Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,937 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 Rust and Bone
Lowest review score: 0 A Little Bit of Heaven
Score distribution:
3937 movie reviews
  1. Circumstance is more interesting for its cultural views than for its insights into love, sex, family angst, and rebellious youth.
  2. Though the humor of Black Knight never quite achieves the giddiness of a Monty Python comedy, Lawrence creates a character more lovable than either Bill or Ted on either of their excellent adventures.
  3. This portrait of the fabulist whose images are as haunting as those of Giorgio de Chirico is a disappointment, not to mention a squandered opportunity.
  4. While I don't always have the stomach for Woo's viscera or the heart for his pure, angelic heroes and impure, diabolical villains, I found myself responding to the context and subtext of Windtalkers while closing my eyes through what one might call its text. It's two-thirds of a great film.
  5. A roiling, boiling mix of blaxploitation, sexploitation, Tennessee Williams and the Tennessee outback.
  6. Elaborately establishes a mood but fails to deliver a dramatic payoff.
  7. Most parties concerned maintain their grim countenances, their characters struggling to find the sweet spot between honor and greed, between doing the right thing and doing the absolute worst.
  8. As a horror movie, Jennifer's Body doesn't fully deliver. But as a comic allegory of what it's like to be an adolescent girl who comes into sexual and social power that she doesn't know what the heck to do with, it is a minor classic.
  9. Barrymore and Collette bring life and charm to a screenplay that needs all the life and charm it can get.
  10. Susanne Bier is a bomb thrower. The explosives in the films by the Danish director are emotional and provoke torrents of tears, richly earned.
  11. An entertaining history lesson. That is, a history lesson that synopsizes and simplifies a complex life and complicated times into easily digestible panels of action, intrigue, martyrdom and sticking it to the papacy.
  12. In some ways, Identity Thief is a raunchier variation on another recent odd-couple road pic: Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as overbearing mom and nebbish son in "The Guilt Trip."
  13. Gorgeous and disturbing, Big Hero 6 is a departure for Disney: a film targeted at older kids, and the studio's first venture into straight-up comic book culture. Walt would flip in his cryogenic chamber if he saw this anime-style production.
  14. Isn't that good. But Moore is.
  15. I winced more than laughed at this movie, which has almost as many broken bones as punch lines.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It is intended for the target audience of arrested-development stoners who stay up late being thrilled rather than confused by the show's non-sequiturial humor.
  16. Training Day has the best performances and worst third act of any movie you're likely to see this year.
  17. When it works - and it doesn't half the time - it's as if Monty Python were back, putting its merrily imbecilic stamp on the dark world of terrorism.
  18. As a movie, Steal is as finely wrought as the decorative ironworks that hang on the walls of the Barnes between Picassos and Seurats. Yet as a narrative of the facts, it is as one-sided as a plaintiff's brief.
  19. More a deification than a documentary.
  20. There's a great movie out now about magicians, sleight-of-hand maestros, illusionists, card and coin tricksters. Now You See Me is not that movie.
  21. The "Alien" recipe with a little imagination.
  22. Nunez's dialogue, and the paces he puts this threesome through, just don't ring true. Coastlines is the stuff of pulp, seriously at odds with what the writer-director has always done best. That is, show the inner workings of people, their needs, their fears, their small dreams.
  23. Jackson gets by mostly on bluster, but that doesn't matter because he serves mostly as a foil to Mac's popeyed shake-and-bake antics.
  24. Idle it is not. Wild it is most assuredly. Set in Prohibition-era Georgia, Idlewild boasts yesterday's style, today's music, and the Harlem Renaissance's romanticism.
  25. Alas, not even Eckhart and Breslin can get Zeta-Jones to simmer.
  26. It's not just Hollywood convention that gets in the way of the story, it's the lack of depth, heft and heart at its core.
  27. Despite the charismatic efforts of the British actor Ahmed, The Reluctant Fundamentalist gets bogged down in proselytizing and plot.
  28. In truth, despite more corn than Mel Gibson grows on his farm in "Signs" (another Shyamalan effort), After Earth is worth a look.
  29. There is a lot of shield-your-eyes ickiness in District 9, a lot of violence and gore. What there is not a lot of, however, is humanity - even in the film's depiction of the inhumanity humans are capable of.
  30. Snappily written and even more snappily directed.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  31. Masterminds is filled with the sort of idiotic bathroom humor that has become standard in big-screen comedies, but it is enlivened by the surreal slapstick touches that made Napoleon Dynamite so good. Even though it isn't the sharpest comedy, it had me in stitches.
