Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,109 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 Sideways
Lowest review score: 0 All About Steve
Score distribution:
3109 movie reviews
  1. The performances by Teller and Woodley are so strong that when the tone starts to darken and the characters make some radical discoveries, all the usual trappings of adolescent angst melt away: You feel like you’re watching two real, complicated people.
  2. Even when his scripts aren't working, Shyamalan knows how to frame shots and build suspense. The Happening, even more than his previous films, has a visual elegance and subtlety that helps to overcome the less successful aspects of the plot.
  3. With considerable passion and more than a little anger, Cronicas argues that our appetite for an increasing coarse and sensational type of news programming has skewed our inner compasses.
  4. The result is this infectious documentary, which combines some inspired musical performances with Chappelle's perpetually hilarious commentary.
  5. All the actors are strong, but Wilde is particularly good as the impetuous Kate, who doesn’t realize how incredibly selfish she has become. The actress’ great beauty could have been a distraction, but her performance is so complex and alive that she blends right into this world of ordinary, working-class people with modest aspirations who are trying to find happiness but often go about it in all the wrong ways.
  6. Mostly silly and always frothy, as sugary at times as wedding-cake frosting but tempered with a welcome strain of sour grapes, mostly doled out by the peerless Judy Greer as Jane's cynical, slutty best friend.
  7. Today, you can see it for yourself and bask in all its insane glory.
  8. Half-Blood Prince is the franchise's “Empire Strikes Back” -- the episode in which the pace slows down a bit, the characters deepen and mature, the good guys take a big hit, and all hell is gearing up to break loose.
  9. Big Miracle even throws in an unexpected bonus, a surprise last-minute cameo that is funny without being the slightest bit mean, just like the rest of this hugely likable movie.
  10. Collateral is a small, modest movie writ large by people so talented, they aren't capable of anything less.
  11. The question of why the law must always be upheld, regardless of consequences, gives this light, amiable movie a surprising heft and weight. You don't want to see Bernie sent to prison - the world is a better place without that mean old shrew - but murder is murder, right?
  12. 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.
  13. If The Magdalene Sisters occasionally flirts with cartoonishness, the movie is tempered by Mullan's considerable filmmaking skills.
  14. Unlike most pictures about people living on the fringe, The Motel Life is never drab or depressing.
  15. 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.
  16. While the film is undeniably melancholy, Moretti's trademark light touch keeps it from becoming overbearing.
  17. Even without handicapping for the limitations of its gentle genre, the film has moments of whimsical humor and thoughtful plotting that soar tantalizingly close to something that could be enjoyed on its own merits.
  18. 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.
  19. This melding of comedic minds is one of the better holiday gifts we've received, cinematically speaking.
  20. Instead of delivering a pointed statement, this timely and energetic crowd-pleaser aims for -- and accomplishes -- something much more difficult: It makes you fall in love with its characters.
  21. The screenplay is fiendish, clever and airtight: Like a magician, Coimbra uses sleight-of-hand, but he never cheats, and the film is even more engaging on second viewing, when you really know what’s going on before your eyes.
  22. A revealing and bluntly honest portrait of a previously unknown filmmaker.
  23. The most surprising thing about Michael Bay's much-anticipated, blockbuster-bound Transformers is how funny the movie is.
  24. A very engrossing movie, the kind that gives shameless manipulation a good name.
    • Miami Herald
  25. The movie is a polished (and irresistible) piece of crowd-pleasing formula and deserves to become a monster hit. But it is also a perfect showcase for the volcanic talents of the rotund comedian/musician/all-around wildman.
  26. Red Lights is actually an examination of marriage -- of what keeps people together long after the passion has fizzled, and all that's left is bitterness and resentment.
  27. There's enough outrageousness and ribald humor in Kika to please Almodovar fans, and though the movie is far from being his most accessible, even newcomers will find much to like, provided they can follow his eccentric, offbeat rhythms. [6 May 1994, p.G4]
    • Miami Herald
  28. It's like "Lock, Stock" as filtered through the mind of David Mamet, with Craig as the suave middleman holding it all together.
  29. If there's a flaw, it's that Kempner has fashioned more a hagiography than true biography.
    • Miami Herald
  30. Loses its nerve in the final minutes, relying on a series of contrivances to arrive at an unconvincingly pat, happy ending. The story begged for a darker, more biting resolution.
  31. Mottola softens his approach, and Adventureland turns out to be more like "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" than a Judd Apatow creation.
  32. This is a deeply inspirational movie about the human spirit's refusal to give up, but it is also a portrait of a man too much in love with life to let go without a fight.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Here, finally, is a giant monster movie made in the anything-goes CGI era still capable of making your jaw drop.
  37. There's enough here to make anyone who enjoyed -- if that's the right word -- "Happiness" or "Magnolia" splendidly unhappy.
  38. 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.
  39. Due to its good humor and terrific story, Million Dollar Arm is always engaging; its power lies in its feel-good charm.
  40. The characters are easy to overplay, but the ensemble keeps its feet on the ground.
  41. 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.
  42. Even in its somewhat unwieldy form, Catch Me If You Can is charming, sparkling entertainment.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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).
  46. A warm, funny, engaging film by Patricia Cardoso that realistically portrays the struggles of many first-generation American women.
  47. 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.
  48. The Hollywood action genre, sliding into a lazy dependence on computer-generated fakery, needs this authentic kick to the head delivered by Jet Li.
  49. 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.
  50. Hilarious and socially astute.
  51. Funny even when it relies heavily on age-old, old-age gags.
  52. A sentimental romantic thriller. But it’s a well-made sentimental romantic thriller, and that makes all the difference.
  53. It's a small, heartening slice of life that feels like a crucial step toward something bigger.
  54. 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.
  55. Very French and at times threatens to dissolve into a steamy sex farce.
    • Miami Herald
  56. It is always intriguing as it follows the arrest and captivity of Salomon Sorowitsch (the terrific Karl Markovics), one of Germany's leading counterfeiters.
  57. 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
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. Such smooth, crisp entertainment, you barely even notice it has nothing new to say.
  62. Gere has never been better cast.
    • Miami Herald
  63. Action and comedy are more impressive here than in the first film.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.''
  66. Fast and funny, and grown-ups will not suffer sitting through it.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. Riveting.
  70. 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.
  71. Celebrates a larger-than-life heroism that is, sadly, all too rare.
    • Miami Herald
  72. 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.
  73. The most enjoyable piece of pop fantasy of the summer; sleek, elegant, exciting and wildly, outrageously imaginative.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Sitch keeps the tone consistently light, scoring big laughs all the way to the film's climax.
  78. 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
  79. 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.
  80. A one-joke movie, but it’s a pretty good joke, and the fact that it’s based on a true story only makes the gag more delicious.
  81. 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.
  82. Shows Jerry Seinfeld as you've never seen him before: being unfunny.
  83. 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.
  84. 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."
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. Timing is key in a comedy like this, and Sonnenfeld keeps everyone and everything clicking. The pacing is swift and the laughs are steady.
  89. 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.
  90. The movie has been smartly built to satisfy hardcore fashionistas and red-carpet gawkers in equal measure.
  91. Makes a compelling argument for women's rights without ever succumbing to preachiness.
  92. 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).
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. Its overall ability to balance humor and drama, attention to emotional detail and a few winning performances outweighs its maudlin tendencies.
  96. 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).
  97. The result is an unwieldy but still compelling look at the plight of immigrants wrapped in a thriller about black-market organ transplants.
  98. Dry humor keeps In Bruges fresh and lively and makes it a whole lot of fun to watch.

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