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 Spotlight
Lowest review score: 0 The Man
Score distribution:
3031 movie reviews
  1. The slight but enjoyable Youth in Revolt finds plenty of mayhem to take advantage of Cera's against-type performance. Oh, the things we do for love.
  2. The movie takes a completely apolitical look at the lives of its three main characters, focusing not on their differences but on how, in a way, they are trapped by their cultures.
  3. The film never allows any of its characters to fall into stereotype; they are complex creatures, full of anger and disappointment and passion, and even the weakest among them is not bereft of honor.
  4. Here, finally, is a giant monster movie made in the anything-goes CGI era still capable of making your jaw drop.
  5. There's enough here to make anyone who enjoyed -- if that's the right word -- "Happiness" or "Magnolia" splendidly unhappy.
  6. Far removed from being a Hollywood production. There are no big-name actors and no fancy camera work. But that's what makes it interesting.
  7. Due to its good humor and terrific story, Million Dollar Arm is always engaging; its power lies in its feel-good charm.
  8. The characters are easy to overplay, but the ensemble keeps its feet on the ground.
  9. 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.
  10. Even in its somewhat unwieldy form, Catch Me If You Can is charming, sparkling entertainment.
  11. This time, the actors don't seem to be making up the movie as they go along, and they're guided by a gifted director who has earned the right to have some guileless fun.
  12. Unlike so many Hollywood thrillers, which too often rely on implausible or telegraphed twists, Transsiberian is carefully structured and designed to make sense when you replay the events in your head.
  13. Favreau worked hard to replicate an authentic restaurant world, and it shows in every frame that involves chopping, dicing, slicing, sautéing or otherwise cooking (he also finds an ingenious way to visually portray Twitter, so vital in the marketing of food trucks).
  14. A warm, funny, engaging film by Patricia Cardoso that realistically portrays the struggles of many first-generation American women.
  15. Although it is never explicitly stated, Manda Bala essentially argues that when the middle class disappears, the rich and the poor end up feeding on each other, like the frogs that go cannibalistic at the frog farm that gives the movie its central metaphor.
  16. The Hollywood action genre, sliding into a lazy dependence on computer-generated fakery, needs this authentic kick to the head delivered by Jet Li.
  17. The only real casualty of Lehane's novel is Angie, here reduced to a supporting player who bears no resemblance to the original character, who is every bit as smart and tough and interesting as her boyfriend. It's a regrettable loss in a film that otherwise indicates its first-time director knows what he's doing.
  18. Hilarious and socially astute.
  19. Funny even when it relies heavily on age-old, old-age gags.
  20. A sentimental romantic thriller. But it’s a well-made sentimental romantic thriller, and that makes all the difference.
  21. It's a small, heartening slice of life that feels like a crucial step toward something bigger.
  22. 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.
  23. Very French and at times threatens to dissolve into a steamy sex farce.
    • Miami Herald
  24. It is always intriguing as it follows the arrest and captivity of Salomon Sorowitsch (the terrific Karl Markovics), one of Germany's leading counterfeiters.
  25. Gummo isn't so much a movie as it is an experiment, and, taken on those terms, it is a fascinating piece of work. Repellent, disgusting and ugly, yes -- but still fascinating. [23 Jan. 1998, p.5G]
    • Miami Herald
  26. Mysterious Skin bears all of Araki's hallmarks, from its stylish compositions and lush colors to its willingness to confront difficult subject matter head-on.
  27. The same premise could have been turned into a satirical comedy, but Better Luck Tomorrow opts for a more corrosive, challenging route, one whose troubling, morally ambiguous ending offers no easy resolution.
  28. Achieves an assaultive intensity that adds a level of visceral excitement to car chases, mano-a-mano showdowns -- even simple conversations. It's a style that takes some getting used to -- the images flit by at near-subliminal speeds -- but proves tremendously effective.
  29. Such smooth, crisp entertainment, you barely even notice it has nothing new to say.
  30. Gere has never been better cast.
    • Miami Herald
  31. Action and comedy are more impressive here than in the first film.
  32. Tomorrowland is a crazy, disjointed mess. But it’s the good sort of crazy, and it’s the sort of mess you want to lose yourself in.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A strange art-house film, a must-see for punks and nightclubbers, a puzzle for the merely curious.
