Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,987 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 0.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Amour
Lowest review score: 0 Teen Wolf Too
Score distribution:
2,987 movie reviews
  1. The most suspenseful sequence of any movie I've seen this year comes near the end of Waiting for Superman.
  2. The Language of Music hews strictly to its title, however. There isn't anything about Dowd's life outside music except for details of his work as a nuclear physicist at Columbia University, where he was a key part of the Manhattan Project research team that developed the atomic bomb during World War II.
  3. Within the confines of this minimalist picture, there are sequences so vital, timely and of-the-moment, so powerful and well-observed and precise, the effect can be emotionally overwhelming.
  4. Too slight to bear up under the weight of the final melodrama, and the film ends too abruptly, as if MacLachlan just ran out of things to write. Still, this visit to the old homestead is worthwhile, if only to meet its unflappable, charismatic women.
  5. The impact of Promises comes from the openness of the children.
  6. Food, Inc. argues that part of the reason why the food industry is so difficult to regulate is that many of the government officials currently assigned to watchdog roles were once employed by the companies they now keep tabs on.
  7. Politics in Three Times is as subtle as the stories being told. The film is probably too slow, too silent and too long for most audiences. But look beyond the quietness, and you'll discover a three-gem jewel.
  8. Leave it to von Trier to conceive an intergalactic sci-fi metaphor for a psychological disorder – and then make it work so astonishingly well.
  9. By the end, the movie has pulled off a small miracle: You become absorbed in the lives of these people for who they are and not what they own.
  10. The documentary also has a story to tell, and as such it builds up its drama.
  11. But for all the duplicitous minds playing games with each other on the screen, Nine Queens' best con artist turns out to be Bielinsky himself -- and his target is the audience.
  12. Saraband portrays a sad vision of aging, yet the film is never depressing. For those inclined to search for psychological twists, the film offers plenty of Freudian situations capable of provoking lengthy discussions.
  13. Remains a remarkable, almost timeless study.
    • Miami Herald
  14. Love & Mercy allows you to understand how the lifelong auditory hallucination that haunted Wilson also fueled his creativity. Sometimes, from madness, great art can emerge.
  15. The best way to approach Joel and Ethan Coen's eagerly awaited True Grit is to lower your expectations, then lower them a bit more. The problem is not the movie, which is a terrific, no-nonsense, straightforward western. The surprise – or vague disappointment – is the prevailing lack of Coen-ness in the movie.
  16. One of the many pleasures in Spellbound is watching the reactions of these young brainiacs, all under the age of 14, as they first hear the word they are being asked to spell (''Is that even a word?'' seems to be a common thought passing through their heads.)
  17. A beautifully illustrated love letter to dogs and the people who own them.
  18. White God is the rare sort of movie in the era of computer-generated special effects where you can’t believe your eyes, because what you’re looking at is real.
  19. The movie is practically incomprehensible.
  20. The most ingenious thing about the movie is how it plays to diehards and neophytes alike. Every Simpsons character gets at least a fleeting appearance (and occasionally, director David Silverstein uses the widescreen format to cram in as many of them into one shot as he can).
  21. Sports a cool, early '60s soundtrack of hit-radio pop. But, make no mistake, this is no "American Graffiti."
  22. Every time Riding Giants starts feeling a little too insidery for casual viewers, along comes another, even bigger wave, daring these puny mortals to conquer it.
  23. Ascher treats all these insane theories seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
  24. Its candid conversations about sexuality are what places Lawrence's protagonist in a class by herself.
  25. 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.
  26. Essentially a horror movie for kids, but it is also gentle and funny and whimsical, and even in its darkest moments, Selick never forgets who his target audience is. Still, some young children might have a nightmare or two after seeing it.
  27. None-too-subtly implies Murrow could easily be talking about the present day.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a rip-off of punk style. It pretends to be about life after we destroy the world -- or about the despair and degeneracy in the world as we know it now. In fact, it's mostly one big fashion show. Science-fiction flicks about contrasting good and bad societies have been done for a long time and done better. If you're 14 and angry, dig it. Otherwise, stay far away. [10 July 1985, p.D6]
    • Miami Herald
  28. Lorna's Silence doesn't work, but it's a beautiful misfire.
  29. Fiendishly tricky contraption.
    • Miami Herald
  30. A script that deftly fleshes out characters and mimics reality shockingly well.
  31. The movie leaves you feeling angry and frustrated anyway. And justice for all? Hardly.
  32. This is a fiendishly complicated whodunit -- or, to be more precise, a who-done-what-to-whom-and-when -- told within the confines of thoughtful, speculative science-fiction.
