Washington Post's Scores

For 7,851 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 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 0 Silver Bullet
Score distribution:
7851 movie reviews
  1. Charlotte Rampling takes you so far inside the pain of Marie Drillon it leaves you stirred, shaken and a little in awe.
  2. Sinfully watchable ensemble movie.
  3. A movie of technical skill and rare depth of intellect and feeling.
  4. A glorious romantic confection unlike any other in movie history.
  5. Maintains its artistic magnificence after more than 30 years.
  6. By bringing so much thought, verve and visual poetry to bear on two neurotics acting out -- rather than on the larger cultural story they anticipate and embody -- The Master turns out to be more of a self-defeating whimper than the big, important bang it could have been.
  7. It's long, but it's also very real and worth every minute.
  8. This Is England, set in the social dystopia of Margaret Thatcher's Great Britain, gives us something far more humane and complex than a culturally specific memoir about Doc Martens shoes, reggae music and mindless aggression.
  9. City of Ghosts provides a grim reminder of what journalism should look like, and why its stakes are literally life and death.
  10. It's a classic story in form, and in this country it used to star Jimmy Cagney.
  11. The film, which begins with a single, gorgeously sustained eight-minute camera move, is blissfully out of touch with contemporary trends in moviemaking...surprising, both in style and narrative.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    it's the simple, earth-bound quality of the film that makes this comic-book fantasy soar.
  12. As charming as Baby Driver strives to be, the appeal starts to curdle once Wright makes his fetishistic aims clear.
  13. Ponyo isn't Hayao Miyazaki's greatest film -- that would be a tall order in a 30-year feature career that includes the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away" -- but his beautiful, quirky fable has magic other children's movies can't touch.
  14. The gritty film is realistically inspiring and, thankfully, not overly dramatized. While the interrupters succeed on many levels, a pervasive sadness remains.
  15. Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
  16. Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.
  17. Directed with rigor and sensitivity by Jason Osder, this is the kind of nonfiction film that proves how powerful simple storytelling and a compelling through line can be.
  18. It's depressing enough to watch this family's struggles with life. But their pain really hits home when you think that the pants you might be wearing could have contributed to it.
  19. Maybe the best way to describe Beasts of the Southern Wild is faux-k art. Even Hushpuppy's name suggests an author more interested in the folk- and foodways of a culture-with-a-capital-C than the people who comprise it. Too often, she and her peers are presented as curios to be exhibited rather than as fully realized -- if resolutely un-mythic -- human beings.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. It's frenetic to the point of crazy while achieving a mark that barely exceeds mediocre.
  24. Raiders of the Lost Ark is sensational. This awesomely entertaining adventure spectacle, directed by Steven Spielberg from an idea hatched by executive producer George Lucas, succeeds in fusing the most playful and exciting elements of Spielberg's "Jaws" and Lucas' "Star Wars" in a fresh format. It is a transcendent blend of heroic exploits, cliffhangers and chases distilled with nostalgia and wit from the pulp thrillers, comic books and Republic serials of the World War II era. [12 June 1981, p.E1]
    • Washington Post
  25. Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.
  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. A humanistic gem of a movie, with unforgettable performances from Linney and Ruffalo.
  28. A beautiful story, told in measured cadences by a master of old-timey narrative compression and expression.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Playing with and making fun of paranoia is a DePalma specialty and he does it well. There are some very chilling touches in Blow Out. It's a good solid movie -- but it won't blow you away. [24 July 1981, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  29. It's a muscular, physical movie, pieced together from arresting imagery and revelatory gestures, large and small.
  30. Enchants on every level: story, voice work, drawing and music.
  31. Amy
    [A] sensitive, superbly constructed, ultimately shattering documentary.
  32. Oropelled by memorable performances by mostly unknown actors. The most famous of the ensemble, Hanna Schygulla, delivers a by turns serene and shattering performance as a mother struggling with loss, conscience and the first glimmers of unexpected connection. She's only one essential and unforgettable part of a flawless whole.
  33. Bringing a tough, astringent wit to a subject too often wrapped in the cozy blanket of sentimentality or cute humor, Tamara Jenkins takes a frank look at the indignities of aging in The Savages, a black comedy that invites viewers to laugh or at least smile ruefully at the dying of the light.
  34. Sensitive performances by the four main players suit the tone, which is naturalistic and even earthy — most of the characters are shown going to the bathroom — yet ultimately poignant.
