Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 3,264 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 5.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Short Term 12
Lowest review score: 0 Fair Game
Score distribution:
3,264 movie reviews
  1. It is well-acted and written with a rigorous effort to skirt cliche, and it has the savor of real life throughout.
  2. Perhaps the most indispensable cast member is the Jacobs' dwelling, their residence since 1966.
  3. The overall thrust of the story -- that downtrodden folks in desperate circumstances have the capacity for goodness -- is one too rarely seen.
  4. 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.
  5. Earnest, smart, handsome, well-acted and made with mastery.
  6. 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.
  7. Emotionally brutal, ferociously acted, crafted with unflagging expertise and relentlessly locked in its vision of human darkness, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is as grim and despairing as any tragedy by Sophocles or Shakespeare.
  8. It's the best kind of complaint. You can see why the $50 million man refers to something he gave away as "the best single day of my career."
  9. The film reveals itself to be not so much a historical allegory as an Iliad of the heart. It's sad and smart and beautiful and true.
  10. Perhaps the most beautiful film to hit Portland movie screens this year.
  11. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear about moviegoers demanding their money back after seeing The Dallas Buyers Club, but not because the film isn’t good. It’s actually very nearly great.
  12. Nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature, it's deeply humane and even more deeply unsettling, in a way that most documentaries about Iraq, which tend toward the polemic, never manage.
  13. It's an exemplary and incendiary instance of documentary filmmaking as real-world advocacy.
  14. The halting dialogue, full of awkward pauses and restarts, seems improvised in the way that only carefully scripted material can.
  15. You have to experience the thing to understand its simultaneous recklessness and care, its humor and sadness in the name of failure, its playful but dismal take on formulaic Hollywood endings.
  16. Is it a great movie? Maybe not. But it is a great step forward in moviemaking. Shrug it off if that makes you feel better, but starting today you live in a post-Avatar movie world.
  17. For all the ostensible immaturity of its form, Fantastic Mr. Fox is the most grown-up thing the director has done in years.
  18. One of those should-I-laugh-or-cry satires.
  19. Gorgeous and saddening, Osama makes the human-scale claim for the overthrow of governments ruled by the iron hand of religious fundamentalism far more persuasively than any of the rhetoric coming out of the White House or No. 10 Downing St.
  20. The Salt of the Earth presents not just a passing of time through one man's remarkable life but a change of perspective.
  21. Full of life, wit, smarts, thrills and sheer gratifying entertainment that it launches the mind on a stream of merry somersaults.
  22. One of the purest instances of indie cinema this year. "Pure" meaning that in every aspect of filmmaking and intent this picture is peerless, so truly real, funny, poignant and sexy that it almost feels like a watershed cinematic moment.
  23. '71
    What matters in '71 is the action, and the look on O'Connell's face when he emerges from a shed into the Belfast night.
  24. Such a treat for the eyes, ears and funny bone that you feel cheated that it clocks in at less than an hour-and-a-quarter.
  25. It's one of those works that presents the deeds of both humans and animals and leaves you wondering which is the more civilized.
  26. Apparently it’s the second film of a trilogy Demme intends on Young -- and the middles are always the hardest parts to get right, yeah?
  27. One of the most affecting true-life character studies in quite some time.
  28. Spider-Man 2 succeeds in pretty much the same way "Superman II" did -- only more so.
  29. 20 Feet From Stardom spends time as well with Claudia Lennear, Táta Vega and Lisa Fischer. None of the three ever found much success as a solo artist, but you probably can't listen to a classic-rock radio station for a half-hour without hearing one of them backing up Joe Cocker, David Bowie, Tina Turner or the Rolling Stones.
  30. Van Sant has been quoted in recent media reports as being done with the type of filmmaking that these four movies represent. If that's true, then Paranoid Park is a fine summation of what he learned from making them.

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