Arizona Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,251 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Lowest review score: 10 The Legend of Hercules
Score distribution:
1,251 movie reviews
  1. There's comfort food and there are comfort movies. In Lasse Hallstrom's The Hundred-Foot Journey, you get a full helping of both. And guess what? It's all very comforting.
  2. The film, directed and co-written by Jorge R. Gutierrez, is a visually stunning, funny movie that trusts children to deal with subject matter that many films don't: specifically, death.
  3. It's hard to imagine sitting through the film without Penn in the role of Cheyenne. But there he is, in all his intense, bizarre glory, almost daring us to come along for the ride and rewarding us with a compelling trip when we accept.
  4. The film is anchored by a searing, incredibly intense performance by Michael Shannon, whose remorselessness as a hit man is as relentless as Shannon’s portrayal of him.
  5. Thomas Vinterberg’s film puts us just on the edge of screaming frustration; Mads Mikkelsen’s terrific performance (for which he won the best actor award at Cannes in 2012) only makes the film more powerful.
  6. It’s Allen’s best film in years, an authentic-feeling deconstruction of a life. It isn’t always easy to watch. It isn’t exactly fun (although parts are funny). Blanchett’s performance sometimes overpowers the story. But it’s an essential work in Allen’s later canon.
  7. Director Michael Dowse (from the underrated Topher Grace comedy "Take Me Home Tonight") fuels the story with atmosphere, with lots of nighttime activity and bustle. He keeps things grounded in reality, though little touches (Chantry imagines her drawings coming to life) add an extra — and, perhaps, excessive — sweetness.
  8. A quiet character study filled with damaged, insular people who live life in small increments, only occasionally exploding in emotion.
  9. Even if its stunted ambitions come as a disappointment, Pieta nevertheless is an expertly crafted thriller and a fine addition to East Asian revenge cinema.
  10. Williams is so good, so natural, so believable in the role that it's easy to forgive her character -- or at least wish her well. That's no small feat, because she can drive you crazy.
  11. Where Assayas’ film really shines is in capturing that feeling, when adolescence is stumbling awkwardly toward adulthood, that the most important thing in the history of the world is the thing that is occupying your thoughts and emotions at this particular moment.
  12. Life Itself is a joy for people who love movies or who love anything with an unwavering passion.
  13. It's a sort of slow-boil Russian noir, if that genre exists, and if it doesn't, it does now. It's also a statement on class discrepancy in post-Soviet Russia. Arrogance, betrayal, crime and violence are all part of the story, directed and co-written by Andrei Zvyagintsev.
  14. Set in 18th-century Denmark, it's an intellectual costume drama. It's a romance involving big ideas, the biggest ideas. It's long, it's serious, it's a lot of fun.
  15. Damon's portrayal is perfectly understated yet powerful. It's also sneaky; you don't realize how invested you've become in it until the final act, when the characters' stories merge in what seems like too much of a rushed coincidence.
  16. Oh, and the title? It could be an apt description for almost any character in the movie at one time or another. The satisfaction is in finding out who, if anyone, will be set free.
  17. The feminist subtext should come as no surprise given Larsson's lifelong advocacy on social-justice issues, but it also is a refreshing slant on the familiar character dynamics of crime fiction.
  18. It's also perfectly content to be an insanely violent, funny take on an established genre. And in that respect, Kick-Ass lives up to its name.
  19. The movie plays to Fincher's strengths, with its dark elements and cool feel, combining for a bracing pop-culture experience.
  20. This film is a wonderful act of imagination on its own.
  21. Catching Fire is a great leap forward for the franchise. Seeing as it’s all about hope and what it represents, here’s hoping the next two are just as good, if not better.
  22. Coppola's audacity in not only portraying the unmoored nature of Marco's life but immersing the audience in it proves satisfying over time.
  23. This is the rare movie with no one to root against, a film filled with good guys and weird guys (and gals), all of whom you hope find what they're looking for, even if you know that's not possible.
  24. On some level Moneyball is about loyalty: loyalty to an idea, loyalty to a partnership forged by desperation, loyalty to the values you believe in. Whether that was Lewis' intention in the book, or Beane's intention in taking the risk, doesn't matter. It's the formula Miller came up with for the film, and with the team of Pitt and Hill, it's a winning one.
  25. It is a tremendous performance by Jones, who co-wrote the script with her own ex-boyfriend Will McCormick, who appears as a drug-dealing friend with surprisingly grounded advice for just about anything.
  26. Brutal, sadistic yet well-made statement about how violence is portrayed in media and our reaction to it.
  27. This is director Jake Schreier's first feature, and, working from a script by Christopher D. Ford, he creates an inviting world.
  28. The real draw of Arthur Christmas is simpler: It's really funny.
  29. The directors include interviews with descendants of the original settlers and with later arrivals — too much so, actually, as the lengthy scenes interrupt the flow of the mystery. But they don't derail it. The story is too lurid, too rich, too compelling.
  30. Lawless is one of those movies that feels like it's trying to say something more important than it really is. It could have been better, but with Hardy and Pearce on board, it's plenty good enough.

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