Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,428 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 The Battle of Algiers (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1,428 movie reviews
  1. An experience as tender and troubling as any you're likely to get - or not likely, if this subject puts you off.
  2. To talk more about the movie's layers is to risk giving away too much. I'll say only that this film confirms Nolan's status as the director whose work I look forward to more than any other.
  3. We don't find out until the last scene how reality and fantasy intersect, when the meaning of the first shot of the film gets driven home. How many movies have you seen with a payoff like that?
  4. The title comes from the memoir by Mariane Pearl, wife of kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. It applies equally to Winterbottom, who has made the rarest movie among this summer's releases: a taut police procedural that examines all sides of an issue and forces us to re-think our own.
  5. The most difficult task in Pixar's 20-year history: to make an un-Mickey-like rodent appealing enough to admire.
  6. Moviegoers are turned off by depressing topics, yet "Diving Bell" supplies something film fans claim they want: pure escapism, the chance to experience extreme sensations virtually none of us will ever have.
  7. The result is a film that has "Masterpiece Theatre" production values but not an ounce of dust upon it.
  8. succeeds as an action film, character study and metaphor for our own terrorism-obsessed time.
  9. 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.
  10. It's encouraging to see a nation so aware of its public image and defensive about its military decisions examine a dark day in its history.
  11. 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.
  12. When was the last time you had to wait until the final sentence of a film to understand all the details? When was the last time you went to a genre movie – or what looked like one in spooky trailers – and realized the director had fulfilled that promise and meditated on his favorite topic? Shutter Island does just that.
  13. 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.
  14. David Fincher obsesses about obsessive people.
  15. I can't recall the last film that so wholly, honestly and movingly explained what it means to be a Christian.
  16. Writer Steve Kloves, who adapted all of J.K. Rowling's novels except "Order of the Phoenix" over the last 11 years, neither wastes a word nor leaves out any essentials.
  17. Most documentaries put us inside people's heads. The dazzling, experimental Pina puts us inside people's feet.
  18. It's freakishly funny, suddenly tender, gleefully macabre, genuinely scary, and full of a moral – fear turns weak people into bullies – which is dosed out so gently that it never tastes like medicine.
  19. Among many things that make the taut thriller Argo remarkable is this one: It depicts a 1980 rescue of American hostages from Iran yet begins by pointing out that the United States was partly responsible for the situation.
  20. Spielberg has never made a more sophisticated and less sentimental picture. He and writer Tony Kushner craft it like a historical thriller.
  21. Has an honesty few movies seek or achieve these days.
  22. You can’t exactly call Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity the best film of its kind, because it has no kind: It stands alone as an extraordinary balance of 3-D effects, heroes-in-jeopardy storytelling and emotional depth.
  23. As we bounce over rough seas on the Maersk, we know just what will be lost if the Somalis don’t keep their trembling fingers off their triggers. As the title suggests, this is not a movie about an incident: It’s a movie about a man who stays very real to us.
  24. Most nations, ours included, still tolerate some form of slavery or indentured servitude. And 12 Years shows the cruelty of denying not only someone’s freedom but his identity. Take away the essence of a human being – whether he’s in fetters or not – and you destroy him.
  25. Her
    Phoenix gives a performance as convincing as he did in “The Master,” and in exactly the opposite direction: gentle, meditative and cerebral, instead of angry, closed-minded and baffled.
  26. The film is visually sumptuous, morally ambiguous, dramatic and dreamlike, with a narrative as engrossing as any live-action movie of 2013. It’s easy to follow yet hard to shake.
  27. Now You See Me can’t quite claim to be the ideal crime drama – that would be “The Usual Suspects,” which justly won an Oscar for its script – but it’s only one level down.
  28. The film could hardly be less American in tone: It has no villains. It provides complete and comfortable closure for none of its relationships.
  29. 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.
  30. Once every couple of years, a movie comes along to remind us how satisfyingly complex the genre can be. Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the “Batman” saga did that masterfully. On a slightly less ambitious scale, so does X-Men: Days of Future Past.

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