St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,055 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 A Serious Man
Lowest review score: 0 The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Score distribution:
1,055 movie reviews
  1. Her
    Her may be the most technologically astute movie since Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: a Space Odyssey.” And as the friendly ghost in the machine, Samantha is a more inviting companion for the great leap forward than HAL9000 could ever dream of being.
  2. Winter's Bone is the best film of the year.
  3. A stark, contemplative and hauntingly brilliant film.
  4. A comedy of discomfort -- and one of their (Coen brothers) best, most insightful and most provocative films.
  5. Cotillard gets so persuasively inside Sandra’s skin that it’s not at all surprising that this performance has earned her another Oscar nomination. And she does so without resorting to shameless, award-baiting grandstanding.
  6. Fruitvale Station has all the impact of a thoroughly researched, well-argued documentary. But Coogler made the right choice in going with drama.
  7. With such supercharged material under the hood, a magnetic man behind the wheel and a nimble director manning the pits, Senna is simply the greatest sports film I have ever seen.
  8. Ultimately hopeful, but uncompromising in its commitment to exposing a tragic chapter in history.
  9. When films are good, actors and directors get a lot of the credit that should go to the screenwriters. In the case of Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of the best films of the year, there is a popcorn bowl of glory to go around.
  10. The best film of the year and perhaps the purest love story in cinematic history.
  11. A film that's at once timely and timeless.
  12. Lots of films claim to be different. Birdman is.
  13. At once an unforgettable war film and a brilliant character study.
  14. In a stunning performance, Teller resists the impulse to sugarcoat Andrew’s egocentricity. Simmons is equally impressive, lending Fletcher just enough humanity to render his monstrousness all the more shocking.
  15. Up in the Air may not end up as the best picture -- that will be decided by the Academy -- but it has landed in the middle of the discussion because it's laser-focused and right on time.
  16. Shot mostly in black and white and imbued with a romanticism that's at once nostalgic and exhilarating, Tetro sneaks up on you. What threatens to be a mere exercise in style proves to be as involving as it is inventive.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Die Hard 2, which is far and away the best of the big summer action pictures, is an almost perfect blend of suspense, thrills, human drama and, perhaps most important, comedy. [6 July 1990, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  17. Oyelowo takes full advantage of his close physical resemblance to King, but he wisely avoids mere impersonation, delivering a performance that’s as sensitive as it is spellbinding.
  18. An exhilarating balancing act, at once a science-fiction romp, a paranoid thriller and a philosophical treatise.
  19. The film would be incalculably different if the lead role had been divided between two or three young actors for a conventional shoot. But Linklater’s patience allows us to see a thoughtful personality being formed both on and off the screen.
  20. Involves the gradual revelation of the hopes, fears and insecurities of well-observed characters.
  21. Nev and the filmmakers prove to be charismatic, and at times hilarious, investigators of the unfolding mystery.
  22. The combination of a literate script, an adroit cast and an economical style is simple addition that achieves an alchemical feat: the best film of the year.
  23. Bursting with smart dialogue, surprising situations and humor that springs from richly imagined characters.
  24. The conclusion of Christopher Nolan's superhero trilogy is a hugely ambitious mix of eye candy and brain food. If it doesn't have the haunting aftertaste of the previous serving, that's only because Nolan couldn't clone Heath Ledger. But beefy substitute Tom Hardy is a hell of a villain.
  25. Surrender, earthlings. It’s the Guardians’ world and you’ll be happy to live in it.
  26. Sophisticated comedies have gone out of fashion, largely because Hollywood finds it easier and more profitable to simply gross out moviegoers. But Please Give has real class -- and for that it deserves our gratitude.
  27. It starts as a bittersweet parable about the cruelty of commerce, but the wonder of Searching for Sugar Man will not soon slip away.
  28. As much as anything, the wildly entertaining ’70s flashback American Hustle is a triumph of style.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is Daisy's story, and Hoke's story. It's a beautiful story, filled with warmth and compassion. It was a glorious evening of theater when I saw it, and it's just as glorious on the screen. [12 Jan. 1990, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  29. What Inside Llewyn Davis is all about: the passion, and the pain, of being an artist.
