Time Out London's Scores

  • Movies
For 463 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 20 Vendetta
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 463
463 movie reviews
  1. It’s a bold, beautiful cosmic adventure story with a touch of the surreal and the dreamlike, and yet it always feels grounded in its own deadly serious reality.
  2. At once an investigation, a polemic and, in its final sequences, a tribute to human endurance. A remarkable film.
  3. Alongside archive material and new footage of Chet shot in his signature romantic, B&W style, Weber elicits frank reminiscences from his subject and a host of ex-lovers and friends.
  4. The film conceals as much as it reveals, and its beauty is that it pretends to do nothing else. It embraces a mystery and protects it, and it’s thrilling to behold.
  5. What 12 Years a Slave is really interested in is creating an honest, believable experience: in culture and context, place and people, soil and skin. The result can, at times, be alienating.
  6. It’s the most haunted and dreamlike of all American films, a gothic backwoods ramble with the Devil at its heels.
  7. It’s impossible adequately to describe the haunting intensity of It Follows: this is a film that makes a virtue of silence, that lives in the shadowy spaces between the splattery kill scenes that punctuate your average stalk-and-slasher.
  8. It’s one of the most insightful films ever made about the British class system.
  9. Gestures, looks and touches carry enormous weight, and Blanchett and Mara, both excellent, invite micropscopic readings of their every glance and movement.
  10. This is quite simply one of the saddest movies ever made, a tale of loss, grief and absolute loneliness, an unflinching stare into the darkest moral abyss.
  11. It’s an exploration of all things surface, yes, but it has soul too.
  12. It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: it combines sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Lyrical, satirical and hugely entertaining, it deserves a wider audience.
  13. The Coens have given us a melancholic, sometimes cruel, often hilarious counterfactual version of music history. It's a what-if imagining of a cultural also-ran that maybe tells us more about the truth than the facts themselves ever could.
  14. It’s a film of small moments and tiny gestures that leaves a very, very big impression.
  15. If you’ve ever sat at your desk wondering whether there’s more to life, or been kept awake by an insidious hum in the darkness, this will speak to your soul – even as its enveloping, disturbing, uplifting story sends your mind reeling with giddy possibilities.
  16. As ever with Leigh, Mr Turner addresses the big questions with small moments. It's an extraordinary film, all at once strange, entertaining, thoughtful and exciting.
  17. It’s a joyous film, full of love and warmth but unafraid to admit that with sticking out your neck comes struggle and sorrow. Truly lovely.
  18. It's dazzling and rambling, intimate and sprawling, and it's carried along by an infectious, off-the-cuff jazz score. As soon as it ends, you'll be dying to fly with it again.
  19. From this simple, not especially unique love story, Kechiche has fashioned an intimate epic.
  20. Most importantly, the film involves us: it draws us into the debate, makes us complicit, demands that we have an opinion, and then upends that same opinion a few minutes later. It's engaging and rousing.
  21. It may lack its predecessor’s lofty ambitions, but once the bullets, spears and hairy fists start flying you’ll be too wrapped up to care.
  22. Pitch Perfect 2 is totally goofy but very sweet.
  23. Black Sea runs a few fathoms short of classic status. But its blend of old-fashioned storytelling values and zeitgeisty relevance make it a worthy addition to sub-aquatic cinema’s nerve-juddering legacy.
  24. This isn’t much more than a series of ridiculously dotty sketches, and might have worked better as a sitcom, but it’s surprisingly hilarious.
  25. Even now at 50, Jarvis is a man who remains head-on crushable while dry humping an amp like your geography teacher on the Bacardi Breezers.
  26. Overall this is giddy, ridiculous fun, a witty, wacky and wonderfully generous sugary gift of a film.
  27. This is a whistle stop tour that leaves you wanting more.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I’m So Excited is the closest Almodóvar has come in years to early romps like ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Pepi, Luci, Bom’ and ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’
  28. Scarecrow’ feels like an existential fairytale squarely rooted in the reality of America’s fraying backroads and small towns. It’s all a little rambling and anarchic, but later scenes in a jail have real bite. And when the sadness behind Lion’s smile is revealed, it’s also genuinely moving.
  29. The film’s unwillingness to judge either the decent yet doubt-wracked pastor, or the damaged souls seeking a new start, effectively draws us in to a whole cluster of gnarly dilemmas, where humane intentions prove counter-productive and the truth only makes matters worse.
  30. Low key and occasionally frustrating it may be, but Computer Chess is a supremely intelligent, beautifully constructed film, interweaving comedy and character, satire and subtext, and loaded with more ideas than some filmmakers manage in a lifetime.
  31. The whole thing goes down with a few bucketloads of sugar. What keeps it from becoming sticky schmaltz is Thompson, who plays Travers with wit and warmth, adding a spoonful of spoilt child to help the battleaxe go down.
