Washington Post's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 6,660 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Maid
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
6,660 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. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Its themes of passion, heartbreak and the inexorable passage of time are eternal.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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]
  16. 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.
  17. A sophisticatedly sappy masterpiece that bucked the prevailing Hollywood vision of aliens as nasty invaders and recast them as friendly collectibles for children.
  18. 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.
  19. See Killer of Sheep, and see it again and again. It's one of those truly rare movies that just get better and better.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its ability to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it.
  23. There's not a false note here, and the entire supporting cast -- is uniformly excellent.
  24. This movie is not only a thrilling experience, it closes the book on a truly satisfying trilogy.
  25. Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
  26. This engrossing mystery-comedy peeks through the keyholes of the rich and infamous in a manner both droll and delicious.
  27. Magnificently nonchalant about its magic.
  28. A ruthlessly unsentimental portrait of a German war profiteer's epiphany that inspires neither sorrow nor pity, but a kind of emotional numbness.
  29. It hasn't aged so much as triumphantly metastasized. (Review twenty years after release).
    • 93 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. The Class is not just the best film released thus far this year. It may be the most gripping.
  34. The French actor Alex Descas is mesmerizing in 35 Shots of Rum, where he plays a metro conductor.
  35. A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
  36. 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.
  37. Superb.
  38. With its spectacular scenery, stupefying effects and epic scope, is a dream come true.
  39. 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.
  40. Moolaade, in short, is a movie to rock the soul.
  41. 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.
  42. 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]
  43. Chomet's vision is singularly strange and somber, and one of enormous originality and promise.
  44. Preserves and resuscitates the hard-boiled genre.
  45. 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survives its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle. [14 Dec 1977, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  46. 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.
  47. A movie made by filmmaker working in sync with his times -- an exciting, disturbing, provocative film.
  48. A thinking person's horror movie, about real horror and horrifying echoes: The parallels between the Holocaust and the massacres are pronounced.
  49. A magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls.
  50. 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.
  51. An intriguing yarn.
  52. Its relatively minor imperfections seem more glaring when compared to the near flawlessness of the film's lyrical, scorching start.
  53. 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.
  54. A tough movie to love.
  55. There are so many things to enjoy here.
  56. The more you see of Apocalypse, the more obvious its triumphs AND mistakes.
  57. As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. The great joy of watching a Pixar production is how it rewards not only younger viewers but their older companions as well.
  62. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
  63. So full of creativity, so subversive, so alive.
  64. 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."
  65. It takes the rock movie into regions it has never been before.
  66. Superbly conceived anti-biopic.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
  71. Jarecki has created a tour de force of narrative ambiguity, and in doing so has made one of the most honest reality shows ever.
  72. 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.
  73. The movie, while no fun, faces hard truths and asks hard questions.
  74. The Act of Killing is a must-see.
  75. It gets at something exquisitely human, so human that even movie stars feel it.
  76. Works as both historical allegory and moving family drama.
  77. To watch "Lives" is not just to enjoy a fabulously constructed timepiece; it's to appreciate a deft cautionary tale.
  78. The sheer joy of letting go as a tale overwhelms your senses and drives the known world away -- that's the story.
  79. A gorgeous, magical and melancholy fantasia about the joy and pain of human existence.
  80. Thanks to Marsh's sensitive storytelling, Man on Wire manages to put Petit's performance into another, more ineffable realm: What began as a caper turned into poetry, and poetry became a prayer.
  81. One of the more accomplished and beautiful films released thus far this year.
  82. The result is a perfect combination of slapstick and satire, a Platonic ideal of high-and lowbrow that manages to appeal to our basest common denominators while brilliantly skewering racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and that peculiarly American affliction: we're-number-one-ism.
  83. Ferguson builds a compelling case of bad judgment, error, stubbornness and arrogance.
  84. Goodbye Solo is visually simple and stunning, especially the haunting nightscapes of Solo's perambulations. But more important, Goodbye Solo is driven by deep feeling and sensitivity. Don't miss it.
  85. The bravura gestures work gorgeously in Birdman, as does the humor, which playfully balances the film’s most mystical, contemplative ideas with a steady stream of inside jokes and well-calibrated shifts in tone and dynamics.
  86. 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.
  87. The Artist is anything but mute, with a lush orchestral score and a little sonic wink at the the end; fewer movies this year reward listening - and watching - so lavishly.
  88. The Piano is dark, sublime music, and after it's over, you won't be able to get it out of your head.
  89. One of Martin Scorsese's most brutal but stunning movies, an incredible, relentless experience about the singleminded pursuit of crime.
  90. Ingenious, exhilarating, funny and profound.
  91. It is in fact a traditional mystery more reminiscent of Agatha Christie than the reigning film noir aesthetic of 1947. But it's fabulously entertaining.
