Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,453 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Prestige
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,453 movie reviews
  1. It has the charm, irony and saucy wit of the original, plus two supporting characters -- a suave, egocentric feline and a cheerfully conniving fairy godmother -- who are funnier than anyone in "Shrek."
  2. By riffing off two iconic American narratives of the last 35 years, "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos," it has changed the template for animation, making a timely film that still deals with timeless children's themes.
  3. Corpse Bride had me at the maggot.
  4. This film reminds us you can have a miracle only when David slings a stone at Goliath, not when two Goliaths pummel each other with sticks.
  5. This is the first real family comedy I've seen in a long time: one honest enough to satisfy teens, wryly funny enough for adults and zany enough for little kids.
  6. A crackling rendition of Dan Brown's novel, siphoning off unneeded fat and fancy and leaving us with a streamlined train of a picture that never stops moving.
  7. If you're tired of false holiday cheer, Lilya 4-Ever will provide a corrective to the spiritual eggnog force-fed to us all season. The climax takes place during Christmas, though one that would make Tiny Tim grateful for his crutch and cold chimney corner.
  8. Yet as fine as she and Ewan McGregor are as the parents, Tom Holland stands out as eldest son Lucas, a slightly sullen teen who learns to put other people before himself.
  9. The sequel is faster, funnier and wilder, with more cunningly contrived computer effects.
  10. Bloom finally comes into his own as a man here, somberly thoughtful and melancholic. The elfin archer of "The Lord of the Rings" and the trivial boy-toy of "Troy" have been forgotten.
  11. If you've been seduced by Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage version of "The Phantom of the Opera," you'll fall in love with the gorgeous, splendidly cast film.
  12. The technical side of Baadasssss! far surpasses that of "Sweetback," and re-created scenes from the 1971 film look much better in the son's hands than they did in the father's.
  13. Cedar is mostly interested in the father-son dynamics, and he cast excellent actors. Lewensohn, a famous Israeli theatrical director, makes his film acting debut, while the veteran Ashkenazi ("Late Wedding") handles his low-key role with bearlike grace.
  14. His (LaBute) observation of human nature is keener than before, his dialogue more attuned to ambiguities.
  15. The animals' personalities have been carefully calibrated: They have sufficient edge to amuse us as characters, yet they're cuddly enough to market as plush toys or action figures.
  16. Most horror movies try to show us the man inside the monster, so we'll empathize with his moral dilemmas or feel his suffering. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer shows us a man who is all monster, whose colossal amorality makes him a potential Messiah or menace to humanity.
  17. (The Coens have) never again achieved the one-two punch of Blood Simple and "Raising Arizona" - the first darkly cynical, the second light-headedly comical.
  18. Cinematographer Cesar Charlone, whose burnt-orange view of the favela made "City of God" striking, conveys Africa's slums with equal force in somber browns and simmering yellows. At times, the inhabitants seem to be on fire in their surroundings, a fitting image for a land consigned to a hell of unhappiness.
  19. A horror film that doesn't wear out a moment of its welcome.
    • Charlotte Observer
  20. The film requires close attention, especially while it jumps back and forth in time for the first half-hour, but all the pieces lock into place tightly by the end.
  21. The voice cast includes Angelina Jolie as a tigress, omnipresent Seth Rogen as an acupuncturist who's a praying mantis, David Cross as a nasal crane and Lucy Liu as a cheerful viper.
  22. The film's a little more accessible than "Requiem for a Dream" and a lot easier to understand than "The Fountain," but its low-key grunginess may restrict its appeal to people who have liked professional wrestling and/or Rourke.
  23. Less gloriously showy than "Memento," but it proves you can still craft fine art under the auspices of a big studio.
  24. Johnny Depp has finally won me over to rabid support after "Neverland" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." He gives the most controlled, least mannered performance of his career, staying sweet and rueful while suggesting unseen emotional depths.
  25. This superficial plot, almost devoid of characterization or weighty emotions, is an excuse for ferocious, fast and frequent combat.
  26. A high-wire act, treading a thin line of truth between hokum and homilies. You hold your breath, waiting to see if the filmmakers misstep, but they never do.
  27. It's possible to groan, chuckle, wince and be moist-eyed, sometimes in a span of seven or eight minutes.
  28. If you wait through the credits, you get one last joke in the fine print: The actors shot the whole movie in Hawaii, on the fabulously lush island of Kauai. So while they were shooting a story about indulged prima donnas, they were working themselves in one of the most tourist-friendly spots on Earth. You've gotta smile at that.
  29. Marston doesn't develop the characters, except for the strong-willed and quick-witted Maria.
  30. The picture shatters all genre conventions.

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