McClatchy-Tribune News Service's Scores

  • Movies
For 601 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Belle
Lowest review score: 25 Blended
Score distribution:
601 movie reviews
  1. As impressive as the effects can be, as effective as the blend of TV news helicopter POV shots, security camera footage, cell-phone video and storm chaser images mimicked here turn out, the human stories are given short shrift in this “spend our budget on effects” action picture.
  2. A historically interesting story is painted in broad, colorless strokes, alternating as it does between soap opera and slapstick.
  3. The more correct title would have been “Retribution,” which could work for any number of Statham vehicles over the years. But Redemption is just different enough to make us remember “The Bank Job” or “Killer Elite” or that he’s about to give those fun-but-silly “Fast & Furious” movies a proper villain.
  4. An instant midnight movie, a morbid mishmash of styles and filmmaking formats – 26 films, 26 filmmakers from the four corners of the horror globe, all making short films about death. It’s not for everyone.
  5. Fletcher and his players never quite hit on a tone that works. Fantastical dream sequences and side trips to the store to get “more bullets” never quite rise to the level of wry commentary. This just isn’t as cute and funny as Fletcher seems to think it is.
  6. The line between “cute” and “cutesy” is violated, repeatedly, in the sometimes funny, often cloying comedy The English Teacher.
  7. The younger sister of the formidable Vera Farmiga gives flat, rushed and unconvincing line readings, especially in her paragraph-long, exposition-packed monologues. Is that by design? Is this a clever teen “acting” to manipulate her memory detective? The actress should be better at masking that, if that’s the case. And if it isn’t, she should be just…better.
  8. As exhausted as this series and the genre it comes from is, it still manages a few decent jolts thanks to that new approach and a pretty good cast’s reactions to what they, and we, see through the video camera’s viewfinder.
  9. Besson aims his movie at anyone who’s ever held a grudge at an ill-mannered French waiter or clerk (haughty, and by the way, they’d NEVER condescend to speak to you in English). If that includes you, The Family has serves up a little wish-fulfillment payback, with a baseball bat.
  10. It’s a epic tragedy, and summing it up in under two hours does nobody justice.
  11. Danish director Henrik Ruben Genz (“Terribly Happy”) can’t hide his cards and rarely even tries to. He’s stuck with a script that has “Promise you won’t kill us,” maybe the silliest line ever uttered to a murderer, but that features some dandy threats, some by the villain who doesn’t drive the Jaguar.
  12. A mad, laugh-out-loud mashup of “The Little Mermaid,” “Harry Potter,” assorted vampire tales, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the disaster epic “2012” and oh – “Pokemon” – just to impose the cinematic precedents on display here, Sorcerer is a Chinese twist on the reliable sword and sorcery genre which caused Hollywood to impose “Clash of the Titans” and “Immortals” on the undeserving.
  13. It’s a live-action version of on an ’80s cartoon that was designed to sell toys. This is “Transformers” without the Bumblebee Camaro, a lot of action, a few one-liners, and a lot of gunplay.
  14. Robert Rodriguez is like that friend who loves to tell jokes, but always goes on and on, well past the punch line. Remember how he beat the living daylights out of his “Spy Kids” franchise? That’s what he’s working toward with Machete.
  15. The central premise is a half-hearted retread. And the gags come from a score of earlier films and sitcoms.
  16. For all the bursts of blood, the gunplay and execution-style head-shots that punctuate scores of deaths, it’s hard to see Olympus Has Fallen (Secret Service code) as much more than another movie manifestation of a first-person shooter video game.
  17. That makes Kick Ass 2 more sour than sweet, a movie that jokes about comic book fanboys but stops short of mocking them the way the first film did.
  18. They waste this cast and these characters on a story so conventional, so neatly wrapped up in the finale, that the real mystery is how Gregorini and co-writer Sarah Thorpe didn’t see that.
  19. When the Game Stands Tall is a solid if unsurprising and uninspiring melodrama.
  20. So as much as every generation deserves it’s own Romeo & Juliet, this latest one does nothing to make anyone older than Hailee Steinfeld forget the heat of Baz Lurhmann’s far sexier, noisier and passionate modern dress version of 1996, where Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio completely convinced us that they knew how to “play Satan’s game.” And how.
  21. The cloying narration and the inclusion of Fonda are just warnings for that moment, 70 minutes in, when this comic chemical train goes completely off the rails. Rockwell, Wilde, Monaghan are worth the price of admission, but “Better Living” would have been better off with more chemistry and less cutesy.
  22. Your enjoyment of Horrible Bosses 2 is almost wholly dependent on your tolerance for clusters of funny actors, babbling, riffing — and in the case of Charlie Day, screeching — all at once.
  23. Catch Hell has physical torture and sexually explicit mind games. It has a star who seems resigned to his fate and willing to give up and savage bumpkins straight out of “Deliverance” ready to take out their hatred of Hollywood and Hollywood values on him. That description gives this simple, ferociously feral thriller more depth than it deserves.
  24. Robinson manages some suspense, but the thriller’s ticking clock is a weak one.
  25. Mansions is like “Vehicle 19″ or “Takers,” dumb, noisy junk.
  26. Charles Dance is the Nosferatu-garbed monster in the cave, a balding, toothy villain in the great tradition of British vampires — Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman, Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale among them. The moment he shows up, all shadowy menace and prophecy, “Dracula” gets interesting.
  27. The quest, which takes our heroes to the Sea of Monsters, aka The Bermuda Triangle, is generic in the extreme. The fights/escapes all lack any sense of urgency and peril.
  28. Needed more movie to go with its message.
  29. The cast doesn’t have the sassy swagger of the “Fast & Furious” crew. Paul, surrounded by co-stars of the same modest height, isn’t particularly charismatic in this setting. He’s not a natural “quiet tough guy.” But the actors are second bananas here — to the Koenigsegg Ageras, Saleens and Shelby Mustang that feed America’s Need for Speed, on screen and off. And the cars deliver.
  30. Aftershock then becomes a catalog of most every unpleasant way of dying you can imagine.

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