Arizona Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 983 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Descendants
Lowest review score: 10 The Legend of Hercules
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 983
983 movie reviews
  1. Sound City is a music geek's dream, a rollicking look at a dumpy California studio where a lot of musicians found magic. It's also a bit of a mess, like all good rock and roll ought to be.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There isn't a cynical bone in this film's achingly sincere body. And it's not really a horror movie, unless the "horror" in question is the all-consuming awkwardness of young love.
  2. Beautiful Creatures rises above the rabble thanks to an eminently watchable cast and a sharp screenplay by writer-director Richard LaGravenese.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One reason it works so well: The film always looks believable, and it’s easy to get wrapped into Singer’s fairy-tale world.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Herzog’s longing for the ideological purity in which these lives are lived, free of paperwork and bureaucracy, taxes and technology, drives the film, which lacks an overall story arc. And that longing makes the title’s veracity a little suspect.
  3. Like Someone in Love is not a complicated story, but in Kiarostami’s telling, it is a rich one, and a rewarding one, too.
  4. Brutal, sadistic yet well-made statement about how violence is portrayed in media and our reaction to it.
  5. Fanning is nearly perfect as Ginger navigates choppier waters than most teens have to. There is not a false note in her performance; no matter how melodramatic things become, everything about Ginger remains genuine.
  6. It’s nearly impossible to sit through The Sapphires without a smile on your face. It’s a little shallow, sure, but, as with the girls’ troubles, when they open their mouths to sing everything feels like it’s going to be all right.
  7. One would expect a film about French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir to look beautiful, to be shot in warm, sumptuous colors. And one would not be disappointed in Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir.
  8. Mud
    The story is intriguing enough to make Mud a good movie. Led by Sheridan and McConaughey, the performances make it something more.
  9. By the end of the ride, we’ll see glimpse of happiness, sadness, joy, heartbreak, maybe even tragedy, if cell phone-shot recollections are to be believed. All bases are covered, in other words, in one late-afternoon ride, a ride Gondry and his cast will make you want to take.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is at once an awkward mingling of two complex life stories and a gripping, necessary look at how information is gathered, shared and, yes, stolen.
  14. Sometimes, a movie just has a magic about it, something that makes you look past implausibility and plot holes and whatever other shortcomings it may have and leaves you feeling good just for having seen it.
  15. The Is the End is a different take on the R-rated comedy, a raunchy laugh riot that actually gives you a little to think about.
  16. These are characters for whom true belief in a cause has probably become impossible; they know how much that costs. Marsh does a compelling job of illustrating that for the rest of us.
  17. Although not everyone in the cast is as comfortable with the dialogue as Acker, for whom it seems natural, there is a clear love for the material here in every performance, in every shot. It’s not stuffy or remote. It’s fun.
  18. White House Down aims to be a low-brow slab of mindless summer fun. Most of the time, it comes pretty close to hitting the bull’s eye.
  19. Everything is so bizarre and deadpan, the humor just sort of sneaks up on you, until you’re laughing without even meaning to. It’s a neat mix of subtlety and over-the-top bloodshed, with everything played with a straight face.
  20. 20 Feet From Stardom is frequently sad and frustrating. But while there’s heartbreak aplenty, the film doesn’t function as a pitying paean to unmined talent — it’s ultimately a celebration of the unsung.
  21. In a movie with uniformly outstanding performances, Rockwell, as ever, is especially good. So is Carell, playing against type. But what makes The Way, Way Back stand out is Faxon and Rash’s obvious familiarity with what Duncan is going through.
  22. A sense of dread permeates The Conjuring from the start, and it’s delightful.
  23. Laurence Anyways is like a big, ornate, overstuffed pillow of a movie. It’s attractive and comfortable, even if there’s just too much of it.
  24. Still Mine is a rewarding, performance-based film, ultimately a small pleasure to spend time with.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.

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