Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,930 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 Moonlight
Lowest review score: 0 The Mangler
Score distribution:
3930 movie reviews
  1. If you can tolerate the redneck-versus-blueblood cliches that the film trades in, Sweet Home Alabama is diverting in the manner of Jeff Foxworthy's stand-up act.
  2. The moral of Taken 2? If you're going on a family vacation, be sure that the human-trafficking ring you put out of business in that far more satisfying and suspenseful thriller from a few years ago doesn't know how to find you.
  3. Aimed at teens and tweens, the almost-squeaky-clean Step Up 3-D shamelessly piles on the corn, stacking it so high that it's bound to tilt over and collapse.
  4. Most gaspworthy is that this raunchy, transgressive comedy about would-be adulterers turns out to be a hot, wet reaffirmation of marriage.
  5. 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.
  6. Visually dazzling but ultimately dizzying ride, a trippy suspenser that gets tripped up on its own deja vu voodoo.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Partly because of Caine and partly because of meticulous work by veteran director Norman Jewison, The Statement is a fiction done so effectively, it rings true -- even slick lines that may otherwise be rancid.
  7. An unmitigated, inexplicable, unforgivable flop.
  8. 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.
  9. Two Night Stand, is a clever, if uneven, romcom about Generation Y's conflicted, paradoxical views of sex and love. Featuring strong dialogue and terrific performances, the film has moments of near-brilliance, but falls apart with a lame, conventional ending.
  10. Surrogates, which borrows tone and content freely from "I, Robot," is all windup and no pitch.
  11. For its amusing premise, Fanboys is scarily flat.
  12. For a film that strives so hard to show the sheer messiness of real people's lives, Burning Plain does have an impossibly neat ending.
  13. The playwright, actor, director and drag queen (yes, his bewigged and be wild Madea makes a brief and totally gratuitous appearance in his new film) knows how to give human dimension, and a dimension of humor, to the cliches and stereotypes.
  14. Keener makes this sometimes inert but always intimate tale of love and ambition burst with dynamic energy. Keener doesn't just have attitude, she has maditude.
  15. One moment it's farcical comedy, the next it's gruesome melodrama. The movie never finds the right tone.
  16. A coming-of-age film that has the jaunty mood and egg-cream flavor of a Philip Roth memoir.
  17. Bobby Jones plays out much like a round of golf - slow, old-fashioned, tediously long, and lacking in drama.
  18. A mid-point twist is particularly ridiculous, and in an attempt to reconcile this turning point, the final act of the movie becomes a mess.
  19. For soccer aficionados, Kicking & Screaming boasts some fairly cool play, courtesy of Alessandro Ruggiero and Francesco Liotti, two kids who play "the Italians."
  20. Hesher has its genuinely affecting scenes, but too much of the time it feels false and shallow.
  21. Someone should check Joe Carnahan for performance enhancement drugs. Smokin' Aces, the wild ride of a movie he scripted and directed, is so pumped up, manic and mayhem-packed that it practically shoots sweat off the screen.
  22. A likably energetic star vehicle for English sports god Vinnie Jones.
  23. Secret in Their Eyes is notable for its top-tier cast - Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are the leads - and for its utter lack of credulity and good sense.
  24. The glaring weakness of Country Strong is James, underwritten and ambiguous, more like Kelly's pimp than her manager.
  25. The trailers already have given away the "surprise" cameos in The Expendables, so try not to blink when Stallone goes into a church (shades of John Woo) to meet his mystery boss, played by a bald-pated, trademark smirking Bruce Willis.
  26. There's nothing Disneyesque about this bomb except the forced levity of its musical score.
  27. 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").
  28. 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.
  29. A loving ode to screwball comedies from the Golden Age of Hollywood that never approaches the films it pays homage to.
  30. The 3D effects are of a gimmicky 1956 vintage, with hands thrusting from the screen to give the illusion of reaching out and touching the audience.
  31. This one has some originality, even though it unfolds like Ingmar Bergman's divorce melodrama "Scenes From a Marriage" - without the marriage.
  32. A casualty of its own clumsy storytelling.
  33. A meditation on guilt, remorse and redemption -- is unrelentingly heavy.
  34. What this arid and arty exercise offers is the opportunity for a bunch of actors, many of them tethered to TV series, to deliver theatrical monologues pulsing with misogyny and narcissism. It's like second-rate Neil Labute.
  35. Well-intentioned if cloying, Miracles from Heaven has an appealing cast and an accessible take on spirituality.
  36. Despite the appeal of cobra-eyed Thornton and bunny-nosed Heder, Scoundrels trips early, and often.
  37. For the first half-hour I, too, demurred. And then the irresistible force that is Hugh Jackman -- or was it his swoony Leopold? -- swept me off my seat and into the movie.
  38. Not up to the freshness and inventiveness of its predecessors.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  39. While the movie is content to be merely atmospheric, the performances convince you that here are two misfits who might be a perfect fit.
  40. Though one wishes Graff's eye were as developed as his keen ear, he elicits rafter-raising musical performances from Latifah, Palmer, and Jordan that are irresistible fun.
  41. By no means is it a great movie, but it is great slapstick fun, one of summer's guilty pleasures.
  42. This movie feels like it has a million jokes, and every single one arrives with a lethal thud.
  43. Krueger's comedy doesn't always spark, but its underlying intelligence - not to mention Graham's eyes - shines through.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Begins to take on a striking resemblance to the infamously bad "Eyes Wide Shut."
  44. Feels thoroughly canned.
  45. A script with the most underdeveloped characters and spectacularly realized visuals since "Titanic."
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  46. The Jacket is both a genre movie and a symptom, a gothic treatment of Gulf War syndrome.