  33. Despite the great care and research that went into the movie, Frost/Nixon pales in comparison to Oliver Stone's "Nixon" when it comes to humanizing the infamous leader.
  34. Hunt gives this funny, touching movie its soul, and the actors elevate the material into something more resonant and memorable than the story promises.
  35. Concise and intriguing.
  36. There is magic here, enough to make Whale Rider worthy of the audience-choice awards it has earned at film festivals worldwide.
  37. This bruising, harrowing movie would be impossible to sit through without at least a hint of light at the end of its astonishingly dark tunnel.
  38. All we can do is hope that films such as Hotel Rwanda remind us all -- moviegoer and politician -- of the terrible cost of doing nothing.
  39. Although Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is unmistakably a fawning love letter to an amazing performer, its subject proves to be her sharpest, bluntest critic.
  40. As magical as "The Wizard of Oz," the film leaves its spare setting and blooms into action in a colorful springtime world to tell the story of an epic romance lush with silken costumes, giggling courtesans, comic servants and rulers cruel and compassionate.
    • Miami Herald
  41. Ultimately too slight for its own good: It's a genial little doodle, light on plot and heavy on quotable, pithy observations.
    • Miami Herald
  42. Coriolanus is not by any stretch a hero, and yet Fiennes makes him magnetic, a warrior you can't look away from even when you might want to.
  43. Abel is a man with ideals in a world that has no use for them: If he’s going to succeed, he’s going to have to use his wits instead of bullets, and although the odds against him are formidable, watching his struggle is riveting entertainment.
  44. The less you know about Gone Girl going in the better, but even knowing what’s ahead doesn’t prepare you for the movie’s tone, which is funny yet curdled and cynical and black. This is a satirical antidote to the feel-good pap most Hollywood movies about relationships push on their audiences - here’s the perfect date movie for someone you want to break up with.
  45. The movie's scientific content is so fascinating that it almost feels like a bonus that Kinsey himself is such an intriguing figure.
  46. Often grim, but never nihilistic: Even at its darkest, Dizdar gives the movie an optimistic bounce. The movie is often shockingly funny, too.
    • Miami Herald
  47. It is a riveting and memorable performance and Kingsley finds subtlety in Logan where there doesn't seem to be any.
  48. A haunting, poetic film, and yet it suffers two major failings. First, Murray provides too blank a slate for the audience to appreciate whatever insights a more expressive performance might have offered. Second, and far more troubling, is the way Jarmusch refuses to take his female characters seriously.
  49. Director Claudel makes you wait until film's end to discover why, exactly, Juliette committed her unspeakable crime, and it's the only disappointing aspect of the movie -- the only time I've Loved You So Long traipses into melodrama. But the rest of this utterly absorbing picture never strikes a false note.
  50. An ambitious, powerful, somber picture, but it never quite moves you the way it should.
  51. Results in a weightless film. Worse still, McElwee's languid tone makes his journey lack conviction.
  52. Its playful approach to chronology and voice-over narration serves to amplify its themes instead of coming off as a show-off trick.
  53. That song (Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love), which becomes a sort of mantra to the movie, is the key to understanding what the Coens are after: When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, you better find somebody to love.
  54. With a light, sometimes hilarious touch, Look at Me deflates the pretensions and self-obsessed nature of a group of wealthy Parisian literati, but its observations about the effects of fame and success and our natural desire to fan them as high as they can go, apply to anyone within range of reality-TV culture.
  55. Grandly entertaining documentary.
  56. The creative vigor of its originality, distilled in a pure and unadulterated form, is simply exhilarating.
  57. The Visitor is a small movie, but its emotions could not be writ any larger.
  58. Poltergiest is no nonstop scream express; at times it pulls its punches (Spielberg wants that PG rating), and at times its effects are bigger than life and less than terrifying. But like Spielberg's Jaws, which was a perfect genre movie, Poltergeist does what it's supposed to do about as well as it can be done.
  59. It's a fantastic special effect because it doesn't look like a special effect: The movie sells the illusion that the suit could maybe, possibly, exist.
  60. Control Room may not seem all that compelling 10 years down the road. But right now, at this very moment, it is essential, imperative viewing.
  61. The casting of Hiddleston and Swinton was a stroke of genius: They emanate a particular sort of cool only they seem privy to, accentuating their alienation.
  62. Its flimsy plot can’t quite support all the characters stuffed into the script, and the movie plays out in a weirdly static way that makes it feel improvised and uneven, leaving a few too much time during which nothing funny is happening.
