ABC News' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 148 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 72% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 In the Heights
Lowest review score: 5 Vanquish
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 148
  2. Negative: 13 out of 148
148 movie reviews
  1. Sometimes a shamelessly retro wartime romance is all the escape you need and Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen add class and wicked humor to this fact-based WW2 spy thriller about how British intelligence used a corpse to put one over on Hitler.
  2. The return of Benedict Cumberbatch to the world of Strange may seem chaotic madness to the uninitiated, but it’s thrilling to see livewire director Sam Raimi breathe hilarity and juicy horror into the Marvel formula that so needed a shakeup. This is it.
  3. Nicolas Cage plays Nicolas Cage in this whacked-out meta-comedy that doesn’t always hang together as a movie but cements its gonzo star as the eighth wonder of the world when it comes to highwire acting without a net.
  4. Enchantment still beckons in the third of J.K. Rowling’s planned five film prequel to Harry Potter, but this flagging franchise—beset with controversies among its creative team—slogs when it most needs to soar.
  5. If long, loud and ludicrous is your kind of movie escapism, check out director Michael Bay’s latest shot of adrenalized, de-humanized filmmaking as a psycho bank robber (Jake Gyllenhaal) commandeers an ambulance as a getaway car. Entertaining? Exhausting is more like it.
  6. Jared Leto goes the extra mile to bring a minor-league villain from Marvel Comics to the big screen, but this botched horrorfest about the so-called “living vampire” is less deserving of a sequel than a stake through its heart.
  7. This all-over-the-place, all-silly, all-star (Bullock, Tatum, Radcliffe, Pitt) throwback to 1980’s escapism—think “Romancing the Stone”—radiates such a puppy-dog eagerness to please that you want to pet it instead of pointing out its faults.
  8. There are glimmers of the perversely fascinating murder mystery of the classic 1957 Patricia Highsmith novel, but this misguided update suffers from a lack of suspense, wit and undetectable sexual chemistry between Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. Read the book, skip the movie.
  9. Ryan Reynolds leads an A-list cast in this ‘Back to the Future’ nostalgia trip that coasts down well-worn roads instead of paving new ones with fresh imagination. But there are still laughs and tears to be had this cynicism-free throwback to ‘80s family entertainment.
  10. Pixar tackles the topic of female puberty in this animated funhouse ride about a 13-year girl from Toronto’s Chinatown who turns into a giant red panda in this wise and wonderful metaphor for the roller coaster of messy adolescence.
  11. Director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson see the Caped Crusader as more film-noir detective than comic-book hero in their mesmerizing mindbender that aims high even when it misses the mark. It’s a grenade of pure cinema ready to blow.
  12. You’ve seen ‘Being the Ricardos,” but you’ll never understand the successful partnership and failed marriage of sitcom icons Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz until you see Amy Poehler’s emotional roadmap of a documentary. Between the laughs, you’ll blink back tears.
  13. Dog
    So what if star and co-director Channing Tatum lays on the sniffles in this tale of an Army Ranger and a K9 warrior named Lulu, who steals every scene she's in. They’re both PTSD-scarred combat veterans who try to heal each other and they hit you like a shot in the heart.
  14. Better lower your expectations about this video game turned movie. But Tom Holland, teaming up with Mark Wahlberg, proves his Spider Man success is no fluke, which makes this Indiana Jones knockoff more watchable than it has any right to be.
  15. It’s shameless fluff wrapped in a blanket of bland. You won’t believe a word of this romcom knockoff, but JLo and Owen Wilson work real hard to convince you that love is the answer.
  16. Even a lackluster script and dodgy computer effects can’t screw up the retro bliss doled out by director and star Kenneth Branagh as he sets sail for Egypt with an all-star cast of suspects who keep you guessing whodunit.
  17. Joachim Trier’s scintillating Oscar contender from Norway, led by a captivating new star in Renate Reinsve, sets a new gold standard for romantic comedy just before it sneaks up and hits you like a shot in the heart.
  18. This two-hour film wrap-up of the unjustly cancelled crime series may feel patchy and uneven, but it still gives Liev Schreiber’s iconic Ray—a hardcase-for-hire who can fix anything but the nightmare of his past— the send-off he and we deserve.
  19. Here’s your chance to catch up with the best movie you never heard of, a flat-out masterpiece from Japan that’s a frontrunner to win the international Oscar and maybe pull a Parasite and compete for Best Picture. Why not? It’s enthralling from first scene to last.
