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 2.4 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:
601 movie reviews
  1. So many “lose my virginity over the summer” comedies, from “American Pie” to “Superbad,” “Can’t Hardly Wait” to “Girl Next Door.” But aside from the hilarious “Twilight Saga,” how many have told that torrid tale from the girl’s point of view? The To Do List is a summer romantic comedy dedicated to rectifying that imbalance in a single stroke.
  2. Try as she might, Collyer cannot help but judge these people, a not-quite-fatal flaw in a movie about the down and out.
  3. Bad movies are rarely as much fun as these “Fast and the Furious” pictures. And make no mistake about it — they’re bad.
  4. Funnier than the last Muppets movie, with far better songs (by Bret McKenzie), punnier puns and all manner of geo-political gags, cultural wisecracks and star cameos.
  5. There’s nothing deep in this script, and the delayed romance, between real-life lovers Roberts and Evan Peters (of “American Horror Story”) sets off no sparks. The characters are sort of a grab bag of “types.”
  6. Since the movie’s street side dream doesn’t add much more than a gimmicky “interpretation” of their sound, you’re left with a deafening dirge –well-played, but really, no improvement on your basic concert film.
  7. For all its plot trickery, mind science and relationship square dancing, Trance doesn’t have the emotional tug or technical pizzaz of Boyle’s best films – “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Trainspotting” or “127 Hours.”
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. This Wolverine gets our hopes up, and falls short.
  12. Renner’s performance — beginning with bluster and descending into twitchy paranoia — sells it and makes us fret for every “messenger” suddenly the target of the spotlight himself.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Workman’s film feels exploitative, and the filmmaker cannot help but make Carbee look a little creepy and a bit pathetic. The only thing that eases your conscience watching Magical Universe is the difficulty in deciding, “Who was using whom here?”
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Looming large above this “Long Walk” is Elba, in a mostly still performance, one of quietly compelling authority that dominates every moment.
  20. 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.
  21. The dialogue is hard-bitten and Mamet-sharp.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. It’s the best film of this trilogy, but truthfully, none of the “Hobbit” thirds have been any better than middling “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” installments. Considering the vaunted reputation J.R.R.Tolkien enjoys, this overdone “There and Back Again” never quite got us there.
  28. 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.
  29. More interesting as history, re-written, than as the moral parable this true story became.
  30. 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.

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