  32. Even after The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, this brings us chillingly closer to the real story of the post-Iraq shitstorm.
  33. A stop-gap tale that’s modest, fun and briefly amusing rather than one that breaks new ground or offers hugely memorable set pieces.
  34. Eschewing metaphor and mysticism (save insofar as his characters adopt them), [Dumont] has for once given us a film of immense visual beauty, thematic clarity and subtle resonance.
  35. It’s all presented as a playful cinematic puzzle by director Eskil Vogt’s confident direction and mischievous humour.
  36. What a knotty, frighteningly real drama The Hunt is.
  37. Big Bad Wolves requires a high tolerance for pain, but its wicked humour and oblique satire rip open Israel's paranoid, militarised system like a jagged saw blade.
  38. The material inspires affection, given its knowing pastiche of everything from Universal horrors to '50s grade-Z sci-fi, and a shamelessly hedonistic, fiercely independent sensibility that must have seemed a welcome relief from the mainstream bombast of other '70s musicals.
  39. The Guest is not new, exactly, but Wingard knows just which buttons to push, and he pushes them with gusto. Stevens, meanwhile, has never been better.
  40. It's a terrifically moving film that has a fitting earthbound feel to it.
  41. It’s hugely entertaining.
  42. If it wasn’t so violent, the simplicity of the metaphor – how the abused and outcast will rise up – would work for young audiences. And you won’t beat it for dog acting.
  43. The original footage – devastatingly intimate; familiar yet alien – still stops us in our tracks more than six decades later.
  44. An enormously satisfying film: carefully observed and consistently compelling, it feels like an instant American classic, if a minor one.
  45. Not just a cheeky stunt, Ferrara’s film is a genuine, worthwhile, thoughtfully unresolved attempt to understand the deepest, darkest mysteries of manhood and power.
  46. This isn’t just the best-looking film of the year, it’s one of the most awe-inspiring achievements in the history of special-effects cinema. So it’s a shame that – as is so often the case with groundbreaking effects movies – the emotional content can’t quite match up to the visual.
  47. We Are the Best! is a joyous celebration of youth, friendship and rebellion, and if there’s a nagging note of regret and bitterness it never manages to undermine the overwhelmingly compassionate tone.
  48. While it definitely takes its foot off the action, Mockingjay – Part 1 goes deeper and darker.
  49. While Monsters University can’t claim outright originality, this is a far richer movie than most were expecting.
  50. Events are still unfolding, so this is a snapshot in time, but Gibney’s conscientious, revealing document proves a mine of valuable information and affecting emotional insights.
  51. Citizenfour is at its most eye-opening and essential simply as a portrait of the then 29-year-old Snowden at a point of absolute no-return in his life as he spends almost a week hiding out in Hong Kong before disappearing into an entirely new existence.
  52. This is a whale of a movie, grotesque and a little bloated but impossible to ignore. Its power and its horrors sneak up on you.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A Lynchian coda upends the entire film, raising several questions and resolving none. Fans of rigorous storytelling may find it to be one whimsical step too far, but others will marvel at this miraculous coup de théâtre. Jauja is a film to make you wonder.
  53. American Mary nods savvily to the ‘body horror’ of ‘Audition’ and ‘Dead Ringers’ but still possesses a truly original, deeply disturbing vision.
  54. We’re never far from Von Trier, and both Skarsgård and Gainsbourg appear to offer different versions of the author himself.
  55. The Assassin is a beautiful, beguiling film; it's impossible not to get fully lost in its rarefied world.
  56. Some people will hate Trash for being not grittily real enough, but Daldry’s point – a hope-against-hope optimistic one – is that the energy of young people can change Brazil.
  57. Catch Me Daddy feels authentic and informed, but wears its research lightly and prefers to thrust us into the atmosphere of the moment rather than offer too much background or tie things up neatly.
  58. Full of Anderson’s visual signatures – cameras that swerve, quick zooms, speedy montages – it’s familiar in style, refreshing in tone and one of Anderson’s very best films.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s horror here, but it never feels like a simple catalogue of degradation. This is down in large part to the performances, which are naturalistic without ever being amateurish, and the subtle, careful script, which refuses to slide either into pathos or tragedy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film’s meandering, surrealist-kissed, early scenes dance nicely in time with his urban protagonist’s disconnected, existential malaise.
  59. There’s plenty of flesh (much of it belonging to porn doubles), although the film is rarely, if ever, what most people would call erotic or pornographic. It’s neither deeply serious nor totally insincere; hovering somewhere between the two, it creates its own mesmerising power.
  60. The Invisible Woman is only partly a romance; it’s the tragedy of Nelly’s life that makes itself more powerfully heard.
  61. It’s charmingly simple. But it also offers a sharp modern spin on Michael Bond’s London-set stories without being cynical.
