Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,888 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 War of the Worlds
Lowest review score: 0 Antitrust
Score distribution:
2,888 movie reviews
  1. Knocked Up is filled with comic exchanges and bits of business that, while not essential to the central plot, keep the movie's comedic energy chugging (like Debbie's throwdown with a doorman at a popular nightclub who won't let her in because she's too old).
  2. Broken English takes 30 minutes to do what most romantic comedies manage with a simple montage. That's a good thing, by the way.
  3. The most remarkable aspect of Charles Ferguson's lacerating documentary about the U.S. invasion of Iraq is that the film contains virtually no new information, and yet its message is as compelling as if we were hearing it for the first time.
  4. It's an action picture that's been distilled and compressed to its tightest, barest, almost abstract essence, and it's absolutely thrilling.
  5. Seeing the Earth from the point of view these men saw it -- ''like a jewel hung in the blackness'' -- tends to put things in perspective.
  6. An excellent legal thriller elevated to superb drama by the actor's (Clooney) central performance.
  7. What American Gangster does have -- what makes it such a commanding, exhilarating movie -- is a consummate love and understanding of story.
  8. Burton has found a vehicle sturdy enough to indulge every facet of his imagination: His great visual flair, his sense of whimsy and humor, his fondness for horror and his love of music.
  9. The story of Paranoid Park may center on an extreme and unusual case, but it's Van Sant's understanding of -- and compassion for -- the hell of growing up that makes the film such a profound and lasting pleasure.
  10. Shine a Light provides the clearest and most intimate viewing experience of the band to date. It is also a happy circumstance that the group, now in their mid-60s, have rarely sounded tighter.
  11. It's a dry, mundane title. It's also the only thing about the film that doesn't blow your mind right out of its comfortable, I've-seen-all-this-before rut.
  12. The Dark Knight is dark, all right: It's a luxurious nightmare disguised in a superhero costume, and it's proof that popcorn entertainments don't have to talk down to their audiences in order to satisfy them. The bar for comic-book film adaptations has been permanently raised.
  13. As suspenseful as a full-blown thriller.
  14. The movie is filled with wonderful music, memorable characters and rich, quotable dialogue. But what makes the picture really soar is the way it reminds you what it feels like to fall in love -- and the endless, countless possibilities a new romance brings.
  15. The movie puts Jasira -- and the audience -- through the wringer, but it also makes the ride worth it.
  16. A portrait of a family reeling with pain and resentment -- and rising to the challenge of dealing with it head-on.
  17. Even though it unfolds almost entirely through a child's eyes, and contains no onscreen violence, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas packs as devastating a punch as an adult-oriented drama about the subject. Its concluding five minutes are almost impossible to watch.
  18. Within the confines of this minimalist picture, there are sequences so vital, timely and of-the-moment, so powerful and well-observed and precise, the effect can be emotionally overwhelming.
  19. The movie is supremely entertaining -- and often hilarious.
  20. This is a long, impeccably detailed, richly textured movie about a most unusual life, and although it's far from perfect, the sum of it achieves what Fincher set out to do in the first place: Make you blubber like a 6-year-old who just found his pet turtle lying belly-up.
  21. The Wrestler presents a fascinating peek at the workings of the pro wrestling industry (the tenderness and humor the athletes share backstage is the complete opposite of the ferocity they display in the ring).
  22. Waltz With Bashir isn't only a harrowing anti-war plea, it is also an eloquent and deeply moving argument that it is critical to never forget human atrocity, lest the past be repeated.
  23. Charles Bukowski would have loved this foul-mouthed, fiery, reckless woman. Against all odds and common sense, you will, too.
  24. Attention all geeks (and geeks at heart): Get ready for two hours of serious awesome.
  25. This is a romantic comedy that makes the concept of romantic comedies appealing again -- that reminds you how resonant and transporting they can be when they're done right.
  26. Michael Mann's extraordinary Public Enemies is an unusual sort of gangster picture, a near-impressionistic recreation of the last year in the life of one of American history's most notorious bank robbers.
  27. The movie is absolutely hilarious, a satire as brisk and fleet as a farce and as profane as a convention of Tony Montana impersonators.
  28. A worthy and delirious final chapter to this hallowed animation franchise.
  29. The film wouldn't work at all, though, if Sarsgaard didn't strike the perfect balance between snaky predator and love-struck fool.
  30. Campos, a cinematic disciple of Stanley Kubrick and latter-period Gus Van Sant, opts to let the movie do the talking for him. The fact that this is a film of few words only adds to its hypnotic, relentless pull.
  31. Most prison movies are about escape or survival. A Prophet (Un Prophete) is about the creation of a consciousness. This one, too, could have been called “An Education.”
  32. The biggest compliment you can pay the much-anticipated film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that you can't imagine Stieg Larsson's corker of a story ever having existed in book form.
  33. What makes Exit Through the Gift Shop so fascinating -- and it is riveting, regardless of your interest in the art world -- is the eloquent way in which it illustrates how beauty and meaning really are in the eye of the beholder and how that eternal phrase still holds true: There's a sucker born every minute.