  47. Given this swoon-inducer, Summit Entertainment would be well-advised to set up fainting couches in the multiplex lobby and provide smelling salts to those who need them.
  48. 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.
  49. Handsomely photographed by Eric Schmidt and nicely underplayed by the actors, the film relies too much on its jukebox soundtrack to convey mood.
  50. Completely unappealing people.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. Delivery Man, with its democratic band of half-siblings and its feel-good view of humankind, is what it is: a reproductive remake that will make you laugh. More than once or twice.
  54. Tillman, who made a splash last year with his hip-hop hit "Notorious," does a nice job of calling into question the assumption, shared by most genre films, that vengeance is the only right course of action.
  55. Where Mike Figgis' film, with Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, bore deeply and darkly into emotional territory, The Center of the World turns out to be just as fake as its setting.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  56. No one has done the journey quite like Takeshi Kitano in Kikujiro
  57. Cheerful mishmash.
  58. Watts, who is one of the film's executive producers, brings a taut intelligence to the proceedings, but her character, like Roth's, is more archetype than actual person.
  59. A creaky, cliched, feel-good family drama about learning to stop and smell the roses - and planting a vegetable garden while you're at it - Uncle Nino is shameless, sappy fare.
  60. Hollywood's latest entry in that tried-and-true genre, the disaster movie, is . . . well, it's like . . . a totally gnarly roller-coaster ride!
  61. An innocuously smutty road comedy.
  62. Did I laugh? A handful of times. Did I cringe? For 101 minutes.
  63. An unusually atmospheric outing. Splatter fans may be disappointed, because Nakata isn't interested in a body count.
  64. So suggestively atmospheric is Amelia Vincent's cinematography and Robin Standefer's art direction that mood -- and of course Jackson's performance -- sustains the movie.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  65. 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.
  66. The chief appeal of this affectionate story is its embrace of those who are not thinner, richer and more glamorous than the moviegoers.
  67. A third-generation performer, this daughter of actor-director Ron Howard makes a stunning feature debut.
  68. Cute, cloying and catastrophically predictable.
  69. Entertainingly goofy for about 30 minutes. And then, for the next two hours-plus, it's agony.
  70. Though his film is a tad choppy and a lot chatty, Hindman elicits sympathetic performances from leads who demonstrate a deep understanding of movie physics.
  71. The Bronze, for all its crudeness and lewdness (Melissa Raunch, anyone?) and wonky comedy, is actually a good old-fashioned tale of redemption.
  72. Jobs is a just-the-facts - and fiddling-with-the-facts - dramatization, forgoing any kind of deeper psychological exploration of the man and his motivations, his demons and dreams.
  73. Illuminated by dim candles and the rare glimmer of sun, the movie is grainy, closed-in, and likely to cause spasms of claustrophobia.
  74. The script is boilerplate, the wit pretty much witless.
  75. Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange "Donnie Darko" is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
  76. 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.
  77. Rarely has sex on screen been so aggressively anti-erotic.
  78. Christopher Walken has the best moments in the whole thing, portraying the wacked-out auteur of the Gwen-and-Eddie vehicle. Sadly, he's only in America's Sweethearts a few hilarious minutes.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  79. The best reason to see Along Came Polly is the supporting cast.
  80. 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.
  81. A touching, family-friendly entertainment
  82. Think Jerry Lewis doing Eminem, or maybe it's Eminem doing Jerry Lewis (or maybe it's Pauly Shore doing Vanilla Ice), and you've got B-Rad.
  83. What Eagle Eye wants to do is show us technology's dark side: all the stuff that's there to make our lives easier - ATMs, PDAs, iPods, GPS, cell phones, PCs, "smart" houses - turned against us in a vast conspiracy.
  84. City Slickers I managed to poke fun at the whole Iron John/discover-your- maleness movement at the same time the film was able to embrace it. But while City Slickers II tries for the same mix, it doesn't work. Instead, we get shots of three smelly, unshaven guys getting blubbery and hugging each other. [10 June 1994, p.03]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  85. "Lousy times make lousy people," someone opines, and maybe that's the point Romero's trying to drive home.
  86. Backwards - its title referring to the wisdom that life is lived forward but understood backward - has no forward propulsion.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    This gang of highly skilled dancers (with the guidance of debut director Scott Speer) delivers a sequence of spectacular group numbers that truly pop in 3-D.
  87. Quite literally the blockbuster of the year.
  88. Grant's film plays like a two-hour episode of "Friends" intercut with "Seventh Heaven." Those sounds you hear are wisecrack, heartbreak, heartbreak, wisecrack, wisecrack.
  89. The Omen remake is creepily efficient. Unlike one of the newfangled horrorfests, it doesn't drown you in brackish atmosphere and surround-sound you with techno music.
  90. A comedy about friendship, faith and the acting life, Le Grand Role is unabashedly corny and tear-jerking - and still quite likable.
  91. This violently comic caper has some spunky charm going for it -- but has a lot of self-consciously hip, studied wackiness going against it.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  92. In Jersey Girl, Kevin Smith wears his heart on his sleeve - and on his pants, socks, boxers and backward-facing baseball cap.
  93. It's the emotional equivalent of a big shrug.
  94. Ready-made for Valentine's Day, The Vow is, like the offerings at Cafe Mnemonic, a total sugar overload.
  95. Hot Rod never establishes its own personality.
  96. Don't get me wrong. Angry Birds doesn't depict any on-camera violence against person, bird, or pig. But there's a darkness at the heart of this movie that's hard to reconcile.
  97. Forte and company have managed to make crude and lewd dunderheadedness laugh-out-loud funny here and there, and that, I guess, is something of an achievement.

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