Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,928 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 Shrek
Lowest review score: 0 Isn't She Great
Score distribution:
3928 movie reviews
  1. And how can you not reflect about time, and change, and physical and spiritual being, when confronted with such a stunning visual record of human existence?
  2. A taut, understated minimalist masterwork.
  3. With deft and subtle performances and an uncomplicated but savvy script, Autumn Tale gets to the inner lives of its characters.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  4. It's the stuff of nightmares.
  5. The film is a sharp, funny, touching tale.
  6. Side Effects, chilly and noirish, and boasting a wily performance from Catherine Zeta-Jones as a therapist who worked with Emily earlier in her adulthood, is, Soderbergh says, his swan song.
  7. It is a damning indictment of the individuals and institutions who made money while customers lost their shirts.
  8. Amirpour clearly studied their films and listened to some Sergio Leone spaghetti Western scores while she was at it. The music in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night pulses with a late-night Persian vibe, reverby and twanging, soulful, hypnotic.
  9. That this purposefully twisting exercise takes place amid the sun-burnished cypresses and towns of Tuscany - where ancient statuary is as commonplace as pasta and wine - only makes this playfully enigmatic meditation the more pleasing.
  10. If there's a more passionate love story out there, then I haven't had the privilege of seeing it.
  11. Shaft is still enormously involving. It's popcorn, but very fresh.
  12. Although rough, it's a gem.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  13. Doesn't overdo it on the 1950s period charm -- lots of tweed, old cars and bikes, great woolly sweaters and painted rowhouses -- and the performances never get out of hand, even when the plot does.
  14. Wildly ridiculous and thoroughly entertaining thriller.
  15. If you're going to take another stab at this tale of a taunted, traumatized teen who exacts fiery revenge on, well, everyone, then Kimberly Peirce is the director to do it.
  16. The footage is spectacular, the colors electric, the life aquatic trippier than anything you'll see in even the most wildly imaginative animated fare.
  17. This sparrow's flight lifts the heart.
  18. And tell me if I'm nuts, but another distraction: Doesn't the BFG bear a striking resemblance to George W. Bush?
  19. A seven-word review: Very good performances. Much too much weather.
  20. Moretti knows how to orchestrate a good laugh when it's needed, but he can plumb more soulful, sorrowful depths, too. In Mia Madre, with its self-doubting director and wild-card American interloper, Moretti works a palette of shifting moods. Triumphantly.
  21. A deadpan delight.
  22. As entertaining as it is exasperating.
  23. As soon as it's over, and you find yourself back in the harsh light of the workaday world, you'll be hard-pressed to remember what happened. Except that you'll remember enjoying yourself - immensely.
  24. If Emmerich had any sense, he would have ceded the direction of the battle scenes to his star.
  25. There's a playlike quality to Complete Unknown (Marston's cowriter, Julian Sheppard, has extensive credits in the theater). That's not a bad thing: The talk is smart. The actors doing the talking are easy to like.
  26. While this charmer about a canine James Bond does not pack the emotional punch of "WALL-E," it's frisky fun to see the white shepherd get a new leash on life.
  27. An impressive, not entirely successful exercise in minimalist filmmaking.
  28. What began as a bold and thrilling story descends into Hollywood cliché. But Crowe and Connelly's work rises above the mush. They make A Beautiful Mind go.
  29. It's a view filtered through a prism of memory and emotion, but one well worth investigating.
  30. Shakespearean but overlong, The Dark Knight is two hours of heady, involving action that devolves into a mind-numbing 32-minute epilogue.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    You don't have to be a fan of the TV show to enjoy watching this dog chase his shtick.
  31. It's fun, exciting, freakish filmmaking.
  32. This is a quiet, meticulously plotted chamber piece, not the booming, lightning-paced orchestral affair we know as the contemporary action film in the Age of Ludlum.
  33. While there are similarities to the hardscrabble saga of "Angela's Ashes," Frears' film avoids the mawkish pitfalls of Alan Parker's screen adaptation.
  34. Not everyone's cup of tea, but a strong, heady brew.
  35. A Kiwi nerd love story and loopy portrait of Down Under underachievers, Eagle vs. Shark offers a deadpan take on family, friendship, obsession and self-delusion.
  36. A "small" movie. But in its keenly observed examination of strangers who become intimates - and of family members who remain, in part, strangers - it has big things to say.
  37. Swing Vote is messy and its targets are relatively safe. But its aim is true. And Costner's performance hits the bull's-eye.
