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 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Boyhood
Lowest review score: 25 Texas Chainsaw 3D
Score distribution:
601 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Yet another “Blade Runner” knock-off, a sci-fi dystopia about robots getting too smart for humanity’s own good on an already sun-cooked Earth.
  3. With this “Girl” and her bicycle, the cute bits, rare laugh out loud moments, occasionally zippy lines and limply obvious farcical predicaments are never more than instantly forgettable.
  4. Sure, it’s good-looking, cautionary and clever enough. But there’s not much in this “Game” that you’d call thrilling or fun.
  5. You’re Not You fails to bring us the fear or the tears that this story warrants. It sticks in the mind no longer than it takes you to change shirts after that ice bucket dunking.
  6. The ending of the movie is a real grabber, the sort of thing that lifts and improves a tediously long and otherwise mediocre film and tricks you into thinking it was better than it really was as you leave the theater.
  7. A slick, upbeat Church of Latter Day Saints-backed documentary that aims to answer the image of the church and its members “shaped by the media and popular culture.”
  8. 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.
  9. Sweet, cute to the point of cutesy.
  10. For all its filmmaking care and care-worn performances, is nothing more than a beach book, inconsequential and utterly out of place in January.
  11. 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.
  12. Planes: Fire & Rescue is roughly twice as good as its predecessor, Planes, which was so story-and-laugh starved it would have given “direct-to-video” a bad name. Yes, there was nowhere to go but up.
  13. Divergent, the latest outcast-teen-battles-The-System thriller, is similar enough to “The Hunger Games” that hardcore Katniss fans may dismiss it. But it’s a more streamlined film, with a love story with genuine heat and deaths with genuine pathos.
  14. Barefoot is “Rainman” meets “Benny & Joon.”
  15. Gore Verbinski’s film is an overlong array of noisy, digitally-assisted chases, shootouts, crashes and explosions with the occasional flash of homage to the “real” Lone Ranger that suggests a better movie than the pricey, jumbled compromise Verbinski delivered.
  16. Unlike say, “Doogal” or “Hoodwinked 2,” at least you won’t want to gouge your eyes out after this one.
  17. It’s a epic tragedy, and summing it up in under two hours does nobody justice.
  18. If every generation gets the Superman it deserves, Man of Steel suggests we’ve earned one utterly without wit or charm.
  19. Deep thoughts about re-directing cynically manipulated celebrity, lump in the throat moments at people rising up against their oppressors, a couple of memorable deaths and attempts at sacrifice play as flat when there’s nothing around them to serve as contrast.
  20. So yes, even if you know how this story goes, there are moments that work wickedly well in between the needlessly drawn out ones, by which I mean the entire, predictable third act.
  21. As Jackass japes go, though, Bad Grandpa was better in concept and in its short, punchy TV commercials than it is as a feature.
  22. 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.
  23. A soapy period piece that hits all the usual mileposts in filmed versions of such stories.
  24. Whatever the film’s other failings, it presents an incredible story with a credulous, approachable innocence that it to be envied, whether or not you believe a word of it.
  25. Hollywood will be hard pressed to top this lean Canadian indie picture that knows it’s just another dumb werewolf movie, but has fun with that knowledge.
  26. 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.
  27. A historically interesting story is painted in broad, colorless strokes, alternating as it does between soap opera and slapstick.
  28. Tedious as all this vampire exposition is (and there’s a LOT), the jokey tone here is much appreciated, with everyone “a few corpuscles shy of an artery” and the action as predictable as “a porcupine in a hot tub.”
  29. Costner and Garner are good and Langella properly menacing, but Leary has lost his fastball and seems to be holding something back in his quarrel scenes with Costner. Costner has to carry the film, which he does.
  30. "A Dame to Kill For” isn’t the shock to the system “Sin City” was. But whatever its plot repetition and warmed-over tough talk cost it, this is still a movie like few others you’ve ever seen, a 3D slice of Nihilistic noir that will have you narrating your own guts and guns story on the drive home, chewing on a toothpick as you do.

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