Total Film's Scores

  • Movies
For 619 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Rush
Lowest review score: 20 Scary Movie 5
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 619
619 movie reviews
  1. Park Chan-wook brings operatic finesse to generic material in his tight-wound, wickedly weird US debut. And Mia Wasikowska nails it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [A] fresh, eerie twist on urban horror.
  2. Arduous yet always absorbing, Cristian Mungiu’s first full-length feature since 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is inspired by a real-life case of a tragically botched exorcism in rural Romania.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its bleak edges, The Angels’ Share warms like a sip of the good stuff.
  3. To The Wonder doesn’t quite live up to the sky-high expectations set by his earlier films. But it’s still a brave, soul-stirring and sensitive work.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In his feature debut, Swiss director Baran bo Odar counterpoints the tranquillity of the landscape with the mental torment of everyone involved, and what could have been just another serial-killer whodunit becomes a complex study of grief, obsession and the persistence of guilt.
  4. The film belongs to Arena, outstanding as a man growing ever more delusional in his quest to acquire celebrity status.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Brave, brash and exhilarating, but lacking the insight and impact of the Korine-scripted "Kids" (1995). Too much fun for social commentary, this is what you wish school was like.
  5. Sprinting to the edge of preposterousness and back, this deliriously entertaining day-glo noir of fried brains and blown fuses denotes a director at the top of his game.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Packed with fine performances, this attack on suburban conformity is surprising, darkly hilarious and cleverly leaves the insanity judgement to its audience.
  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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With largely improvised dialogue and a cast including genuine ex-offenders, Chapiron captures a powerful stench of authenticity.
  7. Gosling and Cooper use their star currency to power a slow-burn, heartsick drama. "Blue Valentine" director Cianfrance is a serious talent.
  8. 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.
  9. An expertly calibrated drama confirming Marsh’s status as one of Britain’s most formidable filmmakers.
  10. Some metaphors score and some miss, but this is leap-of-faith cinema: the rewards entail some risks.
  11. Utterly assured, breathtakingly executed and riotously funny, this is a delight.
  12. Vinterberg keeps us guessing right up to and after an end shot that suggests how tough some viral rumours are to shake off.
  13. Dolan never flinches across this bold, brassy piece; it’s confidently directed, stylishly shot, passionately acted and evocatively scored.
  14. Funny, twisty and thrilling, this is shellhead’s most entertaining solo flight to date. It’s also an impressive pace-setter for this summer’s barrage of big movies.
  15. Mostly, this is fantastic fun: a two-hours-plus blockbuster that doesn’t bog down in exposition or sag in the middle. There are reversals and rug-pulls galore, most of them executed with whiplash skill.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Writer/director Gilles Legrand’s study of fraught father/son relationships builds the tension, helped by a fine cast...while the vineyards of Bordeaux offer a deceptively serene backdrop.
  16. Strickland’s nuanced, atmospheric, ambiguous movie transcends genre.
  17. It’s actually a ruthlessly plausible thriller, stripped clean of music and melodrama, and all the more engrossing for it.
  18. It’s strong on the details of itinerant life, and allows plotting to take a back seat to character.
  19. An unabashed crowd-pleaser, Hugh Hartford’s table-top portrait avoids patronising its aged subjects, bouncing between sweetly satirical and sincerely moving. Given the theme, it’s only a shame it doesn’t last a bit longer.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. You’re left marvelling at London’s capacity for renewal and reinvention.
  23. A timely, gut-wrenching but ultimately hopeful work.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  24. 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.
  25. A bracing attempt to bring the legend back into contention that successfully separates itself from other Super-movies but misses some of their warmth and charm. But given the craft and class, this could be the start of something special
  26. As a celebrity’s-eye-view apocalypse movie, This Is The End delivers huge guffaws and large-scale carnage with enough gusto to mask the indulgences. You’ll never look at Michael Cera in the same way again.
  27. Amazing stories. Heart- tweaking, brain-teasing and hugely enjoyable, Polley’s tangled memoir confirms her as an unflinching anatomist of secrets and lies.
  28. 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While sympathetic to their plight, the directors prove alert to the story’s wider impact, speaking to proud parents and outraged opponents alike.
  29. A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ben Wheatley’s strangest movie yet: mysticism, mystification and magic mushrooms in a English Civil War setting. Often confusing, occasionally infuriating – but audaciously original.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With its slow tracking shots, complete disregard for edited narrative and endless baaing and whistling, it’ll either bore you to tears or hypnotise you with its weird Herzogian beauty.
