Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,927 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 70% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Soul Power
Lowest review score: 0 Isn't She Great
Score distribution:
3927 movie reviews
  1. There are extraordinary collisions of image and music here that make for some breathtaking sequences, but when that portentous, Gregorian-chanting chorus kicks in with its repetitive mantra of the film's title, it sure sounds a whole lot like they're saying "narcolepsy," not "naqoyqatsi."
  2. It looks lovely in an art-directed way, and Eddie Redmayne, who won his Oscar earlier in the year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, looks lovely, too.
  3. A gripping French-Algerian coproduction that makes Algeria's epic struggle for independence from France look like a gangster movie.
  4. Mixes its high and low comedy with surprising success.
  5. Startlingly original film.
  6. Russian Dolls isn't quite the gem that its precursor was. It rambles. It's less of an ensemble effort. There's more of Xavier's moping self-centeredness. But Duris is terrific as the confused cusp-of-30 protagonist, and the rest of the cast is bright and beaming.
  7. During its two hours-plus running time, Field's movie veers from dark comedy to melodrama, not always gracefully. But tonal inconsistencies don't blunt the keenness of its satire, so sharp that I walked out with emotional razor burn.
  8. If Macbeth comes off at times like a Classics Illustrated comic-book adaptation (there is one, from 1955), it can also be quite moving, quite troubling, haunting, even.
  9. This is no-nonsense, let's-get-to-it business, and will probably be less satisfying, and less clear, to viewers unfamiliar with the source material.
  10. A taut, German-made thriller, Jerichow adds a bit of European xenophobia to the pulp traditions of passion and betrayal.
  11. A complicated, multi-segmented narrative that's much longer, more elaborate, more dramatic, and more packed with chilling moments and hair-raising visuals than one could anticipate, even from Wan.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Anyone with a casual interest in gospel music stands to learn a lot by seeing Rejoice & Shout; a true fan won't want to miss it.
  12. The To Do List is sex-obsessed, to be sure, but it's a chick flick, too. And in what it says about women (or girls) and men (or boys) and what they want, maybe it's a movie for us all.
  13. It's indescribable fun.
  14. It's a study in human behavior, describing how a self-confessed "emotional wreck," through accident and ambition, talent and temperament, became a star.
  15. A goofy screwball romp that affords a gaggle of A-listers the chance to hambone around in antic style.
  16. Violence ignites her passion, dividing her Belfast family.
  17. Holds the audience captive and unusually vulnerable to psycho- and viscero-terror.
  18. Encourages viewers to think outside the big box of super stores such as Wal-Mart.
  19. A light and extremely likable comedy -- just what the doctor ordered right now.
  20. MacDowell brings an absolutely riveting conviction to her role. She's strong stuff in a movie that is likewise gripping and powerful.
  21. There is one scene in The Legend of 1900 that is easily worth the price of admission. It finds the ship heeling in an Atlantic storm. In the ballroom Roth plays the piano as it moves and slides in an eerie waltz around the floor.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  22. It's an action movie that's also an intellectual-action flick.
  23. Sparkle is a solid entertainment with a winning debut by Jordin Sparks in the title role.
  24. Smartly acted, achingly simple love story.
  25. What's frustrating for the viewer who wants to support the Jamaican economy is that "Life and Debt" does not suggest how Jamaica-lovers can help the island's citizens.
  26. Simple, sweet family fare, and a picture that extols the virtues of comradeship and community in a spunky, spirited fashion.
  27. The performances are uniformly strong - nuanced, realistic, lacking any wild, flailing emoting.
  28. Almost absurdly quiet and observant, The Limits of Control is about the space between the action, the steps along the way.
  29. The Road isn't a masterpiece...But I cannot think of another film this year that has stayed with me, its images of dread and fear - and yes, perhaps hope - kicking around like such a terrible dream.
  30. Directed in steady fashion by Redford, The Company You Keep manages to keep its multiple strands of plot - and the people caught in them - from collapsing in a jumble of confusion. This alone, given the whirl of personal and political history going on, is an accomplishment.
  31. Compelling, kinetic, fast and furious.
  32. Gunnarsson crams his movie with subplots from the novel and then abandons them for lack of room but Seth calibrates the stages of Gustad's journey with infallible judgement and conviction.
  33. Its portrait of an artist hungry for experience is as timely today as when it was written.
  34. Luke, who had the title role in Denzel Washington's directorial debut, "Antwone Fisher," is that rare actor who can convey profound inner conflict with just a look in his eye; his performance is attuned, astute and remarkable.
