Washington Post's Scores

For 6,903 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 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Beetle Juice
Lowest review score: 0 Broken Arrow
Score distribution:
6,903 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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
  1. Tequila Sunrise succeeds in both its larger strokes and its smaller ones-as both a romance and a thriller. It has a sense of comedy audacious enough to stage a bust that is delayed by a seduction and the sophistication to know that, for some people, to be called "slick" is the cruelest of insults. Tequila Sunrise has a deep-down glamor that borrows not from movies, but from life. It's knowing, but the last thing you'd call it is slick. [2 Dec 1988, p.b1]
    • Washington Post
  2. A beautiful story, told in measured cadences by a master of old-timey narrative compression and expression.
  3. Isn't just a fabulous seagoing spectacle. It's one for the ages.
  4. As disturbing and densely beautiful as its opening image, a lofty forest that dwarfs the gangsters as they laugh over their kill.
  5. A sci-fi-fueled indictment of man's inhumanity to man -- and the non-human -- District 9 is all horribly familiar, and transfixing.
  6. Manchurian, with its fatalistic, dreamlike quality, comprises two of [Frankenheimer's] finest hours. [Re-release]
  7. Monsieur Lazhar resembles a clear, clean glass of water: transparent, utterly devoid of gratuitous flavorings or frou-frou, and all the more bracing and essential for it.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The genius is in the writing and in keeping all gambits created by the individual writers in sync, so the piece has a tonal consistency and a narrative flow. A lost art in Hollywood? It's really one of the best movies of the year.
  11. 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.
  12. Eastwood's elegantly directed Mystic River, a deeply textured drama in which the sins (or perceived sins) of the past weigh heavily on the present.
  13. It's an astonishing movie, with a real-life feel.
  14. Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made.
  15. It manages the trick of being both an unironic sci-fi action-adventure flick and a zippy parody of one. It’s exciting, funny, self-aware, beautiful to watch and even, for a flickering instant or two, almost touching.
  16. An extraordinary film ... that's impossible to dismiss or leave unmoved.
  17. 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.
  18. As viscerally compelling as smash-mouth filmmaking gets.
  19. Joe
    Nicolas Cage delivers what may his best, most nuanced performance yet in the gritty, hypnotic and deeply moving Joe.
  20. In spirit, and sheer joie de vivre, it's everything the movie business should aspire to. Win Win exemplifies movies the way they oughtta be.
  21. Van Dormael has crafted a saga that, even at two-plus hours, is endlessly, enormously watchable.
  22. If you don't fall in love with it, you've probably never fallen in love with a movie, and never will.
  23. Seymour: An Introduction gives viewers a soaring, sublime and enduringly meaningful glimpse of a man who is undoubtedly the real thing.
  24. A riotous, rapturous explosion of sound and color, Black Orpheus is less about Orpheus's doomed love for Eurydice than about Camus's love for cinema at its most gestural and kinetic.
  25. A humanistic gem of a movie, with unforgettable performances from Linney and Ruffalo.
  26. 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.
  27. Sure, the animation work is great, but it's the actors and their subtle, complex vocal performances that make us care about these fairy-tale characters. Shrek 2 is all about fantasy, but its characters are rousingly, affectingly real -- not to mention real, real funny.
  28. In addition to being a study in great acting, this is a study in great directing.
  29. May not be the first movie to examine the creative process. But it's the most playfully brilliant.
  30. There are several reasons to see Selma — for its virtuosity and scale, scope and sheer beauty. But then there are its lessons, which have to do with history, but also today: Selma invites viewers to heed its story, meditate on its implications and allow those images once again to change our hearts and minds.
  31. 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.
  32. 2012 takes the disaster movie -- once content simply to threaten the Earth with a comet, or blow up the White House -- to its natural conclusion, the literal end of the world.
  33. Morgen plunges viewers completely into the anarchic, exhilarating, finally ambiguous world of 1968 America; his final stroke of genius is his choice of music, which includes a breathtaking use of Eminem's "Mosh."
  34. 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.
  35. Museum Hours is every bit as masterfully conceived and executed as the art works that serve as the film’s lively cast of supporting characters.
  36. Its themes of passion, heartbreak and the inexorable passage of time are eternal.
  37. 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.
  38. There's not a false note here, and the entire supporting cast -- is uniformly excellent.
  39. Amour is a must-see film that not everyone must see, at least right now.
  40. McQueen has taken the raw materials of filmmaking and committed an act of great art.
  41. 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.
  42. An extraordinarily riveting drama.
  43. Hypnotically absorbing film.
  44. A movie that appeals to the eye, mind, heart and funny bone; that's a pretty good quadruple for any movie.
  45. It's funny, it's heartbreaking, it's scary, it's exhilarating. It's got love stuff and lots of laughs and cool gunfights. It's really long and it feels like it's over in 15 minutes. It does something so few movies do these days: It satisfies.
  46. Watching this masterwork allows you to return to the filmmaking sensibility of the 1960s, when epics looked like epics.
  47. Paltrow and Fiennes are so good and the script, referencing not only "Romeo and Juliet" but "Twelfth Night," is so consistently intelligent that seduction is inevitable.
  48. The most eloquent and exacting vision of the war to date... Inspired with technique rather than overblown with it, Kubrick, the filmmaker's filmmaker, lays one on you.
