Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
For 894 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Quiet American
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 894
894 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Watching Croupier is rather like watching a roulette wheel--utterly mesmerizing.
  1. This powerful, lyrical meditation on Arenas's life achieves a kind of hallucinatory urgency as it leaps and twists through his life.
    • Newsweek
  2. Few films have explored the complicated bonds of love and resentment between brother and sister with such delightful honesty.
    • Newsweek
  3. An excruciatingly entertaining portrait of the filmmaking process that no Hollywood studio would ever allow to be shown. But Gilliam, bless his impish, obsessive heart, is anything but a Hollywood type.
  4. What's remarkable is how immediately, after a full year, The Two Towers seizes your attention, and how urgently it holds you through three seamless, action-packed hours.
  5. Singleton's powerhouse movie has the impact of a stun gun. [15 July 1991]
    • Newsweek
  6. Courtney Love's performance as stripper Althea Leasure is an amazement. Funny, unfettered and almost scarily alive in front of a camera, she's the definition of a "natural."
  7. The superrealist images beguile us with their bold wit, and the storytelling is so tight, urgent and inventive there doesn't seem to be a wasted moment. Which makes you wonder -- why can't scripts this clever be written for human beings?
  8. The compositions, the editing, the lighting, the sound, the music: everything seems meticulously considered, conjuring up a hushed intimacy that instantly sucks you in.
  9. This powerfully contained, painfully funny performance has to rank with the greatest work Nicholson's ever done -- This road movie gives you emotional whiplash, and you’ll be glad you went along for the ride.
  10. Unnerving because it forces us into uncharted waters: Solondz doesn't tell us how to feel but makes us thrash out our responses for ourselves. In doing so, he has made one of the few indelible movies of the year.
  11. Creepily beautiful, acted with relish, Barton Fink is a savagely original work. It lodges in your head like a hatchet. [26 Aug 1991]
    • Newsweek
  12. Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A miraculous movie. It will rattle both your head and heart
  13. Far from being a period piece, this love story/murder mystery/political thriller couldn’t seem more timely.
  14. The Movie Works. It has real passion, real emotion, real terror, and a tactile sense of evil that is missing in that other current movie dealing with wizards, wonders and wickedness.
  15. As brutally unsparing as "Platoon" was, it was ultimately warm and embracing. Kubrick's film is about as embracing as a full-metal-jacketed bullet in the gut. [29 June 1987]
    • Newsweek
  16. Hilarious and captivating.
    • Newsweek
  17. At once elegant and sublimely silly, contemplative and gung-ho, balletic and bubble-gum, a rousing action film and an epic love story, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one bursting-at-the-seams holiday gift, beautifully wrapped by the ever-surprising Ang Lee.
    • Newsweek
  18. An inspired flight of fancy, an oddly poignant examination of the creative process, a rumination on adaptation (orchids to their environment, books to the screen and misfits like Charlie to life) and, in its ultimate irony, a story in which our hero learns a life-altering lesson.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A gripping, utterly unexpected noir, glinting with bits of poetry and a hard, deadpan humor.
    • Newsweek
  19. It's a bravura, all-stops-out, inexhaustibly inventive performance. I don't know how much was improvised, and how much comes from White's sharp screenplay, but Black may never again get a part that displays his mad-dog comic ferocity to such brilliant effect. He, and the movie, kick ass.
  20. The second installment was better than the first, and this one is best of all. It has spectacular action scenes and imaginary creatures, and it’s by far the most moving chapter. The performances have deepened.
  21. As he did in “The English Patient,” Minghella artfully weds movie-movie romanticism with a dark historical vision. The man knows how to cast a spell.
  22. By the end of this white-knuckle movie, you stand in awe at the depth of man's will to survive. Touching the Void leaves you emotionally and physically spent, and grateful it was only a movie, not a mountain, you had to endure.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    All-embracing--funny and silly and tender, full of fun scares and endless sight gags.
  23. A piece of spectacular silliness, but that's not meant with disrespect. The key word is spectacular.
  24. A technological triumph. [19 May 1980]
    • Newsweek
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Amazingly, it's not all the visual splendor or killer action sequences that elevate Spider-Man 2 above its predecessor and almost every superhero movie that has come before.
