Arizona Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,144 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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Gravity
Lowest review score: 10 The Legend of Hercules
Score distribution:
1,144 movie reviews
  1. The visuals are stunning, perhaps the most fully realized of any film.
  2. A genuine triumph, a great movie with astounding performances so natural, so genuine, that you forget it's a movie.
  3. It's one of the best movies of the year, one of the best entries ever in the Way We Live Now oeuvre.
  4. 50/50 is a tremendous movie. It's also a really funny one, which doesn't mean it won't make you cry.
  5. It is particularly rewarding to see Clooney outside his comfort zone of self-composed cool in The Descendants, Alexander Payne's beautifully gentle, funny and moving film.
  6. The Artist is such an engaging, delightful film that, if you like movies, you will walk out of the theater with a smile. You just will; it's that inspired.
  7. A great movie, a look inside a world so foreign that it might as well be another planet, yet so universal that its observations are painfully familiar to anyone, anywhere.
  8. Simply put, Argo is why we go to movies.
  9. Wreck-It Ralph is smart, funny, sweet and sassy. And that's just Sarah Silverman's character... The movie is a treat for kids and the parents they drag to see it. Or maybe it'll be the other way around. Either way. It doesn't matter how you get to it. Just get there.
    • Arizona Republic
  10. A great movie, an astonishing achievement on nearly every level.
  11. Though everyone is older this time around, and the themes are darker, harder to enjoy, the conversation is just as engrossing. So is the film.
  12. What a great movie.
  13. The resulting portrait is nothing short of a tiny filmmaking miracle. It’s guaranteed to make you feel something — hopeful, probably, for Grace and her wards. And maybe even for the future of indie filmmaking.
  14. It is a remarkable achievement.
  15. The acting is outstanding, the direction assured if straightforward. 12 Years a Slave is a history lesson of the best type. It’s brilliant. But, more crucially, it’s important. It’s brutal truth that demands to be seen.
  16. Her
    Her is an outstanding movie, in part because of its originality, but also because of its execution.
  17. Boyhood is not just a great movie, it's a landmark achievement in film.
  18. Toy Story 3 is very much a worthy entry in the series, a movie well worth making (and seeing). It continues the legacy. It just doesn't expand upon it.
  19. A perverse delight, the rare film that makes you feel good about feeling bad (or at least watching others do so).
  20. A sparkling documentary in which we can't trust that anything in it is true. And yet you would never call it a hoax.
  21. The Secret in Their Eyes never lets you forget that you're watching a movie - and never lets you wish you were doing anything else.
  22. Please Give is an almost perfectly rendered slice of life, buoyant with wonderful performances.
  23. This is a challenging, brilliantly constructed film that, despite its patience and quiet tone, is engrossing from its first moments, especially an opening scene that encapsulates Jandal's poignant contradictions.
  24. It's Douglas' movie - and you've got a fine movie.
  25. Like its stars, the film's not particularly flashy, it's just good, and it's hard to find fault in that.
  26. The naturalistic style Michod employs adds to the sense of dread.
  27. Watching the film, emotions range from sadness, of course, to frustration to outright anger.
  28. This is the kind of movie about teenagers that an adult audience should embrace. It's simply that good, and Stone is nothing short of wonderful.
  29. In theory, we go to movies for enjoyment. Director Rodrigo Cortés inverts that notion with Buried, a terrific, claustrophobic, fist-clenching film in which he tortures his audience in exquisite fashion.
  30. As in a Le Carré novel, we're given long doses of the private lives of the protagonists, and we learn their secrets, their insecurities and the toll taken by the necessity of constant lying.
  31. It's a measure of how good a film Nowhere Boy is that it would be compelling even if it were the story of the formative years of a boy named Joe Brown.
  32. Scarier than anything you'll find in a horror movie this time of year.
  33. To say that the film is uncomfortable to watch is an understatement. It's searing. Yet it's also invaluable.
  34. It's all or nothing with Black Swan. Either you embrace its headlong descent into madness brought on by the pressures of artistic perfection, compounded by smothering anxiety, or you reject it. It's that simple.
  35. And now with Tangled, a delightfully fresh spin on "Rapunzel," the entertainment powerhouse delivers its first classic-caliber computer animation outside the Pixar family.
  36. 127 Hours is based on Ralston's memoir, and it's a really good movie because director Danny Boyle is a genius.
  37. David O. Russell's film makes use of some terrific performances - Christian Bale is brilliant, as is Melissa Leo, even by their lofty standards.
