Washington Post's Scores

For 7,938 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 Under the Sand
Lowest review score: 0 Orphan
Score distribution:
7938 movie reviews
  1. A stylish hoot: entertainingly edgy and ludicrous all at once.
  2. Gripping, troubling and deftly acted.
  3. Apollo 13 is humanized by Hanks's reassuring portrait in courage, by Harris's nicotine-stained fingers and Quinlan's lacquered French twist.
  4. An intriguing yarn.
  5. Ford makes such a dynamic president in Air Force One, you may find yourself favorably weighing his odds in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  6. Brilliantly played by Denzel Washington
  7. Disney's new full-length animated feature, Beauty and the Beast, is more than a return to classic form, it's a delightfully satisfying modern fable, a near-masterpiece that draws on the sublime traditions of the past while remaining completely in sync with the sensibility of its time.
  8. Enormously entertaining.
  9. Watch this film. You may never look at nature indifferently again.
  10. Zemeckis, an undisputed master of film technology, shows off an equal aptitude for vivid storytelling.
  11. Cuts a path directly to the heart.
  12. Most astounding, though, is the power of the film's leading actor. While Branagh's direction is forthright and articulate, his acting is brash and flamboyant.
  13. Water, set in 1930s India, is something pretty rare in the world of movies: an artistic muckraker. It is superb and strange at once, a discreet and self-disciplined attack dog of a movie.
  14. Friendship matters to those of us who still claim membership in the human race, and Goldbacher's merciless autopsy on it is both illuminating and dispiriting.
  15. Mike Myers unleashes (or seems to unleash) the entire contents of his comic mind.
  16. Magnificent.
  17. It's a highly professional project complete with exquisite production details and superb actors, yet its subject matter is so far out of the mainstream, it feels almost radical.
  18. A truly satisfying holiday picture, the kind everyone can enjoy.
  19. A well-orchestrated nightmare that keeps you on edge until the very end.
  20. Searing dramatization of a story of remarkable courage, stamina and spirit.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Blair Witch Project is terrifying. It's also an exuberant prank of genius.
  21. Then, finally, there are the endings, all six of them...For us outsiders, it seems like too much of a good thing...But all those are minor rants: The big fact is that The Return of the King puts you there at Waterloo, or Thermopylae or the Bulge, any desperate place where men ran low on blood and iron and ammo, but not on courage.
  22. It's a movie that walks on air.
  23. JFK
    JFK is Stone's best and most emotional film since "Platoon."
  24. The creepiest, clammiest, twitchiest squealfest in months. It offers, among its many pleasures, the happiness of safe fear.
  25. Without hesitation, I hand the comic award to Smith. She plays a pinched guest known as Constance, Countess of Trentham, to such a hilarious tee, her tee runneth over.
  26. Cogent, scary and, at times, sickening.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cronos is a horror genre film about vampires - but one so well conceived and executed that it satisfies both mainstream and art-film expectations.
  27. What this intelligent, balanced, devastating movie puts before us is nothing less than a contest between good and evil.
  28. The Matrix Reloaded is about sensation, not logic. As such, it delivers, in spades, exactly what you should expect from a popcorn flick -- thrills, chills and spills -- plus a little more for good measure, just to keep anyone from whining who might want a beginning, a middle and an end.
  29. There are films as lovely, but none lovelier.
  30. Marshall masterfully plays our strings without becoming either melodramatic or maudlin. Like Brian De Palma's "Bonfire of the Vanities," hers is an adaptation that ends with a wake-up call, only here it's done successfully and in context.
  31. Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.
  32. Mamet doesn't just give us an enthralling heist flick, he makes the language something to savor. You're biting your nails with your ears peeled.
  33. A lucid depiction of familiar adolescent uncertainties and social tensions in an authentic mid-american setting, the movies is affectionate but never sappy, neat but never overcalculated, unobjectionable but never innocuous. It leaves a positive, heartening impression, dramatically earned and emotionally justified. [02 Aug 1979, p.F1]
    • Washington Post
  34. In a performance of enormous complexity and nuance, emotions seem to race across McKellen's face like hurrying clouds.
  35. The tension is never crushing, as it would be in an American job. Instead, it grows by increments, until you realize the movie, in its quiet way, has you snared entirely.