  49. A story that rips fleshy holes through your heart.
  50. Something to treasure: a thriller whose style, structure and rhythms are so integrated with the story, you cannot separate them.
  51. Coppola brilliantly conjures the young queen's insular world, in which she was both isolated and claustrophobically scrutinized.
  52. A sequel that eclipses the original. The toys are back with even more hilarious vengeance. The story's twice as inventive as its predecessor.
  53. Vallée, working with a lean, lively script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, neatly avoids excess, letting Woodroof’s terrific yarn stand on its own and getting out of the way of his extraordinary actors, who channel the story without condescension or manipulative cheats.
  54. To watch "Lives" is not just to enjoy a fabulously constructed timepiece; it's to appreciate a deft cautionary tale.
  55. Won't break your heart -- it will make it soar.
  56. A small masterpiece of a documentary that takes us into the heart of a complex darkness.
  57. Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.
  58. It's the best sports documentary since "Hoop Dreams," a great piece of work."
  59. An instant slapstick classic from Disney and Steven Spielberg. Already, it's a hare's breadth away from legend. [22 June 1988]
  60. Captain Phillips is such an impressive dramatic achievement that it comes as a shock when it gets even better, during a devastating final scene in which Hanks single-handedly dismantles Hollywood notions of macho heroism in one shattering, virtually wordless sequence.
  61. Merchant and Ivory have regathered many of the cast and crew from their earlier films to work on this reproduction to exquisite effect.
  62. Misanthropic, cruel, hostile, corrupt, blasphemous and basically pretty evil. I loved it.
  63. A great American picture, full of incredible images and lasting moments.
  64. Inherent Vice unfolds so organically, so gracefully and with such humanistic grace notes that even at its most preposterous, viewers will find themselves nodding along, sharing the buzz the filmmaker has so skillfully created.
  65. It’s a richly engrossing drama, so long as you understand that it’s aiming for the head, not the gut.
  66. With its spectacular scenery, stupefying effects and epic scope, is a dream come true.
  67. An exhilarating, often mind-blowing history of surfing.
  68. In some ways Soderbergh does a much better job than Tarantino. He handles the time shifts more adroitly, always keeping us on track; he goes easy on the violence, and when he does unleash it, it's short, fast and ugly.
  69. 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.
  70. Rich Hill doesn’t just make you feel like you know these boys; it makes you care about them.
  71. You know you're in the hands of a superbly gifted filmmaker when he can pull off a talking dog.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As played by the captivating Mariana Loyola, Lucy is a life force, cut from similar cloth as the perky schoolteacher of Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky": unsinkable, unswervable and more than a little irreverent.
  74. The narrative is lean, the supporting performances are solid, and, perhaps most crucially, the emotional tone of the piece is spot-on.
  75. Up
    The result is a soaring, touching, funny and altogether buoyant movie that lives up to its title in spirit and in form.
  76. The Piano is dark, sublime music, and after it's over, you won't be able to get it out of your head.
  77. A mesmerizing cinematic journey that is often as arduous and spare as the lives of its hard-bitten protagonists.
  78. The Class is not just the best film released thus far this year. It may be the most gripping.
  79. From the performances by Rea, Davidson and Whitaker, to Jordan's endlessly original script, to Anne Dudley's melancholy score, and Lyle Lovett's closing rendition of "Stand by Your Man," The Crying Game enthralls and amazes us. It deserves to be called great.
  80. The best heist flick since "The Usual Suspects," a perfect 10 of a movie.
  81. 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.
  82. In this vibrant, lyrical, graphic, sobering and finally soaring testament to aesthetic and political expression, Noujaim consistently provides light where once there was heat.
  83. A classically polished drama about repressed emotions, self delusion and protracted heartbreak, this Merchant/Ivory movie is one of the most affecting experiences of the year.
  84. It's a comic book at heart, albeit a thoroughly, grandly romantic one in the end.
  85. It's a soaring achievement, without ever leaving the ground.
  86. A smart, alert, supremely entertaining movie.
  87. Leigh has fashioned a limber style of political commentary that is part documentary, part cartoon and wholly novel in the movies.
  88. 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.
  89. One of the most startling, grittily brilliant films in recent years.
  90. Qualifies as the most painful, poetic and improbably beautiful film of the year.
  91. This movie is great in any version...I don't miss what has been cut from the new version. The overall effect is so beautifully wrought, a few details aren't going to bring things crashing down.
  92. Ambitious, affecting, unwieldy and haunting, it's an eccentric, densely atmospheric, morally hyper-aware masterpiece that refuses to follow the strictures of conventional cinematic structure, instead leading the audience on a circuitous journey down the myriad rabbit holes that comprise modern-day Manhattan.
  93. There is a quality of enchantment to When Marnie Was There that can’t be faked, and that the studio behind this animated feature is justifiably famous for.
  94. A thinking person's horror movie, about real horror and horrifying echoes: The parallels between the Holocaust and the massacres are pronounced.
  95. Its mixture of wisdom and whimsy -- exemplified by the movie's unnamed and occasionally cheeky narrator -- makes this Australian movie feel as timeless as it is timely. And instead of feeling dutifully cultural as we immerse ourselves in this story, we're genuinely intrigued, touched and even amused.
  96. It's easily the best and brightest family-friendly movie of the year.
  97. This is the rare American film really about something, and almost all the performances are riveting.
  98. Searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies.

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