  38. Tokyo! is a must-see for the Gondry segment, and a strange, diverting pleasure for the rest.
  39. Ajami brings its audience into a world where the cultural conflict is fierce, emotions run high, yet the hopeful vision of peaceful coexistence shines through the cracks.
  40. It's not impossible to address grown-up issues of commitment, of responsibility, of love, and have some fun, and some profanity, while you're at it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Schütte's film, which began with the cooperation of Zappa's late wife Gail and has the blessing of Ahmet and his sisters, Moon and Diva (but not Dweezil), lets him speak for himself.
  41. For the first 100 minutes of his 117-minute film Spielberg holds the audience in a grip of fear. When Ray and Rachel take refuge in the storm cellar of a survivalist (a miscast Tim Robbins), the director's grip relaxes only a bit, but the film never recovers from this excursion into the Gothic.
  42. An accomplished and compelling film by writer/director Josh Mond, James White is also pretty much a bummer.
  43. Callan McAuliffe, a handsome Australian youth, looks right as the perma-press Bryce.
  44. Batman v Superman lacks the levity (forced or otherwise) of a typical Marvel Universe entry. But Snyder's superpowered epic does have a sense of import and grandeur about it.
  45. Although Toy Story 3 plays with themes of aging and obsolescence, it's really a straight-ahead action pic, with the toys planning, and attempting, their escape and rescue missions. (Hey, it's The A-Team!)
  46. Offers dazzling cinematic family fun, and a mad medley of tunes.
  47. Stronger on character than on story, the film version of Janet Fitch's best-seller is shaped and propelled by the astonishing performance of Alison Lohman.
  48. Guaranteed to keep you on tenterhooks from beginning to end - and without much gore. Dowdle and company trade in the usual trappings of the genre for a tantalizing blend of tension, suspense, and mystery.
  49. A scabrously funny look at the cutthroat game of statecraft.
  50. Swiss Army Man is a quest movie of sorts, and also a sort of modern-day piece of absurdist theater. Samuel Beckett by way of Monty Python, it is a story that is at once rooted in the fixations of adolescence (sex, the idea of sex, bodily functions, more sex) and in the loftier firmaments of the mind.
  51. Develops microclimates of mood without fully developing the same shadings of character.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  52. Unlike Gondry's previous features, Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine, Science lacks the sturdy armature of a Charlie Kaufman screenplay to support its eccentricities. The flood of delight in the film's first 90 minutes slowed to a trickle and, finally, a drip.
  53. Informative, funny, sad and intriguing.
  54. Haggis' earnest and eloquent film about the impact of the war in Iraq on U.S. soldiers, and by extension, their nation, is human-scaled. And as deep and harrowed as Jones' crevassed face.
  55. Parental Guidance is an engaging comedy that bridges multiple generation gaps, making it that rare movie that grandparents, their kids, and their kids can enjoy.
  56. Comes across as gratifying, not grating: the same way the familiarity of a well-crafted whodunit is part of the book's pleasures.
  57. Quiet, finely etched and beautifully acted by Dina Korzun and the wise-beyond-his-years Artiom Strelnikov.
  58. The Ice Harvest doesn't have much heft or resonance. But as an antidote to the sugary confections of the season, its hung-over cynicism works wonders.
  59. Between the earnest boy, his playful mammal, the film from actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith is a winning family entertainment.
  60. On a Paris rooftop about an hour into this 2-hour film, the tone shifts and the atmosphere lightens into giddy farce.
  61. For a film about suicides, Wristcutters: A Love Story is strangely life-affirming. This film about slackers stuck in limbo between life and death is upbeat in an offbeat way.
  62. Cluttered as it is colorful, Robots is a visual delight.
  63. Nat King Cole croons a Christmas chestnut, an opera wafts into the ether, Latin jazz sways. It's all terribly atmospheric, and if you're in the mood for atmosphere, 2046 delivers.
  64. Favreau and Vaughn have chemistry to kill: comic, combative and engagingly goofball.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  65. The gadgetry and fight scenes are nicely rendered. The aeronautical battles, though, fall well short of state-of-the-art. Maybe they're collateral damage to the film's goofy style.
  66. A whimsical tale of serial murder in the English countryside, Keeping Mum benefits immensely from the charm and pitch-perfect gravitas of Kristin Scott Thomas.
  67. While at times the improvisational dialogue sounds like audio filler, the three leads are poignant and perceptive.
  68. Elf
    Pays homage to a sack of Christmas movies, from the department store Claus of "Miracle on 34th Street" to a standing-on-the-bridge-contemplating-suicide moment, a la "It's a Wonderful Life."