  25. A hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.
  26. In Sideways, Payne has created four of the most lived-in, indelible characters in recent American movies. This deliciously bittersweet movie makes magic out of the quotidian.
  27. Eastwood takes the audience to raw, profoundly moving places. If you fear strong emotions, this is not for you. But if you want to see Hollywood filmmaking at its most potent, Eastwood has delivered the real deal.
  28. Lucky for us there are no ordinary circumstances in this smart, tasty adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel and it gets quirkier, funnier and sexier as it goes.
  29. Leon Gast's remarkable film -- which is intercut with terrific recent interviews with eyewitnesses Norman Mailer and George Plimpton -- is about much more than one stupendous fight.
  30. A meticulous, spellbinding, provocative depiction of the final days of the Third Reich.
  31. Smart, generous, as subtle as it is expansive, this is storytelling of a rare order. Six hours may seem like a big investment, but the emotional pay-back is beyond price.
  32. Howl's Moving Castle has the logic of a dream: behind every door lie multiple realities, one more astonishing than the next.
  33. It's a passionate, serious, impeccably crafted movie tackling a subject Clooney cares about deeply: the duty of journalism to speak truth to power. It also happens to be the most compelling American movie of the year so far.
  34. There's neither coyness nor self-importance in Brokeback Mountain--just close, compassionate observation, deeply committed performances, a bone-deep feeling for hardscrabble Western lives. Few films have captured so acutely the desolation of frustrated, repressed passion.
  35. A superbly taut and well-made thriller that jumps from Geneva to Rome, from Paris to Beirut, from Athens to Brooklyn, each lethal assignment staged with a mastery Hitchcock might envy.
  36. This brilliantly disturbing movie is constructed with surgical precision. Haneke lets no one off the hook least of all the viewer.
  37. Harrowingly intense odyssey.
  38. Infused with the bleak romanticism of Melville's gangster movies ("Le Samouraï," "Bob le Flambeur"), and deepened by his own experiences in the Resistance, this hard-bitten tribute to freedom fighters makes most current movies look flabby and undisciplined. Don't miss it.
  39. The Departed is Scorsese's most purely enjoyable movie in years. But it's not for the faint of heart. It's rude, bleak, violent and defiantly un-PC. But if you doubt that it's also OK to laugh throughout this rat's nest of paranoia, deceit and bloodshed, keep your eyes on the final frames. Scorsese's parting shot is an uncharacteristic, but well-earned, wink.
  40. This is comedy from the danger zone, and it will genuinely offend some folks who feel certain subjects are not to be laughed at. They'd best stay at home. Fans should be warned as well: Borat can make you laugh so hard it hurts.
  41. The great Spanish director's fourth triumph in a row--following "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Bad Education"--Volver (which means "coming back") flows effortlessly between peril and poignancy, the real and the surreal, even life and death.
  42. The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she's center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.
  43. It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.
  44. Judd Apatow is making the freshest, most honest mainstream comedies in Hollywood.
  45. A film as rich as a sauce béarnaise, as refreshing as a raspberry sorbet.
  46. Schnabel, screenwriter Ronald Harwood and Spielberg's great cinematographer Janusz Kaminski have found a way to take us inside Bauby's mind--his memories, his fantasies, his loves and lusts--transforming a story of physical entrapment and spiritual renewal into exhilarating images.
  47. No two-hour film could ever capture all the riches of McEwan's masterly novel. But Wright and Hampton's Atonement comes tantalizingly close, while adding sensual delights all its own.
  48. It's not to be missed in any language. In a year that has given us such marvelous animated movies as "Ratatouille" and "Paprika," this vibrant, sly and moving personal odyssey takes pride of place.
  49. There Will Be Blood is ferocious, and it will be championed and attacked with an equal ferocity. When the dust settles, we may look back on it as some kind of obsessed classic.
  50. Depp is such a soulful presence he gives you a glimpse of this maniac's pain and pathos. Bonham Carter is extraordinary. She reinvents Mrs. Lovett from the inside out.
  51. Once again, the Pixar wizards have pushed the animation envelope in unexpected directions and come up with a winner. Wondrously inventive, funny and poignant, WALL*E is part sci-fi adventure, part cautionary fable, part satire and part love story, which may be the best and most improbable part of all.
