Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,587 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 5.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Amy
Lowest review score: 0 Rambo
Score distribution:
3,587 movie reviews
  1. A merrily macabre things-we-do-for-love yarn.
  2. It's not so much a miscalculation of his audience by Burton as it is a disregard. What lingers after Frankenweenie, far more than its stunning technique, is a sad suggestion of solipsism.
  3. Gyllenhaal is particularly unsuited to this role, his saucer eyes flashing from calm to crazed.
  4. A rambling depiction of a junkie's descent into zombitude.
  5. And did I mention that it's long? It's long.
  6. An elaborately worked-over opus that's as tarted-up and artificial as Scorsese's '70s classic Mean Streets was gritty and real, Gangs of New York feels like a movie musical without the songs.
  7. Alas, Brick, from writer-director Rian Johnson, isn't as clever as its conceit.
  8. Feels downright ancient.
  9. Aspires to the devilish crudity and unfettered social commentary of South Park. But Zwigoff's direction lacks the exaggerated cartoonishness necessary.
  10. Less a Holocaust retribution fantasy than a messy homage to war movies, and to movies, period.
  11. It's hard to know whom to blame for this futile exercise: Morris or Rumsfeld.
  12. Given the filmmaker's privileged perspective of hindsight, to not consider the real-world repercussions of their theater, to not connect the dots between 1968 and 2008 is a squandered opportunity.
  13. Structurally and narratively amputated, Volume 1 retains head and guts but loses its heart and gams to the second installment. Maybe Tarantino figured that Thurman's legs, as long as the Mississippi, were sufficient to carry this half of a movie.
  14. For the casual viewer who feels like maybe all the Sith hoopla is worth checking out, well, it's like tuning in to the season finale of "24" without having watched a minute of its lead-up episodes.
  15. While Last Days succeeds as a nature documentary, Van Sant fails to penetrate human nature. The result is a portrait without a face.
  16. A sappy excursion to Edwardian days.
  17. A sloppy, sentimental story line and pivotal plot turns that are only sketchily realized undermine the life-on-the-road misadventures.
  18. Over the Hedge isn't by any stretch bad. It's just banal.
  19. Moderately scary, moderately amusing, intermittently dull and obvious, Diary of the Dead is not groundbreaking, nor even ground-quaking.
  20. Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's adaptation of this novel by Christopher Priest offers three acts of exasperating muddle.
  21. To the delight of gadgetheads and the dismay of the rest of us, Spy Kids' paraphernalia is better developed and considerably more fun than its story.
  22. Miami Vice, the movie, is an atmospheric muddle, as gorgeous and unintelligible as raven-haired stunner Gong Li.
  23. Thornton swills the Matthau role with the unslakable thirst of W.C. Fields and idiosyncratic sexuality of Johnny Depp. So this is what Bad Santa does during the off-season.
  24. Gimmicky artifice.
  25. Half enjoyable goof, half an uncomfortable panorama of urban terrorism that just doesn't sit well after Sept. 11.
  26. While these individually diverting factors add up to a good time, they don't add up to a good movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a fun ride for the most part, with a bumping soundtrack and genuine moments of warmth and heartbreak. But one can't help but wish Gondry had simply let the camera roll, and let the kids speak for themselves.
  27. So deadpan a film is Napoleon Dynamite, the story and the name of a gangly high school misfit in Preston, Idaho, that I can't say whether it was intended as a character study or a comedy.
  28. The twist of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, a laugh-out-loud if not-exactly-good stoner comedy, is that its heroes, an entry-level investment banker and a brainiac pre-med student, are not dimwits.
  29. Over-orchestrated and underdeveloped interpretation of Jeffrey Hatcher's play.
  30. There's a fine line between stupid comedy that's actually pretty smart and stupid comedy that's just dumb, and The Other Guys crosses the line - into realms of unredeeming dunderheadedness - more often than it should.
  31. The constant flipping between stagecraft and reality creates a dissonant static that prevents any satisfying connection with the film.
  32. A haunting allegory about the rise and fall of a figure who possesses powerful charisma, if weak karma.
  33. Shortbus suffers from a vague, ad lib-y script and a cast that, while hardly shy, isn't exactly charismatic.
  34. Am I crazy, or are Spring Breakers and "Oz the Great and Powerful" essentially the same movie? James Franco stars in both - a tattooed, gun-totin' gangsta in one, a charlatan magician in the other (you figure out which is which), and, in both, he's encircled by a bevy of Hollywood babes determined either to get witchy on him, or get that other witchy-rhyming word on him.
