Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,924 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 5.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Before Sunset
Lowest review score: 0 The Mangler
Score distribution:
3924 movie reviews
  1. Ready-made for Valentine's Day, The Vow is, like the offerings at Cafe Mnemonic, a total sugar overload.
  2. Cross Dog Day Afternoon with This is Spinal Tap and you have the concept behind Airheads: heavy metal trio seeking record contract holds radio station employees hostage, much mayhem and moshing ensues.... Airheads isn't nearly as good as its antecedents, but it does manage to produce a stream of lowbrow laughs. Or smiles, anyway. [5 Aug 1994, p.3]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  3. Echoing the lessons learned from "HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey," the message of Transcendence is that computers should not be allowed to become sentient.
  4. Lopez is so remarkably unaffected and guileless that she manages to carry the film through its mood swing, if not successfully to its conclusion.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  5. Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy but fun, fun, fun.
  6. Diverting, if undistinguished.
  7. As Hopkins himself goes wild-eyed and FX-ed with popping veins, The Rite gives up on asking us to take it seriously.
  8. An improbably funny and transcendent account of soccer-mad Tibetan monks in exile at a Bhutan monastery.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  9. Like Liam Neeson's "Taken" series, Costner's 3 Days to Kill finds its absentee-dad action hero facing off against hordes of goons and gorillas - not to rescue his loved ones, but to prove himself to them, and maybe get a little extra quality time, too.
  10. A pumped-up, plotless montage of extraordinary landscapes, colorful wildlife, and interesting people performing feats of derring-do.
  11. Unpretentious fun.
  12. If Mark Wahlberg's new pic, The Gambler, feels like a stale rehash of existential tropes, that's because it is.
  13. Part biography, part idol worship, Bhutto is a bullet train through South Asia, chronicling its subject's 54 years, a period of unrest in her nation and family.
  14. The intention is clear: Garneau wants to make his points as persuasive and accessible as possible. Yet, the truths That Sugar Film contains were already obvious decades ago. It's sad that we need reminding.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Weaknesses are confirmed in the movie's laughable climax.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  15. In a way, The TV Set suffers from the same syndrome as the industry it's parodying: bland and compromised, it feels as if it's been fine-tuned and focus-grouped within an inch of its life.
  16. That very curious thing, a Shakespearean happy meal.
  17. As stories go, The Astronaut Farmer is engaging, even if it serves up a kind of Plains State brand of Rocky-esque hooey.
  18. For all the film's gritty verisimilitude, The Messenger is not the great Iraq War movie that Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" is.
  19. Imagine "King Lear" art-directed by Martha Stewart and you have Hanging Up.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  20. Tries too hard to be playful and sensual, wacky and romantic, and comes away feeling fake and prefabricated instead.
  21. No one has done the journey quite like Takeshi Kitano in Kikujiro
  22. While it's not entirely successful, this stylish shocker is a big step up from the earlier film.
  23. It's hard to feel compassion for these Masters of the Universe. I'm not even sure Chandor wants us to, but if he doesn't, then what's the point?
  24. Whether he's smacking into an iceberg or flopping topless onto a sandy beach, DiCaprio is still maddeningly lightweight.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  25. Is Django Unchained about race and power and the ugly side of history? Only as much as "Inglourious Basterds" was about race and power and the ugly side of history. It's a live-action, heads-exploding, shoot-'em-up cartoon. Sometimes it crackles, and sometimes it merely cracks.
  26. Where "Run Lola Run" was like a perpetual-motion machine, The International seems to forever be stopping in its own tracks. Tykwer takes coffee breaks to explain the convoluted and dicey plot.
  27. Unnerving.
  28. What it lacks, though, is any sense that these people - are real.
  29. Grisly stuff. The movie, shot in Australia with an Aussie and British cast, makes "127 Hours" look like a walk in the park.
  30. Though not deep, the movie is diverting.
  31. Although Solondz's view is omniscient, as a filmmaker here he condescends to his characters' innocence, ignorance and bigotry, making him guilty of the same narrative crimes.
  32. A picture that's pleasantly forgettable.
  33. Falls short of being totally absorbing and compelling.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  34. It's never entirely clear whether Borchardt is also an object of ridicule for documentarian Chris Smith.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  35. Easily the best 1975 B-movie made in 2005, Four Brothers is a raucously entertaining vigilante film.
