The Atlantic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 157 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Widows
Lowest review score: 0 Transformers: The Last Knight
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 157
157 movie reviews
  1. Fyre is primarily a journalistic exhumation of the Fyre Festival’s ridiculous excesses. But via interviews with both dissatisfied ticket-buyers and nervy ex-employees, the movie also scrapes away the sheen of the flamboyant “influencer” lifestyle that McFarland leveraged to sell tickets and hook investors.
  2. It’s a film that sometimes plays more as a rambling TED Talk than as a straightforward thriller. But, in this case, I admired Shyamalan’s overreach, even as the auteur laid meta-textual twist atop twist in the movie’s giddily loopy ending.
  3. It is not—if my description has somehow failed to make this clear—an easy film to watch. But it is a forceful and unsettling addition to the cinema of the Holocaust, a film that digs deeply into the gruesome workings of the death camps and ponders questions about duties to the living and duties to the dead.
  4. This movie is as much a eulogy for a country that Eastwood sees as slowly crumbling as it is for the life Earl chose to lead.
  5. Aquaman works because it isn’t laughing at itself—it’s both joyously whimsical and confident in its own seaworthiness.
  6. Mary Poppins Returns is surely not a movie for everyone. But for those with a deep fondness for the original film, it is a worthy remix.
  7. If Beale Street Could Talk is an impressive, mature, and determined work that ably reaches the great heights it sets for itself.
  8. Despite its period setting, The Favourite just might be Lanthimos’s most trenchant and relevant work yet.
  9. For all the time Serkis has had to tinker with it, the film feels painfully incomplete, from its frequently told story to its weak visuals.
  10. The final act of Shoplifters, like all of Kore-eda’s best work, is devastating. After seeing the director tease out every strange bond in this makeshift group, investing his audience fully in their future, one finds it that much harder to watch when things fall apart.
  11. This movie is little more than a vibrant-looking tableau, a two-dimensional take on an intricate piece of history. It’s a tale that’s been told better before, and Willimon’s modern updates are less enlightened than they initially seem.
  12. The world doesn’t really need another Spider-Man movie, which is exactly what makes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such an unexpected delight: Here’s the latest entry in a fully saturated genre that somehow, through sheer creative gumption, does something new.
  13. By its conclusion, Cuarón’s film proves itself both wonderful and fearsome. See it. You will never forget it.
  14. Green Book may supply little in the way of meaningful commentary on racial dynamics either in the 1960s or today. But thanks to Mortensen and Ali, it’s a perfectly pleasant way to spend two hours.
  15. Though this menu is clearly by design, the result is both a meal that feels less than the sum of its parts and individual courses that themselves feel somehow undercooked. I found myself simultaneously wanting both more and less.
  16. Amazingly enough, the result is a witty, visually inventive, and fittingly sober story about the perils of the internet, told through the eyes of a video-game avatar with unusually large forearms.
  17. McQueen has made a big, pulpy crowd-pleaser, but he uses it to tell a story with real meaning. Widows is methodical in its imagery and gracefully written; it’s also a suspenseful blast, best seen with the biggest, most animated audience possible.
  18. This is a film that exists primarily to answer questions nobody would have ever thought to ask about a series of books that already told a very complete story.
  19. Rest assured, in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Lisbeth Salander saves the day, and she looks cool doing it. But this is a story so slick that she’d be rolling her eyes if she watched it.
  20. The film may be too much of a bloody slog for some; others will be on board for every gruesome minute like I was.
  21. So much of The Front Runner feels like stenography, giving audiences the basics and then letting Hart or Bradlee monologue to the camera about how the norms of yesteryear are slipping away, perhaps forever.
  22. Based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir, Boy Erased is a methodical work that tries to account for the horrors of religious conversion camps as soberly as possible—but unfortunately to the point where soberness edges into blandness.
  23. In short, Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t just prone to music-biopic clichés—it’s practically a monument to them, a greatest-hits collection of every narrative shortcut one can possibly take in summarizing a legendary act’s rise to fame.
  24. A meditative two-and-a-half-hour art film might not sound like a plausible candidate for the year’s best thriller, but Burning is exactly that—its story moves patiently, but engrossingly, before cresting with a shocking denouement that wouldn’t make sense were it not for Lee’s meticulous craft.
  25. Above all else, it lodges itself into one’s brain and seems primed to reward repeat viewings. The biggest compliment I can give Guadagnino is that he’s made a Suspiria that appears destined for the long-lasting cult status already enjoyed by the original.
  26. Can You Ever Forgive Me? may be a muted story, but it is a profoundly memorable one.
  27. Boiled down to its core, the 1978 Halloween was about the chilling permeability of the suburbs and the ease with which American domesticity could be disrupted. Green’s new movie sticks to that theme, and does it well, but the film only shows hints of being something more interesting until its excellent final act.
  28. In its quietest scenes, Mid90s feels a little more authentic, and Hill may well turn out to have a growing talent for directing. But he needs to match his subtler insights to a script that feels less derivative.
  29. Van Groeningen isn’t too curious about what got Nic into drugs, nor how he finally pulled out of the spiral. Beautiful Boy largely exists in between those two stories and ends up feeling like a limited, grueling experience.
  30. I have to applaud Goddard’s ambition, even when it overreaches. Yes, Bad Times at the El Royale is bloated and might’ve functioned better as a punchy bit of neo-noir. But it’s rare for a genre film to feel so sweeping and inventive.

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