Washington Post's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 6,407 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Hours
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
6,407 movie reviews
  1. What this intelligent, balanced, devastating movie puts before us is nothing less than a contest between good and evil.
  2. A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria. It doesn't have to.
  3. Cuts a path directly to the heart.
  4. With their inspired, absurdist taste for weird, peculiar Americana-but a sort of neo-Americana that is entirely invented-the Coens have defined and mastered their own bizarre subgenre.
  5. This is a fully realized movie, whose intelligence -- despite its grim findings -- dwarfs any Hollywood production.
  6. The creepiest, clammiest, twitchiest squealfest in months. It offers, among its many pleasures, the happiness of safe fear.
  7. Hilarious, touching and wonderfully dyspeptic.
  8. An intriguing yarn.
  9. 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.
  10. One thoroughbred of a movie. Sleek, well-muscled and brisk, director Steven Soderbergh's newest offering delivers just about everything anyone could possibly want from filmed entertainment -- except deep thought.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Blair Witch Project is terrifying. It's also an exuberant prank of genius.
  11. Costner (with Michael Blake's screenplay) creates a vision so childlike, so willfully romantic, it's hard to put up a fight.
  12. Part of this success is due to the exquisitely cast ensemble-composed of actors, not movie stars. To a man, woman and child, the unforced performers are spot-on.
  13. In keeping with the Smith rules, the movie is irreverent, self-referential, twisted, cheap and tasteless. And, of course, I mean that as the highest compliment.
  14. The plot is far from intricate, but Waking Ned Devine more than makes up for its narrative simplicity with a uniformly engaging cast of Hibernian oddballs.
  15. 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.
  16. It is through the genius of Frears, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern and this talented cast that Liam lets no one off the hook, least of all the audience.
  17. An elegant drama about power and its frightening uses, The Cat's Meow is the bee's knees.
  18. Spade and Warburton might not have made The Emperor's New Groove one of the mouse factory's all-time greatest, but they've certainly made it one of the funniest.
  19. Director Van Sant, who made the lyrical "Mala Noche," "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho," returns to his favorite hunting ground -- the subworlds of grimy, poetic lost boys -- and pulls us right in
  20. Ten
    Shows us, in an extraordinarily simple way, the hopes and frustrations of one woman's life.
  21. For students of cool ... Le Cercle Rouge is required viewing.
  22. Charlotte Rampling takes you so far inside the pain of Marie Drillon it leaves you stirred, shaken and a little in awe.
  23. Really, really good -- Yes, it's over the top, giddy and parodistic (God bless it). But it also takes a thoughtful, if surreptitious, look at what eight women might act like when men aren't around.
  24. More juvenile than a Mel Brooks movie, wittier than "Get Smart," almost as low as "Animal House" and close to the laugh count of "Airplane!", "Gun" is a loving parody of every cop show that ever syndicated its way to your living room. [2 Dec 1988]
  25. Want to see something strange, funny, twisted, brilliant and macabre? Sure you do.
  26. In this admirably unconventional film, director Paul Schrader is interested in just about everything BUT traditional biopic business.
  27. One of Martin Scorsese's most brutal but stunning movies, an incredible, relentless experience about the singleminded pursuit of crime.
  28. Richard Linklater's satirical take on high school life in the 1970s is not only funny and entertaining. It's practically a historic document of life during the smiley-face button era.
  29. This is about the rise of a pop star, plain and simple. The real deal –- and the movie's greatest fun –- is in the rap contests.
  30. What songs, what people and what a triumph that their music won in the end.
  31. As with his other works, [Mann] binds sound, music and pictures into one hypnotic triaxial cable and plugs it right into your brain. He makes this almost-three-hour experience practically glide by.
  32. Watch this film. You may never look at nature indifferently again.
  33. The movie does what any great musician should: It lifts an idea to the heights of ecstasy; it sells its song.
  34. The Matrix Reloaded is about sensation, not logic. As such, it delivers, in spades, exactly what you should expect from a popcorn flick -- thrills, chills and spills -- plus a little more for good measure, just to keep anyone from whining who might want a beginning, a middle and an end.
  35. The fantastic and at times deliciously nihilistic world of X2 is fully, believably three-dimensional.
  36. Friendship matters to those of us who still claim membership in the human race, and Goldbacher's merciless autopsy on it is both illuminating and dispiriting.
  37. It begins by scaring you to death by evoking a monster, and by the end it has seduced you into caring for him.
  38. Sinfully watchable ensemble movie.
  39. A movie of technical skill and rare depth of intellect and feeling.
  40. I don't pretend to understand a darned thing about Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love...But it's undeniably powerful and, if you're up for the experience, exhilarating.
  41. Thanks to Caine's subtly nuanced performance, there's a deeper dimension to everything. He's snappily ironic at times, sometimes amazingly delicate, always engaging.
  42. Fascinating and transgressive love story.
  43. 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."
  44. A candid, colorful and deeply meaningful sociocultural time capsule, one that captured the black community at the height of its political energy and optimism.
  45. A hilarious fantasy, about a plucky piglet that learns how to tend sheep, Babe is a barnyard charmer.
  46. Rushmore is an almost indefinable genre of its own. A comedy with a menacing edge? An ironic romance? Hard to call.
  47. 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.
  48. Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.
