Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 2,981 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 33% 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: 67
Highest review score: 100 Ran (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Cop Out
Score distribution:
2,981 movie reviews
  1. A staggering movie about a reality so dark and painful and real that it almost crushes the mind to think about it.
  2. Genuinely breathtaking.
  3. It's a horrific tale, filled with fear, confusion, anger, disfigurement, and loss. Weissman and Weber don't milk the pathos and they don't have to. Their interview subjects are brilliantly chosen, not only for their specific vantage points on the events but for their eloquence and depth of feeling. Time and again, the spoken and visual record of what happened overwhelms you.
  4. It's a topic that's been handled in films before, perhaps most notably in Jane Campion's "Holy Smoke," but Durkin offers the most persuasively believable peek into the psyche of such a character I've ever seen.
  5. And while it may be true that Almodóvar doesn't have Hitchcock's way with terror, it's not clear that Hitchcock could leave the real world behind so wholly and convincingly as Almodóvar does here.
  6. The performances are universally good, the 3-D is utterly gorgeous, and the nutshell history of the early days of movies is inspiring.
  7. There are ample opportunities for the film to soak in pathos, righteousness, farce, or pictorialism, and Payne manages to nod at those pitfalls without falling into them. In a way, it's just like Matt King's world: enviably plush but filled with the real pain of real life.
  8. It's a bit precious, yes, but its earnestness and joy carry you along, and its climax simply delights.
  9. It happens to be splendidly acted and to be poised, as a narrative, on a knife's edge (the final shot, at a great moment of indecision, is utterly haunting). But, chiefly, it's a portrait of an essential and sympathetic human dilemma, and in that it's both real and timeless in ways that transcend borders, cultures and languages.
  10. It's an ending that may alienate some viewers, but will jolt others out of their comfort zones and into an appreciation of genuinely brave storytelling.
  11. Watching it isn't easy, but it is definitely worth having waited for.
  12. Undefeated puts us inside his locker room, and you simply cannot fail to be moved by the human affection, commitment and passion you feel there.
  13. It's hot and sweet and made with inspiration and cheek. And it is not your children's animated fare -- which, in this case, is a recommendation.
  14. This is the sort of film for which the phrase 'movie-movie' was coined -- and coined as a term of highest praise.
  15. Slight but terrific. The intertwining of the sharply tuned actors and the guileless (and often hilarious) townspeople is seamless, the tale is sometimes despairing but never heavy, and the blend of drama, comedy and music is brisk and fresh.
  16. Predictable, contrived, sappy and, ultimately, against all odds, remarkably fulfilling.
  17. Brings you into a world you didn't know existed with a closeness that the movies almost never achieve. If that constitutes exploitation, then it's a crime which all works of art should aspire to commit.
  18. As unpleasant as so many of its going-on are, Wake in Fright works both as an early instance of "Ozploitation" cinema and as a harsh critique of Australian colonialism and the absurdity of trying to bring so-called civilization to this vast arid wilderness.
  19. It has laser gun fights, forbidden love, and a rollicking group breakout from a fascistic old folks' home. What more could anyone want?
  20. This film could serve as a potent tool for those trying to change 40 years of public policy.
  21. John Hawkes has, until now, been known primarily as the skilled character actor who brought an earthy authenticity to roles on TV's "Deadwood" and the Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone." With The Sessions, he makes his mark as a bona fide member of screen acting's elite. And he does it while barely moving a muscle.
  22. A funny, believable film about the ability of even the damaged and imperfect to earn a little happiness.
  23. Django doesn't have the razor-sharp chronological complexity of "Pulp Fiction," but it's ably paced. A very funny scene involving a proto-Ku Klux Klan lynch mob and their poorly made hoods nevertheless seems a bit out of place, but there's plenty of well-timed suspense.
  24. An extraordinarily gut-wrenching, intense story of survival against all odds.
  25. While what's on screen is unsparing and clinically presented, the underlying, almost invisible humanity and artistry of the film inspire rather than depress.
  26. By the time the satisfying conclusion rolls around, though, it proves to be much more about the ability of a world-class director to induce such willing suspension of disbelief that even the loopiest narrative developments seem like the most natural thing in the world.
  27. Shortland, whose only previous feature was 2004's coming-of-age drama "Somersault," creates a visceral, immersive environment and draws a very impressive performance from newcomer Saskia Rosendahl.
  28. It's quietly brutal stuff, beautifully acted by Fanning, Englert, Christina Hendricks and a word-twisting Alessandro Nivola.
  29. West of Memphis does nothing to displace its predecessor films as masterpieces of investigative filmmaking, but complements them as a riveting capstone to an epic and tragic tale.
  30. [Guterson] has crafted a near-masterpiece of understated humor and empathy, demonstrating that, despite Hollywood's usual indifference, it's possible to make authentic, funny, engaging films about characters over the age of 50 who are neither grizzled hit men nor sassy grandmas.

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