  30. An exciting cloak-and-dagger thriller.
  31. The movie Timbuktu is as fresh as today’s headlines, but it’s paced and photographed like a timeless slice of life. It’s an exquisite, wise and even funny film, easily the best of the year.
  32. Perilous incidents have riveted audiences since Pauline was tied to the railroad tracks, but in the hundred-year history of cinema, few thrillers have been as emotionally compelling as The Impossible.
  33. A cinematic miracle, a film that carves out a vivid space that has nothing to do with wizards or extraterrestrials, but quite a lot to say about the fantastical creatures that roam through the humanity in us all.
  34. A far more interesting film than its title implies. And a film you’ve never seen before.
  35. After feeding on this sweet buffet, sated cinephiles will want to call the front desk to extend their stay.
  36. Into the Abyss makes a strong case for the inhumanity of capital punishment, regardless of the crime or the criminal.
  37. The result, Pina, is the most spirited and spectacular film about dance since Robert Altman's "The Company."
  38. The Master is not a schematic attack on a particular religion. It is a brilliantly conceived and powerfully realized work of art, with complex characters, exquisite images and ambiguously big ideas.
  39. The Tree of Life is a religious experience. Overtly. Audaciously. Unashamedly. No film has ever reached as high toward the face of God and, in our commodified future, few are likely to try.
  40. Beauty comes to us unexpectedly. That's the message of Poetry, a Korean movie about an aging housemaid that turns out to be one of the best films of the year.
  41. One of the best films of the year.
  42. Not just a reboot - it's a rejuvenation. From the first image of sensory awakening to the final acceptance of adult responsibility, it pulses with the warm blood of a very human hero.
  43. The film is a raw, unsparing look at the downside of humanity.
  44. With a title taken from an American Indian word for "life out of balance," Godfrey Reggio's wordless documentary lured dreamers into the sacred cave of cinema, where they ingested the serial music of Philip Glass and the time-lapse imagery of cinematographer Ron Fricke.
  45. The story is so masterfully told that one can't help but be enthralled.
  46. The success of the three, separately screened films -- the first set in 1974, the second in 1980 and the concluding segment in 1983 -- depends not on their specifics, but on their ability to sustain an atmosphere that's appropriate to the dark but haunting story.
  47. Unlike too many films these days, Zero Dark Thirty dares to embrace complexity. And that makes it not just state-of-the-art entertainment, but a great film.
  48. The message of the movie is as clear as Siberian ice: Whether you’re a Tea Partier, an Occupier or just an ordinary Joe, you might be the next citizen who’s stranded in limbo.
  49. The Kids Are All Right probably could have used a few more scenes to come to an even more satisfying conclusion. But it's a terrific film anyway.
  50. Essential viewing for art-film buffs and crime-flick fans, but also for anyone who's looking for a great story, terrific acting and masterful filmmaking.
  51. A lovably quirky comedy-drama with a rhythm all its own.
  52. With a fearless director and his mighty pen freeing a talented cast to attack a vital theme, Django Unchained is damnation unleashed.
  53. That action is bloody, but Fiennes' choices as director are unassailably apt and artful. Coriolanus is a triumph.
  54. This is the kind of film that benefits from being experienced with as little prior knowledge as possible. As one watches it, certain questions may arise. But don’t worry — the answers are fascinating.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All of the performances are skilled, and yet it's Weaver (a veteran screen, television and stage actress in Australia) who, in a smaller role, creates the character who stays with you.
  55. Traditional in the best sense.
  56. Although the brazen lovers, bellicose ministers and backstabbing handmaidens are familiar elements, the film is so handsomely mounted that we happily endure the ride until the turning of the screws in the tragic last act.
  57. Long before the blood starts spilling, it’s clear the new team has mostly nailed it. The reboot is as good a Carrie remake as possible, though it’s not truly a scary movie; the film takes its time living up to its R rating.
  58. For those who appreciate fiery dialogue delivered by fine actors, August: Osage County is heaven-sent.
  59. Garcia’s performance, which won the best actress award at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, is a marvel of self-effacing artistry.
  60. Superior filmmaking. Yes, it runs almost three hours - but you've probably seen 90-minute films that felt a lot longer.
  61. Ajami is neither a puzzle nor a polemic. It's an admirably even-handed portrait of life in an occupied ghetto that is bounded by checkpoints. Everyone we meet is a more or less honorably motivated victim of circumstance. That the circumstances were inscribed centuries ago makes Ajami a tragedy of biblical proportions.
