For 189 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Caryn James' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Little Women
Lowest review score: 0 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 189
  2. Negative: 41 out of 189
189 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    Men
    A glib misreading of Men might reduce it to: "Ha! Men! They're all alike." But the film's ending emphasises how much Harper's trials and Garland's film have been about her profound tangle of love, grief and understanding.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    For many of us, especially in the West, the film is likely to be confusing here and there. It would have been helpful, for example, if the subtitles had let us know who's speaking Russian and who's speaking Ukrainian. But it is worth a bit of confusion for a film so powerful and immediate, and made with such a lucid artistic vision.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Caryn James
    Writer and director Andrew Semans puts Hall in every scene of this modest but effective thriller, and she comes through with a stunning, charismatic performance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    A flawed little time capsule, the doc veers uneasily between kindly character portrait and shallow attempt at media studies.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    Stolevski depicts the young creature’s journey toward humanity with sensitivity and increasing investment.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    The story has its moments of suspense, especially when Nina's child wanders off from the beach. But the soul of the film exists in the small exchanges and tensions between characters.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    Full of energy, wit, passion and tragedy, looking backward and forward at once, it is one of the most moving films of the year.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Caryn James
    With a predictable trajectory and cringeworthy metaphors, The Starling is so slushily sentimental it makes the typical tearjerker look like a noir. Despite the lived-in performances from its three high-profile stars, this attempt at heartfelt drama is hopelessly by-the-numbers.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Caryn James
    The best that can be said about When I’m a Moth is that it is not lurid, although it does seem pointless.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    While its mystical subject defies logic, Sara Dosa’s verite film is cogent and appealing thanks to a savvy strategy. Dosa respects Ragga’s beliefs without endorsing them, and positions her activism as a metaphor for saving the environment.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    There are great concert movies and great socio-political documentaries, but Summer of Soul combines both in one gloriously entertaining and intellectually astute film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    Black Widow does become typically Avengers at the end, with an overwrought, too-long action scene that plays like a festival of stunt doubles tossing each other around a Russian lab. The real ending is better: a post-credit sequence brings back Pugh as Yelena in a tease that is not terribly surprising but is extremely welcome.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    Beavan's costumes are dazzling throughout, including Cruella's glittering red dress at the Baroness's gala. But when the costumes overwhelm the characters and story, there's something hollow at the film's centre.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Caryn James
    Duty Free is warm, personal, beautifully structured and socially relevant as it creates a vivid portrait of its real-life heroine and the ageism she encounters. Smoothly edited into a swift 71 minutes, the film rarely goes beneath the surface of its issues, but that surface is smart and, taking its cues from Rebecca, refreshingly unsentimental.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Caryn James
    There is plenty to admire technically in his drama . . . But its substance is a mashup of ill-fitting parts, indebted to both Romeo and Juliet and Douglas Sirk.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    Writer and director Sam Levinson, who also created the audacious and enthralling HBO series Euphoria, gives the familiar story a makeover with dynamic, sensitive performances from its hugely talented stars, and a story that broadens to include race and the new Hollywood.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    This new Rebecca feels as if someone at Downton Abbey were having a bad day.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    McDormand’s commanding, deeply empathetic performance holds the film together. She is so convincing and unaffected that it feels as if Fern is another non-actor whom Zhao magically gets to be natural on screen.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Caryn James
    The documentary does not display artistic flair or innovation, but that is not its purpose. It is solid and straightforward in style, but extraordinary in its access and in how clearly her personality and philosophy emerge.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    Although the individual episodes are gripping, the plot trajectory is obvious, especially when we arrive at an ending that's easy to see from the start. But it works because there is something quietly miraculous about the way Hanks embodies this character, making him the stirring and fresh emotional centre of a beautifully old-fashioned Western.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    In the end, Baby God does little more than check one more name on a list of predators.
    • 11 Metascore
    • 10 Caryn James
    It may seem very on the nose that the word "disaster" is right there in the title, but then nothing seems too leaden for this fiasco.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    The cast, though, is full of extraordinary actors, who do what they can to redeem a lame script and style.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    The film takes place largely in two down and dirty rooms, the recording studio and a basement where the band rehearses, but it doesn’t feel stage bound. Wolfe finds the right balance between letting Wilson’s trademark monologues flow and shooting them in a cinematic way that keeps the film moving.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    On the Rocks is practically a distillation of Coppola’s Lost in Translation style. Each scene is compact and feels lived in, without any urgent narrative drive. That elegant surface makes it seem like a trifle, but there are layers beneath.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Caryn James
    I Am Greta is a smoothly constructed view of a heroine in the making, and of how the world largely embraced and sometimes dismissed her.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    One of Lee’s brilliant choices is to refuse to put a soppy romantic gloss on the affair. He suggests instead that passion can blind lovers to a true understanding of each other as easily as it can open their eyes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Caryn James
    Writer and director Richard Tanne (Southside With You, about Barack and Michelle Obama's first date) takes what sounds like a terrible idea and transforms it into a sleek, well-played romance that largely makes the cliches believable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Caryn James
    The slow-burn film features superbly understated acting and astute visuals. This is Mariani's first fiction film after having made two documentaries and shorts, but its ambition and accomplishment are fully formed.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Caryn James
    Da 5 Bloods is Spike Lee at his mature best, made with his distinctive, passionate voice and kinetic artistry.

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