Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,611 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1611 movie reviews
  1. Once every couple of years, a movie comes along to remind us how satisfyingly complex the genre can be. Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the “Batman” saga did that masterfully. On a slightly less ambitious scale, so does X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  2. Nobody fires a shot. Nobody topples a kingdom. But as Ivan Locke’s life unravels behind the wheel of his car, which he drives almost from the first frame to the last, we can’t look away.
  3. It’s just a popcorn movie – but it’s loud, smashing fun, if you accept it as a high-tech piece of silliness.
  4. Fading Gigolo, a movie as slight and tender as its leading character, leaves you feeling you’ve just seen one of the few Woody Allen movies Allen didn’t write or direct.
  5. The movie feels not only calculated but tired.
  6. Pavich gives the Chilean-born Jodorowski his full say in the documentary, partly in Spanish and partly in expressive if slightly fractured English.
  7. Virtually all science fiction functions as metaphor, and I took this film to be a metaphor for the act of becoming fully human.
  8. Like many horror directors, Flanagan felt he could build a feature-length film around his brief idea. Unlike many, he was right.
  9. This sequel is, by design, entirely absorbing and satisfying without being one whit memorable.
  10. Overall, Noah represents a respectful take on an old story by filmmakers who pose a pertinent question. The Creator promises never again to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth, signing that covenant with the cheering image of a rainbow. Does that mean he won’t let us wipe ourselves out millennia later, if we’re hell-bent on doing so?
  11. Anderson leavens the lunacy with a few acts of sudden and extreme violence or avert-your-face sex, which seem as extravagant as the rest of his notions. Perhaps they’re in there to change the flavor of the humor, the way Mendl might put a bitter coffee bean in a chocolate torte to keep it from cloying us.
  12. The film is visually sumptuous, morally ambiguous, dramatic and dreamlike, with a narrative as engrossing as any live-action movie of 2013. It’s easy to follow yet hard to shake.
  13. Once you accept that he (Neeson) has the badge and gun, you’re in for an exciting trip.
  14. The film could hardly be less American in tone: It has no villains. It provides complete and comfortable closure for none of its relationships.
  15. 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.
  16. If you’re worried that the re-teaming of Clooney and Cate Blanchett in a World War II movie signals something like “The Good German,” fear not: She’s better here, playing a French art historian who worries the Americans will “rescue” the art in order to steal it for their own country.
  17. A melodrama that reaches the heart but hardly ever convinces the head.
  18. Fiennes isn’t naturally an outgoing performer, and he’s playing the most extroverted author in English history. So he does his best work in intimate moments, when Dickens finds himself at a loss for words.
  19. A pleasant, snappy, by-the-numbers buddy comedy.
  20. 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.
  21. He decided early on what he wanted and pursued it straightforwardly all his life. That rarely yields riveting drama, however well-intentioned filmmakers may be.
  22. Formulaic, yes. Settled with as many reconciliations and promises of happiness as “A Christmas Carol,” absolutely. But a familiar pleasure, nonetheless.
  23. Here’s something I never expected to say, something I doubt I’d have believed if someone else had said it to me: Martin Scorsese can make a three-hour movie without one fresh perspective or compelling character from end to end. The proof, for three agonizing hours, can be found in The Wolf of Wall Street.
  24. Director John Lee Hancock and screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith spend about a third of the film exploring Travers’ childhood in Australia, and there the film succeeds.
  25. This isn’t a history lesson. It’s pure entertainment, an excuse for good actors to romp through a twisting, well-told tale.
  26. That dragon represents the best and worst things about the film. He’s terrifying yet slightly droll.
  27. This may be yet another variation on the usual coming-of-age/sisterhood themes so familiar in Disney movies, but who does those better?
  28. At the center of the film lies a moral question, not a literary one: Should Ginsberg abandon the potentially visionary Carr when he turns out to be a liar, an exploiter and an emotional traitor? Should he, in fact, “kill his darling” when Carr commits a heinous act and asks Ginsberg to lie for him?
  29. If we admire anything about him, it’s entrepreneurship; there’s something uniquely American about a guy outrunning his own death by turning suffering into profit. And as a judge asks, why shouldn’t a dying man be allowed to try any remedy for his disease?
  30. Lawrence gives the same committed, heart-rending performance, and she’s even more saintly than before: The script never lets her fire an arrow except in self-defense, and she stubbornly defies Snow in public, though she knows the probable consequence is death. Hutcherson has more personality this time, yet Peeta doesn’t deepen as a character.

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