Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,499 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: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Imposter
Lowest review score: 0 Isn't She Great
Score distribution:
3,499 movie reviews
  1. In her byplay with Clooney, Roberts only occasionally strikes a spark. Clooney, on the other hand, generates heat.
  2. Offers a fascinating chronicle of the birth, glory days and waning years of a motorcycle-jacketed, bowl-haircutted quartet of middle-class geeks who unwittingly spawned the punk movement.
  3. Delightfully creepy suspenser.
  4. Has a jumpy, reality-TV kind of feel that adds to the story's sense of unsettling authenticity.
  5. Mongol is great cinema, great fun.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    What it expresses most of all is the sheer fun and joy these experiences can bring.
  6. If Munich raises disturbing issues about Jewish-Arab relations, past and present - and how can it not? - it is also an absolutely riveting tale of the hunt and the hunted.
  7. Leaves you feeling rich - and richly satisfied.
  8. He (Lee) combines the daredeviltry of Buster Keaton with the devil-may-care of Errol Flynn.
  9. Laced with magic-realist bittersweetness.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  10. Corinne's journey begins with an act of blind faith. The movie ends, but you have a palpable sense that the journey does not.
  11. The Golden Door feels, at points, like a silent film - a silent film with CinemaScope vistas and dazzling, saturated color.
  12. Frozen establishes a strong, confident tone: Cool mythology, rich, vivid animation, and 3-D effects that are actually worth seeing, not just migraine-inducing distractions.
  13. The film gracefully telescopes a lot of information in its brief running time.
  14. Affleck is more interested in the people in the midst of the action than he is in the action itself, and that gives this accomplished genre piece considerable and compelling depth.
  15. The filmmaker, whose career took off with a very different sort of Holocaust film, 1990's Oscar-nominated "Europa Europa," understands that most of these stories arrive at a point of unspeakable, incomprehensible horror.
  16. Wildly sad, funny and terrific documentary.
  17. While there are similarities to the hardscrabble saga of "Angela's Ashes," Frears' film avoids the mawkish pitfalls of Alan Parker's screen adaptation.
  18. Rife with dark humor, Little Otik presents a cautionary variation of the creation myth, and a warning that tampering with the natural order of things may not be such a wise idea.
  19. Has an odd magic about it - the magic of Darger's singularly peculiar dreamworld.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ballet 422, a documentary verité, is not for everyone. The expected conventions of plot, dialogue, and action are all but missing, and some viewers may find it slow. But for dance lovers, it is a rare visit to the workings of one of the finest ballet companies in the world.
  20. With its moody, noir lighting and poetic voice-over, Flame rehearses virtually every element of the classic genre piece: violence, sex and romance, gunplay, spies, betrayals, a femme fatale, and a murderous Gestapo officer.
  21. 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.
  22. Einsteinian, Kubrickian, Malickian, Steinbeckian - Interstellar, Christopher Nolan's epically ambitious space opera, is all that. And more. And, alas, less.
  23. Bridge to Terabithia the movie, like the book, is buckets-of-tears sad. Director Csupo and company manage to get that - the simple power of a story about kindred souls, about loss, about the limitless possibilities of a lively mind - just right.
  24. Serrill has shot and edited The Heart of the Game in straightforward documentary style, with a narration by the rapper and actor Ludacris. But the dramas going on here, on and off the court, more than make up for any lack of flash.
  25. Amusing, compelling and technologically fascinating tale.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  26. Washington blows you away. To say he gives the performance of his career is an understatement.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  27. One of those movies where it's impossible not to find yourself cheering for the scruffy underdog hero.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  28. It's not just the grainy stock and bad sound - technically, we've come a long way. It's the cheesy sex, the awkward edits, the hammy symbolism, the mix of art-house aesthetics and exploitation cliché. Strange creature, this is.
  29. Vibrates with exuberance and erudition.
  30. For the most part, Michael Winterbottom's well-intended film, the true story of an idealistic journalist and his gallant wife disinvites emotion by focusing on process at the expense of passion.
  31. Has two or three booming and intense action sequences that may leave the littlest audience members more quaking than charmed. But the notion of having a pet dragon - just like a pet whale, or a pet lion - is a scenario that should appeal to children of all ages.
