Washington Post's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 6,593 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Diamond Men
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
6,593 movie reviews
  1. Sean Penn makes a striking screen presence in This Must Be the Place, a smart, funny and original road movie by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo").
  2. While Wright's self-conscious theatricality and dollhouse aesthetic conjure comparisons to Baz Luhrmann and Wes Anderson, he outstrips both those filmmakers in moral seriousness and maturity.
  3. With grace, discretion and supreme tact, Nicks sweeps viewers to a climactic montage that wordlessly honors the best ways we care for one another. The Waiting Room bears poetic witness to an overlooked fact: America's health care system may be broken, but its people are anything but.
  4. Turns out to be one of the most transportingly romantic movies of the year, one that finds the most stirring emotion in struggle rather than in ginned-up melodrama or easy resolution.
  5. By and large, Zero Dark Thirty dispenses with sentimentality and speculation, portraying the final mission not with triumphalist zeal or rank emotionalism but with a reserved, even mournful sense of ambivalence.
  6. Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
  7. With its ingenious structure, seamless visual conceits and mordant humor, Stories We Tell is a masterful film on technical and aesthetic values alone. But because of the wisdom and compassion of its maker, it rises to another level entirely.
  8. The writing is so musical, so attuned to human frailty and aspiration, that I defy anyone to watch the movie without smiling — with amusement one minute, rueful recognition the next, but probably always with some measure of simple, undiluted delight.
  9. Leigh has fashioned a limber style of political commentary that is part documentary, part cartoon and wholly novel in the movies.
  10. Leigh hasn't the affect of a poet, but he's a poet nonetheless. This movie captures the smallish details in life that perhaps you've felt before, but have never before seen on screen. He has a genius for the commonplace. It is truly sweet stuff.
  11. Vincent & Theo is more than art appreciation, it is a treasure in its own right, unframed and arcing in the projector's light.
  12. What makes it a must see is its timelessness.
  13. The Act of Killing is a must-see.
  14. Museum Hours is every bit as masterfully conceived and executed as the art works that serve as the film’s lively cast of supporting characters.
  15. Feisty, funny, fizzy and deeply wise, Enough Said sparkles within and without, just like the rare gem that it is.
  16. Thanks to Cuarón’s prodigious gifts, Gravity succeeds simultaneously as a simple classic shipwreck narrative (albeit at zero-gravity), and as an utterly breathtaking restoration of size and occasion to the movies themselves.
  17. Captain Phillips is such an impressive dramatic achievement that it comes as a shock when it gets even better, during a devastating final scene in which Hanks single-handedly dismantles Hollywood notions of macho heroism in one shattering, virtually wordless sequence.
  18. Intense, unflinching, bold in its simplicity and radical in its use of image, sound and staging, 12 Years a Slave in many ways is the defining epic so many have longed for to examine — if not cauterize — America’s primal wound.
  19. Chandor’s attention to detail, and the expressiveness and utter believability with which Redford goes about the anything-but-mundane business of surviving, make All Is Lost a technically dazzling, emotionally absorbing, often unexpectedly beautiful experience.
  20. Hours, even days later, they may find themselves thinking of Adèle and wondering how she’s doing — only then realizing how completely this fictional but very real creation has winnowed her way into their hearts and minds. That’s great acting. It’s great art. And that’s why Blue Is the Warmest Color is a great movie.
  21. Van Dormael has crafted a saga that, even at two-plus hours, is endlessly, enormously watchable.
  22. Vallée, working with a lean, lively script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, neatly avoids excess, letting Woodroof’s terrific yarn stand on its own and getting out of the way of his extraordinary actors, who channel the story without condescension or manipulative cheats.
  23. Directed with rigor and sensitivity by Jason Osder, this is the kind of nonfiction film that proves how powerful simple storytelling and a compelling through line can be.
  24. Only someone with intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s singular cadences, social codes and confounding emotional stew (er, covered hot dish) of aggression and politesse could pull off something as masterful, meaningful and poetic as Nebraska.
