Holiday Movie Scorecard 2017

It’s that time of year for the movies: life-affirming (or shattering) dramas, awards hopefuls, holiday comedies, and maybe even a blockbuster or two — assuming they avoided behind-the-camera scandal to actually get released to the public. The movies that break the waves and breach the shores of popular culture get ranked on our Holiday Movie Scorecard (each one needs to hit 600+ theater count and/or 80+ reviews), so check back every Monday to see the latest!

Adjusted Score: 4847%
Critics Consensus: A thoroughly unfunny misfire, Just Getting Started manages the incredible feat of wasting more than a century of combined acting experience from its three talented leads.
Synopsis: Duke Diver is living the high life as the freewheeling manager of a luxurious resort in Palm Springs, Calif. He... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton


Daddy's Home 2 (2017)

Adjusted Score: 29441%
Critics Consensus: A formulaic comedy that's unlikely to spread much yuletide merriment, Daddy's Home 2 can only muster a few stray yuks from its talented cast.
Synopsis: Father and stepfather Dusty and Brad join forces to make Christmastime perfect for the children. Their newfound partnership soon gets... [More]
Directed By: Sean Anders


Father Figures (2017)

Adjusted Score: 18855%
Critics Consensus: Success has many fathers, but failure is Father Figures.
Synopsis: Brothers Kyle and Peter Reynolds were raised to believe that their dad died when they were young. They're shocked to... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Sher

Adjusted Score: 40362%
Critics Consensus: Featuring twice the moms but roughly half the laughs, A Bad Moms Christmas is a slapdash holiday sequel that falls short of the original with a disappointing dearth of good cheer.
Synopsis: Under-appreciated and overburdened moms Amy, Kiki and Carla rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms:... [More]
Directed By: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore


Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Adjusted Score: 39131%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect 3 strains to recapture the magic that helped the original spawn a franchise, but ends up sending this increasingly unnecessary trilogy out on a low note.
Synopsis: After the highs of winning the world championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren't job prospects... [More]
Directed By: Trish Sie


Justice League (2017)

Adjusted Score: 70777%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder


The Star (2017)

Adjusted Score: 46257%
Critics Consensus: The Star may not leave audiences singing "Hallelujah," but its offbeat yet sincere approach to the nativity story makes for acceptably diverting holiday viewing.
Synopsis: A small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One... [More]
Directed By: Timothy Reckart

Adjusted Score: 66296%
Critics Consensus: Intriguing yet heavy-handed, Roman J. Israel, Esq. makes the most of -- but never quite lives up to -- Denzel Washington's magnetic performance in the title role.
Synopsis: Roman J. Israel is an idealistic defense attorney whose life gets upended when his boss and mentor -- the legendary... [More]
Directed By: Dan Gilroy


Downsizing (2017)

Adjusted Score: 69254%
Critics Consensus: Downsizing assembles a talented cast in pursuit of some truly interesting ideas -- which may be enough for some audiences to forgive the final product's frustrating shortcomings.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered therapist Paul Safranek and his wife, Audrey, decide to undergo a process in which scientists shrink people down to... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne


LBJ (2016)

Adjusted Score: 61909%
Critics Consensus: LBJ loses sight of its complicated subject, ignoring the more intriguing aspects of his personality and career in favor of a frustratingly ordinary biopic treatment.
Synopsis: Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson) goes from being a powerful Senate majority leader to a powerless vice president before he becomes... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

Adjusted Score: 76284%
Critics Consensus: The Greatest Showman tries hard to dazzle the audience with a Barnum-style sense of wonder -- but at the expense of its complex subject's far more intriguing real-life story.
Synopsis: Growing up in the early 1800s, P.T. Barnum displays a natural talent for publicity and promotion, selling lottery tickets by... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gracey

Adjusted Score: 83098%
Critics Consensus: Stylish production and an all-star ensemble keep this Murder on the Orient Express from running off the rails, even if it never quite builds up to its classic predecessor's illustrious head of steam.
Synopsis: A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. When... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh


