Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,461 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 Ratatouille
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,461 movie reviews
  1. 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?"
  2. It mocks folk musicians of the 1960s, who could sometimes be full of hot air. It also acknowledges that protests 40 years ago, often spearheaded by bards and balladeers, blew much-needed fresh air into post-Eisenhower society.
  3. Comedy comes from an exaggeration of reality, not reality itself -- and on that score, Diablo Cody's first screenplay gets high marks.
  4. To call it a masterpiece is premature: That's a title to be earned only in retrospect. But I've seen it twice now and can't imagine what I would change. It fits together tightly as a suspenseful puzzle, yet it's also emotionally rewarding and sardonically funny.
  5. 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.
  6. They've made a thrilling traditional nautical picture from untraditional books.
  7. 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.
  8. His height didn't stop independent writer-director Thomas McCarthy from casting his friend in The Station Agent, scoring a triumph for both.
  9. If you see Hot Fuzz, you'll never again watch a Michael Bay film without howling with disrespectful laughter.
  10. Best of all, we finally learn something about Bond's origins: The movie takes its title from his ancestral home in Scotland. (A nod to Connery, perhaps?)
  11. Brilliantly interweaves stories that take place decades apart, and features stellar work by three of the best English-speaking actresses: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep.
  12. 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.
  13. The best thing about the picture is Harry's new maturity: For the first time, he dominates a picture named for him.
  14. The film's an irresistible time capsule of that Camelot summer, blending girrrrrl power, social consciousness and faux-'60s pop with the fizz of a soda jerk whipping up a root beer float.
  15. (The Coens have) never again achieved the one-two punch of Blood Simple and "Raising Arizona" - the first darkly cynical, the second light-headedly comical.
  16. King Kong, a labor of love that's visually stunning and moving in its best moments, is also bloated, shallow, clunky, full of illogical scenes and at least an hour too long.
  17. For the first time in memory, the film ends not just with the promise of more Bonds but without a firm conclusion.
  18. A hymn to that beautiful city, is among his least consequential efforts. It's attractive and easy to slip into, but he didn't put enough thought into the design, and it soon falls apart.
  19. 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.
  20. A peaceful, unforced film, and it inspires a feeling of relief and joy that's hard to describe.
  21. South African director Neill Blomkamp set and shot the film around his native Johannesburg, so parallels to apartheid leap to mind. Yet the script he wrote with Terri Tatchell applies to any culture that bluntly excludes another.
  22. 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.
  23. Has more twists than the Pacific Coast Highway and more layers than a stack of silver-dollar pancakes. If you can wrap your mind around one unlikely condition, the picture provides unalloyed pleasure for connoisseurs of cinematic con artists.
  24. Those of us who admire Charles Portis' novel have waited 40 years for a screen version that's as literal as possible – and the Coen brothers just about deliver it.
  25. The terrific Spellbound really isn't about the ability to tear words apart letter by letter. It's about nerve-wracking competitiveness.
  26. The rabbits, foolishly introduced to a land that couldn't support them as they bred and dispersed, are symbols of the English: ravenous, unheeding, ineradicable and a constant threat to the native way of life.
  27. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  28. The result is two-tiered humor, broad enough to appeal to anybody but overlaid with jokes that will be funnier if you know the show.
  29. Selick's fantastical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel will be too dazzlingly rich for many; it'll be like "caviare to the general," as Hamlet said of a complex play enacted for a public with lazy minds.
  30. It'll preach mainly to the choir - lazy thinkers won't attend, despite George Clooney's attachment as director and actor - but maybe it'll wake a few sleepers.

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