Total Film's Scores

  • Movies
For 732 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 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Life Itself
Lowest review score: 20 The Host
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 732
732 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Best of all, though, is the uneasy ring of truth, which will definitely still be with you the morning after.
  1. The simple approach teases fascinating parallels between art and marriage: essential to both, it seems, are a thick skin and an optimism verging on madness.
  2. The ending stumbles, but not enough to tarnish this study of life lived under society’s radar.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With explicit sex and penetrating philosophy, this erotic odyssey requires close attention and an open mind.
  3. Cool as you like one second, camp as Christmas the next, this entertainingly overpumped action-horror will have genre fans (and their mums) grinning from ear to ear.
  4. Sticking tightly to its heroine’s everyday routines and rituals, this deft blend of humour and pathos fully earns its defiantly upbeat dance-floor denouement.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An emotionally rewarding reunion tour for established fans and a taut, sharp-tongued, character-driven thriller for all, Veronica Mars makes a compelling case for its heroine’s continued existence.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Enchanting.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thought-provoking rather than arousing, both films explore the director’s ideas about love, sexuality and loneliness. The organ he seeks to stimulate most is your brain.
  5. With McAvoy acting as if his life depends on it, Filth is the Irvine Welsh film we’ve been waiting years for. Tastier than a deep-fried Mars Bar.
  6. The leads make sweet music in an affecting four-piece that, if not note perfect, plays well to their individual strengths. A marked improvement overall on this year’s other Quartet.
  7. Populist fare from across the channel that will amply repay those ready to put the time in. The scenery, meanwhile, makes you want to run out and buy a timeshare.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The future as candy-coloured paranoid nightmare: not quite Gilliam’s best, but still the most satisfying movie he’s made for years.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It isn't perfect but this reboot's wins outweigh its wobbles. The leads charm, the action crackles and the grooves are well-laid for part two. Untold story? Next time, then.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The footage – discoveries made by the Allies in the liberated Nazi camps during 1945 – is graphic, terrible, unforgettable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Directed with straightforward economy, The Invisible War sheds much-needed light on a very dark secret.
  8. Some metaphors score and some miss, but this is leap-of-faith cinema: the rewards entail some risks.
  9. The one-liners are in evidence but this is more abrasive than you might expect. Blends rigour and vigour to join "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Midnight In Paris" as the best of late-period Woody.
  10. “Ever since I discovered art,” laments one participant, “this cell has truly become a prison.”
  11. A loving, very funny valentine to undead pleasures, with Swinton and Hiddleston on top form.
  12. This strikingly original feelgood fable is artfully balanced between director Kim Mordaunt’s roots in documentary and a spellbinding magic realism.
  13. A low-budget, highconcept WTF thriller that might have been conceived by Rod Serling in the heyday of his Twilight Zone series. Spread the word.
  14. Sun, sex, psychosis, skinny-dipping: it sounds like genre tat, but Guiraudie’s dark, droll study of a risky attraction upends expectations. It plays by stealth, but its sly grip is sure.
  15. '71
    A brutal army thriller that feels like the truth, thanks to take-no-prisoners storytelling and a tell-no-lies performance from Jack O’Connell.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Friedkin's unflinching trailer-park noir features ugly characters, game performances, degradation and the obscene abuse of a chicken drumstick. Highly recommended, then.
  16. The details ring true and the performances smart in Mackenzie’s prison movie. You wouldn’t meet Jack O’Connell’s tasty glare in a boozer, but try taking your eyes off him here.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A simple, slight but delightful slice of life à la Leigh, with some heart-stoppingly committed performances and genuinely moving moments. It won't set the world on fire, but will smoulder in your brain long after you've left the cinema.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With a riveting portrayal by Cumberbatch at its heart, The Fifth Estate tells its story grippingly - but finally leaves us none the wiser.
  17. Not as groundbreaking as the original, nor as expansive as all the best sequels are. But with some excellent cast additions, and Miller on murky form, this still sizzles to the touch.
  18. A slice of raggedy realism with ultra-naturalistic performances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With largely improvised dialogue and a cast including genuine ex-offenders, Chapiron captures a powerful stench of authenticity.
  19. The result? An accomplished, bittersweet drama that's more bitter than sweet.
  20. Driven by a committed turn from Witherspoon, Jean-Marc Vallée confirms himself as the go-to director for triumph-over-adversity character studies.
  21. An absorbing thriller that favours vivid characters, profound ideas and Old Testament morals over propulsive plotting and set-pieces. With lots of blood.
  22. Gyllenhaal is sensational headlining a pitch-black satire with its finger on the pulse.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its bleak edges, The Angels’ Share warms like a sip of the good stuff.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Adventurer, narcissist or both? Marshall Curry’s riveting study of a momma’s boy turned freedom fighter never editorialises, leaving us to decide.
