For 991 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Abele's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Wetlands
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Film Festival
Score distribution:
991 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    [Labaki] finds a magically resonant space between documentary-like vibe and dramatic performance that honors the characters’ inherent humanity while memorably framing the wretched circumstances that dictate their actions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Tyrel is a lab experiment with no insight into feelings of otherness beyond the blinding light directed at its wigged-out subject.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 65 Robert Abele
    The Mule may not always stand with his most resonant work, at times betraying the awkwardness of someone set in his grizzled ways. But Eastwood’s tilled enough filmmaking soil over the years to know that the same ground can produce daylilies or contraband and that the most involving movies at least try to harvest both.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    For all the ways Dumplin’ does its best to avoid some clichés (no mean-girl antagonists) while embracing others (drag queens as coaches), it’s still a regrettably undercooked meal, even with those songs and the breezy magnetism of “Patti Cakes” star Macdonald.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    If you’re looking for a quick medicinal shot of how we got to Trump in the White House, the bracing “Divide and Conquer” feels like one of the more alarming civics courses you’ll ever take.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Overall this is a solid portrait of time’s effect on what we miss, and how we miss.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Abele
    Though there’s an abiding sensitivity in the often-noirish approach to the story’s many traumas and its characters’ flailing attempts at coping, as a whole it’s something of a tonal mess.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Gillan, returning to her Highlands roots to spotlight a depressingly high suicide rate there among young people, has not only given herself an expectedly meaty role that walks a fine line between sad and bitterly funny, but she’s proven to be a director with a keen eye for expressive visuals.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    It leaves one with the sense that Khaled wishes to reclaim a headline-tainted religious status from the acts of violent men and bestow that mournful grace to people in an everyday struggle with sensitivity and hopelessness.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Filmmaker Anahí Berneri, through her tough single-mother protagonist, mesmerizingly realized by Sofía Gala Castiglione, offers a no-apologies look at a member of a risk-taking underclass dinged on all sides.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The abiding darkness and occasionally graphic visuals will likely reduce its appeal as talking-critter family fare — think growling nighttime campfire tale instead of sun-dappled spectacle — but it makes for a welcome swerve from the Mouse House’s fun-zone approach to these timeless stories.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    The Cleaners makes clear how when it comes to the Internet, the more private corporations decide what we all get to “like,” the worse off we’re all going to be.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The nuances in Derki’s portraits are what deepen the elements that could easily have been a distancing turnoff.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The film’s occasional flatness of tone isn’t always well-used — these may be the raw materials for a classic Hollywood weepie, but sometimes you want to see filmmaking, not a camera pointed in the general direction of who’s talking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Say Her Name doesn’t have answers, but it does re-emphasize how unnecessarily tragic Bland’s death was, and why her name should be a boldfaced one in the nationwide call for police reform.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    The truth is that “Rocky IV” and Creed II sharing the same cinematic universe requires supreme suspension of disbelief. But taken as descendants of the original, “Rocky IV” is the delinquent you never talk about, while Creed II at least knows how to keep the family business humming.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    If your taste for athletic snapshots has tired of tales of the troubled, Khan’s at least smoothly offers someone as comfortable being a Muslim hero and family man as he is a fast-jabbing contender.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Abele
    An acrobatic, larkish globetrotting adventure about paintings and psychotherapy that defies easy categorization save inclusion on any adult animation fan’s must-see list, its slinky, colorful pleasures and wittily referential joie de vivre are like a lifeline in a season when the art house is typically beholden to severe, award-seeking bids to depress you.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Director Xiaozhi Rao’s facility with behavioral extremes that disguise the hardships of life in modern China is a scattershot mix of the Tarantino-esque and melodramatic, with bursting pop songs and visual tricks filling in any perceived gaps in logic or attention.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Abele
    With so many documentaries on Bergman already in existence, that von Trotta has made her own uniquely inviting tour of his triumphs, anguishes, and longstanding themes — in essence a roomy portrait of the artist as an engaged, fallible searcher — is its own gift of sorts, from one acolyte of cinema to another.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    The Price of Free benefits from a potent mix of compassionate heroism and hard-won hopefulness.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Abele
    Mackenzie shaved 20 minutes or so after its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, but there’s still no getting around the fact that what starts as a human drama of occupation, unease, brotherhood, and political fracturing invariably must give way to the mechanics of lengthy, loud, and splatter-enhanced combat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    As push-pull friendships in churning waters go, Mia’s and Gianna’s is the visceral heart of Brühlmann’s film, which otherwise isn’t the greatest mix of teen angst and body horror you’re likely to see, but also nowhere near the worst.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Abele
    Perhaps because in giving the jump-around view — introducing us to not just Hart (Jackman) and family, but campaign staff, and reporters from a handful of newspapers — the effect is of a scandal skimmed, rather than explored.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    As for Polsky’s own directorial style, it’s breathlessly, haphazardly eccentric, a little too prone to the clichés sports docs use to pump up our adrenaline. But his subjects — kings of the puck, the pigskin and the pitch — are engagingly self-analytical and honest.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Wang approaches storytelling through the internal weather of his characters and long, fixed takes marked by naturalistic dialogue — blink and you might not catch a time-fracturing, nuanced gesture, or crucial piece of information.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Robert Abele
    Although Vaya is plenty watchable as a commercial melodrama energized by its performers (especially the magnetic, star-in-the-making Nyoka), Omotoso’s fleet pacing and Kabelo Thathe’s marvelously textured cinematography, it also shrewdly avoids convenient, well-trod moralizing about small towns versus urban centers.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Robert Abele
    There’s nothing else out there like Patrick Wang’s two-part, four-hour labor of love, A Bread Factory, and that’s wholly a good thing.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Robert Abele
    Through bursts of comedy, poignancy, conflict, song, dance, and theatrical whimsy, what emerges is akin to a homespun symphony of soulfulness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Abele
    Selected by Sweden as its entry for the foreign language Oscar, the refreshingly offbeat, sturdily handled Border is not just unlikely to resemble any of its subtitled competition but also anything else you’ll see this year.

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