Paste Magazine's Scores

For 320 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 97 Dunkirk
Lowest review score: 10 The Emoji Movie
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 320
320 movie reviews
  1. For every overgeneralization Macdonald leans into or too-obvious historic parallels he lets fly, there is a corresponding performance, ebullient and transcendent—a purity Macdonald, and his viewers for that matter, can’t help but sour.
  2. Sorry to Bother You has so many ideas busting out of every seam, so much ambition, so much it so urgently wants to say, that it feels almost churlish to point out that the movie ends up careening gloriously out of control.
  3. At its best The First Purge functions like a much-reduced Purge movie retread. It’s not that it’s bad, really. It’s that we’ve seen this before.
  4. Tau
    It’s just passable popcorn entertainment for a Friday night on the couch, and not on the same level as more inspired Netflix genre movies from the likes of Mike Flanagan, such as Hush or Gerald’s Game.
  5. The movie’s action is no-nonsense, no-frills explosions and machine gun stuff, and it lacks the soaring vision of Villeneuve; Sollima is much more of a plunge-forward linear filmmaker. That approach has its advantages, though, and while I wouldn’t have wanted Sollima to try to tackle some of the thornier ethical issues of the first film, he’s more than capable of rampaging through and past them here.
  6. What Leave No Trace portrays so beautifully, with so much unspoken grace, is that divide between living and surviving to live. One can find all of that dissonance in Foster’s fathomless eyes.
  7. The movie is ultimately harmless, trivial puffery that vanishes from your brain as quickly as you experience it.
  8. If The Year of Spectacular Men makes any kind of statement, it’s that Madelyn and Zoey ought to work together more often. Put simply, they’re amazing, lively, sharp, snarky with a side of cheer—for the time being The Year of Spectacular Men feels like their gift to us, an unexpected blend of comedic tones and a perfectly bittersweet summertime respite.
  9. Tag
    Tag is a bit of a mess, the well-paced runtime not allowing gag-based physical comedy and dramedy to exist equally on the same plain, just barely fun enough to keep an otherwise one-joke premise elevated.
  10. This film is basically 100% about message, and that message is a dire one. There are probably people who will accuse this film of propagandizing or sensationalizing or exaggerating, but from what I can tell, that’s not particularly the case.
  11. Though the addition of “extras” like multiple locations, a larger cast of non-fodder characters and oh, actual dialogue, makes The Raid 2 much less unique a film than its predecessor, it still registers as a pretty vibrant entry into the Yakuza genre.
  12. The newest Marvel blockbuster-to-be boasts an array of well-cast leads and supporting characters; a crisply paced, sensible plot; and above-average dialogue. Even more importantly, every scene and every character interaction prove that the movie’s creative team truly understands the core appeal of Cap himself—the tone of not just the character, but the comic book series from which he springs.
  13. Ultimately, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is noteworthy for one thing—not waiting until the third or fourth film to achieve the overstuffed, increasingly garish look one associates with less popular (2007’s Spider-Man 3) and outright ridiculed (1997’s Batman and Robin) franchise efforts.
  14. Marvel’s rambunctious entry into the space opera genre—and the cornerstone of its “Cosmic Marvel” roster of characters and storylines—so perfectly embodies what the preceding months of hype and hope foretold that even its weak points (and it has its share) feel almost like unavoidable imperfections—broken eggs for a pretty satisfying omelet.
  15. Ant-Man has more than its share of logic lapses and convenient (read: sloppy) scripting, but most viewers won’t care. In much the same way Guardians of the Galaxy was powered by the charisma and affability of Chris Pratt, Ant-Man is buoyed by the charm of Rudd.
  16. As far as structure, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 has pretty much the same flaws as its source material. Freed from the confines of the literal arena from the first two books/movies, the overarching sequence of events seems ragged by comparison.
  17. Star Wars is fun again. Fans whose love for the series was forged with the Original Trilogy will see too much they recognize (and, later, missed) not to love this effort.
  18. The way in which Captain America: Civil War brings together a dozen or so heroes, sorts them into not one but two teams and then flings them at each other is its own special delight for comic book fans long accustomed to such things on the printed or digital page. And it must be pretty exciting for non-fans, too.
  19. By the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the audience is unlikely to feel they’ve seen anything that different from Vol. 1, but it’s clear that Gunn and company knew exactly what qualities made the first film so enjoyable, and what they needed to do to make sure this particular sequel was worth the wait.
  20. By comparison, the long-awaited The Incredibles 2 is inescapably messier throughout. The villain and scheme are not quite as compelling, and the choreography of character and location—another hallmark of the first film—is a perceptible degree sloppier. Nonetheless, it feels great to be back.
  21. Such a thin plot from some of the Jackass guys would have been completely forgiven, or even blissfully ignored, if the stunts were on par, or at least close to, what we expect from these guys.
  22. Despite the ingredients at hand, Pearce and company never really pull it together in a manner that realizes the potential. The result is a pulp buffet that feels like it should have been a gourmet meal—a Golden Corral of genre conventions (that leaves the audience feeling about as satisfied).
  23. Too often, Fallen Kingdom has all the soul and grace of a well-prepared business proposal—you can sense all the money being invested into an intellectual property in order to reap a sizable windfall and ensure the franchise’s continued commercial viability. It’s as scintillating as a retirement plan.
  24. Ocean’s 8 feels a bit like a high-end knockoff in that way that lots of spinoff films can, although the compensation is the familiar delights of watching smart characters do their job very, very well.
  25. As a showcase for its leads, it’s delightful. All it’s missing is a touch of honest-to-goodness gravity to keep the story anchored.
  26. The primary fascination of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? lives when it stands outside this man and stares at him, unfathomably, wondering what in the world must have made him tick. The film tries to do more than that, with varying levels of success, but that’s the core: Who is this guy?
  27. How to Talk to Girls at Parties is a deliciously bizarre and refreshingly unique experience that not only manages to successfully meld two completely opposite tones—punk and whimsy—but to wrap them up into an exhilarating narrative that infuses a familiar sci-fi/comedy/romance structure with a host of surprises that even the most hardened genre scholar will appreciate.
  28. Layton’s failure is frustrating. American Animals is a rare thing, truth that’s legitimately stranger than fiction. Bereft of a cohesive structure, the movie loses purpose, and that rare, strange truth is lost in workaday heist tropes blended with workaday documentary portraiture.
  29. This beautiful, gripping, disturbing film deserves to be looked at with as much nuance as it offers. It’s not a damned hashtag-anything movie, it’s a potent and poetic autobiography that refuses polemic or politics. It manages to dive so deeply into the personal that it explodes into something universal.
  30. Farhadi remains excellent at showing how easily family units can splinter after years of relative peacetime. But he can’t quite floor us as he once did—we’ve been braced to expect the unexpected from him.

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