For 999 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 8.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Neighboring Sounds
Lowest review score: 0 I Melt with You
Score distribution:
999 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Robert Abele
    It’s an eminently missable, cliché-ridden affair.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Sure, there are the kinds of contrivances and roadblocks one expects from a comic drama of this nature, but Lionheart is built more around the abiding sweetness of its message of hope-filled struggle and hard-won enlightenment than the rudiments of a business farce.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    It’s an atmosphere piece first and foremost, and an effective one. But the characters, particularly the teens, feel primarily like micro-vignette archetypes of scattershot resonance rather than flesh-and-blood figures forming a tapestry in a taut tale.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Abele
    The fights are leaden, so when a movie’s bid for historical verisimilitude has already stopped at backlot-acceptable, and the character development is constrained by dumb dialogue, such meager tending-to of an Asian action flick’s primary draw is nigh unforgivable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    As DeBlois engineers this tale towards an expectedly exciting and poignant conclusion, one realizes how well that cleverly misdirecting title How to Train Your Dragon has morphed from literal to figurative, from being about command and obeisance to handling the turmoil within.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    While this story is more likely to have impact for those who lived through the horrors of this period and Mujica’s eventual emergence as a political leader, A Twelve Year Night avoids the easy trappings of triumph-of-the-human-spirit narratives. Sometimes a human simply withstands what it’s subjected to, and that’s enough to rivet us.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    A fitfully engaging, well-intentioned but disappointing original biographical drama.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Side effects from watching the anti-Pharma documentary Drug$ start with rage, and pretty much stay there through the call-your-congressperson coda.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    [Labaki] finds a magically resonant space between documentary-like vibe and dramatic performance that honors the characters’ inherent humanity while memorably framing the wretched circumstances that dictate their actions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Tyrel is a lab experiment with no insight into feelings of otherness beyond the blinding light directed at its wigged-out subject.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 65 Robert Abele
    The Mule may not always stand with his most resonant work, at times betraying the awkwardness of someone set in his grizzled ways. But Eastwood’s tilled enough filmmaking soil over the years to know that the same ground can produce daylilies or contraband and that the most involving movies at least try to harvest both.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    For all the ways Dumplin’ does its best to avoid some clichés (no mean-girl antagonists) while embracing others (drag queens as coaches), it’s still a regrettably undercooked meal, even with those songs and the breezy magnetism of “Patti Cakes” star Macdonald.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    If you’re looking for a quick medicinal shot of how we got to Trump in the White House, the bracing “Divide and Conquer” feels like one of the more alarming civics courses you’ll ever take.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Overall this is a solid portrait of time’s effect on what we miss, and how we miss.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    Though there’s an abiding sensitivity in the often-noirish approach to the story’s many traumas and its characters’ flailing attempts at coping, as a whole it’s something of a tonal mess.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Gillan, returning to her Highlands roots to spotlight a depressingly high suicide rate there among young people, has not only given herself an expectedly meaty role that walks a fine line between sad and bitterly funny, but she’s proven to be a director with a keen eye for expressive visuals.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    It leaves one with the sense that Khaled wishes to reclaim a headline-tainted religious status from the acts of violent men and bestow that mournful grace to people in an everyday struggle with sensitivity and hopelessness.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Filmmaker Anahí Berneri, through her tough single-mother protagonist, mesmerizingly realized by Sofía Gala Castiglione, offers a no-apologies look at a member of a risk-taking underclass dinged on all sides.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The abiding darkness and occasionally graphic visuals will likely reduce its appeal as talking-critter family fare — think growling nighttime campfire tale instead of sun-dappled spectacle — but it makes for a welcome swerve from the Mouse House’s fun-zone approach to these timeless stories.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    The Cleaners makes clear how when it comes to the Internet, the more private corporations decide what we all get to “like,” the worse off we’re all going to be.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The nuances in Derki’s portraits are what deepen the elements that could easily have been a distancing turnoff.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The film’s occasional flatness of tone isn’t always well-used — these may be the raw materials for a classic Hollywood weepie, but sometimes you want to see filmmaking, not a camera pointed in the general direction of who’s talking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Say Her Name doesn’t have answers, but it does re-emphasize how unnecessarily tragic Bland’s death was, and why her name should be a boldfaced one in the nationwide call for police reform.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The truth is that “Rocky IV” and Creed II sharing the same cinematic universe requires supreme suspension of disbelief. But taken as descendants of the original, “Rocky IV” is the delinquent you never talk about, while Creed II at least knows how to keep the family business humming.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    If your taste for athletic snapshots has tired of tales of the troubled, Khan’s at least smoothly offers someone as comfortable being a Muslim hero and family man as he is a fast-jabbing contender.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    An acrobatic, larkish globetrotting adventure about paintings and psychotherapy that defies easy categorization save inclusion on any adult animation fan’s must-see list, its slinky, colorful pleasures and wittily referential joie de vivre are like a lifeline in a season when the art house is typically beholden to severe, award-seeking bids to depress you.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Director Xiaozhi Rao’s facility with behavioral extremes that disguise the hardships of life in modern China is a scattershot mix of the Tarantino-esque and melodramatic, with bursting pop songs and visual tricks filling in any perceived gaps in logic or attention.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Abele
    With so many documentaries on Bergman already in existence, that von Trotta has made her own uniquely inviting tour of his triumphs, anguishes, and longstanding themes — in essence a roomy portrait of the artist as an engaged, fallible searcher — is its own gift of sorts, from one acolyte of cinema to another.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The Price of Free benefits from a potent mix of compassionate heroism and hard-won hopefulness.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Mackenzie shaved 20 minutes or so after its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, but there’s still no getting around the fact that what starts as a human drama of occupation, unease, brotherhood, and political fracturing invariably must give way to the mechanics of lengthy, loud, and splatter-enhanced combat.

Top Trailers