Time's Scores

For 1,870 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 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Bull Durham
Lowest review score: 0 Billy Madison
Score distribution:
1870 movie reviews
  1. If this were not such great American-vernacular moviemaking -- hilarious yet hypnotic -- one would be tempted to see something Greek in the tragedy that Ed never comprehends.
  2. A final word for those of you who just don't care for musicals: The movie's true lyricism is less in its score than in its visual and emotional palette, and in watching Depp rise to the majesty of madness. So give Sweeney Todd a try. Even Victor, when he finally saw it, agreed: it's bloody great.
  3. Think of A Fish Called Wanda as the next best thing to a Looney Tunes-Merrie Melodies summerfest…Wanda defies gravity, in both senses of the word, and redefines a great comic tradition. [July 18, 1988]
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  4. This is spellbinding reality cinema about duplicity and, worse, ignorance at the highest level.
  5. Inception is precisely the kind of brainy, ambitious, grand-scale adventure Hollywood should be making more of.
  6. As fine--hard, soft, approachable--as any in movie history.
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  7. Without question, the best crime movie of the year--and one of the best movies of any sort now playing.
  8. Remarkable. [22 July 1991]
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  9. Huppert is extraordinary — she reveals everything even when you think she’s showing nothing — and she’s the perfect actress, right now, for Hansen-Løve’s fine-grained perceptiveness.
  10. Her
    Jonze creates the splendid anachronism of a movie romance that is laugh-and-cry and warm all over, totally sweet and utterly serious.
  11. Michael Tolkin's script abounds in such cynical wisdom, but it never loses an appreciation for the grace with which these snakes consume their victims. [13 April 1992]
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  12. The movie is one continuous, exhausting, exhilarating chase.
  13. In his most painterly film, Spielberg has appropriated the lavish visual palette of John Ford movies: "The Quiet Man" for the rural settings, "The Horse Soldiers" for the war scenes. Boldly emotional, nakedly heartfelt, War Horse will leave only the stoniest hearts untouched.
  14. By next semester, some grad student will be writing a thesis on the B-movie influences on this A+ film.
  15. Upon all these folks, writer-director David O. Russell turns a bland, almost anthropological eye. Nothing surprises him and nothing outrages him, except for bed-and-breakfast lodgings, about which, at last, his movie tells the terrible truth. [1 April 1996, p. 72]
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  16. A marvelously sad and funny docucomedy. [22 Oct 1990]
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    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hair succeeds at all levels—as lowdown fun, as affecting drama, as exhilarating spectacle and as provocative social observation.
  17. Artful but not arty, Spirited Away is a handcrafted cartoon, as personal as an Utamaro painting, yet its breadth and heart give it an appeal that should touch American viewers of all ages.
  18. Shelton has written the wittiest, busiest screenplay since Moonstruck, and his three stars do their very best screen work. [20 June 1988]
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  19. Blending plot elements of "Double Indemnity" and "Natural Born Killers" with the ripe sensuality of Francis Coppola's take on "Dracula," the film should make audiences sit up in startled pleasure, as if they'd just received the most luscious neck-bite.
  20. What amazes is that at just 26, Soderbergh displays the three qualities associated with mature filmmakers: a unique authorial voice, a spooky camera assurance, and the easy control of ensemble acting. [31 July 1989, p.65]
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  21. For those of us who think this is the best comedy of 2004, the genius of the movie lies in its relocation.
  22. So Almost Famous is almost fabulous. Oh, all right. The movie's so clever and endearing, you can forget the almost.
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  23. As reversible misunderstandings grow into irreversible tragedy, it slowly dawns on you that this is a superior, heartbreaking film.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Probably the bleakest, least sentimental study of the Mafia in Italian or American film history.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This covertly brawny film, with a script by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen, has plot points that click like pegs under Spielberg’s tight direction. In his fourth pairing with Hanks, Spielberg again examines the furtive face of justice and issues another masterful ruling.
  24. Three decades ago, Milk and his ilk were able to enlist President Jimmy Carter and future President Ronald Reagan in the gay fight against Prop. 6. But this fall, Barack Obama was all but mute on Prop. 8. Some community organizers, like the President-elect, are more cautious than others. It's a shame Harvey Milk wasn't around to recruit him.
  25. Mamet's elegantly efficient script does not waste a word, and De Palma does not waste a shot. The result is a densely layered work moving with confident, compulsive energy.
  26. Hidden Figures, both a dazzling piece of entertainment and a window into history, bucks the trend of the boring-math-guy movie.
  27. Prepare to be riveted: No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson's first film, is without question the most important movie you are likely to see this year.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Epic cinema, tragic drama, it is also an act of remembrance and conscience that ultimately transcends the ordinary critical categories.
    • Time
  28. Poignant, troubling and altogether splendid new film.
  29. Sin City is brazenly, thrillingly alive.
  30. In this film, however, he battles the elements and mortality with a thinking man’s resilience the equal of any astronaut, freighter captain or free man enslaved. That he fights fate on his own makes All Is Lost a signal film achievement and the capstone to a great star’s career. This is Ultimate Redford.