  33. This crowd-pleaser is a genuinely inspirational film, gorgeously filmed and wonderfully acted, echoing an uplifting sentiment that bears repeating: ''You don't throw a whole life away just because it's banged up a little.''
  34. Fast and funny, and grown-ups will not suffer sitting through it.
  35. If you haven't caught Lightning on PBS already, find a theater with a good sound system, sit back and be grateful the music endures.
  36. The main thing writer-director Michele Jouse, who was close to Shepard, wanted to do with her intimate documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine was to give a voice to those who are still mourning him and allow them to share their stories.
  37. Riveting.
  38. 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.
  39. Celebrates a larger-than-life heroism that is, sadly, all too rare.
    • Miami Herald
  40. 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.
  41. The most enjoyable piece of pop fantasy of the summer; sleek, elegant, exciting and wildly, outrageously imaginative.
  42. There are other filmmakers who might have been drawn to a comic book as enchantingly ridiculous as Hellboy. But there are none who would have turned in a sleek $60 million picture as daringly silly, playful and imaginative as this one.
  43. The tone and mood of Shutter Island are different on the screen from on the page -- the shadows darker than you imagined, the violence more ghastly, the blood redder.
  44. The directors complied and made some trims, which helps explain why the film works better as a thrilling but superficial celebration of two incredible athletes instead of a personal portrait of two world-famous women who continue to make sports history.
  45. Sitch keeps the tone consistently light, scoring big laughs all the way to the film's climax.
  46. The comedy of errors that ensues sometimes slides into Seinfeld territory -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- but the subtlety of the performances combined with graceful retro filmmaking touches and wry narration keep it well above sitcom level. [1 July 1998, p.2D]
    • Miami Herald
  47. At Any Price teaches you a lot about the business of corn seeds and genetic manipulation (the stuff is actually fascinating) but what interests director Ramin Bahrani most are the dynamics of this deeply dysfunctional family.
  48. Under the Sun doesn't intend to be dramatic, much less melodramatic. This beautiful film just wants to capture life's simplicity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Registers as a more scenic "Hoosiers" with rowdier fans.
  49. Shows Jerry Seinfeld as you've never seen him before: being unfunny.
  50. It's pure popcorn entertainment, and it's pure formula, too: It's already been described, somewhat derisively, as Home Alone for grown-ups, which is not entirely off the mark.
  51. The Forbidden Kingdom may be nothing but disposable fun, but it is a great, heaping, overflowing helping of fun. If you're 10, it may also seem like "Citizen Kane."
  52. Well-acted and sincere, Testament of Youth is chastely romantic in its treatment of the relationship between Vera and Roland, but the film doesn’t hold back on showing the horror of trench warfare.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Timing is key in a comedy like this, and Sonnenfeld keeps everyone and everything clicking. The pacing is swift and the laughs are steady.
  56. A sleek, rousing contraption, a comic-book movie with a sense of playfulness, a welcome streak of humor and just the right touch of gravity.
  57. Makes a compelling argument for women's rights without ever succumbing to preachiness.
  58. Despite its considerable faults, this bizarre, fascinating story is impossible to shake off, like the expression on the face of one of the brothers as he's talking about his father and begins getting choked up (instead of crying, he smiles convincingly, evidence of a life led having to learn to hide his emotions for fear of reprisal).
  59. Theron's transformation in Monster goes far beyond mere appearance. As Wuornos, the actress gets to display a blunt, graceless physicality that is rarely needed in women's roles, which are traditionally internal.
  60. Mines a great deal of its humor from the can't-be-bothered attitude of British culture, but the jokes survive the trip across the Atlantic mostly intact.
  61. Its overall ability to balance humor and drama, attention to emotional detail and a few winning performances outweighs its maudlin tendencies.
  62. An intoxicating, world-class collaboration between a filmmaker (Spain's Fernando Trueba), two artists (designer Javier Mariscal and animator Tono Errando) and a musician (Cuban pianist/bandleader Bebo Valdés).
  63. The result is an unwieldy but still compelling look at the plight of immigrants wrapped in a thriller about black-market organ transplants.
