Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,942 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 4.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 The Mangler
Score distribution:
3942 movie reviews
  1. Ghosts haunt Heart of a Dog - but so, too, does love.
  2. The haunting mastery of Leviathan comes not from these broad indictments of a social order, but from the specifics of the performances, the actors wearing their hurt and rage, their defiance and dread, like well-worn clothing.
  3. It's hard to know whether this is a function of the sympathetic screenplay or of Krieger's sympathetic direction - or both - but Celeste and Jesse are endearing even when they do unsympathetic things.
  4. The Painted Veil is rich with history and heartbreak. It's stirring stuff.
  5. Dazzling and delirious, The Fall is a celebration of cinema, of old-fashioned storytelling and globe-hopping spectacle.
  6. Rees tells Alike's story in vignettes that are sometimes slapstick, sometimes heartbreaking, always tender.
  7. The animated French family film April and the Extraordinary World will have your imagination doing somersaults and cartwheels.
  8. Lord knows how Holofcener got the performance she did out of Goodwin, but the child actor's Annie, rude and unmanageable, is an extraordinarily rich and complicated figure.
  9. A super-taut and superbly acted three-character piece.
  10. Hunger is daunting and powerful work.
  11. Chronicle is full of smart writing that isn't too smart.
  12. DuVernay, a low-key director sparing in her use of emotion and music, has made an existential drama that is European in its feel.
  13. It's a testament to Cage's canny performance and Jonze's seamless use of special effects that you believe Charlie and Donald are two entirely different people.
  14. It can feel inchoate, dropping the viewer in the middle of events without much context, and it exacts an emotional toll. But its raw quality also makes it compelling viewing.
  15. It's easy to mistake the simplicity of plot and theme here for simple-mindedness - this isn't Pynchon or Proust. Kung Fu Panda 3 has the economy of a Zen koan, not to mention its inner harmony and wisdom.
  16. Stays with you like great movies tend to do. It asks you to examine the inner mechanisms of human beings, cheerful and miserable alike. It's not about looking at a glass half empty or a glass half full. It's about drinking down what's in that glass and letting it fill your soul.
  17. The rare movie that manages to convey the inner soul of an artist.
  18. It's a devilishly twisted affair.
  19. Collins and Pacino plumb the depths of acting, of Shakespeare, of the difference between law and justice.
  20. La Promesse is a compelling look at issues that - in a world where ethnic frictions grow more tense, even as national boundaries disappear - really are universal.
  21. An immensely enjoyable, warmhearted, and gentle showbiz dramedy.
  22. Chuan's unsettlingly beautiful black-and-white, wide-screen account of those nightmare six weeks, re-creates that horror in ways that are at once allusive and lucid, mixing cinematic impressionism with documentary-like detail.
  23. Very few of us would like to think about the physical and emotional toll that life in captivity takes on these magnificent creatures. Gabriela Cowperthwaite's powerful, heartbreaking, and beautifully crafted documentary, Blackfish, forces us to do just that.
  24. Proves that the most local story is sometimes the most universal, the simplest tale sometimes the most complex.
  25. A story of companionship, loneliness, resilience. It's a small, artfully crafted thing, but it resonates in big ways.
  26. Her life, and her work, transcended what we think of as "fashion."
  27. Try not to let the film's overbearingly jaunty score get in the way. The Lady in the Van is quite a feat.
  28. A far more trenchant - and funnier - satire of the fame-afflicted than Woody Allen's "Celebrity."
  29. Ai Weiwei comes off as a man on a singular mission: to record the life around him before it is erased or distorted by a repressive government terrified by the smallest sign of nonconformity. His primary weapons: video cameras and Twitter.
  30. Moss and Waterston are incredible, and even though Queen of Earth is purposefully not a readily digestible film, they keep it intensely interesting.
  31. Although the pervading mood of Twin Falls Idaho - a beautifully shot, noirish thing - is one of sadness and loss, the Polishes' film is playful, too.
  32. First-time filmmaker Kolirin paces his can-we-all-just-get-along? parable as if it were a silent comedy, which for long stretches it is. This movie about musicians has no soundtrack. Its musical moments are few, but potent.
