Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,464 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 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Prestige
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1,464 movie reviews
  1. What surprises us most is the picture's topicality, and not just because terrorists crashed a plane into the Pentagon three years ago.
  2. The giddiest and funniest animated film of the year.
  3. Pixar's employees, masters of computer-generated animation, capture the look of the ocean like no artists before.
  4. For the first time since "X-Men," I was on the edge of my seat anticipating a sequel, wondering who'd play the Joker and how quickly Nolan - it must be Nolan! - can bring the next chapter of this story to the screen.
  5. Squid keeps you on your toes, but payoffs will have you smiling - maybe in rueful recognition of the truth - in scene after scene.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A spruced-up version has been re-released after 22 years, and the addition of 43 minutes means the story really has room to breathe.
  10. Yet its visual surrealism, identity-bending and strong social/ecological message make it as much an allegory as a fable.
  11. Reveals the drama and degredation so powerfully that it ranks among the all-time heavyweights of sports movies.
  12. As a picture that celebrates one of the greatest archetypes in literature while freshening countless familiar details, I doubt it can be bettered.
  13. A tribute to anyone who ever picked up a score, a pen, a paintbrush or a grease pencil - or a movie camera.
  14. Spielberg has never made a more sophisticated and less sentimental picture. He and writer Tony Kushner craft it like a historical thriller.
  15. The film's proudest boast is that nary a frame comes from documentary footage...Every riot, every explosion, every seemingly spontaneous gundown in the streets of Algiers was staged, then shot in black-and-white stock that intentionally echoes newsreel footage.
  16. 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.
  17. For a movie that ends in the profoundest depths of sadness, Boys Don't Cry contains one of the year's purest moments of joy.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  21. I can't recall the last film that so wholly, honestly and movingly explained what it means to be a Christian.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The most difficult task in Pixar's 20-year history: to make an un-Mickey-like rodent appealing enough to admire.
  25. He's (Yimou) like a painter combining bloody reds, sunshine yellows and pale blues in the harmony of a masterpiece.
  26. Just as moving, uplifting and funny as ever in its slightly modified form.
  27. 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?
  28. Warms the heart while chilling the bones.
  29. succeeds as an action film, character study and metaphor for our own terrorism-obsessed time.
  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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