McClatchy-Tribune News Service's Scores

  • Movies
For 508 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 25 I'm in Love with a Church Girl
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 508
508 movie reviews
  1. Appreciate Elysium for what it is, sci-fi that’s smarter, more topical and more invigorating than most of what passes through that genre these days, and another sign that its director is the most promising chap to enter the field since the inception of Christopher Nolan.
  2. We’re reminded not just of sacrifice, but of those to whom service is a genuine calling and what that bandied-about word “hero” really means.
  3. This Wolverine gets our hopes up, and falls short.
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal does tour de force double duty in the intimate thriller Enemy, a cryptic essay on identity. He is terrific in both guises, but he is trapped in a frustrating puzzle without a solution.
  5. A romantic melodrama that’s so well-cast and acted and made with such loving care that you could almost forgive how long it takes to get to its obvious conclusion, how melodramatic the whole “sordid” affair is.
  6. So even though this isn’t the greatest of “Expectations” — David Lean’s black and white version in the ’40s will your heart — it’s still a pretty grand one.
  7. Beneath all the melodrama, beyond the fine performances, what sets At Any Price apart is the depiction of farming as it is today, the salesmanship, the traditions and ideals abandoned for greater profits and easier work and the ruthless world these patented “high yield” seeds have made.
  8. Give it up for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. You’ll never see them work harder at a comedy than in The Heat, a stumbling, aggressively loud and profane cop buddy picture where they struggle to wring “funny” out of a script that isn’t.
  9. It works, after a fashion — a romance that isn’t a romantic comedy. But Bier, a wonderful director, proves that “Love” isn’t all you need to make us swoon. You need a lighter touch.
  10. Deneuve suggests the self-absorption of the beautiful, coping with the petty insults of age, making Bettie a bundle of nerves wrestling with a complicated past and an increasingly frazzled present. See it for her performance, and a lovely slice of French scenery.
  11. Looming large above this “Long Walk” is Elba, in a mostly still performance, one of quietly compelling authority that dominates every moment.
  12. Poehler and Rudd riff and banter like old marrieds, and make even the cheesiest lines funny, make even the cliched dating montages set to syrupy pop music feel — if not fresh and new — at least funny enough to mock.
  13. The dialogue is hard-bitten and Mamet-sharp.
  14. The characters are only superficially sketched in, but we still fear for them, understand their code and above all else, appreciate the dirty, bloody, high-risk work these professionals do. That they go through all this and risk everything, by choice, is something Berg, to his credit, never lets us forget.
  15. Life of Crime is lesser-Leonard, an all-star kidnapping comedy that manages to “Be Cool” even if the filmmaker never quite finds the grim faced grins that the best Elmore noirs boast.
  16. This culture-clash/mother bonding story was never going to be “Frozen River,” but you do sense that a lot of potential was squandered in denying these mothers big moments of mourning, bigger confrontations with the fathers of their sons.
  17. An amusing, well-acted and sharply-timed holiday comedy, old friends getting together to prove that careers, families and kids aside, they’ve still got their R-rated edge, just as they did in college.
  18. For all its sure-handed sense of place, its occasional grace notes of loss, grief and misery, This is Where We Live fails to seize and break our hearts, keeping its glum characters at arm’s length and doling out “hope” in tiny, cloying teaspoon-size servings.
  19. Things drag, here and there. But kids will dig the slapstick, the talking dog and giggle at what flies out of the Sphinx’s butt, or drops from the rear-end of the Trojan Horse. Adults will be tickled at the usual Dreamworks parade of one-liners, running gags and puns, and feel a little sentimental.
  20. More interesting as history, re-written, than as the moral parable this true story became.
  21. Jonathan "50/50" Levine has turned Isaac Marion's teen romance novel into an often amusing tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy - tongue in cheek, and brains in teeth. Chewy, tasty brains.
  22. Roberta Grossman’s cute documentary gives weight to the tune, tracing its lineage to a town – Sadagora, in the Ukraine – and the 19th century. It bubbled to life as a “Nigun,” a wordless hymn or prayer, more hummed than sung.
  23. Hemingway wins us over and, in the end, comes off as earnest in her desire to use her celebrity to help shine a light on the maladies that have shattered her family, time and again.
  24. Kazan, as she proved in “Ruby Sparks,” has a whimsical, quirky girl-next-door appeal. Radcliffe, wearing post-Harry Potter stubble and delivering toothy, jaw-jutting grins, makes it easy for us to believe he cannot get her out of his head.
  25. Smith peoples the film with the same cast, including Kris Kristofferson as Hazel’s grandpa and Tom Nowicki as the aquarium’s benefactor. There just isn’t enough for them all to do. Freeman gets the few funny lines, which are all the same.
  26. Osage County does offer up one almost-heartbreaking moment. But it’s so icky that, like the rest of the film, you kind of want to wash it out of your mouth — with supermarket Merlot — rather than savor it.
  27. The Hollywood debut of Korean filmmaker Chan-Wook Park (“Oldboy”) is a vivid, short exercise in tone, a movie lacking shocks and huge surprises, but one that makes up for that by creeping us out, from start to finish.
  28. While small children may be enchanted by this little gastropod that could, adults will be more sorely tested. For all the horsepower Turbo boasts about, the movie tends toward the sluggish — as in slow as a slug.
  29. It’s engrossing, violent, frightening and funny in the ways it captures the way kids speak with no adults around, and the way kids act when society’s rules take a back seat in time of war.
  30. Fading Gigolo is John Turturro’s idea of an old school Woody Allen comedy, so he wrote Allen into it.

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