Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,908 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 Melancholia
Lowest review score: 0 The Watcher
Score distribution:
2,908 movie reviews
  1. The Straight Story truly is one from the heart, and it is wonderful.
  2. One of the many pleasures of this beautifully composed, measured movie is how it reminds you of the power of pure storytelling -- an art that's too often overlooked in contemporary films in the rush for sensation and excitement.
  3. A remarkable movie that merits a place alongside "The Executioner's Song" and "In Cold Blood" as an unforgettable depiction of tragedy in the heartland.
  4. A treat to anyone who already cherishes Varda's films and a perfect primer for those who haven't yet discovered her work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    For girls and boys who like games, ideas and toys, Back to the Future probably is worth an afternoon's good giggle. But baby boomers be forewarned: You had a better guffaw at Son of Flubber! [3 July 1985, p.D9]
    • Miami Herald
  5. This is a talky picture, based on a historical incident where the outcome is already known – yet it still proves much more engrossing than crime dramas or bank robberies.
  6. Where Traffic stumbles is in its inability to engage the heart with the same fervor it engages the intellect.
  7. This rich, emotionally complex movie finds Almodóvar venturing into trickier, more fascinating territory, even if his themes.
  8. The Master has become a contest between two gifted actors trying to shout each other down. The commitment to their roles is impressive, but it's tethered to a weightless, airless movie, a film so enamored of itself, the audience gets shut out.
  9. Watching this essentially good but misguided kid slide into a hopeless future is both transfixing and heartbreaking.
  10. This is the most vibrant, exciting and invigorating movie-movie of the year.
  11. Even by Miyazaki standards, Ponyo makes less narrative sense than it should, and the pat ending is a bit of a letdown.
  12. One of the first things that strikes you about these courageous people, who constantly confront volatile, gun-carrying thugs, is that they outgrew their violent pasts and now live contented lives with their families.
  13. Remarkably astute and devastatingly funny.
    • Miami Herald
  14. It's a beautiful, strange tone poem about childhood and innocence, set in a strange but still recognizable world where the polar ice caps are melting, crayfish shacks float down rivers and enormous aurochs, an extinct breed of bison, are sloughing their way toward our tiny, adorable narrator.
  15. A dreamy, passionate ode to freedom -- of thought, of expression, of every person's innate right to simply be.
    • Miami Herald
  16. It's an action picture that's been distilled and compressed to its tightest, barest, almost abstract essence, and it's absolutely thrilling.
  17. One of the most rewarding and engaging movies of the year. Don't miss it.
  18. If The Pianist isn't quite as devastating as "Schindler's List" -- the movie with which all other Holocaust movies must be compared -- it's because Polanski isn't interested in an expansive view of the war.
  19. The Savages is ultimately about two siblings, both around 40, in the midst of learning it's never too late to start embracing life, no matter how rotten a hand you were dealt in the past.
  20. Harrowing and grueling, Lebanon ends on a gentle, hopeful note.
  21. What makes Exit Through the Gift Shop so fascinating -- and it is riveting, regardless of your interest in the art world -- is the eloquent way in which it illustrates how beauty and meaning really are in the eye of the beholder and how that eternal phrase still holds true: There's a sucker born every minute.
  22. A dreamy, ravishing ode to romantic longing, and it is bound to frustrate people who like their movies to get to the point, or at the very least have one.
    • Miami Herald
  23. Knocked Up is filled with comic exchanges and bits of business that, while not essential to the central plot, keep the movie's comedic energy chugging (like Debbie's throwdown with a doorman at a popular nightclub who won't let her in because she's too old).
  24. By the end, Turtles Can Fly becomes a lyrical and heartbreaking reminder of the human toll of war.
  25. This delicate, transporting movie, which keeps dialogue to a minimum to tell its story primarily through images, is also a triumph of sheer cinematic craft that mirrors its characters' contemplative natures while extolling the virtues of lives simply led.
  26. A hard and hilariously ironic look at the bottom line. As it turns out, love was not all you needed; hard cash came in handy, too.
    • Miami Herald
  27. The film wouldn't work at all, though, if Sarsgaard didn't strike the perfect balance between snaky predator and love-struck fool.
  28. 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.
  29. Ever the satirist, Payne mines humor from his characters, be it Randall's cockeyed pyramid-scheme ideas or the banality of a ridiculous wedding toast.
  30. There's a lot more at work in this raucously entertaining movie than cross-dressing clichés.
  31. Take Shelter is paced slowly and deliberately, which is necessary to make believable whatever is tormenting Curtis.
  32. Unlike "A Separation", in which Iranian culture and mores played critical roles, the theme in The Past is more universal and spelled out in the title.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A strange art-house film, a must-see for punks and nightclubbers, a puzzle for the merely curious.
