Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,538 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 5.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Martha Marcy May Marlene
Lowest review score: 0 Isn't She Great
Score distribution:
3,538 movie reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Too bad it's hog-tied by a ridiculously familiar plot, uneven direction and characters of such dizzying simplicity that you wish the demons would get to them just to smack some sense into their heads. [26 Sept 1983, p.D3]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  1. Mostly, Dinosaur 13 is far too long, slogging along without momentum or suspense. These events would have been better handled in a single installment of Dateline.
  2. A high-end version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" set in the rarefied bistros, boites and brokerages of Yuppie Manhattan in the 1980s.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  3. To paraphrase one of the few memorable lines in the movie, "Even stink would say this stinks."
  4. Unbroken is a grueling endurance test - for the audience just as much as for its cutout champion.
  5. Icky, incoherent thriller.
  6. If all you ask of a movie is that it have scenic stars and some scenery (here the Sierras of California substitute for the Rockies of Wyoming), then Flicka is adequate. Me, I expected some conflict, some resolution, and a horse that took me on a wild ride. This one really never gets out of the gate.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Robert Altman's Kansas City is a hollow period piece, a costume melodrama that's all jazzed up without a story to tell. [16 Aug 1996, p.4]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  7. The movie heads in a disastrous direction: namely, a police academy ceremony... This lets-wrap-this-thing-up moment sucks the life and the honesty out of an otherwise compelling portrait of tainted lawmen, tainted law.
  8. Maybe Waters set out to prove Karl Marx's observation that all great events happen twice, first as tragedy and the second time as farce.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  9. At 116 minutes, this third installment lumbers along like a serial killer in shackles.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Looks as if was cobbled together from stuff hanging around the cutting room at MTV.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  10. A high-concept hostage drama of absolutely no value to anyone -- except maybe Bell Atlantic, whose titular street-corner pay phone is on screen for almost every agonizing frame.
  11. Anyone with a sizable role in Dodgeball gets mired in the script's dissipated tone. Two of the climactic jokes involve "Happy Days" references. How tenuous is that?
  12. Clare Lewins' dizzyingly disjointed documentary, I Am Ali, has one thing going for it: its subject, boxing immortal Muhammad Ali.
  13. Old School has all the ingredients of an uproarious campus comedy, but it lacks a boisterous short-order cook who could whip up a food fight or three.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, it lacks a compelling story or characters of any complexity.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  14. Feels stagy, stiff and entirely unnecessary.
  15. The aquatic and surf scenes are spectacular. The story, a clichéed climb to inspiration. Soul Surfer is more parable than plot.
  16. On the evidence of Palindromes, the most misanthropic, depressing, hopeless film in memory, I'd hazard that for Solondz, childhood is a problem without a solution.
  17. A fairly dreadful melodrama drenched in self-pity.
  18. Aja's stomach-churning remake (produced by Craven) follows the original with frightening fidelity, amping up the barbarity from a nine (on the 1-10 scale) to a 12.
  19. Viewers get very little about Madoff himself. While the film is primarily about Markopolos, it makes little sense without much insight into his nemesis.
  20. Somnambulistic pacing, kerplunkingly unfunny jokes, and mugging thespians making fools of themselves. Truly torturous spectacle.
  21. It would seem that Allen and screenwriters John Quaintance and Jessica Bendinger couldn't decide between making a movie about the summer that 'tweens become teens or "Scenes From a Mal"l for the MTV set.
  22. At one point, Statham chases down a sports car while pedaling madly on a kids' bike. Pathétique!
  23. Has to be one of the nuttiest, sappiest (literally), most unintentionally hilarious spectacles to come down the time-travel turnpike in eons.
  24. Maybe, you think, there is something daring and brilliant going on here: an excursion into the darkest territories of the human soul. But no. In the end -- or the beginning -- there is no point to all this. Or at least not a point worth making, and making us watch.
  25. Hit & Run is a pleasant enough diversion - but more of the PPV persuasion.
  26. Hoffman's turn as the drag queen has its endearing and comically catty moments, but Flawless' utter phoniness subsumes all efforts at honest acting.
