Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,930 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 Youth
Lowest review score: 0 A Little Bit of Heaven
Score distribution:
3930 movie reviews
  1. Not an entertainment but an experience. And a kind of cinematic sensitivity training.
  2. If there's a psych ward for motion pictures, It's Kind of a Funny Story should check itself in. Boden and Fleck's film suffers from bipolar disorder: manic and silly one minute, moody and muted the next.
  3. An extremely delicate, quiet, and stunningly understated chamber piece.
  4. It's grown-up, deadly serious, and free of the ham-handed romantic subplots that mire so many films from the region in ick stew.
  5. Not up to the freshness and inventiveness of its predecessors.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  6. The romanticized image of the tortured artist - never mind how warranted his or her angst might be - is the stuff of stereotype unless it's leavened with humor, or limned in art. In Fugitive Pieces, neither element appears in sufficient quantity.
  7. Has an empty, soulless feel.
  8. After toiling for the likes of Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, and Peter Weir all these years, Crowe takes command of his own camera crews and castmates, mounting an ambitious and sentimental period drama.
  9. It's the magic of movies, not a movie that comes close to achieving real magic.
  10. One admires Wallace's intentions while despairing at his execution. Yet as clumsily directed as his film is, it inspires compassion for Moore, his men and their foes. And in that, there is merit.
  11. A small, dreamy romance.
  12. The thing's a behemoth. And as the franchise thunders on, it's also becoming more and more a bore.
  13. Succeeds because the action is supercharged in a style that recalls Mel Gibson's apocalyptic classic, "The Road Warrior." The characters are more than cartoonish, and the plot grips the road. But it's Diesel who provides the nitro injection
  14. Binder has written himself a scene-stealing supporting role as Shep, sleazeball producer.
  15. Franco, the hollow-cheeked, pouty-lipped actor best known as Spider-Man's nemesis Harry Osborn, plays Tristan like a biker boy with a broadsword.
  16. Despite its formulaic structure, The Abandoned has a lot going for it. It eschews cheap scares, bloodletting, and gore. Instead, it works the audience with good, old-fashioned suspense. And it has heart.
  17. An appealing, low-budget musical.
  18. The homoerotic subtext of the whole buddy movie oeuvre has never received quite the explicit lampooning it gets in this quirky, crash-and-burn action-comedy. [6 Sept 1996, p.8]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  19. This profanely hilarious and tonally erratic spoof of buddy movies is funny as it begins in "Miss Congeniality 2" territory, funnier still as it zooms into "Lethal Weapon" climes. But it stops dead, and I mean that literally, when it takes a U-turn into a "Pulp Fiction" sinkhole of slapstick violence.
  20. The film's atmosphere is incendiary. It has style to burn. But for the most part, the performances are all wet.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The movie is a snapshot collage of flyover America, but also, perhaps, an homage to the soon-to-be-lost world of brick-and-mortar gambling.
  21. This In-Laws feels, in the end, formulaic and unnecessary, especially when the original is yours for the renting at the video store.
  22. Suicide Squad does have quite a few tremendously entertaining sequences of high action and low comedy. It's a shame it never rises beyond that.
  23. Thanks to director Roger Kumble's breathless pacing, Just Friends manages to outrun most of its flaws. And its likable leads - the coolly clownish Reynolds and the feline-faced Smart - fill this empty Christmas stocking with glee.
  24. Too freewheeling for its own good, like a Robert Altman ensemble piece without a gravitational core. But Hawke's actors are a talented troupe, and even when things get self-indulgent and fuzzy-headed (and boy, do they!), interesting stuff is going on.
  25. Quite possibly the biggest ego trip ever to play Cannes, or anywhere else, at any time.
  26. Amalric's performance is comically moving in the manner of silent actors, and the film is beautifully wrought with moments of enchantment. Alas, Chicken is a movie that begins with a crescendo and doesn't sustain its lyricism.
  27. The perfect film for anyone who likes their headbutting and kickboxing dressed up in gold brocade, frilly collars, and tri-cornered caps. And isn't that all of us?
  28. There's no adroitness, no grace in the handling of the pitching emotions - funny, sad, icky - that such a story presents.
  29. A boldly sappy melodrama that plays on - and off - racial stereotypes.
  30. Directed by veteran stuntman Ric Roman Waugh, Snitch is shot with a mix of nervous close-ups and weirdly vertiginous angles.
  31. This bracing adaptation of the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand is the acidic antidote to Mary Poppins sweetness.
  32. The question for moviegoers: Would you rather get your dose of existenz-philosophie from Dostoyevsky or a slasher flick?
