Washington Post's Scores

For 7,407 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Man on Wire
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Silverman
Score distribution:
7407 movie reviews
  1. Outstanding entertainment for little ones but just as rewarding for their adult companions.
  2. Although it's a drama, Osama feels like urgent documentary.
  3. Though computer-animated rather than hand-drawn, this wry, rippingly paced buddy movie is as delightful in its own way as any of Walt Disney's traditional fairy tales.
  4. Unusual, unexpected and strangely refreshing. For this movie to have resorted to a familiar action-flick finish with everything explained, pressed and dry-cleaned would have rendered it banal.
  5. It's a classic story in form, and in this country it used to star Jimmy Cagney.
  6. The movie does what any great musician should: It lifts an idea to the heights of ecstasy; it sells its song.
  7. Fascinating and transgressive love story.
  8. Obliged to go from lost soul to demigod, Sewell's performance is as fascinating as Proyas's mystical vision.
  9. The performances are accomplished, but the real star of Hustle & Flow is Brewer, a playwright who has written and directed a few other movies but who is effectively making a breathtaking national debut here.
  10. This all makes for a deeply entertaining experience that engages our hearts as well as our funny bones. And it's gratifying to see Cruz finally get her due.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But no, Lethal Weapon 2 is no artless, autopiloted waste of precious movie-theater air conditioning. It's fun stuff -- crackling, playfully escapist summer fare that doesn't make you feel taken advantage of later.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The movie is full of wonderful little touches: Syndrome, the bad guy, is drawn to remind viewers of "Heat Miser" from the classic Christmas cartoon "The Year Without a Santa Claus."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As always, Lee fills his story with bold, vivid, glib characters who manage to be entertaining even as they flail at one another.
  11. A disconcertingly assured tango between tenderness and brutality.
  12. 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.
  13. It's a wonderful postmodern hug of a movie, and never once do you not know you're watching a movie.
  14. It's funny and human and really pretty damned wonderful, all at once.
    • Washington Post
  15. Chomet's vision is singularly strange and somber, and one of enormous originality and promise.
  16. The dance between authenticity and storymaking works beautifully.
  17. 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.
  18. Notre Musique is really a poetic essay, masterfully intermixing the director's mournful-toned, philosophical narration with documentary and staged moments.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For those who want to relive Ali's glory days, and for those who think Ali was nothing but a prizefighter, this movie, which took the struggling Gast 20 years to get financed, is required viewing.
  19. Although the cast is uniformly strong, the real revelation here is "The X-Files' " Anderson, who plays Lily with subtle gradations of emotional depth unexpected from someone who has made a career out of deadpan.
  20. Viewers who come to this delicate creation with expectations of just another quaint or sad story are in for a surprise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a combination of good story, nice moments and appealing texture.
  21. What "The Big Chill" was to baby boomers, the inspirational sex, lies, and videotape is to the mall crowd. It's designer soul-searching, a looking glass for a generation.
  22. Wise, funny, sweet, sexy and kind.
  23. It feels like real life unfolding before your eyes.
  24. 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.
  25. It's the atmospheric sideshow that earns the highest marks.
  26. Without its animation, A Scanner Darkly would have made a fine cautionary tale about drug addiction, paranoia and institutional treachery in a police state. But with a technique that turns the existing live action into a two-dimensional cartoon, the movie goes one -- maybe even 10 -- better. It becomes its own living, breathing metaphor.
  27. From its opening shots, the film is like an invigorating elixir, a movie pick-me-up that delivers thrills and races your pulse but keeps your head in gear too. It's divinely frivolous, nearly perfect fun.
  28. Unlike "Heathers," a satiric treatment of teen suicide, Pump Up the Volume is passionately caring. It's a howl from the heart, a relentlessly involving movie that gives a kid every reason to believe that he or she can come of age. It appreciates the pimples and pitfalls of this frightening passage, the transit commonly known as adolescence.
  29. 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.
  30. This rapturous romance is not only laugh-out-loud funny but demonstrates how little humankind has evolved in matters of the heart.