  52. Days of Heaven is a big advance, hauntingly beautiful in image, sound and rhythm, unashamedly poetic, brimming with sweetness and bitterness, darkness and light. [18 Sept. 1978, p.97]
    • Newsweek
  53. Urgently, without sentimentality, "La Promesse" shows us the birth of a conscience, and its cost. This fleet, powerful movie may prove to be a classic. [30 June 1997, p.79]
    • Newsweek
  54. Mike Leigh's stunning, corrosive Naked is one of the best movies of the year, and one of the toughest... Its manic mix of tenderness and degradation, hilarity and scariness, keeps you dangerously off balance.
  55. JFK
    If history is a battlefield, JFK has to be seen as a bold attempt to seize the turf for future debate. It is also "just" a movie, and one that for three hours and eight minutes of dense, almost dizzying detail, is capable of holding the audience rapt in its grip. [23 Dec 1991, p.50]
    • Newsweek
  56. It's one of the richest movie experiences of the year, a spellbinding American epic that holds you firmly in its grip for nearly three hours.
  57. Barry Sonnenfeld's bouncy, immensely likable adaptation.
  58. Filled with delicious backstage drama, and superb actors reveling in the opportunity to play their 19th-century counterparts.
  59. Rozema's handling of the entangled amours and social gamesmanship at Mansfield Park is delightful and the open-minded moviegoer will have a hard time resisting this stylish and stirring movie.
  60. Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy are both in peak form.
  61. This delightful film, with its surprising depth charges of emotion, has the feel of a movie that's going to lodge itself in the public's affections for a long time to come.
    • Newsweek
  62. Zaillian's meaty movie, at once bleak and hopeful, speaks volumes about the maddening distance between justice and the justice system.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A beautifully told story of a child's innocence and faith, filmed with exquisite detail and stunning cinematography
    • Newsweek
  63. One of the year's best: a rich, funny, enormously humane portrait of a middle-class Taipei family in the throes of romantic, economic and spiritual upheaval.
  64. You have to pay close attention to follow the double-crossing intricacies of the plot, but the reward for your work is dark and dirty fun.
  65. A languorous, funny and lovingly detailed memory film.
  66. There’s not a whisper of melodrama or sentimentality in the way Moretti tells his tale, guiding us through the stages of grief with calm, devastating lucidity.
    • Newsweek
  67. Deep Blue Sea gives good rush -- earning its stripes as one terrific junk movie.
  68. I expected to laugh; I didn't expect to be moved.
  69. Full of bravura moments and high-wire performances.
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A Walk on the Moon not only effectively captures the emotional development of all its characters, but it also neatly encapsulates the tumult of the 60s.
  70. What sets Jerry Maguire above any other romantic comedy this year is Crowe's writing. He captures the venal, high-stakes world of pro sports with deadly wit and an ex-journalist's sense of detail.
  71. There are few movies around that take such huge risks: this is high-wire filmmaking, without a net of irony.
  72. Lehmann isn't in perfect control - the movie gets off to a flat-footed start, and the conclusion is chaotic - but when Heathers hits its stride, it reaches wild and original comic heights. [2 April 1989]
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This film has everything for the all-important female audience: feisty heroines, lots of slapstick, great clothes.
  73. It's a swirling, fluid retelling of the tale that packs an impressive cargo of laughs, thrills and wonders into a watertight 88 minutes.
  74. It has the stately, well-crafted anxiety of a Hitchcock movie, except that the protagonist and antagonist are one and the same.
    • Newsweek
  75. Sarandon and Davis give superb, wonderfully interactive performances: funky, fierce, funny and poignant. [27 May 1991]
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  76. A painfully funny movie. There’s nothing in the history of movie courtship quite like the first meeting between Pekar and his future wife and fellow depressive, Joyce Brabner.
  77. The best movie of the last 20 years about young people in love is 1989’s.
  78. A terrific piece of work: smart, inventive and executed with state-of-the-art finesse.
    • Newsweek
  79. Vertical Ray slows our rhythms and heightens our senses: it's a shimmering, tactile experience.
  80. Exuberantly theatrical yet every inch a movie, and some numbers ("The Cell Block Tango") are so entertaining you might want to applaud.