  20. Oscar shortlisted for best animated film, this ravishing new gem from anime master Mamoru Hosoda is a knockout fantasia that cuts to the core of Gen Z lives that revolve around digi-tech and yet speaks an intimate universal language of love and loss.
  21. Way fiercer and funnier than a fourth sequel has any right to be. Here's ‘Scream’ for a new generation – so self-aware that it mocks itself for relying on borrowed inspiration (the 1996 Wes Craven original) while squeezing the golden goose for one last payoff.
  22. There’s nothing fresh or surprising about a boy coming of age with the help of his bartender uncle (Ben Affleck reminding us what a terrific actor he can be), but director George Clooney’s affection for the characters serves up a winning blend of laughs and tears.
  23. What a bummer to kick off 2022 at the movies with a lame, gender-flipped mission impossible. Chastain and her team of women warriors could have shown the guys how action cinema is done. Instead, director Simon Kinberg traps them in an empty, soulless mess.
  24. Note to Oscar: Make sure a best actress nomination happens for the blazing Penelope Cruz in this emotional powerhouse from director Pedro Almodovar about a Madrid photographer coping with an unplanned pregnancy and a tangled political past.
  25. Peter Dinklage sings! Pushing past the conventional elements in Joe Wright’s ravishing musical version of a unrequited love, Dinklage makes believers of us all. His Cyrano thinks his small size makes him a freak. But it's not a poetic ideal he can't live up to, it's his. That's his tragedy.
  26. Thank Maggie Gyllenhaal, in a stunning debut as director and screenwriter, for creating one of the year’s very best movies starring the magnificent Olivia Colman as a mother haunted by her troubled past. This, you do not want to miss
  27. It’s been 18 years between ‘Matrix’ sequels, but beneath the action chaos of warring computer codes are Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, proving that they’re still romantic icons of timeless cool in a movie that’s a stone-cold trip. Wowza!
  28. The carny scenes of freaks and geeks are undeniably creepy, but director Guillermo del Toro’s hallucinatory brilliance only comes in flashes as Bradley Cooper and a dynamite cast struggle to build a mesmerizing misfire into the classic it might have been.
  29. Tom Holland is better than ever in his surprise-packed, third solo outing as a teen hero in a onesie who’s out to save the world and a faltering pandemic box office. But this time the generic thrills are tempered with genuine emotion. Good one, Spidey.
  30. If you cherrypick the good stuff from a sea of unfocused choices, McKay’s all-star comedy (Leo! JLaw! Meryl!) about impending doom has its playful and provocative pleasures. But the laughs don’t stick in the throat the way they must in a screwball farce that ends in utter hopelessness.
  31. Sorkin distills what made Lucille Ball a comedy legend and a prickly feminist pioneer into one tumultuous week of production on “I Love Lucy.” As for those who thought Kidman would be all wrong as the fiery redhead, won’t you be surprised—she’s all-stops-out fabulous.
  32. The year’s most indelibly inventive animated adventure mixes graphic design with documentary realism and puts hallucinatory brilliance at the service of understanding the continuing psychic damage of war. You’ll never forget it.
  33. Is it sacrilege for Spielberg to re-imagine the Oscar-winning 1961 musical classic? Not when it’s this thrilling. Not when two new stars—Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose— get to share the screen with the legendary Rita Moreno. Then Spielberg sets the screen ablaze.
  34. Darkness stays on the edges of Hollywood town in Paul Thomas Anderson’s screwball comedy explosion about the serious business of first love. Newbies Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman light up the screen in one of the very best movies of the year. They’re to die for.
  35. Amid the jumble of fake Italian accents and overall too-muchness, an Oscar-ready Lady Gaga is flat-out fabulous. Is this ravishing soap opera of high fashion and higher crimes outrageous camp or “The Godfather” in designer duds? I’m calling a tossup.
  36. The creator of ‘Hamilton,’ Lin Manuel Miranda, offers a stirring tribute to the creator of ‘Rent,’ Jonathan Larson, whose too short life—as acted and sung by the sensational Andrew Garfield—becomes a love letter to his soaring spirit.
  37. As the hard-driving daddy of Venus and Serena Williams, Will Smith gives the performance of his life in an unapologetic crowd-pleaser. You just may want to stand up and cheer.
  38. No Joker in sight as the stellar and always surprising Joaquin Phoenix shows his tender side in this bracing, bittersweet family dramedy from Mike Mills, whose movie is a quiet thing, but with a delicate, soulful magic you won’t soon forget.
