Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,429 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 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 City of God
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1,429 movie reviews
  1. Whedon wants to make a Serenity trilogy, and I suspect the actors will grow on me if he does. In this case, familiarity would breed not contempt but comfort.
  2. It's a gentle look at people who cut themselves off from others and realize consequences too late. If Southern Baptists believed in karma, this would be their touchstone.
  3. The plot is thin: You'll guess the villain early, then pick holes in story construction. But Black's ear for mock-noir speeches doesn't fail him, and he gleefully parodies the chase scenes that dominated his action movies.
  4. It's a unique vision of war from the point of view of a Marine who never pulled a trigger against a foe.
  5. A wicked comedy with just the mildest amount of pathos to season the blend.
  6. 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.)
  7. Haneke peels back the layers of Georges Laurent as slowly and dispassionately as a scientist dissecting a diseased mouse. The ending arrives with the power and inevitability of Greek drama.
  8. Portman doesn't catch fire until the second half, then heaves herself into emotional action; this suits her initially passive, mostly unthinking character. Weaving, who acts entirely with his voice, is V's ideal embodiment: witty, rueful, pitiless, visionary and mad.
  9. Fierce, fast and funny.
  10. The film was reputedly inspired by Japanese teens who trolled chat rooms to find predators, made assignments, then ganged up to beat offending adults.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. When I first heard about Wordplay, I assumed I wouldn't have an ort of interest.
  14. The irony is, this family isn't mismatched: All six bickering characters are connected by empathy as well as blood, and we wait for them to figure that out.
  15. The strong personalities of Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who play typical supportive wives, keep scenes from sagging.
  16. Li plays haughty, brilliant wushu master Huo Yuanjia, whose recklessness leads to tragedy after he becomes a champion at the end of the 19th century.
  17. 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.
  18. An animated film that challenges preconceptions about the genre and foregoes the usual romance/adventure structure.
  19. My sentimentality meter never went off, and Smith proved what people have forgotten since his breakthroughs in "Where the Day Takes You" and "Six Degrees of Separation" 13 years ago: He's a serious actor.
  20. Filmmakers have presented an unvarnished drama about Marshall University and the people who love it, and the results are inspirational.
  21. It depicts a world close enough to our own to be terrifying, yet different enough to rouse curiosity.
  22. 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.
  23. The movie is the usual kind of film biography of a respected figure from the distant past - honorable, oversimplified, handsome.
  24. Anyone who enjoys the novels of Ed McBain, the Oscar-winning "All the President's Men" or any televised variation of "CSI" will be at home here.
  25. Mikkelsen, like Jimmy Stewart, projects emotions with a slight twitch of a lip or narrowing of an eye. His long face - often handsome, sometimes plain, always cryptic - yields secrets slowly; you have to watch an entire film to know how his character feels and how you feel about him.
  26. Until Year of the Dog, I've never seen a movie where someone obsessed over a puppy.
  27. 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.
  28. If you see Hot Fuzz, you'll never again watch a Michael Bay film without howling with disrespectful laughter.
  29. A director needs to know how to pace the tale, where to place the camera, how to draw out a shy actor or get out of the way of a strong one. Those skills are rarer than you'd think. Sarah Polley, who never wrote or directed a feature film before Away From Her, has them all.
  30. No matter what character Don Cheadle has played in his 23-year career, he's always seemed to be holding something back...Until Talk to Me.

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