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 Dragon Inn (1967)
Lowest review score: 0 The Mangler
Score distribution:
3922 movie reviews
  1. And Bridges? What's there to say about a man who makes it look so easy, and who - in one breathless, pivotal scene - runs through a range of emotion like a wild pony running across the land. Genius, any way you look at it.
  2. If you want to expose your children to a work of art with real soul, you could do a lot worse than Kubo and the Two Strings.
  3. The Conformist has a decadent visual beauty about it that's breathtaking. But as striking as Bertolucci's classic looks, there's even more powerful stuff in the storytelling.
  4. With its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  5. It's strong stuff.
  6. Nebraska is not a breakneck, screwball farce - although it has its moments, like the comical heist of an air compressor from a farmer's barn. Payne's film is loping. It's deadpan, poignant, absurd.
  7. This is the breakthrough work of one of world cinema's most visionary artists.
  8. A beautiful, head-spinning mystery that requires keen attention - and rewards it with a tricky and poetic payoff - The Double Hour is a topflight Euro thriller right up there with "Tell No One."
  9. It's inspired fun.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  10. You know how some kids just connect? Jake and Tony connect. And the adults in their lives, without really meaning to do so, make it difficult for that connection to hold. It is a measure of Sachs' talent and skills that such a seemingly small story can resonate in such big ways.
  11. Isn't like the classic Japanese drama "Rashomon," which suggested that one person's perspective of an event gave him a different truth from the person standing elsewhere.
  12. A delightful, sharp dramedy that skewers the topic from every angle imaginable.
  13. While its careful pace and seemingly opaque story may not satisfy every moviegoer's appetite, the film's final scene is soaringly, transparently moving.
  14. Easily the best computer-animated feature to come from Hollywood in a long while, Monster House is also one of the weirdest. A creepy-crawly, freak-show Halloween yarn.
  15. Apart from its intriguing religious implications, the film is also a compelling look at the family, community and congregational pillars that support Lior.
  16. Haunting and sad. And absolutely worth seeing.
  17. The Revenant is exhilarating cinema.
  18. In many ways, City of Men is like a Portuguese-language version of David Simon's "The Wire."
  19. A romantic comedy for anyone in love with the movies, and anyone, for that matter, who's in love.
  20. A quiet, glistening love story - or not-quite-love story - adapted from Martin's novella of the same name, Shopgirl is such an atypical Hollywood affair that it's almost startling.
  21. Triumphs by taking an elliptical approach that still reaches directly into the very core of genius.
  22. Kinetic and kooky, with a climactic shoot-out at a rail station that's daring in its ridiculousness.
  23. A rocking, rollicking crowd-pleaser.
  24. Control doesn't claim to know the reasons Curtis killed himself. The act of suicide poses the question why, but rarely answers it, leaving the living to wonder, and to grieve. And there's certainly grief to be had in Control, but also joy. Really.
  25. A human-scale comedy that reaches across generations to tickle, connect and embrace.
  26. While Gyllenhaal has playful puppy eyes and energy, his performance as Jack is a blur of mustaches, sideburns and spurs that never achieves the weight of Ledger's.
  27. The pleasure of The Limey lies in watching what actors who have aged like fine wine can do in that world.
  28. Offers a crushing view of humanity at its most desperate, and a view of one man's fevered efforts to find grace and dignity amid the horror.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There are frightening moments, as when he attacks an elderly woman he thinks is possessed by devils. And revelatory, heartbreaking ones, which can make you think that maybe he is a genius, after all.
  29. Sensual, dreamlike, both intimate and epic, The House of Sand is a cinematic tour de force.
  30. Richly informative and fascinating.
  31. You watch a Miyazaki film with the pie-eyed, gape-mouthed awe of a child being read the most fantastic story and suddenly transported to places previously beyond the limits of imagination. It's quite a trip.
  32. Wiener-Dog has a satirical edge as sharp as any Solondz has fashioned, but it is also filled with disarming moments of absurdist humor.
  33. What really matters is that the film works. It's a genuinely suspenseful, no-holds-barred masterpiece of sex 'n' horror exploitation.
