Critics

Complete list of awards:

Best Film
1. Drive
2. Martha Marcy May Marlene
3. Take Shelter
4. Melancholia
5. The Descendants
6. Midnight in Paris
7. The Tree of Life
8. The Artist
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Hugo

Best Director
-Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
-Runner-up: Lars von Trier, Melancholia

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The Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips.

1. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
2. Moneyball – Bennett Miller
3. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
4. The Descendants – Alexander Payne
5. The Interrupters – Steve James
6. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench – Damien Chazelle
7. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
8. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
10. Weekend – Andrew Haigh

The IndieWire Critics’ Poll is so thoroughly exhaustive, it’s exhausting just trying to get a manageable list trimmed down to post. IndieWire surveys nearly 160 critics and reveals all the internal numbers. So you can see the integrity of their math and vice versa. Categories are expandable to dozens and dozens of rankings, so there’s a lot of fascinating gratifying/infuriating detail in the complete breakdown.

Best Film
1. The Tree of Life
2. Melancholia
3. A Separation
4. Drive
5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
6. Certified Copy
7. Mysteries of Lisbon
8. Hugo
9. Margaret
10. Meek’s Cutoff
11. Shame
12. The Descendants
13. The Artist
14. Take Shelter
15. Martha Marcy May Marlene
(full list up to #60, after the cut)

Best Director
1. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
2. Lars von Trier, Melancholia
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
3. Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
4. Raul Ruiz, Mysteries of Lisbon
5. Kelly Reichart, Meek’s Cutoff

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(thanks Paul8148)

Picture: Tree of Life

2. Drive
3. Pariah
4. Rampart
5. Shame
6. Moneyball
7. The Descendants
8. A Better Life
9. My Week With Marylin
10. The Help

Best Director: Steve McQueen (Shame)

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BEST PICTURE, Winner: “The Descendants.” Runner-Up: “The Tree of Life.”

BEST DIRECTOR, Winner: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life.” Runner-Up: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo.”

BEST ACTOR, Winner: Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class.” Runner-Up: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter.”

BEST ACTRESS, Winner: Yun Jung-hee, “Poetry.” Runner-Up: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, Winner: Jessica Chastain, “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields,” “Tree of Life” Runner-Up: Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, Winner: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”Runner-Up: Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult.”

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(Thanks to Dustin Chase)

Best Picture

  • Drive, Film District
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Warner Bros.
  • Midnight in Paris, Sony Pictures Classics
  • Take Shelter, Sony Pictures Classics
  • The Artist, The Weinstein Company
  • The Descendants, Fox Searchlight
  • The Help, Dreamworks & Touchstone
  • The Tree of Life, Fox Searchlight
  • War Horse, Dreamworks & Disney
  • Win Win, Fox Searchlight

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In a few days Sight & Sound will announce online the full results of its annual critics’ poll, but the poll issue is on news stands this week so we already know the top 11 films thanks to Guy Lodge at In Contention

1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
3. The Kid With a Bike (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
4. Melancholia (Lars von Trier)
5. The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
Continue reading…

In a few days Sight & Sound will announce online the full results of its annual critics’ poll, but the poll issue is on news stands this week so we already know the top 11 films thanks to Guy Lodge at In Contention

1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
3. The Kid With a Bike (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
4. Melancholia (Lars von Trier)
5. The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
Continue reading…


(new TV spot in advance of tomorrow’s premiere in NY and LA)

Already standing in strong position with the critics, The Descendants stock rises with raves today from A.O. Scott, Glenn Kenny, Betsy Sharkey and the rare 4-star review from Peter Travers. [Travers’ review now UPDATED with expanded excerpt]

The New York Times, A.O. Scott:

Mr. Payne — immeasurably aided by a dazzlingly gifted, doggedly disciplined cast — nimbly sidesteps the sentimental traps that lurk within the film’s premise. He somehow achieves the emotional impact of good melodrama and the hectic absurdity of classic farce without ever seeming to exaggerate. There are times when you laugh or gasp in disbelief at what has just happened… and yet every moment of the movie feels utterly and unaffectedly true.