  23. Vikander brings fresh emotional weight to the familiar scenario of WW1 grief, ensuring that this mostly avoids the traps of dull, dutiful heritage cinema.
  24. Doesn’t have the heft of Zodiac or the verve of Se7en but Gone Girl is a masterful adaptation and a superior crime-thriller. As for Fincher changing the ending… See for yourself.
  25. This is a chilling portrayal of a deeply unsympathetic protagonist.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like "Martha Marcy May Marlene," this lo-fi psychodrama reaps the benefits of a mesmerising female lead, only this time as cult leader not disciple. Marling continues to impress.
  26. That rare breed of blockbuster that emphasises character over spectacle and slow-burn tension over relentless action sequences, Godzilla rewards patience with strong performances and sparing, spine-tingling set-pieces.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gray’s technique is effective, catching the moment one Indian scientist, Yusuf Hamied, stood up and got the moral ball rolling.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tipping its hat to "The Evil Dead" and Peter Jackson’s early gore flicks, Dead Snow 2 is a 90-minute symphony of skull-splitting sight gags, each one more revolting than the last.
  27. Squeezing every drop of tension from wet-ink recent history, Phillips only falters when making its protagonists mouthpieces in a broader geopolitical debate. Otherwise, it’s full steam ahead to the Oscars.
  28. It’s no "Heat" but the niggles are easily forgiven given the virtuosity on show and the mood oozing from every frame. No one shoots faces, architecture and gunfights like Mann.
  29. Soderbergh lets his hair down with a frank, funny dramedy that bulges with humour, heart and smarts as McConaughey gives it everything he's got, in a potentially gong-grabbing turn.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Panh’s commentary – spoken in French by Randal Douc – searingly sets the context.
  30. Shot on 16mm for less than $50,000, Sam Raimi's visceral debut remains a benchmark of modern horror. Plot and acting are minimal - five stooges inadvertently awaken demonic forces - but then this isn't about intellect or intricacy: it's about intensity and intestines. [1 Oct 2001]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It won’t be for everyone, but Burgundy is rich, dark and could well lead to intoxication.
  31. From the texture of the underground havens to the idea that our leads have to – literally – cling to each other lest gravity tears them apart, it’s a wonder of detail and ingenuity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Combining laughs and thrills with plenty of verve, Ben Affleck continues his smart directorial career with a stylish, gripping hostage drama.
  32. A hypnotically disturbing triumph for Miller and his cast. Bruisingly intimate and psychologically nuanced, its spiral into savagery lingers like a bad dream.
  33. Full of ear-pleasing lines and obscure R&B tunes, it’s colourful, casual and full of flavour. An unexpected treat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Aided by committed, awards-ready performance, The Sessions transforms 'taboo' subject matter into a humorous, humane and uncomplicated pleasure.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pitched perfectly between microbudget miracle "Once" and all-star Aegean romp "Mamma Mia!" What these songs lack in recognition they make up for in feelgood factor.
  34. Gyllenhaal is engaged and engaging in Denis Villeneuve’s adventure in psychological surrealism: let’s hope they stay friends.
  35. The strong supporting gallery - including Gillian Anderson and Martin Compston - feels underused, but Meier and her ace DoP Agnès Godard make shrewd use of the dramatic alpine locations.
  36. A lovingly balanced biopic that fends off award-gobbling clichés. Smarts + heart = a winner: it’s a simple equation, but Marsh makes it add up.
  37. Backed by a sparing Philip Glass score, Elena eloquently shows how, in modern Russia, even family relationships are at the mercy of business.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A gutsy, first-rate, full-blooded ghost story, as elegant as it is eerie and brilliantly realised. Blending terror with tenderness, Guillermo Del Toro has crafted something both traditional and original: a sun-kissed gothic horror.
  38. Though self-referential to a fault, the deadpan humour, frayed logic and monochrome dazzle cast their own richly peculiar spell.
  39. Flawed but often flooring, The Grandmaster swoons with grace, feeling and elegance. With Leung and Zhang on killer form, Wong has delivered his best film in a decade.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Impressively acted by the unknown cast, and eerily shot in black and white, Nolan successfully creates his own distinctive cinematic world, leaving en route a trail of objects which may or may not have any meaning.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A winning mix of deadpan comedy, retro stylings and escalating insanity. Too idiosyncratic for some perhaps, but this one-of-a-kind indie makes ’80s nostalgia feel new again.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like its hero, Ender’s Game relies on brains more than brute force. An absorbing portrait of Lord Of The Flies-style morality housed in imaginative sci-fi casing.
  40. A breezy but heartfelt Shakespear update that should put a smile on the faces of Whedon fans, Bard worshippers and anyone in the mood for a sharp, sassy romance.
  41. Bleak but beautiful, this terrific chamber drama confirms Ceylan as one of world cinema’s leading lights. The bum-numbing length may intimidate, but there’s more than enough quality to offset it.
