Jessica Kiang

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For 378 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jessica Kiang's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Foxcatcher
Lowest review score: 0 The House That Jack Built
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 378
378 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Kiang
    One of the subtler strengths of Never Look Away is the canny evocation of a war-weary, defeated population who did not experience communism as a revolution but a substitution. The insignia and the catechisms changed, but the underlying attitudes remained grotesquely similar in their callous prioritization of dogma over decency.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Kiang
    Having created a striking and potent allegory in “Blue My Mind,” and explored it with grace, seriousness, and exceptional craft, Brühlmann doesn’t seem to know quite what to do with it by the end, except to suggest that the cost of self-acceptance is vast, eternal, oceanic loneliness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Jessica Kiang
    If part of the great power of cinema is in being a visual medium that can somehow give form to the intangible, Esparza’s sophomore film is exemplary: it makes manifest such enormous, politicized intangibles as race, class and gender relations through the authentic portrayal of real lives, real people, vividly played.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Kiang
    Salmerón’s film, crammed as full of tchotchkes and knick-knacks and bibelots as one of his mother’s closets, refutes that, presenting an endearingly haphazard portrait of an extraordinary woman and the family she made — one that has discovered its own, completely unique way to be happy.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Kiang
    This unintentionally hilarious take, on territory covered much more soberly and with far less reliance on prosthetic bellies in current Netflix hit “Narcos,” is so trashy it may even make you forget a few things you knew before.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    With Bad Times at the El Royale Goddard’s comparatively leisurely pace may disappoint the more impatient, splatter-hungry genre-hounds in his fanbase, but for the rest of us, he has made impressive, enjoyable and gorgeous-to-look-at work of his “difficult second album” by defying expectations in a different way: broadening his scope, deepening his craft and letting the Bad Times roll.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Kiang
    Daly’s characterful, slow-burn tale is a well-crafted experiment in grafting genre onto disregarded history.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Kiang
    Vinterberg’s Kursk occasionally lands an emotive blow but only in its more fictionalized stretches, while it pulls its punches with the thorniest and most provocative elements of the real story, an instinct that unduly submerges much of the real horror and lasting consequence of this tragically, enragingly, heartbreakingly bungled incident.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Kiang
    Every supremely controlled stylistic element of Zhang Yimou’s breathtakingly beautiful Shadow is an echo of another, a motif repeated, a pattern recurring in a fractionally different way each time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    With all this evocative material available it’s unfortunate that Kent lavishes so much of the overgenerous runtime on repetitive and redundant plotting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    So much does not connect here and so much is designed to discomfit that there is unexpected resonance when Alverson lays aside the scabrousness and puts down oddball drollery to remind us that inside every lonely young man, there’s a shivering kid waiting to be picked up and brought in from the snow.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Jessica Kiang
    It is sentimental and sprawling, which are not necessarily bad things, but also manipulative and contrived, which very much are.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Jessica Kiang
    Without compromising the complexity of the issues raised, or condescending to the youth of its protagonists, The Hate U Give strides with absorbing, intelligent certainty through the desperately dangerous, uneven terrain of racially divided America.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Kiang
    This kinky, often grotesque melding of genre science-fiction with all-out body horror is an audacious project, but the scope of its ambition is cleverly reined in by the low-key presentation, its more salacious potential muted down to an insistent threatening hum, like the background radiation of Stuart Staples’ score.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jessica Kiang
    The film Harron delivers is so ambivalent as to be frustratingly gun-shy about truly asserting a point of view, or adding anything meaningful to the already thriving cottage industry of Manson-adjacent storytelling.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Jessica Kiang
    Creaky visual effects, slapdash plotting and a script drunk on cliché: There’s pretty much nothing but cheap parlor trickery here.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Kiang
    Émond obviously has deep feeling for Arcan, and “Nelly” is a sincere and respectful attempt to do at least partial, fragmentary justice to a troubled woman able to self-create any persona except a happy one, but it can’t put her back together again.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Jessica Kiang
    Crudely put: it is distancing to hear people cry for help or speak anguished, halting truths from their hearts in a second language, and for all the bruising effectiveness of the filmmaking at times, it’s a distraction which 22 July never quite overcomes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Wrapped up in Portman’s like-it-or-loathe-it-you-cannot-ignore-it performance (I love it, for the record) and Corbet’s astonishingly confident filmmaking chutzpah — all fast-motion montages, off-kilter framing, and bravura soundtrack collisions between Walker’s score and Sia/Celeste’s pop tracks — it somehow becomes a jagged, messy but endlessly intriguing whole.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Jessica Kiang
    It’s a long, deliriously filmic, primal banshee-howl of macabre imagination that leaves us hormonal and drunk on delusion: the beautiful, thrilling, lurid lie of cinema.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Jessica Kiang
    Taken individually, there are cherishable moments and performances scattered throughout “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” like so many flecks of gold amid the silt. But as a whole, the film has to be chalked down to a perplexingly minor addition to one of the most beloved cinematic canons of our time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    The star that is truly born here is Cooper as a director.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jessica Kiang
    This time the irony is of the tragic kind, and the stinging, wicked wit is tinctured with wholly new notes of tenderness.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 91 Jessica Kiang
    This is personal filmmaking taken to such an extremely minute level that at times it can almost feel prurient, like we’re accidentally eavesdropping on things too private for our ears, like we’ve intercepted an embrace sent back through time and not really meant for us at all.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    Steering an astonishingly accomplished path between the small steps and the giant leaps of the Apollo 11 mission, reigning Best Director Damien Chazelle opens the 75th Venice Film Festival with First Man, an immersive, immaculately crafted, often spectacular and satisfyingly old-fashioned epic that may well become the definitive moon-landing movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Kiang
    Singular as that story might be, what makes I Am Not a Witch unique, however, is Nyoni’s abundant, maybe even overabundant directorial confidence. It’s rare and exhilarating that a new filmmaker arrives on the scene so sure of herself and so willing to take bold, counter-intuitive chances.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Jessica Kiang
    While the supernaturally-tinged plot may be outlandish, the commitment and confidence of the actors, and of Kienle in delivering what could be shallow twists with a surprising amount of emotional effect and psychological insight, give the film its melancholic, meditative texture.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Jessica Kiang
    It’s a testament to Kitano’s effortlessly sleek, inherently watchable filmmaking (he reteams with regular DP Katsumi Yanagijima and uses the atonal descending motif of composer Keiichi Suzuki’s score to good effect) that you’re just about kept in your seat throughout all the speechifying.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jessica Kiang
    It’s possible that the film’s passing pleasures are so rich that we don’t even notice how deep Okada has driven her storytelling dagger until she pulls it out in the end, and the tears come, adding, to the bitterness and sweetness of this moving and strange little fable, a hefty dose of salt.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Jessica Kiang
    This affectionate portrait avoids the major pitfall of comparable docs like Asif Kapadia‘s “Amy” or Kevin Macdonald‘s recent “Whitney” in that it steadfastly refuses to make Williams’ death the defining aspect of his life.

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