Washington Post's Scores

For 7,954 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Waiting Room
Lowest review score: 0 Spice World
Score distribution:
7954 movie reviews
  1. Part of the joy of watching a John Sayles film is to see how he knits together so many people and stories into a densely layered, always absorbing whole.
  2. Here, the comedy breathes, and the illusion that it's not a factory-assembled product (which it most certainly is) is a nifty one. For a major studio blockbuster, the thing is darned chummy, and above all, that rare, modest thing, a good show.
  3. Even the most forced, artificial episodes in Funny People ring oddly true, because George's life -- the obscene wealth, the loneliness, the fame -- is odd. Perhaps not since "Sunset Boulevard" have the wages and eccentricities of celebrity been depicted with such tough, almost perverse honesty.
  4. May be most valuable for its depiction of the strength of democratic ideals, even in the most precarious and contradictory of circumstances.
  5. Unlike so many pagan entertainments that seem to have no moral center as they blow things up, this one in fact does. It's very small, but it's there.
  6. A kicky, twisted thrill ride, with enough laughs to leaven what can be read, at heart, as a metaphor for the modern marriage.
  7. From its sepia-toned palette to the Motown hits that drive its terrific soundtrack, Glory Road is utterly authentic. But most astonishing is an unrecognizable Jon Voight as Adolph Rupp.
  8. The Batblast of the summer.
  9. If "Top Gun" was a stylish bimbo of a movie, all cleavage, white teeth and aerodynamic flash, then Days of Thunder is its paradoxical twin -- a bimbo with brains.
  10. A film that's tender and disarming for its intimate honesty. It's also deeply refreshing to see a movie that dares to explore sexuality among mature characters.
  11. Its real agenda is rip-roaring adventure, and that it delivers all wrapped up with a bow.
  12. The cast, all classically trained on the stage, is simply commanding.
  13. In this modern retelling of the well-known fable, she is one princess-in-waiting who does not need rescuing by any knight in shining armor. [31 Jul 1998, Pg. N.47]
    • Washington Post
  14. Corbijn makes us achingly aware of the singer's talent, the haunting poetry of his songs and how, living in the gloomy culture he did, his passing was virtually inevitable.
  15. Splash betrays a slightly drippy side, but by and large it's a refreshing plunge into unabashed romantic fantasy and not to be missed for the sake of John Candy, who hits the screen like a playful fat diver cannonballing off the high board. [09 Mar 1984, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  16. A sort of romance noir -- spruced up in pressed white linens -- this British-made film is elegant, uncompromising and oh-so- veddy nasty.
  17. Although the movie -- falls occasional prey to pretension, it's a classic guilty pleasure.
  18. Kitano the filmmaker makes sure that everything is beautiful, from the wonderful colors and passing tableaux to the intricate fighting choreography. This blind swordsman, you realize, has vision to spare.
  19. The dynamic between Channing and Stiles is as compelling as a freeway wreck.
  20. A lot of bigger movies won't provoke you half as much.
  21. It's rambunctiously entertaining, a loop-de-loopy bumper car ride through a firecracker sky, all bright lights, sonic booms and impossible heroics.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In filmmaker Mehta's deft hands, the outcome is handled with power and sensitivity. [22 Aug1 997, pg.N40]
    • Washington Post
  22. It gets frenetic, in the French way, but it never stops getting amusing. This is what happens when you let grown-ups make movies.
  23. This is the kind of sophisticated and pleasurable movie you dream of seeing from France.
  24. One of the loopiest, most hysterical family-values movies ever made.
  25. Diabolically amusing without plunging into the Mel Brooks zone, and it's smart without being pedantic. And it's genuinely scary at times.
  26. Visually dazzling, epic in its sweep and deeply romantic in its sensibility, The House of Sand is one of those films whose images and ideas linger long after the lights come on, having been burned into the viewer's consciousness.