  35. The scenery is majestic, the goats adorable, the characters alternately gruff and tender. Like the best storytellers, Carion delays vital information about his characters that makes their dynamic increasingly interesting.
  36. Represents a brave undertaking on Jolie's part. It's impressively steady filmmaking for a first-timer, and a powerful, powerfully disturbing subject to take on.
  37. There's an icy chill, a detachment, to A Dangerous Method, too. Of course, there are no talking cockroaches (Naked Lunch), no naked steambath knife fights (Eastern Promises), and that may have something to do with why this all feels so un-Cronenbergian.
  38. The three parallel love stories of daughter and dad, girlfriend and boyfriend, sister and brother, are nicely handled. Robinson is a sympathetic director of actors, allowing almost everyone their dignity. For the most part, she keeps this emotionally charged story in the schmaltz-free zone.
  39. While on its face, Mother and Child is about the impact of adoption, in its heart Garcia's movie reckons how consequential motherhood is in the calculus of womanhood. The fine actors show how we bond to those not related to us by blood - and also how we love. Bring Kleenex.
  40. If Martin Scorsese updated "The Roaring Twenties," the classic Jimmy Cagney movie about World War I vets who come home and find that the only jobs available are with gang lords and bootleggers, it would look a lot like Sean Kirkpatrick's rookie feature, Cost of a Soul.
  41. This slight and amusing 'toon is mostly a trip designed for the kiddie crowd to take in.
  42. If you just give yourself over to Nolan's sweeping, symphonic Cowled Crusader saga, The Dark Knight Rises is, well, a blast.
  43. Cold Mountain is the equivalent of comfort food: old-fashioned, earthy (lots of root vegetables), satisfying.
  44. Its surgical candor makes Forks Over Knives a little bit like a food horror movie.
  45. Yea or nay, love or hate, the portrait that Streep delivers in Phyllida Lloyd's impressionistic biopic is astonishing.
  46. Among the leads, Radcliffe alternates between playing the wet blanket and the dry wit, and Grint strikes a few sparks as his ambivalent protector. It is Watson who catches fire as the strategist and soldier of this penultimate Potter quest. Watson's so good that one wishes Rowling had built her septology around Hermione Potter.
  47. Montenegro's character has a spark in her eye, and a determination, that makes this quiet, intelligent film anything but boring.
  48. When Dizdar hits, he hits big.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  49. Suffice to say it's got plenty to do with corporate karma. And the word severance is more than just a double play on words - it's a triple whammy.
  50. What threatens to be 80 minutes of hypochondria turns into an inspired travelogue of nontraditional remedies. [13 June 1997, p.03]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. With mixed results, Moore singles out those who profit from the misery of American workers.
  52. The British star of "Ali G" fame plays Ricky Bobby's arch-nemesis. His name: Jean Girard. His provenance: France. His sponsor: Perrier. Speaking through a set of nasty-looking, tightly clenched teeth in the faux-est of faux French accents, Cohen is hilarious.
  53. McAvoy is charismatic, funny, and on the mark. Hall and Eve are both just right in their roles - bringing depth and detail to what could have been caricature parts. And if Starter for 10 takes a turn into foolhardy tragedy, it doesn't linger too long there.
  54. It's sick. It's stupid. But it also is undeniably adept at skewering social hypocrisy, lancing the boils of political self-righteousness, and poking fun where others fear to tread.
  55. The weight of the picture's moral and political message rests on Ice Cube's Calvin. A decent, honest man with a well-developed sense of responsibility and a passion for social justice, he's an iconic American type - the reluctant hero. He'd rather tend to his own garden, but when called to duty, he's all in.
  56. Startlingly original comedy-drama.
  57. It's wholesome as a glass of milk, and as refreshing.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  58. In theme and technique, it pushes the boundaries of animation and opens up new and imaginative possibilities.
  59. Aniston and Zahn are sweet together - their respective characters have built up psychic armor to keep the outside world at bay, and each breaks down the other's in revealing ways.
  60. It's the living jungle of Kipling's stories that we could once see only in our minds.
  61. A double shot of Saturday-night lowdown chased by a cheery chug of Sunday-morning uplift.
  62. Simple, poignant and leavened with humor, it's a film that affirms the nourishing aspects of love and companionship.
  63. Subversively funny, Stick It sees gymnastics as a microcosm of teen life.
  64. Ravi is an affable guide through the world of Indian dating, and Champa and Vasant are adorable and hilarious.
  65. The treasure of the film is the unearthing of the family bond, magically played by Douglas and Wood.
  66. The film, with its painterly juxtapositions of dockside industry, green hills, and cloud-scudded sky, is full of misguided motives and fairy-tale fraud. But it rings true at heart.