…the most striking and satisfying aspects of “The Descendants” are its unhurried pace and loose, wandering structure.

In most movies the characters are locked into the machinery of narrative like theme park customers strapped into a roller coaster. Their ups and downs are as predetermined as their shrieks of terror and sighs of relief, and the audience goes along for the ride. But the people in this movie seem to move freely within it, making choices and mistakes and aware, at every turn, that things could be different.

Continue reading…


(new TV spot in advance of tomorrow’s premiere in NY and LA)

Already standing in strong position with the critics, The Descendants stock rises with raves today from A.O. Scott, Glenn Kenny, Betsy Sharkey and the rare 4-star review from Peter Travers. [Travers’ review now UPDATED with expanded excerpt]

The New York Times, A.O. Scott:

Mr. Payne — immeasurably aided by a dazzlingly gifted, doggedly disciplined cast — nimbly sidesteps the sentimental traps that lurk within the film’s premise. He somehow achieves the emotional impact of good melodrama and the hectic absurdity of classic farce without ever seeming to exaggerate. There are times when you laugh or gasp in disbelief at what has just happened… and yet every moment of the movie feels utterly and unaffectedly true.

…the most striking and satisfying aspects of “The Descendants” are its unhurried pace and loose, wandering structure.

In most movies the characters are locked into the machinery of narrative like theme park customers strapped into a roller coaster. Their ups and downs are as predetermined as their shrieks of terror and sighs of relief, and the audience goes along for the ride. But the people in this movie seem to move freely within it, making choices and mistakes and aware, at every turn, that things could be different.

Continue reading…

Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman says The Ides of March is George Clooney’s best film yet as director:

Actors who become directors tend to focus on performance at the expense of everything else. Clooney certainly brings out the best in his actors, but his driving trait as a filmmaker is that he knows what plays — he has an uncanny sense of how to uncork a scene and let it bubble and flow.

The movie is a grippingly dark and cynical drama of insider politics, set during the days leading up to an Ohio Democratic presidential primary. Ryan Gosling, proving that he can flirt with sleaze and still make you like him, stars as Stephen Meyers, the idealistic but also shrewdly opportunistic press secretary to Gov. Mike Morris (played by Clooney), a soulful and articulate Obama-in-2008-esque candidate who is promising a new kind of politics.

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Ziyad Abul Hawa has done another spectacular job crunching the numbers to rank the year’s top movies up through the final weeks of summer.

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[Update: 7 scores of 100. 89 overall average.]

For those of you keeping score at home (you know who you are) Moneyball has so far collected 4 perfect scores of 100 on Metacritic, and only one naysayer (Slate) giving it anything less than a 70.

That’s 20 green lights and dim one yellow note of caution. With a current average of 86, this puts Moneyball one point below Deathly Hallows (at 87) as the best reviewed American film of the year thus far. Tree of Life and Meek’s Cutoff tying for 3rd with 85.

Still a little over a dozen critics yet to weigh in before the number settles at its final level, but Scott Rudin and Bennett Miller must be feeling pretty good right about now.

Beth Stevens has been keeping track of the BFCA Critics’ Choice ratings, and we thought it might be interesting to take a mid-year snapshot with a handy chart. On this page you’ll find all the 2011 titles that have earned a 4-star rating. After the cut the list continues with 3-star films. Bear in mind the BFCA ratings have little relationship to their own year-end “Top 10.” Last year, for example, Me and Orson Welles earned a perfect score of 100 (a score it still holds), but was nowhere in sight among the annual BFCA nominees. Strange too, the complete absence of foreign language titles. Have not enough BFCA critics yet seen 13 Assassins or Mysteries of Lisbon? They need to get out more. Incendies does receive a 2011 score of 87 — but since it was already nominated for an Oscar last year I haven’t included it on this chart. So while these numbers might be interesting, let’s take their ultimate awards relevance with a coarsely-ground grain of salt. Unless you really want to believe that The Devil’s Double has more Oscar potential than The Tree of Life.