  42. Terence Nance’s unique film, freely mixing autobiography, animation and artiness, is a dizzyingly complex collage about romance and memory.
  43. Big, brash and very funny, Joss Whedon's Avengers Assemble is equal to the sum of its parts – and for once, that's no faint praise. Suit up.
  44. Amazing stories. Heart- tweaking, brain-teasing and hugely enjoyable, Polley’s tangled memoir confirms her as an unflinching anatomist of secrets and lies.
  45. Marvel’s man with the mallet does all that’s required of him in a breakneck sequel that’s never dark for long. Next time, though, we’ll have more Loki and fewer elves.
  46. On form as both director and actor, Jones crafts a mournful but moving hymn to the western. The feminist subtext, meanwhile, brings a fresh slant to the old genre.
  47. Blending the mythical resonances of The Searchers with lyricism and bristly realism, Wolfe’s harrowing, haunting dispatch from Brit-cinema’s undergrowth is strong meat: emphatic evidence of a bold talent’s arrival.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [A] fresh, eerie twist on urban horror.
  48. Another Brit hit, plus Batmanglij is beginning to show dash as director. The duo make a tight fist of hot topicality and high tension from an ideas-packed genre piece.
  49. A moving morality tale set in a world rarely seen in western cinema, Metro Manila is an underdog drama that feels as authentic as it is original.
  50. Astonishing macro-photography captures the bees in all their surreal beauty, presenting a tribute to nature’s “messenger of love” and a warning of what might be lost.
  51. Smith casts non-pro Venkatesh Chavan alongside Bollywood star Nana Patekar to achieve credible chemistry, enhanced by his choice of quiet observation rather than Slumdog -style pizzazz and the delicate emotional kick and finespun simplicity of a short story.
  52. Katharine Isabelle is phenomenal in one of the most original and politically engaged horrors of recent years, even if the second half isn’t a patch on the first.
  53. Who let the dogs out? This is Homeward Bound: The Incredibly Harrowing Journey, with the feelgood payoff arriving after many feel-shit sequences. Well worth it, though.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sharp as fangs, warm as fresh blood, this could be the funniest movie of the year. New Zealand’s answer to Edgar Wright.
  54. Matthew Akers’ document of the event skews close to hagiography but is consistently informative in charting Abramović’s career, and genuinely engaging thanks to his subject’s witty, unpretentious presence.
  55. A sombre, ’70s-flavoured crime drama with strong, interior performances from Hardy, Gandolfini and Rapace. Feel the (slow)burn.
  56. If not quite on a par with PTA’s best, this is still a richly intoxicating brew of humour, violence and melancholy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Jonathan Pryce reads passages and academic voices take turns to chew over Sebald's visionary opus, B&W footage of country roadsides and wind-blasted coastlines turns rural Suffolk into something truly otherworldly.
  57. Packing two terrific turns and an offbeat spirit, this coming-of-middle-age comedy is an unexpected treat.
  58. Wiig and Hader give winning, finely nuanced turns in a film that deftly mixes light and dark. Also features the best use of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ since Mannequin…
  59. After "Frozen," Disney delivers a heart-melter. The sweet, witty main pairing focuses a potentially busy, derivative super-group tale. Stay for the sting: Big Hero 7 is practically a given.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Taking the original and successfully transplanting it into an ambitious new world, José Padilha’s english-language debut is an exciting, pacey and thoughtful sci-fi actioner.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect performance from Dern graces Alexander Payne’s latest roadmovie – another bittersweet meditation on the sad, comic futility of life.
  60. The music busts a gut straining for weepie affect, but you might shed a few yourself when the five-year battle reaches its jubilant, justified climax.
  61. Sex, drugs, murder, radical verse and Radcliffe make persuasive bedfellows in Krokidas’ live-wire lit-pic. It gets busy, but fizzy direction and Rad’s rigour help to keep its pulse alive.
  62. Even now we know he’ll thrive post-Hogwarts, Radcliffe impresses as Arthur Kipps, the solicitor, widower and father with an invested interest in the afterlife.
  63. Arrietty’s craft and charm will invite universal acclaim.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's something rotten in Denmark, as Mean Streets meets GoodFellas in Copenhagen, and while it could never rival either of the above, this striking, powerfully gritty tale about a week in the life of a drug dealer is still well worth seeing. A promising debut.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By turns dynamic, dangerous and bursting with passion, Out In The Dark is a stark, swoonsome romantic drama.
  64. Patient, non-judgemental docu-making yields psychologically rich results in Jesse Moss’s potent dispatch from recession-hit America.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Where family films so often falter, choking on their own contrived sentimentality and/or cool, Paddington is sweet and silly and, at times, edge-of-the-seat stuff.
  65. With measure and muscle, Lawrences Jennifer and Francis nail the job of selling the long, twisting road towards revolution.

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