  32. A riveting documentary.
  33. A slow and knotted-up film, but one imbued with a keen sense of what motivates people beyond mere avarice.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  34. As always, Freeman is a one-man charm offensive.
  35. A powerful indictment of Russia's illegal adoption industry - and a story of pipsqueak resolve and resilience - The Italian is clear-eyed and tough in its depiction of a corrupt, atrophied social order.
  36. Mommy is too long for its own good, its sense of hysteria too relentless. But the headlong energy is intoxicating more than exhausting, and Freud would have a field day with Die and Steve. A mother and child, so sweet, so tender, so terrifying.
  37. Rivette's slow-moving but seamless study of the rituals of courtship has a disarming grace, even as its downcast hero, Depardieu's Gen. Armand de Montriveau, limps around stiffly.
  38. Gorgeous and disturbing, Big Hero 6 is a departure for Disney: a film targeted at older kids, and the studio's first venture into straight-up comic book culture. Walt would flip in his cryogenic chamber if he saw this anime-style production.
  39. Features entertainingly brainy musings from New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman, and comments from child psychologists, friends and Marla collectors.
  40. A throwback in style, pace, and storytelling to the 1970s and the downbeat mood pieces of directors like Bob Rafelson.
  41. A devastating psychological thriller, Prisoners pulls us deep into our worst fear: the Amber Alert. Then it holds us under.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    To say that Sin City is a guy movie - and an often brutally misogynist one, at that - would be an understatement.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    I'd say the movie does a fine job of completing the trilogy, but I wouldn't be surprised if Demme and Young have more in them yet.
  42. Gunnarsson crams his movie with subplots from the novel and then abandons them for lack of room but Seth calibrates the stages of Gustad's journey with infallible judgement and conviction.
  43. Told in a leisurely though concise 92 minutes, Shower is a purifying and refreshing spray of hope that family and lifestyle differences can be reconciled. Lovely.
  44. Gyllenhaal is particularly unsuited to this role, his saucer eyes flashing from calm to crazed.
  45. Joe
    This world feels studied in its "authenticity": the rusted GMC pickup, the tumbledown shack, the boozy brothel, and angry Joe Ransom guttin' deer and tending to his own gunshot wounds with a grimace and a bottle of alcohol.
  46. This sparrow's flight lifts the heart.
  47. Starlet sneaks up on you. Set in the same sun-dried, strip-malled precincts of the San Fernando Valley where "Boogie Nights" took place - and set, in part, in that same porn industry milieu - Sean Baker's low-key, low-budget indie traces the relationship that develops between a young actress and an isolated, elderly woman.
    • 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.
  48. Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis' Lemon Tree is a lively deadpan comedy which, like his prior film "The Syrian Bride," satirizes Israel's bureaucrats while remaining sympathetic to citizens who live within and adjacent to Israel's disputed borders.
  49. 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.
  50. Bold, ambitious -- and ambiguous.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. Tully is at turns heartbreaking and heart-stirring. And it's from the heartland, so I guess that makes perfect sense.
  52. It's “The Wizard of Oz” with a viral infection.
  53. Plays with cultural stereotypes, and upends them as well. The picture starts as one thing and turns, dramatically, movingly, into something else.
  54. A deft, affecting drama about childhood sexual abuse and its lifelong scars.
  55. They are the only misstep in Penn's otherwise sure-footed journey to what he reveals as the heart of lightness.
  56. A rambling depiction of a junkie's descent into zombitude.
  57. This is magnificent filmmaking, and a magnificent film.
  58. Has a certain cartoonish vibe. That's OK, because Brad Bird's brand of toonage (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) owes much to the rigors and traditions of live action, not only in the way he references other films, but also in his visual approach - sweeping, swooping camera pans, wide vistas, jolting perspective.
  59. Ranging in age from 30 to 96, the Berlevag men clearly enjoy being on camera and are unusually candid about their various pasts as Casanovas and hashish addicts.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  60. The pleasure of The Limey lies in watching what actors who have aged like fine wine can do in that world.
  61. A compelling existential tableau: sweating bodies, creaking mills turned by numbed oxen, people facing the daily and seasonal cycles of life with little hope of breaking free. Behind the Sun is forceful stuff.
