Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,431 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 5.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Maria Full of Grace
Lowest review score: 0 Surviving Christmas
Score distribution:
3,431 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Is it dumb to say, "Wow?"...I don't care. Wow.
  3. This is the breakthrough work of one of world cinema's most visionary artists.
  4. 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.
  5. An awesome cinema spectacle.
  6. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  7. 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.
  8. Remy, the little rat who stars in the big, beautiful, funny Ratatouille, isn't gross at all. In fact, he's adorable.
  9. It's inspired fun.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  10. 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.
  11. Most of all, it is the improbably entertaining story of how new media are altering the very nature of courtship and friendship.
  12. A monumental achievement that documents a coordinated and complicated response to a monumental tragedy.
  13. It's small. It's real. And it's deeply moving.
  14. 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.
  15. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Fused with paranoia and almost unbearable suspense, The Hurt Locker is powerful stuff.
  19. With rich, detailed, cinematic animation and terrific sound effects, WALLE pulls this unlikely love story off.
  20. It's a masterpiece.
  21. Exhilarating, edgy and wryly comic.
  22. The Return of the King is too long...The various story lines...come together in stilted, episodic ways. The narrative is less-than-seamless.
  23. Amour arrives with plaudits and praise. But this is not hype, it is all deserved. This is a masterpiece.
  24. A classic of subversive surrealism.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  25. 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
  26. Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.
  27. It may be the first meditative action movie.
  28. The film is more than laborious eye-blinking - it's also dazzling visually, its potent imagery conjured by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. But finally, Diving Bell is about something imperceptible: consciousness.
  29. French movies are not so neatly resolved. In fact, the point of many French movies, such as this provocative one from director Laurent Cantet, is that some problems don't have satisfying solutions - or resolutions.
  30. 35 Shots of Rum is visual poetry, but poetry that examines the human condition with insight and illumination.
  31. Just a few barrels short of being a masterpiece.
  32. But moving across this tableau is Frodo and his gang, and here the trouble lies...Not a one seems believable as conveyed by Wood, who forever looks to be on the brink of a good sob. Likewise, his hobbit sidekick Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) is a real wuss.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  33. Although Toy Story 3 plays with themes of aging and obsolescence, it's really a straight-ahead action pic, with the toys planning, and attempting, their escape and rescue missions. (Hey, it's The A-Team!)
  34. A Summer's Tale is one of those movies where it looks like nothing is happening; there is a lot of walking and talking (against exquisite backdrops), dissections and discourse about the intricacies of romance, the false signals, the fickleness.
  35. This long (nearly three hours), revelatory movie is both a thrilling adventure about endurance and survival, and an elegiac examination of centuries-old tribal culture, fast-fading in the new millennium.
  36. 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.
  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. 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.
  39. This psycho-thriller, a Golden Globe winner and presumptive favorite for the foreign-film Oscar, itself is revelatory.
  40. An eerily quiet, bracingly bloody, and expertly laid-out adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel.
  41. If vigilance and preemption, recompense and retaliation is not enough, the film asks, then what is?
  42. The triumphant masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa's fertile twilight.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  43. 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.
  44. It's been a long time since a film has conveyed a culture, and a sense of place, with such telling precision. At the same time, Winter's Bone thrums with suspense.
  45. It's an occasion for welcoming a restoration that transforms a flawed movie, one that was touched by greatness, into a masterpiece.
  46. A bracing, unblinking work that serves as a painful elegy and sobering cautionary tale.
  47. Her
    Sad, funny, and quietly alarming romance.
  48. Still stands as a gloriously silly and twisted send-up.
  49. Though not as great as "Toy Story 2" and "Monsters, Inc.," Pixar movies that are the gold standard for family movies, Finding Nemo is visually entrancing.
  50. A triumph.
  51. So jaw-droppingly out there, so bracingly bizarre, and, much of the time, so fall-over-funny that even its flaws don't matter. Easily the oddest movie of the year, it is also one of the best.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  52. 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.
