The Atlantic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 275 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Widows
Lowest review score: 0 Transformers: The Last Knight
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 275
275 movie reviews
  1. Affleck communicates all of the movie’s emotional breakthroughs via little choices—an angry swipe at an empty beer can when he’s being pressed on his drinking, or slowly curling into a ball when he admits the extent of his problem. It’s the kind of subtlety I’ve never seen Affleck demonstrate as a performer. The fact that he brings his real-life battles to the movie may be uncomfortable for some viewers, but the actor insists he approached the role carefully.
  2. First Cow is a masterwork of indie cinema—a tale that’s both charming and unsparing, suffused with equal measures of wonder and dread.
  3. Though Whannell started out as a writer, it’s clear that stylish direction is where his strengths truly lie. Luckily, The Invisible Man has more than enough of that to hold the viewer’s attention.
  4. The effort it must have taken to create this movie is apparent in every frame, but that doesn’t mean it’s watchable.
  5. The most crucial aspect of the role-playing game is community—the fact that it’s played with friends and relies on teamwork. The writer-director Dan Scanlon’s clear grasp of that makes for a warm, gentle film that doesn’t try to merely dazzle the audience with wild fantasy visuals.
  6. De Wilde and the screenwriter Eleanor Catton do not rush to a conclusion—and even though every frame of the film is as pretty as possible, they don’t spare the emotional wounds along the way.
  7. All in all, the weaknesses and strengths of this remake boil down to the unavoidable fact that Force Majeure, a film I’ve seen multiple times and consider one of the best of its decade, isn’t a work that can be improved upon.
  8. If the rest of Sonic the Hedgehog were pitched at Carrey’s energy level, it could at least be distracting. But for such a short movie (it runs 99 minutes with extensive credits), and especially for one about a super-speedy fellow, it never builds momentum.
  9. Fiala and Franz can’t find a compelling purpose for the uncanny yarn they’ve spun. When all its ominous frights flame out in narrative chaos, The Lodge becomes a bore, more invested in the ghoulishness of its final reveal than in examining its unpleasant moral implications.
  10. The film picks and chooses what to carry over from its forebears in a way that’s both fascinating to watch and—as is typical with DC Comics movies—gives the sense of a plane being built in midair. But fortunately for Birds of Prey, that manic energy suits Harley Quinn just fine.
  11. Green has crafted a hermetic, office-bound world so ambiguous that the moments when she reveals its dynamics directly sometimes come off as disconcerting.
  12. For all its energy and vulgarity, The Gentlemen is a slog, a tedious and unnecessarily unpleasant tour of ground that Ritchie’s already covered.
  13. Weathering With You sticks to its guns all the way to the finale. It’s a story of Japan’s younger generation figuring out its future, and of a repudiation of the past that goes hand in hand with hope.
  14. It’s transfixing at times, if only because it’s such a disaster.
  15. This peculiar but delightful hybrid just may be the best animated offering of the year.
  16. It’s a remarkable story, but a cinematically limited one, constantly in danger of seeming more like a news summary than a narrative work.
  17. If not for the unusual setting and Stewart’s unique star presence, Underwater might feel completely anonymous. Fortunately, all that H2O suffices to give this goofy trifle a memorable sense of atmosphere.
  18. There is no sense of real danger, because the mission has to continue, if only to keep this impressive long shot going. Any time there’s a larger, more cataclysmic set piece, our heroes look like tiny chess pieces on a much bigger board, bystanders who move around exploding mortars and whizzing bullets to produce the most stunning tableaux possible.
  19. Gerwig manages to honor both the letter and the spirit of Alcott’s tale; Little Women is stuffed with trials and tribulations, yet overflowing with goodwill, just as Alcott described it herself.
  20. Whether you think the imagery is beautiful or nightmarish, this is a film that demands to be looked at. If nothing else, I can confirm it’s the most Jellicle experience I’ve had all year.
  21. The Rise of Skywalker is a fitting epitaph for the thrills and limits of repetition; may it be the last episode of a saga that should’ve ended long ago.
  22. The current implications of A Hidden Life feel most pressing here: Malick is asking the audience (and himself) if they would capitulate in the face of tyranny or make Jägerstätter’s sacrifice. It’s a decision Malick memorializes beautifully, in a film that is his most affecting effort in almost a decade.
  23. Horrifying, transfixing, and ultimately, to use Tony Kushner’s immortal phrasing, intestinal.
  24. The Aeronauts is as thin as the high-altitude air surrounding its heroes, a visually splendid thrill ride that somehow manages to feel entirely without dramatic stakes. But if it’s balloons you’re after, then this is the film to see.
  25. To Eastwood, Jewell is a hero not just because he saved people’s lives, but also because he was an ordinary and imperfect man who rose to the occasion when the moment demanded it. That’s the story Richard Jewell should be telling, and it succeeds when it sticks to that path.
  26. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is primarily a romance. But it’s also a film about the deeply personal process of creativity—the pain and joy of making one’s emotions and memories into a work of art.
  27. At heart, the film is mostly a buddy comedy, an odd-couple clash between an old-fashioned stick in the mud and his more easygoing replacement. That makes it a breeze to watch—one just wonders if a movie about the modern papacy should be so cheerful.
  28. The art of a cinematic murder mystery is to make the act of putting clues together seem suspenseful and worth watching. In the hands of Craig at his most gleeful, de Armas at her career best, and Johnson oozing love for the genre, Knives Out rises splendidly to the task.
  29. As a piece of pure exposition, Dark Waters is interesting enough. But around the hard work and do-goodery, Haynes also provides a sense of crushing dread—the kind of unsolvable paranoia these procedure-bound movies usually work to counter.
  30. It’s a sincere, measured, and clever homage to its subject, a work of storytelling that would have made Mister Rogers proud.

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