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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Superman
Lowest review score: 0 Coyote Ugly
Score distribution:
1,518 movie reviews
  1. If Steven Soderbergh taught Clooney how to act in "Out of Sight," then Reitman has taught him how to stop acting. This is the most vulnerable, the most playful, the most human performance of his career.
  2. In the end, The Apostle feels like a con, a movie that embraces its contradictions only because it's not smart enough to reconcile them; everything feels complex, but, in fact, it's far too simple.
  3. The first Kill Bill was nothing but violence--swordfight upon swordfight, till the clanking of steel blades drowned out anything anyone said. The second is its emotional counterpart, the heart without all the blood drained from it.
  4. Vera Drake is so patient, assiduous and attentive to emotional accuracy that it betrays the utter sloth of most of what we see when we go to the movies.
  5. It isn't your typical scary movie--there are no "boo!" moments--but it may gradually creep you out and perhaps even more after you've seen it.
  6. The horrors therein are vivid, even if the movie is a bit plodding.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Creates a sense of understanding that crystallizes the essence of the drug subculture with startling clarity.
  7. Happily, this irreverent, sharply observant comedy sweeps us into the maelstrom too. Amid the glut of teen movies rolling out of the studios every week, Election deserves special attention.
  8. A thoroughly professional, frequently spectacular piece of muckraking.
  9. Most of The Constant Gardener is made with good taste and with respect for its African subjects. But when Fiennes flees a Kenyan village as bandits begin their merciless attack, it's hard not to feel a little uneasy with the medium. We're meant to get a thrill out of the chase, but it's not thrilling. Sickening's more like it.
  10. Face/Off wouldn't work without two great actors, and it doesn't always work with them. But their gifts justify the whole loony enterprise.
  11. There's something more REAL about this version, more human, more lived-in; though their words may have been penned 200 years ago, when Austen was a young woman writing about her idealized self, this cast and crew nudge the material into the now.
  12. That's what directors do when they have nothing new to say: They go back and rewrite the past, if only to avoid facing the future
  13. The fractured structure, which moves from one species to another while following a generally chronological overall arc, can occasionally leave your mind to wandering, but for a film with no plot or characters to focus on it is remarkably gripping.
  14. Treacherously funny and wrenchingly sad.
  15. School of Rock, populated by bright-shiny faces given a "Revenge of the Nerds" happy ending, is light and meaningless but never worthless. It merely aspires to be a good time and is just that and nothing more, a grin-worthy buzz that wears off in the parking lot.
  16. In the Harry Potter film series thus far, The Sorcerer's Stone remains the strongest, perhaps because the first look at any rich new world is almost always going to be more groundbreaking than its sequels. But Prisoner of Azkaban is a worthy and stylistically different follow-up, where Chamber of Secrets often felt like an unimaginative retread.
  17. This is a grim and sometimes guilt-ridden examination of the Third Reich in collapse. But it's also weirdly sympathetic, and not just to the peripheral figures in Hitler's twisted world.
  18. A nifty little war movie that defies convenient categorization.
  19. One of Void's great strengths is that it doesn't say much about "voids." It simply shows us, in incredibly vivid detail, heart-stopping danger and the raw will to survive.
  20. Demme's film is as inspiring and moving as its subject, a man who brought critical news and information to the people of Haiti even as a series of dictatorships sought violently to shut him down.
  21. The result is a mood movie that sweeps you into its infatuation and holds you there.
  22. Nothing, however, can diminish the sense of horror we feel at what happened that day in September, while Macdonald's revelations and the candid comments he elicits more than make up for the film's less successful elements.
  23. A gorgeous, emotionally rewarding masterpiece that invites compassion, reflection and, at least from this reviewer, a great deal of admiration. It's no wonder that it won 12 Japanese Academy Awards.
  24. The singing and dancing in this Chicago are uniformly splendid, right down to Gere's tap dancing. The high wit and dark eroticism Marshall brings to the famous "Cell Block Tango" number are matchless.
  25. A big gob of fun.
  26. Fast-paced, riveting and affecting.
  27. Sometimes junk is junk, no matter how fancy the platter upon which it's served. Which isn't to say A History of Violence is useless junk. It provides a few pleasures and a few giggles; it's a comedy, after all, an action movie in which things unfold at a deadpan pace.
  28. The songs are actually quite good--if also hideously embarrassing--but these comedians take their roles far too seriously, to their peril and our puzzlement.
  29. One of this year's best films--a classic, even, like a C.S. Forester "Hornblower" story on steroids.

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