Total Film's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,235 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Whiplash
Lowest review score: 20 47 Ronin
Score distribution:
1235 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Colm Tóibín’s bitter-sweet novel of the Irish expat experience brought impeccably to the screen by Crowley and Hornby, with Saoirse Ronan excelling herself in the leaf.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Double Life of Véronique makes the familiar seem extraordinary and memorably conjures up the sense of metaphysical forces guiding its characters’ everyday lives.
  1. A lunatic vision, as hilarious as it is hellish. And some of the greatest action ever put on screen.
  2. Much of The Tree Of Life’s beauty is in its yearning and wonder. It’s an extraordinary grasping stretch – across space and time – to touch what will always be just out of our reach. It’s a captivating, unmissable experience.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a visual feast, from the moody, horror-flick style opening which hovers over the gates of man-made mountain Xanadu, to the opera-house scene when we levitate hundreds of metres from Susan's awful stage debut to the workmen flinching in the rafters.
  3. Full of shivers and subtext, this is scarily good. One of the films – horror or otherwise – of the year.
  4. A hugely powerful, moving study of a small village's stand against overwhelming state power. Despite all the suffering and injustice, the final message is one of optimism that feels neither facile nor tacked-on.
  5. The Coen brothers on top sardonic form with a winning tale of an incorrigible loser. Hits the right note on every level, from period vibe to performance (human and feline).
  6. A stunning space saga that takes off for new technical frontiers without leaving its humanity behind.
  7. A timely, inspiring parable of protest, directed with sinewy style and driven by Braga’s rock-solid lead performance.
  8. Haunting, thrilling and emotional, Dunkirk is a prestige pic with guts and glory that demands multiple views. Especially in IMAX.
  9. Pulled from the news but punched up to fever pitch, Sicario represents the perfect mix of cerebral and visceral thrills. Star, director and screenwriter all bring their A-game.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It plays like Frankenstein meets Blade Runner via Hitchcock haunted by the ghosts of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, in a film that’s both highly literate and steeped in tense cat-and-mouse chills. Thematically epic – it demands to be seen at least twice and should fuel hours of debate — structurally it’s as lithe as Ava’s perfect mesh frame.
  10. You may not be sure what you've seen, but you've sure seen something. With neither a petticoat nor a wideboy in sight, this is one of the most original and exciting British movies in some time.
  11. Extraordinary in form, ‘ordinary’ in content, Boyhood is ambitious, intimate and unforgettable. It might just be the apex of Linklater’s life’s work.
  12. The H2O theme fits in with the main feature, its tale of a clownfish searching for his son constituting Pixar’s most effective amalgam of comedy, artistry and emotional pull.
  13. Visually astonishing and touchingly told, Kubo is utterly wonderful.
  14. If ever there was a film that epitomised the saying ‘no pain, no gain’, this is it. Packs a real wallop.
  15. Could have been a grand folly but instead it’s just grand. Will make audiences break into grins like its characters break into song.
  16. Losey creates an atmosphere of deepening claustrophobic menace shot through with episodes of savage black humour.
  17. It’s ambitious, artful and unique. As for Bowie… what a star, man.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A gloriously entertaining thrill-packer of truly epic proportions.
  18. Marches to the beat of its own drum… Lands with a bang… There just aren’t enough musical clichés to describe Whiplash. A masterclass in technique, power and rhythm, it stings and sings like nothing else.
  19. Witty, menacing and steamy (in every sense), The Beguiled is an intelligent update and Coppola’s best work to date. Oscars await.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An expert blend of world building, humanity, and the magical strangeness of Final Fantasy. Best of all, you don't need to know anything about Final Fantasy to love it.
  20. What emerges is as riveting as it is revelatory.
  21. Iñárritu ditches time-hopping bleakness for a linear, if loopy, satire that buzzes with brio. If Mel Brooks, John Cassavetes and Terry Zwigoff co-directed a superhero movie, this might be it.
  22. The Daniel Craig era comes of age with a ballsy Bond that takes brave chances and bold risks. Guess what? Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
  23. Carried aloft by the remarkable performances of her two young leads, Clio Barnard’s poignant, unflinching slice of hard-knock-life grips tight and lingers long. Britain’s definitely got talent.
  24. If there’s a risk of the Marvel ‘formula’ becoming stale, there isn’t any evidence of that here. Civil War isn’t just a damn-near-perfect popcorn crowd-pleaser; it doesn’t offer any easy answers for its combatants, or the world going forward. Team Cap or Team Iron Man? The real winner here is Team Marvel.
  25. Alluring and unnerving, Lynch’s horror-show reminds us how much cinema misses him. Watts is electric, too.
  26. A horror film that will haunt your waking hours for weeks. Every frame of It Follows is stamped with nameless dread.
  27. Playing the mental-hospital firebrand who rebels against monstrous Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), Nicholson seduces in an anti-establishment classic with a gut-punch exit.
