Vox's Scores

  • Movies
For 153 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Lady Bird
Lowest review score: 10 The Snowman
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 153
  2. Negative: 10 out of 153
153 movie reviews
  1. Beautiful Boy is a beautifully made and complex rendering of a father and son’s relationship that ends with too little hope to fit into people’s “inspirational movie” box. But at its best, it’s a strong rendering of both that horror and the frayed rays of hope that sometimes break through. It’s not easy to watch, but it is, in its own way, still beautiful.
  2. Part metaphorical (which it jokes about halfway through), part homage to old Hollywood, part whodunit, and part social commentary on an America reeling from mid-century chaos, it’s overstuffed but still feels controlled.
  3. The worst thing about Life Itself is how it can’t realize that it’s limited by its own point-of-view. It harps on the idea of unreliable narrators in literature, without seeming to understand either how the device is used or how it works or how literary critics have approached that idea throughout time.
  4. The Old Man & the Gun — which, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is based on real characters — is a natural fit for both star and director, and in Lowery’s hands, it feels like both an homage to the past and a gentle step toward the future.
  5. The movie works best, above all, as a melodrama about the limits and possibilities of love, and how love can make us into the best and worst versions of ourselves in the very same moment.
  6. Throughout, The Predator feels like it’s been cut to the bone, in a way that ultimately requires viewers to make tiny little leaps to keep up, and all those tiny little leaps eventually add up to a big, big gap between viewer and film.
  7. Morris’s film is less a takedown of its subject, and more a Rorschach test for its viewers. What you’ll see is precisely what you’re primed to see — and that, not Bannon’s ideas themselves, is the point.
  8. The movie sees Armstrong’s reserve as both a blessing and a curse, a gift and a problem, but it’s unequivocal in its admiration of his humility. And in this way, it feels less like it’s forcing a myth onto the man who made it clear to his biographer that he wasn’t seeking renown — and more like a statement of gratitude.
  9. It strikes a perfect balance between being a coming-of-age story nestled in a family narrative on the one hand, and a social drama on the other. And in never sacrificing either of those two interests, it becomes a strong example of both.
  10. Moore still suffers from bouts of self-aggrandizement and snide generalization. But they feel jarringly out of place, and in a good way. That’s because, for a great deal of the film, Moore cedes the floor to people whose voices are not as easily heard, or who have had to fight to have a voice at all.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sierra Burgess is a paint-by-numbers teen movie whose admirable sincerity fails to make up for the clumsiness of its craftsmanship, and whose compelling teen girl friendship is marred by the creepiness of its love story.
  11. It’s a slow-burn horror film, one that has all the sudden scares and moments of pristine fear present in any good movie of its ilk. But in the hands of Lenny Abrahamson (Room), The Little Stranger is elevated by measured pacing that also makes the larger house-based metaphor clear — and the result is both elegiac and frightening.
  12. Bisbee ’17 is a fierce, lyrical probe into the soul of a town haunted by a history it would rather forget. It’s also an unsettling cipher for America, in a year when the ghosts of our past revealed themselves in frightening ways.
  13. Like all ghastly failures, The Happytime Murders is not “so bad it’s good.” It’s just bad: a boring flop, an unfunny comedy where nothing’s at stake.
  14. Alpha is definitely sentimental, even pandering at times. But its unexpected setting, images, set pieces, and even language balance out the sentimentality with a strangely raw and cinematically adventurous aesthetic that’s uncommon for a film of its sort.
  15. Crazy Rich Asians is fun, funny, gorgeous, and swoon-worthy. It’s got a terrific cast, glamorous locations, witty jokes, and a story with a lot of heart. And on top of all that, it may actually succeed in proving to Hollywood that both Asian-centered stories and romantic comedies deserve much more attention.
  16. In the hands of Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), it’s just a shark movie, and a kind of inert one at that.
  17. Its kid-friendly, free-for-all spirit rides atop an undercurrent of pointed commentary about the state of the superhero industry (and the entertainment industry more broadly) that will give those parental guides something to hold on to amid the candy-colored cacophony. Or they could just surrender and enjoy the butt jokes. They’re pretty good butt jokes!
  18. The result is sublimely ridiculous, or perhaps ridiculously sublime: the very definition of frothy summer entertainment, moderately (if unevenly) well-directed by Ol Parker, that works best if you just suspend your need for it all to make sense.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The appeal of the Equalizer series is in watching the everyday — including Washington himself — turn deadly. And like its hero, The Equalizer 2 still has it where it counts.
  19. The film is a confident debut from two writers and a director with no shortage of things to say and a strong voice to say them in.
  20. In addition to the absurd stunts and convoluted plot machinations, what makes the Mission: Impossible movies work in general, and Fallout in particular, is that they let their characters be characters, driven by a number of complex factors, even when they’re chasing an enemy or trying to get out of a scrape.
  21. The big difference between this kind of video game movie and an actual video game is that you’re not playing it — you’re just passively consuming it, and you know how it will end before it gets going. So any surprise or intrigue comes from just seeing how our mighty protagonist will get himself out of this scrape. That’s just enough for a couple hours of fairly mindless entertainment.
  22. It knows what year it’s coming out — on July 4, no less — and it’s slamming on every hot button it can find. That might be cathartic. It might also be turning pain into entertainment. With The First Purge, your mileage may vary.
  23. Leave No Trace is the story of a bond between a teenage daughter and her veteran father, but in the background is another kind of bond, something that keeps the world from spinning apart. That’s Granik’s subject, and Leave No Trace explores it simply but unforgettably.
  24. It’s inexcusable for a movie that tries to say daring and surprising things about a very urgent matter of cultural and political importance to be so thuddingly predictable in so many places.
  25. Yet that prickly view of fatherhood is what I kept coming back to as the fizz of the movie faded away. It makes Ant-Man and the Wasp feel like something more distinct than just the Ant-Man sequel, and helps it stand out from the other two movies Marvel put out this year.
  26. Fallen Kingdom understands the moral weight of the setup it’s been handed by the previous five movies. Even when it stumbles as a film, it has a definite point of view on what a humanity callous enough to revive a species for its own pleasure and inquiry ought to experience in return.
  27. It’s a remarkable addition to the small but growing canon of American films that aren’t afraid to stare straight into an abyss with all of the implications — moral, ethical, political, and religious — that are required for this moment in our history. First Reformed is a confounding stunner of a movie and richly deserves our full, serious attention.
  28. While writer-director Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 is undeniably a good time at the movies for the whole family, it’s the rare superhero movie that may have too many ideas knocking around in its noggin, none of which seem terribly coherent. And that, in the end, makes the film less than it clearly wants to be.

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