  27. Duplex's tenant-from-hell scenario is as predictable as it is tedious -- a tinny, unsatisfying throwaway farce.
  28. The violence is plenty, and pointless.
  29. Tobey Maguire, terribly miscast and squeaky (that voice - it belongs to a kid!).
  30. I'm ripping up my Lars Von Trier fan club card.
  31. Art-directed within an inch of its life, Sleuth has the smirky gloss of a project that everyone involved with thinks is terribly good, and terribly clever. These people - Branagh, Pinter, Law and the usually great Caine (even in bad stuff) - are laboring under an epic misconception. Sleuth is just terrible.
  32. A temptation that can be easily and safely resisted.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  33. A standard-issue, ineptly executed serving of the genre's staples, from skeptical cops to an all-knowing psychic.
  34. The sheer brutality of Oldboy is stunning, especially a deeply disturbing scene in which Brolin tortures Samuel L. Jackson. But this is an unrelievedly grim and hermetic experience throughout, the cinematic equivalent of blunt trauma.
  35. Plunges into a void created by a stale and incredibly derivative plot.
  36. Just call this movie "The Hangover: AARP Strikes Back."
  37. The animation in Planes: Fire & Rescue is considerably better, the landscapes grander, and the 3-D flight and firefighting scenes more exciting.
  38. The thing about stoner comedy is that, well, it helps to be stoned.
  39. Like a grade-school version of an Indiana Jones adventure.
  40. Apocalyptically awful romantic comedy.
  41. Cross "Get Shorty" with "State and Main" - Hollywood hustlers, colorful crooks, crafty poseurs, and a production crew on location - and you have the stuff of The Last Shot. One other thing: eliminate anything funny.
  42. No one is getting at anything in The Strangers, except the cheapest, ugliest kind of sadistic titillation.
  43. Essentially a series of walking character sketches. The storytelling is slack and lackluster, the cliches rampant.
  44. A groaningly awful romantic comedy.
  45. What distinguishes The Dilemma in this genre is its resounding unfunnyness, its emotional dishonesty, and the general unlikability of its cast of characters.
  46. With its first-person-shooter perspective and gun-andrun narrative, this one’s for the PlayStation crowd. It’s not a movie. It’s an adrenaline pump and purveyor of raw carnage.
  47. The script is a stupid mix of Teutonic tongue twisters (say hello to Herr Schniedelwichsen), hoary German cliches (from phallic sausages to U-boat spoofs), and bad slapstick.
  48. OK, they squeezed one more lap out of this franchise. It's been a fun ride, but it's time to shut things down. If you get my drift.
  49. It fails as a gripping home-invasion thriller.
  50. As artistic achievements go, Mona Lisa Smile is strictly a paint-by-numbers affair. No shading. Little in the way of perspective. To call it one-dimensional would be an act of charity.
  51. A slasher spoof of sorts, except that unlike the "Scream" pics, scant effort seems to have gone into the spoofing aspect of the story.
  52. Another high school vixen movie, this one with a potty mouth (the vixen) and pretensions of social commentary (the movie), Pretty Persuasion brings to mind a number of other titles, all better.
  53. A case of when bad scripts happen to good actors. Given its similarities to a bygone sitcom, one might call it "Friends" without benefits.
  54. An unfortunate collision of earnest coming-of-age cliches and off-key acting, Evergreen almost, and certainly unintentionally, presents itself as parody.
  55. If the moral of Click is a stop-and-smell-the-roses bromide about how family comes first, the real message of this sappy, potty-mouthed seriocomedy is that a steady diet of Drakes and Hostesses will do you no good.
  56. Surrogates, which borrows tone and content freely from "I, Robot," is all windup and no pitch.
  57. Bobby Jones plays out much like a round of golf - slow, old-fashioned, tediously long, and lacking in drama.
  58. A casualty of its own clumsy storytelling.
  59. This movie feels like it has a million jokes, and every single one arrives with a lethal thud.
  60. Completely unappealing people.
  61. Hostage may well be the first action flick cited both for child abuse and audience abuse. In a singularly sadistic and degrading way it has something to offend everyone.
