Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,922 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 5.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Missing Picture
Lowest review score: 0 Rambo
Score distribution:
3922 movie reviews
  1. The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows are symbolic of something else altogether: epic unkemptness.
  2. Murphy, in the boogeyman role, toggles between seductive and sinister with enough conviction to make you forget that his character makes no sense at all.
  3. Fugard’s classic minimalist drama comes eloquently to film.
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  4. It is a difficult and demanding movie, one that rewards the persevering moviegoer just as Pollock's difficult and demanding paintings ultimately reward the steadfast.
  5. Whatever one makes of its subject's moral code and mind-set, one has to give Terror's Advocate its due: the stories are riveting, the man is real.
  6. Fan's fly-on-the-wall perspective enables the viewer to empathize with all the players in the family drama, unlikely to have a happy ending.
  7. When the film focuses on the Trojans, it's splendid. But when Troy attempts to sort out the competing agendas of the Greeks, it drags.
  8. Vintage Terry Gilliam, a pour not to all tastes but one certain to please lovers of "Time Bandits" and "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen."
  9. Several notches above the usual gay-themed indie, and mostly manages to avoid -- or at least legitimately deploy -- the gratuitous throbbing beefcake scenes that are part and parcel of the genre.
  10. Sisterhood is Stand by Me for girls, as sullen, plucky, melodramatic, exuberant, athletic, graceless, crafty, artistic, arrogant, modest, helpless and resourceful as its teenage heroines.
  11. This quiet, aching film - punctuated by dead-on music choices, a blues song, reggae, the requisite Leonard Cohen - doesn't answer those questions. It's enough to raise them.
  12. The performances in Girl, Interrupted resonate, but the movie does not.
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  13. Richard Wenk's script, taut and enjoyable, pays homage to those police procedurals, with a nod to the Brazilian hostages-on-mass-transit documentary, "Bus 174."
  14. As scatalogical affairs go, Flushed Away shows remarkable buoyancy.
  15. There's humor in it, and sadness, and an acid-tinged humor that is miles away from the branded levity of "Friends." More power to Aniston for feeling the need to try something different, and then doing it -- well.
  16. With Insomnia, his third feature, Nolan, 32, has proven himself a precocious master of the thriller, unsettling the audience with a brief image of blood seeping through fabric.
  17. For those who have seen Tarkovsky's moody original, let me say that Soderbergh skims the fat from the 1972 film. What's left is a rich stew of longing.
  18. The sequences with the melancholy Faunia are monochromatic and those with Lester perfunctory. Benton too neatly -- and too hastily -- wraps up a story that would surely exert more power if it were messy and unrushed.
  19. The line between ha-ha funny and sorrowful reverence has been crossed - more deftly than you'd think.
  20. Shamelessly entertaining.
  21. It's giving nothing away to say that Munro makes it to Bonneville, and breaks the record - which apparently still stands - on his two-wheel contraption.
  22. If The Golden Bowl -- isn't charged with electric emotion, well, that's not what Henry James or James Ivory is about.
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  23. At once a shocking, baroque freak-out and a finely tuned, brilliantly paced surrealist black comedy.
  24. Plays like an exalted episode of "Miami Vice" or a stealth version of "Shane."
  25. It's pretty formulaic stuff, and earns its R rating with profanity and unapologetically gratuitous female nudity, but somehow has a winning knuckleheaded charm.
  26. In Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, Kempner gives us a balance of artist and alter ego, introducing us to a woman we'd like to know even better.
  27. If there were truth-in-titling, Burton's movie rightly would be called "Alice in Narnia: With Stops at Disneyland, the Shire, Rohan, Naboo, and Oz."
  28. With a thumping score and whirling cinematography, District 13: Ultimatum delivers two or three awesomely choreographed chase-and-fight-and-chase-and-fight-again sequences. The dialogue (in French, with subtitles) is not this movie's strength, nor should it be.
  29. An unusually atmospheric outing. Splatter fans may be disappointed, because Nakata isn't interested in a body count.
  30. Roos introduces the possibility that perhaps two partials add up to the whole truth, and in so doing creates a provocative love story that sticks with you long after the credits roll.
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  31. The Second Mother is an interesting look at generational and class divides in Brazil, without the feel of a lecture or lesson.
  32. A surprisingly moving drama - a throwback to the small, character-driven indies of yesteryear.
  33. A lyrical and delightfully goofy study in romantic longing.
  34. The movie's combination of unabashedly fun carnage, cool special effects, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue keeps the ball rolling (albeit at reduced speed), until the last of the titular terrors has bit the dust.
