Dallas Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,518 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Capote
Lowest review score: 0 Road Trip
Score distribution:
1,518 movie reviews
  1. Cube is essentially a glossy, beautifully designed 90-minute Twilight Zone episode.
  2. Its smarmy resolution just doesn't work; the lessons learned are a bit too medicinal. But we're willing to forgive, since it's otherwise a good-natured and enjoyable ride.
  3. For now, it might be best to acknowledge this as an impressive debut and wait for the grown-up stuff to come.
  4. A surprisingly efficient B-grade revenge pic.
  5. The theme (social breakdown in isolation) is strong, but the plot meanders, and the motivations are decidedly hazy, so its popularity probably stems from its seamless blending of naive wonder and soul-mining horror.
  6. Well acted by an unusually likable cast.
  7. The result is visually slick, almost shockingly simpleminded, kinda redundant and only adequately satisfying. Alas, for their dramatic wrap-up the Wachowskis' storytelling now feels less intriguing than merely dutiful.
  8. Levin's on-camera presence is warm, wry and even-tempered, and he never feels the need to rub anything in.
  9. It doesn't have enough power in the first place to make a strong claim on our attentions.
  10. Many of the dilemmas that are established never pay off, and there is no clear protagonist or antagonist. To make matters even murkier, the movie is poorly shot in visually uninteresting locations with constant soft focus. That said, it's also damn funny.
  11. Instead of slick heroism, the saving grace of The Matador (which was obviously made on something less than a blockbuster budget) lies in the comic interplay between Brosnan's ignoble Mr. Noble and the hapless square he picks to serve his purposes.
  12. Deserves an A for ambition, but the final product is a pastiche of too many predecessors.
  13. Two minor drawbacks: Onscreen IDs of speakers are sometimes omitted. And Kissinger's crimes seem almost paltry in comparison to current American policies.
  14. With Joseph Fiennes as the conflicted, frequently self-hating Luther, this historical drama/biopic offers a fairly thorough overview of the period (although it's weak on the "good deeds" angle) but is somewhat dry and weighted with significance.
  15. The problem with Spartan isn't so much that it's mediocre, but that it could be a whole lot better.
  16. Wacky, hodgepodge and decidedly homemade, CSA nevertheless is worth seeing. Sure, it veers off into nonsense, and there are times when the film loses its center. But the premise, the passion and the scathing political commentary ultimately keep CSA afloat.
  17. This resolutely old-fashioned movie is less a drama of the streets than a kind of recruiting film.
  18. If the Navy is looking for splashy recruiting tools, it could do worse than Stealth, a zillion-dollar action movie stuffed with futuristic jet fighters, glamorous carrier pilots and an overload of explosive, mostly digital derring-do.
  19. Surprisingly tender and resolutely unpostmodern.
  20. Either a bit more humor or a bit more heart could exponentially improve things.
  21. As a date-night movie for women of 50 or thereabouts, chances are it'll do the trick.
  22. Hamburg's smartypants banter is a bit spotty, but the bathroom humor, of all things, hits the mark, and Stiller's trademark wide-eyed bafflement wins the day again.
  23. This Jay-Z documentary is too much of a good thing, really.
  24. Doesn't show us much of anything we haven't seen better already.
  25. Because the filmmakers have skewed the story into a Donnie-Lefty lovefest, the breakage of their trust signals the breakage of Donnie's spirit even in triumph. Case closed. It's the kind of fade-out we might expect from the it's-all-hopeless era of '60s counterculture movies. It's emotionally effective, but also a cheat.
  26. Some Marvel fans and die-hard devotees of Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder who played The Hulk on television (and who does a brief walk-on here), may find Ang Lee's whole enterprise grandiose and, given its not-always-successful attempt to fuse brains and brawn, a little bit silly.
  27. Simmons plays it understated, conveying a sad-sack quality that's more relatable than Charley's irrational catatonia. The movie should have been about him instead.
  28. To say it's better than it has any right to be gives the original too much credit and the remake not enough.
  29. Fright fans could do a lot worse than The Eye; the Pangs have talent, but when they realize that a film isn't the same thing as a feature-length commercial, perhaps they'll provide us with some more original visions.
  30. Nobody can convey more while doing nothing than Thornton. And while his minimalist style is appropriate for the ironically named Levity, what is conveyed never quite generates the emotional charge of "Monster's Ball."

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