  33. Breslin, so memorable in "Little Miss Sunshine," suffers the most. Skilled and reactive with humans, she doesn't quite muster the same engagement with her finned and flippered costars here.
  34. As Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands reminded us, Burton always has been more absorbed by what his audience sees than by what his movies say. It's part of his unique talent as a filmmaker, but it leads him to ignore the flaws in the structure of what is, after all, supposed to be an exciting adventure film.
  35. Both consoling and confounding.
  36. The good news is that this daddy/daughter reconciliation story connects with the ball. The not-so-good: It's a blooper.
  37. Dumb with a capital D, Blades of Glory takes its (almost) fleshed-out sketch-comedy idea as far as an ice-skating buddy movie with we're-not-gay jokes and a psycho stalker can go.
  38. Their exhaustive tribute to hungry zombies, fast girls and faster cars is . . . exhausting, if intermittently entertaining.
  39. Song One burns with genuine sentiment, charismatic actors, and good music. One wishes it were held together by something more than a series of moods.
  40. It can be argued that Adam uses Asperger's as a kind of metaphor for the barriers that people erect to fend off strangers, to guard against intimacy. It can also be argued that writer/director Mayer is shamelessly manipulative.
  41. Tennessee is drenched in melancholy, a trip through a tunnel of pain illuminated by a lone ray of light at the end.
  42. There's a loose, vérité vibe here, and times when both Williams and Gosling root down deep to deliver something resonant and true. But this modern-day kitchen sink drama is ultimately too painful, too labored, to care much about at all.
  43. Less like "The Waterboy" and more like "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," only funny.
  44. This is a complicated story, but it's efficiently laid out by Poitras in this smartly edited project. She has posed Citizenfour as the final piece of a post-9/11 trilogy that began with "My Country, My Country" (about the 2006 elections in Iran) and "The Oath" (about Guantanamo).
  45. Perfectly cast, if insufficiently dramatized.
  46. A smart aleck-y kidnapping caper that whooshes around to a thumping electronic beat.
  47. Central Intelligence is actually funny.
  48. Arnold has a gem for the third millennium in End of Days.
  49. Heartfelt and artfully shot, the movie - with little Rodrigo Noya, wearing big eyeglasses, in the title role - is too sweet for its own good, even as some of its characters do things that aren't terribly sweet at all.
  50. Follows its heroines' rise and wising-up with a giddy, "Hard Day's Night" enthusiasm.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. Well-written, gorgeously shot, and expertly edited, the film is also an exasperating exercise in good intentions gone wrong. For all its strengths, Genius often trades in tiresome clichés.
  52. The tradecraft is there, the film craft is there, but the craftiness of a great concept is gone. Any way Bourne can go through Treadstone again?
  53. ATL
    Working from a story by Antwone Fisher, screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism is tender toward characters balancing where they come from with where they'd like to go. Fisher was the subject of an inspirational biography by Denzel Washington.
  54. Like "Man on Fire," the previous collaboration between Washington and Scott, Déjà Vu is stunning but poorly paced, a film that manages to be both captivating and frustrating.
  55. No one should be expected to endure 115 minutes of this nonsense.
  56. Araki's films have never been known for their subtlety. Think Douglas-Sirk-meets-Johnny-Rotten. He tries to rein in his tendency for the baroque in White Bird in a Blizzard, but he pushes the story too far in the direction of the grotesque.
  57. The second-best film parody (after The Brady Bunch Movie) of a '70s TV phenom that unaccountably looks better the further you get from it.
  58. What is lacking in this version, with its hasty third act and abrupt denouement, is the surprise that their union may be the deepest love either will ever know.
  59. A loving, dopey documentary about the bird man of a place with a view of Alcatraz.
  60. Feels somehow incomplete. It may be that its visual metaphor is more effective in literature than in film.
  61. There's more voyeurism going on here, and less insight into a certain culture (the young and the wasted), than the filmmakers would probably admit to, but the performances are scarily real, and the outcome, well, is just scary.
  62. This is the slightest and slimmest of sex comedies.
  63. Yes, it's stupid. But sometimes it's stupid with a capital S, and it's in those moments of transcendent idiocy that you can't help liking Saving Silverman. At least, a little bit.
  64. Shannon is flawless.
  65. My guess is that The Dreamers will have a certain resonance for those of us who discovered movies and sex at the same time during the '60s. For the rest of you, the film is a curiosity about cinegenic youths baring their bodies while thinking they are baring their souls.
  66. Ultimately, it's the romance that feels forced and phony, not the group meetings, the confessions, the anguished moments alone.
  67. Tomorrow Never Dies sticks to the Bond formula without bringing anything new, or particularly inspired, to the proceedings. (Besides a lot of shameless product placement, that is.)