  81. The movie is, from start to finish, a hoot... Both a savvy satire of smalltown boosterism and an affectionate salute to the performing spirit. [10 Feb 1987, p.66]
    • Newsweek
  82. The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  83. This powerful, precision-made movie offers hope as well -- an act of kindness from a German officer that saves the pianist’s life, the music that sustains his soul.
  84. Peirce's taut, sure-footed first film sidesteps sensationalism without sacrificing any of the story's wonder and horror
  85. Has an almost perfect-pitch grasp of those messy, idealistic, vibrant times, when everyone was trying to reinvent himself from the ground up.
  86. It's as smart, quiveringly alert and fleet of foot as a purebred pointer on the scent of fresh game.
    • Newsweek
  87. Reveals a chilling reality: how hard it is to tell a simple truth when big business doesn't want it told.
  88. It starts quietly, introducing its splendid gallery of fowl, rats and humans, then builds and builds until it achieves full comic liftoff.
    • Newsweek
  89. Scherfig and her wonderful cast slyly transmute the quotidian into the magical. It’s like watching flowers bloom in a concrete garden.
    • Newsweek
  90. Blackly funny, unafraid to shift emotional gears from farce to horror, peppered with spectacular action.
  91. The beauty of this extremely clever movie, directed with fleet, robust theatricality by John Madden, is how deftly it manages to work on multiple levels.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hilarious, affectionate spoof.
    • Newsweek
  92. The eroticism in Cuaron’s road movie (which broke all box-office records in Mexico) is the real deal: tactile, sexy, psychologically charged.
    • Newsweek
  93. This is humanism in drag: Almodovar's passionate redefinition of family values.
    • Newsweek
  94. This is Depp's coming-of-age role, and he's terrific. Pacino, who's shown more flash than substance recently, reminds us how great he can be when he loses himself inside a character. The bond between these two makes the film sing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With her Doc Martens and her spiky, fire-engine hair, Franka Potente makes a perfect Lola. Like the film itself, her tough, flashy exterior cloaks a warm emotional center.
  95. A demonstration of bravura acting.
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For diehard fans, X-Men is full of in jokes and sly references -- For everybody else, there's the thrill of the unknown.
  96. The true allure of Titanic is its invitation to swoon at a scale of epic moviemaking that is all but obsolete.
  97. Movie purists will tell you that a heavy reliance on voice-over is a sin (“show, don’t tell”), but when the words are this funny, to hell with purity.
    • Newsweek
  98. Never less than engaging; all that’s missing is a proper crescendo. The picture moves along briskly, even at two and a half hours, but it seems to be running on cruise control.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A surpassingly sweet, funny and picturesque movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Proyas floods the screen with cinematic and literary references ranging from Murnau and Lang to Kafka and Orwell, creating a unique yet utterly convincing world.
  99. Succeeds stunningly on its own terms.
  100. A stunning crime drama that shares its protagonists' rabid attention to detail—and love of adrenalin.
  101. Anyone who cares about ravishing filmmaking, superb acting and movies willing to dive into the mystery of unconditional love will leave this dark romance both shaken and invigorated.
  102. The result is fascinating -- a rich, strange, problematical movie full of wild tonal shifts and bravura moviemaking.
  103. Ferociously intense, furiously kinetic, it’s expressionist film noir science fiction that, like all good sci-fi, peers into the future to shed light on the present.
    • Newsweek
  104. Traffic doesn’t quite come to a full emotional boil at the end. Soderbergh is too knowing to offer easy solutions. But what a journey it takes us on: disturbing, exciting, completely absorbing.
  105. At its best, Magnolia towers over most Hollywood films this year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A marvelous comedy from deep in left field -- immaculately written, unexpectedly touching and pure of heart.
  106. A delightful surprise... Jewison does his best work in decades. [21 Dec 1987]
    • Newsweek
  107. In every detail - the superb soundtrack, the rich cinematography, the dinstinctively edgy editing - Rain Man reveals itself as a movie made with care, smarts, and a refreshing refusal to settle for the unexpected. [19 Dec 1988]
    • Newsweek
  108. Luhrmann has raised the level of his game, deconstructing the Hollywood musical -- a genre all but left for dead -- and reassembling it with a potency that hasn’t been seen since “Cabaret.”