  39. Can Jane Campion’s Montana western about toxic masculinity and repressed sexuality win Netflix its first Best Picture Oscar? With a never-better Benedict Cumberbatch leading a dynamite cast, let’s just say that no list of the year’s best movies will be complete without this cinematic powder keg.
  40. No wonder Kenneth Branagh’s funny, touching and vital look at his own coming of age in Northern Ireland’s turbulent capital city is the Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture. No movie this year cuts a clearer, truer path of the heart. It’s his personal best.
  41. Kristen Stewart is so good as Princes Diana—it’s the performance of her life—that the Academy should start engraving her name on the Best Actress Oscar.
  42. Starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga in two of the year’s best performances, this mesmerizing film about race, class and gender identity in the 1920s speaks urgently to right now and marks a brilliant directing debut from Rebecca Hall.
  43. A Marvel epic that values personal connections over spectacle? Sorry adrenaline junkies, but that’s what Oscar-winning, indie director Chloe Zhao brings to her first superhero blockbuster. The slow-paced result is uneven, but memorably inclusive and unique.
  44. The endlessly inventive Wes Anderson and a cast of all-stars use all the tools of cinema to give a big, fat, loving smooch to, of all things, print journalism and the gifted eccentrics who practice it. Too fussy? Maybe. But what an exuberant gift of a memory piece.
  45. Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s dauntingly complex novel can sputter and flirt with incoherence, but the director and his actors, led by an all-in Timothée Chalamet, find the pow and the poetry in this cornucopia of visual astonishments.
  46. It gets the job done for trick-or-treat season, but this sequel falls short of expectations by sidelining its luminous star Jamie Lee Curtis and substituting rote mayhem for an inventively scary frightfest.
  47. Harrowing to watch, but impossible to shake, this emotional powerhouse catches two sets of parents, brilliantly played by Martha Plimpton, Jason Isaacs, Reed Birney and an Oscar-worthy Ann Dowd, in the traumatic aftermath of a school shooting.
  48. Despite a sappy ending that surprises in all the wrong ways, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final go-round as 007 cements his reputation as the gold-standard James Bond of the 21st century and lays down a challenge for anyone—he or she—who dares to follow him.
  49. Joel Coen’s triumphant film version of Shakespeare’s tragedy astounds on every level, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, two acting titans, playing an aging couple taking their last shot at murderous ambition. There is no way you can take your eyes off them.
  50. This big-screen prequel to ‘The Sopranos,’ with a touching Michael Gandolfini playing the teen version of the role created by his late father, is good, but not good enough to score as a great mob epic in its own right.
  51. Firing up the Oscar race for Best Actress, a virtuoso Jessica Chastain raises up this formula biopic about televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker by redeeming her reputation as a cultural joke in clown makeup and finding the soul beneath the sparkle.
  52. Flawed? You bet, but the film of the Broadway musical about teen suicide is not the crime against humanity some claim. Yes, Ben Platt, 27 is playing a high school kid, but he inhabits the role he created on stage with every fiber of his being and hits you like a shot in the heart.
  53. This meandering neo-western is far from classic Eastwood. But Eastwood, at 91, is still classic in every sense of the word.
  54. A new Paul Schrader movie is always an event and this spellbinding meditation on sin and salvation—seen through the eyes of a gambler (a superb Oscar Isaac) who counts cards to both escape and confront his torturous past—is one of his best.
  55. So what if the showoff climax deserts depth for dazzle. As the first Asian hero in Marvel history, former stuntman Simu Liu is action poetry in motion and his epic starring debut kicks off the fall film season on a rousing high note.
  56. Manufactured for the ‘Kissing Booth’ crowd, this gender-swapped, TikTok-friendly update of the 1999 teen hit sounds awful and it often is, but enough charm pokes through the cracks to sucker anyone who ever fell for a makeover fable.
  57. The scares are off the charts, but only as a means to confront the film’s thoughtful messaging about racial injustice. Dynamite star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and director Nia DaCosta make you think hard about everything you see. Welcome to a new horror classic.
  58. You'll laugh, you'll cry and all steps in between at this vital family entertainment with a title that stands for Children of Deaf Adults. Oscar winner Marlee Matlin and newcomer Emilia Jones turn this emotional powerhouse into one of the year's best movies
  59. Even Hugh Jackman's indisputable star power can't light up the pretentious, pseudo-poetic, sci-fi murk of this thundering misfire, which will only make you remember other, better movie mindbenders. ‘Blade Runner’ anyone?