  62. This is a film that's not always easy to watch, but just about impossible to forget.
  63. Builds beautifully from a farcical premise that requires a suspension of disbelief to a musical climax that washes away our cynicism in a wave of honest tears.
  64. Director David O. Russell ("Three Kings") delivers a film of staggering impact.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The film catches the Mozarts' true personalities in a way that Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" never approaches. In one scene, the siblings playfully improvise musical variations, and then joyfully rush to the clavier to write them down: There is the essence of Mozart.
  65. Only an artist at the midpoint between the maypole and maturity could concoct a comedy as potent as While We’re Young.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    'Back to the Future Part III is somewhat overlong and a little slow in getting started, but on the whole it provides an entertaining and emotionally satisfying conclusion to a memorable series. [25 May 1990, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  66. A miniaturist's masterpiece, the ebb and flow of familial love distilled to its essence.
  67. Although the story is mournful, the movie is buoyed by a heaven-scented surrealism.
  68. In its cross-cultural breadth, director Ridley Scott’s smart and violent film merits comparison to Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic,” but the dialogue delivered by the stellar cast is incomparably McCarthy’s.
  69. As enchanting as it is ambitious.
  70. Hogancamp's alliance with director Jeff Malmberg in this artful and poignant film marks a victory in the war against the self.
  71. Iowa-native Gurira has had roles in TV’s “Treme” and “The Walking Dead,” but Mother of George should be the birth of a brilliant film career.
  72. True Grit is just a couple bloody gunfights removed from an old-fashioned Disney yarn. Yet it's still unmistakably a Coen brothers movie, from the stray weirdness of a bearskin-clad dentist to the bulls-eye delights of the dialogue.
  73. Wysocki is perfectly cast as a teen who's at odds with both his environment and himself. It's a terrific performance. And as the empathetic Fitzgerald, Reilly is at his quirky best.
  74. What makes it special is Eastwood's ability to artfully and concisely tell a story, and Morgan Freeman's wonderfully understated turn as South African President Nelson Mandela.
  75. The rare film that will remain on your mind long after you’ve left the theater.
  76. Soul Power is both a funk-tastic time capsule and a timeless celebration of the human spirit.
  77. Our Idiot Brother is smart entertainment.
  78. Director Lindholm is a graduate of the Dogma school, and he is able to maintain tension with a documentary camera technique, virtually no music and minimal on-screen theatrics.
  79. Like the previous seven movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 obliviates the line between art and craft, but the witchcraft conjured for this satisfying finale is uniquely generous.
  80. Although it's sly and sardonic, Police, Adjective is as rigorous as a tea ceremony -- or a Stalinist re-education camp.
  81. Mud
    A provocative mood piece. Nichols, who had an art-house hit in 2011 with “Take Shelter,” has a gift for creating characters of unusual depth, and for eliciting performances of emotional resonance. With Mud, he seems to be edging closer to the mainstream, but his skills are as sharp as ever.
  82. To ensure customer loyalty, Hollywood should promote more movies about workaday life in the provinces, but until there's a new wave of midcoast comedies, Cedar Rapids is the big kahuna.
  83. Near the two-minute warning, Big Fan becomes chillingly unpredictable.
  84. There's so much higher intelligence in Project Nim that simply digesting it feels like evolutionary progress.
  85. It's true that the movie is both emotionally violent and sexually explicit. Yet these scenes from a marriage are crafted with such attention to detail and overarching honesty that Blue Valentine touches the heart.
  86. The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict.
  87. With exquisitely simple images and minimal dialogue, Seraphine is both haunting and humane.
  88. Might be mistaken for a mere soap opera. But it's actually an emotional symphony.
  89. A distinctly European exercise in observational nuance and tonal restraint in which Coppola stretches static images to the breaking point.
  90. Until a devastatingly effective finale, Monsieur Lazhar is an exercise in delicacy, carried by Fallag's gentle performance and a fine cast of kid actors.
  91. To keep serious cinema from going extinct, this could be sold as "The Hunger Games" cross-bred with "The Lorax," but it's better and more mature than either of those hit movies.