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Lord Voldemort’s days are numbered — and those numbers could add up to Oscar-worthy critics scores. Two of Awards Daily’s comment crew have embarked on ambitious number-crunching projects to chart how the BP nomination prospects for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows stack up with the astronomically high ratings its been getting from critics.

Numbers are still in flux, but here’s a summary of HP8’s critics ranking as of July 15:

  • 87 – Metacritic
  • 97 – Rotten Tomatoes
  • 100 – Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics
  • 91 – Broadcast Film Critics Association

phantom explains his analysis at his website, awardscorner:

What do  these scores mean compared to recent best picture winners/nominees ?  Hint : it not only looks nomination-worthy based on these numbers, (on paper) it could even win…(probably won’t). For now, I think it will be similar to Toy Story 3 : rave reviews + stunning Box Office + last chapter-factor, but the Academy still might not be able to take it seriously enough to consider it for the ‘big one’. For what it’s worth, the film received excellent – almost identical – scores compared to The Return of the King…and that’s definitely a great start.

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In which readers are invited to beat up on your own picks, and pick apart Travers himself. I think he’s a reliable critic, but he should stay well away from the camera. Not that his choices are wrong. He’s right. Most of these movies are embarrassingly bad. But isn’t this kind of list already snotty enough without the arrogant amateur standup schtick? Fine to express your disappointment, Pete, but this isn’t cute; it’s tiresome. Few things more pathetic than a critic failing to be funny while he bashes somebody else for Worst Comedy.

After Newsweek magazine singled out the recession-racked metropolis as one of “America’s top 10 dying cities,” residents struck back and created “The Grand Rapids LipDub,” set to Don McLean’s 1972 hit “American Pie.” On his blog, Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert called the viral sensation, which was posted May 26 on YouTube, “the greatest music video ever made.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

Very Small Array charts a steady 50-year decline in the quality of films moviegoers want to see most. Steepest nosedive occurs at the end of the 1970’s when the American New Wave suffered a backlash, studios pulled the plug on rebel directors, a decade of film-schooled artistry was ending, and the era of the modern marketing blockbuster began. If this graph looks like the EKG of a sick patient in critical condition, last night’s premiere episode of “FilmPulse” is another troubling symptom:

If you actually watch some of the movies from the ’70’s that are considered classics like Bullitt and The French Connection, they’re incredibly boring to people our age because we saw The Matrix when we were 10.

I keep hoping to hear this thing is an elaborate parody.

AD reader Andrew has devised another great system of charts to help us navigate the swampy morass we’ve all sailed into together. Contenders in each category are ranked according to points earned from over 50 critics groups, with handy bar charts to illustrate whose dick is biggest which movie dominates.

It’s basically a slightly modified total number of wins and noms an entry got, but it takes some factors into account, like whether the noms came from small or large awards groups, and whether they were wins, noms, or came in 3rd place, 8th place, etc…

We’ll let Andrew explain the details and answer questions in the comments. Check out the links to 5 detailed charts after the cut, along with notes outlining the process and a few of his observations about the results.

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2010_the_social_network_016

It is not surprising that The Social Network tops their list of the Best Reviewed Film of the year.

For the first time since 2007, a wide-release movie ‚Äî one that has played nationwide on hundreds of screens, rather than an independent, foreign, or “arthouse” film ‚Äî has captured the title of best-reviewed movie of the year. The Social Network 95, David Fincher‚Äôs chronicle of the founding of Facebook, is also just the fourth movie since 2000 to achieve a Metascore of 95 or higher.

It is also dominating their awards charts and the top ten lists.

Meanwhile, they also announce the top five best reviewed dramas in the English language:

1 2 3 4 5
Image Image Image Image Image
The Social Network Winter’s Bone The King’s Speech Animal Kingdom 127 Hours

The stats.

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