  49. Old-fashioned moviemaking at its best.
  50. Everything has a Chaplinesque feeling, from the largely silent scenes to the highly visual, tragicomic situations...But The Man Without a Past is entirely free of the tramp's cloying sentimentality.
  51. Lilya's struggle to make a life for herself is both heartbreaking and heart-stirring.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a combination of good story, nice moments and appealing texture.
  52. The movie's big action scenes, at times, make you forget you're even watching animation. There's an in-your-face sequence involving a runaway, crashing train that will make you squirm in your seat trying to get out of the way.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mesmerizing art-noirish thriller.
  53. Exploding on the screen in a riot of movement, music and color.
  54. Just might be the most action-packed suspense thriller of the summer.
  55. What a good movie. Sometimes you get tired of 'splaining and you just want to say: Hey, this one's really very good. That's all, folks. It's a damn good movie.
  56. It's a wonderful postmodern hug of a movie, and never once do you not know you're watching a movie.
  57. The 11-year-old Osment evokes the boy's terror and awful predicament so memorably, you'll never forget him.
  58. An exuberance, a celebration, a hoot, a kick and a half.
  59. There's visceral horror, too, including a grisly image -- a horror-in-miniature involving a fingernail -- that located an open nerve in my jaded ability to endure screen violence.
  60. So full of creativity, so subversive, so alive.
  61. Magnificently nonchalant about its magic.
  62. Huge, sprawling, and utterly absorbing.
  63. Mamet doesn't just give us an enthralling heist flick, he makes the language something to savor. You're biting your nails with your ears peeled.
  64. Mamet's graceful, reverent movie adaptation moves along with a deliberating, almost hypnotic flow, strengthened by impeccable, dignified performances from Nigel Hawthorne, Rebecca Pidgeon and others.
  65. Mike Myers unleashes (or seems to unleash) the entire contents of his comic mind.
  66. When you think you've figured out Bielinsky's great game, that's when you're in the most trouble: He's the con, and you're just the mark.
  67. Scorsese creates a film so resonant that it is both a work of great art and an anthropological document.
  68. It's an exhilarating, funny, very sweet movie.
  69. The animation, rendered in good old-fashioned watercolors, is appealing. It's easy, rather than flashy, on the eyes. But the best thing about the movie is the humor.
  70. Searing dramatization of a story of remarkable courage, stamina and spirit.
  71. 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.
  72. The tension is never crushing, as it would be in an American job. Instead, it grows by increments, until you realize the movie, in its quiet way, has you snared entirely.
  73. Three sterling performances from Moore, Haysbert and Quaid, all of whom grapple with psychic pain in different, touching ways.
  74. His story is sad, compelling and morbidly, tragically watchable.
  75. May be a fish tale, but its story of the paradox of love -- knowing when to hold on means knowing when to let go -- is profoundly humane and human.
  76. This digitally animated movie, filled with a cast of charming, funny critters from long ago, is family entertainment at its most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
  77. You're exhilarated from beginning to end.
  78. Yes, it's that cheesy, but it's also surprisingly appealing. After all, the horse Seabiscuit really WAS that phenomenal.
  79. Evokes its spirituality with deft strokes and wonderful humor.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mysteries still surround many aspects of bird migration. This film unravels exactly none of them. Rather, in some of the most remarkable footage you'll ever see, the film lets you look over the shoulders of migrating birds.
  80. It's the atmospheric sideshow that earns the highest marks.
  81. A gift for those already in the fold, for those who get the joke and just want to savor it with other like-minded fans.
  82. There's an extra dimension here, not present in the other comedies. Not only is the material amusing, it's charmingly engaging.
  83. It gets at something exquisitely human, so human that even movie stars feel it.
  84. Although fictionalized, it feels depressingly real. It's a 90-minute newsreel with a broken heart.
  85. Each revelation seems more disturbing than the next. But Chinese treatment of Tibetans is only half the heartbreak. The other is the amazing resilience of the Tibetans, who are overwhelmingly Buddhist.
  86. Amounts to a rare gift and an opportunity to appreciate the end of an era and celebrate one of the screen's most subtly etched heroes: the soft-spoken Monsieur Georges Lopez.
  87. A movie for almost everyone, from boomer parents (who remember their teens and twenties) to their teenage kids (who can't wait to get started with same). And if there's anyone who can bring so many into the same mosh pit, it's Black, who so occupies the role you can't believe he's acting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It offers a special "something" for everyone who ever appreciated the Quiet Beatle's musical gifts and spiritual explorations.
  88. The best advice to filmgoers who appreciate smart, mature, humanist movies is, simply, Go.
  89. If Mystic River is just a bit overplayed, a tad too highly pitched, it still resonates with grief and fury and feeling.
  90. Reconfirms Tarantino's status as the master of pop cinema and puts a sense of excitement into the year. He has matched, if not eclipsed, the power and scope of 1994's "Pulp Fiction," though not its human charm.
  91. This film explores what low-budget films do best: the quirkiness of character, and slightly off-kilter comedy.
  92. A movie that throws out the rules with audacity, assurance and admirable moral seriousness.
  93. The interplay between Glass and Lane is riveting and rigorous.
  94. Gets viewers inside these tense, emotional and occasionally terrifying events with immediacy and, given the confusion of the time, remarkable clarity.
  95. The movie itself is a miracle: tough, smart, relentless, provocative and, above all, serious.

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