  30. The armageddon-through-beer-goggles approach brings the chuckles, but The World’s End stands up as a great example of the genre it ribs. Nostalgic, bittersweet and very, very funny.
    • 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.
  31. Like a more obvious underwater twist on Herzog’s "Grizzly Man," Blackfish presents a persuasive, passionate argument: wild nature’s right to freedom demands respect, cock and all.
  32. Charming, poignant and often very funny, Baumbach and Gerwig’s latest collaboration is a joyous portrait of an unformed personality that should strike chords of recognition in all who watch it.
  33. 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is hands-down the best Trek flick made so far.
  34. Laying bare his characters, Seidl uncovers the doubt beneath the armour of religious belief.
  35. Al-Mansour carefully dodges easy uplift, but her message of hope to future generations of Saudi women is clear.
  36. 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.
  37. Carruth’s furiously elusive second film skirts the line between nonsense and near-masterpiece, like Terrence Malick filleting "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind."
  38. 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.
  39. Capturing the essence of the source novel, this is a superior adult drama. Harrowing, heartbreaking but utterly compelling.
  40. Full of ear-pleasing lines and obscure R&B tunes, it’s colourful, casual and full of flavour. An unexpected treat.
    • 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.
  41. Blurring documentary/fiction boundaries, writer/director Jem Cohen’s film is deceptively simple.
  42. Lowery’s understated authority lifts his tragic romance above mere Malick mimicry, while Affleck and Mara bring heart to the scrupulous artistry. All you need is a little patience...
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By turns dynamic, dangerous and bursting with passion, Out In The Dark is a stark, swoonsome romantic drama.
  43. A simmering pressure cooker of a thriller, Prisoners is an unforgiving but emotionally rewarding experience sustained by powerhouse performances, taut scripting and Villeneuve’s tonally assured direction.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  46. The result? An accomplished, bittersweet drama that's more bitter than sweet.
  47. 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.
  48. Slicker than the original without the sudden lurches in quality, this second shaky-cam horror anthology still has a standout sequence by which all the others must be judged.
  49. Green fashions a slow-burn charmer that’s a million miles from Pineapple Express in tone, pace and content. But just like that film, the odd couple interplay is beautifully judged.
  50. Splashes of overstatement aside, the ambition intoxicates.
    • 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.
  51. 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.
  52. An absorbing thriller that favours vivid characters, profound ideas and Old Testament morals over propulsive plotting and set-pieces. With lots of blood.
  53. Alexander Sokurov’s riff on Goethe’s tragedy is a bewildering but blazingly styled fever-dream epic.
  54. 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 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.
  55. The lead character’s called Grace, but don’t be put off: Cretton’s tough-love snapshot of shattered youth is achingly moving rather than manipulative or mawkish.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    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.
  56. 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Enchanting.
  57. 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.
  58. Against the odds this is a sometimes droll and surprisingly tender affair, and a fitting end to Seidl’s magnum opus.
  59. Catching Fire delivers on all the promise of Part 1 with a gutsier, tougher, better round of Games.
  60. A slice of raggedy realism with ultra-naturalistic performances.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A taut, chilling little horror-thriller making maximum use of minimal resources to tap into our primal fears of the unknown.
    • 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.
  61. Despite suffering from middle-act wobbles, The Desolation Of Smaug nevertheless delivers rousing action, incredible visuals and one stupendous dragon.
  62. With the entire cast on their A-game, depths are found in characters that could’ve easily been caricatures.
    • 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Brutally simple and brilliantly told, channeling everything from the Coens to Korean masters to create a blood-curdling black comedy.
  65. Bigger and broader than before, Ron’s return occasionally feels like autocue’d sequel-making. But it spikes old news with enough fresh comic zip to keep you hooked through the self-indulgent stretches.
    • 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.
  66. With no 3D, no friends and no hope, Redford and Chandor show how survivalist instincts can stoke thrilling, thoughtful cinema. If Gravity grabbed you, hop aboard and hold tight.
  67. Like most daydreams, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is funny, sad, weird and corny all at once – and you’ll probably only remember the good bits as soon as it’s finished. But it’s still a lot better than real life.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Panh’s commentary – spoken in French by Randal Douc – searingly sets the context.
  68. This classy adap of a much-garlanded stage play will appeal to discerning audiences who can tolerate unpleasant characters with potty mouths if they're played by Oscar winners.
  69. Visceral, vital and anchored by its earnest performances, this is a potent portrait of a shameful historical truth.

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