  28. A more-than-worthy, expectations-exceeding chapter in one of modern cinema’s finest love stories. As honest, convincing, funny, intimate and natural as its predecessors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A touch too long, yet never slack, at three hours, TWOWS benefits from independent funding, Scorsese’s brass balls and an A-grade cast’s turbulent improvisations to emerge as an epic, boldly broad screwball comedy about the state of America, then and now.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a warm, tender movie underpinned by the gentle tug of melancholia.
  29. Prepare to be spirited away. A brain-scrambler to make hearts swell, Shinkai’s giddy romance brims with emotion and invention.
  30. But it’s the precision-tooled plot fashioned by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond that holds it together, creating the perfect farcical playground. Brilliant performances, wondrous comic timing and the greatest pay-off line ever written: this one’s still red hot.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An exquisite portrait of Hiroshima before the bomb that conjures a powerful sense of what – and who – was lost.
  31. Utterly gripping. Aided by two punchy lead turns, an Oscar-worthy script and stunning in-car footage, Howard’s race film delivers top-gear drama. A piston- and heart-pumping triumph.
  32. One of [Hawks'] finest pictures: a swoony saga of fatalistic flyboys and the women who try to keep their feet on the ground.
  33. Creepier than "Catfish" and as cinematic as "Man On Wire," this is an unnerving story immaculately told and a strong contender for documentary of the year.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A 25th anniversary restoration of Giuseppe Tornatore’s ode to moving pictures and puppy love.
  34. The ambition is bracing, but critical hindsight obscures how exciting Malle’s noir thriller is on its own terms.
  35. Like the Toy Story trilogy, Inside Out is about leaving childhood behind. It’s not quite as moving as those films but it is A-grade Pixar, full of Sadness and Joy.
  36. I don’t want people to dislike me. I’m indifferent to if they dislike me,” says Jobs. Well, this won’t be for everyone but it dazzles. Markedly better than Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs…
  37. Detractors may carp that Cronenberg is showing us nothing new, but Maps is so flawless in its execution, it vividly refreshes the subject matter. Never overcooking the setting, it’s a story right in his wheelhouse; a very human look at characters barely clinging to their humanity.
  38. Largely lensed in the window between sunset and nightfall, it’s a magic-hour masterpiece. [26 Aug. 2011]
  39. A compassionate, masterful work that deservedly won Haneke a second Palme d'Or after "The White Ribbon's" 2009 victory. Best to avoid on a first date, though.
  40. Charming, spectacular, technically audacious… in short, everything you expect from a Peter Jackson movie. A feeling of familiarity does take hold in places, but this is an epically entertaining first course.
  41. Isabella Rossellini’s singer Dorothy is a heart-rending open wound, Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth one of cinema’s great nutjobs, and Lynch’s control a thing of nightmarish beauty.
  42. Dear everyone – stop whatever you’re doing and go see Dear White People. One of the freshest, funniest and most vital films of the year.
  43. The film’s power lies in its use of archive footage, voiceover and even Ebert’s computerised speech translator to keep the writer’s voice alive.
  44. The plotting is elliptical and the sweep intoxicates, but the contrast between De Niro’s meditative Vito and Pacino’s soul-starved eyes brings piercing focus to Coppola’s resonating study of corrupting power.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From the pitch-perfect characterisation to John Williams’ soaring score to the magical effects, it’s every bit as good as you remember. [2002 re-release]
  45. One great British artist pays tribute to another in a lengthy but rewarding homage that boasts a titanic turn at its centre. Rarely has watching paint dry been so fascinating.
  46. Rosi offers a simple, stark contrast between quiet moments of everyday life and tragedy as mass fleeing results in sunken boats, horrific injuries and death.
  47. Wonderfully whimsical children’s fantasy about a young boy’s journey through the space-time continuum in the company of six cantankerous dwarves.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sensitive, subtle and heartfelt, Jenkins’ genre-buster is a significant work that will knock you out.
  48. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh create their own sizzle as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in a lavish four-hour epic that juxtaposes scenes of jaw-dropping majesty – that aerial shot of the Confederates’ wounded, for example – with moments of elegant intimacy and playful verbal jousting.
  49. Astounding. With a director, DoP and cast at the top of their game, The Revenant is a filmmaking triumph.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Refracted through Holly’s naive, emotionally flat narration and Malick’s poetic visual style, this familiar tale is transformed into something strange and oddly beautiful. [29 Aug. 2008]
  50. With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year. Its strangeness can be hard to process, but this is a shattering study of the impossibility of recovering the past.
  51. A masterpiece of animation and imagination.
  52. Defying all boundaries, Martyrs relentlessly dishes the visceral pain and emerges as a work of not just ceaseless terror but also gravity and beauty.