    • 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
  62. Simple, sweet family fare, and a picture that extols the virtues of comradeship and community in a spunky, spirited fashion.
  63. The narrative at the heart of Rust and Bone is a vehicle for sentiment and over-the-top histrionics if ever there was one, but Audiard and his two stars deliver the exact opposite: a film thrillingly raw and essential, life-affirming, sublime.
  64. In segments such as the Reagle and Clinton interviews, where character is revealed via puzzle style, Wordplay succeeds. The film is less successful when it travels to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
  65. A loopy, surreal, beguiling collage of a film, the writer-director's meta-biopic embraces its subject.
  66. It's human drama, high and mighty.
  67. To be sure, there are goofy flourishes here, the in-jokey, left-field rummies that are the Brothers Coen's stock-in-trade. But this is altogether a quieter, more philosophical sort of endeavor.
  68. You can feel the world closing in, which, I would venture, is exactly how Fassbinder wanted you to feel.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  69. Supremacy has thrills, but without Potente's presence, it loses its soul.
  70. 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.
  71. A Most Wanted Man's cast - a mix of Germans speaking English, Americans speaking English with German accents, Russians, and men and women from the Middle East - is uniformly stellar.
  72. In the end, Arbitrage disappoints a bit. The writing isn't as sharp, or sophisticated, as it needs be. And the cynicism exhibited by Miller and the circle of traders and tycoons he moves in seeps into the fabric of the story itself.
  73. The film billed as the first Disney animation to boast an African American "princess" is really about a resourceful bootstrapper in New Orleans, a young woman allergic to the fairy-tale pap spoon-fed to young girls.
  74. An edgy, disturbing drama.
  75. It's a good story, a sad story, a story of triumph and prejudice and terrible hypocrisy. And Cumberbatch aces it all - another smartly realized but deeply soulful performance from an actor who seemingly can do no wrong.
  76. A cracking police procedural from Belgian director Erik van Looy, has a jaw-dropping premise so smartly executed that if this movie weren't in Flemish I'd swear that Michael Mann had directed it.
  77. Blithely funny and on-the-money movie.
  78. Watts is extraordinary - she manages both the physical and emotional demands of the role, with soul-deep conviction.
  79. A tale of childhood innocence and adult corruption - and the point where the two intersect - I'm Not Scared is a lyrical thriller inspired by the run of kidnappings that befell Italy in the 1970s.
  80. A movie every American should see, although parts of it are close to unwatchable - notably an operating room sequence in which a pair of surgeons performs a gastric bypass, or "obesity surgery," as they like to call it, on a dangerously overweight patient.
  81. Boasts another formidable and fine-tuned performance from the great Charlotte Rampling.
  82. Cold Mountain is the equivalent of comfort food: old-fashioned, earthy (lots of root vegetables), satisfying.
  83. Thanks to a witty script and the recognizably goofy but absolutely earnest delivery of Black, Kung Fu Panda has a human soul, too.
  84. Linklater's film adaptation succeeds in bringing the flamboyant Welles to life.
  85. Blitz captures the melancholy, the rage, the wackiness and drama of adolescence, and he gets winning performances out of his young stars.
  86. While The Forgiveness of Blood lacks the narrative momentum of director Joshua Marston's previous film, "Maria Full of Grace" - it is nonetheless fascinating.
  87. Valérie Donzelli's Declaration of War deals with issues that may scare audiences away. Don't let it.
  88. Violence ignites her passion, dividing her Belfast family.
  89. Has a slow-burning emotional power.
  90. Lovely performances from McDormand, Downey and Richard Knox, who looks uncommonly like Little Richard, as a bar owner named Vernon Hardapple.
  91. An amiable mix of "Grumpy Old Men" comedy and "Apollo 13" can-we-fix-this-jalopy-before-we-die? Drama.
  92. A disturbing and provocative study of adolescence and isolation.
  93. One of the film's cleverest devices is a "Personality Diagnostic Checklist" that equates corporate "serial behaviors" - exploitation, deception, greed, lack of empathy and guilt - with the antisocial makeup of a certifiable psychopath.
  94. And did I mention that it's long? It's long.

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