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 Black Souls
Lowest review score: 0 Rambo
Score distribution:
3,538 movie reviews
  1. Quite simply, a revelation.
  2. It's a story of global consequences and historic proportions, and of astounding athleticism and synchronicity - and filmmaker Polsky ices it.
  3. A transcendent work from Ireland's Cartoon Saloon studio that's almost wasted on kids.
  4. 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.
  5. A flat-out electrifying experience.
  6. Cinderella Man is not a movie about boxing, but about this boxer who personified the heart and hope of 1935.
  7. A bracing, unblinking work that serves as a painful elegy and sobering cautionary tale.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. It's a stunning Roman triumph.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  11. 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.
  12. If vigilance and preemption, recompense and retaliation is not enough, the film asks, then what is?
  13. Beautifully observed, and beautifully acted by the novice thespian Polanco (culled from a New York City public school), Chop Shop is at once a heartbreaker and a story of hope and the American Dream.
  14. Pitch-perfect and profoundly moving.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Spoofy and sweet... endearingly old-fashioned.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  18. It is, without doubt, a transcendent endeavor, from its exhilaratingly smart screenplay - director David O. Russell's adaptation of the novel by former South Jersey teacher Matthew Quick - to the unexpected and moving turns of its two leads.
  19. Without doubt one of the scariest, creepiest, gut-churningly unsettling pictures to come along in ages.
  20. A quietly soulful study of two very different men.
  21. A profound and deeply moving exploration of facing death with dignity.
  22. An awesome cinema spectacle.
  23. The real 3-D experience of the season is Pina, Wim Wenders' shockingly beautiful and moving tribute to the late German choreographer Pina Bausch.
  24. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, look out: a movie that rocks and rolls, that transports, startles, delights, shocks, seduces. A movie that is, quite simply, great.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Explosively exciting film.
  25. It's an observation of crushing truth.
  26. With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights.
  27. Toy Story 2, like its forebear, will stand the test of time.
  28. 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.
  29. Exhilarating, edgy and wryly comic.
  30. The triumphant masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa's fertile twilight.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  31. Simply the best adaptation of any John le Carré thriller to make it to the screen.
  32. 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.
  33. Gripping, hair-raising documentary.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Still, somehow, The Tree of Life - impressionistic, revelatory, elliptical - works.
  37. 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.
  38. A transcendent political poem as intellectually rigorous as it is beautiful.
  39. Has a slow-burning emotional power.
  40. 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.
  41. One of the finest pieces of screen acting in the career of Juliette Binoche -- the actress playing the actress in this extraordinary film.
  42. Wildly sad, funny and terrific documentary.
  43. A profoundly unnerving historical document.
  44. Up
    The exhilarating film pays tribute to Buster Keaton's "The Balloonatic" by way of its slapstick, and to Hayao Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle" by way of its watercolor palette and traveling domicile.
  45. A riveting sci-fi investigation into humankind's experiments with A.I. (with pages from Spike Jonze's Her and Stanley Kubrick's 2001), Ex Machina marks the extremely able directing debut of British writer Alex Garland, of the novels "The Beach" and "The Tesseract," and of the screenplays for Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later" . . . and "Sunshine."
  46. 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.
  47. A dazzling costume epic, a spectacle for the eyes and for the soul.
  48. Most of all, it is the improbably entertaining story of how new media are altering the very nature of courtship and friendship.
  49. Amour arrives with plaudits and praise. But this is not hype, it is all deserved. This is a masterpiece.
  50. Werner Herzog's magnificent tragedy, Grizzly Man, a Shakespearean character study that packs the sheer terror of "The Blair Witch Project."
  51. Smart, suspenseful, satisfyingly unpredictable.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  52. 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.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  53. Clooney has never been better, subtler, more deeply rooted in a performance than he is in The Descendants. And he's funny, too.
  54. The humor of the script constantly confounds expectations, and yet Shrek still manages to say all the right things to children.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  55. Ryan may not be admirable, but Clooney makes him relatable. It's his deepest and nakedest performance.
  56. 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.
  57. Brilliant, blistering account of the many ways fame deforms a star, his family and his fans.
  58. Ida
    A road trip at once tragic, hopeful, and unforgettable.
  59. 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.
  60. 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?
  61. This psycho-thriller, a Golden Globe winner and presumptive favorite for the foreign-film Oscar, itself is revelatory.
  62. A movie with the sweet soul of "Toy Story" and the boisterous spirit of "Spy Kids."
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. As lovingly written as it is beautifully rendered.
  66. Washington blows you away. To say he gives the performance of his career is an understatement.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  67. A quiet, heart-rending masterpiece, one with an actor's turn that people will remember, and rediscover, eons into the future.
  68. Mud
    Mud is steeped in a sense of place, and the people inhabiting it. Southern. Superstitious. Suspenseful. Sublime.
  69. This taut cautionary tale explores the dark side of American politics. And leaves the viewer to wonder - if anyone's still wondering - is there a bright side?
  70. One of the rare rock films that produces the effect of a live concert: After each number, the audience erupts into applause.
  71. Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.
  72. It's not a pretty picture. But Food, Inc. is an essential one.
  73. Quiet, rageful indictment of a two-tiered Islamic society.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  74. 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.
  75. Mr. Turner is no barrel of laughs. It's a barrel of life - an extraordinary one.
  76. 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.
  77. 35 Shots of Rum is visual poetry, but poetry that examines the human condition with insight and illumination.
  78. A standout.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  79. A tale of horror, heroism, unimaginable physical challenges, and, yes, cannibalism, Stranded offers the kind of real-life drama that can't help but bring up notions of God, fate, and nature's imposing will.
  80. The Salt of the Earth, has the power to draw you into its world, transfix, and perhaps eventually transform you.
  81. Is it dumb to say, "Wow?"...I don't care. Wow.
  82. Wickedly smart and wickedly playful, Roman Polanski's adaptation of David Ives' Tony-nominated Venus in Fur works on so many levels, it's almost dizzying.
  83. Blue Is the Warmest Color explores a life with a depth and force that would be scary - if it weren't so scarily good.
  84. With its feverish, percussive soundtrack and bravura cinematography, is like a bolt from the blue, chock-full of unexpected delight.
  85. 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.
  86. We feel it, in our hearts. And therein lies the great power of this small, wise film.
  87. A monumental achievement that documents a coordinated and complicated response to a monumental tragedy.
  88. 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.
  89. Sustaining illusion with marvelous grace is, in a nutshell, exactly what Anderson is all about.
  90. Remarkable movie.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  91. Fulfills the promise of its title: It's transporting, it's magical.
  92. 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.
  93. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  94. A feast for the eyes and succor for the soul.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  95. This sad, staggering drama should be seen: out of the grimness, and the profound calamity, you can almost taste life in your mouth.
  96. 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.
  97. It shows us the everyday pressures and problems, the joys and pleasures, experienced by someone moving through life. And then that BART train pulls into Fruitvale, and the rest is history.
  98. Intimate as a whisper, immediate as a blush, and universal as first love, the PG-rated film positively palpitates with the sensual and spiritual.
  99. While White Material is very much the story of this one woman, it is also a story of postcolonial Africa, a place where Europeans staked their claim, and where disorder and destruction upended everything. A mournful, frightening, powerful film.

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