Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,955 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Her
Lowest review score: 0 Whatever It Takes
Score distribution:
2,955 movie reviews
  1. Lives up to its advance buzz as a showcase for some wonderful performances and a sharp storytelling eye by director Gavin O'Connor.
  2. Feels like the shell of a wonderful story.
    • Miami Herald
  3. As the sexual tension builds -- and it becomes intense, culminating in a highly suggestive knife-throwing scene more erotic than if the actors had been having explicit physical contact -- Girl takes you on a thrilling ride.
    • Miami Herald
  4. 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?
  5. Proving girls can get just as down and dirty as boys, the wedding comedy Bridesmaids contains some uproarious moments of gross-out humor.
  6. It is pretty convincing in its argument that China has every intention of destroying the culture of Tibetans.
  7. The Invisible Woman offers a compelling glimpse at a life once hidden.
  8. The Muppets may have been born out of a desire to revive a dormant franchise that was once a cash cow, but there isn't a single beat in the film that feels crass or opportunistic. This one is from the heart.
  9. Despite its scary warnings, the film ends on an upbeat note, unless of course you happen to be Hillary Clinton's campaign manager.
  10. 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
  11. Once you're among them, the Tenenbaums -- and Anderson -- cast quite a spell.
    • Miami Herald
  12. Sharp, witty and decidedly different.
  13. For all its tumult, The Clay Bird mostly concentrates on its likable characters, all acted with the kind of understatement that makes a good film better.
  14. Move over donkey, it's Banderas' time to shine.
  15. Because Kitano also wrote and directed the movie, Zatoichi also features all kinds of beguiling, if admittedly bizarre, subplots and forays into nonsequitur territory.
  16. It is a testament to just how well Enchanted works that by the time a dragon is flying around New York City, you've forgotten all about the movie's high-concept humor and become invested in the plight of its characters instead.
  17. Don’t expect Hitchcock or De Palma here — Reichardt is much too low-key and modest for such crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics — but one long, sustained shot near the end seems to suggest that people who are convinced they are doing the right thing are capable of great evil.
  18. It's much easier to linger on his youthful idealism than on how that idealism eventually manifested itself. It certainly makes for a much prettier picture. But when your subject is Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara, it is disingenuous.
  19. Slowly loses its grip, becoming just another story about infidelity, albeit an exceptionally polished, well-acted one.
  20. Catching Fire is a work of thoughtful, emotionally engaging sci-fi — everything that its predecessor The Hunger Games was not.
  21. If it had been a drama, The Wolf of Wall Street might have been unwatchable: There’s simply too much of everything. But Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) hit on the genius idea to turn the story into a riotous comedy, one that keeps topping itself everytime you think it can’t possibly get crazier.
  22. If nothing else, Startup.com is a pointed reminder that mixing business and friendship never, ever works.
    • Miami Herald
  23. This is a small, intimate movie bound to get lost in the holiday shuffle, but its pleasures are worth seeking out.
  24. In the end, Roger Dodger doesn't really add up to much. Guys can be jerks when they're lonely, or even when they're not. It's not news. But Kidd's version of this truth shows he's a writer worth watching.
  25. Occasionally feels a bit suffocating, like being trapped at a party by a drunkard who won't shut up until he tells you his entire life story.
  26. The film's concept is so absurd and Hamer goes about developing it with such a regimented structure that you have to believe that the filmmaker is poking fun at himself and the world he knows well.
  27. The main thing to keep in mind while watching Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Side Effects is not to take the movie too seriously or else you’ll feel betrayed by the end.
  28. It's a breezy, homespun, relaxing thing...watching this laid-back picture feels, oddly enough, like a vacation from movies.
  29. Baadasssss! is best taken as an examination of filmmaking itself.
  30. The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
  31. Secret of this 'Ballot' lies in its humor, charm and universality.
  32. Point Blank is as disposable as a feature-length episode of TV's 24: The movie is all adrenaline and excitement, and it doesn't really stay with you. Just try to tear your eyes away while you're watching it, though.
