Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,502 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 Her
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,502 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. For the first time in memory, the film ends not just with the promise of more Bonds but without a firm conclusion.
  4. 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.
  5. The terrific Spellbound really isn't about the ability to tear words apart letter by letter. It's about nerve-wracking competitiveness.
  6. 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.
  7. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Pearce, who's in every scene except the Sammy flashbacks, dominates the picture through his feral performance.
  12. 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.
  13. You may not realize the imprint it has left until its last season comes to a close.
  14. The film moves swiftly and unerringly to its conclusion. Spielberg remains under Stanley Kubrick's directorial spell.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. One of the most uncompromisingly bleak films I've ever seen.
  18. You can say nothing of Castle-Hughes except that she's already a movie star: The camera loves her and we do, too.
  19. An articulate plea to Westerners not to repeat these terrible sins of omission.
  20. The director lingers over images, watching builders at work or Baran at her chores; the camera often seems to daydream, like Lateef. No grand climax caps the film, but the small incidents have a cumulative effect.
  21. (Cusack) has never been more effective onscreen.
  22. The story’s unbelievable, end to end.
  23. Gone Girl offers interesting, even amusing audio cues: the sound of a distant mourning dove when we suspect Amy’s been killed, or Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” playing on a car radio as Nick returns his obnoxious father to an assisted care center.
  24. Eastwood thrusts us into the period with an understated piano score (which he composed) and authentic production design by Henry Bumstead, who died last May after working on the film at 90. (He collaborated with Eastwood on 11 films, including the Oscar-winning "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby," and he's a dedicatee of "Flags.")
  25. Another of Charlotte native Ross McElwee's musings about his family, history (this time the tobacco industry) and life. It may be his best.
  26. Pavich gives the Chilean-born Jodorowski his full say in the documentary, partly in Spanish and partly in expressive if slightly fractured English.
  27. This superficial plot, almost devoid of characterization or weighty emotions, is an excuse for ferocious, fast and frequent combat.
  28. A brain-free ride on a cinematic bullet train.
  29. Control Room ends by acknowledging that independence, accuracy and even truth itself may be illusory.
  30. Director Matt Reeves, working from a script by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback, elevates the apes to primary importance in this intelligent thriller.

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