Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,286 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 6.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Lowest review score: 0 A Little Bit of Heaven
Score distribution:
3,286 movie reviews
  1. One of the rare rock films that produces the effect of a live concert: After each number, the audience erupts into applause.
  2. A triumph.
  3. As irresistible as Chan is irrepressible. In a movie season in which, it seems, all the blockbusters boast wheels, it's a treat to see a movie that has legs.
  4. A feast for the eyes and succor for the soul.
  5. Washington blows you away. To say he gives the performance of his career is an understatement.
  6. Smart, suspenseful, satisfyingly unpredictable.
  7. Spoofy and sweet... endearingly old-fashioned.
  8. Undeniable asset of an A list cast.
  9. The film's climax involves a father and son reunion that is tense, tragic and, finally, as transcendent as Mohammad himself.
  10. A profound and deeply moving exploration of facing death with dignity.
  11. A powerful film.
  12. The movie may be the meditation of an old man, but rarely has a supreme artist's twilight been so richly illuminating. Faithless makes other films on the same subject seem clueless.
  13. Girl on the Bridge, with its doomed art-house romanticism and echoes of Fellini, may not be the deepest piece of filmmaking out there now, but it is easily the most intoxicating. Take the leap.
  14. One of the finest pieces of screen acting in the career of Juliette Binoche -- the actress playing the actress in this extraordinary film.
  15. We feel it, in our hearts. And therein lies the great power of this small, wise film.
  16. Has a slow-burning emotional power.
  17. Manages the rare feat of being both bleak and deeply rewarding.
  18. Quiet, rageful indictment of a two-tiered Islamic society.
  19. This is a sweet, gentle film - slow and sunny like a summer day, with a message that growing up can be hard, but can also serve as the wellspring of memories that will sustain you for a lifetime.
  20. An overpowering and original piece of bravura filmmaking that constitutes one of the most breathtaking and impressive directing debuts in years.
  21. Wildly sad, funny and terrific documentary.
  22. It's inspired fun.
  23. Remarkable movie.
  24. The triumphant masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa's fertile twilight.
  25. A feel-good movie, in the absolute best sense.
  26. It's an occasion for welcoming a restoration that transforms a flawed movie, one that was touched by greatness, into a masterpiece.
  27. 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.
  28. It's aimed at adults as much as children, with jokes that work on multiple levels, and contraptions.
  29. Toy Story 2, like its forebear, will stand the test of time.
  30. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  31. A beautiful, appropriately loping little gem about growing older, daring to take risks and follow your heart. That probably sounds corny, and The Straight Story is.
  32. That rare thing, a Hollywood teen flick transfigured into something like pubescent scripture: In the beginning, there was lust; in the end, there is knowledge.
  33. When it comes to the realistic portrayal of the complex process of grief, most actresses are at a loss. Sissy Spacek is decidedly not most actresses.
  34. A quiet, heart-rending masterpiece, one with an actor's turn that people will remember, and rediscover, eons into the future.
  35. An awesome cinema spectacle.
  36. Sunnier and sillier than most of Allen's recent work, makes its belly laughs heartwarming. It's a most winning movie about losers.
  37. With its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.
  38. 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.
  39. A bracing, unblinking work that serves as a painful elegy and sobering cautionary tale.
  40. It's a stunning Roman triumph.
  41. A flat-out electrifying experience.
  42. An elusive and profoundly moving essay about the stages of amour and of age. Like the best of Godard's movies -- and I haven't been sucked into one since "Passion" (1982) -- it is visually ravishing, penetrating, impenetrable.
  43. Aronofsky has fashioned a chilling vision that lives up to the caustic irony of its title and gives us a nightmare that is not lightly forgotten.
  44. The humor of the script constantly confounds expectations, and yet Shrek still manages to say all the right things to children.
  45. 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.
  46. With its feverish, percussive soundtrack and bravura cinematography, is like a bolt from the blue, chock-full of unexpected delight.
  47. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  48. A knockout...So feverish is Fight Club...that thermometer contact might make mercury shatter.
  49. A standout.
  50. The movie is, start to finish, candy-colored angst.
  51. This year's must-see film.
  52. This sad, staggering drama should be seen: out of the grimness, and the profound calamity, you can almost taste life in your mouth.
  53. Not only is it the best documentary in a vintage season for nonfiction films (see "American Splendor," "Capturing the Friedmans," and "Spellbound"), it's also one of the best films of the year. It's as lyrical about the particulars of Kahn as it is about the universals of fathers and sons.