  67. The unforced performances of Courtney and Fanning are remarkable.
  68. A comedy of the old school. Depending on your view of the current state of screen humor, that's either a promise or a warning.
  69. An exceptionally fine children's film.
  70. Miles Ahead is more a provocative character sketch than a meaty portrait, but it's a film that should be applauded for its daring, and for Cheadle's shape-shifting, soul-baring work.
  71. The movie about literature's luckiest orphan may teem with children, but it is not for them.
  72. The movie's greatest misstep - other than Dempsey's boring romantic foil - is that, at one point, Bridget flashes back to events from the first movie. It's a reminder of how much fun the first film was, and it'll make you want to run out and watch that rather than the finish the one you bought a ticket for.
  73. At a certain point, Bujalski - the mumblecore meister, gleefully pushing the envelope of credulity here - jettisons the mock-doc pretense for a Christopher Guest-like glimpse into a strange subculture of the everyday.
  74. Puccini for Beginners, which takes its title from its heroine's passion for opera, isn't just another trendy toe-dip in sexual experimentation. It may not be the real world of New York, or even of most relationships, but it's worth a visit.
  75. What Our Fathers Did is a movie about historical and filial responsibility, about repudiation, about acceptance, about the pain we inherit, and the pain that continues to be doled out.
  76. Rea, with his hangdog looks and Jimmy Stewart line readings, spends a good deal of his time writhing in fake blood and broken shards - not what you'd call glamorous work, but he does it with conviction.
  77. The trippy creation of onetime marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob is a cockeyed optimist toiling at the bottom of the fast-food chain.
  78. The real reason to see Blank City is to catch snatches of the now-decades-old films - priceless DIY numbers that capture all the wild energy, humor, and rage of, if not a more innocent time, then certainly a cooler one.
  79. DuVernay has confidence in her actors that is reciprocated in kind. Richardson-Whitfield gives a remarkably empathetic performance.
  80. A disturbing and forceful drama.
  81. Until Steak(R)evolution gets repetitive, it's fascinating to see how everything, from culture to politics, affects what we eat and how we eat it.
  82. Bridge to Terabithia the movie, like the book, is buckets-of-tears sad. Director Csupo and company manage to get that - the simple power of a story about kindred souls, about loss, about the limitless possibilities of a lively mind - just right.
  83. Amid all the horror and the black ooze, there emerges a deeply touching story about the power of love.
  84. Catching Fire is bigger, better and broodier than the first film.
  85. Fraser and Elfman are goofily endearing even if they seem more sincere acting opposite the rabbit and the duck than they do each other.
  86. There are good things to say about the inspirational Disney sports film McFarland, USA, starting with its up-from-the-scrap-heap story, which happens to be true.
  87. Poignant, funny and clear-eyed about some tough topics: homophobia, racism, AIDS.
  88. Little gem of a movie.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  89. Chilling - and very chatty. Snowden is a seriously talky film. Yet it never feels tedious, thanks to Stone's tremendous sense of story construction, the film's razor-sharp editing - and Gordon-Levitt's masterful performance.
  90. The Hunt offers a powerful, provocative study of mob mentality and the fabric of trust.
  91. There's something optimistic in the filmmaker's clear-eyed, straightforward storytelling style.
  92. Black's caped "luchador" grows on you. Like a fun guy.
  93. Some movie-goers will be more annoyed than surprised by the finale.
  94. Kari's film, witty and sad, is a spare, small thing, but Noi has a poetry about it, and a poignancy.
  95. A thoroughly satisfying mix of mayhem and mindless fun.
  96. In the psychologically scarred world of The Holy Land, sex and religion, love and hate, survival and despair all ricochet around, waiting to explode.
  97. A disturbing and provocative study of adolescence and isolation.
  98. So what if the movie isn't finger-lickin' good like the original? The performances by Hanks as a crook and Irma P. Hall as his honorable landlady are mighty tasty.
  99. Bug
    After nearly three decades of misfires, major and minor, William Friedkin, the creator of "The French Connection," "The Exorcist" and "Sorcerer," is back in true form with Bug. And heaven help us for it.

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