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 Time Bandits
Lowest review score: 0 Formula 51
Score distribution:
7954 movie reviews
  1. There are so many things to enjoy here.
  2. The heart of Million Dollar Baby lies in the core relationships among Frankie, Maggie and Scrap, friendships so pure, so genuine, so authentic that it takes actors of Eastwood's, Swank's and Freeman's caliber to sell them in this otherwise cynical world.
  3. The next worst thing to being there. That's how real it feels.
  4. Charlotte Rampling takes you so far inside the pain of Marie Drillon it leaves you stirred, shaken and a little in awe.
  5. It's not the sort of film one can be said to enjoy, but it is the sort of film that has the clarity of a dream and lingers for hours.
  6. A three-ring circus of visual pleasure, showing us the beauty of Korean garment, custom and national character.
  7. The interplay between Glass and Lane is riveting and rigorous.
  8. It's simple, sizzly and very funny.
  9. This digitally animated movie, filled with a cast of charming, funny critters from long ago, is family entertainment at its most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
  10. Witherspoon's simply terrific, and it's amazing how quickly and easily she sheds speculation that she was too modern for the role.
  11. We've seen it all before, most recently in "Gardens of Stone," most romantically in "An Officer and a Gentleman," but never more elegantly than here as Kubrick sustains the athletic ballet of obstacle courses and white-glove inspections for a breathtaking 40 minutes.
  12. Anguish ranges from gritty and realistic to the tragicomic soap opera found in Pedro Almodovar's films.
  13. It begins by scaring you to death by evoking a monster, and by the end it has seduced you into caring for him.
  14. Has Blanchett and Jones to its credit. To watch them is to take in two of the screen's greatest natural wonders.
  15. Koltai is an accomplished, Oscar-nominated cinematographer (for 2000's "Malena"), and Fateless is meticulously composed and shot.
  16. Really, really good -- Yes, it's over the top, giddy and parodistic (God bless it). But it also takes a thoughtful, if surreptitious, look at what eight women might act like when men aren't around.
  17. A small film of surpassing beauty and sadness. Yet its bittersweet flavor isn't artificial, but rather the product of the slow ripening of character.
  18. Though it might lack in Hollywood production values, it overflows with moral impact.
  19. Straightforward, droll, brutally honest and arresting.
  20. It eases up on you, lazy as a cloud, and carries you off in a mood of exquisite delight. To borrow W.P. Kinsella's phrase, it has the thrill of the grass.
  21. Mamet's graceful, reverent movie adaptation moves along with a deliberating, almost hypnotic flow, strengthened by impeccable, dignified performances from Nigel Hawthorne, Rebecca Pidgeon and others.
  22. In the Name of the Father is as good a compromise of fact and fiction as you could hope for -- and still call it a movie.
  23. Writer-director David O. Russell's exhilarating follow-up to "Spanking the Monkey," is even wilder, giddier and more unpredictable than that irreverent debut.
  24. Thanks to strong performances from all, particularly Mount and Nicholson, we're with this story all the way.
  25. McNamara fits perfectly into Morris's canon: He tells a story that knocks you right off your feet.
  26. Brilliantly written by Buck Henry, "To Die For" works on several levels. As a satire on the American obsession with celebrity and fame, the movie is nuanced and haunting. And for the most part, Van Sant keeps the tone chillingly light and ironic.
  27. Their characters' desire (Scott Thomas and Zylberstein) -- no, need -- to repair their fragile bond feels as achingly real as the mother lode of hidden pain that gets exposed by the work of these two great actresses.
  28. Harbors some indelibly arresting images and characters whose stories, even at their most superficial, manage to be authentically inspiring.
  29. It's a brilliant, profound movie, but it's almost no fun at all.
  30. This is the Mickey Mouse factory at its finest, with inventive animation, stirring music and a pride of inspired, almost-human animals.
  31. For an agonizing and ultimately transcendent cinematic portrait of sacrifice, love and saving grace, audiences need look no further than this unpretentious and deeply moving film.
