Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,454 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 2.5 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:
1,454 movie reviews
  1. Salva's view of the universe is bleak, but he communicates it with scary sincerity.
  2. Field does what most American directors don't: He shows people at work, in the day-to-day activity unmarked by excitement.
  3. It settles into the typical reflective mode of Iranian films, but something IS happening: A human being is slowly, sullenly, silently approaching his combustion point.
  4. Polished, thoughtful and touching.
  5. By the end, you'll be chilled and disturbed by what you've seen -- and, rare as this is in a horror movie, touched to the heart.
  6. Top honors go to Guinee, who steadily builds his character from tiny details, and Reaser, who's understood through eyes and attitude while speaking a hodgepodge of German, Norwegian and English.
  7. Until Year of the Dog, I've never seen a movie where someone obsessed over a puppy.
  8. Unobtrusively satisfying.
  9. These aren't people whose problems can be solved quickly or easily. They'll need medication, therapy, patience, self-awareness and willingness to compromise to conquer troubles, and Russell makes us root for them as they stumble along.
  10. A character in Yann Martel's novel "Life of Pi" tells us this will be a story to make us believe in God. The film version written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee may do that – you'll decide for yourself – but it will definitely make you believe in the power of cinema.
  11. Best of all, Billy (Jamie Bell) is that rarity in a film distributed by Hollywood: a real boy, confused at 11 about almost everything.
  12. The strong personalities of Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who play typical supportive wives, keep scenes from sagging.
  13. At bottom, all Payne's films make us smile, often ruefully but hopefully.
  14. Watching I Heart Huckabees was like taking my first Manhattan cab ride with a madman behind the wheel. As the skyscrapers whizzed by, I thought, "What a view! I just wish we'd slow down, so I could take everything in."
  15. Proves eye-opening in two ways: Sweeping, bloody battles will make your orbs pop, and you'll re-evaluate this supposedly “uncivilized” man who unified quarrelsome Central Asian tribes to create one of the largest empires in history.
  16. After 30 minutes, I wondered why I was watching a drama about a quarrelsome couple who seemed so obviously wrong for each other. After 60 minutes, I knew. After 90 minutes, I cared. By the end, I was riveted.
  17. Betty moves into Coen Brothers territory, a land so unreal that horrific behavior wrings laughter from a disbelieving audience.
  18. Grosser than "American Pie"! More penis jokes than "There''s Something About Mary"! Nudity more gratuitous than "Porky''s"!
  19. Doesn't have the daring lunacy of "Chuck and Buck," the previous collaboration by director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White. Yet it gets closer to the troubled, lonely soul of its main character.
  20. These kids may be too small for sports and may not be headed to college on academic scholarships. But for once, they've proven to the world and to themselves that they matter.
  21. Best of all, we finally learn something about Bond's origins: The movie takes its title from his ancestral home in Scotland. (A nod to Connery, perhaps?)
  22. Among the handsome explosions, wacky effects, slapstick comedy and zooming action sequences of The Incredibles, writer-director Brad Bird is attempting to start a revolution.
  23. Beach blends all the performing styles smoothly: LL's blithe coolness, Blalock's sultry ambiguity, Liotta's slow-boiling intensity, Ejiofor's dapper amiability, Phifer's brooding intensity.
  24. The Tony-winning Bosco, one of the great stage actors of the last 50 years, does a lot with a little in his restricted role; he's haughty, almost dignified by his angry silence. Linney and Hoffman stay pitch-perfect in their noisy desperation and sullen withdrawal.
  25. Hanks has a good time, romping around with the assurance of a holy fool. He and Roberts seem "actorish," putting on accents and mannerisms, but they're entertaining. Hoffman is something more, a scenery-devouring force of nature irresistible as a cyclone and irreverent as a stand-up comedian at a midnight show.
  26. The ex-lovers' new conversation is stimulating and banal, selfish and broad-minded, affectionate and recriminatory, insightful and obtuse - in short, the kind of dialogue two people might have while pouring out their hearts and poring over their pasts.
  27. Filmmakers have presented an unvarnished drama about Marshall University and the people who love it, and the results are inspirational.
  28. Almodovar still populates his work with characters you'll see nowhere else in movies.
  29. Keeps its sense of humor while dealing with serious issues.
  30. The effect is as potent as a straight right to the solar plexus.

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