Miami Herald's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,890 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 Inglourious Basterds
Lowest review score: 0 The Hottie & the Nottie
Score distribution:
2,890 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. If nothing else, Startup.com is a pointed reminder that mixing business and friendship never, ever works.
    • Miami Herald
  3. This is a small, intimate movie bound to get lost in the holiday shuffle, but its pleasures are worth seeking out.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. It's a breezy, homespun, relaxing thing...watching this laid-back picture feels, oddly enough, like a vacation from movies.
  9. Baadasssss! is best taken as an examination of filmmaking itself.
  10. The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
  11. Secret of this 'Ballot' lies in its humor, charm and universality.
  12. 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.
  13. Like most movies about the Middle East conflict, Omar is ultimately about the futility of violence and how it feeds on itself.
  14. Digs deep into the roots of female fortitude.
  15. There is little trace of tragedy in this warm, refreshing Southern comedy, which is quirky without being idiotic, original despite some familiar developments.
  16. The touch of sharp and edgy storytelling has returned to French master Claude Chabrol.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Fortunately, Bardem, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls," makes up for the script's shortcomings.
  26. A fiendishly subtle horror movie, a goosebump-inducing exercise in suspense that uses your own imagination to scare you silly.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Here, finally, is something you've really never seen before.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. The movie earns its tension and suspense the old-fashioned way: By making you care about its characters.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. It's a brutal, merciless, somber picture, utterly devoid of the heart-tugging sentimentality that always creeps into even his best films.
  39. A mix of slapstick, melodrama and jaw-dropping stunts.
  40. O'Donnell has a fine eye for the small details of life and the movie feels rich, warm and real .
    • Miami Herald
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. Has the ring of classic Disney seamlessly combined with a modern-day sensibility.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. It's a shrewd, poignant drama disguised as a comedy.
  48. A fascinating record of how the movie fell apart, piece by piece, with everything short of a natural disaster conspiring against the filmmaker.
  49. Wields some power, but it's hard to shake the feeling you've seen it all before.
  50. 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.
  51. [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.
  52. A rousing and mesmerizing documentary.
  53. Sitch keeps the tone consistently light, scoring big laughs all the way to the film's climax.
  54. Milks Carter's story for maximum "inspirational" value, and at times the movie skirts dangerously close to afterschool-special territory.
  55. 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
  56. 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.
  57. The overriding tone of A Mighty Heart is neither indignant nor sentimental: The film is consistently cool, almost to a fault.
  58. Doesn't have the depth and resonance of a classic, but the picture's modesty is refreshing, and its artistry is awe-inspiring.
  59. The result is earnest, admirable and more than a little dull -- a pedestrian movie about a remarkable subject.
  60. 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.
  61. Too bad, then, that after two hours of such relentless tension, Prisoners starts revealing its secrets to progressively hokier effect.
  62. 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.
  63. Shower is also a comedy -- but it's the movie's melancholy streak that is its strongest asset.
  64. 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.
  65. Joe
    Green’s movies rarely play out in conventional ways, and Joe, too, surprises in the end.
  66. Narco Cultura isn’t a documentary about runaway crime: Its actual subject is far stranger.
  67. 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.
  68. It's a simple message, and it's delivered with a grace and subtlety that's rare in would-be blockbusters.
    • Miami Herald
  69. An uncommonly perceptive and finely shaded character drama.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. More than once during A Scanner Darkly, you find yourself wishing these characters would just shut up.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. By turns endearing and hilarious, Lilo & Stitch is proof the folks at Disney should break their own rules more often.
  78. The movie wanders off course in the final act, as if none of its three screenwriters could quite figure out how to end it.
  79. Manages to turn an internal, solitary activity into fodder for an engaging, even exciting movie.
  80. Only devout Dylan fans will be able to derive much sense out of it. Dylan novices can only sit back and surrender to the ride Haynes offers: It's a strange, surreal trip.
  81. Himalaya doesn't need a traditional story line to transport the viewer into another, fascinating world.
    • Miami Herald
  82. As a whole, it's a bit of a mess, the work of bratty geniuses with talent to spare, but unsure of what -- if anything -- they're trying to say.
  83. Very French and at times threatens to dissolve into a steamy sex farce.
    • Miami Herald
  84. 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.
  85. The Proposition leaves you shell-shocked.
  86. Like most of le Carré’s novel, A Most Wanted Man has a veracity most spy thrillers lack, and the suspense is of the intellectual, not visceral, kind.
  87. Even at his worst - and Robert does some awful things - the actor almost makes you root for him, hoping he'll get away with it.
  88. This is minor Disney at best, forgettable at worst.
  89. The results, for the most part, aren't pretty. The newly expanded Balseros, which adds an hour of footage to the previous film, is an even more compelling, if grimmer, work than the original.
  90. This is nothing that a good episode of NYPD Blue hasn't shown myriad times.
  91. Calling a comedy old-fashioned nowadays might seem like a backhanded compliment, but that's precisely what this genial, funny movie is.
  92. Bayona is restrained here in terms of gore, but his landscape is a realistic vision of a hell we never hope to visit.
  93. One frenetic movie that doesn't know when to quit -- and leaves you wishing it could go on forever.
    • Miami Herald
  94. Like the best coming-of-age stories, I'm Not Scared (Io Non Ho Paura) is, in part, a work of horror.
  95. Clearly an important film, if only for such disheartening reminders that a McDonald's salad with ranch dressing has more calories than a Big Mac or that Miami is the 15th fattest city in the country (Houston is No. 1).
  96. These two fine, talented actors share a fatal lack of chemistry together, and it's a flaw this grandly ambitious movie cannot overcome.
  97. It's the overriding spirit of the movie that forms its greatest appeal: Here's a movie that isn't intent on conquering the world but simply entertaining you for a breezy 90 minutes.
  98. Suggests that professional wrestling is more than a multibillion-dollar industry: It's also a way of life.
    • Miami Herald
  99. In a film overstuffed with tragedy, the most painful one might be the gradual transformation of Fernando's moral and intellectual indignation into a weary, cynical detachment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Zhang, who tried to make his actors as unaware of the camera as possible, lets the story evolve slowly and deliberately.

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