  34. Shrek 2 is a dream, a sequel as exhilarating and riotously funny as 2001's top-grossing original.
  35. A delightful, oddball surprise.
  36. The movie is near-perfect, suspenseful, heart-breaking, profound.
  37. The talented Hansen-Love, with clarity and economy, manages to avoid the maudlin.
  38. Baron Cohen brings scary conviction to the performance.
  39. So incrementally does Eastwood's film build toward what seems like an inevitable resolution that when it concludes, you're sucker-punched. You haven't been watching a police procedural, but a Greek tragedy. You haven't been watching a drama about the catharsis of vigilantism, but sitting vigil for a community diminished, and permanently damaged, by violence.
  40. A boisterous and improbably entertaining action comedy.
  41. It's been a long time since a film has conveyed a culture, and a sense of place, with such telling precision. At the same time, Winter's Bone thrums with suspense.
  42. Weirdly funny, inspiring film.
  43. An honest and personal and unblurred examination (even through that druggy blur) of a tricky voyage into womanhood.
  44. Like some murderous version of "Working Girl," the ruthless exec and the seemingly naive underling go at one another - turning the film, at a pivotal moment, into a satisfying whodunit.
  45. Code Black is sobering stuff. The American health system, McGarry's film argues, is broken. But the film is undeniably inspiring, too: Despite everything that is wrong, there are nurses and doctors and technicians determined to do things right.
  46. A must-see for Pearl Jam fans - and for folks keen on gleaning insights into the pressures that come with megastardom.
  47. A heartbreaking elegy to mature love that honors the lovers and the long, neurodegenerative tango that is their last.
  48. What's less clear, and more maddening, is how several generations of Ecuadorans have been left to live on toxic land, their health and livelihoods compromised, while lawyers file motions and counter-motions and blame is passed around.
  49. The action is exhilarating, the visual effects spectacular - and spectacularly realized.
  50. It works beautifully and illuminates aspects of Freud that you might think beyond the reach of the the camera.
  51. Suffice it to say I prefer the original conclusion, and I think most Exorcist fans will agree
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  52. Assembles varied and remarkable digital video, archival footage, photographs, interviews and personal reflections and academics' perspectives to convey the scope and history of the Tibetan story.
  53. Acting-wise, the showstopper is Jason Bateman, with a diabolically entertaining turn as a smarmy PR man remarkably free with confidential information.
  54. This is a movie about friendship, about foolhardy endeavors that get your adrenaline going and make you feel life buzzing in your toes. Written with wit and concision and remarkable confidence, Bottle Rocket is a joyride worth taking.
  55. At turns elegiac, absurdist, and gently satirical, Lonergan’s drama is a deeply affecting chamber piece that features an outstanding performance by Casey Affleck.
  56. Avatar delivers. Combining beyond-state-of-the-art moviemaking with a tried-and-true storyline and a gamer-geek sensibility - not to mention a love angle, an otherworldly bestiary, and an arsenal of 22d-century weaponry - the movie quite simply rocks.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Portrayed by a mesmerizing Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Trumbo) in a magnificent, heart-stopping star turn.
  57. An English-language remake is in the works, but why wait for the Hollywood knockoff? Easy Money is the real thing: a great gangster pic.
  58. A Most Wanted Man's cast - a mix of Germans speaking English, Americans speaking English with German accents, Russians, and men and women from the Middle East - is uniformly stellar.
  59. It's “The Wizard of Oz” with a viral infection.
  60. Limitless rocks.
  61. Strictly speaking, Elle is a comedy, a blacker-than-death social satire about bourgeois values, set in contemporary Paris. It’s viciously, demonically funny in parts.
  62. The Queen of Versailles combines the voyeuristic thrills of reality TV with the soul-revealing artistry of great portraiture and the head-shaking revelations of solid investigative reporting.
  63. A story of obsession and honor, deception and self-deception set against a sharply etched landscape of political upheaval and intrigue. Malkovich orchestrates all this with assuredness, and Bardem, looking weary and worn, inhabits his character with a realness, a truth, that's downright spooky. And beautiful.
  64. Easily the best stop-motion animated necrophiliac musical romantic comedy of all time. It is also just simply, wonderful: a morbid, merry tale of true love that dazzles the eyes and delights the soul.
