For 1,879 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Secret Sunshine
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1879 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    This isn’t a perfect movie — sometimes the machinery of plot-focused screenwriting hums a little too insistently, especially toward the end, disrupting the quieter, richer music of everyday life — but its clearsighted sensitivity makes it a satisfying one.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    You could say that what the film is about lies just beyond the reach of images or words. It’s a necessarily cerebral meditation on the nature of physicality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    On the Basis of Sex does a brisk, coherent job of articulating what Ginsburg accomplished and why it mattered, dramatizing both her personal stake in feminist legal activism and the intellectual discipline with which she approached it.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    What makes the movie interesting — and disturbing on a few different levels — is how its sentimental, inspirational elements do battle with darker impulses.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Vice offers more than Yuletide rage-bait for liberal moviegoers, who already have plenty to be mad about. Revulsion and admiration lie as close together as the red and white stripes on the American flag, and if this is in some respects a real-life monster movie, it’s one that takes a lively and at times surprisingly sympathetic interest in its chosen demon.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Capernaum, a sprawling tale wrenched from real life, goes beyond the conventions of documentary or realism into a mode of representation that doesn’t quite have a name. It’s a fairy tale and an opera, a potboiler and a news bulletin, a howl of protest and an anthem of resistance.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse contains a vital element that has been missing from too many recent superhero movies: fun.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It looks beautiful and moves swiftly but never quite takes full imaginative flight.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Ben Is Back is really Holly’s story, and notwithstanding the all-around excellence of the cast, it’s very much Roberts’s movie. This isn’t a matter of ego or showboating. On the contrary, what is so moving and effective about Roberts’s work here is her shrewd subversion of her long-established persona.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    A rich sense of mystery pervades this movie. You succumb to its strangeness the way that a child is enveloped in a bedtime story, trusting the teller even when you don’t fully understand the tale or know where it’s going.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    The Favourite, with a profane, erudite script by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, is a farce with teeth, a costume drama with sharp political instincts and an aggressive sense of the absurd.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Creed II is a terrific movie, a boxing picture full of inspired sweetness and shrewd science that honors the cherished traditions of the genre while feeling like something new and exciting in the world.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    There’s not much here you haven’t seen before, and very little that can’t be described as crude, obvious and borderline offensive, even as it tries to be uplifting and affirmative. And yet! There is also something about this movie that prevented me from collapsing into a permanent cringe as I watched it. Or rather, two things: the lead performances.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The result is a fascinating and sometimes frustrating hybrid, a film that tries both to transcend and to exploit its genre.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of the darkest movies by Joel and Ethan Coen, and also among the silliest. It swerves from goofy to ghastly so deftly and so often that you can’t always tell which is which.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Reitman uses Altmanesque sound design and serpentine camera movements to convey the chaos and kineticism of a process in constant, frantic motion. But after a while, once we’ve met the principal players, the speechmaking starts and a potential comedy of political manners turns into a pious, tendentious morality play.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    While there’s no reason to suppose that this is Wiseman’s last movie, it doesn’t seem impossible that, at 88, he is aware of lengthening shadows and autumnal tints, of the fragility of perception and the finite nature of consciousness. Monrovia, Indiana is not precisely about any of those things, but it carries intimations of them, elegiac strains amid the doggerel of daily life.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film’s sensitivity, though it is an ethical strength, is also a dramatic limitation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama, the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible, with the exception of the prosthetic teeth worn by the lead actor, Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Like its hero, Mid90s struggles to figure out what it wants to be, and the struggle makes it interesting as well as occasionally frustrating.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Ferguson’s narrative is so dense and complicated, and at the same time so dramatic, suspenseful and clear, that it absorbs all of your attention.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Partly because the movie is so splendidly and completely absorbed in its characters and their milieu, it communicates much more than a quirky appreciation for old books and odd readers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    While this colorful and inquisitive cinematic essay on the state of the art world is occasionally skeptical and consistently thoughtful, cynicism isn’t really on its agenda.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It reminds you of an extraordinary feat and acquaints you with an interesting, enigmatic man. But there is a further leap beyond technical accomplishment — into meaning, history, metaphysics or the wilder zones of the imagination — that the film is too careful, too earthbound, to attempt.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    It is hard not to be touched by the testing of paternal love, or by Nic’s fragility. But Beautiful Boy, rather than plumbing the hard emotional depths of its subject, skates on a surface of sentiment and gauzy visual beauty.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Though it is poignant and funny in nearly equal measure, the most remarkable aspect of Private Life may be its lack of noticeable exaggeration. Ms. Jenkins is working at the scale of life, with the confidence that the ordinary, if viewed from the right angle, will provide enough drama and humor to sustain our interest.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The film presents a compact, tactful biography and also a valuable explication of the Keatonesque in its most sublime varieties. Coming ahead of a digital restoration of Keaton’s major films, it serves as both a primer and refresher, as well as a promise that he will not be forgotten.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    How much intensity and suspense can you drain from a movie about cops and robbers without having the thing collapse into anecdote and whimsy? The Old Man & the Gun kind of does just that, but it’s hard to mind too much.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The plot zigs and zags and sometimes accelerates in the direction of genuine hilarity...only to downshift into sloppy, easy jokes and gags.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Unreliability is a fascinating and tricky conceit for novelists and filmmakers. It should not be confused with bad writing. There is a lot of that here, and also, to confuse matters further, a lot of good acting.

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