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A.O. Scott, New York Times

  1. 20 Feet From Stardom 2013 This generous, fascinating documentary about the careers of backup singers, most of them African-American women, seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital. full review
  2. Adore 2013 Ms. Wright and Ms. Watts address their roles with skill and conviction, but this has the effect of making the story seem even more fanciful and absurd. full review
  3. As I Lay Dying 2013 As a whole ... "As I Lay Dying" conveys some of Faulkner's themes, and the details of the Bundren family story, with clarity and concision. full review
  4. Augustine 2013 Ms. Winocour is not inclined to turn "Augustine" into a neatly moralized fable of a predator and his victim. Rather, the film is what might be called a melodrama of transference ... full review
  5. Computer Chess 2013 Artificial intelligence remains an intoxicating theory and a heady possibility, about which I am hardly qualified to speak. But I do know real filmmaking intelligence when I see it. full review
  6. Cutie And The Boxer 2013 A movie that makes you feel less like a spectator than a guest, a friend welcomed into the home of an odd and fascinating couple. full review
  7. Drinking Buddies 2013 Mr. Swanberg's camera weaves through bodies at rest, at work and at the bar in no particular hurry, and his script captures the idioms of men and women who are equally inclined to waste words and to say very little. full review
  8. Gimme The Loot 2013 Sofia is intense and unsmiling, while Malcolm is a charming, goofy chatterbox, and they make a vivid impression, even without spray paint. full review
  9. A Hijacking 2013 Lindholm turns tedium and frustration into agonizing suspense. full review
  10. In the House 2013 The dexterity of the actors and their director is not quite enough, and as "In the House" accelerates, it also starts to sputter, piling on incidents and revelations that cause its web of implications to unravel. full review
  11. John Dies at the End 2013 It zigs, zags and trips over its own feet and on its own home-brewed hallucinogens. It's a ridiculous, preposterous, sometimes maddening experience, but also kind of a blast. full review
  12. LUV 2013 It does not entirely succeed, but at its best "Luv" shows the kind of heart and intelligence that is always welcome - and often missing - in American movies. full review
  13. Mud 2013 Mr. Nichols's voice is a distinctive and welcome presence in American film. full review
  14. Olympus Has Fallen 2013 Sadly, Mr. Butler lacks the wit and the range to convey anything other than grouchy belligerence, and the script, by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, seems intent on squandering opportunities to be clever or interesting. full review
  15. Paradise: Love 2013 A tour de force of meticulous cruelty, a comic melodrama that elicits laughter and empathy and then replaces those responses with squirming discomfort. full review
  16. Passion 2013 "Passion" is often sleek and enjoyable, dispensing titillation, suspense and a few laughs without taking itself too seriously. full review
  17. Prince Avalanche 2013 Mr. Green is too fond of these guys, and too respectful of the little bit of freedom they possess, to ensnare them in the machinery of a plot. full review
  18. Something in the Air 2013 Mr. Assayas's method is observant and immersive. His camera moves among young bodies like an invisible friend, and his somewhat messy narrative is propelled by fidelity to feeling rather than by the machinery of plot. full review
  19. The Square 2013 "The Square," while it records the gruesome collision of utopian aspirations with cold political realities, is not a despairing film. full review
  20. The Taste of Money 2013 Both bitter and delicious. full review
  21. Turbo 2013 Even in the absence of originality, there is fun to be had, thanks to some loopy, clever jokes (the script is by Darren Lemke, Robert Siegel and David Soren, who directed) and a lively celebrity voice cast ... full review
  22. Venus And Serena 2013 Think of this movie as a greatest-hits package, with some good stuff to show but nothing very new to say. full review
  23. 2 Days in New York 2012 The film, which is about a chaotic 48 hours in Marion's life, succumbs to the chaos it depicts, and so undermines its best intentions. It is, all in all, a likable mess. full review
  24. 5 Broken Cameras 2012 "5 Broken Cameras" provides a grim reminder - just in case you needed one - of the bitter intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. full review
  25. Alps 2012 Oblique connections are the threads that hold this film together, as Mr. Lanthimos moves from one somber, deliberate scene to the next. full review
  26. The Ambassador 2012 Mr. Brugger's portrait of shameless, routine collusion between exploitative foreigners and dysfunctional dictatorships is depressing and undeniable. full review
  27. Americano 2012 It is wistful and nostalgic, and at the same time full of restless curiosity. full review
  28. Marvel's The Avengers 2012 The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre. full review
  29. Blancanieves 2012 "Blancanieves" deftly blends cinematic antiquarianism, period atmosphere and primal emotions. full review
  30. The Cabin in the Woods 2012 There is a scholarly, nerdy, completist sensibility at work here that is impressive until it becomes exhausting. full review
