Washington Post's Scores

For 7,457 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Quiet American
Lowest review score: 0 Let's Be Cops
Score distribution:
7457 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. One of the most startling, grittily brilliant films in recent years.
  4. Qualifies as the most painful, poetic and improbably beautiful film of the year.
  5. 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.
  6. The movie version of Jaws is one of the most exciting and satisfying thrillers ever made.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A thinking person's horror movie, about real horror and horrifying echoes: The parallels between the Holocaust and the massacres are pronounced.
  10. 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.
  11. It's easily the best and brightest family-friendly movie of the year.
  12. Ran
    The drama itself packs a powerful -- and timeless -- gut punch.
  13. This is the rare American film really about something, and almost all the performances are riveting.
  14. 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.
  15. The Little Shop of Horrors is a thoroughly original adaptation, if that's possible. With its toe-tapping cadences, its class cast and its king-sized cabbage, it's destined to become a classic of camp comedy. It's vege-magic.
  16. 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.
  17. A pitch-perfect movie that threads a microscopically tiny needle between high comedy and devastating drama.
  18. Feisty, funny, fizzy and deeply wise, Enough Said sparkles within and without, just like the rare gem that it is.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It would be difficult to identify a single frame in Saraband that is not a distinguished composition in itself; Bergman has the eye of a latter-day Vermeer.
    • 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.
  19. To watch Bad Education is to revel, along with Almodovar, in the power of cinema to take us on journeys of breathtaking mystery and dimension and beauty.
  20. "Kubo" is both extraordinarily original and extraordinarily complex.
  21. It's a celebration of young American women, finding them smarter, tougher, shrewder, more rigorous, more persistent and more honest than any movie in many a moon.
  22. Not since the 1972 'Cabaret' has there been a movie musical this stirring, intelligent and exciting.
  23. Awash in heart-rending emotions and gorgeous images, this is a movie to lose yourself in.
  24. With grace, discretion and supreme tact, Nicks sweeps viewers to a climactic montage that wordlessly honors the best ways we care for one another. The Waiting Room bears poetic witness to an overlooked fact: America's health care system may be broken, but its people are anything but.
  25. Seems less like a fictional story than a tour through Freud's forgotten files.
  26. Through this miasma of pain and suffering, love may not flicker more strongly than a dim lamp. But it's the only beacon to consider. Can Barry find his? Thanks to Anderson's assured picture, a symphony of cinematic textures, that disarmingly simple question becomes incredibly compelling.
  27. 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.
  28. Enchants on every level: story, voice work, drawing and music.
  29. The Queen of Versailles turns out to be a portrait -- appalling, absorbing and improbably affecting -- of how, even within a system seemingly designed to ensure that the rich get richer, sometimes the rich get poorer.
  30. While Wright's self-conscious theatricality and dollhouse aesthetic conjure comparisons to Baz Luhrmann and Wes Anderson, he outstrips both those filmmakers in moral seriousness and maturity.
  31. 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.
  32. This movie is not only a thrilling experience, it closes the book on a truly satisfying trilogy.
  33. Vincent & Theo is more than art appreciation, it is a treasure in its own right, unframed and arcing in the projector's light.
  34. One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
  35. The film serves not only as a mesmerizing escape into another world, but also a compelling, compassionate deep dive into human frailty and self-deception.
  36. The list of great moments is virtually endless.
  37. More than just one of the best movies so far this year, it is a revolution in young-adult entertainment.
  38. It’s difficult to make a visually dynamic movie about people listening. But that’s precisely what Pohlad has done with both sensitivity and audaciousness, on the one hand attuning his protagonist to the music of the spheres, and on the other bearing witness to his deepest isolation and sadness.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. A gigantic achievement, an endowment of riches.
  42. The Princess and the Frog invite viewers to see the world as a lively, mixed-up, even confounding place, to recognize essential parts of ourselves in what we see, and to say: This is what we look like.
  43. For those willing to join Reggio in his extended meditation, Visitors offers a sublime, even spiritual experience, as well as a bracing reminder of cinema’s power to create a transformative occasion.
  44. Instead of "Masterpiece Theatre"-style fawning, [Scorsese] fills this movie with visual flow, masterful cinematography and assured direction. There's an alert, thinking presence behind the camera.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. Brilliant and brutal, funny and exhilarating, jaw-droppingly cruel and disarmingly sweet...To watch this movie (whose 2 1/2 hours speed by unnoticed) is to experience a near-assault of creativity.
  49. Simple, yet quietly astonishing film.
  50. Jackson's big monkey picture show is certainly the best popular entertainment of the year. The film is a wondrous blend of then and now: It honors its mythic predecessor of 1933 while using sophisticated movie technology to seamlessly manipulate the fantastic.
  51. Force Majeure leaves the audience squirming — in all the very best ways.
  52. A magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls.
  53. Few movies have evoked the happiness of a good, strong family as genuinely as this one. And this affecting atmosphere makes the eventual outcome resonate with great power.
