Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,996 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 Her
Lowest review score: 0 Teen Wolf Too
Score distribution:
2,996 movie reviews
  1. The film’s true subject, though, is innate talent — for music, writing, painting, sculpture, plumbing — and the superhuman lengths we sometimes have to go to in order to wring it out of ourselves.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Great, multilayered family film.
  2. 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.
  3. The rapturous power of music has rarely been captured as purely and joyously as it is in Calle 54.
    • Miami Herald
  4. A unique bond still develops between the two outcasts, leading to an unexpected resolution that ends this subtle, deeply humane movie on an ambiguous, but unmistakably hopeful, note.
  5. 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.”
  6. In a film overstuffed with tragedy, the most painful one might be the gradual transformation of Fernando's moral and intellectual indignation into a weary, cynical detachment.
  7. Letters From Iwo Jima, much like any war movie, honors the courage of men who took part in a war not necessarily of their making. But by placing us on the opposite side of the battlefield, the movie forces us to approach it from a fresh perspective.
  8. For now, The Two Towers feels like the second installment in what next year, when Frodo finally reaches Mount Doom and the story draws to a close, we'll surely be hailing as a masterpiece.
  9. It has everything Oscar voters fall in love with: sweep, romance, accessibility and social conscience.
  10. 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.
  11. This iconoclastic filmmaker seduces you with ridiculous laughs, then sends you home contemplating your mortality and your place in the world.
  12. 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.
  13. The film actually improves on Cunningham's novel, thanks to gorgeous cinematography, a deft script by playwright David Hare, a mournful, melodious but never intrusive score by Philip Glass and a superb cast that brings the delicately formed characters to full, raging, sorrowful life.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. The result is one of the most visually astonishing martial-arts fantasies ever made.
  17. It's a punchy, straight-up genre picture, a crime drama that might have once starred Charles Bronson or Steven Seagal.
  18. At the film's uplifting conclusion, when a stilled voice finally makes itself heard, you can unmistakably feel your heart lift, as if it had grown tiny wings. Camp reminds you that once you believed it would always soar, just like that.
  19. Attention all geeks (and geeks at heart): Get ready for two hours of serious awesome.
  20. Maps to the Stars is haunted by ghosts, the way the film industry is haunted by its past, and Cronenberg gradually tapers down the dark humor and starts to amp up the ugliness of these blank, superficial lives.
  21. Like the best coming-of-age stories, I'm Not Scared (Io Non Ho Paura) is, in part, a work of horror.
  22. The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
  23. 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.
  24. Clearly an important film, if only for such disheartening reminders that a McDonald's salad with ranch dressing has more calories than a Big Mac or that Miami is the 15th fattest city in the country (Houston is No. 1).
  25. Its lingering hangover, however, is decidedly pleasant.
    • Miami Herald
  26. The relentless pace is a big part of the fun. Who ever heard of a slow rollercoaster, anyway? You'll have to ride this one in the theater, though. It simply won't be the same at home.
  27. Nowhere Boy is great at depicting the birth of Lennon's love for his art.
  28. It's a strange kind of spiritual movie -- one that aims for the gut more often than the heart.
  29. The Situation is written by Wendell Steavenson, a reporter who served in Iraq, as a work of fiction. Its best quality is that the situation in Iraq appears to be sadly realistic.
  30. To lump in this smart, subtle, deviously effective thriller with "The Omen" or "The Good Son" is neither fair nor entirely accurate.
  31. It's a funny, even whimsical film about a man who survives tragic times, complete with Nazis, pratfalls and plenty of mugging.
  32. You have never seen a movie quite like this one.
  33. A lively, funny, imaginative film that should appeal to kids and their pet-loving parents.
  34. There's no denying the intelligence at work here, or Braff's skill at weaving off-the-wall humor and sight gags into a story that, at heart, is profoundly sad.
  35. This is easily Bay’s best movie, the work of a filmmaker with a cracked sense of humor that he is able to share with the audience.
  36. Delivers an even bigger sugar rush than the hit Broadway musical.
  37. A nuanced study in obsession, dedication, manipulation, ethics and how the all-American need to be the best at something -- anything -- can shape a life.
  38. It's an unabashedly square picture, and proud of it. It is also a warm, funny, earnest movie, a stand-up exercise in a kind of Hollywood melodrama -- the feel-good weepie -- that has long been out of fashion.
