Total Film's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,166 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: 67
Highest review score: 100 Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Lowest review score: 20 Criminal
Score distribution:
1166 movie reviews
    • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Extraordinary in form, ‘ordinary’ in content, Boyhood is ambitious, intimate and unforgettable. It might just be the apex of Linklater’s life’s work.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sensitive, subtle and heartfelt, Jenkins’ genre-buster is a significant work that will knock you out.
  3. 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.
  4. Visceral, vital and anchored by its earnest performances, this is a potent portrait of a shameful historical truth.
  5. If ever there was a film that epitomised the saying ‘no pain, no gain’, this is it. Packs a real wallop.
  6. A stunning space saga that takes off for new technical frontiers without leaving its humanity behind.
  7. 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.
  8. Breathlessly tense, thrillingly orchestrated and intellectually complex, this damn fine piece of rigorous, meticulous filmmaking enhances Kathryn Bigelow's status as one of her generation's most accomplished directors.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The ambition is bracing, but critical hindsight obscures how exciting Malle’s noir thriller is on its own terms.
  13. 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.
  14. Losey creates an atmosphere of deepening claustrophobic menace shot through with episodes of savage black humour.
  15. Strikingly original, brilliantly acted, this serio-comic masterpiece constantly swerves expectations.
  16. A rigorously detailed telling of an important story that never loses sight of the human devastation. Terrific turns from the ensemble cast.
  17. Could have been a grand folly but instead it’s just grand. Will make audiences break into grins like its characters break into song.
  18. Largely lensed in the window between sunset and nightfall, it’s a magic-hour masterpiece. [26 Aug. 2011]
  19. 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).
  20. Amazing stories. Heart- tweaking, brain-teasing and hugely enjoyable, Polley’s tangled memoir confirms her as an unflinching anatomist of secrets and lies.
    • 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]
  21. Drawing on the testimonies of some fascinating interviewees, and filled with dazzling digital images of galaxies and landscapes, it’s a film that makes you ponder the mysteries of human existence anew.
  22. Her
    For all its techno-focus, a very human love story about our need for connection. Strange, witty, honest and curiously comforting.
    • 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]
  23. An existential flipbook and a heartbreaking black joke: stickmen have never looked so alive.
  24. 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.
  25. Drawing on revealing clips from Panahi's previous films, TINAF reveals not only the realities of artistic censorship, but its firework-laden finale shows how cinema thrives on spontaneity.
  26. A lunatic vision, as hilarious as it is hellish. And some of the greatest action ever put on screen.
  27. With the entire cast on their A-game, depths are found in characters that could’ve easily been caricatures.
  28. Patient, non-judgemental docu-making yields psychologically rich results in Jesse Moss’s potent dispatch from recession-hit America.
  29. A complex film that sidesteps every cliché. Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert are at the top of their game.
  30. Over-long, but a work of great artistry and emotion. As the woodcutter says upon finding our heroine: “A gift from heaven”.
  31. Powerful drama, driven by a powerhouse performance, Selma is this year’s Lincoln. For Oyelowo and DuVernay, it’s a career changer.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wes Anderson’s eighth feature has a heft beneath its icing, heart behind its artifice. Check in, and you won’t want to leave.
  34. 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.
    • 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.
  35. Mackenzie goes western in satisfying style, while Bridges, Pine and Foster bring true grit to Sheridan’s tight script.
  36. A timely, inspiring parable of protest, directed with sinewy style and driven by Braga’s rock-solid lead performance.
  37. Charlie Kaufman shows us what it is to be human. Plus the best use of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ in the movies.
  38. 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.
  39. Devoid of the ultra-violence so often associated with Korean cinema, Poetry is quiet and unhurried, making its portrait of social bleakness all the more impactful.
  40. Panh’s commentary – spoken in French by Randal Douc – searingly sets the context.
    • 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Another shrewdly gauged study of our capacity for deception and self-deception from A Separation’s auteur. Emotionally devastating.
  43. Backed by a sparing Philip Glass score, Elena eloquently shows how, in modern Russia, even family relationships are at the mercy of business.
  44. 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.
  45. Good enough to survive evoking "Bicycle Thieves" and "The 400 Blows," this small story contains universal truths, told with irresistible force.
  46. 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.