  36. Skarsgard's performance is bold and raw (and reminiscent of vintage Jack Lemmon in its earnestness).
  37. Unlike most Sayles movies, the filmmaker no sooner introduces his memorable characters and deeply resonant themes than his From Here to Maternity melodrama abruptly ends.
  38. Plays around with some interesting notions, such as the nature of reality, the nature of humanity, and the nature of spiffy apartments with sleek bathroom fixtures.
  39. There is plenty in Star Trek Beyond for diehard Trekkers to enjoy, and director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) guns the action sequences.
  40. Never as much fun as (Woo's) old Chow Yun Fat-starring Chinese pics.
  41. Happily, Perry's strength as a filmmaker is that he genuinely loves his actors, and they love him back. What his movies lack in exposition they make up for in performances.
  42. While even believers can support Maher's skepticism, when he denounces the faithful in sweeping absolutes at film's end, he sounds as absolutely certain as those he has mocked for the previous 100 minutes.
  43. Bedtime Stories does have a comic buoyancy, even as its plot trots on a predictable course. Perhaps the different accents and sensibilities have something to do with that.
  44. Terribly slight and a little off.
  45. In A Somewhat Gentle Man, a deadpan comedy best described as the Coen Brothers Norwegian style, Stellan Skarsgard is colorless and oddly configured, like a potato fallen from the sack.
  46. While it might not have the laughs-per-minute ratio of the "Naked Gun" movies (but then, what does?), it is a reliable titter generator for boomers and their echo boomlings.
  47. Like many previous Carrey vehicles, the point of this one directed by Peyton Reed is that one should not live at the extremes, but should achieve a balance between low and high, no and yes.
  48. At its best, Shange's work is a lyric journey through the storm to the rainbow. At its worst, Perry's movie is a relentless dance between the victimizer and his victim. Shange's poetic flow gets choked by Perry's stilted prose.
  49. McCarthy's screenplay, a tangle of doublecrosses and dead men, has just been published. Those who really want to know what's going on would be advised to buy a copy.
  50. Summery and scenic, Ruins is this season's "Mamma Mia!," a diversion that dispenses the wisdom: Let go, let live, and let love. Not bad advice, and not a bad movie, exactly.
  51. Blanchett commands the screen as she commands the royal navy. Her unforced majesty makes a so-so film worth watching.
  52. While his movie lacks the psychological resonance of "Rosemary's Baby" or "The Sixth Sense," it easily equals their creep-out quotient.
  53. It's not that Fay Grim isn't amusing. It is, in that deadpan, skewed way that indie auteur Hartley's pics always are. But there's not much else going on here.
  54. Impossibly arty and, at times, narratively incoherent, Filth and Wisdom still has its goofy charms.
  55. The kind of date movie that should do a lot to promote celibacy.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  56. Lohan is superfluous to the qualities that elevate the film above other Clearasil comedies.
  57. It is possible to bring substance, as well as poetry, to the vignette form, but more often Paris, Je T'Aime is merely mundane.
  58. While Choke, adapted for the screen and directed by Clark Gregg, is by no means a disaster, it is disappointing - and oddly dull.
  59. A movie-movie - big, lush and sexy. And formulaic, saddled with more plot than it needs and more "Spy Kids" references than it should have, but still . . .
  60. Isn't a cheap knock-off but an equally effective, deliciously disturbing movie. It's bound to delight genre fans (and dismay critics, who attacked the first as heavy-handed and sloppy).
  61. I smiled for the first half of the movie and started laughing hysterically when a supporting character hijacked it from its stars.
  62. This buoyant, multigenerational comedy that takes its title from the African American wedding ritual has other distinctions as well. It's relatively raunch-free, it has a sparkling cast that reunites "Waiting to Exhale" stars Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine as combative matriarchs, and it likes its characters well enough to forgive them their faults.
  63. I would like to be able to report that Nelson's directorial vision is grim and uncompromising. Grim it most surely is. But his movie about morally compromised figures leaves viewers feeling compromised, unable to find their way out of the fog and the ashes.
  64. One wishes that Chambers had more gracefully integrated the stories of the individual players into this celebration of Rush.
