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 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 War Horse
Lowest review score: 0 Eye of the Beholder
Score distribution:
2,888 movie reviews
  1. Serenity shows what might have happened if Han Solo had been the focus of the original "Star Wars" instead of whiny Jedi wannabe Luke Skywalker.
  2. Going Shopping can make a wonderful outing for girlfriends. It's fun.
  3. With its predictable confrontations and tacky fantasy sequences, you feel writer/director Jane Anderson steering the material toward schmaltzy movie-of-the-week territory at every turn.
  4. None-too-subtly implies Murrow could easily be talking about the present day.
  5. It's an earnest, contemporary drama about adults -- OK, women -- that has no use for irony or cynicism, no room for cutting-edge, clever hipness.
  6. It's an uncommonly optimistic meditation on death and lament, befitting a filmmaker whose movies (Jerry Maguire, Singles, Say Anything), no matter their subject matter, always double as a celebration of life.
  7. Despite its serious subject matter, North Country is a crowd-pleaser at heart.
  8. Mom (Elisabeth Shue) suffers from the fatal movie ailment of being so underwritten she's practically see-through.
  9. 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.
  10. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is a movie obsessed more with the act of telling a story than the story itself, which explains why, when the movie's finally over, less than half the audience will have understood the finer points of the mystery.
  11. It doesn't spoil any of the story's surprising twists to say that Three of Hearts ends up uncovering some poignant truths about the nature of love, the pressures of commitment and the limits to the compromises we are willing to make for the people we care about.
  12. Prime may have its unlikely moments, but overall its heart is winningly untraditional and in exactly the right place.
  13. 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.
  14. Riveting.
  15. This Pride & Prejudice isn't minutely faithful to the book -- and for good reason -- but it is authentic where it counts: to the confused, wounded, eager hearts of its lovers.
  16. It's a testament to the power of the story -- and this engaging adaptation -- that leaving Hogwarts is tough anyway.
  17. The best moments in Walk the Line are the plentiful musical sequences, from Cash's initial foray into the Sun Records studio in Memphis, to his nights performing in high school auditoriums alongside the likes of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, to his landmark concert at Folsom Prison in 1968, where his dangerous, edgy persona was cemented.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Now a vastly larger audience has the chance to experience the masterwork of a prodigiously talented man who died far too young.
  18. Gaghan is attempting to cover so much ground in Syriana that the movie at times feels a little suffocating.
  19. Despite its subject matter, Transamerica is a surprisingly funny movie, because Tucker never lets the pathos overwhelm his sense of humor.
  20. Never has the sight of naked women been so innocent.
  21. King Kong makes clear that Jackson has no contemporary peer when it comes to outsized, transporting fantasies that enchant in an era when special effects have become white noise.
  22. Its social consciousness aside, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is really a simple love story between men set in the American West, although unlike "Brokeback Mountain," this love is purely platonic -- nothing more than the bond of brotherhood between two dear friends, a classic Western theme.
  23. What really makes Hidden so involving is Haneke's sometimes maddening insistence on keeping things vague.
  24. What makes Wolf Creek so effective is not its originality (which, let's face it, is practically non-existent), or even its amount of gore (the violence is implied more often than it's shown), but the ways in which McLean tweaks the usual formulas, so what you think is going to happen next almost never does.
  25. Its sumptuous, stately pace will wither the patience of countless moviegoers, but the impressively acted and gorgeously exotic The White Countess improves the longer you mull its complexities.
  26. The film never lacks dignity. Fateless doesn't look at life at the camp like Roberto Benigni did in "Life is Beautiful."
  27. 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.
  28. Go for Zucker is far from a perfect film but it brings easy laughter and joy.
  29. There's no denying the particular political slant of Why We Fight, but Jarecki's thoughtful, nonconfrontational approach makes it absorbing viewing, regardless of whether or not you buy his arguments.
  30. Simply too odd and unconventional to ever appeal to a broad audience, either at the multiplex or on home video.
  31. A witty and engaging bit of fluff about sex, scandal, idleness, gossip, blackmail, guilty secrets and, most surprisingly, redemption.
  32. Aside from its South African setting and flavor, there isn't a lot in Tsotsi that differs from its legion of similar Hollywood counterparts. But the movie's heart, along with Hood's refusal to sugarcoat the grim reality, wins you over no matter how many times you've seen this story told.
  33. Running Scared is a vicious and brutal B-movie jacked up to hysterical, hallucinatory proportions -- a pulpy, violent action picture that torments the viewer as much as its characters, and I mean that as a compliment.
  34. The result is this infectious documentary, which combines some inspired musical performances with Chappelle's perpetually hilarious commentary.
  35. Bradshaw, who is funnier than you might suspect, also turns out to be the most fearless of performers.
  36. Even if V for Vendetta isn't nearly as incendiary as it's been made out to be by some alarmist critics, there's still something enjoyably subversive about it, beginning with the way it tramples over the conventions of the contemporary action film.
  37. Really a blistering satire about spin and the manipulation of the media.
  38. 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.
  39. ATL
    Buoyed by a superlative soundtrack, ATL plays a familiar song about growing up, but hits notes that sound brand new.
  40. 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.
  41. Turns out to be amusing and astute, a smart observation on the ups and downs of female friendships.
  42. The most extreme English-language studio release I've seen in years.
  43. Big and fast and silly, but it's never dumb, and it's certainly never boring, either. The summer movie onslaught has begun on a high note.
  44. Lurking just beneath Water's serene, storybook surface is an unmissable, defiant passion.
  45. The Proposition leaves you shell-shocked.
  46. Kids will eat it up, while solid voice work from William Shatner and Wanda Sykes should keep this borderline-feral toon from pushing adults over the edge.
