Premiere's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,070 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Towelhead
Lowest review score: 0 Waiting...
Score distribution:
1,070 movie reviews
  1. Composed of relatively few events and scenes, it's often excruciatingly tense and never less than heartbreakingly human. And as much as I admire "Munich," Shadows leaves Spielberg's film in the dust in the moral-ambiguity department. Never before seen in the States, it's already on my year's ten-best list. (April 2006 Premiere)
    • Premiere
  2. This intense film, a mix of horror, fantasy, and history that convinces on all those levels and mixes them up with dizzying brio, is a searing cinematic experience, a beautiful, terrifying vision from writer-director Guillermo del Toro.
  3. A remarkably engrossing and thoughtful picture, beautifully rendered in an artful mode of realism.
  4. The slapstick-comic set pieces involving Remy and Linguini's cooking struggles might solicit the admiration of Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati.
  5. Burnett creates an insistently poetic, devastatingly ironic world and work.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    When it works, it really works, but it's debatable whether its target audience will really enjoy anything more than the nifty robots. Which is fine, too. Robots are pretty cool.
  6. Every performance here is wonderful, and the movie abounds in moments so true as to be cringe-worthy.
  7. A phantasmagorical slab of epic entertainment that satisfies on every conceivable level.
  8. Every performer in the international cast -- Seigner, de Bankole, von Sydow (magnificent as Bauby's father), and the late Jean-Pierre Cassel to name but a few -- completely disappears into each of their roles, which I think is as much a testament to Schnabel's talents as to theirs.
  9. There Will Be Blood is, in fact, not a historical saga; rather, it's an absurdist, blackly comic horror film with a very idiosyncratic satanic figure at its core.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The credits may be silly, but the last scene is a definite tear-jerker.
  10. The Queen is a surprisingly compassionate portrait (excepting Blair's reactionary wife with the "shallow curtsy") of a rigid pragmatist in denial over the monarchy's out-of-touch dysfunction.
  11. As stomach-churning a suspense exercise as the cinema has seen since the salad days of Hitchcock.
  12. Steven Spielberg turns the pure adventure of Saturday afternoon serials into a solidly entertaining spectacle.
    • Premiere
  13. I don't think we're going to see a better--a funnier or more genuinely heartwarming, for that matter--comedy this year.
  14. Yep, this movie is basically a yakfest, but an incredibly fluid and involving one, and if you have any kind of affinity for either of the characters, you’re bound to find the picture a kind of miracle.
  15. Preaches post-9/11 family values to conservatives while appeasing liberals with ideas of tolerance and social activism.
  16. One of the funniest, smartest, most moving pictures of the year.
  17. Jarecki does a remarkable job with this easily exploitable material.
  18. While avoiding specious bromides about universality, Persepolis insists on communicating with its audience, and insists that communication and empathy are the keys to our survival.
  19. This is one of the year's most subtly moving films, and a strong affirmation of Coppola's substantial talent.
  20. von Donnersmarck delivers something extraordinary and rare: a thriller that's entirely adult in both its concerns and perspective which manages to be as thoroughly gripping as any finely tuned albeit adolescent Hollywood nail-biter.
  21. All told, while the goods that Daggers offers are choice, the movie ultimately demonstrates that too much can be, well, more than enough.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Much of this story is indeed entertaining: there's a tone of lighthearted mischievousness to the plotting and scheming of an illegal act that is essentially harmless.
  22. Borat is, in many ways, an heir to the same kind of subversion of American norms that the transvestite Divine perfected in John Waters’ early films.
  23. A wildly imaginative, hugely entertaining tour de force that asks big questions about life and love and fate while never ceasing to fully engage the viewer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Letters from Iwo Jima isn't just the film that Eastwood wanted to make, but one that the film's producer Steven Spielberg had tried to make twice with "Empire of the Sun" and "Saving Private Ryan."
  24. Once may not boast stellar production values or elaborate dance numbers, but in its own scruffy way it captures the spirit of the genre better than any recent Hollywood musical.
  25. Catherine Keener is remarkably subtle and soulful as Capote's friend and helpmeet Harper Lee, who delivers a shocking verdict against him at the end, but the movie, as you probably will not be surprised to learn, is owned by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  26. Mafioso isn't a straight black satire of Sicilian culture so much as a suspenseful near-tragedy leavened by the zesty, irreverent wit that helped define the golden age of Italian comedies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Up
    Each character has their own story, and Pixar never sacrifices their development just for a happy ending.
  27. For all its seeming simplicity, this is an emotionally and intellectually complex film that holds the viewer in a grip as tight as any classic thriller you can name.
