For 1,859 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 1.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Dirty Harry
Lowest review score: 0 Shoot 'Em Up
Score distribution:
1859 movie reviews
    • 68 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.
    • 75 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.
    • 63 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.
    • 69 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.
    • 79 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Informative but not overwhelming, it blends biography and appreciative analysis in 90 brisk, packed minutes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    In spite of a meandering story and some fuzzy passages, there is a touch of magic in Museo, a sense of wonder and curiosity that imparts palpable excitement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 A.O. Scott
    Even though Anders and the people around him can be sorted into recognizable types (a fault, mostly of Mr. Thompson’s book), they are also amusing and awful in ways that can feel disconcertingly real.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    The usual sequence of ballad-of-a-tormented-artist verses plays out: early promise; success and betrayal; redemption and death. What pulls against the relentless momentum of biography is the sweet inertia of life, a lot of which is spent drunk, in bed, on the road, hanging out with friends or all of the above.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Even though Bisbee ’17 depicts a wholesome and harmonious community undertaking, it is a profoundly haunted and haunting film. What we are witnessing is not the commemoration of a past disaster but its reanimation. Every important thing this movie is about is still alive.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    The twisting and cracking of the British class system is always fascinating to observe, and The Little Stranger traces the details of its chosen moment of social change with precision and subtlety, and with its own layers of somewhat dubious nostalgia.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    It’s a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations. Viewers who see it out of a sense of duty will find some pleasure in the bargain. Call it the banality of good.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Crime+Punishment advances a thorough critique of American law enforcement not by generalizing or speechifying, but by digging into particular lives and circumstances, allowing affected individuals to speak for themselves.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    What holds this patchwork of naughtiness together is some pretty threadbare cloth.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    Minding the Gap is more than a celebration of skateboarding as a sport and a subculture. With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Peretz and the screenwriters (Evgenia Peretz, the director’s sister, is credited along with Tamara Jenkins and Jim Taylor) find an amiable farcical groove, and the actors embrace the ridiculousness of the circumstances without overdoing it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Without betraying any overt nostalgia, Crazy Rich Asians casts a fond eye backward as well as Eastward, conjuring a world defined by hierarchies and prescribed roles in a way that evokes classic novels and films.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    if Madeline’s Madeline is sometimes unconvincing and frequently unnerving, it is never uninteresting. In its final moments it ascends into heady, almost visionary territory, like a balloon caught in a sudden updraft, and becomes a singular and strange experience.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 A.O. Scott
    BlacKkKlansman is a furious, funny, blunt and brilliant confrontation with the truth. It’s an alarm clock ringing in the midst of a historical nightmare, and also a symphony, the rare piece of political popular art that works in all three dimensions.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Satire and outrage are easier approaches than the tact and empathy Ms. Akhavan deploys. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, confident in its beliefs and curious about what makes its characters tick, is more interested in listening than in preaching.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 A.O. Scott
    Ms. McKinnon is too inventive to make the character a standard, zany rom-com sidekick. There is no real precedent for her highly disciplined comic anarchy, but Ms. McKinnon reminds me a little of Peter Sellers in her command of voice, face and body and her ability to turn every scene into a popcorn popper of verbal and physical surprise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Riley isn’t constructing yet another postmodern playhouse out of borrowings and allusions. He’s building a raft, and steering it straight into the foaming rapids of racism, economic injustice and cultural conflict.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Legrand is skilled in the techniques of dread and suspense, and without sensationalizing or cheapening the story, he gives this closely observed drama the tension and urgency of a thriller.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 A.O. Scott
    Dumber, less inventive and not as pretentious as “Sicario” (released in 2015, directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Mr. Sheridan), it both advances and retreats, expanding on the original and narrowing its scope.

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