Total Film's Scores

  • Movies
For 778 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lowest review score: 20 The Host
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 778
778 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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).
  1. A stunning space saga that takes off for new technical frontiers without leaving its humanity behind.
    • 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Extraordinary in form, ‘ordinary’ in content, Boyhood is ambitious, intimate and unforgettable. It might just be the apex of Linklater’s life’s work.
  4. 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Losey creates an atmosphere of deepening claustrophobic menace shot through with episodes of savage black humour.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A horror film that will haunt your waking hours for weeks. Every frame of It Follows is stamped with nameless dread.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Largely lensed in the window between sunset and nightfall, it’s a magic-hour masterpiece. [26 Aug. 2011]
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
    • 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]
  19. 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.
  20. A masterpiece of animation and imagination.
  21. 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.
    • 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.
  22. 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Philosophically complex, spiritual but anti-religious, harrowing yet hopeful.
    • 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.
  23. A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business.
  24. 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.
  25. Heartfelt and inventive, this documentary from exiled director Ali Samadi Ahadi chronicles Iran's abortive Green Revolution during the summer of 2009.
  26. 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.
  27. The breakneck pace leaves little room for meaningful character development... But there’s imagination, spectacle and thrills to spare.
  28. Powerful drama, driven by a powerhouse performance, Selma is this year’s Lincoln. For Oyelowo and DuVernay, it’s a career changer.
  29. It’s actually a ruthlessly plausible thriller, stripped clean of music and melodrama, and all the more engrossing for it.
  30. 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".
  31. 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.
  32. A feel-good charmer with an important message, Pride will have you clutching your sides, wiping your eyes and punching the air in triumph.
  33. While sympathetic to their plight, the directors prove alert to the story’s wider impact, speaking to proud parents and outraged opponents alike.
  34. 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.
  35. Alexander Sokurov’s riff on Goethe’s tragedy is a bewildering but blazingly styled fever-dream epic.
  36. Good enough to survive evoking "Bicycle Thieves" and "The 400 Blows," this small story contains universal truths, told with irresistible force.
  37. 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.
  38. What distinguishes My Brother The Devil is El Hosaini’s maturity in avoiding faux-doc grittiness, political grandstanding or flashy glorification in favour of an intimate, closely observed character piece.
  39. Injecting fun and fairground thrills back into the spy movie, Kingsman is a blast. Firth is sensational, Jackson rules and newcomer Egerton surprises. Mission accomplished for Matthew Vaughn.
  40. A great big bear-hug of a Britcom, with rhinestones on its shirt, salsa in its heart and dick jokes up its sleeve. Something for everyone, then.
  41. Closer in metaphysical spirit to Kiarostami than to Leone, it lingers thanks to beautifully lit widescreen images of lived-in faces and barren, beautiful landscapes.
  42. The initially cryptic plotting and low-key realism are familiar from Iranian dramas; what’s striking is how Rasoulof shifts into such a lucid, gut-punching tale of persecution. The film’s flaws are forgivable; its very existence should be applauded.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A Disney flick that feels like on-form Pixar, blending knowing humour and sophistication with a large helping of heart. You'll want another go.
  43. Kneel before shannon. His primal, powerhouse turn drives this criminal biopic. the film won’t win any prizes for originality, but its star proves he’s a real man of steel.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mad, marvellous and all kinds of sci-fi magical, Guardians Of The Galaxy is Marvel’s riskiest but most surprising success yet.
  44. An earthy, affecting and droll celebration of the unique alignment of influences that forged a great band – and the thrusting live footage rams Pulp’s greatness home.
  45. 2012 is the year of the Muppet, and we don't mean Ashton Kutcher. After Jason Segel's fur-filled revival, rejoice in a documentary to make you laugh and, yes, cry.
  46. MacKay is marvellous, delivering lines with a Lear-like intensity, in what becomes a fascinating meditation on myth and madness.
  47. Mixing candid talking heads with scarcely believable video footage, Miller’s taut narrative shifts gears (black comedy, thriller, even a love story), but is mostly driven by outrage at the powers that be.
  48. With film labs closing down and new formats springing up all the time, this is a timely stock-take of 21st Century cinema.
  49. A documentary that'll make more than just fashionistas smile.
  50. Denis’ sparse story delivers details on a need-to-know basis, right up to the finale. Strong on atmos, thanks to Tindersticks’ score, it’ll chill you to the core.
  51. Political without point-scoring, Jacir remains true to a child’s-eye view, with Asfa’s delightful, exuberant performance always upfront.
