Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,749 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 51 Birch Street
Lowest review score: 0 See Spot Run
Score distribution:
2749 movie reviews
  1. The real joy here is the performance of Jean Dujardin, who, besides being very funny as the Gallic Maxwell Smart, is also enormously charismatic and is made to look uncannily (and I do mean uncannily) like the young Sean Connery of "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger."
  2. It's naturalistic, briskly paced and never overreverential. It's not a bit stagy, yet it manages to be dazzling theater.
  3. This moody, progressively enthralling little French psychodrama is very much it's own thing: a boldly conceived, impeccably crafted and wonderfully enigmatic two-character study that turns out to be a most powerful showcase for its two stars.
  4. Is it possible to have yet another expensive excursion into this genre that seems in any way fresh, original and alive? The answer, surprisingly, is yes.
  5. Several times, Hotel Rwanda teeters on the edge of making a unique, visionary statement about our times, but can't quite do it. Too bad. If it could have pulled itself together in one brilliant scene, this may have been a great movie, instead of just a very good one.
  6. A paragon of subtlety. Yet this message is exactly what we carry out of the theater, and it lingers on with a powerful resonance.
  7. The film's real feat may be in its production design, in the sumptuousness and veracity with which it re-creates central Saigon and the Vietnamese countryside of the '50s: an exotic lost world of brothels and opium dens, trishaws and ao-dai dresses, Ming-deco interiors and water buffalos in rice paddies.
  8. In a movie era when brand names mean very little, it shows once again that Pixar is a stamp of quality.
  9. The stripped-down dramatic constructs, austere imagery and abstract characters are equal parts poetry and politics, obvious at times but evocative and heartfelt.
  10. The film is magnificently mounted, it moves like a speeding bullet and it's so respectful of Superman traditions that even the pickiest of die-hard fans should love it. After a lapse of two decades, it revitalizes the franchise and makes it seem fresh and alive.
  11. The sudden turns of temperament are a treat after the smart-ass attitude of American horror flicks, and the film is full of minor surprises, squirming in unexpected directions without leaving the conventions behind.
  12. It's a richly textured, leisurely paced, visually impressionistic epic of the American past that fairly hypnotizes the viewer with its tapestry of sights, sounds and colors.
  13. It's by far the most inspirational sports movie to come along in many a month.
  14. It's a terrific movie -- intelligent, magnificently acted, highly compelling as a thriller, and downright scary in its implications for the corporate-run world of the new millennium.
  15. That rare animal, a dialogue-driven comedy -- and a good one at that. While one or two of its scenes may seem a tad too talky for today's low-attention spans, the script is mostly razor-sharp acerbic and sophisticated.
  16. Reminds us of just how exciting and satisfying the fantasy cinema can be when it's approached with imagination and flair.
  17. A funny, rousing crowd-pleaser.
  18. There's still nothing quite as thrilling on the screen as the spectacle of an icon movie star in a perfectly tailored role.
  19. In Wonderland, Winterbottom has found a script worthy of his passion.
  20. The movie is a delicious, consistently hilarious screwball farce that gives Clooney his best comedy role to date and should finally, forever, lift the Coens into the wide-release movie mainstream.
  21. It's a well-crafted, intelligent, no-nonsense western epic that zips us through the famous siege and the birth of Texas with style, verve and impressive historical accuracy.
  22. Some will find the surprise pleasant, others unpleasant. Whatever it is, it's the least commercial, most somberly heartfelt movie ever made by the cinema's most commercially successful filmmaker.
  23. So devoid of the usual coarse Hollywood calculation that it plays like a breath of fresh air.
  24. It's an uncluttered, resonant gem that relays its universal points without lectures or confrontations.
  25. An exhilarating musical experience.
  26. Mehta's feisty, featherweight romantic comedy makes the case that even the most flamboyant cinematic conventions are as universal as they are exotic, especially when they conspire to produce that glow of happily ever after.
  27. A film more textural than narrative, it's for viewers willing to lose themselves in a truly sensual jungle experience.
  28. A happy surprise: a timely antidote to the comic-book mindlessness of "Spider-Man" and repetitive space fantasy of "Star Wars," and an encouraging bid from the top of the A-list to once again reach very high and spit in the face of the gutless formula filmmaking that rules Hollywood.
  29. There's nothing harder for an actor to play than a thoroughly good character, and Staunton does it with a dowdy, sublime originality.
