Washington Post's Scores

For 7,435 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Holy Motors
Lowest review score: 0 Love the Coopers
Score distribution:
7435 movie reviews
  1. A great American picture, full of incredible images and lasting moments.
  2. Watching this masterwork allows you to return to the filmmaking sensibility of the 1960s, when epics looked like epics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. In this final installment of a glorious trilogy (which includes the films “Blue” and “White”) he has saved his greatest for last.
  6. It's a strange enough film, yet weirdly great. No movie has quite gotten the clammy weight of fear, the sense of hopelessness that would necessarily haunt underground workers. To see it is to sweat through your underclothes. It'll melt the pep out of your weekend.
  7. Directed with superb control and insight by Jenkins, Moonlight achieves the near-impossible in film, which is to ground its story and characters in a place and time of granular specificity and simultaneously make them immediately relatable and universal.
  8. 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.
  9. Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made.
  10. 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.
  11. Its themes of passion, heartbreak and the inexorable passage of time are eternal.
  12. Ran
    The drama itself packs a powerful -- and timeless -- gut punch.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Observed mostly from Remy's rat's-eye view, Gusteau's kitchen is a memorable world-in-miniature with its vivid old-fashioned stoves, bright, brassy pots and general air of frenzied industry; never did sliced red onions or simmering soup look so fresh and real.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Still a marvel of verve and bone-dry wit, the movie has been treated kindly by time.
    • Washington Post
  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. 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.
  18. It’s possible to watch Carol simply for its velvety beauty, but chances are that, by that stunning final moment, filmgoers will realize with a start that they care far more about the problems of these two people than they might have realized.
  19. 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.
  20. The Social Network has understandably been compared to "Citizen Kane" in its depiction of a man who changes society through bending an emergent technology to his will.
  21. The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its ability to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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]
  25. This movie -- which is equally appealing to children (those of adventurous, non-freak-outable spirit), Japanese animation (anime) fans, and any surviving acquaintances of Timothy Leary -- is so full of invention, you might want to take a breather now and then.
  26. The experience overall is like laughing down a gun barrel, a little bit tiring, a lot sick and maybe far too perverse for less jaded moviegoers.
  27. See Killer of Sheep, and see it again and again. It's one of those truly rare movies that just get better and better.
  28. Through it all, Spall is equally enigmatic and transfixing: With his guttural croaks and barks, his Turner is often difficult to understand, but, thanks to Spall’s amazing physical performance and Leigh’s sensitive, information-laden direction, he’s never incomprehensible.
  29. When viewers are ultimately released from The Hurt Locker's exhilarating vice grip, they'll find themselves shaken, energized and, more than likely, eager to see it again.
  30. 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.
  31. There's not a false note here, and the entire supporting cast -- is uniformly excellent.
  32. This movie is not only a thrilling experience, it closes the book on a truly satisfying trilogy.
  33. This is that rare movie that transcends its role as pure entertainment to become something genuinely cathartic, even therapeutic, giving children a symbolic language with which to manage their unruliest emotions.
  34. Superb.
  35. Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
  36. This engrossing mystery-comedy peeks through the keyholes of the rich and infamous in a manner both droll and delicious.
  37. Magnificently nonchalant about its magic.
  38. For all of its modesty and dedication to process, Spotlight winds up being a startlingly emotional experience, and not just for filmgoers with intimate knowledge of the culture it depicts.
  39. A ruthlessly unsentimental portrait of a German war profiteer's epiphany that inspires neither sorrow nor pity, but a kind of emotional numbness.
  40. The real star in La La Land is the movie itself, which pulses and glows like a living thing in its own right, as if the MGM musicals of the “Singin’ in the Rain” era had a love child with the more abstract confections of Jacques Demy, creating a new kind of knowing, self-aware genre that rewards the audience with all the indulgences they crave...while commenting on them from the sidelines.
  41. It hasn't aged so much as triumphantly metastasized. (Review twenty years after release).
  42. Days of Heaven leaves one wanting more: either a totally revolutionary approach to pictorial storytelling or traditional dramatic interest....It may be artistic suicide for Malick to continue his style of pictorial inflation without also enriching his scenarios. If he doesn't, he's likely to be remembered not for his undeniable pictorial talent but for his eccentricity. [5 Oct. 1978, p.B10]
    • Washington Post
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the most extraordinary films of the year.
  43. 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.
  44. On one level, Yi Yi is classic soap opera, with a suicide attempt, a wedding ceremony, even a brutal 11 o'clock news murder, all in the mix. But Yang's direction is so admirably restrained, it lends rich heft to everything.
  45. Thanks to Bauby's courageous and honest writing, and Schnabel's poetic interpretation, what could have been a portrait of impotence and suffering becomes a lively exploration of consciousness and a soaring ode to liberation.
  46. The Class is not just the best film released thus far this year. It may be the most gripping.
  47. The French actor Alex Descas is mesmerizing in 35 Shots of Rum, where he plays a metro conductor.
  48. Star Wars had all the right stuff, and unlike its confounding progenitor, "2001: A Space Odyssey," it was fairy-tale simple: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," good met evil. [Special Edition]
  49. In providing audiences a chance to bear witness to unspeakable suffering as well as dazzling defiance and human dignity, Sissako has created a film that’s a privilege to watch.
