Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,912 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 5.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Lost in Translation
Lowest review score: 0 A Little Bit of Heaven
Score distribution:
3912 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. We feel it, in our hearts. And therein lies the great power of this small, wise film.
  3. A monumental achievement that documents a coordinated and complicated response to a monumental tragedy.
  4. 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.
  5. Its historical influence aside, Dragon Inn delivers pure cinematic pleasure. I'm not sure it can be overpraised.
  6. Sustaining illusion with marvelous grace is, in a nutshell, exactly what Anderson is all about.
  7. Remarkable movie.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  8. Fulfills the promise of its title: It's transporting, it's magical.
  9. 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.
  10. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  11. A feast for the eyes and succor for the soul.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  12. Symphonic and cinematic, full of melancholy and hushed magic.
  13. This sad, staggering drama should be seen: out of the grimness, and the profound calamity, you can almost taste life in your mouth.
  14. Amy
    Asif Kapadia's extraordinary documentary, Amy, is filled with similarly soul-stirring, heartbreaking moments.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Intimate as a whisper, immediate as a blush, and universal as first love, the PG-rated film positively palpitates with the sensual and spiritual.
  18. 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.
  19. It's an occasion for welcoming a restoration that transforms a flawed movie, one that was touched by greatness, into a masterpiece.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Courageous, shattering and exceptional documentary.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Gorgeous, and full of bittersweet whimsy.
  26. A captivating cine-memoir, impressionistic and surrealistic, surveying Varda's formidable career as a still photographer, filmmaker, documentarian, and life force.
  27. Kings and Queen, full of passion and humor, madness and grief, is close to a masterpiece. It's like life: messy, impossible, elating, unavoidable.
  28. An overpowering and original piece of bravura filmmaking that constitutes one of the most breathtaking and impressive directing debuts in years.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. A visually dazzling mood piece.
  32. 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.
  33. It's a quietly powerful work, pulsing with gentle humor and a gripping sense of imminent calamity and dread.
  34. Crazy Heart is the real thing, and a real gem.
  35. The Lobster is what would happen if Wes Anderson set about doing Franz Kafka, with a hefty dash of George Orwell thrown into the mix: surreal, comic, sad, strange, beautiful, sublime.
  36. Like Hitchcock, only creepier, Haneke slowly cranks up the suspense.
  37. A triumph.
  38. This heartbreaking film, with its rich performances and simple eloquence, lays claim to greatness.
  39. Under Hooper's deft direction, it packs the suspense of a thriller.
  40. 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.
  41. That is the sum of writer/director Steven Knight's movie: a man, a car, a hands-free mobile device. And it is extraordinary.
  42. Unstoppable fun.
  43. 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.
  44. This year's must-see film.
  45. The movie is, start to finish, candy-colored angst.
  46. It's aimed at adults as much as children, with jokes that work on multiple levels, and contraptions.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  47. 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.
  48. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  49. 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
  50. An immensely rich, deeply felt exploration of human relationships that draws you in and holds you fast for nearly three hours.
  51. Yun's performance is remarkable. The journey Mija takes is painful and hard and - for us, watching - sublime.
  52. Captain Phillips is harrowing, inspiring, a must-see piece of moviemaking.
  53. At turns funny, sweet, sad, trenchant and telling. It's a gem.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. Some of it is wistful, some of it whimsical, but it's all wonderful, impossibly so.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. The film's climax involves a father and son reunion that is tense, tragic and, finally, as transcendent as Mohammad himself.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  63. Wily, sad, funny, and full of life.
  64. It's a masterpiece.
  65. A powerful film.
  66. 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.
  67. Inside Out is the first psychological thriller that's fun for the whole family. Really psychological. And really fun.
  68. 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.
  69. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  70. 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.
  71. For two hours I felt like a kitten chasing an elusive ball of catnip that remained just beyond my paw.
  72. Manages the rare feat of being both bleak and deeply rewarding.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  73. 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."
  74. 13 Assassins is, at turns, thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged.
  75. Undeniable asset of an A list cast.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. A movie like Everlasting Moments comes along maybe once in a decade.
  79. A pitch-perfect portrait of a man full of inspiration and ambition - and full of himself.
  80. Wendy and Lucy is modest, minimalist. But it nonetheless reverberates like a sonic boom.
  81. Sunnier and sillier than most of Allen's recent work, makes its belly laughs heartwarming. It's a most winning movie about losers.
  82. A knockout...So feverish is Fight Club...that thermometer contact might make mercury shatter.
  83. There is intrigue. There is suspense. Guilt - a man's guilt, a nation's - hangs heavy in the air.
  84. 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.
  85. Beasts of the Southern Wild transports us to places that are peculiar and dangerous and magical, and makes us feel weirdly at home.
  86. Her
    Sad, funny, and quietly alarming romance.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. Lindholm's mastery of film form is matched by his willingness to engage with some of the most intractable moral quandaries that haunt contemporary life.
  91. Funny, furious, and full of front-office drama.
  92. A feel-good movie, in the absolute best sense.
  93. I’m Not Your Negro is an unforgettable work. Baldwin’s words – eloquently spoken by Samuel Jackson – will haunt you.
  94. One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
  95. There is nothing sentimental or picturesque about the performances or imagery. The word that best describes both is elemental.
  96. In his own profound and ingenious way, Panh has brought the pictures and the thoughts together again.
  97. 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.
  98. Witty and wonderful, Fantastic Mr. Fox is the perfect Thanksgiving entertainment.
  99. 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.
  100. And Bridges? What's there to say about a man who makes it look so easy, and who - in one breathless, pivotal scene - runs through a range of emotion like a wild pony running across the land. Genius, any way you look at it.

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