Time's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,673 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 The Man Who Wasn't There
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
1,673 movie reviews
  1. 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]
  2. Matthews brings to The Interrupters what every terrific documentary needs: an out-of-nowhere personality with the same magnetic watchability as any Hollywood star.
  3. The film is wonderfully cast and played, right down to the bit player (Ralph Tabakin) who shops suspiciously for a TV set: "I saw Bananzo and it was not for me."
  4. Kevin Spacey (gives) a truly great performance.
  5. Mark down the date: June 27. That's when American moviegoers will see this perfect storm of a film, and the tiny force of nature that is Quvenzhané Wallis.
  6. The movie is one continuous, exhausting, exhilarating chase.
  7. Maybe these lives are, objectively speaking, inconsequential. But they have a resonance that big, sappy "relationship" pictures ought to envy.
  8. A raw, unblinking film. It teaches that in dire circumstances our only obligation is to our own survival; all else -- culture, ideology, even love -- is a dispensable luxury.
  9. So here's a tip for those attending this handsomely acted, epic-length little film. Ease into the sleaze, stare at the party animals, look but don't touch, and, oh, boogie all night. [October 6, 1997]
  10. I wouldn't call the film inspirational -- it is too well observed to succumb to easy sentiment -- but its realism is patiently engaging and subtly insinuating. And Linney and Hoffman are extraordinary.
  11. This enthralling, enigmatic, romantic drama from Asia's most influential auteur (Chungking Express) is an essay in appetite and inhibition.
  12. It's hard enough to find comedies like this at any time, so it's a small and welcome miracle to come upon one in the midst of a typical movie summer.
  13. An austere and delicate examination of the ways in which a likable family falters under pressure and struggles, with ambiguous results, to renew itself. This is not very show-bizzy stuff, but for once, a movie star has used his power to create not light entertainment or a trendy political statement, but a work that addresses itself quietly and intelligently to issues everyone who attempts to raise children must face.
  14. At two hours, the film version is a third the miniseries' length, requiring severe compression by screenwriters Peter Straughan (The Debt) and Bridget O'Connor, which they've accomplished smartly.
  15. All attitude and low aptitude.
  16. Sublime and sorrowful movie.
  17. It has many of A Separation’s strengths — the acute observation of complex characters in a story that keeps unpacking surprises — but they have become familiar. They lack the revelatory wallop of the first film.
  18. A smart live-and-let-live parable.
  19. If this madly entertaining movie has a fault, it's that it's too ingenious for the genre it ostensibly inhabits.
  20. What makes this movie work is the kind of cool that made Get Shorty go so nicely: an understanding that life's little adventures rarely come in neat three-act packages, the way most movies now do, and the unruffled presentation of outrageously twisted dialogue, characters and situations as if they were the most natural things in the world.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The pace sometimes flags, and there are scenes in which the comic potential appears to be lost only because the camera is in the wrong place. Farce isn't easy to pull off, but Mr. Almodovar is well on his way to mastering this most difficult of all screen genres.
  21. It's a deceptively small piece of onscreen art that resonates afterward with such insistence that I felt positively nagged by it.
  22. It's an exhilarating trip of movie madness and sadness.
  23. It seemed to me as I left the theater that A Christmas Tale was a little too jumpy for its own good, with too many characters and plot points hastily interwoven. But I've come think that it is faithful to its essential purpose, which is to disprove the Tolstoyan dictum that unhappy families are each miserable in their own ways.
  24. Droll, reticent, flawlessly filmed fable of generosity.
  25. Cheers for a Cannes director who has infused his technical mastery with radiant life. In the Museum of the World of Wes Anderson, the dolls are dancing.
  26. Lawrence's style, naturally lit and roughly realistic, matches the writing. Lantana sometimes has the air of a routine police procedural, sometimes the quality of a dour film noir. But this movie, so alert to mischance and dreams that don't quite work out as they should, has a good soul, a heart yearning for decency.
  27. In this judicious, irresistible romantic comedy, all the performers are tops. [14 Dec 1987, p.82]
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Ironizes without parodying an antique screen manner, then reaches out from beneath this smooth cover to grab us.
  31. Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied.[26 Nov 1984, p. 105]
  32. A fanciful film with the patina of hyper-realism, Looper is well served by actors who behave not as if they were dropped carelessly into the future but spent their whole desperate lives there.