  35. Wolf Totem has some of the most exciting, mind-blowing scenes of nature I've ever seen.
  36. McQueen finds the exquisite tension between the brother wanting to disconnect and the sister longing for connection. To paraphrase a line of Sissy's, it's a good movie that comes from a bad place.
  37. What this unclassifiable story may lack in decibels, it has in emotional depth. At once a mystery, a family drama, a snapshot of children at risk, Ballast is an unusually perceptive character study more eloquent in action than in dialogue.
  38. Taylor-Wood stresses the universals rather than the specifics of John's youth. So don't go expecting a Fab Four origin story. The word Beatles is never uttered. But do go.
  39. Goblet of Fire, fourth in the fantasy franchise, is the most fun and the most fraught with conflict.
  40. A devastating psychological thriller, Prisoners pulls us deep into our worst fear: the Amber Alert. Then it holds us under.
  41. Pretty magical.
  42. Although The Secret in Their Eyes has neither the power, the artistry, nor the electric energy of its fellow Oscar nominee, France's "A Prophet," the Argentine film nonetheless engages with style, suspense, and seriousness of intent. Criminal intent and otherwise.
  43. Although there's nothing funny about addiction, Zahedi - a thin, bug-eyed fellow with the air of an R. Crumb sad sack - brings wit and self-deprecation to his tale of obsession and woe.
  44. Core, a cinematographer who helms both camera and directorial duties here, creates a vivid sense of time and place without letting the period music, clothes or art direction intrude. The performances are likewise understated and unpretentious, especially those of Wahlberg and Kinnear.
  45. In describing the conflict of a woman who has it all without enjoying it all, Pearson's book had teeth. McKenna's screenplay has only a smile. But is it ever good to laugh.
  46. 21
    21 makes for some slick escapist fantasy. Even if, and because, the fantasy has its roots in something real.
  47. And that, in the end, is what Quartet is about: determined engagement, embracing music and theater and the arts, and embracing the friends and loved ones you have around you.
  48. With creepy sound effects (thuds and clangs and groans, oh my) and a mounting - make that sinking - sense of dread, Black Sea is at once fist-clenchingly suspenseful and, well, dull.
  49. Deschanel does what she does seemingly without effort, managing to convey Summer's mixed-up messed-upness.
  50. Wrenching, poignant, and quietly healing.
  51. It's smart, it's exhilarating, and Gilroy's depiction of a high-tech world where our every move is captured by surveillance cams and Big Brother-types deploying the latest spyware feels authentic, and troubling.
  52. A story of entrepreneurship, of family, of fighting for one's rights - the right to make white lightning, and money. It's as American as apple pie.
  53. Raunchy, raucous and riotously funny.
  54. Jon Amiel's moody, and strangely moving, vignette of the naturalist is something else entirely. It is more about Darwin, father and husband, than Darwin the scientist.
  55. Scorsese's most accomplished, most disciplined movie since GoodFellas. His most gorgeous, too, with the peaches'n'strawberries'n'cream palette of early Technicolor films.
  56. A surprisingly fine, fantastic movie it is.
  57. Killer Joe is twisted pulp, and the actors chew on it bravely, boldly, and with varying degrees of success.
  58. Deadpan and a bit dopey, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best has a shaggy charm, and the chemistry between the tuneful twosome's would-be Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty makes up for the inevitable rock-and-roll road movie cliches.
  59. Worthy of mention is Carolina Herrera's design for Bella's wedding dress, sophisticated and demure in the front and Pippa Middleton sexy, and proper, in the back.
  60. Byrne and Kroll are the reasons to see Adult Beginners. The story itself feels truncated, like there are bits missing that we should see, ambling along.
  61. Burns' movie shows a Woody.esque affection for a certain slice of New York and its denizens (with the angst and neuroses quieted down a notch or two).
  62. Involving study of sibling and interpersonal relationships.
  63. For sheer audacity and adrenaline-fueled carnage, Shoot 'Em Up hits its target pretty much dead on.
  64. Freakonomics is uneven, and even a little cloying, but its sum effect isn't bad.
  65. To the extent that this mostly sunny excursion succeeds, it's due to the irrepressible Hawkins.
  66. An intensely intelligent, well-written, and mature exploration of the unwritten rules women have to follow if they want to succeed in high finance.
  67. Bellflower has plenty of rough edges and it suffers from a bad case of hipper-than-thou-ness. But it's a triumph.
  68. Some call Margot a comedy. For me, it is a tragedy impaled by comic moments.
  69. The Watermelon Woman is a thoughtful, charming movie that takes its audience along on a journey of self-discovery - without ever taking itself too seriously.