  60. This by-the-numbers Aretha Franklin biopic is all about Jennifer Hudson doing Aretha proud. And does she ever. As the legendary Queen of Soul, Hudson does not, will not, cannot hit a wrong note, creating a respectful tribute to both their radiant talents.
  61. Ryan Reynolds piles on the charm as a bland bank teller who discovers he’s just a pixelated extra in a violent video game. The comedy could have been sharper, spikier and riskier—like ‘The Truman Show’— but this summer funfest goes down easy, even for non-gamers.
  62. In a summer of junk, cinema visionary David Lowery delivers a modern movie masterpiece about a wannabe knight (a sensational, Oscar worthy Dev Patel) who must fight monsters he can and cannot see. It’s a unique and unforgettable film that ranks with the year's best.
  63. The gloriously unhinged filmmaker James Gunn keeps Margot Robbie, John Cena and a top cast of crazies firing on all cylinders and turns a botch job original that was the worst movie of 2016 into the dazzling, down-and-dirty whirlwind it was always meant to be.
  64. As a blunt-force Oklahoma oil rigger trying to save his daughter jailed in France for murder, Matt Damon gives an indelible, implosive performance in a deeply personal human drama disguised as a crime thriller.
  65. The Rock and Emily Blunt knock themselves out to entertain in this dopey, derivative, theme-park ride of a movie. But, hey, the kids will love it and in the words of the Metallica thrasher that bizarrely found its way onto the soundtrack, “nothing else matters.
  66. Old
    Shot with a poet's eye and a tin ear for dialogue, this tricked-up thriller about the horror of getting old too fast brings out the best and worst in M. Knight Shyamalan by throwing a wet beach blanket on a Covid-resonant premise about sudden death and the collapse of time.
  67. Critics will pick on this overstuffed sequel to the 1996 animated-live-action hoops hit. It’s what we do when an alleged creative enterprise turns into a corporate ad campaign. Expect no grumbles from the under-13 crowd eager to eyeball LeBron James jamming in cyberspace with cartoon royalty.
  68. Even when bloated Marvel action robs the film of intimacy, Johansson digs deep into how her Russian assassin once felt outside the Avengers bubble. And Pugh deserves Oscar love as her pretend sister in this fab and fitting salute to female empowerment.
  69. Set in 1954 Detroit, Soderbergh’s terrific, twisty, film-noir throwback keeps a lot of racial, political and sexual tension simmering under the surface, providing a field day for actors who interact with clockwork precision and off-the-wall laughs.
  70. There's nothing ‘tomorrow’ about a recycled sci-fi jumble that places all its bets on yesterday.
  71. You’ll want to stand up and cheer for this eye-opening true story of three Black sisters from Brooklyn who emerged from a homeless shelter with their single mother to make it in the field of competitive track with the odds stacked against them.
  72. As usual the plot is stupid beyond saving, but the vehicular action is insanely entertaining. That’s a fair tradeoff for the adrenaline junkie in all of us who only wants Vroom cranked up to 11. Consider it done.
  73. Edgy comic Kevin Hart smooths out his rough edges to play a widower trying to raise his daughter alone. Hart can act, but he can’t act his way out of a sappy script that too often mistakes manipulative laughs and tears for genuine emotion.
  74. It’s not in the same league as such Pixar classics as ‘WALL-E’ and the ‘Toy Story’ quartet, but there’s no denying the pure enchantment of the visual, comic and subtextual dazzle in this tale of two sea monsters trying to pass for human boys in 1960’s Italy.
  75. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical is a surefire Oscar contender that lights up the screen with the immigrant experience of the American Dream. Anthony Ramos fires up an estupendo cast to give the summer’s best party a heart that sings and a spirit that soars.
  76. The third and weakest chapter in the hit "Conjuring" series messes with the facts about a real-life case of demonic possession as a legal defense, but Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as married demonologists know how to rally nerve-rattling chills to scare us senseless.
  77. Two Oscar-winning Emmas—Stone and Thompson—are dressed to wow and deliver much to enjoy in this beautifully crafted fluffball, but the end result is a decorative distraction that never runs the risks it promises.
  78. A sequel always loses the advantage of surprise, but Krasinski eases us out of Covid lockdown by crafting the perfect thriller to get summer audiences back into movie theaters where everything is dark and everyone can hear you scream.