  32. Despite all the stock characters and scenarios, Fox and company manage to bring things to life. And cut some hair.
  33. A kind of mad coming-of-age yarn embellished with lightning bolts and monsters made of cadaverous flesh.
  34. More about future potential than present achievement.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  35. The choppy film is like a composition crowded with competing themes.
  36. She (Hunt) is perfection even when her movie falls a little short.
  37. A meditation on guilt, remorse and redemption -- is unrelentingly heavy.
  38. While Nemo's story line is as clear as its pellucid blues, Wild's narrative is as muddy as its colors.
  39. Neither fish nor fowl (nor extraterrestrial), and that's a problem. Craig, handsomely craggy, plays it straight, and like Eastwood's Man With No Name, he doesn't have much to say.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It would have been better to nix the drama completely and keep Madea's Halloween outing strictly about the laughs.
  40. Whimsically conjures the magic-realist imagery of the novel while pruning the book of its narrative undergrowth. What results is a striking piece of topiary shorn of its vital branches.
  41. Tries - far too hard - to replicate the Alice effect and falls short.
  42. When it's not making the argument that Surfing = Peace, Step Into Liquid can be diverting.
  43. Moving within its wild and wacky and improbably true scenarios (some of them, anyway) are people you don't really want to know. Stop the presses: War makes people rich. Stop the movie: These people, who cares?
  44. It's bleak business, and as it hurries toward its explosive, expository conclusion, the film becomes nonsensical, too.
  45. Sandler nimbly steps into the role created by Cooper and makes it his nebbishy own, something that cannot be said for Ryder's attempt to rethink the Arthur part. Ryder is lovely, but perhaps too sincere an actress to play a wiseacre.
  46. The performances are uniformly top-notch. It was a treat to see Ortiz, an actor known on screen mostly for his impressive cameos in movies like "El Cantante," in a leading part enabling him to express his considerable emotional range.
  47. In Synecdoche, Kaufman the screenwriter is not well-served by Kaufman the filmmaker. As a director, his propensity for heavyosity leadens rather than leavens this affair.
  48. Too much of the action in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes place on laptops, thumb drives, and video monitors.
  49. Charged up with stormy melodrama.
  50. Laced with a venomous wit, and turning progressively creepier as it unfolds, writer-director Jon Reiss' movie offers a black-humored study of suppressed rage, sexual gamesmanship, domination and subordination.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. Some viewers will dismiss Autumn Blood as a pretentious Euro-art iteration of Straw Dogs. For those willing to be open to its experimentation and more charitable about its many faults, the film can provide a powerful experience and serve as an fascinating testament to the tenuous nature of the social contract.
  52. The Rocker can be amusingly dopey, with its "Spinal Tap"-ish lampooning of rock idioms - and idiots.
  53. All the running, the hiding, the escaping (from giant moles, from giant Murray) are decidedly less exciting, and compelling, than City of Ember wants to be.
  54. The good thing about The Company is that nothing much happens. The bad thing about The Company is that nothing much happens.
  55. Unfortunately, David Koepp - the A-list Hollywood screenwriter (Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds) and decidedly less-successful director (Ghost Town, Secret Window) - can't find the right Looney Tunes-ish tone for his immersion into bike-messenger culture.
  56. Spurlock's intermittently entertaining travelogue ultimately reveals that people in disparate countries of different religions and wildly divergent ideologies are more alike than not.
  57. The film's title is a double entendre, meant to be taken straight as a noun (as in summer camp) and bent as a verb (as in "to camp," an action self-consciously exaggerated or theatrical).
  58. I had the sense that Gordon's ambitious, if awkwardly assembled, film had so many terrific ingredients that he felt compelled to use them all. In this case, alas, more is less.
  59. If this melodrama has that haven't-we-met-before look, it's because it combines elements of "The Caine Mutiny" (Gandolfini's Winter is Queeg-like) with those of "Stalag 17."
  60. An ambitious effort that fails as satire and as history, although it probably succeeds as a cautionary tale.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  61. Mostly The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest belongs to Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), the tall and intrepid magazine journalist who is determined to clear Lisbeth's name, and who goes about doing so - and making espresso and checking his e-mail - with zeal.
  62. If The Brothers Grimm flies apart like a badly designed airplane (and it does), it still has more going for it than most of the movie fare this summer.
  63. The film is surprisingly engaging. It’s fun.
  64. Frisky, raunchy and frequently riotous.
  65. If your idea of a fun night out is to be manipulated by freaky sound effects, jumpy edits, and point-of-view shots of ceiling fans whooshing menacingly, Insidious is the film for you.
  66. A sturdy and cohesive representative of what tends to be a flimsy and tawdry B-movie genre. It even has a moral: People who live in wax houses shouldn't start fires.
