Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 3,158 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 Ran (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 M. Butterfly
Score distribution:
3,158 movie reviews
  1. Serious Acting Opportunities abound! Unfortunately, sharp dialogue and characters who keep you riveted do not.
  2. It gives me no pleasure to report that the Pimentel biopic Music Within plays like a well-intentioned TV movie.
  3. It's not a disaster: Branagh is an actor's director, and there are biting moments throughout and solid performances from Caine and Law.
  4. The dialogue is dippy. And there's no real suspense: The filmmakers are so deadly earnest about the power of music and love and all that stuff, you just twiddle your thumbs waiting for the inevitable.
  5. While it's hard to dismiss his intention or effort, Harrelson's one-note performance sinks the film.
  6. Freeman and Nicholson mostly stand in front of special-effects green screens and have the locales projected, like they're in a "Road" picture.
  7. Do yourself a favor. Rent "My Bodyguard" instead.
  8. If Schaefer's intent was to provide some sort of insight into Chapman's character, some hint of explanation for this senseless tragedy, he fails, probably because there's none to be found beyond one lonely guy's addled brain chemistry.
  9. Sporadically funny, bland, talent-wasting junk.
  10. As pointless suspense exercises go, The Strangers at least gets off to a good start.
  11. Think of the worst Spielberg thriller or one of Hitchcock's dull late career works, then make it ugly and fill it with bad performances; voila: The Happening.
  12. Unfortunately, the film loses its merciless rage toward the end, devolving into a stock and broadly comic thriller about unpleasant people you never quite get to know.
  13. Mixed messages are the order of the day in the conflicted British drama Irina Palm. At first blush, it seems like another entry in the saucy-but-safe Brit genre, a la "Calendar Girls," "Saving Grace" or "The Full Monty," but it turns out to be both more ambitious and less successful than those diversions.
  14. Worst of all, not once does Mulder answer his cell phone to hear those immortal lines: "It's Scully. There's been another death."
  15. Are Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay getting tired of their own shtick?
  16. Unsurprisingly, the formulaic "Breakfast Club" casting yields a formulaic narrative.
  17. Takes its point -- our nation has an unhealthy obsession with beauty and physical perfection -- and uses it as a bludgeon.
  18. Cthulhu (kuh-THOO-loo) shows that you can't go home again. Seriously: Don't ever go home -- you'll be sorry.
  19. Lest anyone think this soils Cera's record, the movie actually highlights his unique gifts; his easygoing chemistry with co-star Kat Dennings is practically the only thing about this picture that isn't pathetically contrived.
  20. Lee is not an action director, and the movie often feels like it was made in the 1940s rather than set then.
  21. At one point during the big race, the kids get passed at close range by a team of pros so seasoned, they wrote the navigation software the kids use. I was begging the camera crew to follow them.
  22. An extremely weird and frustrating viewing experience. I think it's that way because Eastwood, 78, can't be bothered to wrangle the vast material into a tighter shape.
  23. It gets by on its concept for a little while but too often mistakes stupid-stupid for clever-stupid.
  24. Some will win and some will lose their encounters with unbending American bureaucracy, but all deserve better, which should leave viewers eager for an even-handed take on this issue crossing over into disappointment.
  25. 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.
  26. What the picture doesn't do is make sense of the world it tries to depict, or even, truly, depict it. Biggie -- and, for that matter, Woolard -- deserved better.
  27. I love that fanboys fought for Fanboys. Unfortunately, their passion was misplaced.
  28. The Rock charms you through the worst of it, but the effects are cheap, the dialogue is about as challenging as a "Hannah Montana" episode, and the pace manages to be both brisk and numbing.
  29. Although 2012 is what they call "critic-proof," it's not immune to analysis. It depicts a world where no one, man or God, has much say in what happens to the planet, and where the survival of one family outweighs the deaths of billions.
  30. 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.

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