  92. Vincere, which translates as the battle cry "Win!" is like invisible ink on the ledger of war, a secret record of love and loss.
  93. Even as it looks to the heavens, Gravity is bound to earth, where the beauty is in the details.
  94. The King's Speech is the epitome of prestige cinema, an impeccably crafted and emotionally compelling drama that deserves the many laurels it surely will receive.
  95. The performance is both an eerie imitation and a touching revelation. Oscar voters who overlooked Williams for her camouflage roles in "Brokeback Mountain," "Wendy and Lucy" and "Blue Valentine" should now throw diamonds at her feet.
  96. This is epic cinema that begs to be compared to "2001: A Space Odyssey." But unlike Stanley Kubrick's psychedelic joyride, this journey is powered by a human heart.
  97. Yes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is often hard to follow, perhaps overestimating the audience's ability to keep track of what's going on and why. But it's a well-crafted film that wears its old-fashionedness with pride.
  98. The tonal shifts, the "Amelie"-style voiceover and the punk-retro soundtrack may jar some viewers who expect uninterrupted violins, but Declaration of War is alternative therapy that really works.
  99. With Top Five, Rock has finally made the transition to true movie stardom.
  100. Refusing to hold our hands, director Lynne Ramsay ("Morvern Callar") pushes far beyond the boundaries of topical drama into the realm of the surreal.
  101. The film isn't quite as edgy as Fincher's best work - "Seven," "Fight Club" and "Zodiac" are masterpieces of modern angst. But the director brings a fresh eye to what might easily have been an unnecessary rehash of the 2009 Swedish adaptation.
  102. A brainy bio that exerts a gravitational pull on the heartstrings.
  103. Before it turns into a great escape flick, Argo is an amusing spoof of the movie biz.
  104. A beautifully realized drama that gets to the essence of what it's like to be young, confused and in love.
  105. Ultimately Skyfall is rooted in tradition - and in British soil. A pastoral drive to Bond's boyhood home (in a kind of car that will delight purists) opens the gates to some psychological background, and given the true-love subtext of "Casino Royale," it's not surprising that there's an emotional payoff here.
  106. It sustains a palpable fatalism in such recurring details as a whirring buzz saw and the cry of a loon, while the static camera and lack of musical cues enable some unforeseeable plot twists.
  107. Although Precious is based on a novel, it's an act of truth-telling on behalf of a character in hellish enslavement.
  108. The richly constructed first hour is so superior to any feat of sci-fi speculation since "Minority Report" that the bland aftertaste of the chase finale is quickly forgotten.
  109. When the two men compare impersonations of Michael Caine or Sean Connery, Brydon's version is always slightly better - and Coogan knows it.
  110. An art-history lesson and a spiritual exercise disguised as a movie.
  111. If you don’t know the true story, we won’t spoil it for you except to say that it’s not the expected outcome. But if you’re willing to be thrown for a loop, you’re in good hands with this medal-worthy cast and crew.
  112. An artfully observant and unexpectedly moving documentary.
  113. With a stellar cast and seductive look, Ex Machina is a sleek contraption for capturing our imagination.
  114. A movie that will be discovered, embraced and shared with friends like a favorite record album.
  115. The Illusionist has surprises up its sleeve that are unusually nuanced for an animated movie.
  116. There's a running joke that this epic of also-ran heroism is set in eternally modest Toronto; but its real locale is an alternate universe without parents or the unhip.
  117. Unhurried in its storytelling but unshakable in its impact.
  118. This humane movie is an ode to joy, albeit of the mature sort.
  119. It's a wholly successful sequel - audacious, entertaining and bracingly pertinent.
  120. With its exploded notions of heroism, torture-rack dramatics and kamikaze gusto, it's a fiendishly entertaining flick.
  121. It’s a party where we want to stay, until we’re dragged out kicking and screaming.
  122. Ferrell's dryly understated performance is a shorthand for an alcoholic's denial and repressed rage, and as Nick grows increasingly desperate for a drink, he keeps his anger stashed like a last beer for emergencies.
  123. With a mad captain at the helm, this documentary version of Jodorowsky’s “Dune” is probably more entertaining than what Hollywood would have done to it, with a clearer message: Our lives are like sands though an hourglass, so dream the impossible dream.