  31. Towers, while not quite so varied as Fellowship in its moods and settings, has a grave gusto that energizes every moment...a thrilling work of film craft.
  32. Moviemaking doesn't get much smarter, funnier, handsomer, better than this.
  33. As both a simian simile and a wonder of technology, Rise of the Planet of the Apes deserves to be in the company of the great original "Kong." This year's sixth "origins" story of a fantasy franchise (after The Green Hornet, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger) is also the year's finest action movie.
  34. A witty comedy of manners that arcs into poignance, this is a Christmas movie only a Grinch could hate... One of the brightest, bittersweetest fables of this or any-year. [10 Dec 1990, p.87]
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  35. Clint Eastwood has crafted a bold and meticulous epic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    M.A.S.H., one of America's funniest bloody films, is also one of its bloodiest funny films.
  36. This year's miracle is called Tootsie. It is not just the best comedy of the year; it is popular art on the way to becoming cultural artifact.
  37. [It presents] us with a vast range of richly developed, gorgeously played characters ... and mov[es] them gracefully through time and a lot of very pretty spaces without ever losing its conviction, its concentration or our bedazzled attention. [18 Dec 1995]
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  38. In the end, you feel that Frozen River gives about as truthful a picture of American bleakness as it's possible for a movie to present. It is a movie that asks something of an audience, but it richly rewards our curiously rapt attention.
  39. One of the most wholly original American movies ever made.
  40. In the history of movies about love, Amour shall last forever.
  41. Master and Commander is to movies what Russell Crowe is to acting. With subtlety and power, it explores the complexities of men at war, even with themselves. It puts the passion into action, and the thrill into thought.
  42. The word docudrama doesn't hint at Boal's achievement. This is movie journalism that snaps and stings, that purifies a decade's clamor and clutter into narrative clarity, with a salutary kick.
  43. The cast list is like a convocation of the Three Chinas: Taiwan's Kaneshiro, Hong Kong's Lau and the mainland's Zhang Ziyi. All are terrific, but the lady shines brightest.
  44. Beyond dark. It's as black -- and teeming and toxic -- as the mind of the Joker. "Batman Begins," the 2005 film that launched Nolan's series, was a mere five-finger exercise. This is the full symphony.
  45. One of the strongest movies in recent years.
  46. A kind of mashup of "Our Town" and "Village of the Damned," the film is both draining and enthralling.
  47. The first great movie of the summer.
  48. Gravity shows us the glory of cinema’s future. It thrills on so many levels. And because Cuar‪ón is a movie visionary of the highest order, you truly can’t beat the view.
  49. This film's manifold pleasures come in a series of small packages, with treats inside as tasty as they are unexpected.
  50. This could have turned out to be an exercise in easy sentiment, easy to shrug off. But Frank Cottrell Boyce's script is carefully understated, and director Michael Winterbottom has achieved a remarkably seamless blend of fictional and factual footage.
  51. Unforgiven questions the rules of a macho genre, summing up and maybe atoning for the flinty violence that made Eastwood famous. [10 Aug 1992]
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  52. District 9 proves that genre films, besides being a hell of a lot of fun, can say things you hadn't considered and show stuff you haven't seen.
  53. The result is mainstream moviemaking at its highest, most satisfying level.
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  54. What explosive mischief might they create? That's the premise of Morris' brilliantly incendiary new comedy Four Lions.
  55. More important, we should take into account the fact that this is really quite a good movie--a character-driven (as opposed to whammy-driven) suspense drama--dark, fatalistic and, within its melodramatically stretched terms, emotionally plausible.
  56. Proof is on the side of the lost, blessed souls. Paltrow, as alluring and reassuring as ever, emphasizes the blessedness in the isolation of genius, giving a new dimension to a complex role. New, true and thrilling--she is the Catherine that Proof was waiting for.
  57. Because she also has a classical heroine's sense of quest, the picture's Pocahontas rises above stodgy old legend into the sky of myth... That's apt for a role model for any child, red or white. And it's perfect for a film romance that earns a place of honor among Disney's latter-day animated film stunners.
  58. All the actors in No Man's Land are wonderfully alive, fractious and unpredictable. Their performances also help break down the schematics and turn this into an emotionally potent, powerfully thoughtful and finally tragic experience.
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  59. Makes everything Hollywood has lately done in the action genre look clumsy, dull and stale. It is a short, nonstop stuntfest that, by going back to basics and placing them on the screen with simple, breathless stylishness, turns what is essentially a lowlife movie form into something one is not embarrassed to call "pure" cinema--all energy, movement and high kinetic wit.