  52. Cooper’s performance grounds a solid, authentic drama – Eastwood’s best since Letters From Iwo Jima – that is less about one single field of combat than the price of war itself.
  53. The film never hides its uncomfortable truths in the shadows.
  54. If not wholly convincing as an ‘issues’ movie, this memoir is a triumph as an actors’ showcase; with McConaughey and Leto giving the performances of their careers.
  55. A bleak yet strangely heartening film.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A haunting, hypnotic collage of archive footage and period recreations charting the pre-history of the teenager.
  56. A vital, visceral antidote to Trump's slick PR machine.
  57. Funny and tense, rather than hilarious and terrifying, You’re Next doesn’t rip up the rulebook but it’s definitely read it. If all horror comedies were this good we’d be laughing – and squirming.
  58. It’s strong on the details of itinerant life, and allows plotting to take a back seat to character.
  59. Carruth’s furiously elusive second film skirts the line between nonsense and near-masterpiece, like Terrence Malick filleting "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind."
  60. The finale, as Ai's Twitter tirades lead to a serious human-rights breach, will make your blood boil.
  61. Even if it lacks a stand-out turn it's still a grippingly authentic slice of life.
  62. If the Collette/Carell reunion suggests Little Miss Sunshine, it’s not quite that crowd-pleasing. But, crafted with much TLC and sympathy, it’s perfectly tailored to the tongue-tied teen in us all.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hardly the most original film of the year, but one of the most purely pleasurable. The ideal horror intro for fledgling genre fans – scary fun that definitely fills a hole.
  63. Jan Ole Gerster’s deceptively slender character study has a complex undertow, subtly linking its wallflower anti-hero’s acceptance of his failings with his country’s wider atonement for its World War II past.
  64. A master docu-maker gets the inside dope on a master dissembler. It requires stamina, but its charismatic subject exerts genuine magnetism.
  65. Capturing the essence of the source novel, this is a superior adult drama. Harrowing, heartbreaking but utterly compelling.
  66. Loving and lavish, Kenneth Branagh’s take will please traditionalists more than revisionists, but there’s enough here to enchant both young and old.
  67. Vogt’s droll, daring meta-drama flows in subtle, surprising fashion. Petersen provides a magnetic focus for a mischievous, moving debut.
  68. This blend of tongue-in-cheek exoticism and desire so strong it makes crocodiles melancholic amply rewards your patience.
  69. Imagine all of D-Fens’ fury in Falling Down squeezed into one short, then times it by six. A gloriously crazed compendium that fizzes with OMG and OTT moments.
  70. The best sci-fi trilogy you’ve never seen amalgamated into one organic whole. Surprising, exciting and, at times, strangely beautiful.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Besson is at his balls-out bonkers best in this genre-scrambling, mind-expanding exhilarator.
  71. Smart, literate and romantic, it's this year's (500) Days Of Summer, but with a few more shadows. Like Calvin, you'll find it hard to resist Ms Sparks.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Another shrewdly gauged study of our capacity for deception and self-deception from A Separation’s auteur. Emotionally devastating.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is hands-down the best Trek flick made so far.
  72. A finely etched character study, with Cumberbatch on towering form. Set coordinates for the Oscars.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Plays like an elegy for the demise of the cool, thick with the small-hours allure of addiction and infatuation but smart enough to see clearly.
  73. An expertly calibrated drama confirming Marsh’s status as one of Britain’s most formidable filmmakers.
  74. Dolan never flinches across this bold, brassy piece; it’s confidently directed, stylishly shot, passionately acted and evocatively scored.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite its hard-scrabble setting, eco-gloominess and dystopian story, this dark fairytale is engagingly vivid and life-affirming. An ambitious love letter to a Louisiana way of life that's being literally washed away.
  75. Maverick director James Toback (Fingers) and Alec Baldwin front this frequently hilarious insider doc.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This blistering, Oscar-nominated documentary tells how its members refused to let patients become pariahs.
  76. Scott operates on a suitably Biblical scale and grounds the spectacle with rock-solid turns from Bale and Edgerton.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Jack O’Connell’s, wiry, indefatigable Zamperini holds your attention without effort.
  77. Vile's moving documentary can't go wrong with such an inspiring, funny and genuinely nice guy taking the spotlight he deserves.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Odd-couple chemistry from Dench and Coogan, a smart script and honed direction make this real-life story highly compelling. Blending comedy and tragedy, it secretes a potent sting.

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