  54. The tale, from Brazilian writer-director Daniel Ribeiro, is told with such tenderness, such intelligence and such aching honesty that it takes on the weight of something far more significant than puppy love. Like its subject, first kisses and best friends, it’s hard to forget.
  55. It’s a masterful example of genre filmmaking’s ability to transcend its limitations, leaving a viewer not just frightened, but also changed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Aided by co-screenwriter Anthony Frewin, Ellis takes his time in this slow-burning thriller, which often feels more like a character study.
  56. It's brilliantly acted. But best of all, it's brilliantly made.
  57. Delicious with foreboding, a masterly suspense thriller that toys with our anticipation like a well-fed cat.
  58. 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.
  59. The great joy of watching a Pixar production is how it rewards not only younger viewers but their older companions as well.
  60. As haunting as it is haunted, The Missing Picture leaves viewers’ heads rattling with ghosts.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What the bright minds of Walt Disney have produced here is a must-see movie. Must-see, must-talk-about, must-plan-to-see-again.
  61. You emerge from this experience rather like a returning U-boat crewman -- drained, blinking in the light, but oddly triumphant. [Director's cut]
  62. It's a terrific movie.
  63. Moolaade, in short, is a movie to rock the soul.
  64. 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.
  65. Fabulously kinetic.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Admirers of Stephen Sondheim who have wondered whether a riveting movie would ever be made from one of his stage musicals can put aside their doubts and worries: Tim Burton has finally accomplished it in his ravishing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
  66. 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.
  67. In elaborating on the original book so boldly, and repopulating it so richly, Jonze has protected Where the Wild Things Are as an inviolable literary work. In preserving its darkest spirit, he's created a potent, fully realized variation on its most highly charged themes.
  68. Locke is so distilled, such a pure example of cinematic storytelling, that it almost feels abstract.
  69. 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.
  70. In a mesmerizing series of images, encounters and delicate juxtapositions, Cameraperson testifies to a world in which it would be clear to see that we’re all connected, if only we took the time to look at one another with reverence and simply listen.
  71. An exuberant, raucous and thoroughly endearing comedy
  72. Wings is a soaring vision that appeals to the senses and the spirit. (Review of Original Release)
  73. Improbably, The End of the Tour doesn’t just sustain the audience’s interest in Wallace and Lipsky’s exchanges, arguments and moments of bonding, but invites us to care deeply about the men.
  74. One needn’t have first-person experience with, or even approve of, the extremes Minnie pursues to appreciate the honest, forthright way Heller and Powley present a journey that, stripped to its most basic emotional elements, is timeless and universal.
  75. It's a great pleasure that -- we get to ponder one of the most involving psychological mysteries in recent memory.
  76. This engrossing mystery-comedy peeks through the keyholes of the rich and infamous in a manner both droll and delicious.
  77. 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.
  78. Dramatically, this is something of a waking dream.
  79. This installment has achieved a nearly impossible hat trick. It's a movie that is exegetically correct enough to appease the most hard-core buffs, while opening up the final frontier to a whole new generation of fans who have yet to appreciate Star Trek's ineffable combination of sci-fi action, campy humor and yin-yang philosophical tussle between logic and emotion.
  80. More than a testament to the power of cinematic storytelling as food for the human spirit, The Wolfpack also is a portrait of a family that has had to rely on each other to survive.
  81. For those who enjoy cinematic visits to other, darker worlds, this blood's for you. Watching Ringers is not unlike watching a critical operation -- unnerving but also enthralling. [23 Sept 1988]
  82. Low-key, sleek and sophisticated, Drive provides the visceral pleasures of pulp without sacrificing art. It's cool and smart. Some critics might even call it European.
  83. 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.
  84. A wonderful, piercing and hilarious examination of high school politics and how bitter and ruinous it can become.
  85. The shadow of its past informs the latest incarnation of “Rigby,” a deeply moving, beautifully acted and ultimately mournful meditation on the gulfs that open between people, especially when tragedy falls like a cleaver.
  86. Soaring, swooning and gently nostalgic, Brooklyn takes melodrama to a new level of reassuring simplicity and emotional transparency.
  87. [The children's] remarkable lack of self-consciousness ... and Kore-eda's quasi-documentary style give this movie a stunning credibility.
  88. Le Havre is a playful parable that conveys profound truths about compassion, humility and sacrifice. It offers proof that miracles do happen - especially in Kaurismaki's lyrically hardscrabble neighborhood.
  89. A movie with the visual expanse of a John Ford western and the ensemble grandeur and long takes of a Robert Altman picture. The movie is definitely Chinese in content, but it exudes American style and spirit.
  90. Fukunaga imbues this study of ma­nipu­la­tion and manufactured loyalty with an unsettling degree of visual richness and lush natural detail.
  91. Doesn't need the passage of time to become a classic. It's one already.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. A great little film, dignified by a superb performance, Diamond Men is a gem.
  95. It is a wacky, happy, daring, darkly comic tale of parenting outside the law. It celebrates the middle-of-the-road dreams of decidedly off-center folks. It's a bundle of joy.

Top Trailers