  47. It's a breezy, homespun, relaxing thing...watching this laid-back picture feels, oddly enough, like a vacation from movies.
  48. Manages to turn an internal, solitary activity into fodder for an engaging, even exciting movie.
  49. By giving the hero's inner plight so many dimensions, Superman Returns brings a richer, grander perspective to a seminal character without changing his essence. It's a profoundly personal take on a universal icon, made by a filmmaker who continues to improve with each movie.
  50. The aggressively over-the-top plot is sloppy and totally irrelevant. What counts are the jokes that fly so fast they're easy to miss.
  51. Shaped just like the murder-mystery its title promises, the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? introduces us to the victim, then rounds up the suspects most likely responsible for its demise.
  52. Admirers of the author will find in Edmond all the elements that turned Mamet into a favorite.
  53. Despite the film's sloppy structure, it feels weirdly good to hang out with these losers again.
  54. Ultimately, what happens with the house is not only entertaining, but a marvel of what animation can accomplish in this day and age.
  55. This is more of a thinking man's action flick -- a small, intense film made on a giant canvas that finds Mann experimenting with and pushing at the boundaries of mainstream filmmaking.
  56. A straightforward, earnest, sentimental picture: It's all the things you'd think a Sept. 11 movie directed by Oliver Stone would never be.
  57. 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.
  58. One gigantic pile of cornball clichés, but there's no denying the movie works you over anyway.
  59. Cynics may not fall for its melodrama, but Riding Alone is good for everyone else, including children.
  60. Don't try to figure Emilia's family out. Just sit back and let this family scrapbook move along.
  61. When it comes to exploring our peculiar blindness as to what's important in our lives, the film is a disturbing but accurate road map.
  62. 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.
  63. It's almost impossible not to respond emotionally to this fascinating, sobering and all-too-brief exploration of the politicized religious right and its hopes, dreams and power.
  64. Director Kevin Macdonald, an accomplished maker of documentaries making his feature-film debut, gives The Last King of Scotland the pace and crackle of a thriller, albeit a thriller with substance.
  65. The Queen taps into the universal curiosity the world shares toward royal families -- an element of the movie that Frears wisely mines for gentle humor.
  66. Shortbus is, first and foremost, an experiment -- an accessible, audience-friendly movie about love and sex in which the screen doesn't fade to black once the actors start taking off their clothes.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. Nolan, who has become an assured, stylish filmmaker in the span of only a few films, keeps the complicated plot spinning.
  70. 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.
  71. The movie doesn't quite achieve the transcendent effect it reaches for, saddled with an ending that fails to live up to our expectations. But the experience of watching Babel is undeniably riveting: Even if the film doesn't really lead anywhere, you still can't take your eyes off it.
  72. The fact that you might emerge from the theater eager to give their albums a listen is a testament to how effective this lively and stirring movie about freedom of speech really is.
  73. Although the movie doesn't exactly romanticize the period, the film still generates a twinge of pride in viewers who lived in South Florida during that time -- and lived to tell about it.
  74. 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.
  75. One of the amazing things about Volver is that Almodóvar once again manages to make a preposterous, overloaded plot seem sublime and organic: It's his profound empathy for his characters and their very human dilemmas and flaws that allows him to fling them into all sorts of odd places without ever losing sight of them as people.
  76. Not since "To Live and Die in L.A" has there been such a raw, cynical vision of living and dying in L.A.
  77. Stranger Than Fiction may not be the typical crowd-pleaser, but it's a sweet, funny, intelligent film that showcases just how much Ferrell can do, even when he's doing less.
  78. In addition to the interesting camera work, the documentary's undeniable appeal comes in how close Longley gets to the characters, who are all male.
  79. This melding of comedic minds is one of the better holiday gifts we've received, cinematically speaking.
  80. This glitzy, infectious and unusually heartfelt musical doesn't always hang together as a satisfying narrative -- too many characters compete for too little screen time -- but its pleasures are numerous enough to override its flaws.
  81. A film that's funny and entertaining for kids and adults.
  82. 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.
  83. The movie is essentially a vehicle for Smith, but the actor more than rises to the challenge. Rarely has attaining the American Dream seemed so impossible or daunting or so intensely, profoundly satisfying.
  84. Wonderfully energetic.
  85. But as Western analogies go, Curse achieves an emotional fervor more in keeping with ancient Greek mythology than Elizabethan theater.
  86. Equally thrilling and wrenching, the film is an absolute must for anyone who loves sports and an eloquent explanation for those who don't understand what the fuss is about.
  87. 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.
  88. Satire is at the core of Mafioso, whether in establishing the by-now-stereotypical images of Sicilian peasants or the gripping arms of the Mafia.
  89. 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.
  90. [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.
  91. Apted delivers a fine, righteous climax and packs his film with some of Britain's best character actors.
  92. The straightforward approach is crucial, because the movie is constantly doling out so much information -- so many names and places and theories to keep track of -- that it borders on the overwhelming. Occasionally, it's a little dull, too.
  93. Although it strikes a perfect balance between otherworldly, slimy menace and 1950s B-movie cheesiness, The Host's computer-generated mutant isn't what makes this frantic, wild picture so much fun.
  94. The movie's politics may miss their mark, but its thrills are dead-on.
  95. On paper, it may sound like high-level calculus, but on screen, The Last Mimzy is perfectly charming. Like "Cocoon" for the elementary-school set, the box transforms Noah and Emma's lives.
  96. After the Wedding ends up feeling far weightier than it first appears, with its plot contrivances and unlikely coincidences generating such a messy range of emotions, they end up feeling a lot like real life.
  97. Black Book takes a brave, if odd, approach to a WWII historical drama, but one thing is certain: No one in the theater will be bored.
  98. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The film is not only a good deal of malicious fun, but it gives Gere his best role ever.

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