For 959 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Wetlands
Lowest review score: 0 Top Coat Cash
Score distribution:
959 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    What Salmerón is after, however, is a simple portrait of hilarious exuberance, hard-won togetherness and strange wisdom. That search yields results.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Though this look back is formidably researched and should appeal to both obsessives and the uninformed, it’s the insistent echo to our present upheaval, and the refreshing reminder that a polarized nation only got more unified in its desire for the truth, that gives “Watergate” its peculiarly of-the-moment power.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Even when the epidemic of violence touches a beloved character, Ness’ careful quilting of compassion and action across her years of filming suggests a fight that won’t diminish for these citizens.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    When the stakes are raised, ho-hum thriller plotting takes over and Okoro struggles to clarify what his characters want. By the end, everyone’s motivations are fuzzy and the promise of a uniquely complex story of cross-cultural education, opportunity and morality has withered.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Robert Abele
    In the hands of its filmmakers and cast is a rivetingly good, human journey, full of sparks, flame, smoke, containment, ash, and the terrible beauty that sometimes mystifyingly colors stories of desolation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Shifting his energies to a Victorian-era island blood cult hasn’t dimmed Evans’ taste for feverish body harm, but it’s more clearly laid bare his narrative shortcomings.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Abele
    Gallo, whose direction has an undeniable paciness but a numbing competency, seems eager to check things off a list and move on.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    The need to make an ordinary life extraordinary is so prevalent it smothers any genuine emotion from family members losing a loved one.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    “Above and Beyond” is a slick, engrossing sizzle reel of the agency’s triumphs at turning curiosity about the universe into data about our place in it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Reminiscent of the naturalistic social dramas made by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Scaffolding combines the nervous tension of a thriller about a bomb waiting to go off — Lax’s volatility is as nail-biting as his bursts of compassion are relief-inducing — and the mournful clarity of a fly-on-the-wall documentary about troubled students.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 25 Robert Abele
    As Nomis steps up the pace like a runner losing balance and falling forward, the clichés pile up and plot points fly at us more like insecure stabs at holding our interest than naturally edgy developments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The Last Suit is a bumpy ride tonally, but its stubborn heart is in the right place.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Even with its stumbling nature, though, Call Her Ganda is still a valiant effort to fuse inquiry, testimony, heart and protest in dealing with its complex intertwining of facts and issues.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Its determined ambition and atmospheric skill keeps Saulnier firmly in the category of directors to watch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Though Monsters and Men isn’t the most fully realized work, its innate intelligence and matter-of-fact sensitivity are the kinds of storytelling assets we need more of, especially when the fabric of life for many continues to fray and tear in ways that demand a larger societal reassessing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Fahrenheit 11/9 may be a scattered summing-up of bad origins, and a loose blame game about our present corrosiveness, but what gives it its sear is its message of a ruptured country as eminently fixable, as long as wishing and hoping is replaced by organizing and doing.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 15 Robert Abele
    If all you need from a love story are two people smiling at each other and a narrator saying they’re in love, then Life Itself is for you. If all you require to show the passage of years is a CG montage or some cheap makeup, then Life Itself is for you. If the only way you’ll know things are tough is if everyone dies, then Life Itself is for you.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The takeaway of Reversing Roe is that Stern and Sundberg are issuing a warning, one backed by a grim timeline, forcefully presented, that makes it all too clear what’s at stake if a landmark ruling on women’s rights is overturned.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    With the indie two-hander I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, this talented director is stuck in neutral with the illogical, unremarkable concerns in Mike Makowsky’s ham-fisted screenplay.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 43 Robert Abele
    Unlike “Spy,” which took great pains to make its cloak-and-dagger shenanigans as exciting, and thematically meaningful, as the raucous comedy around it, A Simple Favor is like two different movies, a sophisticated sisterhood lark you want more of, and a ho-hum buried-secrets murder mystery getting in the way of your good time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    What Susanne Bartsch: On Top makes clear is that the art of being seen, as facilitated by Bartsch, can carry unexpectedly poignant depth.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    By the end, as you dry your eyes, it’s their futures you want them to win — as scientists, optimists and change agents — not just a science fair prize.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Mostly, Lenz is committed to showing as much of Kusama’s considerable output as possible, often lovingly panned over with an admiring camera. Think an exhibition program at 24 frames a second. But Kusama – Infinity is also a genuinely felt portrait of the artist as a dedicated survivor, ever in service to her vision of the world and fighting for her place in it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Abele
    Hal
    Hal entertainingly reminds us, his influence as a righteous, challenging, humanist chronicler of mortal foibles — and as a filmmaker on a quest for a greater understanding of our world — remains a force among today’s more conscientious directors.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Robert Abele
    The prime takeaway is of an irascibly charming, wounded and forceful genius both having the time of his life and sensing the gathering dusk.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 84 Robert Abele
    In its barbs and visuals, indie vibe and old-school ambition, inside jabs and outsider artistry, it feels both of its time — when Welles’ cachet straddled an old guard who shunned him and young rebels who worshipped him — and like an acidly spit anecdote about artistic humiliation that still feels relevant.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    Though sleekly photogenic in its depiction of cosmopolitan Europeans in permanent romantic neurosis, The Laws of Thermodynamics is better in theory than fact.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Jack Bryan’s thorough, chilling rabbit-hole inquiry into our president’s connections to Russia — Active Measures — is as good a place as any to fuel one’s fear/outrage.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Resolutely somber, and self-aware about its deliberately tight and opaque visual style, it’s presentational more than lived, a series of filmmaking choices instead of something deeply felt and conveyed.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    A Whale of a Tale is an unfortunately directionless, low-gear rebuttal that hardly ever stirs up emotions as effectively as “The Cove” did.

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