Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 3,213 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:
3,213 movie reviews
  1. More than just a good crime story about the guilt or innocence of Arnold and Jesse Friedman. It's also a fascinating portrait of a seemingly normal middle-class family crumbling before our eyes.
  2. There’s plenty of fun to be had, but in the long term, American Hustle may be remembered more for its superficial pleasures than the depth of its impact. Kind of like the 1970s.
  3. It's refreshing that something once considered terribly new and modern can still feel contemporary three decades later.
  4. You can learn about the grand shifts of history from Persepolis, but you learn about a handful of lives as well.
  5. The Act of Killing is exemplary as a history lesson, a character study and a powerful argument for confronting the past.
  6. It's a bento box of shifts, feints, hints and small, sharp insights, built around a surprisingly deep core of feeling. And it confirms Coppola as an artist to watch and relish.
  7. In exchange for a small piece of your life, you receive an infinity.
  8. It's so full-blooded, smart, sexy, tense and absorbing, so cleverly written and shot and cut, so filled with superb acting and music, so perfect in its closing moment, that it surely ranks with the most impressive debuts in world cinema.
  9. The second action melodrama released in the United States this year by director Zhang Yimou, and if I prefer the previous one, "Hero," it's partly a matter of degrees.
  10. Takes on the air of a heist film as the preparations proceed, and even knowing the outcome, tension still remains.
  11. As slapstick, as satire, as sheer gut-busting comedy, Borat is top notch.
  12. Mad Max: Fury Road sets new standards in old-school stunt work and car chases and does it in service of an idea-driven story with a beating heart and an action star for our troubled times in Charlize Theron.
  13. At over two hours, it might test the patience of some younger viewers (and some impatient older ones as well), but for anyone willing to take the time, it's an utter treat.
  14. It's hard to say what's more fascinating: The engaging explication of various paintings by the remarkably articulate docents, the behind-the-scenes looks at the preservation and restoration processes, or the boardroom discussions about the appropriateness of marketing efforts. Actually, that third one probably isn't the most fascinating, but I still wanted more of it.
  15. The first to take a big-picture view of just how the plans for postwar occupation went so far off track.
  16. The acting is flawless, the world feels utterly real, and the finale accomplishes the miracle of finding in the everyday world something profound.
  17. A film this heartfelt and intelligent about social justice will never be unimportant, but it feels especially relevant today.
  18. It's a bit precious, yes, but its earnestness and joy carry you along, and its climax simply delights.
  19. Adventuresome, melancholy and exhilarating.
  20. Letters isn't a fun night at the picture show. It's slow and gloomy and achingly tragic. But it's a truly impressive achievement both in moviemaking and in its understanding of history.
  21. Music aside, what finally puts Once over and makes it a film you can watch more than once is its slight but thoroughly credible realism.
  22. Teems with pot smoke, body parts and profane outbursts -- you ride a giggly wave throughout, jokes and turn-ons and shocking sights alternating in buoyant fashion.
    • Portland Oregonian
  23. This is an awesome performance in an outstanding film, a film worthy, if you can imagine, of the book at its heart.
  24. Sergei Dvortsevoy's unclassifiable, verite-style film (shaky-cam alert!) is an endearing mix of intimacy, attention to detail and decidedly local humor.
  25. Because Whiplash is two characters in search of a plot, it ramps up the happenstance and improbability as it stumbles toward a final showdown between teacher and student that would be emotionally satisfying if it had the ring of truth.
  26. If it can seem like there's no end of films about the Holocaust, it might be because there is no bottom to the well of crime, inhumanity and evil described by that ghastly event.
  27. The Grand Budapest Hotel shows Anderson engaging with the world outside his meticulously composed frames like never before.
  28. The screenplay, which Ceylan and his wife Ebru based on short stories by Anton Chekhov, is wordy but insightful. The widescreen cinematography, capturing the natural wonders that make Cappadocia a popular tourist destination, is crisp in exterior shots and delicately shaded indoors. And the performances are never less than totally convincing.
  29. Poitras' footage of what happened in Hong Kong is at the heart of Citizenfour, her new movie, and it is enthralling, a rare look at a crucial historical event as it happened.
  30. Recoing's performance is chillingly low-key -- sometimes you can swear that he believes his own fictions -- and Livrozet, making his film debut, has a perfect long-in-the-tooth charm.
    • Portland Oregonian

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