  63. Watching an army of apes riding horses heading into battle is undeniably cool, but that’s the only thing the movie gives you: Neat eye candy. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is written at a level so low, even 8- year-olds will find it lacking.
  64. This is a big, beautifully designed movie in which the filmmakers' intelligence is everywhere; it's the product of a special vision. And Brian De Palma continues to be good news from Hollywood. [3 June 1987, p.D1]
    • Miami Herald
  65. Documentary of riveting personal stories.
    • Miami Herald
  66. The result is a gripping psychological thriller that, while lacking the power of "Funny Games," is still the work of a master.
  67. Junge had come to terms with her past. And even if you don't come to terms with her life, it's worthwhile knowing about it.
  68. Life of Pi works seamlessly on two levels. With grace, imagination and stunning visual acuity, it explores Martel's twin themes of faith and the power of storytelling. It's also a thrilling action adventure.
  69. If I hadn't seen the original, I might have gone ga-ga over Reeves' version. But even with the shock of novelty gone, the film still draws you into its chilly, demonic heart.
  70. 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.
  71. I Am Love is a bold and thrilling masterpiece -- the introduction of a major talent to the world's stage.
  72. On one level, Searching for Sugar Man is a testament to how music - or painting or literature or any form of art - can take on a life far greater than its creator intended when it happens to connect with the right people at the right time.
  73. Movies like Monsters, Inc. literally make you feel like a kid again, marveling at the joyously inventive sights before you, and that's a feat that should not be taken lightly.
  74. What ultimately makes Drive so compelling is its characters - sketches given dimension and heft by a superb cast.
  75. If only more romantic comedies played out as charmingly and perceptively as this one.
  76. Those rigorously moral and humanistic underpinnings give 28 Weeks Later a kind of power that 100 Saws and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes could never achieve.
  77. While House of Mirth is well done as a period piece, it has such an eerie contemporary resonance that you nearly forget about the horses and corsets and lamplight.
    • Miami Herald
  78. Taylor is effective as a woman struggling to take control of her life, but Ambrose's work feels shallow in comparison.
  79. What ensues is a love story ringed by barbed wire and etched in blood with the jagged neck of a broken beer bottle.
  80. 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.
  81. Swinton single-handedly carries The Deep End past its nagging ambiguities.
  82. Nothing overly dramatic happens during the course of The Taste of Others but the characters prove to be engaging and their quite real human emotions are enough to carry it.
    • Miami Herald
  83. A film of rare beauty, lifted by some of the best acting you may see in any film this year.
  84. Groening doesn't judge the monks' actions, nor does he tell us much about their reasons for choosing such a life. Yet the film brings us into their lives not as an observer but almost as a fellow hermit, making you realize how hard -- or easy -- it would be to commit yourself to such a life.
  85. Blue Jasmine, which is easily Allen’s best and most powerful movie since 2005’s "Match Point", is filled with terrific performances, including Hawkins as the sweet-natured Ginger.
  86. It's a dry, mundane title. It's also the only thing about the film that doesn't blow your mind right out of its comfortable, I've-seen-all-this-before rut.
  87. The cast is uniformly spectacular, infusing the characters with nuance and complexity.
  88. What strikes you the most about this well put-together film is how little you're drawn to either character or really understand where either is coming from.
  89. The story is worth telling, one that begs the question: Has anything changed?
  90. The film is art in all its visual splendor, and no matter how confusing the historic story line may be to Westerners -- and it is -- the images on screen more than compensate for the faults.
  91. Often, the movie leaves you wishing Briski had found a way to document more of her subjects' day-to-day lives.
  92. The result is an unwieldy but still compelling look at the plight of immigrants wrapped in a thriller about black-market organ transplants.
  93. It's a small victory, but Punch-Drunk Love knows how to reap epic delight from the most precious of details.
  94. It is always intriguing as it follows the arrest and captivity of Salomon Sorowitsch (the terrific Karl Markovics), one of Germany's leading counterfeiters.
  95. 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.
  96. This is not the sort of movie you can just leave behind in the theater. And like any true finale to a trilogy, the picture doesn't work nearly as well if you haven't seen the previous two installments: It's not designed to stand alone, and it pays off all that has come before with an exuberant, thrilling high.
  97. After a leisurely first half, The Devil's Backbone becomes utterly spellbinding, its tension mounting in steady increments, its story taking one dark turn after another, and its bittersweet resolution destined to haunt you long after you've left the theater.
    • Miami Herald
  98. A wrenching film.
  99. The fact that Garland manages to cram in speculative ideas about the perils of a society that relies too heavily on technology is a bonus. In Ex Machina, love hurts, big time, for man and machine alike.

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