The Playlist's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,465 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Drive
Lowest review score: 0 Rage
Score distribution:
1,465 movie reviews
  1. The overwriting of every single discussion smacks less of realistic debate than of a writer/director in the throes of a fit of didacticism who simply never trusts his audience to get his meaning without it being iterated and reiterated to the point of white noise.
  2. There's something deeply poetic about Lincoln making his way through a changed nation to meet his demise. Such poetry is nowhere to be found in Lincoln.
  3. It's not particularly funny or moving and it's terribly self-indulgent. Flamboyance and cartoonishness rule, there's hardly a moment of genuine emotion, and most overtures in that direction are superficial. As a picture ostensibly about love, revenge and the ugliness of slavery, Django Unchained has almost zero subtext and is a largely soulless bloodbath, in which the history of pain and retribution is coupled carelessly with a cool soundtrack and some verbose dialogue. Though it might just entertain the sh.t out of the less discerning.
  4. As a film whose central theme emphasizes the dangers of living in the past, Wright, Pegg and Frost become fatally distracted by nostalgia, eventually paying too much homage to previous classics—especially their own—to create another film that deserves to stand alongside them.
  5. Burshtein has devoted most of the last 20 years teaching and making film in that world, but here makes her international feature debut with a curious comedy-drama that has its strengths, but ultimately proves somewhat disappointing.
  6. While the experiment itself is fascinating, the approach taken by Almereyda in using distractingly peculiar storytelling techniques only succeed in distancing the audience from the film's inspiration.
  7. When the final moment comes and it's revealed how the children died, it's less of a surprise than a shrug. Drama robbed of suspense is just dull.
  8. There is no shading, there is no ambiguity, and while there are observations and stilted epithets aplenty, there is precious little wisdom.
  9. At best a handful of transitory pleasures, Sils Maria threads through the peaks and valleys of weighty, interesting topics, but makes no lasting impression on them.
  10. The film is an almost overly thorough look at every single step along the way in the battle to bring Prop 8 down. And while that's admirable, and gay rights is certainly a fight that needs to be documented, the minutely detailed The Case Against 8 has the curious effect of dampening the drama through its approach.
  11. Fleck and Boden certainly have strong filmmaking smarts. They understand restraint, have terrific observational eyes, and know how to coax honest performances out of actors. So it’s perhaps a shame that Mississippi Grind is ultimately too underwhelming to stake with any confidence.
  12. The people of Jia’s film are mysterious, their reactions and motivations, outside of that first segment in which we get the best-drawn and therefore most anomalous character, are all but unknowable.
  13. There is a fine line between meeting an audience halfway and witholding enough without falling into self-indulgence, but Kiarostami can't make that balance here. Enigmatic and dull to a maddening degree, Like Someone In Love finds Kiarostami spinning his wheels.
  14. Perversely episodic, strangely empty, and unfolding in a series of beautifully composed but static wide shots (giving us the unusual experience of literally yearning for a close-up), the film is a test of patience.
  15. Wild never really earns its hard-fought struggle for redemption and personal reinvention.
  16. While it's great to look at, Reality is an empty shell. A feature length examination on the artifice of reality programming, Garrone's film itself is superficial and lacking the same depth of artistry and ideas he finds absent on TV.
  17. Mud
    Mud is as unmoving as it is because it doesn’t aspire to be anything other than a competent anti-fairy tale in which the paint-by-number morals are enforced by equally obvious main protagonists.
  18. The Wolfpack is a film about access, and though we are admitted into the world of the eponymous Wolfpack, not understanding how we got there robs the film of compelling commentary.
  19. It may not always work as a drama but The Skeleton Twins proves to be a fine showcase for Wiig and Hader, showing they are both capable of dramatic material.
  20. With her underdeveloped, dismissive, screenplay and myopic direction, Rondòn is as delicate with her theme as Michael Bay is with his American flag shots or Tim Burton with his kitschy quirkiness. That hers is a serious context makes it that much more disappointing.
  21. There is beauty here, and exquisite craft in both the pictures and the minutely designed soundscape, and there are some truly chewy ideas thrown up about the porosity of the boundary between public and private that would have lent terrific, atmospheric texture to a film... But there is little connection to the characters.
  22. Zhangke's always had a throughline regarding economic inequality and the 21st century-style Chinese capitalism in his work, but Mountains May Depart might be the director's defining statement on the way that his nation has changed over the past few decades. If only he were a touch subtler about it.
  23. Star Trek Into Darkness is a long, long way from a disaster, but it's hard not to feel that Abrams' mystery box turned out to be a bit empty this time out.
  24. The film contains some memorable moments, and a pair of fine performances, but it’s hard not to feel that it would have proved more successful if it had stayed on the path it was heading down for the first forty minutes or so.
  25. Yes, the idea is unique. But they aren't quite ready to shake off what has worked for them for years -- namely making girls want to be special and popular, and boys strong and heroic.
  26. Competently directed, and delivered with the expected emotional beats, Still Alice achieves its modest goals, but one wishes it had a grander vision.
  27. Vanderbilt chooses to present the tale with a lighter comic touch in the early stages, and it’s a tone the picture can’t overcome in its final third.
  28. There are moments of beauty and charm, but also ones that felt rather broad, like an extract from a live-action Disney movie or something. It is fitfully interesting, but nearly broke our twee detectors.
  29. Directors Kramer, Miller and Newberger prefer embellishment, allowing personal stories about Downey to fuel animated re-enactments that trivialize rather than penetrate.
  30. It’s a heartfelt and undoubtedly well-meaning film, attempting a character study of a woman of an age and lifestyle that makes her an unusual and therefore unusually worthy subject. But Angelique’s overriding characteristic is that she is incapable of fundamental change which makes her at best a frustrating protagonist for this drama.

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