  124. Kristen Wiig is the best sketch comic alive, and Bridesmaids should finally make her a movie star.
  125. As an homage to an influential director, Submarine blows "Super 8" out of the water.
  126. The virtue of Inherent Vice is that we can stop chasing the tale and just enjoy the sunset of the ’60s dream.
  127. Bonnaire, whose films include "Vagabond" and "Monsieur Hire," gets Helene just right, registering her joys and disappointments with finesse.
  128. Notwithstanding exquisite images that evoke Terrence Malick's "Days of Heaven," city-slicker audiences may find themselves getting saddle sore. But those with the courage to explore uncharted territory will be rewarded with a rough gem of a movie.
  129. You might expect a cartoon about a man and his dog to be strictly for kids, but My Dog Tulip, based on a memoir by J.R. Ackerley, has a psychological richness and anatomical explicitness that is very grown-up.
  130. Rango is iconic like a spaghetti Western, smart like a '70s conspiracy thriller and lively like a Coen brothers comedy.
  131. Has been criticized as endorsing or condoning violence, but that assessment is unfair and inaccurate. If terrorism is to be eliminated, it must be understood, not oversimplified.
  132. Zobel's unsparing approach is justified. This film should be hard to watch - and it is. But it's also hard to forget.
  133. Black Swan is ridiculously over the top, but in a way that makes it fascinating to watch.
  134. Whether true or a hoax, I'm Still Here represents real risk-taking that I can only applaud.
  135. One part personal mystery and one part art-appreciation class.
  136. A charming throwback filled with authentic characters.
  137. It’s ultimately everything a modern horror movie should be.
  138. Although Lebanon is to be congratulated for its bold visual strategy and strong antiwar stance, the film becomes claustrophobic after a while.
  139. A film that's all the more intriguing for being virtually impossible to categorize.
  140. The best kind of comic-book movie. It's stylish and spectacular, yet it's rooted in history and human emotions. It's smart yet it's funny. It's wise yet it kicks ass when it has to. Just like the U.S. of A.
  141. Put aside any hang-ups you may have about subtitles. As action flicks go, Point Blank is right on target.
  142. The funniest movie of the year.
  143. At the confluence of altered states and state-sanctioned violence, this drug-fueled thriller is Stone's most successfully provocative picture since "JFK."
  144. Although it alludes to romantic conventions, with overt references to Hollywood history and an overemphatic jazz soundtrack, Wild Grass is neither poignant nor zany. It's an exercise in artifice, not unlike David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" set in the City of Lights. I'm sure the French have a word for it, but je ne sais quoi it is.
  145. If you're looking for a political message, either for or against U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, this is not your movie. The directors were satisfied with telling us about a group of courageous, honorable young soldiers - a salute these men richly deserve.
  146. Anyone suggesting that an Italian film could rival the style and grandeur of "The Godfather" might end up sleeping with the fishes. But Il Divo delivers.
  147. No
    The Oscar-nominated No has the gritty feel of a foreign film from the 1970s. As such, it may take a few minutes for most moviegoers to adjust to its rhythms. Ironically for a film about advertising, there’s nothing slick about it — and therein lies much of its greatness.
  148. An evolutionary leap forward, a visually exquisite film that doesn't ignore the truths of pollution and predatory survival.
  149. Although The Gatekeepers lacks the stylistic inventiveness of “Fog,” it is nonetheless a compelling account of what can go wrong when power is unrestrained.
  150. The film is so masterfully controlled, we feel like we’ve eavesdropped on something like life.
  151. A marvelous piece of work.
  152. Do yourself and your kids a favor. On the way to multiplex to see "The Avengers," tell them The Fairy is about an all-powerful superheroine. Someday, they'll find the words to thank you.
  153. A blast, the best action movie of the summer.
  154. Fury is a guided tour through a manmade hell.
  155. For a nation at war with its own values, Fair Game is a compelling, pertinent and scrupulously true political thriller in the honorable tradition of "All the President's Men."
  156. Co-directors Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos let the painful stories emerge naturally, without prodding questions or talking-head experts who place the boys’ grim lives in the larger context of the post-industrial economy.