  92. A terrific piece of filmmaking. It's taut, believable as it unspools. It's charismatic, with a slow buildup of tension in near-real time that finally explodes into a blast of violence.
  93. In the last half-hour, the story, like the Japanese, loses its way; lacking any clear-cut goals except survival, the film becomes repetitive. Letters From Iwo Jima is a necessary movie; too bad it's not a great movie.
  94. Even the uninitiated will be hard-pressed to resist the movie's charms, from its likable leading players and its charming Dublin setting to its wistful take on modern love.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Is "The Last Waltz" the greatest rock movie of all time? It makes its case persuasively in a restoration overseen by director Martin Scorsese and producer Robbie Robertson that's been released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the concert it made famous.
  95. 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.
  96. There are so many good things to say about this film it's hard to find a statement that really nails it. Perhaps we can leave at this: Y Tu Mama Tambien is originality writ large.
  97. The genius of the film, besides Hoffman's stunning performance, is that it knows exactly how much is enough. It never overplays, lingers or punches up.
  98. To certain serious world-cinema aficionados, though, Tulpan's combination of understated comedy and documentary-level depiction of rural Kazakh life will be catnip.
  99. Hours, even days later, they may find themselves thinking of Adèle and wondering how she’s doing — only then realizing how completely this fictional but very real creation has winnowed her way into their hearts and minds. That’s great acting. It’s great art. And that’s why Blue Is the Warmest Color is a great movie.
  100. The Blue Angel it's clear to Von Sternberg, and to us, that he's connected with some pure being of cinema, whose power to ignite an audience was unstoppable. She became a great star.
  101. It spins its wheels in a giddy sort of way, then puts the pedal to the mettle, lays rubber and fairly takes wing.
  102. Rarely has love at any age been depicted so honestly on screen. For such a fully realized portrait to be created by a 28-year-old first-time director is even more remarkable.
  103. Mafioso may have been made in another era, but it stands as a classy, even radical rebuke to the film school posers who keep recycling the same tired gangster tropes.
  104. This is an example of a writer and director working in perfect harness, with Reed smoothly ratcheting up the story's suspense and Greene speculating on his cardinal theme of moral ambiguity. They don't make movies like The Fallen Idol anymore, all the more reason to see it now while you can.
  105. If you think you've absorbed all you could about subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and the arcana of elaborate derivatives, think again. Inside Job traces the history of the crisis and its implications with exceptional lucidity, rigor and righteous indignation.
  106. Gripping, whole and nourishing. Certainly of the fantasy film series currently in American theaters -– I include "Harry Potter and the Secret Toity" and "Star Trek: Halitosis" -– The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the best, and not by just a little.
  107. The visual comedy is brilliant.
  108. Grand enough in scale to carry its many Biblical and mythological references, Blade Runner never feels heavy or pretentious -- only more and more engrossing with each viewing. It helps, too, that it works as pure entertainment.
  109. If Kelly felt it necessary to add the new material, that's all to the good. It just means there's more to love.
  110. It's the kind of absorbing, attractive, unfailingly tasteful enterprise that a critic can recommend without caveat.
  111. Up
    The result is a soaring, touching, funny and altogether buoyant movie that lives up to its title in spirit and in form.
  112. A flurry of stunts, close shaves and deeds of desperate daring, it easily transcends its television origins to become a stylish pacemaker-buster.
  113. As taut, sleek and guiltily comfortable as the classic Chrysler automobile we see at the beginning, Quiz Show is built for entertaining road performance.
  114. A compulsively arranged sacher torte of a movie, an elegant mousetrap of stories-within-stories that invokes history with a temperament ranging from winsome to deeply mournful.
  115. 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.
  116. A sequel that eclipses the original. The toys are back with even more hilarious vengeance. The story's twice as inventive as its predecessor.
  117. The kids in Nobody Knows are most decidedly not crazy, and we come to care for them to an almost excruciating degree.
  118. Leigh hasn't the affect of a poet, but he's a poet nonetheless. This movie captures the smallish details in life that perhaps you've felt before, but have never before seen on screen. He has a genius for the commonplace. It is truly sweet stuff.
  119. Like all the Dardennes' films, L'Enfant is a vivid, Dickensian report from the most dispossessed precincts of society. But the film concludes on an optimistic note, at least for the Dardennes. It's still the worst of times, the filmmakers seem to suggest, but we're still capable of humanity, if not hope.
  120. Armstrong applies a dusting of contemporary feminism, but the stubborn sentimentalism of Alcott's endearing family portrait endures. [21 Dec 1994]
    • Washington Post
  121. The movie becomes something quite rare and magical: a text about a text that is also full of life. In other words, it's a true first: It's both postmodern and fun!