  54. 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.
  55. A beautiful eyeful of puckish whimsy and dark-humored mystery, Hukkle (it means hiccup in Hungarian) is a little gem in which nature and humankind commingle, where coincidence and causality collide in a chain of odd, even murderous, events.
  56. It's a masterpiece.
  57. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  58. At turns funny, sweet, sad, trenchant and telling. It's a gem.
  59. It's strong stuff.
  60. 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.
  61. Moreno, with her wide, watchful eyes, owns the camera - and the film. Her performance is perfectly natural and profoundly moving. Maria Full of Grace is a remarkable picture, full of suspense and discovery.
  62. Without doubt one of the scariest, creepiest, gut-churningly unsettling pictures to come along in ages.
  63. Exhilarating, edgy and wryly comic.
  64. 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.
  65. A movie with the sweet soul of "Toy Story" and the boisterous spirit of "Spy Kids."
  66. This heartbreaking film, with its rich performances and simple eloquence, lays claim to greatness.
  67. Fulfills the promise of its title: It's transporting, it's magical.
  68. It's a quietly powerful work, pulsing with gentle humor and a gripping sense of imminent calamity and dread.
  69. Brilliant, blistering account of the many ways fame deforms a star, his family and his fans.
  70. With no-nonsense narration by Peter Coyote and a soundtrack that's at once apt, ironic and really, really good, The Smartest Guys in the Room is anything but a dry dissection of a major Wall Street debacle.
  71. Kings and Queen, full of passion and humor, madness and grief, is close to a masterpiece. It's like life: messy, impossible, elating, unavoidable.
  72. Cinderella Man is not a movie about boxing, but about this boxer who personified the heart and hope of 1935.
  73. A mischievously inventive, surreal entertainment, one that celebrates not only Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight and Nutty Crunch Surprise but Busby Berkeley, Stanley Kubrick, the Beatles, and the outer-space acting choices of one Johnny Depp - not to mention those bushy-tailed rodents in all their bustling splendor.
  74. Werner Herzog's magnificent tragedy, Grizzly Man, a Shakespearean character study that packs the sheer terror of "The Blair Witch Project."
  75. Simply the best adaptation of any John le Carré thriller to make it to the screen.
  76. A visually dazzling mood piece.
  77. For two hours I felt like a kitten chasing an elusive ball of catnip that remained just beyond my paw.
  78. 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.
  79. Wily, sad, funny, and full of life.
  80. Whether it's simply the change of locale, or a change in Allen's psyche, something is up in Match Point. With a dark view of humankind, and of the vagaries of chance - bad luck, good luck, dumb luck - the filmmaker has crafted a wicked, winning gem.
  81. Like Hitchcock, only creepier, Haneke slowly cranks up the suspense.
  82. It's impossible to imagine anyone, right-leaning or left, coming away from this hugely important documentary unshaken by its representation of the United States and its military establishment.
  83. If that sounds highbrow and pretentious, it's not. The neat trick of Tristram Shandy is that the whole thing comes off as a lark.
  84. At the film's intimate best, it gives a guitar's perspective of the troubadour. He plucks his instrument as he plays our heartstrings. It's movie and music bliss.
  85. A quiet, loopy gem, Duck Season is a goofball celebration of old friends, new beginnings, adolescent freedom, and baked goods laced with a little something extra.
  86. 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?
  87. Profound, passionate and overflowing with incomparable beauty, Water, like the prior two films in director Deepa Mehta's "Elements" trilogy, celebrates the lives of women who resist marginalization by Indian society.
  88. 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.
  89. Courageous, shattering and exceptional documentary.
  90. 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.
  91. One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
  92. A dazzling costume epic, a spectacle for the eyes and for the soul.
  93. This is the breakthrough work of one of world cinema's most visionary artists.
  94. 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.
  95. For Piaf fans, La Vie en Rose is a must-see. For fans yet-to-be, Dahan and Cotillard's film is an opportunity rich with discovery.
  96. Unstoppable fun.
  97. Quite simply, a revelation.
  98. Throughout the film its makers pose the question of whether saving a work of art is as important as saving a human life. The question is not answered, and perhaps ultimately unanswerable. Yet Europa movingly shows how for many, art and artifacts are living things.
  99. A wicked deconstruction of a dysfunctional clan: brothers at each other's throats; a father whose legacy is anger and betrayal; an unfaithful wife; a history of deceit. It's a horror show of hatred and festering psychic wounds.
  100. 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.

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