  36. The throbbing, urgent score by Giorgio Moroder, the cat jokes and the stylish look make Cat People a purrfectly good Meow Mix. [02 Apr 1982, p.11]
    • Washington Post
  37. Outstanding entertainment for little ones but just as rewarding for their adult companions.
  38. Although it's a drama, Osama feels like urgent documentary.
  39. Though computer-animated rather than hand-drawn, this wry, rippingly paced buddy movie is as delightful in its own way as any of Walt Disney's traditional fairy tales.
  40. Unusual, unexpected and strangely refreshing. For this movie to have resorted to a familiar action-flick finish with everything explained, pressed and dry-cleaned would have rendered it banal.
  41. It's a classic story in form, and in this country it used to star Jimmy Cagney.
  42. The movie does what any great musician should: It lifts an idea to the heights of ecstasy; it sells its song.
  43. Fascinating and transgressive love story.
  44. Obliged to go from lost soul to demigod, Sewell's performance is as fascinating as Proyas's mystical vision.
  45. The performances are accomplished, but the real star of Hustle & Flow is Brewer, a playwright who has written and directed a few other movies but who is effectively making a breathtaking national debut here.
  46. This all makes for a deeply entertaining experience that engages our hearts as well as our funny bones. And it's gratifying to see Cruz finally get her due.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But no, Lethal Weapon 2 is no artless, autopiloted waste of precious movie-theater air conditioning. It's fun stuff -- crackling, playfully escapist summer fare that doesn't make you feel taken advantage of later.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The movie is full of wonderful little touches: Syndrome, the bad guy, is drawn to remind viewers of "Heat Miser" from the classic Christmas cartoon "The Year Without a Santa Claus."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As always, Lee fills his story with bold, vivid, glib characters who manage to be entertaining even as they flail at one another.
  47. A disconcertingly assured tango between tenderness and brutality.
  48. The movie's big action scenes, at times, make you forget you're even watching animation. There's an in-your-face sequence involving a runaway, crashing train that will make you squirm in your seat trying to get out of the way.
  49. It's a wonderful postmodern hug of a movie, and never once do you not know you're watching a movie.
  50. It's funny and human and really pretty damned wonderful, all at once.
    • Washington Post
  51. Chomet's vision is singularly strange and somber, and one of enormous originality and promise.
  52. The dance between authenticity and storymaking works beautifully.
  53. There's visceral horror, too, including a grisly image -- a horror-in-miniature involving a fingernail -- that located an open nerve in my jaded ability to endure screen violence.
  54. What John Hughes, who wrote, directed and produced the film, has done here is make a weirdly inventive, off kilter comedy out of the horrors of modern travel. And in the process, he's also managed to make the funniest road movie since Lost in America.
  55. Notre Musique is really a poetic essay, masterfully intermixing the director's mournful-toned, philosophical narration with documentary and staged moments.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For those who want to relive Ali's glory days, and for those who think Ali was nothing but a prizefighter, this movie, which took the struggling Gast 20 years to get financed, is required viewing.
  56. Although the cast is uniformly strong, the real revelation here is "The X-Files' " Anderson, who plays Lily with subtle gradations of emotional depth unexpected from someone who has made a career out of deadpan.
  57. Viewers who come to this delicate creation with expectations of just another quaint or sad story are in for a surprise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a combination of good story, nice moments and appealing texture.
  58. What "The Big Chill" was to baby boomers, the inspirational sex, lies, and videotape is to the mall crowd. It's designer soul-searching, a looking glass for a generation.
  59. Wise, funny, sweet, sexy and kind.
  60. It feels like real life unfolding before your eyes.
  61. The plot is far from intricate, but Waking Ned Devine more than makes up for its narrative simplicity with a uniformly engaging cast of Hibernian oddballs.
  62. It's the atmospheric sideshow that earns the highest marks.
  63. Without its animation, A Scanner Darkly would have made a fine cautionary tale about drug addiction, paranoia and institutional treachery in a police state. But with a technique that turns the existing live action into a two-dimensional cartoon, the movie goes one -- maybe even 10 -- better. It becomes its own living, breathing metaphor.
  64. From its opening shots, the film is like an invigorating elixir, a movie pick-me-up that delivers thrills and races your pulse but keeps your head in gear too. It's divinely frivolous, nearly perfect fun.

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