Washington Post's Scores

For 8,081 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 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Amy
Lowest review score: 0 8MM
Score distribution:
8081 movie reviews
  1. Thanks to his taste, rigor and superb sense of control, Nemes manages to create images that are both discreet and graphic, respectful and confrontational, inspiring and unsparing.
  2. Although news reports presented police use of rubber bullets and tear gas as justifiable responses to increasingly volatile crowds, Whose Streets? offers a useful alternative view, with citizen journalists capturing what look like unprovoked attacks on demonstrators by law enforcement officers woefully unprepared or unwilling to de-escalate sensitive situations and engage.
  3. For all of the outrage that Mustang inspires by its depiction of sexist oppression, it’s still enormously pleasurable to watch, in part because of its enchanting setting (it was filmed in the northern Turkish town of Inebolu) and Warren Ellis’s thoughtful score, but mostly because of Sensoy and her four equally beguiling co-stars.
  4. With elegant, clockwork construction, Smith has transplanted his novel of greed, betrayal and getting what you deserve to the screen, where it is told by director Sam Raimi with a spareness befitting the whiteness of its snowed-in setting.
  5. Because it's one of the most beautiful films ever. Because it's a work of art on the order of a poem by Yeats or a painting by Rothko.
  6. An instant slapstick classic from Disney and Steven Spielberg. Already, it's a hare's breadth away from legend. [22 June 1988]
  7. A classically polished drama about repressed emotions, self delusion and protracted heartbreak, this Merchant/Ivory movie is one of the most affecting experiences of the year.
  8. It's more than a detailed account of one man's petty vindictiveness in a bygone era. It's about how our hatred can consume us so deeply that we lose sight of everything.
  9. 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.
  10. Amy
    [A] sensitive, superbly constructed, ultimately shattering documentary.
  11. Superbly conceived anti-biopic.
  12. 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.
  13. Gripping, whole and nourishing. Certainly of the fantasy film series currently in American theaters -– I include "Harry Potter and the Secret Toity" and "Star Trek: Halitosis" -– The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the best, and not by just a little.
  14. This movie is great in any version...I don't miss what has been cut from the new version. The overall effect is so beautifully wrought, a few details aren't going to bring things crashing down.
  15. A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
  16. 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.
  17. Foxcatcher exerts a mesmerizing pull, not only because it affords the chance to witness three fine actors working at the height of their powers, but also because it so steadfastly resists the urge to clutter up empty space with the filigree of gratuitous imagery and chatter.
  18. Enormously entertaining and surprisingly touching.
  19. It gets you below the emotional belt in a searing, delicate way. No movie this year approaches such magnificent imagery, such delectable poetry.
  20. Stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one that preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects. The flag raising on Iwo might have indeed become a pseudo-event as it was processed for goals, but there was nothing pseudo about the courage of the men who did it.
  21. 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.
  22. What "Raising Arizona" was to baby lust, "Barton Fink" is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms.
  23. One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
  24. The sheer joy of letting go as a tale overwhelms your senses and drives the known world away -- that's the story.
  25. With its deft intercutting of place and time, the film creates a powerful sense of mysticism and fate.
  26. If you want to sample the sheer bouquet of great acting, you could get drunk on this movie.
  27. 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.
  28. This spooky film's ostensible subject—an environmental illness known as multiple chemical sensitivity—is merely a starting place for this mesmerizing horror movie, feminist tract and medical mystery.
    • Washington Post
  29. Manchester by the Sea is a film of surpassing beauty and heart. Even at its most melancholy depths, it brims with candid, earnest, indefatigable life.
  30. A movie for aesthetically hungry moviegoers: wildly amusing, sometimes sardonic and always touching. There's so much here, and all of it delightful.
  31. The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant. I miss Hedwig already.
  32. With the exception of the opening scene -- whose purpose is chiefly comic -- the movie is one, extended climax. Even with flashbacks and other time jumps, it never lets up. You have to go back to Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1952 "The Wages of Fear" to recall suspense this relentless.
  33. There's no doubt about the film's sheer power and taut originality.
  34. As a parable on karma, capitalism and Darwinian corporate politics, Two Days, One Night can often feel brutal. As a testament to connection, service, sacrifice and self-worth, it’s a soaring, heart-rending hymn.