  31. Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012 Even if the film is no substitute for the real thing, it is at least an effective advertisement. full review
  32. Dark Horse 2012 Its departures from realism have the effect of enlarging the narrow, unremarkable lives that are its focus, and by extension the audience's sense of what those lives might mean. full review
  33. For Ellen 2012 It teeters on the line that separates drama from anecdote. full review
  34. Girl In Progress 2012 Does it pull out all the melodramatic stops toward the end? Does it resolve its many climactic crises too neatly and too sweetly? Yes on both counts. But, then again, what did you expect? full review
  35. The Grey 2012 It's a fine, tough little movie, technically assured and brutally efficient, with a simple story that ventures into some profound existential territory without making a big fuss about it. full review
  36. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai 2012 More moving than shocking, it proceeds slowly and gracefully, and the few scenes of bloodshed are emotionally intense rather than showily sensational. full review
  37. How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? 2012 A film that at times seems ready to levitate from the screen on puffy clouds of praise. full review
  38. In Another Country 2012 A movie may be a representation of the world, but it is also something that happens in the world, which means that sustaining a cinematic illusion and breaking it are equally beside the point. full review
  39. The Innkeepers 2012 Luke and Claire are guilty, above all, of being dumb and bored. Even their interest in the ghost that may dwell in the dark corners of the Pedlar seems tepid and lacking in conviction. full review
  40. The Intouchables 2012 It is possible to summarize the experience of watching "The Intouchables" in nine words: You will laugh; you will cry; you will cringe. full review
  41. The Invisible War 2012 This is not a movie that can be ignored. full review
  42. The Island President 2012 The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent. full review
  43. Katy Perry: Part of Me 2012 "Part of Me" will never be mistaken for "The Red Shoes" (though Ms. Perry has some of those, as well as every other color), but her negotiation of the painfully competing demands of stardom and marriage is undeniably poignant. full review
  44. Last Call at the Oasis 2012 Ms. Yu, who has directed scripted television episodes as well as documentaries, wraps a lot of bad news into a slick, informative, fast-moving package. full review
  45. Lay the Favorite 2012 Best to say as little as possible, cut one's losses and move on. full review
  46. Little Birds 2012 It is hard not to be reminded of other movies - like Larry Clark's "Kids," Nick Cassavetes's "Alpha Dog," Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" - that explore similar territory with greater risk and originality. full review
  47. The Loneliest Planet 2012 It is gripping and haunting, but also coy and elusive. full review
  48. One for the Money 2012 There is action of a sort -- a car blows up, shots are fired -- and what might pass for witty, sexy banter to someone who once overheard a conversation about an episode of Moonlighting. full review
  49. Post Mortem 2012 [A] grim, intense, mordantly comic little film... full review
  50. The Queen of Versailles 2012 Captures the tone of the times with a clear, surprisingly compassionate eye. full review
  51. Radio Unnameable 2012 It can make you wish - or, if you're lucky, remember - that you were a sleepless New Yorker in 1967, kept from loneliness by a gentle, soulful voice on the radio. full review
  52. The Raven 2012 Mr. Cusack works himself into a lather trying to reconcile the contradictory parts of an incoherent character. In, I am sorry to say, an incoherent movie. full review
  53. A Royal Affair 2012 Unfortunately it never fully comes to life. full review
  54. The Sapphires 2012 A solid, stirring song sung with more sincerity than polish. full review
  55. Side by Side 2012 For a film geek this movie is absolute heaven, a dream symposium in which directors, cinematographers, editors and a few actors gather to opine on the details of their craft. full review
  56. Tonight You're Mine 2012 "Tonight You're Mine" is as ephemeral as its title - as thin as a jukebox dime but pretty catchy all the same. full review
  57. Union Square 2012 "Union Square" has the busy, hemmed-in talkiness of a theater piece, with too much forced to happen in too short a time. But it also has a lively, nervous energy and an expansive sympathy for the mismatched women at its heart. full review
  58. Welcome To Pine Hill 2012 [It] relies on understatement and indirection to arrive at a powerful and resonant meaning. full review
  59. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 2011 You are left in a bracing state of confusion, wondering how much has changed and how the change took place. full review
  60. Dirty Girl 2011 A well-meaning, misbegotten frenzy of confused impulses. full review
  61. Free Men 2011 A worthy and interesting chapter to the tradition of World War II dramas of conscience. full review
  62. Goodbye First Love 2011 It examines, with compassion and clarity, a young woman's discovery of passion and also of the pain, disappointment and partial wisdom that follow. full review
  63. Into The Abyss 2011 The paradox of this film is that it is both unremittingly bleak and rigorously humane. full review