    • Newsweek
  109. This shamefully underpromoted, gloriously silly romp made me laugh harder than any other movie this summer. Make that this year.
  110. I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
    • Newsweek
  111. What blasts off the screen like a heat wave, burning in the heart, is the sheer toe-tapping, booty-shaking joy of making music.
  112. This one's done right. Here's an intelligent movie with no special effects. You have to pay close attention, to listen hard to its cross-fires of dialogue.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a film of rare restraint and surprising power.
  113. Noyce uses his Hollywood craft to unfold this primal, powerful story, he has an epic feel for the harshly beautiful Australian landscape and he gets wonderfully natural performances from the three girls. His bold, lyrical images stay in your head, like an unaccountably beautiful nightmare.
    • Newsweek
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the hearts of losers, Zwigoff’s found a real winner.
  114. Moore’s stunning, subtle performance as a woman trapped in the conventions of her time encapsulates the film’s brave, double-edged beauty.
    • Newsweek
  115. The superbly acted Spider is muted in comparison: it’s a quiet nightmare, painted in hospital greens and rust browns.
  116. Their (Murray/Johansson) brief, wondrous encounter is the soul of this subtle, funny, melancholy film.
  117. A haunted thriller of disturbing power.
  118. Filled with funny, gritty Tarantino lowlife gab and a respectable body count, but what is most striking is the film's gallantry and sweetness. Tarantino hits some new and touching notes with Grier and Forster.
  119. Writer-director Ray has a no-fuss style that is quietly, thoroughly gripping.
  120. The movie's slight, anecdotal structure is deceptive; you wouldn't guess how big an emotional wallop it packs.
  121. A tad dark for little kids, this one-of-a-kind movie delivers 80 minutes of idiosyncratic inspiration.
  122. Eastwood is at his effortless, slyboots best and the film is as preposterous as it is delightful.
  123. What keeps you in your seat is the acting. Keener, crisply and coolly playing against type, commands the screen. [24 August 1998, p. 58]
    • Newsweek
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dr. Dolittle is a zoo-and a blast. [6 July 1998, p. 67]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the characterization of Mulan, both in voice and visuals, that makes the film a keeper.
  124. Hilariously odd and prodigiously inventive.
  125. The payoff comes at the end, when the myriad threads pull together with a shock like a noose tightening around your neck. Built with old-fashioned craftsmanship, Lone Star is not a movie you'll quickly forget. [8 July 1996, p.64]
    • Newsweek
  126. The movie puts us in Maria's shoes, taking us step by suspenseful step through her physical and spiritual ordeal.
  127. All this is good fun -- some of which is anticipating the pained reaction from conservative Hollywood-hasslers. Director Rob Reiner has a fine smooth touch, Douglas is charismatic, Bening is scrumptious -- you want to put all these dream politicos in a doggy bag and take them home. [20 Nov 1995, p.28]
  128. Watching Moore battle the heavy odds may be formulaic fun, but it's genuine fun, and the formula is classic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Takes the prize. It's a bloody hoot.
  129. Few films have shown so powerfully the slashing double edge of sports fever.
  130. It's a deliciously outrageous premise, and director Barry Levinson and writers David Mamet and Hilary Henkin know just how to spin it, savaging Washington and Hollywood with merciless wit. It's a hoot.
  131. Marvin's taciturn performance--a moving demonstration of masculine grace under pressure--may be his finest.
  132. DiCaprio is astonishing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The vocal performances are a blast, Hunter's and Lee's in particular. The animation of the villain's tropical isle is stunning.
  133. Think of it as an epic poem, in which Scorsese's swirling, headlong baroque camera searches paradoxically for the stillness at the meditative heart of Buddhism. [22 December 1997, p. 86]
    • Newsweek
  134. This wonderful, one-of-a-kind movie hops from Taiwan to France, from tragedy to deadpan comedy and, in its mysterious conclusion, from the worldly to the otherworldly.
    • Newsweek
  135. By sticking resolutely to the facts of the most amazing rescue mission of all time, the movie builds tremendous suspense, even though most people will know how it came out.
