Washington Post's Scores

For 6,811 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Quiet American
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Silverman
Score distribution:
6,811 movie reviews
  1. A brilliant film--vivid, haunting, intelligent and in good taste, wonderfully acted, wonderfully written and directed.
  2. As quintessential a story of American ambition as Welles' own "Citizen Kane."
  3. One of the best performances -- and movies -- of the year so far.
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. An electrifying, confounding, what-the-hell-just-happened exercise in unbounded imagination, unapologetic theatricality, bravura acting and head-over-heels movie-love.
  6. 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.
  7. With elegant, clockwork construction, Smith has transplanted his novel of greed, betrayal and getting what you deserve to the screen, where it is told by director Sam Raimi with a spareness befitting the whiteness of its snowed-in setting.
  8. More like a waking nightmare than a docudrama. A true story of murder and justice evidently miscarried, wrapped in the fictional haze of a surrealistic whodunit, it will leave you in a trance for days. [2 Sept 1988]
  9. Two hours and six minutes has never seemed so much like two and six-tenths seconds. It's pure pulp metafiction.
  10. Sean Penn makes a striking screen presence in This Must Be the Place, a smart, funny and original road movie by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo").
  11. Wickedly funny and devilishly subversive. It is satire at its most fearless.
  12. 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.
  13. It's more than a detailed account of one man's petty vindictiveness in a bygone era. It's about how our hatred can consume us so deeply that we lose sight of everything.
  14. The writing is so musical, so attuned to human frailty and aspiration, that I defy anyone to watch the movie without smiling — with amusement one minute, rueful recognition the next, but probably always with some measure of simple, undiluted delight.
  15. Superbly conceived anti-biopic.
  16. Turns out to be one of the most transportingly romantic movies of the year, one that finds the most stirring emotion in struggle rather than in ginned-up melodrama or easy resolution.
  17. 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.
  18. A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
  19. 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.
  20. Foxcatcher exerts a mesmerizing pull, not only because it affords the chance to witness three fine actors working at the height of their powers, but also because it so steadfastly resists the urge to clutter up empty space with the filigree of gratuitous imagery and chatter.
  21. Enormously entertaining and surprisingly touching.
  22. It gets you below the emotional belt in a searing, delicate way. No movie this year approaches such magnificent imagery, such delectable poetry.
  23. Stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one that preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects. The flag raising on Iwo might have indeed become a pseudo-event as it was processed for goals, but there was nothing pseudo about the courage of the men who did it.
  24. 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.
  25. What "Raising Arizona" was to baby lust, "Barton Fink" is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms.
  26. The sheer joy of letting go as a tale overwhelms your senses and drives the known world away -- that's the story.
  27. With its deft intercutting of place and time, the film creates a powerful sense of mysticism and fate.
  28. If you want to sample the sheer bouquet of great acting, you could get drunk on this movie.
  29. 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.
  30. A movie for aesthetically hungry moviegoers: wildly amusing, sometimes sardonic and always touching. There's so much here, and all of it delightful.
  31. The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant. I miss Hedwig already.
  32. With the exception of the opening scene -- whose purpose is chiefly comic -- the movie is one, extended climax. Even with flashbacks and other time jumps, it never lets up. You have to go back to Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1952 "The Wages of Fear" to recall suspense this relentless.
  33. There's no doubt about the film's sheer power and taut originality.
  34. As a parable on karma, capitalism and Darwinian corporate politics, Two Days, One Night can often feel brutal. As a testament to connection, service, sacrifice and self-worth, it’s a soaring, heart-rending hymn.
  35. An extraordinary and brilliant (and almost wordless) film that takes us above ground and below it, up in the air and deep below water, to follow its conundrum of a story.
  36. Although the cast is uniformly fine, Hoffman shines in a role that demands not showmanship, but a kind of complexity and contradiction that can be rendered only through the kind of dull character details that he excelled in, accumulating them from the inside out.
  37. A guaranteed pleasure for anyone who ever loved pop music, owned a record collection or suffered in love
  38. It doesn't matter how many times you see these images. They're always exciting.
  39. 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.
  40. As in the best horror movies, Drag Me to Hell keeps the audience on the edge of hysteria throughout, so that every thump sets the heart racing and every joke earns a slightly out-of-control laugh.
  41. A great big beautiful valentine of a movie, an intoxicating romantic comedy set beneath the biggest, brightest Christmas moon you ever saw. It's a monster moon, a Moby Dick of a moon, whose radiance fills the winter sky and every cranny of this joyous love story.
  42. A film of rare intelligence, beauty and compassion.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The aerial dogfight Dykstra and Stears have helped Lucas perfect as his climactic piece de resistance looks more exciting than its antecedents in live-action war movies. It’s the most gorgeous stylized combat sequence since the underwater battle at the end of "Thunderball," a project that won an Oscar for Stears.
  43. 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.
  44. This is an absolutely brilliant film but in a quiet way.
  45. It is sheer brilliance and testament to the vitality of an old master.
  46. A sophisticatedly sappy masterpiece that bucked the prevailing Hollywood vision of aliens as nasty invaders and recast them as friendly collectibles for children.
  47. That rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings.
  48. The movie fixes you in its gravitational pull. It's an enveloping, walk-in vision... As rich and satisfying a movie as you're likely to see all year.
  49. 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.
  50. 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)
  51. 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.
  52. Jarecki has created a tour de force of narrative ambiguity, and in doing so has made one of the most honest reality shows ever.
  53. 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.
  54. Where Elizabeth really triumphs over its dusty source material is in transforming all this boring history into a real, rip-roaring adventure tale.
  55. A wonderful thing to snuggle into, as full of heart and pep and innocence as the title character himself.
  56. There's a lot in this movie, simple, big, small and exciting. It's the year's first serious contender for big prizes. What's not to like about this picture?
  57. Boomerang is the funniest, most sophisticated movie of Eddie Murphy's career; it's a sleek, dexterous satire, with a slew of rich comic performances that remind us of everything we loved about Murphy in the first place.
  58. But the movie has a great deal of zest and charm, and Yakusho gets so exactly that crest of melancholy that is a man’s early 40s, until he decides to go for another kind of life, that the movie is infinitely touching.
  59. Actually, the film's more serious side is beautifully balanced by the joy we experience as both Jesse and Willy come into their own.
  60. This movie, directed with precision and an appreciation for (relatively) rich character texture by Sam Raimi, remembers all the fine elements of the original film (and the comic book story). It reprises them perfectly, including wonderfully choreographed, skyscraper-hanging fights.
  61. Superb.
  62. Want to see something strange, funny, twisted, brilliant and macabre? Sure you do.
  63. This Tarzan doesn't bellow, he kvetches; he doesn't dominate, he persuades; he doesn't rule, he seeks consensus. He isn't the king of the apes, he's a citizen of the animal planet.
  64. 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.
  65. As much as any earnest historical drama, Secret Ballot serves as an eloquent argument for civic life, showing its human elements to be no less flawed for being so necessary.

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