  33. Tcheng finds Simons in moments of haughty self-confidence and tremulous self-doubt.
  34. A superb film that begins with death, ends in renewal, and finds almost as much to laugh about as to cry for.
  35. A gorgeous confection, packed with gargantuan gowns and pornographic displays of pastrystuffs, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is also a sharp, smart look at the isolation, ennui and supercilious affairs of the rich, famous and famously pampered.
  36. Rain is a quiet, disquieting triumph.
  37. What gives North Country urgency is that it's about how a man comes to understand that it's bad for him and for his community to deny his daughter privileges and prerogatives he'd grant his son.
  38. An amiable mix of "Grumpy Old Men" comedy and "Apollo 13" can-we-fix-this-jalopy-before-we-die? Drama.
  39. David Ayer, the writer of "Training Day," director of "Street Kings," writer/director of "Harsh Times," does not make movies about princesses with witchy curses, about yuppie commitment-phobes, about talking plush toys. His territory is narrow, but he owns it: cops, in Los Angeles.
  40. Tender but never sappy, Monsieur Ibrahim brings two people of vastly different age and background together in ways that are touching, and telling. It's a small, glowing gem.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For Kudlow, for whom "music lives forever" - it's never over. And the opportunity to seize the day continues to present itself in this deeply human documentary.
  41. Far too good to be watched in one sitting.
  42. Roiling with laughter, tears, drunken confessions, revelatory soliloquies, pain, sorrow, hospital visits, and various kinds of love, A Christmas Tale is a smart, sprawling, and sublimely entertaining feast.
  43. A sly and surprisingly sublime little noir romance.
  44. A gorgeous operatic tale of obsession and madness.
  45. Macdonald's film brilliantly telescopes the '70s, an era when every physical action had its equal and opposite political reaction.
  46. A beautifully mopey adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's much-praised novel.
  47. Career Girls doesn't have the sweep of Secrets & Lies, nor the venom of Naked (which also featured the riveting Cartlidge). But in the small world it keenly describes, the film packs an emotional punch - silly voices and all.
  48. Directed with tremendous style and vibrant, buoyant energy.
  49. Corinne's journey begins with an act of blind faith. The movie ends, but you have a palpable sense that the journey does not.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Jarmusch’s movie serves both as a fine intro to one of rock’s great bands and as a window for longtime fans into what makes Iggy tick.
  50. Underlines the nightmare of entrapment so vividly captured in The Day I Became a Woman.
  51. The film treats the ensuing issues of conscience and compromise with subtlety and warmth.
  52. It's a movie with a pulse. Sometimes, it flies off the chart.
  53. Garfield melts into his Doss character in a performance that seems impossibly still and tranquil. He’s mesmerizing. It’s almost impossible to imagine he ever played Spider-Man.
  54. A dynamic portrait of an artist by an artist, one as wry, audacious and erotically charged as its flamboyant subject.
  55. Adapted from the devilishly clever 1955 novel by master crime author Georges Simenon, The Blue Room is a dazzling deconstruction of the mystery genre that turns its conventions on their heads.
  56. Into the Abyss is a true-crime drama, to be sure, but in Herzog's hands it becomes something much more: an inquiry into fundamental moral, philosophical, and religious issues, and an examination of humankind's capacity for violence - individual and institutional.
  57. A bruising, dark comedy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Although it's set on the same frozen continent, Happy Feet Two is worlds away from its predecessor.
  58. For those dazed and dazzled by surf anarchists Noll and Clark, Hamilton comes off as the sport's technocrat, but he boldly goes where no surfer has gone before.
  59. A thinker and an educator, Zinn has led a life of commitment and compassion, and the film offers a loving tribute.
  60. It's great to hear a director talking candidly about the actors he's worked with, dishing out good, juicy stuff.
  61. What begins as Lafcadia's journey into the heart of darkness ends as his pilgrimage into the light. Stunning.
  62. Does what the best movies can do: take viewers to what might be unfamiliar places, into a culture with unique customs and traditions, and show, through drama and comedy, how the fundamental truths of the human experience need no translation.