Ferdinand (2017)

Adjusted Score: 79721%
Critics Consensus: Ferdinand's colorful update on a classic tale doesn't go anywhere unexpected, but its timeless themes -- and John Cena's engaging voice work in the title role -- make for family-friendly fun.
Synopsis: Ferdinand is a young bull who escapes from a training camp in rural Spain after his father never returns from... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha


Last Flag Flying (2017)

Adjusted Score: 92669%
Critics Consensus: Last Flag Flying balances raw drama against refreshing moments of humor in an impeccably cast film that wrestles with questions of patriotism, family, and grief.
Synopsis: Thirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry "Doc" Shepherd, Sal Nealon and the Rev. Richard Mueller reunite... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

Adjusted Score: 94280%
Critics Consensus: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.
Synopsis: Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Adjusted Score: 97807%
Critics Consensus: All the Money in the World offers an absorbing portrayal of a true story, brought compellingly to life by a powerful performance from Christopher Plummer.
Synopsis: In 1973, kidnappers demand $17 million from billionaire J. Paul Getty in exchange for his grandson's release. Getty refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

Adjusted Score: 90975%
Critics Consensus: The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale.
Synopsis: In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate... [More]
Directed By: Bharat Nalluri


Molly's Game (2017)

Adjusted Score: 100077%
Critics Consensus: Powered by an intriguing story and a pair of outstanding performances from Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, Molly's Game marks a solid debut for writer-director Aaron Sorkin.
Synopsis: The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Sorkin


Darkest Hour (2017)

Adjusted Score: 107539%
Critics Consensus: Darkest Hour is held together by Gary Oldman's electrifying performance, which brings Winston Churchill to life even when the movie's narrative falters.
Synopsis: The fate of Western Europe hangs on Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II. The newly appointed... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright


The Post (2017)

Adjusted Score: 113574%
Critics Consensus: The Post's period setting belies its bitingly timely themes, brought compellingly to life by director Steven Spielberg and an outstanding ensemble cast.
Synopsis: Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper -- The Washington Post. With help from editor... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg


Wonder (2017)

Adjusted Score: 99264%
Critics Consensus: Wonder doesn't shy away from its bestselling source material's sentiment, but this well-acted and overall winsome drama earns its tugs at the heartstrings.
Synopsis: Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie Pullman becomes... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky


I, Tonya (2017)

Adjusted Score: 118929%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong work from Margot Robbie and Alison Janney, I, Tonya finds the humor in its real-life story without losing sight of its more tragic -- and emotionally resonant -- elements.
Synopsis: In 1991, talented figure skater Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition.... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie


Phantom Thread (2017)

Adjusted Score: 113196%
Critics Consensus: Phantom Thread's finely woven narrative is filled out nicely by humor, intoxicating romantic tension, and yet another impressively committed performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.
Synopsis: Renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock and his sister Cyril are at the center of British fashion in 1950s London -- dressing... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Adjusted Score: 127958%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

Adjusted Score: 117278%
Critics Consensus: Oh, hai Mark. The Disaster Artist is a surprisingly poignant and charming movie-about-a-movie that explores the creative process with unexpected delicacy.
Synopsis: The incredible true story of aspiring filmmaker and Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau as he and his best friend defiantly pursue... [More]
Directed By: James Franco


Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Adjusted Score: 127264%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

Adjusted Score: 122098%
Critics Consensus: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri deftly balances black comedy against searing drama -- and draws unforgettable performances from its veteran cast along the way.
Synopsis: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

Adjusted Score: 128115%
Critics Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.
Synopsis: Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

Adjusted Score: 122319%
Critics Consensus: Call Me by Your Name offers a melancholy, powerfully affecting portrait of first love, empathetically acted by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century... [More]
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino


Coco (2017)

Adjusted Score: 124513%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich


Lady Bird (2017)

Adjusted Score: 128970%
Critics Consensus: Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence -- and reveals writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent.
Synopsis: A teenager (Saoirse Ronan) navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf) over the course of... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

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