For 592 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.A. Dowd 's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Paterson
Lowest review score: 16 The Bye Bye Man
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 592
592 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.A. Dowd
    Harry Potter, for all his nice-kid incorruptibility, looks downright four-dimensional compared to Redmayne’s milquetoast Newt—an impossibly twee soul with few discernible flaws or even particularly interesting characteristics.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 A.A. Dowd
    It’s every bit as human-scaled as the filmmaker’s other work — but also, in its noble restraint, a little less involving.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 A.A. Dowd
    Certainly, viewers may feel a kind of seasickness, their stomachs doing somersaults during this supremely discomfiting movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    For as much as Van Groeningen may have pulled from both of his mirrored source materials, for as deep as Chalamet digs into his character’s skirmish with own urges, Beautiful Boy holds us outside of his struggle.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 42 A.A. Dowd
    With 22 July, Greengrass pushes up against the boundaries of respectful representation, traipsing queasily close to outright exploitation with his reenactment of the 2011 Norway terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of 77 people, many of them children.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    Not every segment comes together in a satisfying way. In fact, many of them seem all but designed not to. Like No Country For Old Men, which is essentially a Western itself, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs presents anticlimax as a philosophical position.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 A.A. Dowd
    If Hold The Dark lacks the sheer razor-wire tension of Saulnier’s earlier crime-horror corkers, it still knows how to make the carnage count—to force us to experience, on a gut level, every casualty.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    It’s something of a hangout Western, too, and its pleasures mostly come down to the company we get to keep with the characters and the actors easing into their eccentricities.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 A.A. Dowd
    As one might expect, it’s not his most focused act of impassioned muckraking.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    It’s got a powerhouse cast, a hefty running time, and a story that pointedly comments on race, gender, and class. It’s also, as it turns out, a crackerjack and highly satisfying heist thriller, perfectly suited to the multiplex. This one, in other words, doesn’t fit any high-low, fun-or-serious binary.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    Cooper keeps both the camera and his dramatic focus tightly locked on the characters, and on Lady Gaga’s face, expressing the full ecstasy and agony of what this timeless tale throws at her. Like Jackson, he can recognize a natural, brilliant talent when he sees one. And he knows, too, when to get out of the way and cede the spotlight.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    If Beale Street Could Talk strikes a balance of optimism to despair, offsetting the crushing realities of growing up in a racist culture with the tonics of love, sex, community, connection.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    I reserve the right—as I do at every festival, where I tend to hedge my bets and temper my praise—to decide that, never mind, everyone’s right, this is a masterpiece. For now, what I see is staggering formal prowess that is maybe just a little at odds with the small, even modest character drama it’s supporting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    In terms of mood, cosmetics, and rhythm, it’s a worthy addition to the great filmmaker’s canon.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    What Chazelle has made, in other words, is a nitty-gritty procedural that treats the NASA odyssey as a window into Armstrong’s unknowable mind, an inner space as mysterious as the outer one he blasts himself into.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 A.A. Dowd
    Halloween isn’t explicitly a horror-comedy, but it does have the destructive habit of undercutting its scares with broad laughs, Green and McBride deflating the tension at every turn with goofball asides.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 A.A. Dowd
    Cartoonishly violent and proudly profane, The Predator is like a Hollywood action movie pulled into our reality from an alternate timeline.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    The Old Man & The Gun is so reliant on the echoes of past films, on the career it’s constantly evoking and riffing on, that it sometimes feels as ephemeral as dust floating in a projector beam. But there’s something truthful and even moving in the way Lowery conflates the joy of one impossible occupation with that of another.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    Beyond just capturing and filing memories, Wang is after how his subjects process their trauma, how they frame the horror of their experiences, and how they’ve coped with survivors’ guilt.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 A.A. Dowd
    Pine neither convinces as a conflicted peacekeeper nor a resolute resistance fighter.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 A.A. Dowd
    In truth, The Little Stranger is barely a horror movie at all. It’s more of an impeccably crafted chamber drama with a supernatural bent, like Edith Wharton by way of Shirley Jackson.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 42 A.A. Dowd
    In almost all respects, but especially structurally, Mile 22 is a mess.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.A. Dowd
    It’s gnarly as hell.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    Madeline’s Madeline, the third feature from writer-director Josephine Decker, is a self-devouring thing: a movie about artistic process that doubles as a document of—and even a commentary on—its own artistic process.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    Although he’s made his most narratively entertaining movie in years, the filmmaker often still privileges polemical discourse over drama, grinding things to a halt for minutes-long speeches—he’s not so different from Godard in that way—and sometimes getting rather on-the-nose with the already exceptionally apparent contemporary echoes.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 33 A.A. Dowd
    A generic and frankly very tedious compendium of YA clichés.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 A.A. Dowd
    Moving like the lit fuse that blazes brilliantly across the opening credits of both the original Mission: Impossible television series and its first big-screen adaptation, Fallout turns out to be a breathlessly exciting action spectacular: the blockbuster spy thriller as sustained endorphin rush.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 A.A. Dowd
    It’s a patently ludicrous story. The storytelling, though, remains clever and grippingly singular, again finding creative ways to progress the narrative without cheating the locked-vantage format.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 A.A. Dowd
    The Equalizer 2, which reunites Washington with director Antoine Fuqua and screenwriter Richard Wenk, puts fewer disposable goons in McCall’s crosshairs, trading the original’s rote killing-up-the-ranks revenge campaign for some half-assed approximation of a murder mystery. Call it a lateral move for this unfortunate franchise.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 A.A. Dowd
    Wringing genre thrills from headline atrocities, The First Purge is at once crass and provocative in its timeliness—in Blumhouse’s toolshed, it’s the sledgehammer to Get Out’s scalpel.

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