Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,600 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Howl's Moving Castle
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1600 movie reviews
  1. However good DiCaprio may be, everything else feels overblown.
  2. Flaccid remake of a tough 1966 original.
  3. There's plenty to offend Christians and non-Christians in Saved! but little to trouble either: The movie vanishes in memory like morning mist expelled by the first stiff breeze.
  4. The Rock isn't always comfortable delivering dialogue. He's handsome, physically sculpted and farther along dramatically than Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Conan the Barbarian," but he's still learning the simple acting skills an action hero needs.
  5. The dangers in the lives of these Catholic teens are self-made; they spring from small-town boredom and lead to a conclusion that's meant to be emotionally crushing but is only slightly affecting.
  6. The filmmakers try to make us sympathize with Barney by surrounding him with even more annoying types.
  7. Peter Berg directs the action sequences cleverly at first. Then he starts to behave as though a hornet flew down his pants at the instant he aimed the camera. He's not much of a dialogue director, but there's not much dialogue.
  8. For all the satisfying details in the script, the big picture remains hopelessly and intentionally trite.
  9. The cancer of dishonesty begins to grow half an hour into the film, and it riddles the picture by the end.
  10. The filmmakers would have been better advised to stick with the Zeroes and spend less time making up heroes.
  11. The actors were mostly nondescript, sometimes noticeably clumsy. Stunt coordinator Dion Lam brought a bit of freshness to the martial arts choreography, but the rest of the film was as stale as a week-old carp on a fish vendor's pushcart.
  12. Dahl has directed half a dozen sardonic noir movies, dating back to "Kill Me Again" in 1989, so he should have been the ideal choice for this material. But even he can't make chicken salad from a pile of beaks, bones and claws.
  13. It's a run-of-the-mill action film that falls short of the 1976 original - and, for that matter, the 1959 western "Rio Bravo," which inspired the first film. The characters run out of energy and personality long before they run out of bullets.
  14. When George Lucas last pulled off an original idea for a feature film, Bill Clinton was still thought of by many voters as overweight and chaste.
  15. Breakfast on Pluto, like its cross-dressing heroine, is appealing yet irritating, fun company at times but just as often a bore, occasionally quite touching yet frequently fey and self-indulgent.
  16. Any of the key relationships would have been grist enough for one movie's mill, but "Feast" crams them all together.
  17. A question: If you hire actresses from England, Kansas, Ireland and Michigan, shouldn't someone teach them all to do believable Southern accents -- and remind them to keep doing those accents as the film goes on?
  18. It can devote itself entirely to bodily functions or, having established its grossness quotient, take the high road toward satire like its 2004 predecessor, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." It fails mainly because it does neither.
  19. It's hampered further by a piece of star miscasting unmatched in recent memory: Julia Roberts' archly evil queen remains as jaw-droppingly dull as her costumes are jaw-droppingly gaudy.
  20. Folks wanting to hear the usual New Testament message will be pleased; others may feel that the tension dissolves in homilies and wish the main character weren't led around by a blonde-haired little angel in a white dress.
  21. What does it say about a picture when the highest praise must go to impressive scenery?
  22. The whole thing's as phony as a funeral oration from a pastor who never knew the deceased.
  23. Thornton and Heder perform at about half their maximum wattage, which isn't enough to power the inert script.
  24. A tale that ought to dispel the clouds of mystery surrounding life gathers them into impenetrable fog.
  25. Unlike David Foster Wallace in “End of the Tour,” a masterful look at depression, Stone’s just a self-centered, unaware bore. He doesn’t merit attention from the kindly, cheerful, anxious Lisa – or from us.
  26. The movie gives away its shifty-eyed villain almost immediately. What it doesn't give away is why he betrayed his trust, who wants the president dead or what they hope to gain by killing him.
  27. The special effects look like a high school science project: The giants are clearly rear projections behind the real actors, and that snake is as rubbery as a garden hose.
  28. That’s the problem with Winter’s Tale, which tries to cram too many conflicting stories into one space and ends up defying us to believe any. Call it magic unrealism, a well-intentioned but clunky genre.
  29. The surprising thing about Michael Moore's polemic is not one-sidedness, which was a given: It's his failure to find devastating new weapons of mass destruction to aim at Bush's head. The smoking guns he holds up often fire blanks, and the ones that don't are mostly derringers.
  30. Sean Bean makes a positive impression as the caring but puzzled captain of the flight, though Peter Sarsgaard flies at half-mast as a clumsy air marshal.

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