The Dissolve's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,458 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Lowest review score: 0 School Dance
Score distribution:
1458 movie reviews
  1. Sporadically amusing and sprinkled with a fine silt of truth that helps elevate Niko above the movie around him, A Coffee In Berlin is at its best when it rolls up the blueprints and lets its hero figure things out for himself.
  2. It’s a modest, reserved character piece that doesn’t push an agenda. The problem is that it comes across as if it lacks opinions, rather than holding them back.
  3. Bell is too inherently sympathetic to turn Leigh into a credibly flawed protagonist, and first-time writer-director Liz W. Garcia seems more interested in indulging the fantasy of the jailbait fling than in seriously interrogating her heroine’s psyche.
  4. Amelio’s latest, Intrepido: A Lonely Hero, reveals the same strengths and weaknesses as his work two decades ago—an appealing sincerity and social awareness, dogged by a mile-wide sentimental streak. In this case, when Intrepido tilts from whimsical comedy to metaphysical drama, it falls right off the cliff.
  5. If Schrader and Ellis set out to prove that movies are dying or already dead, they might have done their job too well. The Canyons doesn’t play like the cure for a moribund industry, so much as a mildly effective, highly depressing administration of the last rites.
  6. Where You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet added layers of meta-reflection to plays (by Jean Anouilh) that are terrific in their own right, Life Of Riley struggles in vain to find cinematic value in one of Alan Ayckbourn’s lesser efforts.
  7. Fanning and Hawkes are both great actors, but they can only do so much with Low Down’s familiar, monotonous cycle of recovery and relapse.
  8. The movie fails, but it’s like watching R.P. McMurphy try to lift that huge marble fixture in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest—at least they tried, goddammit.
  9. Whenever it features feet flying through the air, Brick Mansions is a pleasure. Asked to do anything else, it’s one stumble after another.
  10. Overlong and lacking a single believable moment, Make Your Move is nevertheless a sweet reminder that anyone can dance together, so long as they aren’t fighting over who should lead.
  11. Perhaps Turturro felt nobody would want to see (or finance) a simple, quiet film about a gallant Italian and a Hasidic widow, minus the high-concept gigolo angle. But in making the story more marketing-friendly, he’s undermined its sweet soul.
  12. It isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination, but B-movie lovers who like their dance movies flashy, fun, and spectacularly dumb shouldn’t mind.
  13. An advocacy doc constructed to make a clear political point first and function as a film a distant second.
  14. Habie’s fractured narrative style—particularly her arbitrary shifts from Khaled’s perspective to Eyal’s to (apparently) third-person reality—stymies the accumulation of any dramatic momentum from scene to scene.
  15. It’s a valuable historical document, to be sure; as a movie, however, it’s a dry, grueling experience, lacking Shoah’s monumental grandeur.
  16. Burning Blue expends most of its energies mitigating against potential flaws, with very little left over to push it over the top and into the realm of quality independent cinema.
  17. The film’s brevity really does work against it, giving Nicholson cover to fly by the history of gang warfare without having to dwell on anything for too long.
  18. There’s a strain of gross-out humor—most bodily fluids make cameos—that doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the movie. But more bothersome is a tendency The To Do List shares with its heroine: mistaking checking items off a list for progress.
  19. It needs to be emphasized again for the record that The Purge: Anarchy is a tremendously stupid film... But there’s an almost-camp quality to how DeMonaco takes this stupidity to greater heights, building a complex mythology around the plot like a giant moat around a pillow fort.
  20. Hodierne’s intentions were unquestionably good—he spent years researching the short and feature, working with Somali non-pros—but he still managed to fall into the same trap as the other American films on this subject, focusing on individuals rather than group dynamics.
  21. Wasteland reveals itself as little more than a bloodless plot engine, but it purrs and hums under the ultra-slick chassis.
  22. 24 Exposures is a transparent auto-critique (or self-justification, depending on how you look at it) in the form of a rather vague thriller, and doesn’t work particularly well in either mode.
  23. The semi-documentary format and the cast’s age could have been used to undermine or examine the ways male bonding in films is used to erase or denigrate women. Instead, the twists are simply used to excuse the usual tropes.
  24. At every possible turn, the film chooses to take the dumbest and most reductive path. It remains semi-watchable nonetheless, which is a testament to the skill of its four lead actors, who valiantly struggle to remain truthful.
  25. There’s a certain undeniable gravity to John’s tragic arc. But Dawn Patrol feels distended and awkwardly paced despite a lean, 87-minute runtime.
  26. Mauriac’s portrait of a society obsessed with family honor and the appearance of propriety at all costs comes through strongly, but that can’t entirely compensate for a character study with a hard-working vacuum at its center. Like Keanu Reeves, Tautou requires a perfect fit; when she tries to stretch, she gets stranded.
  27. The film struggles in vain to balance petty infidelities and other personal crises with displacement, famine, and death.
  28. What’s most frustrating about The Captive is that it includes all the elements for a potentially great Egoyan movie—they’re just buried in the mountain of schlock.
  29. Despite strenuous efforts, 24 Days fails to make the case that Halimi would be alive now had the anti-Semitism of his abductors been properly recognized. And since that’s the film’s sole reason for existence, there’s not much else to say.
  30. Drenner’s overall approach here is too limiting for a character sketch—which may be why That Guy Dick Miller frequently veers off-topic.

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