  122. As haunting as it is haunted, The Missing Picture leaves viewers’ heads rattling with ghosts.
  123. In Kennedy’s scrupulous, adroit hands, Last Days in Vietnam plays like a wartime thriller, with heroes engaging in jaw- dropping feats of ingenuity and derring do.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This vibrantly disorienting cinematic import reinvents the vocabulary of the crime drama with a painterly eye and a feverish documentary style.
  124. Hypnotically absorbing film.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Superman II" gets off to a fast start (in part by recapitulating the plot of the original film in the credit sequence), only to evolve into a curiously absent-minded follow-up...What seems to have been lost is the straightforward heroic exuberance of the original film, despite Reeve's gallant and endearing efforts. [19 June 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
  125. The dynamic between Fletcher and Andrew makes for highly pitched drama, which strains for credibility during two climactic scenes.
  126. Merchant and Ivory have regathered many of the cast and crew from their earlier films to work on this reproduction to exquisite effect.
  127. You may not have agreed with Ebert’s reviews — you may not have thought he was such a nice guy. But if you aren’t moved by Life Itself, you ought to have your heart examined.
  128. Gromit's every facial move -- every grimace, scowl, eye-roll and glance askance -- is sublime.
    • Washington Post
  129. Chandor’s attention to detail, and the expressiveness and utter believability with which Redford goes about the anything-but-mundane business of surviving, make All Is Lost a technically dazzling, emotionally absorbing, often unexpectedly beautiful experience.
  130. A gripping, deeply moving film
  131. Koltai is an accomplished, Oscar-nominated cinematographer (for 2000's "Malena"), and Fateless is meticulously composed and shot.
  132. McNamara fits perfectly into Morris's canon: He tells a story that knocks you right off your feet.
  133. Brokeback Mountain possesses handsome and sympathetic lead players, magnificent scenery, heartbreaking melodrama, righteousness and cultural import. But as a testament to the importance of following one's passion, it's devoid of one crucial thing: passion.
  134. Leery filmgoers can exhale: The Kid With a Bike may hew faithfully to the Dardennes' house style of spare, lucid storytelling. But without giving anything away, let's just say that with this simple, deeply affecting tale, they never set out to break your heart.
  135. With its heartening final note of hope and renewal, Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 provides an altogether fitting finale to a series that has prized the fans above all.
  136. It plays out with all the suspense of a thriller. Assisted by acclaimed editor Walter Murch, Levinson wisely shapes the story not around the hardware, which was plagued by malfunctions and other delays, but around the people tasked with making the LHC run.
  137. You may not want to hang with the haunted Caouettes, but the movie is so compelling, it doesn't give you a choice.
  138. It's the best sports documentary since "Hoop Dreams," a great piece of work."
  139. The movie does what any great musician should: It lifts an idea to the heights of ecstasy; it sells its song.
  140. A small masterpiece of a documentary that takes us into the heart of a complex darkness.
  141. It's enough to make your head spin, but Almodovar, whose mastery of the medium has never been more assured, gives you plenty to think about, ultimately grounding the dizzy whirl of his idiosyncratic fictional world in a story that feels not just true but universal.
  142. A tour de force so haunting that other films can't exorcise the memory of its radiant cast, exquisite craftsmanship or complex system of metaphors. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a movie.
  143. Like a cold beer under a bluebird sky; like a flawless line drive on a warm summer's day; like a long, languorous seventh-inning stretch - Moneyball satisfies.
  144. A must-see for any student of history, political rhetoric and film poetics at their most vagrant and revelatory.
  145. Does Guinness World Records have an entry for longest on-screen fight? If it doesn't, Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins just set it. And if a record actually exists, Miike's film just broke it.
  146. Mostly, though, it's a film about that hollow feeling that hits you when the tears have all dried up and your face hurts way too much to even crack a smile.
  147. For the truth is, given the audacity, the organization, the seriousness of purpose, the movie isn't nearly as provocative as you think it might be.
  148. Instead of a grand tableau vivant that lays out the great man and his great deeds like so many too-perfect pieces of waxed fruit, Spielberg brings the leader and viewers down to ground level.
  149. 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.
  150. Emerges as the summer's first true must-see film, required viewing for everyone, but especially audiences in Washington.
  151. Only someone with intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s singular cadences, social codes and confounding emotional stew (er, covered hot dish) of aggression and politesse could pull off something as masterful, meaningful and poetic as Nebraska.
  152. Like all good fairy tales, this outsize celebration of perseverance and moral triumph contains within it a deeper idea -- in this case, the relative nature of what we think we know, and what's worth knowing at all. No doubt Dickens himself would approve.
  153. 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.
  154. 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.
  155. Cuts a path directly to the heart.
  156. Weird, warm, monumentally entertaining comedy.
  157. 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.
  158. Arrives as the perfect midsummer movie, a comedy about a flawed-but-functional family that, like "Toy Story 3," captures the drama of growth and separation in all its exhilaration and heartache.
  159. 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.
