Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,031 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 Up
Lowest review score: 0 Resident Evil
Score distribution:
3031 movie reviews
  1. Shot in the style of a documentary, which lends the movie an aura of utter realism, Maria Full of Grace derives an unsettling power from the clinical details of Maria's ordeal.
  2. Stoker is the sort of stylish, cerebral movie that engages your brain instead of your emotions, and yet you’re never less than intrigued by the breathtaking visual artistry of this slow-burn thriller.
  3. For this last chapter, the filmmakers play things relatively straight, resulting in the best Shrek movie to date.
  4. A crackling crime drama assembled from a scrap heap of hoary cliches, Takers proves that everything old can sometimes really be new again.
  5. There is nothing in this surprisingly funny, exciting film that feels like homework, and Branagh even dares to end the film on, if not quite a cliffhanger, then a daring "To Be Continued" note.
  6. Norton isn't the first guy who comes to mind when you think ''period piece,'' but he's starred in two such films this year (in addition to The Painted Veil, he stars in "The Illusionist"), and he is terrific in both.
  7. An uncommonly intense and frightening experience, The Conjuring is the first genuinely scary release in ages by a major studio that features practically no violence and spills only a bit of blood.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Some of the most riveting passages of the film are Harris slathering skeins of rich color, dipped fresh from cans of house paint, onto canvases stretched out on the floor.
  8. Focusing on the contestants who make the initial cut -- two men and two women -- the film can't resist wringing some American Idol-style suspense from speculation about who the eventual victor will be. But the movie also leaves no doubt as to who the real winners are.
  9. Rush is the kind of Hollywood studio production that has sadly become all too rare — a smart, exciting, R-rated entertainment for grown-ups that quickens your pulse and puts on a great show without ever insulting your intelligence.
  10. In The Shape of Things, love doesn't just hurt: It bites, and bites deep.
  11. May not reinvent the wheel, but its expertly delivered thrills would hit the spot at any time of year.
  12. It's the overriding spirit of the movie that forms its greatest appeal: Here's a movie that isn't intent on conquering the world but simply entertaining you for a breezy 90 minutes.
  13. This is a quiet, powerful film about the lengths we'll go to for the sake of the people we love - and the depths we'll sink to for the sake of the ones we hate.
  14. Bug
    Bug has an uncompromising, anything-goes daring: Friedkin, 71, has nothing to lose at this point, and he has made this low-budget, brazenly over-the-top picture strictly on his own terms.
  15. Lost and Delirious doesn't need metaphors for the power of strength and healing. All the passion and pain it needs glows ferociously in the eyes of its young women.
  16. Being Julia is really about the fear of aging and the battle to remain relevant professionally and sexually.
  17. This is the sort of small, intimate movie that, if it had been made on a low budget by independent actors, would be celebrated to the skies.
  18. The creative vigor of its originality, distilled in a pure and unadulterated form, is simply exhilarating.
  19. Made with an unerring visual dazzle -- its dark corners are shadowy, deep and melancholy, its brilliant seascapes the sparkling embodiment of why we must all find a reason to carry on.
  20. Never has the sight of naked women been so innocent.
  21. Dark, grim and exciting entertainment.
  22. A manic and at times surprising comedy that has more imagination and creativity than all the Transformers pictures combined.
  23. The film isn't as concerned with terrifying you as it is with showing you a good time, culminating with an over-the-top climax that is simultaneously utterly ridiculous and enjoyable.
  24. Elysium, the second movie from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, isn’t quite as inventive or fresh as his knockout debut, 2009’s "District 9." But the new picture is cut from the same cloth — furiously exciting sci-fi, carefully considered and loaded with allegories and social commentary.
  25. For those with the patience to latch onto Van Sant's slow, methodical groove. It's worth trying.
  26. More sour than sweet, but Steers knows that, even in a cruel, unsentimental world, there is room for forgiveness and hope. Just don't expect a hug.
  27. Glover and especially Bassett give strong performances, shaking off their Hollywood patina and losing themselves in these gritty roles.
    • Miami Herald
  28. Go for Zucker is far from a perfect film but it brings easy laughter and joy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Zhang, who tried to make his actors as unaware of the camera as possible, lets the story evolve slowly and deliberately.
  29. [Csupo's] take on Bridge to Terabithia doesn't pander or misrepresent, but instead illustrates the power of open-mindedness in both its forms: creativity and acceptance.
  30. Blue Caprice only spends a few minutes reenacting their crime — the movie shows us exactly how they did it in just a couple of scenes — because the facts of the case aren’t the movie’s focus. Instead, this lyrical, frightening film is a portrait of a man consumed by self-hatred who decided to take it out on the world.
  31. So thoroughly absorbing while it's unfolding that later, when you play the movie back in your head, it's surprising to realize how ordinary it is. That's a testament to Nolan's talent: He's able to make even the hoariest clichés feel fresh.
  32. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the anti-Bourne of espionage movies, a deliberate, cerebral, grim and utterly absorbing film that makes covert operations appear as unsexy as the Bourne films made them seem fast-paced and thrilling.
