Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,454 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 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Squid and the Whale
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1,454 movie reviews
  1. What does it say about a picture when the highest praise must go to impressive scenery?
  2. The result is one of the twistiest thrillers in recent memory.
  3. He (Chomet) keeps us waiting for a narrative payoff that will equal that visual splendor, and he makes us think that many small inspired touches will add up to something memorable. But when he opens his hand at last, there's nothing in it.
  4. The story might have worked as well without that stick-in-the-craw coincidence, which was inserted to maximize the horrors of Nawal's past.
  5. Cinematographer Cesar Charlone, whose burnt-orange view of the favela made "City of God" striking, conveys Africa's slums with equal force in somber browns and simmering yellows. At times, the inhabitants seem to be on fire in their surroundings, a fitting image for a land consigned to a hell of unhappiness.
  6. Handsome and competently acted and prettily shot and all the other things critics say when what they really want to scream is "Aaaaaaaargh! No more Jane Austen adaptations, ESPECIALLY not Pride and Prejudice.
  7. Classically scary.
    • Charlotte Observer
  8. The results require immense patience but also reward it immensely.
  9. Squid keeps you on your toes, but payoffs will have you smiling - maybe in rueful recognition of the truth - in scene after scene.
  10. Somewhere inside "School" lurks a heartwarming or hilarious movie, perhaps both.
  11. In an era when most scripts are written by committees of monkeys, hearing one man's intelligent voice is an almost forgotten pleasure.
  12. Careful casting adds to verisimilitude. Nobody carries off a chilly authority figure like Tilda Swinton, who represents the chemical company; Pollack, who has more or less stopped directing, now embodies urbane amorality as an actor; Wilkinson, whose career has mostly been devoted to repressed or depressed characters, enjoys his turn as a bright-eyed fanatic.
  13. Has an honesty few movies seek or achieve these days.
  14. The most violent scene is dreamlike, and more direct killings are often seen at an angle or from a distance. The camera placement is thoughtful and effective, never titillating.
  15. Gibney also made the Oscar-nominated "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," and he gets remarkable access to people you wouldn't expect to talk to him (including U.S. interrogators charged with crimes at Bagram).
  16. Cedar is mostly interested in the father-son dynamics, and he cast excellent actors. Lewensohn, a famous Israeli theatrical director, makes his film acting debut, while the veteran Ashkenazi ("Late Wedding") handles his low-key role with bearlike grace.
  17. So wild an approach demands straightforward performances that don't draw attention to themselves, and that's what the actors supply.
  18. Warms the heart while chilling the bones.
  19. Alfred Hitchcock once said, "Drama is life with the dull bits left out." Well, Rachel Getting Married is drama with the dull bits left in.
  20. The two leads don't have sexual chemistry together, but that's part of the point.
  21. If you're tired of false holiday cheer, Lilya 4-Ever will provide a corrective to the spiritual eggnog force-fed to us all season. The climax takes place during Christmas, though one that would make Tiny Tim grateful for his crutch and cold chimney corner.
  22. succeeds as an action film, character study and metaphor for our own terrorism-obsessed time.
  23. Melissa Leo is one of America's most underrated character actresses, and Frozen River confirms that opinion.
  24. The movie ends so abruptly you might wonder if a piece is missing, and it relies on one extraordinary coincidence I couldn’t swallow. Yet scene by scene, I found people I knew or wish I knew: Ben’s romantic advice to the straight but awkward Joey would give any boy confidence about himself.
  25. If you used this guy's umbilical cord for fishing line, you could land a world-record marlin.
  26. Reflective, touching, intimate portrait of a samurai facing action in his waning years.
  27. 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.
  28. A documentary that's as chaotic, rude and funny as the band could be.
  29. He (writer/director David Gordon Green) fired his arrow straight at a worthwhile target, but it fell a little short.
    • Charlotte Observer
  30. Lynch does "explain" what's happening via a plot twist two-thirds of the way through "Drive," which will satisfy you (as it did me) or leave you asking, "Is that all there is?"

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