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.
There's a thin line between goofing irreverently on the maddeningly convoluted nature of spy thrillers and actually being a muddled mess, and Fay Grim crosses it constantly during its deadly second hour.
Hartley's work has always been an acquired taste. While Fay Grim is too uneven to win him many converts, it is laced with enough intelligence and wit to remind longtime fans why they were drawn to his unique vision in the first place.
Fay Grim falls victim to its own worried hyperactivity; it shuts you out with chattery paranoia. Hartley wants us to see the big picture, but he forgets we need artists like him to bring it into focus.
The unorthodoxy of the film is perhaps its biggest asset -- along with the idea that a personal cinema can still exist, be so entertaining and provide something new to feel about character -- and maybe even the universe.
Hartley is a man with a lot to say about what's going on in the world these days, and while the trademark irreverence is very much intact, his venture into a much broader, international landscape proves more admirable than rewarding.