  33. The movie's utter lack of predictability helps to keep you engaged, even if some of the plot turns are a bit baffling, and the unusual depth and complexity of the characters -- the eponymous heroine in particular -- give the picture its unusual, scalding power. You've never met a mother quite like this one.
  34. Corben has done an impressive amount of journalistic research that will be of particular interest to South Florida audiences. Every time you think Miami couldn't possibly get any weirder, it does.
  35. May prove too dark to make the list of Schwarzenegger's biggest hits. But the movie suggests the actor still has a lot to offer -- and he's willing to take some chances, too. Welcome back, Arnold.
  36. Grim, relentless and immensely satisfying, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 sends out the dystopian sci-fi franchise on a feel-bad high. Readers of Suzanne Collins’ source novel, who already know what’s coming, will be pleased by the movie’s merciless fidelity to the source material (or perhaps, considering the book is the least popular in the trilogy, will just be annoyed all over again).
  37. Like "The King’s Speech" or "Shakespeare in Love," The Theory of Everything sometimes feels a bit too polished and precise, leaving no room for ambiguity and always staying easy to digest, like elegant pap.
  38. Could there possibly be anything left to gain from yet another adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale about crabby old Ebenezer Scrooge and his life-changing encounter with three ghosts on Christmas Eve? In the case of Disney's A Christmas Carol, the answer is a surprising, resounding yes -- at least so far as the IMAX 3D version goes.
  39. Light on plot but heavy on observation: Wang concentrates on exploring the unseen ways in which mother and daughter rely on each other.
    • Miami Herald
  40. While you watch, be sure to scour the background for in-jokes, including cameos by Gromit and other DreamWorks characters, and rest assured that Flushed Away gets even funnier on second viewing.
  41. Mostly, though, Ondine deftly demonstrates just how far we'll reach for any promise of relief from life's hardships, in whatever form -- magic or plain dumb luck -- it arrives.
  42. Among the invited guests are Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts. Only one fellow designer is present: Karl Lagerfeld, the German designer settled in Paris.
  43. The beauty of Huo Ji Anqi's film transcends China's lush Hunan province to focus on the peace that comes from within.
  44. Coppola and her crew were allowed to shoot at Versailles -- family pedigree does pay dividends, apparently -- which gives the film a needed whiff of reality.
  45. The movie kicks off with a wonderful setpiece that shows off Spielberg’s ability to tell a story primarily through visuals — is there any other filmmaker working today better at this?
  46. Frida, the kaleidoscopic drama based on the life of the Mexican painter/feminist/icon Frida Kahlo, was directed by Julie Taymor, which is the movie's first blessing.
  47. Yes, Pineapple Express is exceedingly crude, but it's never mean or lewd, and for all the drugs and gore in it, the movie is also strangely, unrelentingly sweet, even when its characters are bleeding to death.
  48. Everyone in the movie is a buffoon or a dolt. No one is redeemable. The humor comes at the expense of the characters: You're always laughing at them, never with them. The Coens have never seemed this disdainful, this mocking, of their fellow man.
  49. The movie is filled with graphic sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination — this film would make even John Waters blush — but there’s more at work here than shock value and sensationalism.
  50. Chungking Express is really a sly and perceptive examination of the effects of urban alienation on romance -- specifically in its scarily dense and overdeveloped setting of dazzling Hong Kong. Chungking Express meanders at times and occasionally annoys (you won't want to listen to California Dreaming ever again), but the movie is all of one mood, and it leaves you craving more. [29 Mar 1996, p.21G]
    • Miami Herald
  51. Despite its serious subject matter, North Country is a crowd-pleaser at heart.
  52. Succeeds where so many other recent horror pictures have failed: It consistently scares you silly.
  53. The House I Live In is a work of journalism, not propaganda: Jarecki has done his research and leaves it to you to decide what to make of it.
  54. The movie, which is as low-key and subdued as Tewfiq himself, is something of a marvel: a precious work of minimalism that, instead of disappearing into itself the way so many small-scale comedies do, grows before your eyes into something profound and profoundly affecting.
  55. Quartet is truly an actor's film.
  56. Has a weird, compelling energy, fueled by a deliciously dynamic cast, a cheerfully bawdy and odd story line and a refreshing, impossible romance.
  57. Dear Frankie is a small movie with a big soul and no easy formula for the happiness of its big-hearted characters.
  58. Using a buzzy, unnerving score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Citizenfour makes you share the same sense of shock and paranoia as Snowden spews damning information that implicates the White House in transgressions that extend beyond our borders into other countries.
  59. Musical Chairs is about overcoming impossible odds and never giving up and chasing your dreams – all that afterschool-special stuff - but it's also charming and upbeat, and it's stuffed with great, vibrant, insanely catchy music. No Bee Gees, though.
  60. Thanks to a superb cast headed by the popular Brazilian actress Regina Casé, this unorthodox tale is ultimately believable.
