The Playlist's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,999 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
Lowest review score: 0 R.I.P.D.
Score distribution:
1999 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Underneath the dark humor and holistic mise en scène, there remains the nagging suspicion that what is onscreen is — in spite of the film’s best intentions — another patriarchal interpretation of Lady Macbeth.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. There’s nothing lost in the translation of Fences, but its high fidelity means there’s little, if any, inspiration to be found within.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Though he gets fine performances from many quarters...the film is scuppered by an approach that sees it build on the bones of the novel without ever quite animating its heart.
  11. 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.
  12. Director Anne Fontaine’s film is based on actual events and grapples with thorny questions that plague even the most zealous during times of crisis. It’s a pity, then, that this picture finds Fontaine compelled to find a resolution in a situation that seldom yields easy answers.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. While its ambition does show a director still aspiring for great heights, its patchy execution only partly restores the faith.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Wild never really earns its hard-fought struggle for redemption and personal reinvention.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. In embracing the disorienting quality present in Frank’s work, 'Don’t Blink' is but an abstract portrait, muddled by a jarring messiness.
  23. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    Focused on fetishizing rather than intimately depicting, director Chad Hartigan has produced a warm-hearted yarn that treats its two African-American leading men like props in his white-washed game of chess.
  24. Lord knows the superhero genre could use some fun poked at it and we were psyched to see the film, but while there’s some fun to be had, it can’t help but feel like a missed opportunity.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. By pointing their camera at the Red Mosque, Trivedi and Naqvi add surprisingly little to the conversation.
  28. The film is a mostly workmanlike biopic that unfortunately can never match the energy of the subject it’s trying to capture.

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