  67. Oh so slight and forgettable.
  68. Rather than plunge into the murky marital waters of ambivalence and power struggle, the film bobs on the surface. No one would ever mistake David Frankel's dramedy of sexual healing for Ingmar Bergman's psychologically astute "Scenes From a Marriage."
  69. The Family is a film at once strange and intriguing. It can't seem to settle on a tone. The early eruptions of violence are treated as slapstick when they are most assuredly not. But the climactic showdown, which fairly cries out for a touch of humor, is played as a tense and grim action sequence.
  70. In the wake of the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" - a far better film, and one with a less strident, less obvious agenda - Green Zone arrives looking strangely anachronistic.
  71. The film is uniquely spirited, radiating the exuberance and sexual heat of an Elvis musical, a characteristic shared by its songs and dances.
  72. Occasionally clicks into full-speed farce mode, but never for long - or for long enough.
  73. The Situation deserves credit for not trying to reduce the events in Iraq to facile equations. There is corruption and cynicism on all sides: the U.S. diplomats and military, the Sunni leaders, the thugs in cop uniforms, the local powerbrokers.
  74. A film with many redeeming qualities. Its heart is certainly in the right place, but its head makes some misjudgments.
  75. A larky throwback to the breakneck screwballs of Frank Capra and Preston Sturges. Problem is, it isn't breakneck enough.
  76. The performances, of a higher order than the film's cheesy script and double-cheese direction, are the reasons to see the picture. A reason not to: the means by which parent and child trade bodies.
  77. The more pertinent question: Can the audience stick with this flick that showed most of its funny bits in the trailer? For the most part, yeah.
  78. If only RocknRolla's characters were at all believable - even in the context of its own cartoon universe.
  79. Much as I adore Martin and Hunt, whose matching tongue-in-cheek delivery and finite patience make them seem more like siblings than spouses, their movie is indistinguishable from an Afterschool Special.
  80. Speechy and preachy and just a teeny-weeny bit naughty.
  81. The set pieces are fun, if not as spectacular as those in Jon Favreau's adaptation of Kipling's similar "The Jungle Book." And the plot moves at a nice pace.
  82. One thing Kidman is not is a clown. She thinks fizzy and dizzy and klutzy are funny. She is mistaken. To be a clown requires a kind of witchcraft.
  83. A formulaic and fuzzy feel-good movie.
  84. The Purge: Election Year tries to show that what counts isn't firepower but compassion, not egoism but community. But frankly, it can't help but shoot itself in the foot: The violence is too tantalizing, too stylized, too fetishistic - the film features killers dressed in fanciful Halloween costumes who dance and sing as they dismember people.
  85. The real problem is that there's nothing to George but the movie's props.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  86. Too much Good Friday and not enough Easter Sunday. Emphasizing Jesus' agony over His ecstasy, Gibson has delivered a blood-drenched epic more stunning for its brutal violence than for its depiction of the calvary.
  87. There's not a believable character, nor line of convincing dialogue to be found.
  88. Unfortunately, this all proceeds at a supersonic tempo, with Shyamalan's directorial finger stuck on the fast-forward button. Significant plot points whiz by in this movie equivalent of speed-dating.
  89. There is no shape or pacing to Daniel Petrie's movie. It's like a bottle of soda left uncapped. So thus a story that promised effervescence ends up being flat.
  90. It's overstating things to say the stars of Fantastic Four are Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell, because I can't remember the last time four actors appeared less invested in a movie for which they've teamed up.
  91. Run All Night isn't dull. The pace is breakneck, and necks get broken. But the violence is relentless, ugly, unredeemed by any real humanity.
  92. Loaded with careening car chases and rooftop runs, glass-shattering shootouts and exploding fireballs, Killer Elite offers more than enough to keep action junkies happy.
  93. You want to cut Cop Out some slack because it's just so darn eager to please. So let's grant that it will make a reliably fun companion when it's on cable 10 times a week.
  94. The lead performances are very strong -- few actors possess as much sheer physical presence as this pair -- but their dialogue is stilted, as though lost in transit from a Victorian hothouse.
  95. Individual moments in Hit and Runway are quite funny, but as a send-up of action-movie mindlessness, the movie is sometimes as dumb as its targets.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  96. The script, which needs not just doctoring and could benefit from a spell in the critical-care ward, is full of dress-up and put-downs, and comes alive only when Prinze or Cook are on-screen. In short, She's All That aspires to be Clueless. It succeeds in being clueless.
  97. Stevenson is big and swarthy and not altogether without credibility, but he's got as much charisma as a potato.
  98. A loving ode to screwball comedies from the Golden Age of Hollywood that never approaches the films it pays homage to.

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