  33. It is the hilarious business of Shrek, a delightful new animated feature based on the William Steig book, to subvert all the well-worn expectations of its genre.
  34. By the end of the movie, whether or not you're a member of Sinn Fein, the Brits' brutality toward the Conlons will get your Irish up.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    "What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died?" You can say that her movie, though soapy, is better than her silly book.
  35. The viewer almost has to be a journalist--or a good editor--to sniff out the meat under all the fat.
  36. I'm a notorious softie, and I found things to like about the film, most particularly Clooney's performance; but I remained untouched.
  37. 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.
  38. The results are unique in the contemporary cinema -- behavioral honesty and intensity raised to a flash point. If this be comedy, it is so only in the nominal sense that no one dies at the end of the picture.
  39. As thoughtful as it is handsomely acted. Caine's subtle, bold performance should guarantee him an aisle seat on Oscar night.
  40. Hero is the masterpiece. It employs unparalleled visual splendor to show why men must make war to secure the peace and how warriors may find their true destiny as lovers.
  41. [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]
  42. This is a bold, drastic and utterly persuasive inhabiting of a doomed fighter by a performer who has graduated from the shirtless rom-com Romeo of the last decade to indie-film actor du jour.
  43. We are free to adore a sad, funny, always good-natured film that eccentrically, tolerantly explores that moment when revolutionary ardor commingled with bourgeois stolidity to form our present weirdly ambiguous culture.
  44. The movie ends in a burst of violence that we are unprepared for and don't believe. Maybe it's the film's final joke. It's a miscalculation -- though a calculated one -- but it does not erase one's fond memories of all the odd, deeply humorous behavior that preceded it.
  45. 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.
  46. Solondz observes all this activity from an objectifying distance, very much the anthropologist trekking through the heart of darkness
  47. As fine--hard, soft, approachable--as any in movie history.
  48. It's a real family film, relatively light on the violence and funny without being overly crude; it even has some touching moments.
  49. Something got lost in the move from storyboard to screen, and in the stretch from seven minutes to 103. [27 June 1988]
  50. It is vigorous, subtle, thematically daring, visually gorgeous.
  51. A gravely beautiful fairy tale of longing and loss. [20 Sept 1993, p.82]
  52. A contemplative crime drama with a high startlement quotient.
  53. Bursting with earned emotion, Hugo is a mechanism that comes to life at the turn of a key in the shape of a heart.
  54. Hanks has a wonderful scene, late in the film, that shows a strong man collapsing into frailty. It hints at the emotional depth the movie might have plundered. The rest of Captain Phillips must rely for its drive on the relentless mechanical agitation of Henry Jackman’s score. It can’t save an overly muscled docudrama that is more pounding that truly gripping.
  55. The most beguiling romantic comedy this side of "Broadcast News." [11 Jan 1988]
  56. Reitman's blend of comedy and drama, romance and social observation make Up in the Air the ideal movie --- and maybe even a cure -- for the Great Recession blues.
  57. This being a Tarantino film, the conversations are as long and lurid and finely choreographed as the martial-arts set pieces.
  58. This very patient film reaches out and unshakably grips us.
  59. We the viewers are its beneficiaries, watching and waiting for something awful to happen. Here it does, first subtly, then spectacularly. The twist is not revealed until the last shot--if you keep your avid eyes open.
  60. Big and pretty, vigorous, thoughtful, this Hamlet expands the story with helpful flashbacks.
  61. 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.
  62. The film is about joy--in conniving and surviving, in connecting with audiences, in its own fizzy, jizzy style.
  63. Unforgiven questions the rules of a macho genre, summing up and maybe atoning for the flinty violence that made Eastwood famous. [10 Aug 1992]
  64. This is a survival manual turned into an existential prison-break movie; it cuts deep and, at its ecstatic climax, soars high.
  65. Indeed, you could argue that Tell No One is a variant on one of Hitchcock's favorite themes: the running man whose story no one (except us in the audience) believes. These fictions, of course, depend for their success on the French respect for rationalism (and their horror when reason is torn asunder by criminal irrationality).
  66. I wish I found The Illusionist as pleasing to sit through (twice) as to write about. I'm glad there's a "new" "Tati" film to add to his small, important body of work, yet I wish that the creator of "The Triplets of Belleville" had made a true Chomet film instead. I'll be waiting for that, with a hope to be found nowhere in this handsome, airless movie.
