Washington Post's Scores

For 7,485 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Election
Lowest review score: 0 The King and I
Score distribution:
7485 movie reviews
  1. The cutting is so sinuous and breathtaking, the music (by Danny Elfman after too much coffee) so onrushing and the camera so penetrative of the depths and heights of midtown Manhattan at cloud level, that the illusion, despite its artificiality, works. You don't believe it but you "believe" it.
  2. A hip, hilarious new animated feature.
  3. What is so impressive about Welcome to Sarajevo is its cool restraint: Like the best of journalism, it never stoops to sensationalize or sermonize, but merely observes. It's about the facts rather than something called The Truth. [9Jan1998 Pg. D.01]
    • Washington Post
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Now, finally, we know what it was like to walk on the moon: unbelievably cool. Amazing. Fantastic. Scary.
  4. Gets viewers inside these tense, emotional and occasionally terrifying events with immediacy and, given the confusion of the time, remarkable clarity.
  5. Not just a fitting document of a life brilliantly lived but a vibrant, almost palpitating piece of cinema.
  6. A modern epic that fuses myth with hard-edged reality, it's a one-of-a-kind, thoroughly engaging experience.
  7. Brings kinetic, stylistic and even sexy dimension to the Bram Stoker legend.
  8. Richard Linklater's satirical take on high school life in the 1970s is not only funny and entertaining. It's practically a historic document of life during the smiley-face button era.
  9. In keeping with the Smith rules, the movie is irreverent, self-referential, twisted, cheap and tasteless. And, of course, I mean that as the highest compliment.
  10. Never has political correctness looked so sumptuously handsome as it does here, and in its perfect-pitch instinct for the cultural vibe, this sweeping movie is so immaculately dead-on that it nearly transcends criticism.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A thoroughly engrossing documentary.
  11. A brainy, superbly acted buddy movie.
  12. It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survives its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Still a marvel of verve and bone-dry wit, the movie has been treated kindly by time.
    • Washington Post
  13. Gosling's performance is a small miracle, not only because he's so completely open as a man who's essentially shut off, but because he changes and grows so imperceptibly before our eyes.
  14. The real story lies beneath the surface of this superbly acted, strangely moving film.
  15. Tremendous fun at times, especially in its vicious power plays and betrayals. But it has no redeeming value beyond entertainment.
  16. What emerges is quite extraordinary.
  17. What's truly surprising about Happy Feet is not its giddily brilliant entertainment, its intimate knowledge of the culture or its toe-tapping music. It's how commonplace these qualities have become in computer-animated movies… Happy Feet may be just one of the crowd, but what a great crowd it is.
  18. The real importance of "Earnest" is the thrill of brilliant repartee. And as we laugh, an amazing thing happens: Oscar Wilde comes alive.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But the greater credit goes to writer/director Towne. In this adult adventure with a twist, he has mixed a good one. [2 Dec 1988, p.n41]
    • Washington Post
  19. The problem, as “Table” shows, isn’t that the next meal never comes. It’s that when it arrives, too often it is filled with empty calories.
  20. Known for comedy, Rogen and Silverman are the film's most delightful surprises, and their performances shine.
  21. Senna is what film critics might call a TMSI movie, as in: Trust me, see it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In the end, police descend on the block at the very moment their presence becomes irrelevant. They misinterpret everything; locals watch as they blame all the wrong people. Soon their flashing lights will drive away, and the block will go back to taking care of itself the best it can.
  22. Dark Horse is earnest, sweet and told with sentimentality, featuring shots of horses frolicking in fields set against beautiful string music by Anne Nikitin. Surprisingly, the effect isn’t melodramatic or overbearing, but disarming and endearing.
  23. By turns sweet, sad, funny and poignant, We Have a Pope is the story of a man who doesn't want to be God's representative on Earth.
  24. Unlike “Metropolitan,” which for all its brittle wit seemed clunky and stagebound, Barcelona is sharply paced and alive on the screen.
  25. For a movie that relies so heavily on a single, not especially groundbreaking visual effect — now you see the bogeyman, now you don’t — Lights Out is crazy scary.
  26. If the conceit feels obvious and strained, it still gives Farhadi and his actors ample room to explore the ambiguities of commitment, ethics and revenge in a society where mistrust in public servants runs deep.
  27. If you think "Rocky" and "Raging Bull" define the alpha and omega of boxing movies, think again. David O. Russell's The Fighter proves there's still punch in the genre, especially when a filmmaker tells a familiar story in a brand-new way.
  28. Equal parts playful, sophisticated and engrossing, The Adjustment Bureau is like the first songbird of spring, signaling that the winter of our collective brain-freeze is over and it's safe to go back to the multiplex.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Gaga looks like fun, but the soul-revealing “Mr. Gaga” makes clear the sacrifice Naharin’s dedication has exacted from family and dancers alike.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bidegain and cinematographer Arnaud Potier speak multitudes with wide-angle, slow-panning shots that immerse us in a post-9/11 quagmire that’s never less than utterly personal.
  29. If the movie is any indication, Chevron would have the public believe there was no Amazon at all -- something people might be willing to believe, were Berlinger not sticking Crude in their faces.
  30. With long, quiet takes in which he simply observes Johansson wordlessly taking in the world around her, Glazer infuses the everyday modern world with a surpassing sense of strangeness and doom.