  68. What Eagle Eye wants to do is show us technology's dark side: all the stuff that's there to make our lives easier - ATMs, PDAs, iPods, GPS, cell phones, PCs, "smart" houses - turned against us in a vast conspiracy.
  69. Carpenter, an old hand at this horror stuff, delivers some convincingly creepy effects, but the narrative lacks any sustained dramatic pulse - its gallery of hallucinogenic scenes doesn't add up to much more than, well, a gallery of hallucinogenic scenes. [03 Feb 1995, p.5]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  70. Those who know Austen novels will recognize how much each character resembles a figure in one of them. Those who do not will enjoy the amusing types. Men, this means you.
  71. It is by turns illuminating, exasperating, sloppy, redundant, a head-spinner, and a headache.
  72. There are big, jaunty gusts of music, and there are big, jaunty gusts of acting: the Heath Ledger-esque Alexander Fehling pumps up his Johann Wolfgang von Goethe with brash, boyish verve and stormy emoting.
  73. Wild Target is the sort of farce where nothing, essentially, is at stake, even as cars crash (including an original Mini Cooper), bullets rip, and knives get hurled with deadly velocity.
  74. That's kind of the aesthetic that Stanton is going for: over-the-top pulp. But there's something generic about the digitally rendered Martians, and there's a corniness to the dialogue that keeps the audience from any kind of emotional attachment to the Tharks and Zodangans and their ilk.
  75. So many characters to keep track of, so little time!
  76. Funny and not-funny, slapstick and slapdash, Welcome to Collinwood is a seriously uneven caper comedy in which a bunch of really fine character actors get to act really, really silly.
  77. Wanted is head-spinning stuff, and it's easy to get caught up in its masterfully manipulated mayhem. Visually, and viscerally, it's pretty awesome.
  78. Acts more like a primer for newbies unfamiliar with the show's history, giving no real insight into Lorne Michaels' long-running creation.
  79. There are the bare bones of a plot, but the true purpose of this animated feature is to highlight Gibran's poetic essays, recited sonorously by Liam Neeson.
  80. The menagerie of mythological beasties in Narnia don't seem quite genuinely, three-dimensionally real.
  81. Like Kevin's lucky fortune cookie, Lottery Ticket is a sweet treat with a substantive message.
  82. It's the classic odd-couple buddy movie setup, only it'll pull at your heartstrings, whether you want it too or not. And you won't want it to, because it's sap.
  83. Judy Moody has some enjoyable ingredients. The cast, for instance, rocks it, especially young Aussie actress Jordana Beatty as the title character, a bottle rocket with unruly red hair.
  84. This based-on-real-life tale of artistic aspirations and international politics is packed with more corn than an Iowa silo.
  85. Not as consistently or uproariously funny as "American Pie," but it does have a Zen zaniness that gives it center as well as edge.
  86. Casting herself (as the proprietor of the local cafe) along with a mix of professional and nonprofessional actors, Labaki tries to get across her give-peace-a-chance message with humor, with song, with melodrama.
  87. Somewhat fleeter and more engaging than its predecessor.
  88. A Single Man is like a big coffee table book on grief, loneliness, and loss - and mid-20th-century home design.
  89. Not a great movie, but it's affectionate. It reveals the cuddly side of Mac.
  90. A big, kabooming sequel that plays sleight-of-hand with its audience.
  91. A gorgeous, gory epic, is a blow-your-mind masterpiece about the emperor who ruled more than 2,000 years ago.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  92. Sunshine can be seen as a story about science and religion, about the rational mind and the mad. But at a certain point, like a dying star about to pop into eternal nothingness, the movie can't be seen as anything - it just implodes.
  93. An accomplished feature debut with stunning cinematography (by Elliot Davis), a jambalaya story line and yet another heart-stopping performance by Scarlett Johansson.
  94. The film doesn't hold together in any compelling way.
  95. If Mockingjay - Part 1 was walkier and talkier than its forerunners, Part 2 is pretty much all action - and lesser for it.
  96. This violently comic caper has some spunky charm going for it -- but has a lot of self-consciously hip, studied wackiness going against it.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  97. Nasty stuff. It's xenophobic (message: Americans, steer clear of the Third World); it's photogenic (the Sports Illustrated-likeswimsuit issue beach scenes, the colorful villages, the lush landscapes); it's gruesome (operating table POV shots); and it's violent.
  98. Nerve gives moviegoers everything they'd want from a teen romance. It's a little less successful as a critique of life in the age of Instagram.
  99. There's not much to this movie beyond a slick procession of dark, gleaming violence. But Selene lovers would pay good 3D money to see her fight a parking ticket.

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