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.
If a personal memoir film by a beautiful, successful young woman from a nice Toronto family sounds to you like it can only be an excuse for self-absorbed navel-gazing, well, you must not have seen a Sarah Polley movie yet.
Stories We Tell is one of those movies you watch on a screen and replay in your head for days, moving between its many levels of inquiry and touched, always, by Polley's compassion toward her relatives in particular and people in general.
Part of the movie's pleasure is how comfortable the "storytellers" are with their director; you get a sense of a complicated but tight-knit family, going along with Sarah's project because they love her.
It's a relationship drama spanning three decades, a detective mystery, an essay on the nature of memory, and a critique of our need to process messy human life into streamlined narrative arcs even at the cost of oversimplifying.
Sarah might have wrapped up this documentary after her parentage is revealed about 70 minutes in, yet it continues for another 50 as she ruminates over the tale,... her engrossing personal story gradually devolving into an exercise in self-regard.
Don't be fooled by its deceptively simple title or the hesitant, unassuming way it begins. Writer-director Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell" ends up an invigorating powerhouse of a personal documentary, adventurous and absolutely fascinating.
Even calling ''Stories We Tell'' a documentary seems rather limiting and not entirely accurate; it's also a deadpan comedy, a juicy melodrama and a gripping mystery, all cleverly blended together with great focus.
The fact that two of the principals - Sarah and Michael, who delivers touching and eloquent on-camera narration that he wrote himself - are accomplished actors adds another level of confusion and interest that help make this compelling storytelling.
"Stories We Tell" has a number of transparent virtues, including its humor and formal design, although its most admirable quality is the deep sense of personal ethics that frames Ms. Polley's filmmaking choices.