Washington Post's Scores

For 7,516 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Scary Movie 5
Score distribution:
7516 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A great little film, dignified by a superb performance, Diamond Men is a gem.
  3. 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.
  4. Liberated from playing the hits, Benjamin eloquently captures Hendrix’s emerging style without having to succumb to jukebox-musical opportunism.
  5. A celebration -- of love, commitment and devotion until the bitter end. Gay and straight viewers alike are sure to be inspired by this lyrical testament to a corollary of Tolstoy's famous dictum: Every unhappy family might be unhappy in its own way, but every genuinely happy family is a triumph.
  6. Maintains its artistic magnificence after more than 30 years.
  7. It knocks you off your feet and leaves you shaken.
  8. What makes it a must see is its timelessness.
  9. Delivered with such high panache and brio, it's mesmerizing.
  10. The Act of Killing is a must-see.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. As wrenching as Room is, especially during its grim first hour, it contains an expansive sense of compassion and humanism thanks to the sensitive direction of Abrahamson.
  14. Intimate, moving and superbly underplayed, Loving is every bit as soft-spoken and subtly implacable as its protagonists. It lives up to its title as a noun and a verb, with elegant, undeniable simplicity.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Kidman grabs center stage and never relinquishes the position. Playing mercilessly against her pinup girl image, she's an unforgettable, comic archetype—a more slapsticky corollary to William Hurt's bumbling, handsome newscaster in "Broadcast News."
  18. It hasn't aged so much as triumphantly metastasized. (Review twenty years after release).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hackman anchors the movie with a performance of remarkable control. You see his hurt in his glances at his shoes, his little phony chuckle; you can feel him carrying his secret -- it's a rage held together with rubber bands. This is the Hackman of "The Conversation," not "The French Connection." [27 Feb 1987, Style, p.c1]
  19. The visual comedy is brilliant.
  20. Hilarious…The joy of Beetlejuice is its completely bizarre -- but perfectly realized -- view of the world, a la Gary Larson's "The Far Side," or "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." [1 Apr 1988]
  21. A delectably naughty experience. This sort of wit and immediacy is extraordinarily rare in a period film.
  22. See Killer of Sheep, and see it again and again. It's one of those truly rare movies that just get better and better.
  23. This invigoratingly fresh, optimistic film - which features the breathtaking debuts of director Dee Rees and leading lady Adepero Oduye - plunges the audience into a world that's both tough and tender, vivid and grim, drenched in poetry and music and pain and discovery.
  24. Like a miniature universe made entirely of millions of tiny plastic bricks, The Lego Batman Movie looks and feels like it could only have been put together by a roomful of mad geniuses, moving in a ballet of well-choreographed creativity: It’s simultaneously epic and humble.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An elegant, heartbreaking fable, equal parts Shakespearean tragedy, neo-Western and mob movie but without the pretension of those genres.
  25. Ringing with both ancient wisdom and searing relevance, Fences feels as if it’s been crafted for the ages, and for this very minute.
  26. The vignettes are linked as much by theme as story, yet they're carefully structured and delicately balanced.
  27. Exquisitely textured film.
  28. 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.
  29. Has to be one of the must-see films for any student of Hollywood fame and infamy.
  30. Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
  31. In addition to her exquisite eye for casting, Holmer knows how to film actors and environments in ways that are expressive enough to make up for her minimal dialogue.
  32. 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.
  33. The results are as riveting as any action movie ever made.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Most of Festival Express resonates with the power and passion, even the innocence, of the era.
  34. In the basest of terms, a horror flick. But it's also a spectacularly moving and elegant movie, and to dismiss it into genre-hood, to mentally stuff it into the horror pigeonhole, is to overlook a remarkable film.
  35. You don’t need to be familiar with Assayas’s previous work to enjoy Personal Shopper. It works in two realms: as an engrossing ghost story and a drama that addresses profound matters of life and death.
  36. 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.
  37. A brilliant film--vivid, haunting, intelligent and in good taste, wonderfully acted, wonderfully written and directed.
  38. As quintessential a story of American ambition as Welles' own "Citizen Kane."
  39. 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.
  40. For all of its modesty and dedication to process, Spotlight winds up being a startlingly emotional experience, and not just for filmgoers with intimate knowledge of the culture it depicts.
  41. 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.
  42. Kryzstof Kieslowski's White...is a continuing testament to the Polish director's poetic mastery. Like all of Kieslowski's works, White articulates a whole language of sensations, images, ironies and mystery -- often with a minimum of dialogue. But it is no rarefied, abstract exercise. The movie...aches with human dimension.
  43. Censored Voices is an essential documentary. Its subject is nothing less than loss of innocence, the seeds of hatred and the illusory nature of victory.
  44. An electrifying, confounding, what-the-hell-just-happened exercise in unbounded imagination, unapologetic theatricality, bravura acting and head-over-heels movie-love.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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]
  48. It's a guaranteed must-see for its generation. Sin City has a long, long shelf life ahead.
  49. 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").
  50. Wickedly funny and devilishly subversive. It is satire at its most fearless.
  51. Thanks to his taste, rigor and superb sense of control, Nemes manages to create images that are both discreet and graphic, respectful and confrontational, inspiring and unsparing.
  52. For all of the outrage that Mustang inspires by its depiction of sexist oppression, it’s still enormously pleasurable to watch, in part because of its enchanting setting (it was filmed in the northern Turkish town of Inebolu) and Warren Ellis’s thoughtful score, but mostly because of Sensoy and her four equally beguiling co-stars.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. Amy
    [A] sensitive, superbly constructed, ultimately shattering documentary.
  57. Superbly conceived anti-biopic.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. A searing, apocalyptic and finally breathtaking drama.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. Enormously entertaining and surprisingly touching.
  64. It gets you below the emotional belt in a searing, delicate way. No movie this year approaches such magnificent imagery, such delectable poetry.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. Chinese director Zhang Yimou understands perfectly that the small can be epic and awe-inspiring. And, by the way, he knows how to get big, too.
  69. It never disconnects from two values: its honesty and its intensity.
  70. If you want to sample the sheer bouquet of great acting, you could get drunk on this movie.
  71. 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.
  72. This spooky film's ostensible subject—an environmental illness known as multiple chemical sensitivity—is merely a starting place for this mesmerizing horror movie, feminist tract and medical mystery.
    • Washington Post
  73. Manchester by the Sea is a film of surpassing beauty and heart. Even at its most melancholy depths, it brims with candid, earnest, indefatigable life.
  74. A movie for aesthetically hungry moviegoers: wildly amusing, sometimes sardonic and always touching. There's so much here, and all of it delightful.

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