  65. Moana 's great heart and great humor actively subvert the violent, egocentric, macho mind-set that dominates so many popular stories. It can hardly be expected to change prevailing attitudes on its own. But it’s a start.
  66. Argo's white-knuckle nail-biter of a climax takes liberties with how events played out in real life. But while Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio have opted to go Hollywood, it's high-class Hollywood, not the low-rent and exploitative route that the make-believe movie at the heart of this tale would have taken.
  67. A superbly researched and edited documentary about the women's movement in the 1960s.
  68. Madly entertaining and just plain mad.
  69. To the extent that movies bear the residue of their filmmakers' autobiographies, I found The Pianist particularly compelling.
  70. Beloved spans 45 years, shifting from Paris to Prague to London to Montreal, and it boasts an especially strong performance by Paul Schneider.
  71. The Road Home takes a path few movies choose to travel these days, but it's a very affecting journey.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  72. An unnerving and astonishing thriller.
  73. Like this diabolically designed weapon of war, Tanovic's film is coil-sprung to explode on the unsuspecting.
  74. It's small. It's real. And it's deeply moving.
  75. This is a story about legacy, the sins of the father, the restlessness in our souls. It's powerful, it's bold, it hits you hard.
  76. The final third of Audiard's drama falls into crime-drama mode. It is tense and violent. But even if it feels true, given Dheepan's history with the Tamil Tigers, it also feels a little beside the point.
  77. Heartbreaking? Sometimes. Involving? You bet.
  78. A small but moving film that gets the details right (life in a sleepy burg, sidewalk chats between old high school pals) and gets at the heart of human longing for family, for love.
  79. Boasts rich texture, sly vision and rueful humor.
  80. Plays with cultural stereotypes, and upends them as well. The picture starts as one thing and turns, dramatically, movingly, into something else.
  81. Smart and novelistic and spiked with more than a bit of The Catcher in the Rye, Steers' movie is a prickly coming-of-age tale in which everybody -- but especially Culkin -- shines.
  82. '71
    1971 is a testament to a generation's idealism, heroism, foolhardiness, fearlessness.
  83. The imagery is uniquely that of Oshii, who deserves a place in the pantheon of visual artists.
  84. Remains rooted in the real world, which makes its story all the more satisfying -- and chilling.
  85. Where Denys Arcand's delightful 1986 comedy "The Decline of the American Empire" celebrated the good life, his profoundly funny sequel The Barbarian Invasions heartily toasts the good death.
  86. The result is a film that deeply engages us on multiple levels. Not only do we wonder what Maisie knows and how she knows it, we want to get this seedling to a place where she won't have to be transplanted every day.
  87. It's a haunting, scary, funny, sad portrayal from Rourke.
  88. This cunning and provocative Romanian film requires patience, but its rewards are many: It's hard to imagine how a scene in which a police captain barks an order to bring him a dictionary can be loaded with suspense, but, really, it is.
  89. Featuring seasoned warriors reflecting on whether we can best fight violence with violence is enormously compelling.
  90. In an extraordinarily inward and moving performance, Gere sheds every vestige of his silver-screen persona.
  91. Stranger Than Fiction is slicker than Kaufman's work - and Forster's direction is certainly more studio-ish than Kaufman collaborators Spike Jonze's or Michel Gondry's. But it's a clever idea, and you feel a little smarter watching the thing unfurl.
  92. Think "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," but then think fun.
  93. Reverberates with the power and passion of Greek tragedy.
  94. Not only is Bossa Nova a lovely romance, but one can say, as one can about few films, that it is restorative as a vacation.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  95. Ridiculously funny, ridiculously charming.
  96. A devastatingly funny portrait of a wildly dysfunctional clan, Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums is a movie about how people never really mature in ways that matter.
  97. Baker's life, like his music, was as sad as it was beautiful. And Weber's movie - obsessed with Baker's image as much as with his songs - hits all the right notes.
  98. The movie is a winner. One of the commuter ferry men declares, as he starts plucking people out of the water, "No one dies today." And no one does. If that isn't hopeful, I don't know what is.

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