  33. The kind of uplifting film families can enjoy without any reservations.
  34. The interpretation is so painstaking and moving that almost every moment delivers a shuddering jolt to the head and the heart.
  35. 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.
  36. Restrepo makes time to observe these men during brief off-duty stints -- at one point four use an iPod to form an impromptu, joyous dance party -- but the bulk of the film centers on their insanely dangerous and heroic work.
  37. The movie plays out as a series of memories, so exact and evocative that watching it becomes an immersive experience.
  38. To call Meek's Cutoff slow doesn't begin to describe its pace. There are stretches that are, frankly, boring. But the vivid details and intimacy you develop with these travelers sticks with you.
  39. What The Long Day Closes lacks is a narrative thread, however slim, to match the perfectly realized setting and wonderful visuals Davies has crafted. The whole thing feels like a chapter of a much larger work, one that, if finished, would doubtless prove more intriguing than what we get here. [7 Aug 1993, p.G5]
    • Miami Herald
  40. Coogler occasionally overplays his hand: The scene in which Oscar says goodbye to his daughter for what we know will be the last time is prolonged to the point of overkill.
  41. It's an eye opener to how quickly a society can switch from being open and tolerant to pointing fingers -- and worse -- at those deemed different.
    • Miami Herald
  42. Bertucelli nails it.
  43. Holy Motors is wild and unfettered and playful - the work of an artist who carries his love of cinema in his bones, and knows how to share that affection with the audience.
  44. Seeing the Earth from the point of view these men saw it -- ''like a jewel hung in the blackness'' -- tends to put things in perspective.
  45. Children of Men is thrilling, both for its groundbreaking style (there are action sequences here unlike any filmed before) and its complex, vividly realized ideas.
  46. The film is precious and adorable, but it isn't naïve, and the movie breathes so deep that Anderson even gets a real performance out of Willis (this is his best work in years).
  47. The rapturous power of music has rarely been captured as purely and joyously as it is in Calle 54.
    • Miami Herald
  48. By focusing on his two young protagonists, Chang is able to explore the cultural differences between China and the rest of the world, resulting in sequences that are alternately humorous and eye-opening
  49. Leigh is obviously a major talent of the English film resurgence, which may already have peaked but nonetheless offers hopes of its own. His loose way of making films -- the wandering camera, the scenes that seem to invent themselves as they go along -- somehow accommodates a genuine comic intelligence, which usually requires the tightest of controls. [2 June 1989, p.7]
    • Miami Herald
  50. There's some genuine suspense in Lantana, including one unbearably tense moment that is worthy of Hitchcock. But the movie's most unnerving aspect is the way in which it suggests true happiness may be impossible to regain once you've lost it.
    • Miami Herald
  51. For Americans, the film may be best taken as fodder for debate, especially for individuals interested in sociology. You wonder why those people stuck to the commitment. You may also wonder how different a parallel American film would've been.
  52. It's Leigh's rawest, most self-indulgent film to date. At times the movie seems to go on and on, noisily spinning its wheels. There's no dramatic arc to speak of, and the scenes in his girlfriend's flat are much less involving than Johnny's street experiences... Whenever the movie lets Johnny loose to wreak his own brand of hellish emotional havoc, however, Naked seethes with primal fury. [25 Feb. 1994, p.G5]
    • Miami Herald
  53. As good as it is depicting his career, Milk doesn't fare quite as well as a portrait of the man himself.
  54. A searing, heartbreaking metaphor for the futility of war.
  55. It feels wholly artificial, and your eyes never tire of drinking it all in.
  56. Deals with themes Eastwood has often explored before, but never so delicately or with as much sad wisdom: The way in which our past haunts our present, the lasting repercussions of violence and the cruel inexorability of fate.
  57. Pay attention, Michael Bay: This is what thrilling summer movies look like.
  58. As it winds down to its quiet, haunting finale, Oslo, August 31st illustrates how all of us, even the most damaged and broken people, have a purpose to fulfill.
  59. This is an exciting, exceptionally well-made futuristic thriller that also happens to be loaded with lived-in touches and punchy ideas.
  60. The first of this summer's would-be blockbusters that deserves to be a hit.
    • Miami Herald
  61. 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.
  62. A big, bold movie that gets at undeniable truths about the way no one, no matter how powerful, is immune from manipulation.
  63. All of Payne's films have been driven by the anger and frustration of his protagonists, but The Descendants is the first one in which sadness lurks behind every frame.