  64. Keep the Lights On 2011 The look, mood and rhythm of the film are exquisitely, even thrillingly authentic. full review
  65. The Other Woman 2011 A not-bad movie (written and directed by Don Roos) based on a pretty good book ("Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" by Ayelet Waldman). full review
  66. Our Idiot Brother 2011 A thin, unconvincing movie made likable by the charm and skill of its cast and by a script peppered with wit and insight. full review
  67. Pina 2011 The power and intelligence of Bausch's approach, which at times seems more cerebral than sensual, is communicated. full review
  68. Polisse 2011 [A] long, unruly, gripping film. full review
  69. Red State 2011 For all its boisterous profanity and splattery violence, the film is more of a weary sigh than a sputtering volley of indignation. full review
  70. Sarah Palin: You Betcha! 2011 It feels warmed over, devoid of urgency and, in spite of Mr. Broomfield's on-camera displays of doggedness, lacking in curiosity. full review
  71. This Must Be The Place 2011 The plot turns are playful as well as jolting, and the visual shocks are gentle: a bison on the porch, the world's largest pistachio, Mr. Penn in his makeup. full review
  72. And Everything Is Going Fine 2010 Among other things, a tour de force of smart and sensitive editing. full review
  73. Armadillo 2010 You emerge shaken and bothered, which may sound like a reason not to see the movie. It is actually the opposite. full review
  74. Casino Jack 2010 Mr. Hickenlooper's oddly apolitical caper film loses itself in the puzzle of its protagonist's personality. full review
  75. Greenberg 2010 The funniest and saddest movie Mr. Baumbach has made so far, and also the riskiest.
  76. If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle 2010 The seams of the narrative start to show, and by the end you are more aware of the filmmakers' ideas than of the character's life. full review
  77. The Joneses 2010 Mr. Borte conjures up a pleasant Stepford that runs less on robotic conformity than on endless, anxious competition. The key to the film is that it allows this life to have some real appeal. full review
  78. The Kids Are All Right 2010 The performances are all close to perfect, which is to say that the imperfections of each character are precisely measured and honestly presented. full review
  79. Night Catches Us 2010 Night Catches Us, a politically sophisticated and ethically serious film, makes no big speeches or obvious points. full review
  80. Restrepo 2010 Has the spare, lyrical force of an elegy.
  81. Smash His Camera 2010 Mr. Galella emerges as a kindred soul for the curious documentarian and as a large, complicated personality in his own right. full review
  82. Beeswax 2009 At first glance a modest, ragged slice of contemporary life, turns out to be a remarkably subtle, even elegant movie. Its leisurely scenes and hesitant, circling conversations conceal both an ingenious comic structure and a rich emotional subtext. full review
  83. Agora 2009 The skeptical and the secular also need stories of martyrdom and rousing acts of cinematic preaching.
  84. Antichrist 2009 The scandal of Antichrist is not that it is grisly or upsetting but that it is so ponderous, so conceptually thin and so dull.
  85. The Boys Are Back 2009 The problem is that the movie always takes the easy way, scattering a few heavy, confrontational scenes among acres of picturesque montages. full review
  86. Cairo Time 2009 If Cairo Time does not amount to much, it does evoke a wistful state of feeling and a complicated city with enough skill and sensitivity that you wish it had dared more. full review
  87. Crude 2009 Mr. Berlinger has both a strong narrative instinct and a keen eye for incongruous, evocative and powerful images.
  88. Dare 2009 Dare feels a bit unfinished, at once overreaching and underrealized. But there is a lot of intelligence, and considerable daring, in the basic conceit. full review
  89. Double Take 2009 Hitchcock was a master of mischief and misdirection, and no film so thoroughly infused with his spirit could be dull or predictable. full review
  90. Fish Tank 2009 The contradictions of adolescence have rarely been conveyed with such authenticity and force.
  91. Inspector Bellamy 2009 The movie is in no hurry to end, much as its prolific maker never showed much inclination to stop. full review
  92. The Road 2009 The most arresting aspect of The Road is just how fully the filmmakers have realized this bleak, blighted landscape of a modern society reduced to savagery. full review
  93. The Secret of Kells 2009 It is only fitting that a movie concerned with the power and beauty of drawing -- the almost sacred magic of color and line -- should be so gorgeously and intricately drawn.
  94. The Time That Remains 2009 A thorny and intricate film that is also breathtakingly simple and honest. full review
  95. Bronson 2008 A bit like Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange reimagined as a one-man stage show and stripped of any political implications. full review
  96. The Burning Plain 2008 The elliptical structure of the narrative can't cover up its overheated, half-baked banality. full review
  97. New York, I Love You 2008 But in spite of some attempts at human and neighborhood variety, the stories have a self-conscious sameness, as if they were classroom assignments in an undergraduate fiction-writing class.
