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 The Assassination of Richard Nixon
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1600 movie reviews
  1. This suspenseful drama reveals pieces of its puzzle steadily and slowly, until the final heartrending picture can be seen at last. Remarkably, it comes from a screenwriter who had never had a feature film produced and a director who had never made one in English.
  2. Most nations, ours included, still tolerate some form of slavery or indentured servitude. And 12 Years shows the cruelty of denying not only someone’s freedom but his identity. Take away the essence of a human being – whether he’s in fetters or not – and you destroy him.
  3. There’s not a great theme, a great performance or even a great scene in Boyhood. But I think it might be a great picture.
  4. The usually quiet Zellweger is the revelation: Like her character, the actress seems happily amazed to find herself crossing a polished dance floor, sheathed in silk and diamonds, having the naughty, self-glorifying time of her life.
  5. What surprises us most is the picture's topicality, and not just because terrorists crashed a plane into the Pentagon three years ago.
  6. Sometimes a movie speaks loudest when nobody raises a voice. I can’t remember a single scene of fierce denunciation, fervid declaration of righteousness, act of violence or shouting match in Loving. Yet it lands with as much impact as any movie you’ll see this year.
  7. The giddiest and funniest animated film of the year.
  8. Adams gives her best performance as a lonely woman who has to make a decision that will haunt her – though perhaps in a good way – for the rest of her life.
  9. Pixar's employees, masters of computer-generated animation, capture the look of the ocean like no artists before.
  10. For the first time since "X-Men," I was on the edge of my seat anticipating a sequel, wondering who'd play the Joker and how quickly Nolan - it must be Nolan! - can bring the next chapter of this story to the screen.
  11. Squid keeps you on your toes, but payoffs will have you smiling - maybe in rueful recognition of the truth - in scene after scene.
  12. When was the last time you had to wait until the final sentence of a film to understand all the details? When was the last time you went to a genre movie – or what looked like one in spooky trailers – and realized the director had fulfilled that promise and meditated on his favorite topic? Shutter Island does just that.
  13. Langella has always been a cerebral actor, one who never gives away all he's thinking. What comes through in this portrayal is how smart Nixon was, whether he's cunningly probing Frost's weaknesses or pitching himself to TV viewers as an avuncular, misunderstood Cold Warrior.
  14. Moviegoers are turned off by depressing topics, yet "Diving Bell" supplies something film fans claim they want: pure escapism, the chance to experience extreme sensations virtually none of us will ever have.
  15. A spruced-up version has been re-released after 22 years, and the addition of 43 minutes means the story really has room to breathe.
  16. Yet its visual surrealism, identity-bending and strong social/ecological message make it as much an allegory as a fable.
  17. Reveals the drama and degredation so powerfully that it ranks among the all-time heavyweights of sports movies.
  18. As a picture that celebrates one of the greatest archetypes in literature while freshening countless familiar details, I doubt it can be bettered.
  19. A tribute to anyone who ever picked up a score, a pen, a paintbrush or a grease pencil - or a movie camera.
  20. Spielberg has never made a more sophisticated and less sentimental picture. He and writer Tony Kushner craft it like a historical thriller.
  21. In a world full of recyclable superheroes and mindless “empowerment” comedies, we’re finally getting a movie about reality. We’re surrounded by surveillance and the threat of violence, and this film asks us to judge the proper balance between liberty and security – and the amount of collateral damage acceptable to maintain the latter.
  22. The film's proudest boast is that nary a frame comes from documentary footage...Every riot, every explosion, every seemingly spontaneous gundown in the streets of Algiers was staged, then shot in black-and-white stock that intentionally echoes newsreel footage.
  23. It's freakishly funny, suddenly tender, gleefully macabre, genuinely scary, and full of a moral – fear turns weak people into bullies – which is dosed out so gently that it never tastes like medicine.
  24. For a movie that ends in the profoundest depths of sadness, Boys Don't Cry contains one of the year's purest moments of joy.
  25. Among many things that make the taut thriller Argo remarkable is this one: It depicts a 1980 rescue of American hostages from Iran yet begins by pointing out that the United States was partly responsible for the situation.
  26. Her
    Phoenix gives a performance as convincing as he did in “The Master,” and in exactly the opposite direction: gentle, meditative and cerebral, instead of angry, closed-minded and baffled.
  27. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  28. Director Tom McCarthy, who wrote the script with Josh Singer, has made a film without heroes.
  29. The two most frightening concepts in Room, one of the most remarkable movies of 2015, are freedom and the lack of it.
  30. I can't recall the last film that so wholly, honestly and movingly explained what it means to be a Christian.

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