  65. Do you dig the current vampire craze? Do you love "Twilight" so much you'd die for it? Then skip South Korean writer-director Park Chan-wook's violent, bloody Thirst, a genre-bending - if not genre-destroying - foray into the vampire myth.
  66. Teeming with socially awkward misfits, Gentlemen Broncos is not without its absurdist charms, although Hess (who co-scripted with his wife, Jerusha) pushes the envelope in ways it doesn't need pushing.
  67. Spoofing James Bond in the '90s may lack an original comic bite, but making James Bond in the '90s is positively toothless.
  68. Lacks an essential sense of purpose.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  69. Even when his technique is amateurish, Jones' belief in the material is refreshing. Pollak's gentle humor is well balanced by the blunt wit of Bonnie Hunt as the O'Malley matriarch.
  70. The first Hollywood feature from Danish filmmaker Jonas Elmer, New in Town is so choppy that it would seem to have been edited with a pickax.
  71. Fortunately, the actors are so likable that these wincingly unfunny moments don't spoil the party.
  72. It says in the beginning of the film that Two for the Money is "inspired by a true story." Problem is, it's just not that inspired.
  73. In segments such as the Reagle and Clinton interviews, where character is revealed via puzzle style, Wordplay succeeds. The film is less successful when it travels to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
  74. What Zoolander does have, and this was enough for me, is a sublime comic performance by Owen Wilson, as the supermodel Hansel, positively radiant in its dimness.
  75. An uneasy mix of hand-painted characters and digitally rendered photorealistic backgrounds, the film never fully reconciles its two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds.
  76. As scripted by Cathy Rabin and directed by Santosh Sivan, Before the Rains is never less than compelling, but never more than adequately realized.
  77. Visually dazzling but ultimately dizzying ride, a trippy suspenser that gets tripped up on its own deja vu voodoo.
  78. A black comedy, a character study, and a thriller, Lord of War lacks the gritty, hell-bent hilarity of David O. Russell's contemporary war pic, "Three Kings."
  79. Emily Watson, looking at home in her '40s frocks, plays Angus' mother - coping not only with her son's obsession with what she believes to be an imaginary friend, but also with her own worry and grief about her husband at war.
  80. Achieves the rare feat of fusing tightly ratcheted suspense with intense romance.
  81. Washington offers another of his rock-steady performances, playing a career civil servant with a couple of secrets of his own, but confident, diligent, ready to go the distance for the city he loves.
  82. When remaking a popular film, you must remember this: First, do no harm to the original. Arthur accomplishes this, with Russell Brand slurring his way neatly through the title role.
  83. The problem with Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that there's too much going on: the Marvel Universe stuff, the WikiLeaks-ish paranoia stuff, the video game-ish CG visual effects stuff, the epic John Woo-ish everybody-pointing-a-weapon-at-everybody-else face-off stuff.
  84. Yes, there's a hastily added new ending - an ending that doesn't make sense when you think about it. Not that it's worth the effort
  85. Williamson's screenplay doesn't match the cleverness of his conceit; it lacks the requisite archness and wit.
  86. Easy to like, and easy to forget.
  87. Modest, unassuming fare for younger children.
  88. Doesn't run very deep, or resonate with profound meaning. But as a thoughtful fable, laced with humor, the picture has its charms.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    This being the "ultimate" movie about "extreme" sports, there's a lot of superlative slinging in the commentary.
  89. Unfortunately, the plot runs out of dilithium crystals, and drifts to a sluggish and predictable conclusion
  90. Doesn't have the dramatic heft to warrant all its angst and anguish.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  91. A harmless and mildly amusing family comedy.
  92. Duplicity zips from one elaborate piece of hugger-mugger to the next. But at a certain point (for me, it was Rome), boredom sets in.
  93. A stage-y but likable ensemble piece.
  94. Perhaps to compensate for the absence of compelling drama and tension (and a few continuity gaffes), Scott has retreated to his TV commercial roots and crammed Hannibal full of busy, art-directed visuals.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  95. A spectacle where A-list talent strives mightily to elevate a C-plus effort.
  96. A jukebox musical that's astonishingly cornball one minute, winkingly sardonic the next.
  97. The movie avoids most of the romantic comedy cliches, and its leads are appealing. That's almost enough for me. But not quite.
  98. A diverting family comedy that at its best aims to be a live-action "Incredibles" and at its middling a live-action episode of "Kim Possible."

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