  35. Two hours and six minutes has never seemed so much like two and six-tenths seconds. It's pure pulp metafiction.
  36. An extraordinary and brilliant (and almost wordless) film that takes us above ground and below it, up in the air and deep below water, to follow its conundrum of a story.
  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. The Look of Silence is as beautiful as it is bleak.
  39. Reveals itself detail by searing detail.
  40. A guaranteed pleasure for anyone who ever loved pop music, owned a record collection or suffered in love
  41. Wickedly funny. In fact, Heathers may be the nastiest, cruelest fun you can have without actually having to study law or gird leather products. If movies were food, Heathers would be a cynic's chocolate binge.
  42. Gracefully moving between the infinite and the practical, the celestial and the implacably grounded, Guzman has created a sensitive, richly textured portrait of time and place that transcends both those conceits.
  43. In this final installment of a glorious trilogy (which includes the films “Blue” and “White”) he has saved his greatest for last.
  44. It doesn't matter how many times you see these images. They're always exciting.
  45. Nothing comes easily in Atonement, especially its ending, which, both happy and tragic, is as wrenching as it is genuinely satisfying. How fitting, somehow, that a novel so devoted to the precision and passionate love of language be captured in a film that is simply too exquisite for words.
  46. As in the best horror movies, Drag Me to Hell keeps the audience on the edge of hysteria throughout, so that every thump sets the heart racing and every joke earns a slightly out-of-control laugh.
  47. A great big beautiful valentine of a movie, an intoxicating romantic comedy set beneath the biggest, brightest Christmas moon you ever saw. It's a monster moon, a Moby Dick of a moon, whose radiance fills the winter sky and every cranny of this joyous love story.
  48. A film of rare intelligence, beauty and compassion.
  49. The aerial dogfight Dykstra and Stears have helped Lucas perfect as his climactic piece de resistance looks more exciting than its antecedents in live-action war movies. It’s the most gorgeous stylized combat sequence since the underwater battle at the end of "Thunderball," a project that won an Oscar for Stears.
  50. Whether by dint of his source material or his own maturity, the filmmaker has invested the surface sheen with tenderness and emotional depth. It’s no surprise that Julieta is marvelous to look at, but it possesses just as much substance as style.
  51. The idea that a company in the business of mainstream entertainment would make something as creative, substantial and cautionary as WALL-E has to raise your hopes for humanity.
  52. This is an absolutely brilliant film but in a quiet way.
  53. Haigh knows how to thread a story in a way that makes it feel deliberate and spontaneous, so that when it reaches its climax, viewers feel that it’s both inevitable and utterly devastating.
  54. As a celebration of personal and social history, 20th Century Women takes the audience back. But it also lifts us up on a wave of openhearted emotion and keen intelligence. It bursts with the sad, messy, ungovernable beauty of life.
  55. It is sheer brilliance and testament to the vitality of an old master.
  56. Spielberg has always demonstrated extraordinary aptitude for filmmaking, but "E.T." is far and away his most satisfying work to date. He knows how to transform the raw material of his childhood into an appealing popular fable. There are sequences that touch you to the quick in mysteriously casual ways
  57. That rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings.
  58. The movie fixes you in its gravitational pull. It's an enveloping, walk-in vision... As rich and satisfying a movie as you're likely to see all year.
  59. A tour de force so haunting that other films can't exorcise the memory of its radiant cast, exquisite craftsmanship or complex system of metaphors. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a movie.
  60. Blade Runner 2049, the superb new sequel by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), doesn’t just honor that legacy, but, arguably, surpasses it, with a smart, grimly lyrical script (by Fancher and Michael Green of the top-notch “Logan”); bleakly beautiful cinematography (by Roger Deakins); and an even deeper dive into questions of the soul.
  61. With this film, del Toro seems to have created his manifesto, a tour de force of cautionary zeal, humanism and magic. At this writing, Pan's Labyrinth is the best-reviewed film of 2006 listed on the movie review Web site Metacritic.com, and for a reason: It's just that great.
  62. Even if it weren't in pristine shape for its current re-release, it would still qualify as one of only a handful of films made in the past 30 years that truly deserve to be called great. (Review of 1994 Release)
  63. 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.
  64. Jarecki has created a tour de force of narrative ambiguity, and in doing so has made one of the most honest reality shows ever.
