For 1,146 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Diego Maradona
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
Score distribution:
1146 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Thanks to Crip Camp, we can all get a window into how a struggle is unified, people are emboldened, and differences are made.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Bolt’s ethically engaging, easy-to-grasp and artfully conceived film covers a wide range of areas that stir us to think about benefits and costs.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    A briny Northeastern noir powered by women with secrets, Blow the Man Down is a pleasantly spiky slinging of small-town sin that should prove to be eminently companionable viewing for these sequestered, streamable times.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    In its extreme length and precise technique, it’s decidedly not for everybody. But although it is at times distractingly opaque, occasionally Heise’s family’s words, juxtaposed with his sounds and images, crystallize into something singularly wise about the nexus of place, history and trauma.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Abele
    First-time feature filmmaker Dave Wilson and cinematographer Jacques Jouffret (“Mile 22”) can manipulate the speed of combat scenes all he wants (the stylistic crutch of a slo-mo point of contact is evergreen) but dull choreography, CGI overuse and Cuisinart editing are still the bane of today’s action sequences.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 65 Robert Abele
    Their street-level stories, frequent Cannes winners since 1999’s “Rosetta,” typically hinge on a central desperation tied to simple survival, but when played out with their trademark visual restlessness and character-driven purposefulness, they’re often as nail-biting as any genre exercise or melodrama.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    The fact that Laverty and Loach take their cues from research and interviews keeps the tension visceral, not artificially heightened. More than usual for these evergreen chroniclers of everyday strife, their politics contextualizes the drama, and vice versa. In their domestic gut-punch of a story, they’ve exposed our new feudalism in a way that feels honest and blisteringly human.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    For good stretches, The Banker can be as dryly engineered as a loan application, but the galvanizing story it tells — like a last stand of rebel ingenuity before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 made discrimination unlawful — is a solid interest-earner.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    It makes for one of the more alive portraits of artists in the moment you’re likely to see, a thumping gallery show forged from survival, and assembled out of passion and need.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    When the focus is on how he made Playboy pop on the page — as backed by archival footage, interviews with Paul and those who worked for him, plus plenty of examples from the issues — director Jennifer Hou Kwong’s movie compels as a portrait of unwavering dedication to aesthetics and breakout creativity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 68 Robert Abele
    There’s no getting around how enjoyable it is to watch Coogan effortlessly play an entitled bastard, whether giving it or getting it. He’s so expert at the darkly witty, cringe-while-laughing insult, it’s like watching a pro athlete in flight; it’s a shame Winterbottom’s ambitions for Greed weren’t greater as a rollicking, truly scary picture of unrepentant gluttony.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Cunningham’s beguiling openness, coupled with as many estate-sanctioned photographs from his collection as Bozek can squeeze into the brisk running time, easily overcome a general roughness of assembly.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    What ensues amidst Jia’s indelible, gliding visuals of modern Shanghai are ruminative testimonials from the breadth of an older citizenry — former soldiers, descendants of gangsters and politicians, and (lots of) artists who endured the city’s turbulent evolution, and who in their stories of family, love and survival form a tapestry of memory and wisdom.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 85 Robert Abele
    Mr. Woodhouse’s daughter may be a case study in the perils of playing God with others’ hearts, but Emma. is proof that bringing a timeless book and fresh talent together is still a worthy kind of artistic matchmaking.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Wittock’s film is ultimately more of a well-intended melodramatic experiment than a fully realized love story about one of the more curious corners of humanity’s sexual-psychological tapestry.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Robert Abele
    Hittman wades into one of the more charged subjects of our time — abortion access — with the kind of sensitivity, focus and detail that will ensure its place as a dramatic standard for how to put a human face on a controversial topic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Redoubt is slow going but not uninvolving. Barney’s filmmaking is less about the manipulation of image, or the roiling power of editing to create emotional states, than it is about dutifully documenting what he’s created, what he’s seeing, what’s on his mind.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Jezebel is a reminder that in everyday human stories is proof that the world is wide, and that in going behind the doors that movies rarely open, there are even more worlds worth discovering.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 48 Robert Abele
    The stars certainly aren’t acting like their participation is a mercenary endeavor. Lawrence and Smith seem to enjoy their goofy-meets-gung-ho responsibilities, and that counts for something in these types of movies, as is a tone decidedly less mean-spirited than the last one’s, and a central car/motorcycle/helicopter chase that distracts you with thrills rather than wear you down with overkill.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Abele
    Tom Hooper’s jarring fever dream of a spectacle is like something that escaped from Dr. Moreau’s creature laboratory instead of a poet’s and a composer’s feline (uni)verse, an un-catty valley hybrid of physical and digital that unsettles and crashes way more often than it enchants.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    Stewart is enough of a force to give Seberg’s darkest moments their due, but it’s too little, too late for the superficial soup that is the movie that bears her name.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    Varda’s playful tour of her life’s work in the movies is nothing less than an opportunity to get to know one of cinema’s greatest treasures.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Taguchi and Lefferman approach it all less like journalists or vérité documentarians than friendly guests who want to be respectful yet connect to something deeper about pain, mourning and forward movement.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Wolf’s strange, sad and finally exhilarating portrait is one of radical consumerism turned into a searchable legacy — the viewer as activist.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 73 Robert Abele
    If, for whatever reason, 63 UP were the last, it would be a perfectly satisfying summing-up of what’s proven to be the surest motive for any of its participants to keep filling us in on their personal lives, issues of class and destiny be damned — they did it because time, love, and just enough fortune allowed it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    It’s all a very believable, close-quarters theater of exhaustion and pain, with moments of lightness and warmth that only add to the difficulty of Mickey’s predicament, and all of it captured in alluring fixed images of depth and color by cinematographer Conor Murphy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Although its storytelling is at times naggingly staid, its central characterizations teem with complexity and sensitivity, and for that, it’s a modest coming-of-age gem.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Outside of its major assets, which include “I, Tonya” scene-stealer Paul Walter Hauser’s unapologetically showy performance as Jewell and Sam Rockwell’s sardonic turn as his underdog lawyer, there’s a mystifying lack of clarity to the dramatic impact this retelling is seeking.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    In the end, there’s a point about black struggle alongside white dominance in The Cotton Club Encore that Coppola can’t get quite right because, ultimately, atmosphere won out over emotion.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    As pop culture narratives go, “Scandalous” wants to be as colorful and fun as a flip through of the rag itself at the supermarket. But in these truth-challenged times, the jovial tone of “Scandalous” all too often outweighs the judgmental.

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