  28. This is more than just the best animated comedy of the year--it's the best comedy of the year, period.
  29. In his first feature, director Joshua Marston passes no judgments. He doesn't condemn drugs. He merely depicts the system that has arisen to support this illicit trade.
  30. Lee and company handle the particulars of the tale with the requisite meticulousness and exquisite taste that marks all the director's films.
  31. Murderball asks you to put all your assumptions about quadriplegics aside and start over.
  32. Herzog not only tells an incredible story but implies a dark metaphysic of the natural world that makes this film unsettlingly larger than its human subject.
  33. A remarkably appealing success story full of heart and humor and poignancy, with Swank as winning as she’s ever been.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With 2001, Stanley Kubrick proved that a sci-fi movie could be philosophical rather than pulpy, profound rather than pedantic.
    • Premiere
  34. This critic found much to digest (pun barely intended), with thoughts of FDA politics and standard practices, the ritualism and sacrifice of our own species, why baby animals are considered protectable innocents (and inversely, grown steaks-to-be just a fact of life), plus, on a meta level, how people's dietary philosophies will inform their reactions to the work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This Is England may be best summed up as a "coming-of-age" story that puts aside the clichéd baggage often carried by the description and ultimately ends up being moving, genuinely funny, thought-provoking, and highly recommended.
  35. A triumphant revisiting of territory in which Scorsese is an unchallenged master -- the crime drama.
  36. This is not a children's picture, although it touches on the imaginative powers and emotional resilience of children. It's another slice of Hou's distinctly poetic realism, and as such, also a kind of tribute to Paris -- the Paris of both today and of the older film.
  37. Most thrillers of this ilk have no qualms about going past the 120-minute mark, but I think Greengrass and company understood that overdoing it would turn mass excitement into massive headache.
  38. I generally resist calling any actor's work "brave" or "fearless" or any such thing, but Bosco's work here made me reconsider that self-imposed ban. It's incredible, harrowing, precise stuff.
  39. The masterly Panahi concocts a spellbinding, often corrosively and/or warmly funny story in which love of both country and sport tries to, but doesn't quite, transcend dogmatic and ingrained difference.
  40. More often than not laugh-out-loud hilarious.
  41. Beautiful, lyrical, but not in the least bit wimpy. [May 2004, p. 18]
    • Premiere
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Nelson works largely because Gosling and Epps work flawlessly together.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With its varied close-ups and wide shots of the performers and a series of interviews with several of the musicians as they prepare to perform, Heart of Gold is a traditional concert film. But a traditional concert film starring Neil Young brings a layer of emotion to the medium that's rarely seen.
  42. The settings are handsome, the cinematography accomplished, the performances first-rate.
  43. When the movie isn't being scary, it's crazily funny, so much so that critical watchers will wonder if Bong might tilt the balance of the picture too far in a comic direction and water down the scares. He doesn't.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's the rare sci-fi film that transcends its genre with its ideas, able to sweep one up in its not-too-distant future and yet remain remarkably prescient about the present day.
  44. How 49 Up differs from its precursors for the better is that it's the first to have its participants interact with Apted the filmmaker, no longer a one-sided interviewer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Beyond Milk, few of the other characters are given much to do.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A model of economic storytelling....It raised the bar for movie action to a bionic level. [1 Dec 2003, p.13]
    • Premiere
  45. Perhaps the greatest, most affecting articulation of the theme Eastwood has been exploring since 1990's "White Hunter Black Heart": how violence--real violence, not movie violence--perpetrated and experienced, can erode and/or obliterate the human soul.
  46. Never anything less than wholly engrossing. There's a lot of humor to be found here (primarily of the dark comedy variety) and the cumulative impact of Lazarescu's journey through the Bucharest medical system is quite powerful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The result is an exhilarating narrative.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Each scene is lovingly crafted, with bright colors and the beautiful scenery of La Mancha, the mellifluous cadences of Castilian Spanish, and of course the faces, young and old, of each actress.
  47. The action is violent, messy, and threaded through with dark humor. This is a movie for grownups, for sure, but it has a mulish kick that most such pictures consider themselves to tasteful to aspire to.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sally Hawkins offers an Oscar-worthy performance as Poppy, the funny, kind-hearted, and mischievous protagonist.
  48. Hero is one of the most beautiful and involving films of the year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is, simply put, one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever see.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    We were also glad to see they didn't ignore the humorous elements that made the original so great. Plus, the casting is spot on.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The Poe-esque story, the wonderfully twisted physical geometry of the characters, and the director’s signature sense of humor, combine to make Corpse Bride a fun movie, and one that breathes life not only into stop motion, but into animation as a whole.
