The Film Stage's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,635 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Elle
Lowest review score: 0 The Hustle
Score distribution:
1635 movie reviews
  1. I have to give the filmmakers a ton of credit here because they walk themselves to a point of no return as far as where things are heading and they do not blink. They lift the curtain to briefly show us the horrors beneath the sterile walls of this prison and let them exist as inevitability rather than something that can be altered.
  2. Poésy, Kerekes, and Röhrig steal many scenes with their emotional investment to their respective roles. Schweighöfer is easy to hate . . . and Eisenberg is effective yet again as a “genius” whose pragmatism borderlines on Asperger’s if not full-on misanthropy. If the story itself doesn’t grab your attention, their performances within should.
  3. We learn everything there is to know about an entire country through the Heise family’s words. Some passages prove better than others, but none are inconsequential to the whole.
  4. It’s the kind of escapist action film and politically-tinged revenge tale that could actually spark a discussion rather than the reaction one has after walking out of The Hunt: stunned silence at how filmmakers could so severely botch a satire in a moment when there is plenty of material to mine from. If nothing else, at least it is mercifully short.
  5. It’s First Cow’s buddy relationship that instills the film with a reserved, yet palpable emotional core.
  6. Inspired by his grandmother’s institutionalization for OCD and propelled by his own experiences having identified as both genders during his lifetime, writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ fictional feature debut Swallow provides its lead an escape through pica.
  7. While things do ultimately get heavy-handed at times (Grace comparing Edward’s act to murder is one thing, him comparing it to the utilitarian sacrifice of war is another), it never gets boring.
  8. Onward is a spring treat that might not lead to sequels or boffo merchandise sales, but will certainly please families and the Pixar faithful. Debating whether the film is “classic Pixar” is silly. Put those concerns aside and you’ll be rewarded with the first great family film of 2020.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The Way Back shares those convictions and themes, but its greatest asset is its honesty.
  9. Not since A Short Film About Killing has a filmmaker produced such a thrilling case against capital punishment, an enraging, enthralling, enduring testament to the oppressed.
  10. It is a staggering film; one that defies categorization and a unique achievement that must be seen to be believed.
  11. Jia’s earnest approach has always been endearing and Swimming Out sees it in full flight.
  12. In taking a centuries-old piece of mythology as its source material, Undine ultimately forgoes the inventiveness and sensuality of its first half by slipping into relatively bland predictability. And for a filmmaker who thrives on disregarding narrative conventions, it feels a fatal error. “Relatively” is the key here. This is still Petzold after all, if not peak Petzold.
  13. Woman Who Ran looks and feels like a pleasant farce in comparison to much of Hong’s recent output.
  14. It’s a film that carries emotional power more in its moments of natural reflexiveness than the weepie genre’s more conventional emotional beats, anchored by two focused lead performances that thankfully don’t succumb to melodrama.
  15. The vast majority of the film functions as a hypnotic if frankly monotonous dialectic (ruminations on Christ, honor, “we were just following orders,” war, love etc. that become more heated as time goes on) that is assured to alienate most anyone without a minor in philosophy or the vocabulary of academic text.
  16. This is Jóhannsson’s first and last film, and its hard not to recognize that this is a director who arrived fully formed as a visual artist. His dreamy combination of sound and images, the editing and pacing, and his use of Sturla Brandth Grøvlen’s grainy 16mm cinematography combine with strange potency.
  17. The Invisible Man is full of tension and surprise, a brooding midnight movie traumatizer packed with the constant threat of unhinged energy that roars with a crowd.
  18. All the Dead Ones is an accomplished film by directing duo Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, rich in the nation’s poetry and music, daring in highlighting women’s voices while commenting on Brazil’s history of inequality of wealth, class, and race.
  19. The characterizations are threadbare and simple: Saul and Zama are the downbeat 99% (his creepy mask recalls both Joker and Anonymous); Miller’s character represents soulless commerce. What Funny Face lacks in social commentary, however, it makes up for in mood.
  20. Embracing the sci-fi genre, they take out the world-saving doom and frightful creature effects this breed of films is known for, and instead deliver a light, cuddly adventure that’s a step below its predecessor in shear (sorry!) inventiveness but still containing a wealth of delightful comedic gags.
  21. Sheridan lends his role the necessary nuance it deserves and de Armas imbues hers with a wealth of unspoken pain, but neither effort receives its payoff. The film conversely squanders both instead.
  22. A lot happens during the course of director Matthew Pope and co-writer Don M. Thompson’s Blood on Her Name … too much. This can prove problematic for what starts as a simple plot before things start turning convoluted real quick thanks to new revelations shedding light upon secrets and lies. Surprisingly, however, that perpetually escalating noise is justified.
  23. Saint Frances is a character-driven effort that tackles big themes in a wonderfully down-to-earth manner. That’s a tricky balancing act, but Thompson and O’Sullivan pull it off.
  24. Often charming in the most confrontational way possible, Straight Up pays due respect to the endlessly creative ways people delude themselves into avoiding difficult realities. It may talk (and talk) a good game, but it’s in the quieter moments of silence when it speaks volumes about the perils of modern alienation.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    All in all, Young Ahmed is not without merit. It’s an admirable attempt at portraying an immigrant experience relatively unfamiliar to the Belgian filmmaking pair, expertly directed with a number of noteworthy performances from its largely non-professional cast. Still, there’s the failure to provide nuance to a story and subject matter that practically necessitates it by nature of the intended tone.
  25. The plot’s obviousness melts away because we’re having a genuinely great time as these flawed men grow ever so slightly with each passing minute. They feel real.
  26. What’s mostly a vérité document of lead character Tina’s (Carlie Guevara) trajectory towards chemically transitioning from male to female despite being an undocumented immigrant in an expensive city like New York, Flavio Alves’ The Garden Left Behind is also a rather potent expression of humanity’s collective dysphoria.
  27. It is worth reemphasizing that all assembled players rise to the occasion, and Emma. generates most interest when the effects of its verbosity begin paling against non-verbal turns.
  28. Ultimately, it’s the upbeat energy from Sanders’ direction that keeps the engine going. The Call of the Wild is a welcome adventure for a cold winter’s night.

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