  60. The performances are daring and assured, especially Lansbury's holy terror of Momism and Harvey's snide, pathetic pawn, brainwashed by both KGB AND CIA. [21 March 1988, p.84]
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  61. Very simply, Bertolucci has found an elegance of design and execution that few of his contemporaries could even dream of. [23 Nov 1987]
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  62. Director Gillian Armstrong and writer Robin Swicord have fashioned an entrancing film from this distinctly unfashionable classic.
  63. If you see him (Jake Gyllenhaal)onscreen in Nightcrawler, you’ll have a closeup view of one of the movie year’s most compelling sociopaths. He’s something you can’t turn away from.
  64. A formally elegant, subtly savage and powerfully affecting film.
  65. Ray
    If there were an Oscar for ensemble acting, Ray would win in a stroll.
  66. The movie hits every emotional button with a firm fist. It makes the phrase feel-good sound like a command from the industry's P.C. Patrol.
  67. Embrace the movie -- surely the most vivid and persuasive creation of a fantasy world ever seen in the history of moving pictures -- as a total sensory, sensuous, sensual experience.
  68. The actor (Puri) and the film make something fine, winning and memorable.
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  69. Unsparing but never unsympathetic, emerges as one of the year's best, most brutally honest movies.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Arrietty brings the same magic to the mundane, elevating the ordinary confines of everyday life into sumptuous surprises. And while Arrietty lacks the sweep of "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke," or "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind," it preserves all the trademark sensitivity to the emotional turmoil of adolescence.
  70. Ramsey's film has its own strengths. We Need To Talk About Kevin doesn't just bring you to the outskirts of a parent's worst nightmare; this fever dream of guilt and loss takes you straight inside.
  71. Has a whirligig wit, and 11 songs crammed into its 67 minutes: that's more melodic content than in most Broadway musicals.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In an age of post-Christian facetiousness, Martin Scorsese's work daringly attempts to restore passion and melodrama to the Gospel story. Protests notwithstanding, the film is an affirmation of faith in the power of both the Gospel and the movies.
  72. Seems to encompass all the humor, sadness and weirdness of ordinary life in an utterly winning, morally acute way.
  73. Like Harry and Sally, the movie is hardworking, spot on; it winepresses its conversation into epigrams. No surprise here.[31 July 1999, p.65]
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  74. It's a deceptively small piece of onscreen art that resonates afterward with such insistence that I felt positively nagged by it.
  75. Altogether wondrous.
  76. Green shoots his groping lovers in the art-film style -- long takes, static frame -- but his tone isn't at all minimalist; it's achingly, breathtakingly romantic, like the old Hollywood love stories his kids have never seen.
  77. Not just a ripping yarn but a powerful, poignant coming-of-age story.
  78. Frankenweenie has that youthful verve and the ghoulishness of strange kids who will some day be eccentric creators. This movie is an attic experiment for its makers to be proud of and for audiences to cherish.
  79. It proposes that you can make an extraordinarily satisfying comedy without writing a joke. Subtly played and elegantly directed, this is an Adults Only movie in the best sense of the term.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kubrick’s masterpiece moved so slowly that it was something of an endurance test, even for avid sci-fi fans. Europa Report, by contrast, is brisk, thrilling and ultimately terrifying. And unlike 2001, it’s (mostly) grounded firmly in one of the most exciting areas in modern science.
  80. So, for those of you who were wondering if a great TV show could top itself at feature-film length, the good news is that The Simpsons did it! But "South Park" did it first.
  81. Maybe these lives are, objectively speaking, inconsequential. But they have a resonance that big, sappy "relationship" pictures ought to envy.
  82. Japanese Story is a simple, austerely told tale. But there is something memorable, even haunting, about it.
  83. It is, like quite a few Lumet pictures, rather small in scale, easy to overlook. But I think it is time to gather around a director who has embraced his octogenarian bleakness and sing his praises. Ultimately, I think you'll laugh a lot at what he has wrought here -- but only well after the movie is over and the full scale of its perversity settles into your bones.
  84. Pixar's improved computer animation is up to all the demands of this excellent adventure.
  85. The sweetest and funniest of Guest's true-life fake-umentaries.
  86. The result is a harrowing film, impossible to "like" in any conventional way, hypnotically impossible to turn away from.
  87. Elegantly made, romantically doomy, curiously affecting movie.
  88. This is rapture in pictures. [22 December 1997, p. 81]
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  89. Sayles is a meditative storyteller, with a tendency to mute melodrama rather than letting it wail. But he is also one of the few filmmakers still ferreting out the strangeness and anxiety hidden beneath our poses of ordinariness. [22 July 1996, p.95]
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  90. What we come to care most about in writer-director Joshua Marston's film is how his heroine achieves the state promised by his title, Maria Full of Grace. Our emotional investment in her derives primarily from the astonishing performance of Moreno, 23.
  91. The new picture provides a master coursed in cunning visual art and ultra-satisfying entertainment.
  92. The poise and passion in Eve's Bayou leave one grateful, exhausted and nourished. For the restless spirit, here is true soul food.

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