  47. A masterpiece of animation and imagination.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It won’t be for everyone, but Burgundy is rich, dark and could well lead to intoxication.
  48. A minor-key appraisal of modern marriage that manages to be funny, sad and, sadly, true – just don’t watch it on your anniversary.
  49. Steeped in the bitter political divisions of the Civil War, Spielberg's thrilling film about hardwon freedoms is immersed in its own time, but speaks eloquently to ours.
  50. 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.
  51. A pitch-perfect performance from Dern graces Alexander Payne’s latest roadmovie – another bittersweet meditation on the sad, comic futility of life.
  52. The drama gets overwrought but Shults stages the fallout artfully, stressing choppy montages and a nerve-rattling sound mix as tensions erupt.
  53. Crime, romance, fast cars, hot tunes... slicker than your chrome hubcaps, Baby Driver is the summer’s coolest movie.
  54. Dudok de Wit and Ghibli have birthed a pan-continental marvel: a fable-cum-fantasy of a life adrift, aching with tender beauty and awed by nature’s extremes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This blistering, Oscar-nominated documentary tells how its members refused to let patients become pariahs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not only has director Christian Petzold assembled a fascinating hill of beans, but there's a moonlit scene that almost alone justifies his Silver Bear win at Berlin.
  55. Splashes of overstatement aside, the ambition intoxicates.
    • 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.
  56. 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.
  57. One of [Hawks'] finest pictures: a swoony saga of fatalistic flyboys and the women who try to keep their feet on the ground.
  58. 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sparse and intricate, it’s a study of judgement, of ‘honour’, of Emad’s own fragile masculinity; one paralleled cleverly by his role in a production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.
  59. Amy
    Kapadia lays bare the tragedy of Winehouse’s story. It’s a tough, unfiltered watch but a thoughtful, thorough, feeling one.
  60. As their early fights give way to growing respect, it’s a beautifully calibrated relationship, with small moments gradually building into something much bigger. A gem.
  61. The footage – discoveries made by the Allies in the liberated Nazi camps during 1945 – is graphic, terrible, unforgettable.
  62. It’s great to see a gritty girl-gang story that’s not a fingerwagging cautionary tale, or a grrrlpower fantasy. Sciamma finishes her coming-of-age trilogy on a high note.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Here is a film where every frame feels individually designed, with saturated colour and symmetry reflecting the texture and natural wonder of the environment.
  63. Beautifully animated, scored and written, Barras’ little movie has a big heart. C’est fantastique.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Living up to the imposing enormity of its title, this doc stimulates both conscience and senses.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fukada contrasts understated realism with haunting, dreamlike images. Unsettling and morally complex.
  66. A surreal head-scratcher that'd make Luis Buñuel smile, it may not be perfectly formed, but there's no denying its fierce originality.
  67. The characters are unfailingly polite, whatever their grievances, and there isn’t a single false note in this generous, affectionate portrait of people making the best of their situation.
  68. 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.
  69. A ravishing period piece that simmers with sexual tension while pulling off some dazzling narrative gymnastics.
  70. 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.
  71. Masterfully filmed in long takes, this slow-burner lays bare a world of systemic corruption.
  72. Visually astonishing and touchingly told, Kubo is utterly wonderful.
  73. Blurring documentary/fiction boundaries, writer/director Jem Cohen’s film is deceptively simple.
  74. Full of shivers and subtext, this is scarily good. One of the films – horror or otherwise – of the year.
  75. It lacks the subtlety of Night of the Living Dead, but deftly balances laughs and bloody thrills.
  76. 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.
  77. Everybody in Everybody smashes it out the park, playing dreamers who exhibit a voracious lust for life as they quest for identity. Well, these actors might have found theirs – the next generation of leading men.
  78. '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.
  79. 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.
  80. Robert Eggers’ measured, meticulous debut builds into one of the most genuinely scary horror movies of recent years.
  81. Like a Cobain mixtape brought to feral life, Montage is scruffy, sharp and insightful on an oft-explored subject. The pay-off is terribly moving – it’ll drain you.
  82. 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.
  83. Ridiculously funny and meticulously detailed, The LEGO Movie is far better than a toy tie-in movie has any right to be. Despite a couple of dips, you’ll be grinning throughout.

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