  35. Feels more like a postscript than a probing, provocative documentary.
  36. Although its low-key realism is admirable, Eden doesn't really work: the long silences, the aching stares, the telling props, Breda's quivering blues, Billy's drunkenness, his distraction. There might as well be a sign stuck to the Farrells' front door: Dysfunctional family lives here.
  37. Illsley's fine cast, with a riotous contribution from William H. Macy as the sheriff who falls for Harry, plays out the comedy without condescension.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  38. It is diverting but insubstantial.
  39. Tonally, the film from director Anurag Basu has more personalities than Sybil. Basu strictly observes the B-movie convention of giving the audience an embrace, explosion, or chase sequence at regular intervals. If you don't like the genre, wait three minutes.
  40. The Woman in Black has lovely period atmosphere. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much else besides atmosphere.
  41. It's still a submarine movie, confined by the ship, the sea, and a convention-laden script.
  42. Despite its penchant for the crude and lewd, is gooey in ways that have nothing to do with bodily fluids.
  43. Far-fetched and utterly humorless, with a literally tacked-on conclusion (yes, more text on the screen), the only thing that's surprising about Unbreakable is how lame it is.
  44. The film feels long, the editing is choppy, and the plot strands are at once convoluted and cliched.
  45. A movie that by turns is wincingly awful and heartbreakingly fine. It boasts an unforgettable performance by Björk.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  46. Boy, can Harvey Keitel be bad -- and not bad like "Bad Lieutenant," bad like bad acting.
  47. One
    A worthy subject is poorly executed.
  48. Take the flat tire that was "Madagascar." Retread it with "The Lion King" storyline. Pump it up with air. Now you have Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
  49. The Weather Man belongs to a school of earnest, artsy Hollywood flicks that includes the Michael Douglas-goes-bonkers "Falling Down," and a lineage that goes back to revered 1970s pics like "Five Easy Pieces."
  50. There is much of interest in Baumbach's pictures - the confident handling of actors, the introspection, the terra-cotta and teal-painted walls. But what do you call a comedy of manners that's not particularly funny? [19 June 1998, p.04]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  51. Filmmaker Roger Michell doesn't so much adapt Ian McEwan's fine novel Enduring Love, a surgically precise anatomy of romance and obsession, as eviscerate it and wave its entrails before the audience.
  52. A movie where the action scenes feel like filler, the romantic leads have little magnetism, and, before long, its metaphysical underpinnings fall to pieces.
  53. Life of Crime is like an errant golf putt that appears headed for the hole, but just keeps rolling and rolling, all the way off the green. In other words, just missed . . . by a mile.
  54. It musters both the merits and the drawbacks of the landmark original.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  55. Too cute by half (or maybe three-quarters).
  56. Somehow the star emerges from this mess smelling like pure testosterone. You can't stop the Rock.
  57. Zemeckis, who blazed trails mixing live-action with animation in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," blazes not even a footpath here.
  58. Castellitto directed and stars in this unbearable film, a case study of a surgeon with a raging madonna-whore complex.
  59. If you want to see a Renaissance faire turned into an apocalyptic battlefield, this is the ticket.
  60. Scafaria's movie never catches fire. The bad news: The end of the world comes with a whimper. Worse: And two wimps.
  61. Run All Night isn't dull. The pace is breakneck, and necks get broken. But the violence is relentless, ugly, unredeemed by any real humanity.
  62. Who knows if it was Del Toro's idea, or Stone's, but at a particularly crucial - and criminal - moment, as a very bad thing is about to occur, the actor twirls his mustache menacingly, like a Mexican Snidely Whiplash. Yes, Savages is that kind of story.
  63. The film whipsaws between hyperbolic character study and preachy account of the recent financial meltdown. The two story lines are not well-integrated.
  64. Heights manages to make the lives of all these beautiful people seem quite tedious. Despite their accomplishments, the only thing they seem suited for is hailing cabs.
  65. A horror pic with a new gimmick that likely will spawn an entire subgenre of more substandard rubbish.
  66. Either an airless allegory about opportunistic Americans or another one of the director's parables of female persecution. OK, maybe it's both. But life is too short for three hours of misanthropy and misogyny.