  53. A movie with the sweet soul of "Toy Story" and the boisterous spirit of "Spy Kids."
  54. Crowe is so good on mood and milieu that when Elton John's bubblegum ballad "Tiny Dancer" swells on the soundtrack, in this context it sounds like a hymn.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  55. The film has the dog-eared look of a homemade valentine and the improvised sound of '60s jazz, courtesy of a score by Mark Suozzo and a spirited soundtrack including Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar," which might be the film's anthem.
  56. At its best it is one of the most dynamic movies from a most dynamic filmmaker, now 76.
  57. Ida
    A road trip at once tragic, hopeful, and unforgettable.
  58. 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?
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. A visually dazzling mood piece.
  62. 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.
  63. This year's must-see film.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. He had the fearlessness of a 104-story man and something more than a daredevil's brass.
  67. Pitch-perfect and profoundly moving.
  68. Baron Cohen brings scary conviction to the performance.
  69. 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.
  70. Lucid, concise and devastating account of what went wrong in Iraq, patiently counts those 500 ways.
  71. A quietly soulful study of two very different men.
  72. Yun's performance is remarkable. The journey Mija takes is painful and hard and - for us, watching - sublime.
  73. 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.
  74. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  75. One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
  76. This simple story of a Guy and a Girl and their music is very appealing.
  77. One of the rare rock films that produces the effect of a live concert: After each number, the audience erupts into applause.
  78. This is a complicated story, but it's efficiently laid out by Poitras in this smartly edited project. She has posed Citizenfour as the final piece of a post-9/11 trilogy that began with "My Country, My Country" (about the 2006 elections in Iran) and "The Oath" (about Guantanamo).
  79. There's a loneliness at the heart of this world, and Ghost World, that's really touching -- and a bit scary, too.
  80. 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.
  81. Miller and Futterman tell their story with plain, uninflected film language, permitting the ambiguities to surface. Theirs is not the anti-capital-punishment tract of Richard Brooks' excellent 1967 film "In Cold Blood." It is a story about an accomplice to crime who lived to tell the story.
  82. A profoundly unnerving historical document.
  83. Sustaining illusion with marvelous grace is, in a nutshell, exactly what Anderson is all about.
  84. Blue Is the Warmest Color explores a life with a depth and force that would be scary - if it weren't so scarily good.
  85. This is a documentarylike film about a man who creates a castle in the air and then moves right in, the "Harold and the Purple Crayon" of the workplace.
  86. A heartbreaking elegy to mature love that honors the lovers and the long, neurodegenerative tango that is their last.
  87. The matchless Alberto Sordi - a contemporary of Peters Sellers and a progenitor of Steve Martin - stars as the buffoon Everyman, Antonio Badalamenti, a perfectly poised figure destined for the pratfall.
  88. It is a damning indictment of the individuals and institutions who made money while customers lost their shirts.
  89. Jackson's superior sequel to last year's first installment in his Rings cycle - resurrects the beloved Gandalf (majestic Ian McKellen) and rejuvenates the audience, too.
  90. It's aimed at adults as much as children, with jokes that work on multiple levels, and contraptions.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  91. Under Hooper's deft direction, it packs the suspense of a thriller.
  92. 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.
  93. Wake in Fright is essential viewing for anyone interested in the roots of male violence.
  94. Toy Story 2, like its forebear, will stand the test of time.
  95. It's a quietly powerful work, pulsing with gentle humor and a gripping sense of imminent calamity and dread.
  96. L'Enfant begins with the birth of a child, but its real concern is the moral rebirth of a man.
  97. Whiplash is writer/director Damien Chazelle's hyperventilated nightmare about artistic struggle, artistic ambition. It's as much a horror movie as it is a keenly realized indie about jazz, about art, about what it takes to claim greatness.
  98. In his own profound and ingenious way, Panh has brought the pictures and the thoughts together again.
  99. A frightening portrait of corruption, cynicism, intimidation, greed and violence, Gomorrah is tough stuff.
  100. Funny, passionate, full of compassion for its just-pubescent protagonists, We Are the Best! is a total charmer.

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