  35. While the title alone may send people into a tizzy, this actually isn't a movie about which side is right or wrong.
  36. An engrossing chronicle.
  37. As one character observes in Tangerine, Los Angeles is “a beautifully wrapped lie.” Baker has created a fitting homage to artifice and the often tawdry, tender realities that lie beneath.
  38. Girlhood is a mesmerizing exercise in the enlightenment that can happen when a filmmaker shifts the male cinematic gaze ever so slightly and uncovers what looks like a whole new world.
  39. The sexiest movie of the year.
  40. 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.
  41. Along with such colleagues as Abbas Kiarostami and Moshen Makhmalbaf, Panahi has perfected the art of realist filmmaking,
  42. Turns out to be not just rude, crude and outrageously funny but a deceptively sophisticated meditation on moral agency -- with pot jokes!
  43. All of the actors in Turtles Can Fly are nonprofessionals, and all bring electrifying authenticity and presence to their roles.
  44. Crackles right along, stopping only long enough for Scorsese's signature bursts of explosive violence. Those brawls feel a bit rote, but what's different here is a newfound playful humor.
  45. 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."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though lacking in any particular narrative surprise, the film nevertheless takes the viewer completely by surprise several times.
  46. A delirious piece of pop ephemera.
  47. In truth, the story is practically beside the point with all the spectacular visuals. The steampunk aesthetic might be overdone, but there’s still a lot here worth marveling at.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A beguiling little film that, with deceptive restraint and forthrightness, opens up worlds of roiling, contradictory emotions.
  48. As a stylistic and narrative throwback, Alfredson's adamantly un-thrilling procedural reminds viewers of an era when viewers allowed themselves to be entertained by a good yarn about a few colorful or at least colorlessly compelling characters.
  49. Nearly every scene rings with its own ragged truth, which becomes increasingly painful as Dan's addiction becomes more unmanageable and as he refuses to confront the untenable politics of his own behavior.
  50. The brothers, who have always seemed fond of their characters, have never taken quite so overt a stand for life's simple joys.
  51. Exults in the hard-riding romanticism of classic Westerns, but it takes revisionist stock too. It dismounts at places usually left in the dust -- the oppressed lot of women, the loneliness of untended children, adult illiteracy and the horrible last moments of the dying.
  52. It is a movie about the real challenge of heroism.
  53. What gives About Schmidt its ultimate boost, what pushes it into the stirring heavens is Nicholson, who produces the most understated -– and one of the most powerful –- performances of his career.
  54. It's a brilliant movie, fluent, spectacular, breathtaking and basically, uh, wrong.
  55. Director Demme is smart and sensitive enough to sit back and listen to the music without attention-getting intrusions. The tunes are subtly compelling.
  56. It may not sound like it, but calling this barely 70-minute Swiss stop-motion film “heavy” — as in substantial and almost swollen with feeling — is a true compliment.
  57. A steely neo-noir thriller with a nasty comic veneer.
  58. The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant. I miss Hedwig already.
  59. Many thematic ingredients come together in Farhadi’s rich stew of a story: jealousy, resentment, betrayal, forgiveness, healing. The filmmaker stirs them, with the touch of a master, into a dish that both stimulates and nourishes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The manic swirl of characters (most speaking in thick Northern accents that are sometimes muffled and incomprehensible) may leave you exhausted and confused.
  60. Still, the movie -- as beautifully drawn, as sleek and engaging as it is -- has the annoyance of incredible smugness.
  61. 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.
  62. At its best, The Tree of Life makes the viewer lean forward, eager to enter Malick's own dreamy, poetic consciousness. At worst, it leads to the vague feeling that we're listening to the meanderings of someone who's not sure we're smart enough to keep up.
  63. The frequent, mundane talks -- which Alexandra engages in with her grandson, Malika and the base camp's enlisted men -- are not so much about politics as they are about people.
  64. It's the last thing anyone expected: an old-fashioned monster movie with a heart.
  65. Jack is just one of a dozen enormously appealing personalities in Out of Sight.
  66. This is painless sexual politics, a fiendish comedy full of prickles and pain and the bright shiny pinks of a matador's cape. The farce falters from time to time, the pace is imperfect, but who can resist this "Twilight Zone" of limitless coincidences?
  67. Assayas's actors are so fascinating that I wished at times he had given the house less screen time and let his performers explore their characters more freely.
