The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
As focus lurches distractingly from the heated dinner-table debate to a zigzagging network of flashbacks, momentum fatally stalls, while the illustrious ensemble of actors at the film's center never quite gets cooking.
Coogan's dramatic performance is unmatched: raw, intense, satiric, self-immolating. There is not a moment when he is not being frighteningly honest, searching out the mortifying nooks and crannies of his often petty character and exposing them.
Coogan's pinched Paul is a magnificently detailed portrait of a man whose intelligence and hurt give way to neurosis and depression as the actor paints many shades between eccentricity and mental illness.
In a movie world filled with intergalactic explosions, it remains a welcome thing to experience the kind of fireworks that take place between three-dimensional, deeply flawed characters grappling with major issues in a civilized setting.
The premise for this chamber drama is inherently suspenseful, but not enough to sustain a movie so languorous that its chapters are demarcated by the various dinner courses, from aperitif to dessert. (After an hour I felt like loosening my belt.)
What gets lost in translation is Koch's caustic humor, woven into the fabric of his first-person prose. Without it, The Dinner is a feast of leftover insights and ironies: decorum masks darkness, polite society rarely is, etc.
All the actors are outstanding, and their characters evolve, even as the next course arrives. When you think you have them figured out, something will change, and you wonder if you really know them at all.
The performances are first rate -- nuanced and lived in from the first moments of performative civility to the shattering barbs thrown by the end -- even if the women are given the comparatively short stick here.