Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,438 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 The Exorcist
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1,438 movie reviews
  1. We don't find out until the last scene how reality and fantasy intersect, when the meaning of the first shot of the film gets driven home. How many movies have you seen with a payoff like that?
  2. It makes "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" and "12:08 East of Bucharest," the last glum Romanian movies about life under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, seem merry.
  3. Most nations, ours included, still tolerate some form of slavery or indentured servitude. And 12 Years shows the cruelty of denying not only someone’s freedom but his identity. Take away the essence of a human being – whether he’s in fetters or not – and you destroy him.
  4. The most difficult task in Pixar's 20-year history: to make an un-Mickey-like rodent appealing enough to admire.
  5. The songs are pure joy, for them and for us.
    • Charlotte Observer
  6. You can’t exactly call Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity the best film of its kind, because it has no kind: It stands alone as an extraordinary balance of 3-D effects, heroes-in-jeopardy storytelling and emotional depth.
  7. David Fincher obsesses about obsessive people.
  8. Zero Dark Thirty, like the mission that inspired it, commands respect, admiration, even awe in places for the logistical nightmares that had to be overcome to get it done. But it's a hard movie to love.
  9. Every time it starts to feel like something we have known, we realize how unlike us these Iranian characters are.
  10. I think the trilogy has come to its natural conclusion: However you interpret the ending, we’ve spent enough time with these two people.
  11. Yet its visual surrealism, identity-bending and strong social/ecological message make it as much an allegory as a fable.
  12. Just as moving, uplifting and funny as ever in its slightly modified form.
  13. A potent environmental message wrapped up in an irresistibly cute romance between robots.
  14. The film's proudest boast is that nary a frame comes from documentary footage...Every riot, every explosion, every seemingly spontaneous gundown in the streets of Algiers was staged, then shot in black-and-white stock that intentionally echoes newsreel footage.
  15. U.S. geography doesn't matter to Payne. He always charts the terrain of the human heart, and he's among the wisest of mapmakers.
  16. Jackson had the vision, persistence, insight and patience for this mighty job, plus the smarts to shape stage veterans and overlooked film actors into a seamless cast. He's made himself as immortal as a movie director can be.
  17. The superb Trintignant and the Oscar-nominated Riva – who would win, in a just world – embody once-vigorous people in inevitable decline. Yet as another critic has said, the film is sad without being depressing.
  18. Yi Yi is an intimate movie, for all its length and complexity.
  19. Moviegoers are turned off by depressing topics, yet "Diving Bell" supplies something film fans claim they want: pure escapism, the chance to experience extreme sensations virtually none of us will ever have.
  20. It's mostly a disturbingly believable portrait of a psychopath whose true depths of rage are buried where none but he can see. The ironically named Plainview does not come into plain view until the last scene, and the lupine, scowling Day-Lewis is mesmerizing in the role.
  21. Jackson surpasses the expectations anyone might have had for him with The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of his trilogy devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork.
  22. It’s the first Pixar effort that feels less like a creative outpouring and more like an obligation met to satisfy a distribution schedule.
  23. 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.
  24. It's encouraging to see a nation so aware of its public image and defensive about its military decisions examine a dark day in its history.
  25. The Coen brothers have never really accepted the idea that a movie has to have a plot. Offbeat characters, sure. Oblique dialogue that sounds meaningful and occasionally is so, absolutely. Eye-catching cinematography and a subtle, mood-reinforcing soundtrack, no question. Irony layered on thickly as cheese in good lasagna, yes. But a narrative that makes sense from end to end? Well, one doesn't have room for everything.
  26. A spruced-up version has been re-released after 22 years, and the addition of 43 minutes means the story really has room to breathe.
  27. Her
    Phoenix gives a performance as convincing as he did in “The Master,” and in exactly the opposite direction: gentle, meditative and cerebral, instead of angry, closed-minded and baffled.
  28. Pixar's employees, masters of computer-generated animation, capture the look of the ocean like no artists before.
  29. A tribute to anyone who ever picked up a score, a pen, a paintbrush or a grease pencil - or a movie camera.
  30. It's among the most inventive, screwily funny and consistently surprising movies I've seen in years.

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