Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,559 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 41% 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: 64
Highest review score: 100 Finding Nemo
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1559 movie reviews
  1. The film requires close attention, especially while it jumps back and forth in time for the first half-hour, but all the pieces lock into place tightly by the end.
  2. The voice cast includes Angelina Jolie as a tigress, omnipresent Seth Rogen as an acupuncturist who's a praying mantis, David Cross as a nasal crane and Lucy Liu as a cheerful viper.
  3. The film's a little more accessible than "Requiem for a Dream" and a lot easier to understand than "The Fountain," but its low-key grunginess may restrict its appeal to people who have liked professional wrestling and/or Rourke.
  4. Less gloriously showy than "Memento," but it proves you can still craft fine art under the auspices of a big studio.
  5. Johnny Depp has finally won me over to rabid support after "Neverland" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." He gives the most controlled, least mannered performance of his career, staying sweet and rueful while suggesting unseen emotional depths.
  6. This superficial plot, almost devoid of characterization or weighty emotions, is an excuse for ferocious, fast and frequent combat.
  7. If I understand the intentions of writer-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film moved me profoundly. I’ll let you come up with your interpretation – or I’ll share mine privately, to avoid spoilers – but it’s a unique look inside a troubled mind.
  8. A high-wire act, treading a thin line of truth between hokum and homilies. You hold your breath, waiting to see if the filmmakers misstep, but they never do.
  9. It's possible to groan, chuckle, wince and be moist-eyed, sometimes in a span of seven or eight minutes.
  10. If you wait through the credits, you get one last joke in the fine print: The actors shot the whole movie in Hawaii, on the fabulously lush island of Kauai. So while they were shooting a story about indulged prima donnas, they were working themselves in one of the most tourist-friendly spots on Earth. You've gotta smile at that.
  11. Marston doesn't develop the characters, except for the strong-willed and quick-witted Maria.
  12. This story of a guy looking for love in many of the wrong places turns out to be one of the happiest surprises of the movie year.
  13. The picture shatters all genre conventions.
  14. Salva's view of the universe is bleak, but he communicates it with scary sincerity.
  15. Field does what most American directors don't: He shows people at work, in the day-to-day activity unmarked by excitement.
  16. It settles into the typical reflective mode of Iranian films, but something IS happening: A human being is slowly, sullenly, silently approaching his combustion point.
  17. Polished, thoughtful and touching.
  18. By the end, you'll be chilled and disturbed by what you've seen -- and, rare as this is in a horror movie, touched to the heart.
  19. Top honors go to Guinee, who steadily builds his character from tiny details, and Reaser, who's understood through eyes and attitude while speaking a hodgepodge of German, Norwegian and English.
  20. Until Year of the Dog, I've never seen a movie where someone obsessed over a puppy.
  21. Unobtrusively satisfying.
  22. It’s impossible to envision a sequel with pleasure – this kind of lightning wouldn’t strike twice – but the first one could hardly be improved.
  23. These aren't people whose problems can be solved quickly or easily. They'll need medication, therapy, patience, self-awareness and willingness to compromise to conquer troubles, and Russell makes us root for them as they stumble along.
  24. A character in Yann Martel's novel "Life of Pi" tells us this will be a story to make us believe in God. The film version written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee may do that – you'll decide for yourself – but it will definitely make you believe in the power of cinema.
  25. Best of all, Billy (Jamie Bell) is that rarity in a film distributed by Hollywood: a real boy, confused at 11 about almost everything.
  26. The strong personalities of Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who play typical supportive wives, keep scenes from sagging.
  27. At bottom, all Payne's films make us smile, often ruefully but hopefully.
  28. Watching I Heart Huckabees was like taking my first Manhattan cab ride with a madman behind the wheel. As the skyscrapers whizzed by, I thought, "What a view! I just wish we'd slow down, so I could take everything in."
  29. Proves eye-opening in two ways: Sweeping, bloody battles will make your orbs pop, and you'll re-evaluate this supposedly “uncivilized” man who unified quarrelsome Central Asian tribes to create one of the largest empires in history.
  30. After 30 minutes, I wondered why I was watching a drama about a quarrelsome couple who seemed so obviously wrong for each other. After 60 minutes, I knew. After 90 minutes, I cared. By the end, I was riveted.

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