  34. Although it is structured like a thriller, and its plot dominated by Benjamin's detective work, The Secret in Their Eyes is really a cautionary tale about the consequences of a life of too much apprehension and propriety.
  35. The cast is uniformly spectacular, infusing the characters with nuance and complexity.
  36. I Am Love is a bold and thrilling masterpiece -- the introduction of a major talent to the world's stage.
  37. Here, finally, is something you've really never seen before.
  38. Harrowing and grueling, Lebanon ends on a gentle, hopeful note.
  39. Animal Kingdom moves with a brisk efficiency - Michôd trusts the viewer and doesn't waste time with unnecessary back story - and the plot twists and turns at brutal speed.
  40. There isn't a moment in the entire film that doesn't feel genuine.
  41. This is an intentionally fanciful, gossamer movie, extremely personal and heartfelt, influenced in equal parts by Michelangelo Antonioni (although never so elusive) and Gus Van Sant (just not quite so self-conscious).
  42. A script that deftly fleshes out characters and mimics reality shockingly well.
  43. Director Kim Jee-woon's astonishing story of a serial killer who picks the wrong man's fiancée to murder, is so extreme and intense that it had to be trimmed down in its native country before it was released to theaters. We lucky westerners get to see it in all its hair-raising, stomach-churning glory, and that's a wonderful thing.
  44. The movie, engrossing as it is intentionally horrifying, is capped by a last-minute revelation that brings the story to a haunting, powerful close.
  45. The movie plays out as a series of memories, so exact and evocative that watching it becomes an immersive experience.
  46. McGregor hasn't been this appealing or vulnerable in ages, and in both of the film's love stories, he exemplifies Mills' message.
  47. And so the saga of Harry Potter comes to an end - not with a whimper but with a rousing thunderclap of incident, emotion, suspense and old-fashioned movie magic.
  48. One of the first things that strikes you about these courageous people, who constantly confront volatile, gun-carrying thugs, is that they outgrew their violent pasts and now live contented lives with their families.
  49. Straw Dogs is an artful provocation - a meditation on masculinity and societal mores in the guise of an explosive thriller.
  50. What ultimately makes Drive so compelling is its characters - sketches given dimension and heft by a superb cast.
  51. 50/50 is crude and funny, and it demands that you laugh. And you will.
  52. Like Roman Polanski's "Repulsion," Martha Marcy May Marlene gradually places us inside the mind of a woman who just might be insane, and in its audacious, terrifying final scene, the movie traps us there in perpetuity, refusing to provide the viewer with a way out. This time, the horror follows you home - no exit, no escape.
  53. By the end of the movie, when all your questions have been answered, you're left with the exhilarating high of having been manipulated by a gifted artist in a diabolically dark mood.
  54. The Muppets may have been born out of a desire to revive a dormant franchise that was once a cash cow, but there isn't a single beat in the film that feels crass or opportunistic. This one is from the heart.
  55. All of Payne's films have been driven by the anger and frustration of his protagonists, but The Descendants is the first one in which sadness lurks behind every frame.
  56. The overriding point of Into the Abyss, what keeps this sad, sorrowful film from becoming depressing and elevates it far above the usual chatter of liberal-conservative debate, is that there can be light on the other end of even the darkest of tunnels.
  57. The wait for a great action movie is finally over. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is pure popcorn of the highest, most flavorful order, and it's good for you, too.
  58. Shame is fearless in the way the most ambitious art often is, and to write it off for what it doesn't do is reductive and misguided. You don't just watch Shame: You feel it, too.
  59. Chemistry is one of the few things left filmmakers can't fake with CGI, and the dynamic between Craig and Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so sensational, it instantly propels the movie beyond glossy, high-toned pulp into something far more affecting.
  60. This is the rare breed of Hollywood studio production that has the brash spirit of an independent picture and the sharp wit of a stand-up comic.
  61. As usual for the Dardennes, the plot is slight but loaded with hairpin turns of tremendous emotional power.
  62. Coriolanus is not by any stretch a hero, and yet Fiennes makes him magnetic, a warrior you can't look away from even when you might want to.
  63. It showcases one of Whedon's greatest strengths: his ability to take previously disrespected genres - in this case the slasher film - and turn them inside-out and upside-down and every which way but loose.
  64. Monsieur Lazhar doesn't send you home depressed. Instead, the film leaves you hopeful, and even exhilarated, that even the most painful wounds can sometimes heal.
  65. One of the scariest films I've seen in ages, although I cannot in all honesty explain exactly what the movie is about.
  66. By the end, the movie has pulled off a small miracle: You become absorbed in the lives of these people for who they are and not what they own.
  67. This is an exciting, exceptionally well-made futuristic thriller that also happens to be loaded with lived-in touches and punchy ideas.
  68. This delightfully twisted story about a boy and his (dead) dog showcases precisely what Burton excels at: blending the macabre and the heartfelt in a perfect, if oddball, union.
