For 1,192 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
Score distribution:
1192 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    It’s Klein at his most conservatively verité and least pointedly judgmental — he was a fan of the game and setting, after all — but he still offers up a tapestry of personalities, playing and performing that captures what is ineffably beautiful and edgy about tennis, at a time when it was as popular as it had ever been.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    What keeps Les Nôtres from being effective, however, is that it rarely makes the transition from coolly observed case study to compellingly messy, resonant human drama.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa’s clinical and fascinating 135-minute assembly of this priceless archive is a categorically weird, thrillingly immersive distillation of four days of official, cultish pomp and mourning for one of the 20th century’s biggest monsters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    If Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue and its intimate tapestry of peasant fortitude and artistic endeavor won’t be as immediately resonant to audiences outside of China as his expansive masterpieces “A Touch of Sin” or “Still Life” are, it’s still a valuable document.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    When juxtaposed against a history of Iranian cinema that has often relied on child-centric allegory and non-specific narrative to make its societal critiques, There Is No Evil practically blisters with the intensity of specifically living in Iran as it exists now, as a state once believed to carry out the most executions of any country outside China.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Less a hand-wringing dispatch from a repressive land than a judiciously glossy nudge toward a better world, The Perfect Candidate isn’t complicated, yet earns its mixed/hopeful conclusion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Ego-stroking bio docs being a cottage industry these days, Balvin is one of the more disarmingly open figures to get this kind of treatment. But it’s also nice that The Boy From Medellín makes the most of its allotted time with a busy phenomenon to at least dabble in the ins and outs of an artist contemplating his place in the world.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Youthful self-expression is a joyride in a minefield in Danny Madden’s Beast Beast, an adrenalized, tone-shifting indie bringing the technology-fueled lives of three suburban souls of varying circumstances, hopes and concerns into pathways destined to converge.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    It’s off-putting the way Velle bombards us with statistics and warnings and ominous music before settling in to his (mostly white) brain trust of researchers and experts expounding on population growth as the survival topic we shouldn’t be afraid to address.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Abele
    Hope isn’t about getting you to cry, even as some of its characters occasionally do, but rather giving you an invigorating, even uplifting sense of what hearts can do under duress; nothing is forcibly tragic here, just experienced fully and openly.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Between the forced artistry and the confused tones, it leaves this well-intentioned tale of transgressive imagination and transactional humanity more temporary in its effect than permanent.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Hermanus, as a Black, queer South African, isn’t about to paint Nicholas’ predicament as on a par with apartheid’s true victims. But the emotional intelligence he infuses Moffie with — all the way through its inevitable march to the front line — feels personal nonetheless, and empathetically inquisitive about the kind of masculine indoctrination that fuels oppression through rituals of violence and the criminalizing of identity.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Poetic and painterly, personal and political.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Part tribute, part reconciliation, "Tina" makes a beautiful case for why survival sometimes means saying goodbye.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Restless and bracing, Wojnarowicz gives a notorious life its due. Even at its clunkiest, it leaves you breathless at the heights of personal expression he achieved.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The best nuggets come from the interviews, as when a lawyer remarks that when it comes to white-collar criminals, they historically have no filter on the phone.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The People vs. Agent Orange has a gripping urgency, especially as a reminder that the history of chemicals’ effects on our bodies is still being written and fought over, and that what a secretive industry is allowed to cover up, it will.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    This two-part, three-hour film is marked by immediacy and breadth, as if an on-the-fly news bulletin had naturally morphed into the richest of character-driven sagas.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    As far as shutdown-inspired projects go, Erēmīta (Anthologies) has a certain felicitous intimacy, proof that when called to action, artists can meet a given moment — and the boundaries that come with it — with ideas at the ready, their eyes primed to see.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    It’s a deceptively dimensional portrayal, that of someone who worries his stage is getting smaller and smaller. And in Frias’ magnetic feature is enough spirit, sound and artistry to give his journey a meaningful spotlight.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    It’s valuable when any vérité documentary with such a vantage point is able to show us how many societal ills — from addiction to gun violence to poverty to gentrification to incarceration — can touch one family, keeping them in a near-constantly reeling state.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Sin
    Neither agonizing nor ecstatic, but solidly cinematic, Andrei Konchalovsky’s Michelangelo biopic Sin sees the veteran Russian filmmaker tackling the mystery of genius with what might be described as sumptuous grit.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Though admirably sensitive to the inner lives of opened souls, The World to Come is more a journal with faded photographs than a past made vividly present.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    A refreshing instance of world building where the emphasis is on satirical wit, activist smarts and character, it feels like one of those movies we’ll be looking at decades from now and, however tech has transformed our lives, saying “Yeah, ‘Lapsis’ had that.”
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Robert Abele
    The veneer of historical reality is thin on the baldly nativist and manipulative Serbian World War II movie Dara of Jasenovac, a slickly made extermination camp drama about child peril that will test the patience of even the most rigorous students of cultural representations of genocide.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Abele
    Two of Us is one of those artfully crafted movies that never plays as such, because its proud, beating heart is so front and center, and its faith in the power of love and desire so energizing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    In Kawase’s delicate hands, however, it breathes with an everyday poignancy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Of course, our desire to know more may be the aim in his making art out of civilization’s rubble — that he can get us to pay attention through the sheer majesty of how he pays attention, hopefully making for true engagement, not mere spectating. Still, sometimes you just want more than what you’re given. That’s human too.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Abele
    Hypnotic and heartbreaking, Identifying Features is a feature debut to marvel at, but only once you’re able to shake off the bone-deep chills emanating from Mexican filmmaker Fernanda Valadez’s disorienting tale of a mother’s search for her missing son.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    What exists in this visualized afterward may not look like anything, but that’s why we’re fortunate to have artists like Vasyanovych to show us what’s dazzling, strange, tragic, comic, touching and eventually optimistic about the way forward.

Top Trailers