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. As storytelling, it's extremely effective.
  2. Perhaps the most disturbing fact in the film comes in the text at the end: Paragraph 175 remained on the books in both halves of postwar Germany until the late 1960s.
  3. Aronson's intriguing, complicated and well-filmed documentary will keep you talking for days.
    • Portland Oregonian
  4. This combination of fatalism, nostalgia and willfully naive optimism captures something essential in the Russian soul.
  5. It ends on a random note, making an awkward plea for better ecological stewardship of the Earth, which looked so small and frail to the astronauts regarding it from the moon. But otherwise it's a satisfying and heartening reminder of what a glorious thing a small group of men once contrived to do.
  6. Children of Men has some magnificent moments of moviemaking and is thoroughly infused with just the atmosphere Cuaron has aimed for. But it's so streamlined in its storytelling and unvarying in its tone that it's more deadening than transporting.
  7. The film continually explores surprising, rewarding territory; even an erotically charged subplot dovetails nicely with themes of vengeance, mortality and renewal.
  8. But this is pretty honest and true filmmaking, nonetheless; try as you might, you can't detect the leer of the satirist.
    • Portland Oregonian
  9. Something in the simplicity of its vision gives The Man Without a Past a dimension of heroic grandeur -- and that effect, too, seems to tickle Kaurismaki's funny bone.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    For those unschooled in Latin jazz, though, it might be best to just pick up the CD.
    • Portland Oregonian
  10. The characters and their situations, while perfectly credible and funny on the simplest literal level, surely add up to something like a subtly farcical apocalyptic satire. [18 April 1989, p.D4]
    • Portland Oregonian
  11. The story is ingeniously intricate but never gimmicky or implausible. As it develops, the suspense grows about what direction the story could possibly take next.
  12. Among the best of its kind, thanks in no small part to the utterly believable, vanity-free performance of Yolande Moreau in the title role.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This apocalyptic vision of London-as-Hell is a far cry from Leigh's earlier work, the relatively gentle social comedies, High Hopes and Life Is Sweet. But, working with the actors in his usual improvisatory style, Leigh dares to drop into depths he has never before explored. With its aura of horror and hopelessness, Naked is a very brave work. If you can take it, it's a film you won't soon forget. [28 Jan. 1994, p.AE13]
    • Portland Oregonian
  13. It's a testament to Van Sant's way with actors that the performances are better than the lines and that the film tugs undeniably at the heart as the awful finale falls. But a lack of poetry and freshness in the writing nags.
  14. Almost more valuable as a piece of foreign policy than as the highly accomplished work of cinema it is.
  15. Far From Heaven would have been one of the great American films of the '50s; it is certainly the finest American melodrama of our time.
    • Portland Oregonian
  16. Nguyen reportedly worked on War Witch for a decade, and it shows in both the immediacy and authenticity of his tale, and the meticulous craft with which it's told.
  17. It's sometimes uneven, but it's glorious, too, with constantly churning invention and the guarantee that you have never seen anything like it before -- unless it came from Winnipeg and Guy Maddin.
  18. Eastwood has crafted one of the most powerful American dramas in years.
  19. A keenly observed, typically high-quality family drama of the sort only the French seem capable of making anymore.
  20. The slowness and stillness in the film are, actually, a slow boil, and in Lie's taciturnity there is pain and even horror.
  21. While the third act inevitably bogs down a bit in gunplay and chases, there are more than enough moments of visual wonder and storytelling surprise to make it worth the trip.
  22. Funny, irreverent and moving, the unconventional Shrek may mock fairy tales, but in the process, creates its own.
  23. It is well-acted and written with a rigorous effort to skirt cliche, and it has the savor of real life throughout.
  24. Perhaps the most indispensable cast member is the Jacobs' dwelling, their residence since 1966.
  25. The overall thrust of the story -- that downtrodden folks in desperate circumstances have the capacity for goodness -- is one too rarely seen.
  26. In Volver, the latest marvel to emerge from his sharp and joyful mind, Almodovar blends autobiography, gossip, melodrama, music, the supernatural and the suffocatingly quotidian in a story about a woman -- indeed, a tribe of women -- struggling through a life of pain and disappointment.
  27. Earnest, smart, handsome, well-acted and made with mastery.
  28. 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.

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