  27. Well acted, moodily shot and tautly written, this Tattoo may feel like you've seen some of it (or its ilk) before. Still, its haunting images get under the skin, leaving an indelible impression.
  28. Like the director, the cast seems to have burrowed into the material, made all the more wrenchingly realistic by Dogme precepts.
  29. That rare movie that manages to be not only an adroit, carefully observed study in character and suspense, but important.
  30. It is a fascinating dance between style and substance.
  31. A firepowered, blood-drenched action picture that doesn't let up.
  32. Stunningly acted by Liam Cunningham and Orla Brady as the Cloneys.
  33. What keeps The 40-Year-Old Virgin out of Rob Schneider territory, however, is: 1) the fact that it's pretty darn funny, and in a way that feels consistently real, and 2) the fact that it's actually an excellent date movie.
  34. Terrifically funny romantic comedy, is a slam-dunk for Julia Roberts, the Michael Jordan of cuteness.
  35. What keeps the film (adapted from the late John O'Brien's harrowing semi-autobiographical book) from being completely unbearable are the extraordinary performances.
  36. In clothes reminiscent of the '30s (but not, strictly speaking, costumes) the performers read dramatically from the letters, journals and diaries of the Western missionaries and diplomats; they "perform" but in the limited sense, using only face and voice to communicate with the camera. And you have to say: Wow.
  37. It's a pleasant experience. But that's what it is: a sequel that replays every aspect of the original movie.
  38. The three leads deliver funny, convincing performances in a film that wears both youthful callowness and intellectual sophistication lightly. Mutual Appreciation is the kind of movie whose dialogue mostly hews to the rhythms of "like, you know, whatever" but then occasionally throws in a word such as "puissance." And, like, it totally works.
  39. An entertainment to be seen and appreciated in momentum. As such, it is constantly gripping
  40. It practically celebrates convenience of plot, over-the-top acting and follow-the-footprints dialogue, but mostly it is a salute to sequins and sashay. With just a hint of sarcasm.
  41. Touching, funny, unflinching and true.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fatal Attraction rings the changes on your atavistic emotions. Walking out of the theater, you might have a sudden desire to club a woolly mammoth and hide your family in a dark cave -- away from people like Glenn Close.
  42. It's without posturing or phony outrage, and offers instead something far more affecting: a deep sense of melancholy. This is the way it is, it says, and not much can be done about it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perhaps Parenthood works so well because Howard and Co. dabble in the dark side of family happiness and the lighter side of family darkness.
  43. A greatly ambitious undertaking, but from the commercial point of view quite insane. The movie is ridiculously fragile: It's like a Faberge egg, and even a twitch of foreknowledge will destroy the magic of the movie utterly.
  44. Astute and entertaining documentary.
  45. May not be "Fargo," but it nestles comfortably somewhere beneath that masterpiece and "Miller's Crossing," yet far above such forgettables as "The Ladykillers" and "Intolerable Cruelty."
  46. A Dry White Season is political cinema so deeply felt it attains a moral grace. A bitter medicine, a painful reminder, it grieves for South Africa as it recounts the atrocities of apartheid. Yes, it is a story already told on a grander scale, but never with such fervor.
  47. Freeman fills Cross's gumshoes with distinction.
  48. In noir, everybody's guilty, and that's one of the pleasures of Joy Ride. The three youngsters aren't exactly innocent.
  49. The movie's entertaining for some wickedly funny situations and witticisms.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The movie, as a whole, isn't nearly so original. Still, it's a pleasing, well-crafted, surprisingly satisfying diversion. It's eager to entertain and has a quality that's genuinely rare these days, a spirit of gentle modesty.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Terrific at capturing what teenage behavior would look like on a grown-up.
  50. It never smirks or condescends as does, say, a Michael Moore; it never seems smug and superior, only committed and compassionate.
  51. This movie gives it to you, as no movie has in some years. Okay, if that's not your part of the swamp, don't go into it.
