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 The King's Speech
Lowest review score: 0 Surviving Christmas
Score distribution:
3928 movie reviews
  1. Is it dumb to say, "Wow?"...I don't care. Wow.
  2. The Conformist has a decadent visual beauty about it that's breathtaking. But as striking as Bertolucci's classic looks, there's even more powerful stuff in the storytelling.
  3. It’s a true American masterpiece and one of the best films of the decade.
  4. This is the breakthrough work of one of world cinema's most visionary artists.
  5. The most moving aspect of this indelible documentary is that it chronicles its subjects' growth from instinctively going for the goal to deciding which goals are worth shooting for.
  6. An awesome cinema spectacle.
  7. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  8. Its historical influence aside, Dragon Inn delivers pure cinematic pleasure. I'm not sure it can be overpraised.
  9. Ran
    The triumphant masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa's fertile twilight.
  10. It speaks to the courage and resilience of one man, the savagery of many, and the potential, for both good and for ill, in us all.
  11. At turns elegiac, absurdist, and gently satirical, Lonergan’s drama is a deeply affecting chamber piece that features an outstanding performance by Casey Affleck.
  12. Remy, the little rat who stars in the big, beautiful, funny Ratatouille, isn't gross at all. In fact, he's adorable.
  13. It's inspired fun.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  14. A wildly suspenseful zero-g tale of survival 350 miles beyond the ozone layer, Alfonso Cuarón's space saga is emotionally jolting - and physically jolting, too.
  15. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  16. Mara and Blanchett are each extraordinary, working in the most organic and soul-stirring ways.
  17. Most of all, it is the improbably entertaining story of how new media are altering the very nature of courtship and friendship.
  18. I’m Not Your Negro is an unforgettable work. Baldwin’s words – eloquently spoken by Samuel Jackson – will haunt you.
  19. It's a masterpiece.
  20. A monumental achievement that documents a coordinated and complicated response to a monumental tragedy.
  21. It's small. It's real. And it's deeply moving.
  22. With rich, detailed, cinematic animation and terrific sound effects, WALLE pulls this unlikely love story off.
  23. This is a movie that mines deep beneath the surface of human feeling. It will make you think - about love, about life, about two people who aren't real, except that they've become so for so many of us in this improbably successful indie franchise.
  24. 45 Years is a study in economy, in the beautiful symmetry of word and image and music.
  25. It is the most influential movie you've never seen, deeply affecting many artists and experimental directors who saw it on the museum circuit in 1977 and 1978.
  26. Mr. Turner is no barrel of laughs. It's a barrel of life - an extraordinary one.
  27. Fused with paranoia and almost unbearable suspense, The Hurt Locker is powerful stuff.
  28. Inside Out is the first psychological thriller that's fun for the whole family. Really psychological. And really fun.
  29. Exhilarating, edgy and wryly comic.
  30. The Return of the King is too long...The various story lines...come together in stilted, episodic ways. The narrative is less-than-seamless.
  31. Amour arrives with plaudits and praise. But this is not hype, it is all deserved. This is a masterpiece.
  32. A classic of subversive surrealism.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  33. It is with gravity and levity and incomparable grace that Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- by light years the best movie of 2000.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  34. An immensely rich, deeply felt exploration of human relationships that draws you in and holds you fast for nearly three hours.
  35. Inspiring stuff, the stuff of Hollywood all the way back to Frank Capra and before: a story of scrappy underdogs, determined to get to the truth, and toppling the mighty in the process.
  36. It may be the first meditative action movie.
  37. Some of it is wistful, some of it whimsical, but it's all wonderful, impossibly so.
  38. Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.
  39. Just a few barrels short of being a masterpiece.
  40. Still stands as a gloriously silly and twisted send-up.
  41. The film is more than laborious eye-blinking - it's also dazzling visually, its potent imagery conjured by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. But finally, Diving Bell is about something imperceptible: consciousness.
  42. 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.
  43. 35 Shots of Rum is visual poetry, but poetry that examines the human condition with insight and illumination.
  44. A transcendent political poem as intellectually rigorous as it is beautiful.
  45. But moving across this tableau is Frodo and his gang, and here the trouble lies...Not a one seems believable as conveyed by Wood, who forever looks to be on the brink of a good sob. Likewise, his hobbit sidekick Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) is a real wuss.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  46. 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.
  47. 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!)
  48. A Summer's Tale is one of those movies where it looks like nothing is happening; there is a lot of walking and talking (against exquisite backdrops), dissections and discourse about the intricacies of romance, the false signals, the fickleness.
  49. This long (nearly three hours), revelatory movie is both a thrilling adventure about endurance and survival, and an elegiac examination of centuries-old tribal culture, fast-fading in the new millennium.
  50. Hirokazu Kore-eda's After Life is a minimalist, mesmerizing allegory set in a limbo. It is not a memorial to the dead but an extraordinary consideration of what memories mean to the living. [11 June 1999, p.12]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. If we approach the unfamiliar with fear and apprehension, we will be met with fear and apprehension. But if we approach with sympathy and curiosity, we will be rewarded with same. And our souls, not to mention our bicycles, will soar to the heavens. [2002 re-release]
  52. With a bit of Tintin and Tati, Charlie Chaplin and Wallace and Gromit echoing in the pacing and comic sensibility, Triplets of Belleville conjures up a world that's totally surprising and sublime.
  53. A slo-mo gem of gangster cool, of vintage Hollywood noir reimagined by a French new waver in love with American cars, American jazz, and the kind of trench-coated tough-guys embodied by Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum.
  54. Piercingly funny and unexpectedly moving account of that odd couple, Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and HRH Elizabeth II (majestic Helen Mirren) and their back-channels affair.
