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 Turtles Can Fly
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1,502 movie reviews
  1. Warms the heart while chilling the bones.
  2. succeeds as an action film, character study and metaphor for our own terrorism-obsessed time.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The film remains sadly profound and profoundly sad, yet it holds just enough humor to lighten a weighty subject without trivializing it.
  6. Moore makes no attempt at visual reality. The colors and drawings employ the flat design of a handsomely decorated book, and the children have the huge eyes, disproportionately large heads and small bodies you sometimes see in Japanese animation.
  7. The Dardennes know how to tell low-key stories effectively, and Cotillard’s Academy Award-nominated performance builds toward the unexpected ending.
  8. 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.
  9. The most important thing, though, is that we come away feeling we know him. He died on Christmas Day eight years ago, and people listening to samples of his music in rap and hip-hop may have no idea why he mattered. Now they’ll see.
  10. The film could hardly be less American in tone: It has no villains. It provides complete and comfortable closure for none of its relationships.
  11. It’s the rare animated film that might amuse adults and kids while slipping a useful message to the latter.
  12. 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.
  13. Relaxed editing and well-researched set and costumes give us a firm feeling of the period, and Dick Pope (who has worked with Leigh 10 times) excels. It’s a cliche to say a cinematographer does painterly work, but Pope suffuses the screen with light in the way Turner did his canvases.
  14. This Oscar-nominated documentary does everything you want a documentary to do. It introduces us to a compelling character and, by the finish, allows us to feel we know him well. It makes larger points about the human toil and suffering he shot for most of his career, before he turned to nature to refresh himself.
  15. 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.
  16. The Fault in Our Stars beautifully captures the hesitancy, shyness masked by outward confidence, feelings of unworthiness and quiet intensity of teenagers in love.
  17. 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.
  18. He's (Soderbergh) among the few directors working today who makes me wonder what he'll do next - and draws me into the movie house, whatever it may be.
  19. An animated film that challenges preconceptions about the genre and foregoes the usual romance/adventure structure.
  20. Begins and ends quietly, like stirrings of thunder from a distant storm. In between comes a tragedy that rolls over us like a compact hurricane.
  21. Control Room ends by acknowledging that independence, accuracy and even truth itself may be illusory.
  22. It's among the most inventive, screwily funny and consistently surprising movies I've seen in years.
  23. If you see Hot Fuzz, you'll never again watch a Michael Bay film without howling with disrespectful laughter.
  24. Few white directors depict racial interaction in a thoughtful, non-exploitative way, but Sayles has always been one of them.
  25. The final drum-off (c'mon, you knew it would come down to that) resembles a combination of music, gymnastics and martial arts, and I don't think I've seen a more pulse-pounding scene this year.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As dense as a Watergate-era newspaper and as immediate as a blog, State of Play is an absolutely riveting state-of-the-art "big conspiracy" thriller.
  26. On the most basic level, Cars is an old-fashioned fable about an egotistical, talented loner who learns humility and redeems himself by helping unfortunates.
  27. After an hour, The Pianist stops being the Holocaust movie and becomes a Holocaust movie.
  28. It's fascinating to watch others sweat, suffer and triumph in the documentary Dust to Glory, which chronicles the longest nonstop, point-to-point race on our planet.
  29. Allen, rejuvenated by foreign settings, makes us appreciate posh parts of England as he always did Manhattan. (Credit cinematographer Remi Adefarasin for showing us how seductive upper-crust London can be.)

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