  39. O'Donnell has a fine eye for the small details of life and the movie feels rich, warm and real .
    • Miami Herald
  40. It's a shrewd, poignant drama disguised as a comedy.
  41. Brutal and devastating.
  42. The movie also glows bright with life and hope, celebrating the innate human instinct to push onward and persevere, even in the face of incomprehensible evil.
  43. Primer is obviously not for all tastes, but if it connects with you, prepare to be obsessed.
  44. Lacks emotional depth and sweep -- but the movie still delivers the type of rousing, large-scale adventure that marked the best films of its kind
    • Miami Herald
  45. Although the characters are all cartoons, Ritchie still invests them with enough personality to make them stand out as real people, which is what makes RocknRolla much more involving than your typical Tarantino ripoff.
  46. Cassel, who won a Cesar (France's equivalent to the Oscar) for his performance, invests the character with a grounding of humanity and honor that imply there are certain lines even Mesrine would never cross.
  47. Not all of the characters in the movie get just and fair send-offs, but Virzi’s stylish picture argues that’s the price we pay when a capitalist society trains us to place our own selfish interests above everything else. It’s a rat race that ultimately has no winners.
  48. Initially sounds perverted but ends up being just the opposite.
  49. Humpday sells its admittedly far-fetched premise by illustrating how men often can't help but behave like stubborn children in the company of their friends -- even when the stakes are raised to ridiculous levels.
  50. Mud
    You come away from Mud fondly remembering those two boys, especially Ellis, who has taken his first steps toward adulthood and discovers it suits him just fine.
  51. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Stardust is that its most winning element is neither its delightful story nor its special effects but its sly sense of humor.
  52. The result is a rare live-action Disney movie that merits comparison to its beloved feature-length cartoons.
  53. The movie is so cheerfully, furiously relentless, its contagious silliness wears you down.
  54. A brisk and lively cinematic Cliff's Notes of the 2005 nonfiction bestseller that made the lofty promise to reveal "the hidden side of everything."
  55. The movie leaves you feeling angry and frustrated anyway. And justice for all? Hardly.
  56. Will Noah anger some rigid purists and scholars because of the liberties it takes? Perhaps. But the point to take home is the message the movie leaves you with, which works regardless of your faith (or lack thereof). Humans are inherently flawed. How we deal with those defects is what truly matters.
  57. What ensues is a love story ringed by barbed wire and etched in blood with the jagged neck of a broken beer bottle.
  58. By film’s end, everyone has been transformed for the worst. Heli is a troubling and upsetting picture, a portrait of a broken country that seems to be beyond repair and a depiction of how violence and corruption, when left unchecked, taints saints and sinners alike, sparing no one.
  59. The film seems simple and facile at a glance, but these characters and their dilemmas stay with you. These days, any of us could suddenly be Larry Crowne.
  60. This long, gorgeous, occasionally maddening movie is the work of a hopeless romantic who knows there is no pain as bittersweet -- or as haunting -- as the pain of a broken heart.
  61. A witty and engaging bit of fluff about sex, scandal, idleness, gossip, blackmail, guilty secrets and, most surprisingly, redemption.
  62. The film paints a fairly realistic portrait of four people bound by blood but -- like all of us -- all too capable of underestimating each other.
  63. A thoroughly satisfying and engaging children's picture that never forgets those kids probably didn't get to the theater by themselves.
  64. A savage, insane movie - in the best way possible.
  65. What Sunshine State lacks in momentum, it makes up for with a Dickensian sprawl of characters -- 50 in all -- who possess the depth and humanity that has become a Sayles trademark.
  66. Even by Miyazaki standards, Ponyo makes less narrative sense than it should, and the pat ending is a bit of a letdown.
  67. Will leave you taking sides, whether or not that was the film's intent.
  68. With Moore’s formidable, Oscar-bound performance, the picture transcends the usual cliches of the genre to become something far more moving and profound.
  69. Co-written by Tony Gilroy, who penned the tricky "Michael Clayton" and the even trickier "Duplicity," State of Play displays its savvy without being quite so showy.
  70. May disappoint those who expect a more traditional Chinese setting. But, despite its modern look, this is far from being a Western film.
  71. Joy Ride is also surprisingly funny, thanks mostly to Zahn.
  72. Feuerzeig presents an unyieldingly sympathetic but always fascinating portrait of an artist whose mental illness became inseparable from his art, with one often fueling the other.