  98. Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2008 Zack and Miri Make a Porno, in spite of its lewdness, follows a gee-whiz romantic-comedy formula that would not be out of place on the Disney Channel.
  99. Beaufort 2007 Beaufort may be, strictly speaking, a war movie, but for long stretches it feels more like science fiction.
  100. Eagle vs. Shark 2007 One of those movies that invite you to laugh at its misfit characters and empathize with them at the same time.
  101. Hot Rod 2007 Hot Rod might be called the poor man's Eagle vs. Shark. Poor certainly describes the quality of the filmmaking.
  102. Munyurangabo 2007 Munyurangabo uses the fine-grained techniques of cinematic neorealism to illuminate the psychological and emotional landscape of a still-traumatized place.
  103. Please Vote for Me 2007 full review
  104. Sherrybaby 2006 What distinguishes the film from its many peers is the quality of Ms. Collyer's writing -- which rarely reaches for obvious, melodramatic beats -- and the precision of Ms. Gyllenhaal's performance.
  105. The Wind That Shakes the Barley 2006 ... the history presented in "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" hardly feels like a closed book or a museum display. It is as alive and as troubling as anything on the evening news, though far more thoughtful and beautiful.
  106. Aeon Flux 2005 Aeon Flux is best appreciated for the costumes, the sets and Charlize Theron's haughty athleticism.
  107. The Constant Gardener 2005 Fernando Meirelles's excellent adaptation of the novel by John le Carré is likely to linger in your mind and may even trouble your conscience. full review
  108. Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 Jim Sheridan's film, loosely based on the experiences of its star, the glowering rapper 50 Cent, lacks an emotional core.
  109. Into Great Silence 2005 The achievement of Into Great Silence is the way it captures the slow, delicate rhythm of the Carthusian monks.
  110. The Puffy Chair 2004 The Puffy Chair is a low-key road movie that, fittingly enough, has knocked around the festival circuit for a while and opened in a few theaters before arriving in New York today. The journey it depicts is similarly unhurried.
  111. Tokyo Godfathers 2003 Loosely based on 3 Godfathers, John Ford's maudlin 1948 western, this movie, a sweet fable of decency amid the down and out, also has echoes of Chaplin and Capra. full review
  112. Fidel 2002 This is an exercise not in biography but in hero worship. full review
  113. Poolhall Junkies 2002 Overplotted. full review
  114. Super Troopers 2002 You laugh neither with it nor at it but rather sit counting the minutes while the movie laughs, for no good reason, at itself. full review
  115. Get Over It 2001 May be halfhearted, but it's not entirely without heart. full review
  116. The Glass House 2001 A thriller that does not mean to be comical but that inspires more howls of laughter than shivers of dread. full review
  117. Heartbreakers 2001 Naughty is an outdated word in an era of proud nastiness, but Heartbreakers has a slinky, teasing quality that recalls the dressed-up comedies of the studio era. full review
  118. Monkeybone 2001 A welcome antidote to the epidemic of witless, frenetic, secondhand low comedies that gnaw at our brains like antibody-resistant spirochetes. full review
  119. The Score 2001 A spiritless, unimaginative exercise in professionalism for its own sake. full review
  120. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle 2000 Made by people who clearly think themselves much smarter than their audience. In place of whimsy, it offers cynicism. full review
  121. All the Pretty Horses 2000 A boy's adventure story that has mistaken itself for an epic, and it rattles around in its own ambitions like a child's head in a 10-gallon hat. full review
  122. Blow Dry 2000 Blow Dry seems both overplotted and underimagined. full review
  123. Center Stage 2000 full review
  124. Committed 2000 All in all, Committed lacks the courage of its convictions. full review
  125. Live Nude Girls Unite! 2000 full review
  126. Love's Labour's Lost 2000 Even though Love's Labour's Lost is, in showbiz terms, a turkey stuffed with chestnuts, you wouldn't trade it for a pot of gold. full review
  127. The Tigger Movie 2000 The songs seem to have been written over lunch at the Disney cafeteria. full review
  128. The Virgin Suicides 1999 More than most recent movies about suburban adolescence, The Virgin Suicides catches both the triviality and the grandeur of youth, its prosaic details and its mythopoetic flights. full review
  129. Don't Let Me Die On A Sunday 1998 full review
  130. East Is East 1998 full review
  131. Donnie Brasco 1997 full review
  132. Solo Con Tu Pareja 1991 Like Y Tu Mamá También, Alfonso Cuaróns first feature, made 15 years ago, is a rambunctious sex comedy shadowed by mortality.
  133. M*A*S*H 1970 full review
  134. Charade 1963 full review
  135. His Girl Friday 1940 full review

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