  136. A pretty damn good summer movie.
  137. A smart and wicked delight.
  138. As writer and actress, Thompson has all the right Austen rhythms and filmmaker Ang Lee ("Eat Drink Man Woman") orchestrates with sensitivity and style.
  139. Akin's raw, powerful, multileveled movie takes us places we never expected to go.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mimic is undoubtedly the best mutant-cockroach horror thriller ever made. Even granting that there hasn't been much competition, this is intended as a high compliment.
  140. Gripping from start to finish.
  141. Press and Blunt are major discoveries: in this sly and wonderfully atmospheric gem, they conjure up the role-playing raptures of youth with perfect poetic pitch.
  142. Jacquet's movie is as visually ravishing as "Winged Migration," and more gripping.
  143. A hauntingly beautiful tone poem.
  144. Funny, bittersweet, its understatement yielding surprising depth charges, Broken Flowers is a triumph of close observation and telling details.
  145. Face/Off is a summer movie extraordinaire: violent, imaginative, crazily funny and, oddly moving. Hollywood has finally wised up and let Hong Kong auteur John Woo strut his stuff in all its undiluted, over-the-top glory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Using an almost seamless combination of documentary and fictional footage, Winterbottom provides a vivid picture of life during wartime -- so vivid in fact that it is often difficult to watch.
  146. The beauty of Welcome to the Dollhouse is its pokerfaced objectivity, which neither condescends to its pubescent victim nor romantically inflates her plight.
  147. A witty movie -- with a fine ear for the undertone of aimless chatter -- that never raises its voice to make hollow Gen-X proclamations.
  148. The mordant, deadpan humor that streaks through Dead Man is echt Jarmusch, but it's in the service of his most mysterious and deeply felt movie, a meditation on death and transfiguration that, by the end, has thrown off the protective veil of irony. [03 Jun 1996, Pg.75]
    • Newsweek
  149. Indoors, it's Jane Austen. Outdoors, this red-blooded, exuberantly romantic version of Pride and Prejudice plays more like Emily Brontë. Purists may object, but most will find this love story irresistible.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film. Like the original, it's a tragic tale of beauty and the beast.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This complex tale is told with great buoyancy and wit thanks to the splendid performances.
  150. This is a one-of-a-kind action flick: a tale of triumph tinged at every moment with tragedy.
  151. Puiu's is the art of the seemingly artless: he takes a story that's utterly unglamorous and mundane, and transforms it into something mythic.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Splendiferous.
  152. This Superman, which infuses its action with poetry, soars as a love story filled with epic yearnings, thwarted desires and breathtaking imagery.
  153. This is the most personal, deeply felt film from the gifted director of "Under the Sand" and "Swimming Pool." Ozon leaches his melodrama of all sentimentality, and moves us all the more.
  154. This indie, a sweet, tart and smart satire about a family of losers in a world obsessed with winning, is an authentic crowd pleaser. There's been no more satisfying American comedy this year.
  155. World Trade Center celebrates the ties that bind us, the bonds that keep us going, the goodness that stands as a rebuke to the horror of that day. Perhaps, in the future, the times will call for more challenging, or polemical, or subversive visions. Right now, it feels like the 9/11 movie we need.
  156. Forest Whitaker, uncorking the power that he usually holds in check, gives a chilling, bravura performance as Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin, whose bloody regime slaughtered more than 300,000 people. This intelligent, sometimes gruesome thriller is based on a novel by Giles Foden.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Marvelous, and surprisingly intimate.
  157. An epic both raw and contemplative, is neither a flag-waving war movie nor a debunking.
  158. A welcome paradox--an intelligent, rousing adventure for grown-up kids. [17 Apr 1995, p.66]
    • Newsweek
  159. It's hard to believe this is von Donnersmarck's first feature. His storytelling gifts have the novelistic richness of a seasoned master. The accelerating plot twists are more than just clever surprises; they reverberate with deep and painful ironies, creating both suspense and an emotional impact all the more powerful because it creeps up so quietly.
  160. A heartbreaking comedy that is simultaneously funny and sad, raunchy and sweet, funky and elegiac. These fresh, unexpected juxtapositions are a specialty of the writer Hanif Kureishi ("My Beautiful Laundrette"), a sworn enemy of cliché.