  68. A mesmerizing cinematic journey that is often as arduous and spare as the lives of its hard-bitten protagonists.
  69. Although Rohmer's adaptation, shot in German with a cast of actors drawn from the German stage, is pedantically faithful to the letter of the original - almost word-for-word as well as scene-for-scene - it substitutes a style that seems woefully wrong. Rohmer's approach is too static and repressed to release the comic ironies Kleist perceived in the very premise of an honorable man's lapse leading to an honorable woman's distress and built into his brilliantly objective story-telling style. [21 Jan 1977, p.B15]
    • Washington Post
  70. For Kieslowski, subtlety is a religion. He hints or implies -- anything to keep from laying his cards on the table. With "Blue," you never feel he's shown his whole hand; not even after the game is over.
  71. What makes it a must see is its timelessness.
  72. Editing these unwieldy stories into a cohesive, meaningful way must have been a massive undertaking. Editors Jenny Golden and Karen Sim did such an impressive job that even at two hours — an eternity for a doc — the movie never feels too long.
  73. In its brisk way, it's a devastating piece of work, and very brave too.
  74. 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.
  75. An electrifying, confounding, what-the-hell-just-happened exercise in unbounded imagination, unapologetic theatricality, bravura acting and head-over-heels movie-love.
  76. Like the eloquent, darkly funny dialogue, the film's characters, setting and cadences draw us into its world, with all its terrors and tenderness. What emerges is a masterpiece of Southern storytelling that draws a sharp line between good and evil.
  77. [A] solid yet subtly sphinxlike new drama from filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda.
  78. Even though it's pretentious and overlong, A Christmas Tale is still maddeningly engaging, thanks in large part to its attractive and gifted cast.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Now, finally, we know what it was like to walk on the moon: unbelievably cool. Amazing. Fantastic. Scary.
  79. Working with his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Cuaron creates the most deeply imagined and fully realized world to be seen on screen this year, not to mention bravura sequences that bring to mind names like Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.
  80. Spielmann doesn't move his camera much, but he doesn't have to. The uniformly crackerjack cast keeps things electric, yet always believable, even when behaving in ways that are shocking.
  81. As quintessential a story of American ambition as Welles' own "Citizen Kane."
  82. 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.
  83. Moonrise Kingdom is already shaping up to be this summer's art house sleeper hit, and no wonder: It traffics in the very kind of escapist spectacle -- in this case of a thoughtfully composed world brimming with whimsy, enchantment and visual brio -- that the season was made for.
    • 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.
  84. The disparity between Cindy and Jerry is itself obscene, but less so than that illuminated by the customers of Farewell Cruises, whom Yung shows to be almost parasitic in the way they feed off the misery (albeit without knowing it) of those who serve them.
  85. Leigh has fashioned a limber style of political commentary that is part documentary, part cartoon and wholly novel in the movies.
  86. The Black Stallion is one of the few movies that justifies the word "sublime." It casts an immediate pictorial spell of wonder and discovery and sustains it until a fadeout that leaves you in a euphoric mood, lingering over images whose beauty and emotional intensity you want to prolong and savor. [9 Dec 1979, p.G1]
    • Washington Post
  87. As far-fetched as it sounds, such torque-y plotting works, catching the audience off guard, even if the quasi-feminist payoff is less satisfying than it should be, thanks mostly to the film’s puerile fascination with girl-on-girl action.
  88. Perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama.
  89. The line between madness and genius is thin. Not to mention more than amply explored in any number of films about tortured artists. But to look at the almost religious ecstasy on Moreau's face is to feel the artist's passion and be inspired by it.
  90. The more you watch, the more you are committing yourself to watching "56 Up" and beyond.
  91. This is 90-proof, single-malt stuff. You sip it neat and you don't handle heavy machinery afterward. This movie will stay with you long after you've seen it, thanks to Thewlis's performance, Leigh's direction, Andrew Dickson's haunting bass-and-harp soundtrack, cinematographer Dick Pope's indelible images -- and the unalloyed, naked conviction of it all.
  92. As it turns out, big secrets aren't revealed in Broadcast News, but the film is so ingratiatingly high-spirited, and the performances so full of sass and vigor, that in the long run it doesn't really matter much.
  93. What makes Milk extraordinary isn't just that it's a nuanced, stirring portrait of one of the 20th century's most pivotal figures, but that it's also a nuanced, stirring portrait of the thousands of people he energized.

Top Trailers