  69. Rings true for the most part, and explores human nature - leashed and unleashed - in ways that resonate.
  70. A story with a beginning and end but without a middle. Two slices of bread without the sandwich meat, I wrote in my notes.
  71. A little like a British Eric Rohmer film -- a lot of talk, and a lot of talk about love and relationships -- Lawless Heart has wit and a winning charm.
  72. Overall, Matchstick Men, which is based on the novel by Eric Garcia, is more memorable for Lohman's naturalistic acting and Scott's mannerist direction than it is for its O. Henry surprise.
  73. Steamy and sexy with a smack of sadism, the movie is a throwback to old-school Hollywood action/romance.
  74. The film, in its early going, also has a nice light humor about it, and an engaging, albeit tragic, love story.
  75. Honest, sensitive and keenly observant.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  76. The film is suffused with the generous, nonjudgmental spirit of Uncle Tomas, whose live-and-let-live attitude warms like the sun and who helps Magdalena and Carlos make the safe passage from adolescence to maturity.
  77. Boasts exciting competitive track cycling footage.
  78. At a certain point, movies like Disturbia require suspension of belief. To its credit, that moment comes much later in the game than usual. Up until then, like "Rear Window" before it, Disturbia is sly and suspenseful and full of mounting dread.
  79. The period details - the cars, the clothes, the old storefronts along Main Street - are attentively described. But it's Duvall, spooky, sly, and sad, who makes all the props and the plot twists seem real.
  80. A crafty, suspenseful, violent horror film that touches on the inner lives of sexual predators, the question of guilt and remorse in the human soul, and the practice of torture.
  81. This Santa Claus story is for a midnight movie crowd, not the kiddie matinees.
  82. Though African Cats is G-rated, scenes of animals chowing down on other animals are not for the faint of heart or delicate of stomach. I don't think it's suitable for those under 6, and they should be prepared for real animal behavior. But it's deeply involving and primally moving.
  83. Fast, funny.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  84. Paradoxically, the closer Mendes gets to his characters, the more remote Perdition becomes. One wishes that his film had as much heart as it does art.
  85. Watching Shepard work his pony down a snaking mountain pass, playing a mandolin and singing the blues, or seeing him sitting, stone-still, beneath a railroad water tank, waiting for something to happen - these are scenes to be cherished, from an actor who has found the soul of the character he's playing.
  86. Blood-curdling stuff.
  87. Directed by Clark Johnson in an efficient and occasionally exhilarating style that points to the Emmy-winner's TV cop-show pedigree ("Homicide," "The Wire," "NYPD Blue").
  88. A ridiculously entertaining romp based on the graphic novels of Bryan Lee O'Malley and directed, with mash-up mastery, by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead).
  89. Terrific filmmaking, but it's hard to leave Moodysson's picture without feeling much of anything except hopelessness. Utterly.
  90. For the most part, the film's musical numbers are dynamic, propelling the story forward. The same cannot be said about Peter Barsocchini's colorless screenplay.
  91. Although James and Madden are no Fred and Ginger when it comes time for the fabled ball, her breathy swoons and glitter-splashed décolletage and his personable imperviousness bode well for the couple's future.
  92. Is Spurlock selling out by pulling off this stunt? Is he biting the hand that feeds him? Is he working both sides against the middle? And does he think JetBlue is the best airline in the world? You bet.
  93. The Bling Ring is Sofia Coppola's energetic, elegant, and entertaining take on this real-life story - a comedy, of sorts, if what it says about our obsession with the famous and the frivolous weren't so totally depressing.
  94. When it comes to sheer comic-book fun, few summer movies deliver a more consistent, satisfying, thoroughly enjoyable shot of cinematic jouissance than the delightfully adventurous actress Scarlett Johansson's latest bit of strange, Lucy.
  95. As a celebration of agility, ability, and outlandish human behavior, The Walk is a winning thing. It may not get inside the head of its pole-balancing protagonist - it doesn't really even try - but Zemeckis' movie takes you skyward.
  96. A cool-headed thriller, and a richly detailed character study that traces the birth and evolution of America's foreign espionage bureaucracy, The Good Shepherd also marks a significantly more mature, assured directing turn from Robert De Niro.
  97. Probably better than anyone else working today, Donaldson knows how to knit a thriller. Each time you think this taut yarn is about to unravel, that's when he pulls the wool over your eyes.
  98. Thanks to the evocative cinematography of Ed Lachman, it is bathed in a celestial light that cannot penetrate the existential darkness of its characters.

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