Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,435 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 Coraline
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,435 movie reviews
  1. The ex-lovers' new conversation is stimulating and banal, selfish and broad-minded, affectionate and recriminatory, insightful and obtuse - in short, the kind of dialogue two people might have while pouring out their hearts and poring over their pasts.
  2. Among the handsome explosions, wacky effects, slapstick comedy and zooming action sequences of The Incredibles, writer-director Brad Bird is attempting to start a revolution.
  3. Crowe gave Kate Hudson one pointer while making Almost Famous: Her character simply had to light up every room as soon as she walked into it.
  4. A feature film as odd, personal and sometimes mundane as his (Pekar) comics.
  5. Qualifies as a solid double, maybe a triple.
  6. This isn’t a history lesson. It’s pure entertainment, an excuse for good actors to romp through a twisting, well-told tale.
  7. Coppola lacks a firm grip on this material, and it starts to get away from her midway through.
  8. He's (Yimou) like a painter combining bloody reds, sunshine yellows and pale blues in the harmony of a masterpiece.
  9. Wallenda once said, "Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting." This film makes that motto ring true.
  10. Cohen and his gang are smart enough to know when to quit. Like a loud but amusing guest at a dinner party, Borat collects his coat and goes home just as his hosts are starting to fidget.
  11. Talkies may have killed silent movies, the way TV serials and soap operas wiped out radio dramas. But there are stories most effectively told in the old style, and The Artist is proof.
  12. For all the silliness, Kaufman is posing a serious question: Are we better off forgetting things that brought us pain, especially if we didn't change or grow as a result? You may not agree with his conclusion, but who else in Hollywood would pose this query at all, or explore it in such a daffy, gratifyingly inventive way?
  13. Letters covers less emotional ground than its predecessor, because Eastwood and first-time writer Iris Yamashita (who shares a story credit with Paul Haggis) allow Japanese soldiers only three modes of behavior.
  14. Whatever you feel about Truman Capote, you won't be able to turn away from him here.
  15. A director needs to know how to pace the tale, where to place the camera, how to draw out a shy actor or get out of the way of a strong one. Those skills are rarer than you'd think. Sarah Polley, who never wrote or directed a feature film before Away From Her, has them all.
  16. Seeing Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is like having a second date with the woman who made you fall in love at first sight.
  17. The longer film makes Donnie's intentions clearer, explains the time-travel theme better and also leaves us in no doubt as to Frank's identity.
  18. Polished, thoughtful and touching.
  19. 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.
  20. The sequel is faster, funnier and wilder, with more cunningly contrived computer effects.
  21. You won't forget Nobody Knows, the quietly harrowing tale of four abandoned Japanese children.
  22. The giddiest and funniest animated film of the year.
  23. The presence of Robert Redford gives the character weight, if not depth, because we bring to the film everything we know about the actor from other movies. Redford’s characters have seemed unflappable for more than 40 years: sometimes cool, sometimes cocky, but almost always master of a situation. To see him beginning to flounder is to see a new Redford, one who catches us off guard.
  24. Marston doesn't develop the characters, except for the strong-willed and quick-witted Maria.
  25. McNamara's too mentally adroit to let Morris pin blame or guilt on him, and the director's not interested in shaming him.
  26. An experience as tender and troubling as any you're likely to get - or not likely, if this subject puts you off.
  27. Writer Steve Kloves, who adapted all of J.K. Rowling's novels except "Order of the Phoenix" over the last 11 years, neither wastes a word nor leaves out any essentials.
  28. One of those documentaries about a family train wreck that makes you wonder how people consented to have their tawdry laundry washed so publicly.
  29. Almodovar still populates his work with characters you'll see nowhere else in movies.
  30. It's tense, strangely funny in a lot of spots and – if you grew up loving old-fashioned, seat-of-the-pants baseball, as I did – the most depressing movie of the year.

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