  73. The movie is not without its pleasures. Chief among them is Sean Connery's robust performance.
    • Miami Herald
  74. Using a semi-documentary approach, Glatzer and Westmoreland circumvent the considerable potential for sentimentality inherent in their story, instead taking a frank and direct approach to kids who, while far from hardened, are nowhere near innocent, either.
  75. In Keeping Mum, the writers poke gentle, broad fun at the absurdities of English country life and manners while creating a cozy malevolence that's all the more engaging because it lies so far from reality. We know we mustn't murder our loathsome neighbors. But how much fun it is to imagine that we might.
  76. If there's one thing missing above all else from today's action movies, it's the lost art of the car chase.
  77. Anyone who understands the subtle shadings of friendship will appreciate Our Song's realistic slice of teen life.
    • Miami Herald
  78. In a way, Phillip Noyce's film is the anti-"Inception"; it's never dazzling, but it's never confusing, either. It's a Bourne movie minus the exotic locations and sickening handheld camera, and its head spy has way better lips than Matt Damon.
  79. It's the cinematic equivalent of a good page-turner, and even if it's nonsense, its claws dig surprisingly deep.
  80. Digs deep into the roots of female fortitude.
  81. Abel is a man with ideals in a world that has no use for them: If he’s going to succeed, he’s going to have to use his wits instead of bullets, and although the odds against him are formidable, watching his struggle is riveting entertainment.
  82. In the movie’s best scene, Bisset lays into Depardieu with the rage and anger of a woman who has tolerated bad behavior for too long (there’s a fiery spontaneity to their verbal sparring that makes you wonder if the scene was improvised).
  83. Style is the main attraction in The Limey -- it's as close to experimental filmmaking as mainstream movies get -- but the film works well when taken simply as a pure revenge drama, too.
  84. Everything in Drumline engages, from its likable cast to its breathtaking finale. Only the most jaded viewers won't be cheering by the end.
  85. Scott Cooper, who directed and co-wrote Out of the Furnace, empathizes with people who feel their lives have hit a dead end (his previous film, "Crazy Heart," earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar as a washed-up country singer who had given up on himself). These are difficult characters to dramatize.
  86. The characters drive this story, not ideology. Damon and McDormand are terrific as co-workers seeking the same goal, though they see their work from different points of view.
  87. The Hangover remains unrepentantly irresponsible and hilarious throughout, culminating with what could be the funniest montage ever to grace a picture's end credits. The summer's first sleeper hit has arrived.
  88. Written and directed by James Mottern with more attention to character than to plot, Trucker is a simple, unadorned study of a loner forced by circumstance to embrace the world again -- but only on her terms.
  89. Uproariously funny.
  90. In the end, a sports movie is only as good as the adrenalin rush it provides in the climactic match, and there, finally, Glory Road hits on all cylinders with nonstop action and a powerful emotional impact.
  91. This is a thriller that embraces stillness and silence where others prefer noise and bombast. It thrives on the hush before the explosion instead of its aftermath, and it's that eerie sense of expectation that gives the film its thick aura of suspense.
  92. Even if the movie loses its nerve at the end, that doesn't take anything away from Washington's performance.
  93. For connoisseurs of stupidity, Hot Rod is that perfect delicacy: A silly movie about ridiculous characters that's also actually funny. Hilarious, even.
  94. The best way to approach Joel and Ethan Coen's eagerly awaited True Grit is to lower your expectations, then lower them a bit more. The problem is not the movie, which is a terrific, no-nonsense, straightforward western. The surprise – or vague disappointment – is the prevailing lack of Coen-ness in the movie.
  95. The movie ultimately turns out to be less about sex than it is about the point in a friendship where two people decide they will both be better off if they part ways.
    • Miami Herald
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's that very savagery -- not its love-can-conquer-all theme -- that makes Harrison's Flowers worth picking.
  96. Because Kitano also wrote and directed the movie, Zatoichi also features all kinds of beguiling, if admittedly bizarre, subplots and forays into nonsequitur territory.
  97. Ray
    If Ray fails to present a genuine portrait of a complex man's essence, it does leave you with an even greater sense of awe for Charles' accomplishments, both in his personal and public lives.
  98. The most ingenious thing about the movie is how it plays to diehards and neophytes alike. Every Simpsons character gets at least a fleeting appearance (and occasionally, director David Silverstein uses the widescreen format to cram in as many of them into one shot as he can).

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