  53. Anchored by a truly sensational performance from Gleeson, this unexpected blend of passion play, detective story, rural comedy and serious inquiry into faith is destined for classic status.
  54. An intelligent, eloquent and stirring sci-fi that grips from start to finish, Arrival is up there with the year’s best movies.
  55. A prize-winning page-turner becomes a moving, harrowing and redemptive drama about the ties that bind a mother to her child. Be warned: one box of tissues may not be enough.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A riot of saturated colour and delirious imagination, Ang Lee's adap radiates spirituality. But it's also a simple, thrilling and gently uplifting tale of a boy, a boat and a tiger. Take the plunge.
  56. A complex film that sidesteps every cliché. Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert are at the top of their game.
  57. With lush visuals, intelligent performances and a lingering lyricism, this is an instant classic that cements Hunnam’s star power.
  58. The best sci-fi movie since "Moon." The best time-travel yarn since "12 Monkeys." And one of the best films of 2012. You'll immediately want to see it again.
  59. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not perfect nor could it ever be. But for every niggle...there are 10 things that are exactly right, and it says much that no one will leave disappointed despite going in with hysterical levels of expectation.
  60. Rogue One might trade heavily in nostalgia but it's bold enough to take risks, and will leave you stirred, fired up and raring for more. Now, if only there was a follow-up we could go away and watch immediately…
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Political intrigue abounds as Spielberg grippingly recreates a famous real-life spy-swap case of the Cold War, with both Hanks and Rylance on top form.
  61. Philosophically complex, spiritual but anti-religious, harrowing yet hopeful.
  62. Under Haynes’ sure hand, Blanchett and Mara deliver a love story to melt to. Every glance means something, no strain shows: it’s filmmaking as natural as breathing.
  63. A peerless example of Hollywood studio moviemaking, director Michael Curtiz turning the Warner backlot into a gloriously romantic vision of WW2-era Morocco crammed with real-life European exiles and larger-than-life character actors.
  64. Hilariously infectious and full of hope, Spider-Man’s return to Marvel couldn’t be more welcome.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fearless, relatable and beautiful, this is one of the year’s best. Holding you so close for so long, you won’t want to break free.
  65. A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business.
  66. Strikingly original, brilliantly acted, this serio-comic masterpiece constantly swerves expectations.
  67. Writer/director Christopher Payne paints a credible portrait of life as a professional hoofer. But the leads struggle with an undernourished script, and there’s a cheapo televisual vibe throughout.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From niche subject matter, Fletcher's crafted a movie that's both universal but also unashamedly, gloriously British. Very funny, genuinely moving and endlessly good-natured.
  68. Heartfelt and inventive, this documentary from exiled director Ali Samadi Ahadi chronicles Iran's abortive Green Revolution during the summer of 2009.
  69. Fleet, funny, impeccably orchestrated: whimsical Wes returns on top of his game. Non-fans might call it over-familiar comfort cinema but with the craft so loving and new elements so well-integrated, his singular pitch remains a thing to cherish.
  70. The breakneck pace leaves little room for meaningful character development... But there’s imagination, spectacle and thrills to spare.
  71. Powerful drama, driven by a powerhouse performance, Selma is this year’s Lincoln. For Oyelowo and DuVernay, it’s a career changer.
  72. It’s actually a ruthlessly plausible thriller, stripped clean of music and melodrama, and all the more engrossing for it.
  73. What's remarkable is the lack of cheese. Tacky effects, corny dialogue and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new "Twilight".
  74. Smartly executed, endlessly quotable and machine-gun quick, this is one of the funniest films of 2013. Accessible for Partridge novices and hugely rewarding for the faithful.
  75. A feel-good charmer with an important message, Pride will have you clutching your sides, wiping your eyes and punching the air in triumph.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bond 21 is refreshed yet faithful, any grumbles easily quashed by Craig's powerful presence. The suit fits. And he wears it well.
  76. While sympathetic to their plight, the directors prove alert to the story’s wider impact, speaking to proud parents and outraged opponents alike.
  77. It might not sound much on paper, but it’s all in the delivery, the appealing lead performances combining with Wheatley's sudden tonal shifts to produce a film that’s funny, sinister and strangely moving.
  78. Alexander Sokurov’s riff on Goethe’s tragedy is a bewildering but blazingly styled fever-dream epic.
  79. Tense and thought-provoking in equal measure, this is first-rate – a modern-day Dr. Strangelove played out on video screens.
  80. Even the devout, surely, will warm to Dormael's alt-gospel: one of compassion, oddball fish gags and cheerier skylines.
  81. Good enough to survive evoking "Bicycle Thieves" and "The 400 Blows," this small story contains universal truths, told with irresistible force.
  82. Loud, intense, violent, relentless, Fury doesn’t stop until the credits roll, thanks to Ayer’s cracking direction and a committed cast. The best WW2 movie in some time.

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