  67. The movie is a museum of emotions, brought to contemporary life through the director's artistry and his leading lady's fire. Here, they show us, is how people felt, and hurt, in another time. Their love and pain can touch us today.
  68. Comic, suspenseful, romantic.
  69. A movie that may be just a bit too pleased with its own artful bleakness.
  70. There is something brave and original about piling up most of our worst parental nightmares in one movie and then daring to make a midsummer comedy out of them. It really shouldn't work, but it does. The movie does not linger too long over any moment or mood, and it permits characters to transcend type, offering a more surprising range of response to events. [7 August 1989, p.54]
  71. This isn't just a thrill ride; it's a rocket into the thrilling past, when directors could scare you with how much emotion they packed into a movie.
  72. Intellectually austere but technologically and aesthetically riveting documentary.
  73. The Squid and the Whale is domestic tragedy recollected as comedy: a film whose catalog of deceits and embarrassments, and of love pratfalling over itself, makes it as (excruciatingly) painful as it is (exhilaratingly) funny.
  74. Three of the hippest indie film princes make a perfect commercial comedy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What happens is not the substance of Manhattan as much as how it happens. The movie is full of moments that are uproariously funny and others that are sometimes shattering for the degree in which they evoke civilized desolation.
  75. The Trip may have familiar elements - it's pretty much "My Dinner With Andre" pinned to the plot of Alexander Payne's "Sideways" - but the badinage provides an immediate and lasting kick, as well as the spectacle of two champion combatants at the top of their game.
  76. Enjoy the savory witches' brew that Cuaron has cooked up in his Harry pot. For on its own terms, this one is truly wizard.
  77. It's a long drink of water at the fountain of pop-social memory.
  78. Michael Clayton is not an exercise in high-tension energy; you'll never confuse its eponymous protagonist with Jason Bourne. But it does have enough of a melodramatic pulse to keep you engaged in its story and, better than that, it is full of plausible characters who are capable of surprising -- and surpassing -- your expectations.
  79. On the basically farcical level where it chooses to stay, it is a funny and likable movie
  80. A kind of mashup of "Our Town" and "Village of the Damned," the film is both draining and enthralling.
  81. A brilliant exercise in popular but palpable surrealism.
  82. The result is a mess. Kym, in Hathaway's unsympathetic performance, is an annoyingly sour observer of the proceedings, a time bomb everyone hopes will not explode before the marriage is completed.
  83. A smart, shrewdly crafted movie.
  84. The comedic first part of Jacques Audiard's film doesn't achieve a seamless connection with its melodramatic second half, but you can't deny the originality of his conceit or the tart cynicism of its development.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. The funniest, cleverest, most exhaustingly exhilarating animated feature in ages.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At its best it perfectly expresses the fears and loathings of kids who came of age in the late '60's; at its worst Animal House revels in abject silliness. The hilarious highs easily compensate for the puerile lows.
  88. Has so much razzle-dazzle that viewers may end up both raised and dazed. It's remorselessly inventive, trying anything fast and sassy to keep you watching. In other words, it's the most honest display of showpeople's need to be noticed this side of a Madonna concert.
  89. There's neither intricacy nor surprise in the narrative, and these dopes are tedious, witless company. Mostly you find yourself thinking, "How long until dinner?"
  90. Occasionally succumbs to Mika's legato rhythms, but it is more often a sly, subtle comedy about the oh-so-gentle art of murder.
  91. It stands, soars on its own. It moves to a seductive rhythm and vision.
  92. It turns a hot topic into a pretty cool entertainment--one that satisfies the viewers' need for righteous revenge while leaving them a queasy little question on the way out: Does gun diplomacy make sense only in movies? Or do Americans want it to play out in real life?
  93. Viewers will feel as though they've just finished a great meal but aren't sure what they've been served. Behind them, the chef smiles wickedly.
  94. The sweetest and funniest of Guest's true-life fake-umentaries.
  95. It's a startling, exhausting spectacle - and, like the rest of Leigh's performance, very, very bad.
  96. Juno is not a great movie; it does not have aspirations in that direction. But it is, in its little way, a truthful, engaging and welcome entertainment.

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