  69. Madrid, 1987 operates on a dizzying number of levels - as a romantic comedy, a sex farce, a study of culture clash, ageism and idealism - and the highest compliment you can give this ridiculously talky movie (which plays better if you speak Spanish) is that you're a little sad to see the characters go on their way once they part, probably forever.
  70. This is a gorgeous, flashy, widescreen epic, like "Boogie Nights" or "Casino," about the most essential things in life: Family, friends and love. But most of all, love.
  71. Mendes' approach to action is classical and elegant - no manic editing and blurry unintelligible images here - but what makes the movie truly special is the attention he gives his actors.
  72. This is writer-director David O. Russell's idea of a romantic comedy, and it's terrific - one of the freshest, funniest, most elevating crowd-pleasers of the year.
  73. Life of Pi works seamlessly on two levels. With grace, imagination and stunning visual acuity, it explores Martel's twin themes of faith and the power of storytelling. It's also a thrilling action adventure.
  74. Maya is as consumed with finding bin Laden as Jake Gyllenhaal was obsessed with finding a serial killer in "Zodiac," only he was doing it as a hobby.
  75. The design of the film is breathtaking at times, veering from the jagged hyperbole of German expressionism to the drolleries of English comedy at its most daft, if not most broad. [7 Feb. 1992, p.G5]
    • Miami Herald
  76. The experience of watching Funny Games, be it the original or this version, is never forgotten, whatever your ultimate impression of the film.
  77. No
    No is an exploration of the power of the media to manipulate hearts and minds. The moral of the story: Always go positive.
  78. Star Trek Into Darkness gives you an exhilarating, tingle-inducing rush — that rare feeling that comes when a gigantic entertainment is firing on all fronts, exceeding your expectations.
  79. The movie fares less well when the plot and Simon’s neuroses come to the surface, but there is some tremendous suspense in the movie’s final scene.
  80. Leigh is obviously a major talent of the English film resurgence, which may already have peaked but nonetheless offers hopes of its own. His loose way of making films -- the wandering camera, the scenes that seem to invent themselves as they go along -- somehow accommodates a genuine comic intelligence, which usually requires the tightest of controls. [2 June 1989, p.7]
    • Miami Herald
  81. The film is far from a downer. If anything, more than any of the films in the trilogy, this one may be the most hopeful - and the most affecting.
  82. The movie contains little in terms of traditional action, and Refn never uses it in a rousing or exciting manner, either. That would break the nightmarish spell this strange, beautiful film casts on the viewer. A mother’s love has never been this ruinous.
  83. Blue Jasmine, which is easily Allen’s best and most powerful movie since 2005’s "Match Point", is filled with terrific performances, including Hawkins as the sweet-natured Ginger.
  84. The Grandmaster sets aside traditional story structure in its last 15 minutes and becomes one of the filmmaker’s free-form visual poems, suffused with melancholy and compassion.
  85. If only more romantic comedies played out as charmingly and perceptively as this one.
  86. This remarkable documentary argues that art can also be the glue that binds disparate souls.
  87. Gravity is a celebration of the primal pleasure of movies: It shows you things you’ve never seen before, transports you out of the theater and out of your head, tricks you into believing what’s happening on the screen is happening to you.
  88. In Captain Phillips, director Paul Greengrass pulls off the same remarkable feat he accomplished with "United 93": He takes a true story in which the outcome is already known and transforms it into a gripping, wrenching, devastating thriller.
  89. JFK
    JFK is staggering in its power. [20 Dec 1991, p.5]
    • Miami Herald
  90. Narco Cultura isn’t a documentary about runaway crime: Its actual subject is far stranger.
  91. Has the ring of classic Disney seamlessly combined with a modern-day sensibility.
  92. The movie has a longing melancholy that leavens the humor — it’s a surprisingly sad, gentle comedy.
  93. Like his con artists are prone to saying, American Hustle works from the feet up, and the fun is intoxicating.
  94. Unlike "A Separation", in which Iranian culture and mores played critical roles, the theme in The Past is more universal and spelled out in the title.
  95. Miraculously, the new picture makes the old one feel like Evans was just warming up.
  96. The casting of Hiddleston and Swinton was a stroke of genius: They emanate a particular sort of cool only they seem privy to, accentuating their alienation.
  97. The remarkable Hoop Dreams proves that even at its best, Hollywood can't match the drama of everyday life. This rich and insightful documentary, which traces five years in the lives of two Chicago inner-city kids, is more compelling than anything a pack of scriptwriters could ever concoct. [21 Oct 1994, p.G5]
    • Miami Herald
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A League of Their Own is as exhilarating as a double- header at Chicago's Wrigley Field. It captures all the familiar baseball sensations, with a curve: the hollow crack of the bat connecting with the ball, the electric tension before that crucial ninth-inning pitch, the team's camaraderie as they spit and adjust their skirts. [1 July 1992, p.E1]
    • Miami Herald
  98. The movie offers just the right amount of spectacle.
  99. Pay attention, Michael Bay: This is what thrilling summer movies look like.

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