  160. The movie is really almost tasteful considering [Cronenberg’s] stomach-churning capacities. He always does it for a higher purpose, though, which is why his films sometimes win wider audiences. This one probably won't cross over, because it's too queasy. [23 Sept 1988]
  161. 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.
  162. It's his best work by far.
  163. Scrappy and unsubtle where "We Were Here" is elegant and nuanced, How to Survive a Plague isn't nearly as formally beautiful as its predecessor.
  164. Simple, yet quietly astonishing film.
  165. Short of good, better than awful, it opens brilliantly, then just goes on, toward self-negating absurdity.
  166. Ten
    Shows us, in an extraordinarily simple way, the hopes and frustrations of one woman's life.
  167. In the vein of such recent classics as "The Lives of Others" and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Christian Petzold's Barbara re-visits the quiet, everyday tragedies of the Iron Curtain era, when paranoia ran deep and for very good reasons.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    [Director Paolo Sorrentino] collects scenes of superficial extravagance and eccentricity, then finds the deeper yearnings they conceal.
  168. For filmgoers determined to see cinema not just as mass entertainment but as an art form, The Beaches of Agnes arrives like an exhilarating call to arms.
  169. Unlike Hollywood's hygienic undersea dramas, Das Boot graphically depicts the nasty intimacy of a long mission.
  170. Works best when it concentrates on O'Grady and the ever-rippling effect of his transgressions. Viewers may not remember the victims whose stories practically pierce the heart, but they're unlikely to forget O'Grady's deceptively innocent face.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Welcome back to the art of storytelling! Back to the Future is a whirling merry-go-round of a movie, in which everything is precisely machined but nothing seems quite safe. It's a wildly pleasurable sci-fi comedy, filled with enchantment and sweetness and zip as only a bona fide summer hit can be. [3 July 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  171. This captivating, expertly machined political thriller jumps through every hoop the naysayer can set up: It's serious and substantive, an ingeniously written and executed drama fashioned from a fascinating, little-known chapter of recent history.
  172. 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.
  173. Charlotte Rampling takes you so far inside the pain of Marie Drillon it leaves you stirred, shaken and a little in awe.
  174. Sinfully watchable ensemble movie.
  175. A movie of technical skill and rare depth of intellect and feeling.
  176. A glorious romantic confection unlike any other in movie history.
  177. Maintains its artistic magnificence after more than 30 years.
  178. 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.
  179. 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.
  180. It's a classic story in form, and in this country it used to star Jimmy Cagney.
  181. 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.
  182. 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.
  183. 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.
  184. The gritty film is realistically inspiring and, thankfully, not overly dramatized. While the interrupters succeed on many levels, a pervasive sadness remains.
  185. Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
  186. Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.
  187. 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.
  188. 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.
  189. 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.
  190. 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.
  191. It's frenetic to the point of crazy while achieving a mark that barely exceeds mediocre.
  192. A humanistic gem of a movie, with unforgettable performances from Linney and Ruffalo.
  193. A beautiful story, told in measured cadences by a master of old-timey narrative compression and expression.
  194. It's a muscular, physical movie, pieced together from arresting imagery and revelatory gestures, large and small.
  195. 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.
  196. 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.
  197. 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.
  198. While the title alone may send people into a tizzy, this actually isn't a movie about which side is right or wrong.
  199. An engrossing chronicle.
  200. The sexiest movie of the year.
  201. 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.
  202. Along with such colleagues as Abbas Kiarostami and Moshen Makhmalbaf, Panahi has perfected the art of realist filmmaking,
  203. Turns out to be not just rude, crude and outrageously funny but a deceptively sophisticated meditation on moral agency -- with pot jokes!
  204. All of the actors in Turtles Can Fly are nonprofessionals, and all bring electrifying authenticity and presence to their roles.
  205. 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.
  206. A delirious piece of pop ephemera.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A beguiling little film that, with deceptive restraint and forthrightness, opens up worlds of roiling, contradictory emotions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The story of a boy's re-entry into family and school life after a mental breakdown, it is of strikingly high quality. Redford apparently has a fine eye, and the ability to draw the very best from veteran actors Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland, as well as from a youngster, Timothy Hutton. The entire cast, to the smallest parts, are excellent. And the dialogue, costumes and settings are so perfectly appropriate that they approach satire. [26 Sept 1980, p.17]
    • Washington Post
  207. 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.
  208. 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.
  209. The brothers, who have always seemed fond of their characters, have never taken quite so overt a stand for life's simple joys.
  210. It is a movie about the real challenge of heroism.
  211. 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.
  212. Director Demme is smart and sensitive enough to sit back and listen to the music without attention-getting intrusions. The tunes are subtly compelling.
  213. A steely neo-noir thriller with a nasty comic veneer.
  214. The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant. I miss Hedwig already.
  215. Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.
  216. 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.

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