  161. A wicked delight. Adapted by playwright Patrick Marber from Zoe Heller's acclaimed novel, it's at once a comedy of cluelessness and class, a melodrama of two women in the grips of wildly inappropriate obsessions, and a "Fatal Attraction"-style thriller.
  162. Loach hurls us into the fracas, circa 1920, and creates such a vivid sense of the nuts and bolts of guerilla war you almost forget you are watching a period piece. Unlike the epic sweep of Neil Jordan's "Billy Collins," which spoke in a syntax closer to Hollywood's, "The Wind" doesn't paint over its political arguments with a patina of nostalgia.
  163. Comedy and suspense, satire and shame are all mashed together--with breezy confidence.
  164. Thanks to everyone involved, the movie radiates a hundred pleasures.
  165. Summer hasn't arrived, but the funniest riff on a summer movie genre has already landed.
  166. For anyone who grew up worshiping at the shrine of Julie Christie, the notion that she could be playing a white-haired woman drifting into senility is a jolt to the system. But her radiance, beauty and talent are undiminished: she's hauntingly, heartbreakingly good.
  167. It happens to be one of the most wildly (and disturbingly) inventive animated films I've seen.
  168. It has the feel of a classic coming-of-age story. It's the sleeper of the summer.
  169. As a "Revenge of the Nerds" redux, Superbad isn't perfect. But it's super close.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brilliantly strange, often funny and ultimately heartbreaking film.
  170. It sounds grimmer than it plays, thanks to Jenkins's sardonic, deadpan humor and the superb cast, who invest these damaged characters with rich, flawed, hilarious humanity. This bittersweet X-ray of American family dynamics may not be a Hallmark-card notion of a holiday movie, but it's one any son or daughter can take to heart.
  171. A great horror movie is like a good shrink--and a lot cheaper, too. It purges us through petrification. That horror movie, thankfully, has arrived. It's called The Orphanage," and it is seriously scary.
  172. Schygulla's heartbreaking performance--like the movie itself--will stay with you long after the film's quietly devastating final frame.
  173. Tropic Thunder is the funniest movie of the summer--so funny, in fact, that you start laughing before the film itself has begun.
  174. Most of the time, Demme's deliberately unstable mixture of moods and genres produces electric results. Rachel Getting Married takes a familiar subject--the raw nerves of American family life with--and draws fresh blood.
  175. Eastwood tells his haunting, sorrowful saga with such a sure, steady hand, only a very hardened cynic could fail to be moved.
  176. Desplechin is an inspired impurist. His Christmas Tale is untidy, overstuffed and delicious: a genuine holiday feast.
  177. Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.
  178. The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An extraordinary documentary.
  179. There hasn't been a studio movie as unapologetically adult, sophisticated, and nuanced as Up in the Air in some time.
  180. Crazy Heart gets to you like a good country song--not because it tells you something new, but because it tells it well. It's the singer, not the song.
  181. Rabbit Hole deftly sidesteps sentimentality and still wrenches your heart.
  182. Urgent, gritty, sometimes weirdly funny, The Fighter might be considered his first feel-good movie. But Russell's too honest and acute an observer to serve up affirmation without leaving a subversive aftertaste of ambivalence and unease.
  183. If the film has a problem, it's a kind of excess of goodness at the expense of imaginative excitement. The real hero is the psychiatrist, played with a riffing Jewish beat by Hirsch as a counterpoint to the tight Wasp rhythms of Conrad's family. There's a feeling of therapy more than revelation, but perhaps for our multifariously sick society therapy has become revelation. This seems to have been a major point in Guest's novel, and Redford has dramatized it with integrity, honor and compassion. [22 Sept 1980, p.76]
    • Newsweek
  184. Brutal and precision-made, Thief is a high-tech crime movie that closes in on its subject with such relentless purpose that it approaches abstraction. Nothing enters Mann's frame that is not designed to be there: the expertise he honors in his criminal hero is mirrored by his own meticulous craftsmanship. He gets the job done--and blows you away while doing it. [30 Mar 1981, p.82]
    • Newsweek
  185. Every character--not just the kids, but the teachers as well--comes alive with a complexity worthy of Jean Renoir. The lyricism of Wild Reeds doesn't cast a smoke screen of nostalgia, it brings us closer to the experience of adolescence.

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