  32. Gibson may not be much of a deep thinker, but he's a heck of a storyteller. Apocalypto turns out to be not a case of Montezuma's revenge but of Gibson's: It's something entirely unexpected, a sinewy, taut poem of action.
  33. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
  34. The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its ability to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it.
  35. Old-fashioned moviemaking at its best.
  36. Part of this success is due to the exquisitely cast ensemble-composed of actors, not movie stars. To a man, woman and child, the unforced performers are spot-on.
  37. So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell "Safe!"
  38. The longest, hardest sit of the season -- you are stuck there, a single tube of puckered muscle, waiting for the extremely ugly violence to occur -- but it is driven by performances of such luminous humanity that they break your heart.
  39. Evokes its spirituality with deft strokes and wonderful humor.
  40. You may not want to hang with the haunted Caouettes, but the movie is so compelling, it doesn't give you a choice.
  41. Manages to be one of the genuinely fresh discoveries of the summer, a little gem that deserves to become a big sleeper hit.
  42. What's best about Faithless is its honesty, its lack of desire to ingratiate itself with the audience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It offers a special "something" for everyone who ever appreciated the Quiet Beatle's musical gifts and spiritual explorations.
  43. Amelie is joie de vivre in a nougat.
  44. There are complications, extremely cleverly worked out. Jones is in just about every scene in this taut, provocative film.
  45. Grabbing every backstage musical cliche by the lapels, it sends each one pirouetting, then sprawling hysterically across the floor. It's hard not to love this kind of tribute.
  46. Dogme 95 at its best: open-ended and exciting, with a grand sense of experimentation.
  47. It is quietly observant, with a detached eye for the telling moment, and the visual compositions are often exquisite.
  48. Nuanced, exquisite and predictable.
  49. What songs, what people and what a triumph that their music won in the end.
  50. A glorious romantic confection unlike any other in movie history.
  51. This film explores what low-budget films do best: the quirkiness of character, and slightly off-kilter comedy.
  52. Oldman is the least inhibited actor of his generation, and as this deranged detective, he keeps absolutely nothing in reserve.
  53. The genius of the film is its utter commitment to the Pekar point of view.
  54. Soderbergh and screenwriter Coleman Hough aren't interested in creating a coy whodunit so much as evoking the deeper, less romantic mysteries of people -- and it's riveting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mesmerizing art-noirish thriller.
  55. In this admirably unconventional film, director Paul Schrader is interested in just about everything BUT traditional biopic business.
  56. More juvenile than a Mel Brooks movie, wittier than "Get Smart," almost as low as "Animal House" and close to the laugh count of "Airplane!", "Gun" is a loving parody of every cop show that ever syndicated its way to your living room. [2 Dec 1988]
    • Washington Post
  57. A delirious piece of pop ephemera.
  58. What's so powerful about the film is the rich stories it tells and how it leads them like so many human tributaries to one black, bubbling source.
  59. The events of the movie are filament-thin and insubstantial but, like fine silk threads, they weave together a fabric of surpassing warmth and texture. [25 Sep 1998, Pg.N.63]
    • Washington Post
  60. A big, sexy, sun-splashed thrill ride, is what a summer movie ought to be: not totally mindless, but more interested in jangling your nerves than engaging your brain.
  61. If Frears and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake (who scripted "The Stepfather") are light on substance, they're satisfyingly heavy on nuance. Grifters may not blow you away afterward but it keeps your attention riveted during.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Using home movies, photos, a brilliant soundtrack and candid, articulate interviews, director Stacy Peralta (one of the original Z-boys) details the birth of a pop culture phenomenon.
  62. A movie that throws out the rules with audacity, assurance and admirable moral seriousness.
  63. When it comes to the tantalizing prolongation of suspense, nobody does it better than De Palma. He has absorbed and adapted the Hitchcock's fondness and flair for sustaining exposition through sheer pictorial virtuosity, his mischievous erotic humor and even his ambiguous mixture of morbid, romantic and comic impulses. [25 July 1980, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
  64. For once, the audience isn't forced to surrender its intelligence (or its healthy cynicism) to embrace the film's sunny resolution.