  55. Jafar Panahi's Taxi looks onto a world where the social order and the spiritual order are at odds, in flux, where the conversations are sometimes cutting, sometimes comic, sometimes troubled, sometimes profound.
  56. This psycho-thriller, a Golden Globe winner and presumptive favorite for the foreign-film Oscar, itself is revelatory.
  57. An eerily quiet, bracingly bloody, and expertly laid-out adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel.
  58. If vigilance and preemption, recompense and retaliation is not enough, the film asks, then what is?
  59. Ida
    A road trip at once tragic, hopeful, and unforgettable.
  60. It's transformative.
  61. It's been a long time since a film has conveyed a culture, and a sense of place, with such telling precision. At the same time, Winter's Bone thrums with suspense.
  62. Elkabetz, alternately resigned and raging, stoic and sad, bitter humor in her eyes, is riveting. Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem takes its time to unfold, but like its star, the film presents its case in powerful, persuasive ways.
  63. It's an occasion for welcoming a restoration that transforms a flawed movie, one that was touched by greatness, into a masterpiece.
  64. A bracing, unblinking work that serves as a painful elegy and sobering cautionary tale.
  65. Her
    Sad, funny, and quietly alarming romance.
  66. Though not as great as "Toy Story 2" and "Monsters, Inc.," Pixar movies that are the gold standard for family movies, Finding Nemo is visually entrancing.
  67. A triumph.
  68. So jaw-droppingly out there, so bracingly bizarre, and, much of the time, so fall-over-funny that even its flaws don't matter. Easily the oddest movie of the year, it is also one of the best.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  69. It's great to see an American filmmaker - and a successful one at that - willing to simply train his cameras on the actors and let them, and their characters, come to life.
  70. A movie with the sweet soul of "Toy Story" and the boisterous spirit of "Spy Kids."
  71. If Malik doesn't remind you of Al Pacino's Michael Corleone on his journey from innocence to corruption in "The Godfather" saga, well . . . he should. A Prophet is similarly, startlingly momentous.
  72. Crowe is so good on mood and milieu that when Elton John's bubblegum ballad "Tiny Dancer" swells on the soundtrack, in this context it sounds like a hymn.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  73. The film has the dog-eared look of a homemade valentine and the improvised sound of '60s jazz, courtesy of a score by Mark Suozzo and a spirited soundtrack including Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar," which might be the film's anthem.
  74. At its best it is one of the most dynamic movies from a most dynamic filmmaker, now 76.
  75. Like its lead Royalty Hightower, whose performance is just as spectacular as her name, The Fits is impossible to look away from. It's gorgeous, poetic, and opaque, and I've never seen any other movie like it.
  76. It's Greengrass' way of asking a question that looms large in these post-9/11 days: Are we all praying to the same God, or is one man's God better than another, and one man's God vastly more terrifying?
  77. George Miller's Fury Road is a hundred things at once: a biker movie, a spaghetti western, a post-apocalyptic dystopian action pic, a tale of female empowerment (The Vagina Monologues' Eve Ensler was a consultant on set), a Bosch painting made scary 3D real, a Keystone Kops screwball romp, and an auto show from hell.
  78. Isn't like the classic Japanese drama "Rashomon," which suggested that one person's perspective of an event gave him a different truth from the person standing elsewhere.
  79. Big hair. Big mouths. Big scams. Everything about American Hustle, David O. Russell's wild and woolly take on the late-'70s FBI sting operation code-named Abscam, is big. And the biggest thing of all is the love story that beats at the heart of this rollicking disco-era ensemble piece.
  80. A visually dazzling mood piece.
  81. Paterson is easily one of Jarmusch’s most accomplished films. He portrays the life of the mind and the workings of the creative soul as a kind of secret love affair, a deep, hidden well inside the most ordinary, mundane existence.
  82. Persepolis, the superb film based on Satrapi's graphic memoirs of the same name, is a riveting odyssey in pictures and words. It's unlike any journal you've read or any animated movie you've seen.
  83. This year's must-see film.
  84. Lives is a best-foreign-film nominee competing in a year that at least three movies in this category are stronger than Oscar's best-picture contenders.
  85. It's action opera, sword-and-sorcery song-and-dance, and it's a heart-pumping, jaw-dropping thrill. OK, so I kind of like the thing.
  86. He had the fearlessness of a 104-story man and something more than a daredevil's brass.
  87. Pitch-perfect and profoundly moving.
  88. Baron Cohen brings scary conviction to the performance.
  89. Strictly speaking, Elle is a comedy, a blacker-than-death social satire about bourgeois values, set in contemporary Paris. It’s viciously, demonically funny in parts.
  90. Offers a crushing view of humanity at its most desperate, and a view of one man's fevered efforts to find grace and dignity amid the horror.
  91. The Dardennes are aces at these small-scale human dramas, and Two Days, One Night is almost without flaw.
  92. Lucid, concise and devastating account of what went wrong in Iraq, patiently counts those 500 ways.
  93. There is intrigue. There is suspense. Guilt - a man's guilt, a nation's - hangs heavy in the air.
  94. A quietly soulful study of two very different men.
  95. Selma may be flawed, even spurious at points. But in its larger portrait of a man of dignity, purpose, and courage, and in Oyelowo's performance as that man, the film rings true.
  96. Strangely, wonderfully, The Artist feels as bold and innovative a moviegoing experience as James Cameron's bells-and-whistles Avatar did a couple of years ago. Retro becomes nuevo. Quaint becomes cool.
  97. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  98. One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
  99. This simple story of a Guy and a Girl and their music is very appealing.
  100. One of the rare rock films that produces the effect of a live concert: After each number, the audience erupts into applause.

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