  64. Dry humor keeps In Bruges fresh and lively and makes it a whole lot of fun to watch.
  65. Across the Universe can't achieve the transcendence and exhilaration musicals strive for, but it often generates a singular kind of magic you've never experienced before.
  66. Offers a rose-colored picture of life, but one that Campanella makes ring true.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. Sometimes the film feels as if it's trying too hard to include every possible horror a teenager could sample.
  70. Amusingly raunchy.
  71. A surfeit of farce and fast-talking makes up for a lack of plot.
  72. 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.
  73. Kitano's most enjoyable, flat-out fun movie, provided you can stomach the violence.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A crackling good adventure, a visually sumptuous effort.
    • Miami Herald
  74. This film, directed by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Robert Weide, makes an entertaining companion piece to his book.
  75. Like most movies about the Middle East conflict, Omar is ultimately about the futility of violence and how it feeds on itself.
  76. There is considerable fun in discovering the hows and whys the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise came together, and each member has at least one moment in the spotlight, including the esteemed helmsman Sulu.
  77. Roberts inhabits the character with a gravity and poignancy that she had never even hinted at before.
    • Miami Herald
  78. This bleak, oh-so-dark comedy is one of the best movies you almost didn't get to see.
    • Miami Herald
  79. This superbly realized, clammy and unsettling movie doesn't hinge on plot. Claustrophobic and profoundly creepy, Spider isn't a pleasant viewing experience, and that's the point.
  80. Fabulously perverted comedy.
  81. Snatch is admittedly superficial, if not downright disposable. More importantly, though, the movie is also fantastic, cheeky fun.
  82. Grohl's appreciation for the inhabitants of this dingy demimonde, from the artists to the secretaries at the front desk, makes Sound City an infectious and sincere Valentine to a rapidly disappearing art form.
  83. Guaranteed to engage the decided and undecided alike, regardless of party affiliations.
  84. Batman Begins is a mature take on material often relegated to the kiddie file, and it's simply the latest proof that, when treated properly, comic books are a viable art form for all ages. Bring on the sequel.
  85. Shirley MacLaine pops up as Walter’s ever-forgiving mother, and Wigg kills in an elevating sequence in which she sings David Bowie’s Space Oddity at a karaoke bar. Penn only gets one scene, but it’s a great one, and it reminds you how funny of an actor he can be.
  86. Today, 54 percent of Sea World’s whales have Tilikum’s genes, which is a terrifying thought.
  87. The movie has an epic sweep but an intimate, personal feel. If Changeling lacks the knockout power of, say, "Million Dollar Baby," it proves that Eastwood continues to seek out stories that take him places he hasn't been before -- and the audience along with him.
  88. Driver's over-the-top Jewish Canadian Princess performance is so stereotypical it's downright embarrassing in a film that otherwise treats its imperfect characters with respect even when they're at their worst.
  89. Proving girls can get just as down and dirty as boys, the wedding comedy Bridesmaids contains some uproarious moments of gross-out humor.
  90. The deep cast (look out for a slew of crowd-pleasing cameos) play this borderline-silly stuff so well, there isn’t a single unintentional laugh in the entire thing.
  91. Self-indulgent, overwrought, shallow and ridiculous. It is also brilliant, a blast of cinematic lunacy and as much of a guilty pleasure as the schlocky movies Tarantino adores, which was probably the point. Sometimes, only a Big Mac will do.
  92. What makes The Woodsman meaningful is Bacon's tortured suffering.
  93. Shot mostly with a hand-held camera and in the gray hues you expect from the gruesome landscape, Kippur is highly sophisticated in its action scenes.
    • Miami Herald
  94. The Iceberg is a riot, a quintessential French comedy with an improbable plot and an unbelievable cast of characters.
  95. Never buys into Wuornos' bizarre claims or questions her guilt in the murders. It does, however, make a powerful argument against capital punishment, no matter which side of the debate you happen to take.
  96. A treat to anyone who already cherishes Varda's films and a perfect primer for those who haven't yet discovered her work.
  97. It's not a wonderful family, and the lives thus illuminated aren't sweet at all. But the movie is both things. In his sheer affinity for the human, Leigh approaches the great Jean Renoir. What fun to watch. [21 Feb. 1992, p.5]
    • Miami Herald

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