  65. The Double Life of Veronique is a mesmerizing poetic work composed in an eerie minor key. Its effect on the viewer is subtle but very real. The film takes us completely into its world, and in doing so, it leaves us with the impression that our own world, once we return to it, is far richer and portentous than we had imagined.
  66. The result is a perfect combination of slapstick and satire, a Platonic ideal of high-and lowbrow that manages to appeal to our basest common denominators while brilliantly skewering racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and that peculiarly American affliction: we're-number-one-ism.
  67. Where Elizabeth really triumphs over its dusty source material is in transforming all this boring history into a real, rip-roaring adventure tale.
  68. A wonderful thing to snuggle into, as full of heart and pep and innocence as the title character himself.
  69. There's a lot in this movie, simple, big, small and exciting. It's the year's first serious contender for big prizes. What's not to like about this picture?
  70. Boomerang is the funniest, most sophisticated movie of Eddie Murphy's career; it's a sleek, dexterous satire, with a slew of rich comic performances that remind us of everything we loved about Murphy in the first place.
  71. But the movie has a great deal of zest and charm, and Yakusho gets so exactly that crest of melancholy that is a man’s early 40s, until he decides to go for another kind of life, that the movie is infinitely touching.
  72. Actually, the film's more serious side is beautifully balanced by the joy we experience as both Jesse and Willy come into their own.
  73. This movie, directed with precision and an appreciation for (relatively) rich character texture by Sam Raimi, remembers all the fine elements of the original film (and the comic book story). It reprises them perfectly, including wonderfully choreographed, skyscraper-hanging fights.
  74. Superb.
  75. Want to see something strange, funny, twisted, brilliant and macabre? Sure you do.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A wholesome, engaging, frequently hilarious, ultimately inspirational film.
  76. This Tarzan doesn't bellow, he kvetches; he doesn't dominate, he persuades; he doesn't rule, he seeks consensus. He isn't the king of the apes, he's a citizen of the animal planet.
  77. Anamaria Marinca delivers an utterly transfixing performance as Otilia, a young woman who helps a friend (Laura Vasiliu) obtain an illegal abortion in the waning days of Romania's communist Ceausescu regime.
  78. As much as any earnest historical drama, Secret Ballot serves as an eloquent argument for civic life, showing its human elements to be no less flawed for being so necessary.
  79. The acting is superb, particularly from the three principals.
  80. An exceedingly loopy satire of the entire American political circus, and could be viewed as offensive to the sensitive-souled in either camp. And time hasn't in the least softened its bite. [Re-release]
  81. A movie that dares you to slow down and enjoy the subtleties of life.
  82. Lilya's struggle to make a life for herself is both heartbreaking and heart-stirring.
  83. A deliciously mordant French spine-tingler.
  84. Director Jonathan Demme has nailed one with this playful, but dangerous, gangster farce.
  85. The 11-year-old Osment evokes the boy's terror and awful predicament so memorably, you'll never forget him.
  86. A beautifully textured, disarmingly simple movie about romantic devotion.
  87. Sinfully watchable ensemble movie.
  88. One of the great movie satires. And if it isn't the funniest rock spoof ever made, it certainly shares the title with "The Rutles."
  89. When you think you've figured out Bielinsky's great game, that's when you're in the most trouble: He's the con, and you're just the mark.
  90. If Mystic River is just a bit overplayed, a tad too highly pitched, it still resonates with grief and fury and feeling.
  91. The summer's most rousing action picture.
  92. One of the more accomplished and beautiful films released thus far this year.
  93. The director has created a not-to-miss gem for the discriminating viewer.
  94. Each revelation seems more disturbing than the next. But Chinese treatment of Tibetans is only half the heartbreak. The other is the amazing resilience of the Tibetans, who are overwhelmingly Buddhist.
  95. Profoundly affecting.
  96. All in all, A Good Woman retains ye olde Wilde's zing, his sense of pace and place, but most of all his snappy one-liners, and it finds a new way to showcase them brilliantly.
  97. It is through the genius of Frears, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern and this talented cast that Liam lets no one off the hook, least of all the audience.
  98. From the very first seconds a viewer believes totally in Downfall.
  99. The movie equivalent of a great read. It's a masterfully conducted concert of characters...already head and shoulders above most of the competition.

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