  70. Enter the Void inspires ambivalence. Aside from its technical brilliance, it is an experience equally sublime and infuriating, revelatory and painful, ecstatic and terrifying.
  71. For those who gripe that America doesn't make cars or movies like it used to, Clint Eastwood has two words for you: Gran Torino.
  72. Offers a worshipful but insightful portrait of the group - centered, of course, on its charismatic front man.
  73. Oddly enough, though Land of the Dead is more clever and grand than Romero's early classics, it is not as haunting.
  74. Lacks the gimmicky hook that made "Run Lola Run" an arthouse hit, but it doesn't lack for ideas, nor for images that will sweep you up in their boldness and have the resonance of dreams.
  75. The Edge of Seventeen is funny and tragic, but most of all it feels real in the same way John Hughes movies felt real. It's not a candy-coated version of teenagedom. It's harsh, and awkward, and funny, just like being a teenager.
  76. Out-of-control hilarious.
  77. Whatever you say about Sex and Lucía, you have to admit that it takes place at a hormonal high tide that never ebbs.
  78. Greenwald's film is filled with an infectious love for the region's songs. It could hardly be otherwise, given the level of musical talent she recruited for Songcatcher.
  79. A crazed symphony of the supernatural. The elements don't hang together, but Kasdan delivers real scares, and real hoots, in the midst of the mayhem and madness.
  80. Whether or not Ainouz's stylish directorial debut gets to the "real" Madame Satã is beside the point, but as a celebration of a figure who fashioned his own identity from pieces of pop culture and street poetry, from song and fashion and fury, it's memorable.
  81. Lee transforms a generic cops-crooks-and-hostages scenario into a smart, sharp heist movie by the sheer force of his love for, and knowledge of, the city where he lives.
  82. While 13 Going on 30 is too formulaic to sustain the delicacy of emotion that gave "Big" its appeal, it has tour-de-farce moments that made screenwriters Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa's "What Women Want" such a monster hit.
  83. George Miller's Fury Road is a hundred things at once: a biker movie, a spaghetti western, a post-apocalyptic dystopian action pic, a tale of female empowerment (The Vagina Monologues' Eve Ensler was a consultant on set), a Bosch painting made scary 3D real, a Keystone Kops screwball romp, and an auto show from hell.
  84. Tony Takitani, fablelike and beautiful, requires a certain amount of patience, but its small, peculiar charms work their way into your soul.
  85. Like "Compliance," Z for Zachariah shows how terrifying and redeeming interpersonal relationships can be. We crave human contact, yet it can still destroy us, even at the end of the world.
  86. At first glance Walter isn't a guy you want to spend two hours with. But by the end of the film, you don't want to see him go. Jenkins is like that: He sneaks up on you and steals your heart with light-fingered skill.
  87. A wide-screen wildlife documentary in which the cycles of birth and death, migrations and seasons, are captured in stunning - absolutely stunning - ways.
  88. Watching these young men brutalize each other is troubling enough, but perhaps the film's most interesting angle is how the experiment changes more than its subjects.
  89. Billy Bob Thornton, wearing a succession of toupees, wigs, fake facial hair, and funny hats, and twitching more than a horse's behind, is the best reason to see Bandits.
  90. Hugely entertaining catalog of MPAA follies.
  91. Deliberately paced, with an eerie, country-ish score from the Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, Jindabyne is definitely a mystery. But it's not about who killed the woman - audiences know that practically from the outset.
  92. As a piece of filmmaking, What the Bleep isn't exactly transcendent stuff. But as an entryway into new ways of thinking about the self, the universe, and the vast infinite whatnot of whatever (you know what we mean, oh wise one), this little movie is big.
  93. If the arrival of The Crow - a visually dazzling and hyperkinetic action movie - is an occasion to mourn the loss of Lee, it is also ample reason to celebrate the protean gifts of its director, Alex Proyas.
  94. In effect, The Client is a clever and pliant variation on the classic Hitchcock situation that puts a kid, instead of an adult, between the authorities and villainous criminals.
  95. Forget the end and there is much to enjoy here.
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  96. The raw emotions on display need no translation. David Mackenzie directs the film in a piercingly realistic style. His ingenious decision to forgo a score makes Starred Up even more immersive, because all you hear is the dehumanizing din of prison.
  97. A challenging film populated with characters who are depressed, on antidepressants, or strung out on mood-altering drugs, The Dead Girl is a downer with resonance.
  98. Populaire plays like a musical - you expect anyone, at any time, to break into song.
  99. Mild but engaging romance.
  100. Buoyed by the appealing Hart and Grenier.
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