Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,432 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 Frost/Nixon
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,432 movie reviews
  1. His height didn't stop independent writer-director Thomas McCarthy from casting his friend in The Station Agent, scoring a triumph for both.
  2. If you see Hot Fuzz, you'll never again watch a Michael Bay film without howling with disrespectful laughter.
  3. 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?)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The best thing about the picture is Harry's new maturity: For the first time, he dominates a picture named for him.
  7. 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.
  8. (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.
  9. 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.
  10. For the first time in memory, the film ends not just with the promise of more Bonds but without a firm conclusion.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. A peaceful, unforced film, and it inspires a feeling of relief and joy that's hard to describe.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The terrific Spellbound really isn't about the ability to tear words apart letter by letter. It's about nerve-wracking competitiveness.
  19. 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.
  20. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Pearce, who's in every scene except the Sammy flashbacks, dominates the picture through his feral performance.
  25. The irony is, this family isn't mismatched: All six bickering characters are connected by empathy as well as blood, and we wait for them to figure that out.
  26. You may not realize the imprint it has left until its last season comes to a close.
  27. The film moves swiftly and unerringly to its conclusion. Spielberg remains under Stanley Kubrick's directorial spell.
  28. Langella has always been a cerebral actor, one who never gives away all he's thinking. What comes through in this portrayal is how smart Nixon was, whether he's cunningly probing Frost's weaknesses or pitching himself to TV viewers as an avuncular, misunderstood Cold Warrior.
  29. The best action movie of the month contains chase scenes, fights, a love story, exotic locations - well, one exotic locale, snow-blasted Antarctica - and a battle for survival against long odds amid brutal conditions.
  30. One of the most uncompromisingly bleak films I've ever seen.

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