  157. Shannon's powerfully imploded performance ignites one of the best films of the year.
  158. When a place and its people are this stylish, we can't help but be drawn to them.
  159. Clear-eyed, fearless and ferociously funny, Young Adult is mature filmmaking.
  160. Richly photographed and featuring an attractive cast, Farewell, My Queen is a layer cake of royal pleasures, rote protocols and revolutionary politics. For skeptics who thought this story had grown stale, let them eat their words.
  161. For the many mavens who aren't familiar with Varda, this autobiographical documentary will be puzzling, in the best and most literal sense.
  162. One of the best films of the year, Gett: the Trial of Viviane Amsalem is bound to be compared to the Oscar-winning Iranian drama “A Separation”; but if anything, Gett is an even more artful evocation of a bureaucratic nightmare.
  163. The Hedgehog sneaks up on you with its heartfelt storytelling and sophisticated wit.
  164. Davis Guggenheim, the St. Louis director who won an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," mines less controversial material this time around.
  165. We can quibble about the punitive punchline of John Gatins' script, but keeping complexity aloft for so long makes Flight a miraculous feat.
  166. As the highly focused Hanna, Ronan - who had a breakout role in "Atonement" - is simply brilliant.
  167. As memorable as it is insightful, Take This Waltz is one of the best films of the year.
  168. The action is contained within a coherent dramatic structure and the puzzle-box paranoia of spy-agency protocol.
  169. An enthralling lament for an era in which beauty is in danger of becoming extinct.
  170. An Oscar-ready collaboration between a great director and a star at the peak of his powers, but at its heart is a message in a bottle reading: "Trapped in paradise. Please send help."
  171. It's one of the funniest and most perceptive films of the year.
  172. I’m pretty sure it would still be one of the best films of the year if the explicit lesbian sex scenes were censored, but it wouldn’t earn a penny in Peoria.
  173. For cinematic sojourners, Hugo is a trip to the moon.
  174. Maybe I enjoyed the similarly themed Kick-Ass because it took me back to that innocent time. Or maybe it's because this is the most brazenly funny bloodbath unleashed on the public since "Pulp Fiction."
  175. An eye-opening primer in cross-species similarity. We learn that apes are violent and territorial but also that they are capable of creativity and tenderness.
  176. An action comedy that works. But it’s also a surprisingly poignant romance. This is the summer flick you’ve been waiting for.
  177. This is a smart, moving film that's also very, very funny.
  178. Best of all is Favreau. Instead of mass-producing another superhero epic, he has given the overfed public a dish of right-sized comfort food.
  179. It's an original that plays as if it were based on a novel.
  180. A terrific but uncompromising film that's definitely not for everyone.
  181. It's not warm and fuzzy, but for kids who comprehended "Coraline" and babysitters who savored "The Corpse Bride," this stop-motion marvel from some of the same animators is like an early Halloween treat.
  182. The storytelling is solid, propelled by characters that you come to care about.
  183. Energetic, colorful and packed with strong performances and musical numbers good enough to get by, Sparkle beams brightly.
  184. A co-star deserving special mention is Nebraska itself, which Payne films in black-and-white to mirror the austerity of life on the de-populated prairie. These corners of the Cornhusker State are as empty as the promise of a sweepstakes prize. In this land of ghosts, one old pioneer tries to grab his stake before he becomes another windblown husk.
  185. Although it's a guilty pleasure, The Queen of Versailles is artful enough that both the prosecution and the defense could invoke it when the peasants cry "Off with their heads!"
  186. Despite the obvious mismatches involved, this isn’t a simplistic smackdown. Freighted with weighty issues, Captain Phillips is a film worth debating.
  187. Gilchrist ("United States of Tara") is immensely appealing as a kid who's just a bit too wrapped up in himself to grasp that perhaps his problems aren't insurmountable.
  188. May be too sterile and stylized to elicit real tears, but it's got brains and heart to spare.
  189. If you can take it, Unbroken will lift you like the classics of adventure cinema.
  190. By turning a whistle-blower into a tragicomic figure, Soderbergh sustains our interest in a complicated financial scheme and rewards it with a kickback of ghastly laughs.
  191. At once a fascinating character study and a scathing indictment of the role of the medical-pharmaceutical complex in exacerbating the AIDS crisis, the fact-based Dallas Buyers Club is one of the best films of the year.
  192. Many of the people reading this review are doing it on a computer. And all of them are reading it in English. It’s not much of stretch to say that you could credit both of those things to a man named Alan Turing.