  50. A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
  51. It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survives its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle.
  52. With its spectacular scenery, stupefying effects and epic scope, is a dream come true.
  53. Magnificently acted, expertly crafted and unerringly sure of every treacherous step it takes, Leviathan is an indictment, but also an elegy, a film set among the monumental ruins of a culture, whether they’re the skeletal remains of boats, a whale’s bleached bones, a demolished building or a trail of lives that are either ruined or hopelessly resigned.
  54. Lasseter and his team plunge the audience into a collective case of empty- nest syndrome, with a dash of mortal terror thrown in for grins. And again, they make it work.
  55. The Look of Silence is as beautiful as it is bleak.
  56. Moolaade, in short, is a movie to rock the soul.
  57. Like most of Rohmer’s movies, A Summer’s Tale is comic, humane and much more complicated than it seems at first. The fresh-faced actors, realistic dialogue and naturalistic performances suggest a casual approach, but as the story progresses, the filmmaker’s control is increasingly evident.
  58. Chomet's vision is singularly strange and somber, and one of enormous originality and promise.
  59. Preserves and resuscitates the hard-boiled genre.
  60. Mirren's finely calibrated performance reveals a complex woman coping with a bewildering world, and Blair's growing sympathy for his beleaguered monarch gradually becomes ours. This nuanced compassion may not impress the real Queen Elizabeth II, but, for us commoners, it makes for a richer experience.
  61. 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.
  62. 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
  63. In addition to her exquisite eye for casting, Holmer knows how to film actors and environments in ways that are expressive enough to make up for her minimal dialogue.
  64. Some of the characters make more of an impression than others, and the vignettes aren’t always entirely thrilling or well-acted. But Panahi’s movie remains a political coup considering his significant constraints.
  65. A movie made by filmmaker working in sync with his times -- an exciting, disturbing, provocative film.
  66. A thinking person's horror movie, about real horror and horrifying echoes: The parallels between the Holocaust and the massacres are pronounced.
  67. A magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls.
  68. I appreciate No Country for Old Men for the skill in the film craft. I understand No Country for Old Men for its penetrating disquisition on narrative conventions and its heroic will in subverting them. I admire No Country for Old Men for the way it tightens its grip as it progresses, taking us deeper and deeper into a hellish world. I just don't like it very much.
  69. 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.
  70. Ida
    Each and every detail accrues to create a vivid, unforgettable portrait, and all are absorbed and reflected by Anna, portrayed by Trzebuchowska with the transparency and wonder of a woman for whom not just history but secular life itself is almost totally abstract.
  71. Small moments take on larger meaning in this exquisite memoir. That’s as true of the plot — in which nothing terribly significant happens, except life — as it is of the visuals.
  72. An intriguing yarn.
  73. Its relatively minor imperfections seem more glaring when compared to the near flawlessness of the film's lyrical, scorching start.
  74. A tough movie to love.
  75. Despite the seemingly uncinematic nature of this inert, even claustrophobic scenario, the film mesmerizes, utterly.
  76. There are so many things to enjoy here.
  77. The more you see of Apocalypse, the more obvious its triumphs AND mistakes.
  78. As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.
  79. 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.
  80. His (Tarkovsky's) pictures, and his sounds -- such as the symphonic drip of raindrops in a wooded pond -- tell more than just the immediate story; they rejuvenate the mind.
  81. The chronological looseness is part of the pleasure of the piece, which magically reassembles in the last reel into something strong, lucid and compellingly powerful.
  82. The great joy of watching a Pixar production is how it rewards not only younger viewers but their older companions as well.
  83. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
  84. So full of creativity, so subversive, so alive.
  85. Anything that inspires that many whoops, gasps and groans with only two actors and a few choice words has earned its place at the summertime box office trough.
    • 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."
  86. Audiard delivers on and exceeds the promise he evinced in that earlier film, drawing viewers into the densely layered, ruthless ecology of a French prison and, against all odds, making them not mind staying there awhile.
  87. It takes the rock movie into regions it has never been before.
  88. What becomes clear in the course of the movie is that Jarmusch has constructed his own version of a poem, with recurring images and themes that allow him to delve into the nature of commitment, artistic ambition and how inner life is shaped by the tidal pull of place and history.
  89. Superbly conceived anti-biopic.
  90. Boynton’s most impressive feat in Big Men is how she takes an impossibly convoluted scenario, makes sense of it and tells a story that’s riveting on its own but also serves as a parable about greed and human nature.
  91. 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.
  92. United 93 unfolds with the terrible inevitability of a modern-day "Battle of Algiers," with Greengrass exerting superb control of tone, structure and pace...United 93 may be the best movie I ever hated.
  93. To say that there is also a monomania to the film is, if anything, an understatement. But it is precisely that sense of tunnel vision that makes Fury Road such a pulse-pounding pleasure.
  94. One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
  95. Jarecki has created a tour de force of narrative ambiguity, and in doing so has made one of the most honest reality shows ever.
  96. 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.
  97. The movie, while no fun, faces hard truths and asks hard questions.

Top Trailers