  62. A dull, drab and pointless rehash, Walking Tall ironically manages to diminish the Rock's stature as both a leading man and an action star.
  63. Hollywood's latest entry in that tried-and-true genre, the disaster movie, is . . . well, it's like . . . a totally gnarly roller-coaster ride!
  64. Entertainingly goofy for about 30 minutes. And then, for the next two hours-plus, it's agony.
  65. Rarely has sex on screen been so aggressively anti-erotic.
  66. Hot Rod never establishes its own personality.
  67. With the raunch quotient cranked up several notches, the sequel is calculated, cynical and, worse, not funny.
  68. The Wolfman feels like a film reedited and reworked so many times it has lost all narrative rhythm and suspense.
  69. This tale of a white mother's kid gone missing in a black New Jersey neighborhood - and the tensions and news media attention that ensue - is pretty much pure jive.
  70. It's hard to understand what Malevolence is doing in theaters. If ever a movie deserved to go directly to DVD, it's this dreary horror treatment.
  71. If you actually sit through this enervating ordeal, you'll swear that time is Frozen.
  72. While "Boogie Nights" was a dirge for the death of pleasure (which coincided with the death of the porn-film industry), Wonderland is death warmed over. Literally.
  73. Tedious and incoherent thriller.
  74. It doesn't help any that Wahlberg, looking perpetually dumbstruck, is among the clunkiest line-readers working in movies today.
  75. Has to be the sorriest excuse for a reprise since "Highlander — The Final Dimension."
  76. I'll be darned if I can think of a more excruciating, ponderous, remarkably unfunny and inert cinemagoing experience to come down the pike in ages.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  77. How'd this thing get made?
  78. The overwhelming sci-fi action spectacle is a merciless sensorial assault that leaves you with something akin to post-traumatic stress disorder.
  79. Nostalgia for the '80s - big hair, Madonna, cocaine, big hair, Duran Duran, more cocaine - is all well and good. Unless it's practiced with the charmless ineptitude of Take Me Home Tonight.
  80. Laughably bad adaptation of a Guy de Maupassant novel.
  81. Unrelentingly grim, plodding, and close-to-incoherent adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's best-selling mystery.
  82. Ride Along is a film so casual in its conception and execution, it should be titled Drive Thru.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Written and directed on autopilot, containing every cliche endemic to these movies: clueless parents, bratty brother, nasty rich kids, pool fight, food fight, girls who can't drive.
  83. Drawing comparisons to "The Wire" may be unfair, but taken on its own, this anemic vehicle for Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan to mug and jive through is just weak, weak stuff.
  84. In the annals of sequeldom, Kick-Ass 2 has to be one of the lamest follow-ups ever.
  85. It's highly doubtful that you'll grasp even a little of The Truth About Emanuel after seeing this film. It's not so much a thriller as it is a ride on a runaway crazy train.
  86. The script depends entirely too much on a succession of reporters, announcers, and spectators to provide context and detail in clunky, implausible dialogue.
  87. There is a funny movie to be made from the outrageous egos and excesses of rap music. Death of a Dynasty is not that movie.
  88. A generic oven-stuffer that wants to be a stocking-stuffer, is a turkey, despite the foil wrapping and some artfully deployed tinsel.
  89. This Romeo and Juliet is hard to take seriously - and simply hard to take.
  90. Evolution devolves to the sight of a colossal alien expelling flatus over Arizona. So that's why this movie stinks. Play that flatulent music, white boy.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  91. The problem is that these stoic warriors infect Act of Valor with more wooden acting than you'd see at a ventriloquism school.
  92. Combines fingernails-on-blackboard audio agony with bamboo-under-fingernails physical torture.
  93. Feels like it's been homogenized and Hollywoodized to death.
  94. A lazy assemblage of sketch-comedy raunch, mock-schlock TV ads, and ideas that even the writers of "Mall Cop" and "Observe and Report" would have tossed.
  95. A dementedly artificial and artsy film, a headache-inducing jumble of fractured narrative, flashbacks within flashbacks, and shifting perspectives.

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