  25. This soulful, unabashedly lyrical film is best enjoyed by sinking into it like a sweet, sad dream. When you wake up, a mythical place and time will have disappeared forever. But you’ll know that attention — briefly, beautifully — has been paid.
  26. Her
    What’s surprising is that Jonze has taken what could easily have been a glib screwball comedy and infused it instead with wry, observant tenderness and deep feeling.
  27. Many thematic ingredients come together in Farhadi’s rich stew of a story: jealousy, resentment, betrayal, forgiveness, healing. The filmmaker stirs them, with the touch of a master, into a dish that both stimulates and nourishes.
  28. In this vibrant, lyrical, graphic, sobering and finally soaring testament to aesthetic and political expression, Noujaim consistently provides light where once there was heat.
  29. For those willing to join Reggio in his extended meditation, Visitors offers a sublime, even spiritual experience, as well as a bracing reminder of cinema’s power to create a transformative occasion.
  30. Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
  31. As haunting as it is haunted, The Missing Picture leaves viewers’ heads rattling with ghosts.
  32. Joe
    Nicolas Cage delivers what may his best, most nuanced performance yet in the gritty, hypnotic and deeply moving Joe.
  33. Locke is so distilled, such a pure example of cinematic storytelling, that it almost feels abstract.
  34. Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made.
  35. It’s a richly engrossing drama, so long as you understand that it’s aiming for the head, not the gut.
  36. As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, Boyhood isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.
  37. Although the cast is uniformly fine, Hoffman shines in a role that demands not showmanship, but a kind of complexity and contradiction that can be rendered only through the kind of dull character details that he excelled in, accumulating them from the inside out.
  38. It manages the trick of being both an unironic sci-fi action-adventure flick and a zippy parody of one. It’s exciting, funny, self-aware, beautiful to watch and even, for a flickering instant or two, almost touching.
  39. Rich Hill doesn’t just make you feel like you know these boys; it makes you care about them.
  40. In Kennedy’s scrupulous, adroit hands, Last Days in Vietnam plays like a wartime thriller, with heroes engaging in jaw- dropping feats of ingenuity and derring do.
  41. In this good-natured film, even the smallest efforts at kindness yield positive results.
  42. It's hard to remember a recent love story -- maybe "Moonstruck" -- that's as involving as this one. This is not to suggest that the two movies are in the same league, but this is a teen movie that transcends its teen limitations.
  43. All about undertones, obliqueness and expectancy, about the scent, if you will, of something no one can stop
  44. Barry Sonnenfeld's irresistibly charming lampoon of Hollywood.
  45. So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell "Safe!"
  46. The director isn't much on orgies; he's all talk. But that's good, not bad, because his talk is so brilliant. Stillman is the Balzac of the ironic class, the Dickens of people with too much inner life.
  47. It's funny and human and really pretty damned wonderful, all at once.
    • Washington Post
  48. With a cast of actors playing some of England's smartest people and with a crackling script by Stoppard -- no slouch in the brains department -- it pays to stay awake.
  49. The movie's stroke of sheer genius is its wondrous ending.
  50. The scenes unfold with such unhurried delicacy, and the characters are so intriguing, you can ignore the editorial bluntness and savor the smaller, sweeter details.
  51. Holofcener is honest enough to present human foibles, not just as weaknesses but as unexpected sources of humor and strength.
  52. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
  53. Childishly simple, but extremely funny.
  54. Not just a fitting document of a life brilliantly lived but a vibrant, almost palpitating piece of cinema.
  55. I love the unsettling details.
  56. Wise, funny, sweet, sexy and kind.
  57. Has a refreshingly keen ability to see everything from multiple angles.
  58. The sexiest movie of the year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are some things the French do better than we do, and this small movie is one.
  59. So elegantly layered and emotionally restrained, it makes the horror at its center all the more disturbing.
  60. Brilliantly played by Denzel Washington

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