  62. It’s not a pretty story, but its warmth lies in its fondness – love, even – for the two boys at its heart.
  63. After a shaky start, Bad Neighbours blossoms, with inspired visual gags in excellent poor taste.
  64. Its various riffs on codes, whether moral, sexual, societal or German, are plain to see rather than enigmatic or enlightening. Luckily it’s all anchored in a storming performance from Cumberbatch: you’ll be deciphering his work long after the credits roll.
  65. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s slick and tense, and the camerawork has something of the in-the-moment, on-the-ground immediacy of the French New Wave films.
  66. As arthouse coming-of-age films go, this is brilliant – smart and sensitive with a screw-you feminist streak. And it’s beautifully acted by two first-time actresses playing Eka and Natia, who have been friends forever.
  67. Scorsese never digs too deeply under the skin of these reprehensible playboy douchebags, and there are times where the swooping photography, smash-and-grab editing and toe-tapping soundtrack conspire to almost – almost – make us like them. But when the film’s cylinders are firing, it’s impossible not to be dragged along.
  68. Role Models isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just polish it up a little. What emerges is a memorable slice of modern slapstick, with charm to spare and just a touch of soul.
  69. This painful, beautiful doc chronicles the fightback.
  70. [A] wickedly funny black comedy, all fatalism and gallows humour, with both a beating heart and an inquiring mind lingering beneath its tough-guy bluster.
  71. Baldwin and Toback make a snappy comic duo, and half of their talks with a line-up of luminaries focus on the art of filmmaking rather than the business.
  72. Occasionally baggy, always sincere, this is an essential document of a defining era when ‘soul’ really meant something.
  73. Far from Men is a character study — a two-hander expertly acted by Mortensen and Kateb (best known for the terrific French cop show Spiral).
  74. When the film gets outdoors, it soars, and Ceylan continues to dig with acute intelligence into the dark corners of everyday human behaviour.
  75. This is a woman who has been through hell and come out kicking, and the result is as much a celebration of her life as it is a documentary.
  76. As the actors move fluidly between various states, shedding one skin while assuming another, Polanski makes this subversive parlour game matter.
  77. Politics and entertainment are never an easy mix, and Jimmy’s Hall is a familiar, slightly unsurprising coming together of the two from Loach and his writer Paul Laverty. Sometimes you can see the joins, but there’s also great warmth, charm and humour among the ideas, and the sense of time and place is especially strong.
  78. Tale of Tales might lack magic in the immediate, flashy sense, but its strange spell is altogether seductive and special.
  79. This is a portrait of cycles and change. But the mood of the film suggests that we should be impressed that this ever-growing, ever-changing city of ours is still chasing after new versions of the modern.
  80. If Heli lacks enough focus and thematic clarity to make it properly special, it's still winningly provocative and always compelling.
  81. Amy
    Anyone with a beating heart will be forgiven for allowing it to break during this unflinching and thoughtful account of the life and death of the soul singer Amy Winehouse.
  82. This also marks what may be Allison Janney’s funniest performance to date: her cheerful, outspoken drunk next door is an absolute hoot.
  83. His film is the product of tough-love, arresting, unexpected and worth your time.
  84. With Dolan, you feel you're in the company of a truly original voice and one unafraid to make his mistakes right up there on the screen.
  85. Berberian Sound Studio is like nothing before – and whether or not it ‘works’ seems almost irrelevant. In this era of cookie-cutter cinema, Strickland’s deeply personal moral and stylistic vision deserves the highest praise.
  86. Its encouragement to let ourselves be captivated by everyday humanity as well as the old masters is both richly illuminating and quirkily endearing. Time well spent.
  87. Ida
    Pawlikowski’s film may be bleak and unforgiving, but it’s also richly sympathetic and deeply moving.
  88. Hyena is startling, claustrophobic and penetrating in its analysis of the blurred lines involved in doing good.
  89. Hogg displays a welcome desire to draw on global film influences and ignore the unwritten rules of what British cinema should or should not seek to achieve, especially in the realm of films about the monied and unsympathetic.
  90. ‘Bodies’ gets under your skin and stays there. And the gospel handclapping soundtrack feels like it’s drawing you into a dream.
  91. Exhibition succeeds in making us feel deeply uncomfortable for peering into other people’s lives.
  92. This tense New York drama from the co-directors of Bee Season and The Deep End is sensitive and almost unwatchably perceptive about dysfunctional families – and it’s acted with knife-sharp precision.
  93. Don’t watch this doc for a lesson in the crisis. Maidan is hard work, with no voiceover or interviews and just the odd scrap of information written on screen to guide you through.
  94. Archipelago confirms Hogg as a daring and mischievous artist, and a major British talent whose next move will be intriguing.
  95. A masterclass in how the most local, most hemmed-in stories can reverberate with the power of big, universal themes.

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