  31. Steers refreshingly clear of the usual cliches. Character takes the wheel and dictates the action, not the other way around.
  32. Turns out to be not just rude, crude and outrageously funny but a deceptively sophisticated meditation on moral agency -- with pot jokes!
  33. Mullan's movie is admiringly uncompromising. He refuses to augment the horrors with relief.
  34. Costner (with Michael Blake's screenplay) creates a vision so childlike, so willfully romantic, it's hard to put up a fight.
  35. Merchant's attention to Trinidadian culture, locales and general atmosphere is inescapably alluring.
  36. It conforms to that twisted French genius's typical opus: grisly, ironic but minuscule and sordid.
  37. This isn't a stand up and cheer flick; it's a sit down and ponder affair. And thanks to Kline's superbly nuanced performance, that pondering is highly pleasurable.
  38. The movie itself is a miracle: tough, smart, relentless, provocative and, above all, serious.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Terry Gilliam is the wit behind this lavish display of sieges, sea-creature tussles and trips to the moon. Adapting the handed-down stories of Baron Von Munchausen, an 18th-century spinner of tall tales, this modern maker of similar flights of fancy has created another brilliantly inventive epic of fantasy and satire.
  39. No matter how you come down on this movie politically, Dogville is a compelling chamber piece with constant cinematic surprises. And you remember that von Trier is, above everything else, a consummate filmmaker.
  40. Passionate, literally shimmering movie.
  41. This is a fully realized movie, whose intelligence -- despite its grim findings -- dwarfs any Hollywood production.
  42. Gromit's every facial move -- every grimace, scowl, eye-roll and glance askance -- is sublime.
    • Washington Post
  43. Few films are more assured in their storytelling or build more forcefully, irrevocably toward their resolution.
  44. With a cast of actors playing some of England's smartest people and with a crackling script by Stoppard -- no slouch in the brains department -- it pays to stay awake.
  45. There's nothing bogus about this locomotivated follow-up; it's a truly excellent adventure, hilariously inventive, greased-lightning paced and dumb-bunny brilliant.
  46. The disturbing ideas it plants in the soil of the soul need time and darkness ? not light ? to germinate.
  47. His story is sad, compelling and morbidly, tragically watchable.
  48. This uncommonly intelligent thriller evokes the great films of the 1970s ("All the President's Men," "Klute," "Three Days of the Condor") that managed to elicit gritty urban realism while maintaining a suave sense of style and moral complexity.
  49. Surprisingly powerful and universal: the search for meaning and small blessings in the face of life's utter randomness.
  50. Takes both its characters and the audience to the depths, but it's a journey Kidd redeems with wit and fluency and, ultimately, a deeply persistent humanism.
  51. It's his best work by far.
  52. Part of the spell cast by this magical film is its ability to make an unvarnished political statement about economic reality and social alienation while, at the same time, seducing its audience into believing in the transformative power of love and the almost supernatural beauty of the everyday.
  53. A memorable and devastating indictment of the oppression facing many women in Iran.
  54. It has the aspirations of an epic of crime and punishment, a superb feel for time and milieu, and an almost subliminal feel for myth.
  55. 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.
  56. If Kelly felt it necessary to add the new material, that's all to the good. It just means there's more to love.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Del Toro moves his story along with unrelenting energy and wit while introducing the opposing parties with admirable efficiency.
  57. The director isn't much on orgies; he's all talk. But that's good, not bad, because his talk is so brilliant. Stillman is the Balzac of the ironic class, the Dickens of people with too much inner life.
  58. A movie of technical skill and rare depth of intellect and feeling.
  59. 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.
  60. The movie is -- how can I say this? -- funny as hell. It's like an old Mad magazine "Scenes We'd Like to See" put together by someone on crystal meth, with a vicious streak, an existentialist streak and no mercy anywhere in his soul and only the tiniest flinch at the end, which is probably, sigh, the best way to end.
  61. A delectable reworking of the ultimate girl's myth, a corporate Cinderella story with shades of a self-made Pygmalion.
  62. 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.

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