  49. Fantastic news, true believers: Spider-Man 2 is smarter, hipper, faster, funnier, and flat-out more electrifying than the original, swinging to new summer-movie heights as the greatest comic-book adaptation yet made.
  50. It's terribly strong -- in structural ingenuity, emotional pull, and particularly visual beauty.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If you don't play at all, you may find yourself enjoying this film more than anyone, because you'll at least get all the laughs with none of the cringing self-recognition.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Fear not those who worried about Raimi after the last "Spiderman" debacle. There is no musical number here. The tongue is planted firmly in-cheek. The spirit of "Evil Dead" lives on.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A smart, brisk, but extremely thoughtful hybrid of star-vehicle and resonant depiction of right-now America.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Duvall delivers a bravura, Oscar-quality performance....The Apostle is a profoundly humane movie that crackles with the joy and sorrow of an old blues record.
    • Premiere
  51. This is a movie of head-spinning richness.
  52. Imelda Staunton is absolutely astonishing.
  53. The film is beautifully acted by all, but Nora-Jane Noone, as the sloe-eyed orphan Bernadette, is first among equals here, and a genuine find.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A remarkable and disturbing look at the personal stories glossed over by the headlines.
  54. The result is one of the odder and, certainly the most compelling of the short stream of Broadway-to-Hollywood transplants of recent years. The interweaving of the music and the visuals casts an unusual, restive spell of delight and unease.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's difficult to enjoy a thriller in which the big reveal is such a clunker, but if there's an exception to that rule, Tell No One might be it.
  55. Delivers a polished and well-researched look at America 's largest corporate bankruptcy with a laser-sharp focus on the personalities, practices, and fates of the top executives behind the Enron meltdown.
  56. With almost palpable anger, Meirelles hammers home the point that crushing poverty is only one problem for Africa that the West needs to do something about.
  57. It's a film that approaches greatness and then fumbles.
  58. The moviemakers are accomplished enough to make something coherent out of this tonal mishmash, but I was left with a "was this trip really necessary" feeling for all that.
  59. By the end of the film, one begins to recognize specific birds, rooting for their safe returns and saddened by some of their failures.
  60. It's a rare film that can be convincingly tender, bitterly funny, and ruthlessly cutting over the course of fewer than 90 minutes. The Squid and the Whale not only manages this, it also contains moments that sock you with all three qualities at the same time.
  61. An unexpectedly exuberant, only mildly subversive celebration of music, learning, and going all out for what you love.
  62. A thoroughly engaging, terrifically moving family story that's rich in beautifully observed and lovingly conveyed human detail.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Masterfully put together.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    You won't be seeing any stretch Hummers, wild late night parties and 75,000 seat arena shows in this documentary, but that's what makes this so good.
  63. Soars gloriously into fluency and magic.
  64. Michal Clayton shares a number of affinities with Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet's "Network." Wilkinson's got the so-mad-he's-sane Peter Finch position; while Swinton embodies a sexless, neurotic, overstressed variant of Faye Dunaway's character. Which leaves Clooney as the (considerably younger) William Holden of the piece. And, yes, he makes the most of it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is as wonderfully realized an observation of female affinity as 1999’s great "The Dreamlife of Angels."
  65. Unfortunately, the reach of The Return exceeds its grasp, and so this film of gruffly beautiful images didn't put a hook in me the way Zvyagintsev so ardently seems to want it to. [March 2003, p. 27]
    • Premiere
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Nolan's strong suits are maniacal schemers and moody character-driven intrigue, both of which make The Dark Knight a sleek (if, at close to three hours, somewhat distended) detective story.
  66. One of Cronenberg's subtlest, most insinuating pictures, and one of the highlights of the year so far.
  67. While Bartley and O'Briain flat-out lucked out with this felicitous endeavor, their fearlessness, unobtrusive narration, and lack of Michael Moore man-and-microphone pandering is to be saluted.
  68. It's churlish, especially these days, to try to split the difference between an immortal comedy classic and a mere laugh riot.
  69. If a woman had not in fact certifiably written the picture, I might have thought that Lester Bangs had come back from the dead to pen an account of the teen years of his ideal mate.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Weir consistently proves that he can take any kind of material and adeptly make it his own.
  70. Though the movie is predictable, it's also honest; Fin emerges from his struggles a better person but not A Better Person, if you catch my drift. And in any case all of the actors are a great pleasure to watch.
  71. Deeply nuts and exhaustingly hilarious.

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