  64. It's a powerful argument for optimism.
  65. The result is this infectious documentary, which combines some inspired musical performances with Chappelle's perpetually hilarious commentary.
  66. Vibrant and intriguing, a fine adaptation despite the slight departures from its source, with warm cinematography that captures the feel of '50s Saigon and two performances worthy of Oscar attention.
  67. If you found "Crouching Tiger" a stunning bore, you probably won't fall under Hero's spell. But the rest of us, well, we'll be more than happy to savor every moment of its strange, ravishing beauty.
  68. This is a straight-up portrait of a man who figured out a way to cling to life longer than anyone expected and, in the process, learned to let the world in.
  69. 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.
  70. The most horrific -- and heartbreaking -- scene of any movie thus far this year comes at the climax of The Cove.
  71. This is a rare breed of crowd-pleaser: a big-hearted, generous movie that never patronizes the audience.
  72. Bridges brings his 50 years of acting experience to this one captivating, surprisingly moving performance.
  73. Yet even when the bickering diminishes the impact of the story, Wiener himself makes Fighter another interesting story to come out of World War II atrocities.
  74. In a larger sense, Adaptation is a movie about the simple act of enjoying life -- of really embracing it -- without constantly worrying about what others think.
  75. Whatever faults Avatar may have -- and there are many -- the movie succeeds in immersing you in a photorealistic, painstakingly detailed world more fully than any science fiction movie before.
  76. Mr. Fox's old-fashioned, hand-crafted animation is one of its main attractions. Another is Anderson's whimsical, dry humor, a natural for this tale of a crafty, dapper fox.
  77. A lot of ground for one film to cover, but this smart, absorbing movie, which has been sharply edited by Felipe Lacerda, never feels like it's spreading itself too thin.
  78. The movie is absolutely hilarious, a satire as brisk and fleet as a farce and as profane as a convention of Tony Montana impersonators.
  79. Has the feel of an instant classic, a melodrama with an exacting precision and a visceral, propulsive energy.
    • Miami Herald
  80. In a cast of wonderful non-professional actors, unfortunately Osama is the weakest. But to be fair, Barmak focuses more on situations than on developing the characters.
  81. 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.
  82. There's nothing in the utterly enchanting Raising Victor Vargas you haven't seen before; you'd just be hard-pressed to name another movie that did it as well.
  83. Today, 54 percent of Sea World’s whales have Tilikum’s genes, which is a terrifying thought.
  84. Monsieur Lazhar doesn't send you home depressed. Instead, the film leaves you hopeful, and even exhilarated, that even the most painful wounds can sometimes heal.
  85. Populated by all kinds of grinning skeletons and decomposing zombies, but in Burton's universe, they aren't the slightest bit threatening. It's the drab, flesh-and-blood living you have to worry about.
  86. A masterpiece of pop filmmaking -- a fantastic, exuberant entertainment that manages to be both sleek and substantial without being patronizing.
  87. The story of Paranoid Park may center on an extreme and unusual case, but it's Van Sant's understanding of -- and compassion for -- the hell of growing up that makes the film such a profound and lasting pleasure.
  88. Animal Kingdom moves with a brisk efficiency - Michôd trusts the viewer and doesn't waste time with unnecessary back story - and the plot twists and turns at brutal speed.
  89. As much of a personal Scorsese picture as "Raging Bull" or "Taxi Driver." In some ways, this could be his most heartfelt movie.
  90. In Captain Phillips, director Paul Greengrass pulls off the same remarkable feat he accomplished with "United 93": He takes a true story in which the outcome is already known and transforms it into a gripping, wrenching, devastating thriller.
  91. A manic and at times surprising comedy that has more imagination and creativity than all the Transformers pictures combined.
  92. The movie lets you make up your own mind about this vivacious, likable woman, who is doing her best not to surrender to her inner loneliness.
  93. 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.
  94. A nuanced study in obsession, dedication, manipulation, ethics and how the all-American need to be the best at something -- anything -- can shape a life.
  95. The movie is a goofy, ridiculous blast, and yet Raimi means business: Even the precociously cute kitty isn't safe in this one.
  96. Up in the Air is also optimistic about the perpetual themes that preoccupy so many movies that endure the test of time: Life is better with company. And everybody needs a co-pilot.
  97. Vol. 2 isn't exactly disappointing, and like all of Tarantino's movies, I suspect it will improve with repeated viewings. But for now, Vol. 2 leaves you pondering what could have been.
  98. Makes a compelling argument for women's rights without ever succumbing to preachiness.

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