  33. Like most movies about the Middle East conflict, Omar is ultimately about the futility of violence and how it feeds on itself.
  34. Digs deep into the roots of female fortitude.
  35. There is little trace of tragedy in this warm, refreshing Southern comedy, which is quirky without being idiotic, original despite some familiar developments.
  36. The touch of sharp and edgy storytelling has returned to French master Claude Chabrol.
  37. Sicko occasionally returns to Bush, but it doles out the smacks equally on both sides of the political spectrum (Sen. Hillary Clinton gets hers, too).
  38. 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.
  39. This delightfully twisted story about a boy and his (dead) dog showcases precisely what Burton excels at: blending the macabre and the heartfelt in a perfect, if oddball, union.
  40. An overwhelmingly tactile experience. Scott brings you so close into the action, the grit and smoke and blood seem to spill off the screen and into your head.
    • Miami Herald
  41. The result is an eye-opening social portrait in the tradition of "Paris Is Burning," the landmark 1990 documentary that introduced drag balls and ''vogueing'' to the mainstream, but it lacks the earlier film's structure and focus.
  42. Humpday sells its admittedly far-fetched premise by illustrating how men often can't help but behave like stubborn children in the company of their friends -- even when the stakes are raised to ridiculous levels.
  43. There are many nuances to My Mother's Smile, not all of them evenly told. Yet even when the conversations sound absurd, the film never fails to captivate.
  44. 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.
  45. Fortunately, Bardem, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls," makes up for the script's shortcomings.
  46. A fiendishly subtle horror movie, a goosebump-inducing exercise in suspense that uses your own imagination to scare you silly.
  47. 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.
  48. Nothing fantastic or supernatural ever happens, but you can still feel cosmic forces at work behind the scenes, conspiring to repeatedly test the movie's characters, doling out reward and punishment in equal doses.
  49. Here, finally, is something you've really never seen before.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. The movie earns its tension and suspense the old-fashioned way: By making you care about its characters.
  53. What distinguishes The Orphanage are some spare but fiendishly well-placed shocks that give the film an extra sense of danger: You can't take comfort with this one assuming you know what lurks around each corner, because you don't. Trust me.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. In addition to providing a textbook example of suspense, Estes also makes us want to know what happens to these kids after the screen goes dark.
  57. Oliver Stone tried encapsulating Alexander's life into one movie, only to discover the task was impossible. Bodrov knows better, using Mongol -- the first of an intended trilogy -- to center on Genghis Khan's formative years.
  58. It's a brutal, merciless, somber picture, utterly devoid of the heart-tugging sentimentality that always creeps into even his best films.
  59. A mix of slapstick, melodrama and jaw-dropping stunts.
  60. O'Donnell has a fine eye for the small details of life and the movie feels rich, warm and real .
    • Miami Herald
  61. Higher Ground is ultimately a proponent of the human spirit, of the individuality and honesty that must be claimed, even at a high price. That's a lot of substance to stuff into one little movie, but Farmiga makes it fit astonishingly well.
  62. Virtually everything Americans know about Ellis Island they've learned from the movies, and virtually all those movies were American. Golden Door offers the other side of the story, the one that ends at Ellis Island instead of beginning there.
  63. Has the ring of classic Disney seamlessly combined with a modern-day sensibility.
  64. Affleck's smooth, elegant directorial style is strong reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's: He takes his time establishing characters who are far more complex than they initially appear, then thrusts them into moral dilemmas with no easy outs.
  65. Lowery has a lyrical style of storytelling that is delicate and subtle yet suffused with emotion and atmosphere. It’s gentle and pointed at the same time. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints wafts over you like a dream, leaving behind a lovely, melancholy trace that hurts.
  66. The movie also glows bright with life and hope, celebrating the innate human instinct to push onward and persevere, even in the face of incomprehensible evil.
  67. It's a shrewd, poignant drama disguised as a comedy.
  68. A fascinating record of how the movie fell apart, piece by piece, with everything short of a natural disaster conspiring against the filmmaker.