    • Miami Herald
  61. Here is a crime drama that punches you in the gut, full on, and dares you not to blink.
  62. A very complicated movie. It is also pretty wonderful.
    • Miami Herald
  63. One gigantic pile of cornball clichés, but there's no denying the movie works you over anyway.
  64. It's a powerful argument for optimism.
  65. There's nothing in Bounce you haven't seen before, but the movie is surprisingly unsentimental, the Paltrow factor cannot be denied.
    • Miami Herald
  66. A sweet reminder of their lost and lively world.
  67. Scorsese has crafted a luxurious entertainment that goes down like a flute of sparkling, silky champagne.
  68. The strained, strange relationship between father and son ultimately becomes the emotional center of The Clan, culminating with an astonishing closing shot guaranteed to induce startled gasps. It’s a great, jarring moment that is the work of a filmmaker clearly in love with his craft — and a flavor for the darker side of human nature.
  69. A big, rambling, entertaining love letter to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
  70. There's a terrible beauty to the work of Larry Clark, the controversial photographer turned filmmaker, that transcends chic nihilism.
  71. Corbijn makes the familiar strange, focusing on details other filmmakers would gloss over.
  72. Compared to manipulative tearjerkers like "Pay It Forward" or "Men of Honor," Billy Elliot is a model of restraint, one that earns its warmth the hard way -- by making us care about the people who are going through familiar steps.
    • Miami Herald
  73. This Is the End is a marvelously sustained, high-wire goof – a movie so nutty and daring, so crazy and out-there, that it feels like a low-budget independent except with big stars and a sizable budget.
  74. Craven ("Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street") is already a legend in horror film circles, but this is the first time he has tried his hand at a slick, relatively bloodless suspense-thriller, and the genre suits him.
  75. The first of this summer's would-be blockbusters that deserves to be a hit.
    • Miami Herald
  76. Every time Riding Giants starts feeling a little too insidery for casual viewers, along comes another, even bigger wave, daring these puny mortals to conquer it.
  77. Not an ordinary film.
  78. ATL
    Buoyed by a superlative soundtrack, ATL plays a familiar song about growing up, but hits notes that sound brand new.
  79. Director Lone Scherfig (An Education) doesn't have such luxury, but she infuses her snapshots of their relationship with humor and poignancy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Never really more than an amiable Cinderella story, but it leavens its subject with such heart, such idealism and such pure eroticism that it's nearly a total success.
  80. There are no "Crying Game" switcharoos or "Sixth Sense" plot twists in store here. But knowing too much about Catfish beforehand ruins the experience.
  81. The sci-fi thriller Repo Men gets off to a sluggish start. But wait. You have to give the movie time to find its groove and establish its premise.
  82. The fact that Garland manages to cram in speculative ideas about the perils of a society that relies too heavily on technology is a bonus. In Ex Machina, love hurts, big time, for man and machine alike.
  83. Unlike last year's "Coco Before Chanel," in which Audrey Tautou played a warmer, kinder spirit, Mouglais presents her character as steely and unbending, a woman who has built her empire on her terms and refuses to abdicate the slightest control on her life.
  84. Ushpizin may not turn out to be as popular as Miracle on 34th Street, but if you believe that miracles can happen, it is a perfect outing during the holidays.
  85. Unexpectedly funny, leisurely paced and oblivious to the demands of its genre, Inside Man has a loose, playful vibe that's at odds with its grave life-and-death scenario.
  86. Not the kind of documentary that will appeal to a large number of moviegoers. Yet it makes perfect sense that it will be shown on the campus of University of Miami, famous for its strong medical school.
    • Miami Herald
  87. Baghead will disappoint gore hounds or anyone looking for an extreme horror experience -- this is more of a comedy-drama than anything else.
  88. The casting is the key to the success of this absolutely hilarious crowd-pleaser.
  89. Tangled packs old-fashioned Disney magic as endless as Rapunzel's locks.
  90. A fresh breath of air, warmer than the icy village in which it takes place. You'll leave the theater with a wink and a smile.
  91. It makes you laugh and eagerly wish for a happy ending without any preachy soul-searching. As a bonus, it's got a Van Morrison-friendly soundtrack, and the trailers haven't revealed the best parts.
  92. A fascinating record of how the movie fell apart, piece by piece, with everything short of a natural disaster conspiring against the filmmaker.
  93. Where Planet Terror is all hollow, self-conscious homage, Death Proof is the work of a director striving to make something original while remaining true to the movies that influenced him. It is also, once it gets going, terrific, sensational fun -- precisely the vibe Grindhouse aims for, but only sporadically attains.
  94. This is a dark and shivery story about motherhood, a common subject for horror movies, but one that’s rarely treated with such intelligence or seriousness of intent.
  95. The documentary also has a story to tell, and as such it builds up its drama.
  96. If The Score isn't quite in the same league as the classic "Rififi" or even "Thief," its single-mindedness still makes for a refreshing change from the preposterous bloat of most contemporary action movies.
  97. But as Western analogies go, Curse achieves an emotional fervor more in keeping with ancient Greek mythology than Elizabethan theater.

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