  52. It's more a collection of episodes that build to a complex, richly layered picture of these girls' lives. And the more time we spend with them, the more endearing they become.
  53. It's full of good heart, and you can't help but like its unequivocal sentimentality.
  54. Very, very funny, thanks to a lively first script by Mark O'Rowe, who has a good ear for earthy dialogue and a sense of life's absurd little synchronicities.
  55. Diane Keaton's kooky sensibilities as a director are ideally suited to the sweet madness of Unstrung Heroes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A beautiful, sad, spiritual story with joy and delicacy, visual chops and emotional depth.
  56. Manages to take the cerebral act of literary creation and make it exciting, sexy even.
  57. Start lining up now, bring a bullwhip -- and maybe some d-Con. Indiana will do the rest.
  58. As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.
  59. Enormously entertaining.
  60. An uplifting, superbly acted and intelligent family drama.
  61. The audience is treated to one extraordinary vision after another; the sense of a world literally being destroyed around the principal actors, the sense of their flight through panic and destruction, the sense of concussion, collapse, rubble and ruin.
  62. Dworkin, having led viewers so deeply into her subjects' lives, resists coercing them into any pat conclusions. We're left to wonder about Love and Diane -– and root for them -– on our own.
  63. Blondes may or may not have more fun, but in this one case, they certainly provide more fun.
  64. Has important things to tell viewers about global politics, and in an eerily resonant way.
  65. A gorgeously morbid meditation on the interconnectivity of life.
  66. Ray
    There may not be a bigger-hearted performance this year than Jamie Foxx's in Ray.
  67. The potential for hokum is there, but Duvall and co-star James Earl Jones capably avoid the sticky pitfalls of Tom Epperson and Billy Bob Thornton's sugar-cured script.
  68. Under normal circumstances, nothing kills a joke faster than trying to explain it. Yet here, such examination is the film's strong suit and provides much-needed respite, quite frankly, from the exhaustion of constant laughter.
  69. Bale and Jackman inject their reliable charisma into two otherwise very cold fish. Okay, I'll say it: If you see only one magic-at-the-turn-of-the-century movie this year, make it this one.
  70. Shakes, rattles and rolls the house, building to a climax that makes you almost forget you're in a movie theater and not a football stadium at halftime.
  71. August, who also made "Pelle the Conqueror" and "House of the Spirits," steers this story to its stirring conclusion with firm lack of sentimentality.
  72. Manages to be innocent, physically passionate, earnestly romantic and self-deprecatingly funny, all at once.
  73. So childish it seems to arrive in diapers, and that's not bad; it's good.
  74. You have to see this to believe it.
  75. This curious documentary is something rare, evincing opposites: It's both delightful and powerful.
  76. It's a B+, not an A. This would be enough for most filmmakers. But Anderson must contend with a higher standard. It's his fault for being original.
  77. With its cast of back-stabbing functionaries and desk jockeys, Spy Game makes the sport and hard work of espionage seem chillingly real.
  78. A movie that, in the story of one man dying, shows us all how to live.
  79. The movie is as visually inventive and wildly eccentric as the Coens' earlier movies, but it lacks the emotional maturity and moral clarity of 1996's "Fargo."
  80. Preposterous, predictable, but excessively entertaining, this frenzied thriller draws both story and characters from such action classics as "The Fugitive," "Die Hard," "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Silence of the Lambs."
  81. The chronological looseness is part of the pleasure of the piece, which magically reassembles in the last reel into something strong, lucid and compellingly powerful.
  82. Though its attitudes are decidedly French, this intelligent film goes a long way toward explaining America's obsession with Martha Stewart Living, fake designer labels and TV talk show makeovers.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Deftly mixes irony, self-reference and wry social commentary with chills and blood spills.
  83. Does a terrific job of capturing the outlaw energy of the original production.
  84. The most enjoyable John Sayles movie in recent memory.
  85. A deft, entertaining story that mixes menace with charm and satire with seriousness.

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