.
  23. 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.
  24. But damned if Boyle, with the help of his star, doesn't make the experience almost… cheerful.
  25. Breezy and enjoyable.
  26. 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.
  27. With Huppert as her paradoxical lightning rod, Denis courts class and colonial tensions until they fly apart in the last moments of the film.
  28. 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.
  29. This is a household in which the rules are very formal, and they're matched by the formality of the filmmaking.
  30. 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.
  31. Carancho moves into heist mode in its final act, and the lovingly balanced, placid frames give way to thrilling turbulence.
    • 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.
  32. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  33. 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.
  34. You don't have to believe all of it - or even any of it - to enjoy the rascally charms of Mr. Nice.
  35. 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.
  36. Soft-spoken and stoical, Brannaman is a firm but sensitive presence in front of the camera and facing down a spooked horse.
  37. It looks more like your teenage world than such films generally allow, and it's not pretty. It's beautiful.
  38. Aside from the showy, overwrought credits sequence, it's silly and self-conscious and still scary as hell.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Margin Call's strengths are of mood and the slick surfaces of things, and these elements are haunting long after the credits have rolled.
  43. 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.
  44. Laure is pleasingly uncute, with a gruff demeanor that gives way to affecting glimpses of vulnerability.
  45. 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.
  46. Pariah wouldn't work without Oduye's luminous performance, capturing the emotional nuances of a character not prone to letting her emotions show.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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."
  51. Its triumphs are bittersweet, but they're irresistible.
  52. 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."
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Crude, violent and deeply enjoyable.
  56. 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.
  57. Think Like a Man is rowdy and funny and showcases an immensely likable ensemble cast it uses to delineate its war between the sexes.
  58. 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.
  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. It's a mark of Shelton's ability to create living characters from seemingly minor shared moments -- the ones that wind up meaning everything.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. The writing is relaxed in the right places and heightened to a largely effective degree when it counts.
  64. 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.
  65. It's startlingly funny in an uncomfortable, envelope-pushing way that's all the more effective for how it sneaks up on you.
  66. 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."
  67. 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.
  68. As is often the peril with movies of giant ambition, Cloud Atlas walks a crooked line between the glorious and the ridiculous.
  69. Those of us who love Michael Caine have to recognize that his capacity for coldness is part of what makes him great. And in that respect, what he does in Harry Brown is something of a bookend to his extraordinary, and extraordinarily chilly, turn in Mike Hodges' cold-blooded 1971 Get Carter.
  70. Hill cuts a hilariously adversarial figure.
  71. 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.
  72. The roots of romantic feeling, as explored in Wild Grass, Alain Resnais's jazzy ode to cinema and the love impulse in later life, are equally, spectacularly random.
  73. Dark to a specific point of dullness or even opacity, Solondz requires patience, as always, but indulgence as well. He relies on your remembrance of his other films and characters but also on your willingness to overlook his redeployment of tactics that range from puerile to mildly -- and somehow always self-skeptically -- profound.
  74. Because Animal Kingdom is so richly suffused with atmosphere and style, you could almost float right past the deficiencies in its story in an admiring trance.
  75. Eat Pray Love works quite serviceably as a light comedy and a pleasing travelogue.
  76. This picture belongs to Jason Bateman, who, after years of playing the second or third banana (and plenty of times being the best thing in a given film), finally gets to show off his considerable gifts as the co-lead in a mainstream comedy.
  77. 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.
    • 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.
  78. Minor but still quite enjoyable. And like other minor Woody Allen pictures it becomes more interesting when placed in their larger context.
  79. Waiting For Superman may rub a little raw here and there, but if it stirs that memory in enough voting and tax-paying Americans, it has at least begun to do its job.
  80. Leaving is a bit too dry and controlled, as well as too relentlessly bleak, to be a satisfying melodrama.
  81. Sometimes, maybe, it's a little too unoffensive: It's Kind of a Funny Story is so gentle, so anxious not to put a foot wrong, that it doesn't have much sticking power. But its casually compassionate perspective is also what makes it work.
  82. Although this is a film about the influential women in Lennon's life, it succeeds equally in its evocation of the family Lennon built among his boyhood mates.
  83. RED
    The result is like a sugar rush after a visit to the vintage candy store.
  84. The result is a shaggy rise-and-fall story that is deceptively well-wrought, playing at times like an extremely hip, deep-access concert film.
  85. These are all people you feel you've met before in other movies, if not all at once. But the movie's saving grace is that they don't always behave as you expect them to.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. Physically Watts is of course a decent match for the even more aggressively glamorous Plame; in spirit, it would seem, they are even closer. In the field Plame was first and foremost an actress, a pretender whose belief in her pretending was often of mortal consequence.
  90. As Gibney and Spitzer are at pains to point out, it's a story as old as Icarus: Man rises to power; man makes enemies; man gets greedy and is undone.
  91. The plot is worked out with care, and it takes its time, unapologetically, in a manner that's perfectly suited to thinking adults. The whole enterprise reeks of class.
  92. 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.
  93. There are a couple of scenes of pure, sentimental genius, as well as appealingly boggled turns by Rudd and Wilson.
  94. It's all sweet and very, very silly. I was surprised by the subtleties - both comedic and thematic.
  95. Country Strong rides pretty high in the saddle, confident in the remarkably realized world Feste has created for her characters.

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