Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,542 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 Red Army
Lowest review score: 0 A Little Bit of Heaven
Score distribution:
3,542 movie reviews
  1. It's an occasion for welcoming a restoration that transforms a flawed movie, one that was touched by greatness, into a masterpiece.
  2. 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.
  3. Calvary is also just jaw-droppingly beautiful. McDonagh and cinematographer Larry Smith capture the four-seasons-in-one-day miracle that is Ireland, with its jagged stonescapes, roiling surf, fairie towns, and bracing skies.
  4. Courageous, shattering and exceptional documentary.
  5. 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.
  6. A somber piece of film poetry about men so invested in a rigid notion of honor and revenge they become trapped in an endless loop of violence.
  7. Gorgeous, and full of bittersweet whimsy.
  8. A captivating cine-memoir, impressionistic and surrealistic, surveying Varda's formidable career as a still photographer, filmmaker, documentarian, and life force.
  9. Kings and Queen, full of passion and humor, madness and grief, is close to a masterpiece. It's like life: messy, impossible, elating, unavoidable.
  10. An overpowering and original piece of bravura filmmaking that constitutes one of the most breathtaking and impressive directing debuts in years.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  11. The usual complaints and caveats about Anderson - he's precious, his characters have no grounding in the real world - can be made about Moonrise Kingdom, but so what? This is his seventh feature, he has been working with a gang of collaborators in front of the camera and behind, and his worldview gets richer, and more revealing, even as the view from his lens gets smaller, closer, almost two-dimensional in its oddball tableaux.
  12. Moves from its protagonist's dream state to her memories to her waking present in imperceptible shifts - the effect is disorienting, at first, but ingenious.
  13. A visually dazzling mood piece.
  14. 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.
  15. It's a quietly powerful work, pulsing with gentle humor and a gripping sense of imminent calamity and dread.
  16. Crazy Heart is the real thing, and a real gem.
  17. Like Hitchcock, only creepier, Haneke slowly cranks up the suspense.
  18. A triumph.
  19. This heartbreaking film, with its rich performances and simple eloquence, lays claim to greatness.
  20. Under Hooper's deft direction, it packs the suspense of a thriller.
  21. 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.
  22. That is the sum of writer/director Steven Knight's movie: a man, a car, a hands-free mobile device. And it is extraordinary.
  23. Unstoppable fun.
  24. 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.
  25. This year's must-see film.
  26. The movie is, start to finish, candy-colored angst.
  27. It's aimed at adults as much as children, with jokes that work on multiple levels, and contraptions.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  28. The first date that James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus embark on in Enough Said - has to be one of the great getting-to-know-you encounters in movie history.
  29. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  30. 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.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  31. Yun's performance is remarkable. The journey Mija takes is painful and hard and - for us, watching - sublime.
  32. Captain Phillips is harrowing, inspiring, a must-see piece of moviemaking.
  33. At turns funny, sweet, sad, trenchant and telling. It's a gem.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Moore is nominated this year, and whether she wins or not, her performance deserves attention. It is one of this very fine actress' defining roles. And it resonates with humanity and heartbreak.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Take Shelter, which, it should be said, boasts haunting but seamless visual effects, is a movie for this moment in time, this moment in our lives.
  41. The film's climax involves a father and son reunion that is tense, tragic and, finally, as transcendent as Mohammad himself.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  42. Wily, sad, funny, and full of life.
  43. It's a masterpiece.
  44. A powerful film.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  48. Offers a view of war that is anything but epic. Instead of sweeping battles and swooping fighter planes, in Lebanon we are brought into the impossibly claustrophobic world of a lone tank crew.
  49. For two hours I felt like a kitten chasing an elusive ball of catnip that remained just beyond my paw.
  50. Manages the rare feat of being both bleak and deeply rewarding.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. Wild and woolly, the movie is a breathtaking head trip that hails from a long tradition of backstage melodramas: "42nd Street," "A Star Is Born," "All About Eve," and, yes, that kitschy '90s relic, "Showgirls."
  52. 13 Assassins is, at turns, thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged.
  53. Undeniable asset of an A list cast.
  54. There is incredible tension in this ordeal, this effort to survive, to find rescue, and Redford - an icon of the American film experience for more than half a century now - makes that tension deeply palpable.
