Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 3,211 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 5.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Lowest review score: 0 M. Butterfly
Score distribution:
3,211 movie reviews
  1. There's handmade and then there's amateurish. This, alas, is the latter.
  2. This one's painful.
  3. There's plenty of blood and screaming and mayhem, and it's not particularly well-staged, shot or cut -- though I suppose actually caring about film craft denotes one as a spoilsport in this context.
  4. War of the Buttons means well. But ultimately there's only marginally more edge to this treatment of World War II than there is to the average episode of "Hogan's Heroes."
  5. The drama is telegraphed and glossy and un-fascinating; the edges have been belt-sanded until any camp value is lost. And it's filmed in that "Moulin Rouge"/"Chicago" style where you see half a dance move before the shot cuts -- which somehow makes a lot of difficult, sexy work seem simultaneously frenetic and boring.
  6. Feels like a movie that wants to bare its fangs, but only manages a mild gumming.
  7. If anyone could take a movie about a bunch of jerks who play poker and make it interesting, it should be Curtis Hanson. Or rather, it should have been.
  8. Its breeziness keeps it from ever being completely bland or flat.
  9. Perhaps this is what fans want from a movie like this: to sit back as if in a Jacuzzi and get a quick impression of history and Rome and such. If so, Howard, Brown and company likely have another monster hit on their hands.
  10. Modest in every sense but one: Its cast is huge.
  11. The movie gets just enough right that the things it doesn't get right (beyond its overdependence on a not-so-surprising story puzzle) smack you cold in the face.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Austen cosplay is too exaggerated, as are the other guests.
  12. It gets by on its concept for a little while but too often mistakes stupid-stupid for clever-stupid.
  13. Palo Alto is "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" without the wit; "River's Edge" without the depth. It's like reading a first novel by a talented writer who has something to say but isn't yet sure how to say it.
  14. It's certainly all Araki up there, and the film is handsome and swiftly paced. But it also feels terribly routine and even, strangely, for all the trangressiveness it strives for, retrograde.
  15. For all its handsome decor, tasteful restraint and old-fashioned look-and-feel, is a stiff, lacking tension, sizzle, drama, energy, appeal and, finally, purpose.
  16. Cthulhu (kuh-THOO-loo) shows that you can't go home again. Seriously: Don't ever go home -- you'll be sorry.
  17. While it's hard to dismiss his intention or effort, Harrelson's one-note performance sinks the film.
  18. Sporadically funny, bland, talent-wasting junk.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Scott apparently decided it was a good idea for his subtitles -- much of the film is in Spanish -- to shimmy across the screen, to fade in and out dramatically, and in general do even more to distract us.
  19. Kind of a drag.
  20. In drama, tone, character and examination of the social issues tormenting these kids, Wassup Rockers is . . . taxing.
  21. Maybe you can skip the movie and just watch the credits.
  22. The film oddly mirrors "The Passion of the Christ," as a show trial leads inexorably toward an almost sadistically filmed public execution (it doesn't hurt that Jim Caviezel plays the reporter). Like that movie, it gets its point across with all the subtlety, sorry to say, of a rock upside the head.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What's truly disheartening about Cellular is that just as logic has become a luxury in a thriller, so has anything resembling tension.
  23. I love that fanboys fought for Fanboys. Unfortunately, their passion was misplaced.
  24. Unfortunately, it just doesn't come together. The animation ranges from crude approximations of Terry Gilliam's cutout style to borderline puerility, and the entire enterprise strives far too desperately for the sort of irreverence that Chapman could conjure with a cock of his pipe-clenching head.
  25. Surprisingly dreary kidnapping drama.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Its director, Rob Reiner, is 67 himself. So his film takes a less ageist tone, seeing its characters – played by Michael Douglas, 69, and Diane Keaton, 68 – not as old people but simply as people, living vital but complicated lives. If only the movie itself were as vital and complicated.
  26. A lifeless, confused mess, peppered with laughs, yes, but illogically and crudely plotted and smothered in tonedeaf music cues.

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