Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,113 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 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 La La Land
Lowest review score: 0 Teen Wolf Too
Score distribution:
3113 movie reviews
  1. May not offer anything new, but in its well-tested premise, you can't fail to be seduced.
  2. Swinton single-handedly carries The Deep End past its nagging ambiguities.
  3. Precious without ever being cloying, All the Real Girls is a wise, delicate and immensely touching romance.
  4. A high-wire act of storytelling, tone and old-fashioned chutzpah.
  5. A wrenching film.
  6. It's a warm, skillful excavation of what look like ordinary lives, ones that aren't so simple once you dig a little deeper.
  7. Cynics may not fall for its melodrama, but Riding Alone is good for everyone else, including children.
  8. Screenwriter Shawn Slovo -- whose white parents were anti-apartheid activists in South Africa -- ends his finely tuned screenplay on a note not of violence and anger but of forgiveness. It's a breathtaking coda that reminds us of that undeniable human beauty: the ability to survive, to fight for right -- and then move peacefully on.
  9. Jackson's dazzling vision turns the story into a real movie-movie -- one that, unlike too many fantasy films today, is genuinely transporting.
  10. Although the movie never so much as flirts with melodrama, there is still a bittersweet undercurrent.
  11. Turns out to be a lot less tiresome than it sounds, aided by a wonderfully appealing cast and a strong message.
  12. Bergman's debut feature is tender yet disturbing, sad yet at times funny.
  13. La Promesse (The Promise) makes filmmaking look easy. The movie is deceptively simple, a tight little drama about guilt and conscience in which the creators' strings are completely invisible. It's fine storytelling in its purest form. [31 Jan. 1997, p.27G]
    • Miami Herald
  14. A mix of slapstick, melodrama and jaw-dropping stunts.
  15. This lively, infuriating and occasionally moving film certainly leaves you thinking, and there isn't a dead spot in it. That's the mark of a real filmmaker, not just a muckraker.
  16. Hardly the first of Woody Allen's love letters to the good old days, but it's a high-spirited, entertaining one, falling along the same lines as "Radio Days."
  17. It is to director Tykwer's credit that, although you never come close to understanding Jean-Baptiste, you don't turn your nose up at him, either.
  18. Don Jon is nominally a love triangle between a woman, a man and his laptop, but the movie is much more thoughtful and substantial than that, and it takes a compassionate and humane approach to all of its characters, even when they’re at their most despicable.
  19. Funny in the juvenile, crass way we expect.
  20. Never stops having its dark fun.
  21. By turns endearing and hilarious, Lilo & Stitch is proof the folks at Disney should break their own rules more often.
  22. The movie is wild, but not in the ways that you expect, and it’s also surprisingly chaste — you think you see a lot more than you actually do.
  23. The impact of Promises comes from the openness of the children.
  24. The Constant Gardener is difficult to watch, literally. Meirelles' lens leaps and jitters too much, as if it's anxious it might be bludgeoned to death, too.
  25. Shower is also a comedy -- but it's the movie's melancholy streak that is its strongest asset.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. For this last chapter, the filmmakers play things relatively straight, resulting in the best Shrek movie to date.
  29. A crackling crime drama assembled from a scrap heap of hoary cliches, Takers proves that everything old can sometimes really be new again.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. In its last half-hour, A Bigger Splash becomes a specific kind of story, and it’s not as pleasurable or strange as what preceded it.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. In The Shape of Things, love doesn't just hurt: It bites, and bites deep.
  37. May not reinvent the wheel, but its expertly delivered thrills would hit the spot at any time of year.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Being Julia is really about the fear of aging and the battle to remain relevant professionally and sexually.
  43. 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.
  44. The creative vigor of its originality, distilled in a pure and unadulterated form, is simply exhilarating.
  45. 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.
  46. Never has the sight of naked women been so innocent.
  47. Dark, grim and exciting entertainment.
  48. A manic and at times surprising comedy that has more imagination and creativity than all the Transformers pictures combined.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. For those with the patience to latch onto Van Sant's slow, methodical groove. It's worth trying.
  52. 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.
  53. Remarkably, director Albert Magnoli is able to use a single moment of melodrama to give this story a measure of depth. And from that point on, Purple Rain is improbably successful at tugging on the heartstrings as well as shaking the rafters. It winds up a love story, and one with power. [27 July 1984, p.D1]
    • Miami Herald
  54. Glover and especially Bassett give strong performances, shaking off their Hollywood patina and losing themselves in these gritty roles.
    • Miami Herald
  55. 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.
  56. [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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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).
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. The beauty of Huo Ji Anqi's film transcends China's lush Hunan province to focus on the peace that comes from within.
  71. 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.
  72. 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?
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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
  78. Despite its serious subject matter, North Country is a crowd-pleaser at heart.
  79. Succeeds where so many other recent horror pictures have failed: It consistently scares you silly.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. Quartet is truly an actor's film.
  83. Has a weird, compelling energy, fueled by a deliciously dynamic cast, a cheerfully bawdy and odd story line and a refreshing, impossible romance.
  84. Dear Frankie is a small movie with a big soul and no easy formula for the happiness of its big-hearted characters.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Thanks to a superb cast headed by the popular Brazilian actress Regina Casé, this unorthodox tale is ultimately believable.
    • Miami Herald
  88. Here is a crime drama that punches you in the gut, full on, and dares you not to blink.
  89. A very complicated movie. It is also pretty wonderful.
    • Miami Herald
  90. One gigantic pile of cornball clichés, but there's no denying the movie works you over anyway.
  91. It's a powerful argument for optimism.
  92. This is more of an exercise in experiential cinema, as well as a blistering critique of a society that drives its poorest to unimaginable acts for mere survival.
  93. There's nothing in Bounce you haven't seen before, but the movie is surprisingly unsentimental, the Paltrow factor cannot be denied.
    • Miami Herald
  94. A sweet reminder of their lost and lively world.
  95. Scorsese has crafted a luxurious entertainment that goes down like a flute of sparkling, silky champagne.
  96. 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.
  97. A big, rambling, entertaining love letter to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
  98. There's a terrible beauty to the work of Larry Clark, the controversial photographer turned filmmaker, that transcends chic nihilism.

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