  38. A host of British acting royalty, meanwhile, roams around the film: Derek Jacobi as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Claire Bloom as Queen Mary, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill and so on.
  39. Once it's done, you feel terrible for these people, for their lives, for their daughter, especially. Is that entertainment? To each his own, but it is compelling and, yes, rewarding.
  40. The acting is uniformly terrific, just a marvel to watch.
  41. Chomet's defiantly two-dimensional artwork is warm, inviting, beautiful, establishing immediately a comfort level, at least for audiences of, ahem, a certain age.
  42. Shaffer's inexperience pays off. He's completely natural as a mixed-up kid (and great on the mat).
  43. Villeneuve's telling of her story - and of her children's - is painful, searing and something close to brilliant.
  44. Everything Must Go leaves the resolution open, not telegraphing Nick's future. It is as unsettled as life, and the film is all the better for it.
  45. Yun's performance is genuinely beautiful, a haunting expression of life, of its disappointments and its possibilities, rendered in a way that befits the title.
  46. A delightful film - gentle, playful, creative and ultimately happy - though it's a tricky journey.
  47. At times hilarious but ultimately heartbreaking, Project Nim is a great chronicle of the 1970s and all the nutty ideas that implies; academia in particular comes in for a hard reckoning.
  48. For much of the movie Morris simply lets the loquacious McKinney talk, and she never, ever stops. And she never disappoints.
  49. A fantastically entertaining movie.
  50. Bursts at the seams with wild creativity.
  51. Not just a fascinating character study but a kind of horror movie as well.
  52. A terrific piece of entertainment. The financial lingo will please money wonks. But the film as a whole focuses more on the people and personalities who went into such a catastrophic failure.
  53. Olsen makes us understand, as best we can, Martha's plight. She has a tenuous grip on reality, and, thanks to Olsen's performance and Durkin's sure hand, by the film's end, so do we.
  54. Clever and current without being cynical, smart without being condescending, funny without being exclusionary to grown-ups or to kids.
  55. What Scorsese has really made is a beautifully crafted love letter to movies, the passion of his life. What sounded like an odd pairing winds up being a perfect fit.
  56. Melancholia is an intense, exhausting experience. That may not sound appealing, and for some, it won't be. But nor should it be off-putting. Proceed with caution, perhaps. But proceed nevertheless.
  57. This isn't a movie for everyone, but for fans of quirky charm leavened occasionally by uncomfortable, realistic exchanges, it's a small delight.
  58. Some of the behavior of Uriel and Eliezer will make you squirm. But Ashkenazi and Bar-Aba are so compelling in their performances of difficult men that you'll gladly suffer.
  59. The Cabin in the Woods is a fantastic poke in the eye of our horror-movie expectations.
  60. As its title suggests, This Is Not a Film may not be what we're used to in a movie, but in many ways it's much, much more.
  61. It is gripping from the start, not just because of the quality of the music, but because of Marley's magnetic, challenging personality, as well.
  62. Jiro Ono is a magician.
  63. The real hero here is Joss Whedon, who directs the film with a fanboy's enthusiasm and a thorough knowledge of the genre.
  64. The catharsis found here is far quieter, and much more effective, whether it be the pain expressed in a student's essay or the honesty found in a simple gesture, one that ends the film in beautifully moving fashion.
  65. There isn't a false note among the performances. It's the first movie for Hayward and Gilman; whatever awkwardness they display is appropriate. Willis may never have been better. Norton is fantastic. Murray and McDormand are also ... well, you get the idea.
  66. A mixture of magical realism, Southern gothic, coming-of-age movie, star turn for first-timers, disaster story and out-and-out strangeness. It's unlike any film you've seen.
  67. Although it can be harrowing and disturbing, Joachim Trier's film -- and Lie's performance -- are so masterful that the movie seems more like a searing portrait of self-discovery and realization, with the understanding that not everything you learn about yourself will be pleasant.
  68. The metaphor is plain yet elegant: Ai is the clever cat busily devising ways to push through the barriers physical, cultural, mental -- that make humans less than free. And in China, of course, the biggest of those barriers is the one-party state.
  69. It makes you think. And that's invaluable.
  70. The film is not an epic. It's not a masterpiece. But it is an involving study of men searching, searching for answers, for belonging, for a foothold in life at a time when footholds were hard to find.
  71. A comedy about an all-female collegiate a cappella group. And to paraphrase one of the characters in the movie, it's A-Ca-Awesome.
  72. The great success for Mendes and Craig, however, is that while Skyfall obviously has a great fondness for the past, it's not trapped there. It also anticipates Bond's future. In this immensely satisfying movie, so do we.