  55. It's a relentless and relentlessly funny game of one-upmanship as the two men, playing somewhat exaggerated versions of themselves, roam the hills and dales, posh inns and poetic ruins of England's Lake District.
  56. A movie like Everlasting Moments comes along maybe once in a decade.
  57. A pitch-perfect portrait of a man full of inspiration and ambition - and full of himself.
  58. Wendy and Lucy is modest, minimalist. But it nonetheless reverberates like a sonic boom.
  59. Sunnier and sillier than most of Allen's recent work, makes its belly laughs heartwarming. It's a most winning movie about losers.
  60. A knockout...So feverish is Fight Club...that thermometer contact might make mercury shatter.
  61. Foxcatcher is a story of wealth and the lack of it, of family connection and disconnection. But more than anything, it is a story of a mind unraveling. The result is devastating drama for those of us looking on.
  62. Beasts of the Southern Wild transports us to places that are peculiar and dangerous and magical, and makes us feel weirdly at home.
  63. Her
    Sad, funny, and quietly alarming romance.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Funny, furious, and full of front-office drama.
  68. A feel-good movie, in the absolute best sense.
  69. One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
  70. There is nothing sentimental or picturesque about the performances or imagery. The word that best describes both is elemental.
  71. In his own profound and ingenious way, Panh has brought the pictures and the thoughts together again.
  72. 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.
  73. Witty and wonderful, Fantastic Mr. Fox is the perfect Thanksgiving entertainment.
  74. A baseball movie, a stranger-in-a-strange-land movie, a movie about real people facing real challenges in the real world, Sugar is all that and more.
  75. 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.
  76. With its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  77. It's strong stuff.
  78. Nebraska is not a breakneck, screwball farce - although it has its moments, like the comical heist of an air compressor from a farmer's barn. Payne's film is loping. It's deadpan, poignant, absurd.
  79. This is the breakthrough work of one of world cinema's most visionary artists.
  80. A beautiful, head-spinning mystery that requires keen attention - and rewards it with a tricky and poetic payoff - The Double Hour is a topflight Euro thriller right up there with "Tell No One."
  81. It's inspired fun.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  82. 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.
  83. A delightful, sharp dramedy that skewers the topic from every angle imaginable.
  84. While its careful pace and seemingly opaque story may not satisfy every moviegoer's appetite, the film's final scene is soaringly, transparently moving.
  85. Easily the best computer-animated feature to come from Hollywood in a long while, Monster House is also one of the weirdest. A creepy-crawly, freak-show Halloween yarn.
  86. Apart from its intriguing religious implications, the film is also a compelling look at the family, community and congregational pillars that support Lior.
  87. Haunting and sad. And absolutely worth seeing.
  88. In many ways, City of Men is like a Portuguese-language version of David Simon's "The Wire."
  89. A romantic comedy for anyone in love with the movies, and anyone, for that matter, who's in love.
  90. A quiet, glistening love story - or not-quite-love story - adapted from Martin's novella of the same name, Shopgirl is such an atypical Hollywood affair that it's almost startling.
  91. Triumphs by taking an elliptical approach that still reaches directly into the very core of genius.
  92. Kinetic and kooky, with a climactic shoot-out at a rail station that's daring in its ridiculousness.
  93. A rocking, rollicking crowd-pleaser.
  94. Control doesn't claim to know the reasons Curtis killed himself. The act of suicide poses the question why, but rarely answers it, leaving the living to wonder, and to grieve. And there's certainly grief to be had in Control, but also joy. Really.
  95. A human-scale comedy that reaches across generations to tickle, connect and embrace.
  96. While Gyllenhaal has playful puppy eyes and energy, his performance as Jack is a blur of mustaches, sideburns and spurs that never achieves the weight of Ledger's.
  97. The pleasure of The Limey lies in watching what actors who have aged like fine wine can do in that world.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There are frightening moments, as when he attacks an elderly woman he thinks is possessed by devils. And revelatory, heartbreaking ones, which can make you think that maybe he is a genius, after all.
  98. Sensual, dreamlike, both intimate and epic, The House of Sand is a cinematic tour de force.
  99. You watch a Miyazaki film with the pie-eyed, gape-mouthed awe of a child being read the most fantastic story and suddenly transported to places previously beyond the limits of imagination. It's quite a trip.

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