  79. It’s a juicy premise: Eddie Izzard’s British spy vs. a school for daughters of the Nazi high command run by the great Judi Dench. But the crackerjack espionage thriller that might have been, the one filled with ideas and purpose, is defeated by flat execution.
  80. Sure it’s hokey, but this fact-based crowdpleaser starring a terrific Toni Collette as a struggling Welsh villager who risks everything on a racehorse she breeds and raises is an underdog story that works like a charm.
  81. Angelina Jolie, back in action mode as a haunted smokejumper seeking redemption, gets the job done if you’re looking for action escapism, but those who wish for something deeper and more resonant are plum out of luck.
  82. Amy Adams leads an overqualified and underserved cast as an agoraphobic child psychologist who thinks she sees a murder in this ‘Rear Window’ ripoff that just lies there, static and dreary, awaiting an animating spark that never comes.
  83. Actor David Oyelowo makes a heartfelt directing debut in a PG adventure about a boy (Lonnie Chavez) in search of a mythic creature who might save his dying mother. Even when the pace drags, the film remains a rare gift for family audiences.
  84. A dementia subplot torpedoes the laughs, leaving Tiffany Haddish and writer-director-star Billy Crystal adrift in a comedy fizzle that forgets to be funny.
  85. No knock on serving up an action-jacked Michael B. Jordan in an R-rated, red-meat, military thriller. But this clumsy update of Clancy’s 1993 bestseller should have been way better than a generic, one-note, cash grab.
  86. You know a ghost story is a hot mess when it strands a stellar Amanda Seyfried and a top cast in a remote, country house haunted by toxic masculinity, dangling plot threads and nothing worth hearing or seeing.
  87. You’ll laugh and cry your eyes out as an emotionally bruised diver learns about life and loyalty from an eight-tentacled mollusk. This Oscar favorite and viral sensation is the year’s most unorthodox and unforgettable love story.
  88. It’s a form of actor abuse to see the legendary Morgan Freeman trapped in this relentlessly violent and vapid mess that does offer one lesson to students of cinema in how to do everything calamitously wrong.
  89. Sebastian Stan, the Winter Soldier himself, shows he can turn up the heat with costar Denise Gough for a romcom romp in Greece that starts on a sexy, swooshing high before draining out the fun for dramatic insights that never come. Bummer.
  90. Despite an intriguing premise that suggests a ‘Lord of the Flies’ in space, Neil Burger’s fun-free thriller about young hotties playing astronauts quickly devolves into is a dud that never makes sense of its borrowed convictions or any sense at all.
  91. This comedy misfire starring McCarthy and Spencer as unlikely superheroes is hardly a crime against cinema. It just a bumpy road to blah in which the actors look to be having a way better time than you will. That’s messed up.
  92. An inner-city western featuring Black cowboys in a real-life setting deserves celebrating and the dynamite teamwork of Idris Elba and young Caleb McLaughlin heads off the father-son cliches in the script to keep you riveted.
  93. Forgive the exposition dump in the convoluted plot and go for a clash of the titans that is spectacular in every sense of the word.
  94. Bob Odenkirk aces his first role as an action star in this wild, twisty ride. He’s such a canny, captivating actor that even when the plot gets silly you're willing to follow him anywhere.
  95. A peak-form Mads Mikkelsen stars in this hilarious and heartbreaking spellbinder as a Copenhagen high-school teacher who thinks day drinking might sharpen his faculties. The Oscar for Best International Feature belongs right here.
  96. A hot mess that throws a wet blanket of dystopian drivel over fresh young stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland. Chaos Limping is more like it.
  97. Tom Holland, of Spider-man fame, breathes dramatic fire as a PTSD-afflicted Army medic in Iraq who returns home as a bank robber to feed his opiod and heroin habit, but his glossy, overlong film is failed Oscar bait that drowns him in addiction cliches.
  98. The sisters are doing it for themselves and one of them is a dragon in a wild, animated wonder ride from Disney that radiates female empowerment and comes at you in a whoosh of creative ideas in full eruption.
  99. It’s good to see Eddie Murphy again as Zumundan royalty, but the laughs in this tame, PG-13 sequel to the raucous, R-rated 1988 original feel predictable and played out as they strain to slide by on nostalgia. Your call.
  100. Anthony Hopkins delivers a master class in acting as a once-brilliant man losing his mental faculties to the plague of dementia. First-time director Florian Zeller turns his modern “King Lear” of a play into essential cinema.

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