  73. If it sounds like so much backroom politicking, it is. But it's exceptionally interesting, entertaining backroom politicking.
  74. For a movie that seems at times to have no idea what it's trying to do, 'Silver Linings Playbook' is compulsively watchable. ... Throwing together so many movie tropes and blending them is both a brilliant idea and a scary one, but one that Russell proves well capable of handling.
  75. The Guilt Trip surprises by avoiding the obvious. It zigs when you expect it to zag. It's perceptive and thoughtful as it swerves around potholes that easily could have broken an axle.
  76. Riva, meanwhile, is astounding, not just in the way she portrays the physical manifestation of her decline, particularly later in the film, but also earlier, when she knows she is fading and does not wish to do so. The look in her eyes, the sadness in her face, is crushing.
  77. As with "The Central Park Five," you come away from the film impressed by the storytelling but enraged by the facts. It's outrageous that this kind of thing happens, but Berg does an outstanding job of showing us how it does.
  78. Ultimately, think of the movie as a puzzle box in which all the pieces fit together wonderfully well. Once you step back and take a look at how it’s all put together, you have to marvel at how cleverly constructed the whole thing is.
  79. The whole film is an exercise in trust and the lack thereof. In the end, it’s a kind of horror film, really, a reminder that these sorts of things were endured by so many for so long, with hope an unlikely ally.
  80. Using the interviews along with news footage and occasional re-enactments, Moreh conducts a kind of primer in the organization’s history, which is, in its own way, a history of modern Israel. It’s fascinating.
  81. What makes 56 Up, like the “Up” films before it, so remarkable is how it puts these stories together, giving us an ensemble of characters as interesting as any in a scripted drama.
  82. This is not an anti-religious polemic, though it easily could have gone that way. Instead it is a much more thoughtful film and in some ways more troubling. No one is trying to do the wrong thing here, but, as with most things in life, it becomes increasingly hard to know what the right thing might be.
  83. It is undeniably fun to see such a great movie sliced and diced and put back together in so many ways. Too often when we see a movie we like, we just say it’s good, recommend it to someone and leave it at that.
  84. It’s all a neat trick. Or exercise. Or brain-teaser. Whatever you want to call it, Upstream Color is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. But once you have seen it, once isn’t going to be enough
  85. Star Trek Into Darkness is a giddy homage to what’s come before it, but it also at least tries to go boldly where ... well, you know.
  86. There is no particularly cathartic climax to Frances Ha. Instead there is a more realistic depiction of Frances’ growth. Like Gerwig’s performance, it’s natural, it’s realistic, perfectly believable.
  87. Directors Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori’s film Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me looks at the band’s rise, such as it was, and its inevitable crumbling, as well as the influence its recorded legacy had on popular music. And it’s terrific.
  88. It isn’t just a terrific movie. It’s an important one.
  89. The Act of Killing is a horrifying film, a surreal experience that explores the limits of human cruelty. It’s a film that is absolutely hard to watch. It’s also a film that absolutely should be seen.
  90. James Ponsoldt’s film, and its stars, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, continually take us in unexpected directions, giving the film an unexpected depth. It feels real, its emotions earned.
  91. This is a film as powerful as it is painful.
  92. Howard, whose first job as a director was the 1977 Roger Corman-produced “Grand Theft Auto,” has captured what is surely the greatest racing footage ever shot.
  93. You may or may not be surprised by developments here, but it doesn’t really matter. What does is the honesty of the characters and the absolute delight it is to spend time with them.
  94. The movie’s best moments are the small ones.
  95. Jean-Marc Vallee’s film is anything but standard, thanks to an astonishing performance by Matthew McConaughey.
  96. Frozen is a delightful animated musical, a return to form for Disney animation with an intriguing story and terrific songs.
  97. Boasting terrific acting, a brilliant soundtrack, outrageous outfits and hair, and a kinda-sorta based-on-fact story of ambition and greed, it’s relentless, in the best possible way.
  98. This is one of the strangest yet most satisfying movie experiences of the year, one of those films in which you can’t really appreciate what you’ve seen until it’s over. You just have to trust that the trip is worth the trouble. And it is.
  99. Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is absurd, ridiculous, over the top, overindulgent, overlong, overstuffed, over-everythinged. And that is precisely the point.
  100. Farhadi again burrows deep into his characters to tell an achingly intimate story, spinning grand tragedies out of minor lives in which the past lingers in the air, a perfume that haunts long after its wearer has left the room.

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