  69. Wields some power, but it's hard to shake the feeling you've seen it all before.
  70. The overriding point of Into the Abyss, what keeps this sad, sorrowful film from becoming depressing and elevates it far above the usual chatter of liberal-conservative debate, is that there can be light on the other end of even the darkest of tunnels.
  71. This is Nolan’s unabashed tribute to "2001: A Space Odyssey," the first movie he ever saw at the age of 8 and the one that made him decide to be a filmmaker (there are homages to that earlier film everywhere).
  72. [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.
  73. A rousing and mesmerizing documentary.
  74. Sitch keeps the tone consistently light, scoring big laughs all the way to the film's climax.
  75. Milks Carter's story for maximum "inspirational" value, and at times the movie skirts dangerously close to afterschool-special territory.
  76. Compared to manipulative tearjerkers like "Pay It Forward" or "Men of Honor," Billy Elliot is a model of restraint, one that earns its warmth the hard way -- by making us care about the people who are going through familiar steps.
    • Miami Herald
  77. A funny thing happened to The History Boys on the way to the screen. The players are the same, the dialogue is pretty much identical, but the vibrancy of the play -- its exhilarating immediacy -- has been muted.
  78. The overriding tone of A Mighty Heart is neither indignant nor sentimental: The film is consistently cool, almost to a fault.
  79. Doesn't have the depth and resonance of a classic, but the picture's modesty is refreshing, and its artistry is awe-inspiring.
  80. The result is earnest, admirable and more than a little dull -- a pedestrian movie about a remarkable subject.
  81. The movie is a furious, in-your-face whirlwind of emotions, but it’s never tiresome or bellicose, and its raucous, messy energy is invigorating.
  82. Eastern Boys explores whether these lost boys are damaged beyond repair or are still capable of being saved.
  83. With a film this funny, exciting and visually stimulating, who cares if you know exactly what's going to happen next, and when.
  84. Documentary gold, and you will have formed an opinion on the controversy by the time you leave the theater. You may not know art, but you'll know what you like.
  85. Too bad, then, that after two hours of such relentless tension, Prisoners starts revealing its secrets to progressively hokier effect.
  86. Sin City is always moving on to the next thing, and despite surprisingly good work from its large cast (especially Rourke and Owen, who are both outstanding), the picture feels synthetic and artificial.
  87. Shower is also a comedy -- but it's the movie's melancholy streak that is its strongest asset.
  88. The script by Ben Ripley doesn't come up with enough obstacles to throw in the hero's path, and his budding romance with the doomed Christina feels more like a studio mandate than an organic development.
  89. Joe
    Green’s movies rarely play out in conventional ways, and Joe, too, surprises in the end.
  90. Narco Cultura isn’t a documentary about runaway crime: Its actual subject is far stranger.
  91. By the end of Breach, we never come to fully understand Hanssen -- who could? -- but Cooper's beguiling performance and his tense cat-and-mouse games with Phillippe help bring an extra layer of entertainment to this otherwise rote thriller.
  92. It's a simple message, and it's delivered with a grace and subtlety that's rare in would-be blockbusters.
    • Miami Herald
  93. An uncommonly perceptive and finely shaded character drama.
  94. But this smart, genuinely creepy movie also feels <I>real</I>, which is why its horrors hit so hard. Fans of the scary stuff, run, don't walk.
  95. For all its cross-cultural hijinks, Japanese Story winds up as a tale about the fragility of human beings and the lasting strength of the bonds we form during times of crisis.
  96. 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.
  97. The movie tries its hardest to celebrate the impetuousness of its hero and the exhilaration of his accomplishments. Mostly, though, it just reminds you of the severity of his mistakes.
  98. More than once during A Scanner Darkly, you find yourself wishing these characters would just shut up.
  99. The wait for a great action movie is finally over. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is pure popcorn of the highest, most flavorful order, and it's good for you, too.
  100. Style is the main attraction in The Limey -- it's as close to experimental filmmaking as mainstream movies get -- but the film works well when taken simply as a pure revenge drama, too.

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