Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,438 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 2.3 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:
1,438 movie reviews
  1. If this new film doesn't quite go to 11, it's a healthy 8½.
  2. Less gloriously showy than "Memento," but it proves you can still craft fine art under the auspices of a big studio.
  3. Anyone who enjoys the novels of Ed McBain, the Oscar-winning "All the President's Men" or any televised variation of "CSI" will be at home here.
  4. Raymond Wong, who has become Chow's favorite composer, iced this cake with music that sounds like Beethoven, Henry Mancini's jazz and all the James Bond themes run together in a blender.
  5. Martin Scorsese understands one character better than any other American director: the man who rises in the world to wealth or prominence without attaining what he wants most. That's why Howard Hughes is an ideal subject for this director.
  6. Christian Bale loves to suffer on-screen. Werner Herzog loves to make people suffer on-screen. Rescue Dawn is proof they were made for each other.
  7. An animated film that challenges preconceptions about the genre and foregoes the usual romance/adventure structure.
  8. The loosely autobiographical 8 Mile, an uneven but watchable drama about life in Detroit's slums, begins the shrewd transformation of vitriolic rapper Eminem into a mainstream figure.
  9. Most importantly, Shut Up & Sing is about what happens in the music industry to people who won't.
  10. The best war movies don't preach against war: They remind us of the costs for soldiers and families and ask us to consider whether those costs are worth paying. The Messenger does that without firing a bullet or putting us on a battlefield.
  11. Feuerzeig leaves a lot of territory unexplored. Why did people overlook his suffering and bizarre behavior for so long? Were they cold-hearted profiteers, onlookers enjoying a freak show or honestly ignorant of his troubles? Are there links between Johnston's creativity and madness?
  12. Characters in Breillat's movies often make sex their god, lose faith in it, then find their lives hollow and grim. Bergman wouldn't have been so concerned with bodily woes, but he'd have understood.
  13. Cool. Stupid. Juiced-up. Feeble. Stripped-down. Self-indulgent. Clever. Sophomoric.
  14. A three-hour-and-10-minute exercise in slight characterization, pointlessly showy editing and vapid plotting.
  15. I've heard that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By that standard, the U.S. "War on Drugs" seems crazy indeed in The House I Live In.
  16. This is one of the few recent westerns that requires you to keep your eyes open and memory engaged.
  17. Its main pleasure lies in watching Bush thaw under gentle emotional heat applied by the few people who haven't given up on him.
  18. Writer Guillermo Arriaga earns most of the blame. He played similar games with narrative in the vastly better "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams," jumping back and forth in time to show relationships among subplots and characters. But "Burials" barely has one plot.
  19. In an elemental way, though, the film always works. The acting can be basic, a cross between Bollywood directness and Western nuance, but it has weight.
  20. Career Girls is a chamber piece: intimate and direct, two voices performing monologues and duets of irony, despair and hope. [29 Aug 1997, p.11E]
    • Charlotte Observer
  21. Kandahar found itself in real-life controversy last December, when one of its actors was accused of murder.
  22. Mottola also wrote the screenplay, which is most fresh and honest when dealing with supporting characters.
  23. Go with the flow, and it remains a taut and well-engineered thriller. Poke at plot incongruities, as I was doing literally on the way to the parking lot, and it starts to unravel.
  24. Every decade or so, someone proves animation can tell a serious adult story.
  25. The script expertly captures kids' behavior.
  26. Mangold has been smart or fortunate in casting, and personalities sustain interest even when the narrative flags.
  27. The film soars in the right places, especially when powerful newcomer Jennifer Hudson sings, and the charismatic supporting cast keeps it chugging forward.
  28. Chuck and Buck: A fungus among us.
    • Charlotte Observer
  29. Outdated before it opened today.
  30. The two male leads, bulwarks of the Danish film industry for more than a decade, play off each other like the veterans they are.

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