  67. However charming Kingsley and Shaw are as the lovestruck pawns and Sorvino as the advancing queen, the premise is less playful than played-out.
  68. "There's nothing here!" screams Romina Mondello - Kurylenko's Euro gal pal, walking the deserted sidewalks of this Anytown, U.S.A. Boy, truer words . . ..
  69. Because the movie is about addictive behavior dulling the pain of grief rather than in the larger drama of dealing with grief, the movie reduces the scope of Hoffman's performance.
  70. Awash in nostalgia and amped-up male camaraderie, Richard Curtis' Pirate Radio takes a great story - the hugely popular offshore radio stations that illegally broadcast pop and rock in 1960s Britain - and turns it into an aggressively irritating floating frat-party romp.
  71. Let's face it: Kids aren't a very demanding audience. If there's color, movement, and a high quotient of silliness, they're happy.
  72. Freeman and Hoskins lend the film a level of artistry it doesn't really deserve. Unleashed has a vivid concept, but savagery and sentimentality make strange costars.
  73. This hotly anticipated film delivers on the premise of its celebrated title. But it offers little more in terms of suspense, originality or enjoyment. Mostly, it lays there on the screen like a big lazy boa.
  74. Full of forced jocularity and drawing-room hissy fits, with its cast parading around in vintage threads and antique cars, Easy Virtue is a close-to-insufferable souffle based on the 1925 Noel Coward play.
  75. The Express eventually reaches its triumph-of-the-human-spirit climax, but it yanks too hard on the heart strings during the long journey there.
  76. The film veers between cutting parody and cliche, threatening to become interesting at any moment, but never quite doing so.
  77. On many levels, Kingsman has the makings of a sure-fire hit. Yet, this is one spy story even the most dedicated addicts of the genre would do well to miss.
  78. This is not about a reluctant hero drawing courage from some deep personal well. It's not about dread and danger. It's about visual effects.
  79. Shrek the Third isn't a movie, it's the extension of a brand.
  80. A formulaic and fuzzy feel-good movie.
  81. A big fat geek kiss to the movies of Steven Spielberg and his fanboys, Paul is a mild, meandering comedy.
  82. A creepy, oozy, dopey remake of the stylish 1998 Japanese thriller, "Ringu."
  83. Hemsworth looks a good deal more like NFL receiver Jeremy Shockey than he does the immortal Avenger.
  84. In Don McKellar's remake of "Seducing Doctor Lewis", a 2003 French-Canadian comedy, the charm feels force-fed.
  85. I liked this movie better when it was called "Rock'n'Roll High School" and starred the Ramones and Mary Woronov.
  86. The trouble with The Last Kiss comes down to Paul Haggis' screenplay.
  87. Short, sour and scabrous, Bosses is that paradoxical thing: a situation comedy where neither situation nor comedy is particularly effective where nonetheless Jason Bateman is sidesplitting, as is Colin Farrell in a supporting role.
  88. The movie name-drops the cool stuff, the rebels of word and song, but the essence of the story and the cardboard characters who inhabit it are as mundane as can be.
  89. Jeremy Irons slithers on board with a haughty sneer and papal vestments, playing Bishop Pucci.
  90. With a clamorous soundtrack and a whirl of elaborate chases and busily choreographed fight scenes, this is Sherlock Holmes with Attention Deficit Disorder.
  91. There are sniff movies and there are snuff movies, but Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is both. It has the bouquet of balm and blood. Imagine "Fragrance of the Lambs."
  92. Not even Halle Berry, emerging from the blue Caribbean in an orange two-piece -- can bring this thing to life.
  93. For high-speed action, eye-popping locales, and chopsocky fight-fests galore, watch The Transporter - on video.
  94. The movie pulls off the worst kind of con: the one that disappoints.
  95. Non-Stop gets increasingly far-fetched as the jet makes its way across the Atlantic. Certainly, there are more red herrings on the plane than there are in the sea below. And Neeson has to stare down every last one of them.
  96. Joltingly graphic and atmospheric (Nixey and his crew at least know how to set up a few good shocks), Don't Be Afraid of the Dark fails to involve us in any meaningful way with its characters.
  97. It falls short of the mark, even as it hits every one of the genre's conventions.
  98. At the film's inconclusive conclusion, the filmmakers strand Erica and Sean in the moral twilight.
  99. A great story - and a true one, more or less - Bottle Shock nonetheless fails to deliver much in the way of entertainment.

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