Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,561 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 Atonement
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1561 movie reviews
  1. Despite Hunter's terrific acting, the mom seems too unaware.
  2. Careful casting adds to verisimilitude. Nobody carries off a chilly authority figure like Tilda Swinton, who represents the chemical company; Pollack, who has more or less stopped directing, now embodies urbane amorality as an actor; Wilkinson, whose career has mostly been devoted to repressed or depressed characters, enjoys his turn as a bright-eyed fanatic.
  3. It's obviously meant to help his presidential candidacy - why release it a month before the election, otherwise? - and for the first 7 minutes, it plays like a campaign commercial about young John's integrity, hard work and humble roots.
  4. If you're put off by deliberate filmmaking (or subtitles, though the movie doesn't have much dialogue), you're in the wrong spot. If not, you'll see why voters gave "Atanarjuat," as it's officially called, a 2002 Oscar nomination for best foreign film.
  5. Anderson tells this story slowly, inexorably, with a sense of control I've never felt from him before. This is the least violent of his five dramas, the first where nobody dies. It's also the bleakest.
  6. It depicts a world close enough to our own to be terrifying, yet different enough to rouse curiosity.
  7. A follow-up with as much artistic integrity, complexity, humor and well-designed action as the original.
  8. Markowitz, Daley and Goldstein sounds like a New York firm that delivers financial advice, but they're asking you to invest only $9 of your cash and 100 minutes of your time. They have written the funniest movie I've seen this year in Horrible Bosses.
  9. What director Jan Hrebejk and writer Petr Jarchovský are talking about is the Czech Republic, ravaged for decades by communism and then left to fend for itself in a world to which it can scarcely adjust.
  10. Rodriguez' inner peace wins us over. He seems to have enjoyed recording music, fathering kids, cleaning houses, playing sold-out gigs and simply strumming a guitar in his kitchen. Searching for Sugar Man reminds us that a wise man knows lasting riches are never the result of record sales.
  11. Though the writing isn't always specific, Williams is. He differentiates between the murderer in "Insomnia," who wants a cop to understand his motives, and Sy, who realizes no one ever could.
  12. The well-composed movie directed by Jon Favreau and written by Justin Marks takes us beyond the 1967 cartoon and, in some ways, beyond Kipling.
  13. Like a story-spinner from the "Tales of the Arabian Nights," Steven Spielberg begins by demanding we accept impossible things. If we do, his spell can enchant us; if not, it must vanish like colored smoke.
  14. The result owes a little to the 1927 "Metropolis," a little to film noir, a little to early depictions of H.G. Wells' science fiction -- notably the 1936 "Things to Come" -- and a little to lovably far-fetched sci-fi serials.
  15. Wallenda once said, "Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting." This film makes that motto ring true.
  16. Anyone who saw the Oscar-nominated Mulligan in "An Education" knows what she can do. If you didn't, you're in for the kind of quietly revelatory acting that portends a brilliant career.
  17. Disney's updated, animated version respects its source material while aiming at kids who grew up with extreme sports and edgy music.
  18. This documentary makes a terrible kind of sense. It reminds us that something we take for granted, like air, can be sold to us – if we can afford it. And if we can't, what happens then?
  19. 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.
  20. The director lingers over images, watching builders at work or Baran at her chores; the camera often seems to daydream, like Lateef. No grand climax caps the film, but the small incidents have a cumulative effect.
  21. It gives such a down-to-Earth view of the joys, terrors, boredom, anxieties and camaraderie in a war zone.
  22. Each major character is complex, none more so than Bill. He's almost Shakespearean in scope.
  23. Director Stephen Frears...drops down to the underclass in "DPT," examining the ways in which educated illegals fight off despair, poverty and extradition.
  24. I've heard that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By that standard, the U.S. "War on Drugs" seems crazy indeed in The House I Live In.
  25. 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.
  26. The film's main virtue, a large virtue indeed, is that it does not give anything away before its shockingly apt time.
  27. The terrific Spellbound really isn't about the ability to tear words apart letter by letter. It's about nerve-wracking competitiveness.
  28. Kandahar found itself in real-life controversy last December, when one of its actors was accused of murder.
  29. One of those rare thrillers where the cops aren't fools, villains don't turn stupid at crucial moments, and career assassins seldom miss targets.
  30. You won't forget Nobody Knows, the quietly harrowing tale of four abandoned Japanese children.

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