  193. Imagine an opulent movie palace that was 30,000 years old, with posters preserved on the curving walls and the bones of the Stone Age patrons peacefully sleeping in the fairy dust. That's essentially what archeologists found in a French canyon in 1994 and what Werner Herzog brings back to life in the extraordinary documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
  194. Like Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Oduye brilliantly slips inside the skin of a sensitive young woman who's having trouble finding her place in the world.
  195. A one-joke movie, but it’s a joke whose recurring rimshots grow as loud as our laughter.
  196. Notwithstanding the characters’ spiritual camaraderie, Salles’ emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal’s story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process. When he reaches a crossroads choice between down-and-out Dean and his own rising career, Sal senses that except for the words on a typewritten scroll, his life on the road is gone, real gone.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    They have the perfect supporting cast, made up of a group of exceptional real-life musicians: retired members of orchestras and opera companies, and a pianist bristling with the suppressed impatience of the longtime accompanist. (To see who they are, stick around for the credits.)
  197. Both arduous and artful, City of Life and Death is the best imaginable movie about the genocidal siege that's now called the Rape of Nanking. Anything more explicit would be unwatchable; anything more contemplative would be a betrayal of the sustained suffering.
  198. For a public that's been bullied by the tastemakers, the mystery is a gift. Once we exit this fun house, the only giant left to obey is ourselves.
  199. Starts out so promisingly that it's a huge disappointment when it ultimately becomes way too predictable - and unbelievable. It's as if "Raging Bull" suddenly morphed into "Rocky."
  200. The Rover is a sterling example of the new Australian noir.
  201. Directed by Steve James, whose “Hoop Dreams” Ebert hailed as the best film of the 1990s, it’s the kind of documentary the dying man wanted — honest, humane and inclusive.
  202. He’s like a globe-trotting Richard Linklater. And with Winterbottom’s first-ever sequel, his “Trip” films now rival Linklater’s “Before” series in charting how a twosome evolves over time. Plus, they’re bloody hilarious.
  203. It’s not only a fresh and funny spoof of the movie business, it represents a real-life triumph within it.
  204. The most exhilarating film of the year is also the most exhausting.
  205. Star Trek Into Darkness offers much of what the fans expect and not much of what they don't. This character-driven vehicle is a supercharged example of cinematic craftsmanship.
  206. Although you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it, Moneyball is one of the best baseball movies imaginable.
  207. Beautifully but simply wrought by director Cindy Meehl, this deft documentary is a poignant reappraisal of what it means to be human.
  208. This is a kaleidoscopic valentine to a great city from a director who knows and loves his subject.
  209. Bernie could easily have gone horribly wrong. But Black and Linklater finesse this tricky material with as much virtuosity as Bernie brings to that broccoli.
  210. The reason District 9 reverberates so loudly is because its moral indignation is cranked to 11.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Most of all, it’s a magical feat, one that turns puppets into personalities and an English meadow into Anderson’s world.
  211. Among recent documentaries, First Position soars to the head of the class.
  212. Particularly memorable are scenes in which Calvin loses his cool as Ruby holds onto her calm. It all adds up to a movie that's sparklingly entertaining.
  213. May be too cute to qualify as high art, but it's highly entertaining.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There are no false Hollywood dramatics, no musical cues telling us how we should feel about this boy's battle for dignity and a place in the world. The director lets complex emotions flow naturally out of believable action and dialogue in this very faithful adaptation of a fascinating memoir. [20 August 1993, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  214. Although it's slow to unfold, this courtroom drama is so timelessly humane and even-handed it feels like it came from the dockets of Solomon - by way of Sidney Lumet.
  215. Gilroy vividly evokes both the LA exteriors and newsroom interiors, and the action sequences are fraught with tension.
  216. Nowhere Boy is too astutely written and directed to go to predictably melodramatic extremes.
  217. Allen has been criticized for leaving some of the plot lines up in the air and several characters in the lurch. But he seems to be making a point: Neat Hollywood endings are as phony and dangerous as Cristal's ramblings.
  218. As they build up steam, two powerful actors keep us wondering whether this train is bound for war or peace.
  219. It's a well-earned curtain call for some of the most beloved characters in one of the best-sustained feats of recent cinema.

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