  31. The result is a panorama of emotion, in which one dancer exhibits pure joy and another severe aching. As Bausch notes early in the film, words alone cannot describe something, nor can dance. One medium has to pick up where the last has left off. The disembodied words seem to get to the heart of that idea.
  32. Telling an old story in a new way and infusing what might have been a dry political polemic with poetry, passion and unlikely warmth.
  33. He was many things, the documentary reveals, but self-serious was not among the late writer’s lengthy list of descriptors.
  34. It's as soothing and pure as the sweetest water from the deepest well.
  35. The warmth that courses through American Hustle makes it irresistible, with Russell’s affection for his characters and his sharp-eyed evocation of their recessionary times, honoring their struggle, however dishonest, rather than denigrating it.
  36. It’s surprisingly wise, funny and affecting, thanks in part to a sensitive script, and in part to a strong ensemble cast.
  37. In this story, everyone, man or woman, is a walled fortress of paranoia, secrecy, unsatisfied yearnings and anger-at-low-tide, all of which will rise and collapse over the course of what is a very funny film, and one that operates at the sea level of humanity. Quaint. Slightly peculiar.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Simultaneously warm and clear-eyed, “Best Worst Thing” is an unblinking look at how the sausage of theater gets made, as well as an emotional memoir.
  38. At the most fundamental level, the real Chet Baker is a kind of nowhere man. He's too insubstantial for Weber to levitate him into greatness. This fact is the source of the film's dramatic tension, and Weber, to his credit, seems to have realized it.
  39. Citizenfour isn’t just a useful primer in the civil liberties and consent issues his disclosures raised. It humanizes a man who almost immediately became controversialized as a naive, self-important desk jockey or, worse, a handmaiden to terrorists everywhere.
  40. Have you ever been trapped in the back seat of a car while the old married couple up front bickers and banters for hours? It's either sheer torture or, if the couple happens to be Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, wildly entertaining.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    You don't have to be a horse nut to fall for Buck, one of those rare documentaries whose subject is so inherently fascinating that a fictional character could hardly compete.
  41. Life in a Day is, without exaggeration, a profound achievement.
  42. Rebels of the Neon God rarely cracks a smile, but it’s as droll as it is disaffected.
  43. Thanks to Lewin's light but assured touch, The Sessions never wears its theological preoccupations heavily, instead allowing transcendence to creep up on the audience quietly.
  44. Simon and the Oaks is not merely the story of two boys from opposite sides of the tracks. It's also a larger meditation on life's hardships and what endures: love, art and civilization.
  45. A quietly brilliant study in cognitive dissonance, The Flat is a documentary look at Holocaust denial, but not the kind you might think.
  46. It's powerful, gut-wrenching stuff, and it doesn't need tarting up.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    [Director Paolo Sorrentino] collects scenes of superficial extravagance and eccentricity, then finds the deeper yearnings they conceal.
  47. At its core, this clever, wrenching, profound story underscores the tenacity of faith in the face of unfathomable cruelty. Evil may be good, story-wise. But virtue, at its most tested and tempered, is even better.
  48. A must-see for any student of history, political rhetoric and film poetics at their most vagrant and revelatory.
  49. Szifrón handles the tone and presentation masterfully.
  50. The feature debut of writer-director Jennifer Kent is not just genuinely, deeply scary, but also a beautifully told tale of a mother and son, enriched with layers of contradiction and ambiguity.
  51. Most important, does The Dark Knight Rises achieve the impossible, which is to bring a cherished cinematic chapter to a close, yet manage to leave fans feeling not desolate but cheered? To that all-important question, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
  52. He (Herzog) emerged with a breathtaking tour of art that, in its formal sophistication, dynamism and rhythmic lines, looks as bold and new as Cezanne's work must have looked in the 1860s.
  53. If he had to die so soon, this movie is the best and most appropriate sendoff Lee could have hoped for.
  54. Toni Erdmann, it turns out, is Hüller’s movie all the way, with her character not just matching wits with the bumptious, often irritating father, but ultimately coming into her own with the genuine feeling he seems determined to deflect.
  55. Despite the seemingly uncinematic nature of this inert, even claustrophobic scenario, the film mesmerizes, utterly.
  56. It’s a wonder how Cutie and the Boxer, in less than an hour and a half, manages to say so much about love, life and art. Movies twice as long are often half as eloquent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Marley, the new documentary about reggae icon Bob Marley opens on April 20 - of course. That date - often referred to as 420 - has been, since the 1970s, a time for people to gather to consume or celebrate pot. It has become an unofficial marijuana holiday, and Bob Marley has become the unofficial saint of marijuana.
  57. Red Cliff is a dichotomous beast: The computer-generated imagery that makes so much of it possible is served up in heaping, state-of-the-art portions, but the results occasionally border on the cartoonish. At the same time, Red Cliff is a classic tale that gets a classicist's treatment.
  58. At times, "Princess" resembles a widescreen Hollywood western, with exhilarating Steadicam shots of horsemen galloping across broad plains and corpse-strewn fields.
  59. Vikander never goes for the easy emotion, though, choosing instead to play against what conventional melodrama would dictate her reaction should be. This understatedness is always the right choice, and it makes for a far more effective — and affecting — film.
  60. Thankfully, this fractured fairy tale of mental illness, family drama, ragged romance and die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fandom has landed in the superbly capable hands of David O. Russell.
  61. Love & Friendship is such a thoroughgoing delight that it’s tempting to riffle through Austen’s other works to find something else for Stillman to make into a film. As adaptations go, this is a match made in heaven.

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