  63. Crash fools around with chronology in a Tarantinoesque way that brings its story full circle. You could argue that as events, and people, merge, Haggis' spiky screenplay (cowritten with Bobby Moresco) gets to be, quite simply, too much.
  64. The filmmakers don't bother hammering home a backstory or explaining why David is crazy. They just throw us in the deep end and dazzle us with a series of violent encounters that ends with a deadly chase in a surreal fun house maze of mirrors.
  65. Mongol is great cinema, great fun.
  66. French movies are not so neatly resolved. In fact, the point of many French movies, such as this provocative one from director Laurent Cantet, is that some problems don't have satisfying solutions - or resolutions.
  67. Must-see stuff.
  68. Offers a sometimes lyrical, sometimes gut-turning portrait of war seen through the eyes of children.
  69. This beautiful, unfolding film is an antidote to the high-velocity, maximum-volume world most of us find ourselves immersed in, offering a glimpse into a rigorously spiritual alternative. Its calmness, its reflection, is full of allure.
  70. Filled with bleak, beautiful Hopperesque tableaus and strange characters whose lives intersect.
  71. With its mix of Lewis Carroll and William Gibson; Japanese anime and Chinese chopsocky; mythological allusions, and machine-made illusion, offers a couple of hours of escapist fun.
  72. Until a final conflict that more resembles a monster-truck jam than a superhero showdown, Iron Man is solid gold.
  73. Eastwood and Morgan's movie, with its epic natural disasters (and a terrifying, man-made one) is optimistic. Hokey, even. But it's beautiful, too.
  74. Its stars - especially the photogenic Leung and Cheung, fresh from Wong Kar Wai's jazzy romance In the Mood for Love - are wonderfully charismatic. And wonderfully athletic.
  75. Quiet, quirky gem.
  76. Wondrously emotional film, one that sneakily dismantles your defenses and purges grief you didn't realize you had.
  77. Fused with paranoia and almost unbearable suspense, The Hurt Locker is powerful stuff.
  78. At once guileless and profound.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  79. The Proposition, a beautiful, bloody meditation on justice, family, and the trap of retribution, is in every respect an artful addition to the canon of six-shooter morality tales.
  80. If you enjoy visuals with substance as well as flash, look no further than this exuberant movie.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  81. In the end, what the movie is about: time and life, and what we do with them, and what we regret that we didn't do.
  82. It is not to everyone's taste. But if you like the lush film operas of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk, or Luchino Visconti, this one's for you.
  83. The script by Andrea Berloff is stunning in its simplicity and aching details.
  84. This is magnificent filmmaking, and a magnificent film.
  85. Cholodenko takes us inside a bohemian hive where everyone buzzes around the Queen Bee. McDormand is superb. Likewise Bale and Nivola.
  86. The less said about the twists and turns The Illusionist takes, the better. Suffice to say, Eisenheim's masterful deceptions do not stop when he exits the stage.
  87. It is the more satisfying of the two installments - less over-the-top, arterial-gushing violence and more investigation into character, motives, back-story.
  88. An extraordinarily perfect little film: A bittersweet drama that explores sexuality and love, and their reverberations across the landscape of human emotions.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  89. How I Live Now takes some frightening, gruesome turns. In tone and terror, it comes close to matching the jumpy dread of Danny Boyle's British Isles virus thriller "28 Days Later."
  90. Impossibly charming and impossibly French.
  91. While The Forgiveness of Blood lacks the narrative momentum of director Joshua Marston's previous film, "Maria Full of Grace" - it is nonetheless fascinating.
  92. A smart, sensuous and sensory mind trip that caroms around a universe of thought.
  93. A movie of absurdist humor, brutal realism and dementia.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Moodysson has an uncanny eye and ear for teen speech and attitude, and is able to capture it without the usual condescension and exploitation.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  94. This is more than a movie: It's Almodovar's design for living.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  95. A film full of a sense of impending danger, betrayal, seduction and destruction. Quite simply, it's great stuff.
  96. A gut-punch of a drama.

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