  65. The filmmakers have done a beautiful job of preserving the satirical snap of Gibbons's original. But the real joy of Cold Comfort Farm is watching these actors play so freely and exuberantly off each other.
  66. With their inspired, absurdist taste for weird, peculiar Americana-but a sort of neo-Americana that is entirely invented-the Coens have defined and mastered their own bizarre subgenre.
  67. In its insistence on the centrality of the war to the collective consciousness of mankind, it's of a piece with "The English Patient," rather than "Saving Private Ryan."
  68. Troubling and powerful film, lingering on screen well into the final credits and in the minds of its audience long after the house lights have come on.
  69. It feels so real it hurts, and it's the perfect antidote to all those movies where all sorts of stuff blows up.
  70. Everything has a Chaplinesque feeling, from the largely silent scenes to the highly visual, tragicomic situations...But The Man Without a Past is entirely free of the tramp's cloying sentimentality.
  71. Buscemi makes Seymour into a character you simply want to see again and again. He's the most appealing, amusing "loser" anyone could ever share old records with.
  72. Remarkable.
  73. WarGames is a soft-sell protest -- pro- people, anti-nuclear and anti-machine -- that entertains. It peddles neither the hysterics of Jane Fonda's "China Syndrome" nor the hopelessness of "Dr. Strangelove." It's a war cry for peace that's good to the last byte. [3 June 1983, p.23]
    • Washington Post
  74. A thoroughly gratifying prestige thriller, thanks to riveting suspense and two brilliant stars.
  75. 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.
  76. Perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama.
  77. That such a masterful depiction of American heroism and can-do spirit has been created by a German art film director known for considerably darker visions of obsession is an irony Herzog no doubt finds delicious.
  78. Not only gives us a superb new cast of believable characters, it transcends its own genre. Only superficially a teen comedy, the movie redounds with postmodern -- but emotionally genuine -- gravitas.
  79. The movie is sleek and shiny as a new bullet, reflecting Scott's patented surplus of style.
  80. Makes compelling, provocative and prescient viewing. You can draw your own conclusions.
  81. A small, self-contained gem of incisive writing, superb acting and rich, expressive visuals.
  82. It takes the rock movie into regions it has never been before.
  83. Although fictionalized, it feels depressingly real. It's a 90-minute newsreel with a broken heart.
  84. Frances McDormand enjoys the comedic role of her career.
  85. The movie's intense watchability can be traced directly to superb performances by Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley.
  86. Small, quiet movie that imperceptibly takes its viewers by their throats and doesn't let go
  87. It's an exhilarating, funny, very sweet movie.
  88. Yet much of the movie's validity stems from time and place recreated with such authenticity that you can sense the wet chill in the morning air and the new wax pungent on the old gym floor. [27 Feb 1987, Weekend, p.n29]
  89. The best advice to filmgoers who appreciate smart, mature, humanist movies is, simply, Go.
  90. Makes for fascinating cinema.
  91. Unabashed, streamlined entertainment, and you won't hate yourself in the morning for liking it.
  92. Sean Penn sings a powerful and poetic hymn to America with Into the Wild, his sweeping, sensitive and deeply affecting adaptation of Jon Krakauer's best-selling book.
  93. I don't pretend to understand a darned thing about Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love...But it's undeniably powerful and, if you're up for the experience, exhilarating.
  94. Exploding on the screen in a riot of movement, music and color.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one fan's valentine to the music he loves. It just happens that the fan is a terrific filmmaker and the music loves him back -- and we get to see it and hear it all. What a treat.
  95. Tells a tale of fortitude that comes not from muscle but from the ineffable, bungee-like sinew that is the human spirit.
  96. Paris is a funny, sad, romantic and deeply felt love letter to a great city. If you can't book a trip now, it's the next best thing.

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