  30. It's a volatile subject and Abu-Assad's thoughtful thriller stokes the debate.
  31. Ultimately the ballet performances, and notably the work of Stiefel, a star with American Ballet Theatre, are the only moments that deserve center stage.
  32. Despite the raw gut-punch of its direction, its power lies in compassion, not sensationalism.
  33. An absorbing and fulfilling experience -- even though it ends with a question mark.
  34. Changeling doesn't care if you love it or hate it, it makes no compromises to fashion and it's charged with that unmistakable assurance of a master filmmaker at his creative peak.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Korine's latest film, Mister Lonely, is no different, but this film has a sweetness that has rarely, if ever, been present in his previous work.
  35. It's a big enough film to hold all the contradictions. Green has an ego and a gift for stealing the spotlight with a wink and a grin. Yet his respect for the kids is genuine.
  36. An uncompromising and ultimately chilling look at individual creativity trampled by corporate greed, and its timing could not be more appropriate.
  37. The film is a charming little romantic comedy based on a high-concept premise - one of those fraudulent marriages whereby an alien marries an American citizen to get his green card, or permanent residency. [11 Jan 1991, p. 6]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  38. Technically, the film is consistently impressive. It creates a grimly gothic vision of a crime-ridden and depression-ravaged Gotham City, a dandy pair of chase sequences involving the new generation Batmobile and a range of innovative visual effects.
  39. An engrossing study in abnormal psychology, an inspirational drama that tells us a determined man really can do anything his mind can envision and is the first film that plays on what could become a phenomenon of the new millennium: World Trade Center nostalgia.
  40. Its elements all come together with an unforced perfection, every scene feels real and alive in a way that many of his more surrealistic later films do not, and Leonard Maltin, for one, has argued that I Vitelloni is no less than Fellini's masterpiece.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A delightful, inspiring and ultimately redemptive comedy-drama.
  41. It's not the most viscerally exhilarating racing saga or squishy animal movie ever made, but it's a terrific period piece. It's also a well-acted, engrossing and satisfying character drama that stands out like a diamond in this summer of sequels and comic-book violence.
  42. Gorgeous in its gore and, for all its destruction, despair and death, concludes on an optimistic and vibrantly alive note.
  43. Faced with an artist defined more by his lyrics than his life story, Haynes delivers a song-cycle of a movie: vivid, exaggerated, contradictory impressions of a man who confounds a culture still looking to define him.
  44. The actors are all well-cast, thoughtful and sometimes funny. Tabu was apparently not Nair's first choice, but after watching her in the role it's hard to imagine anyone else -- she's heartbreakingly good.
  45. It's pure fluff, but as irresistible as cotton candy.
  46. A proud and optimistic testament to the youthful spirit of seniors who refuse to let such a trifle as their failed lives get in the way of a bit of fun.
  47. Fascinating, visually gorgeous cinematic study that will frustrate some viewers by its ambiguity.
  48. The formula has rarely been done as well as it is in this goofy, audacious, visually stylized omnibus of what-ifs that operates on its own peculiar logic, and powers along with the force of a truck on the Autobahn.
  49. Rivets our interest for its entire lengthy running time. And it does this without any of the usual war movie clichés, false heroics, barracks-humor nonsense or grandstanding absurdities.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Despite the jumble, Kon's eye-popping, surreal mastery of the Japanese dream is awakening.
  50. Very much a '70s-style paranoid thriller, with a mood, tone and cascade of plot twists that are highly reminiscent of his 1975 classic, "Three Days of the Condor."
  51. The results are being billed as a reunion of the "Titanic" star team, but anyone expecting a similarly gushy romantic idyll is in for a shock: it is an uncompromisingly dreary view of two self-deluded people incapable and unwilling to understand one another.
  52. The sum of the movie is devastating. One takes out of it a sense that the human cost of our endless adventure in Iraq is going to be incalculable, perhaps catastrophic -- a psychological time bomb that will be exploding for decades to come.
  53. The sharpest journalism thriller I've seen in years: an absolutely riveting drama that doesn't glorify its subject in the slightest and shrewdly says a lot of very sad things about the state of modern journalism.
  54. That rare thing at the movies these days: a new experience. It awes us with its technological feat, it sweeps us up in its mystical spell and, with its final scene -- it takes us to an emotional climax of almost unbearable poignancy.
  55. Not only is it an enormously entertaining study of a curiously American institution, it also manages to be a nail-biting competition film, an engrossing group character study and a wonderfully graceful comedy of manners.
  56. I can't think of another movie that more fluently communicates the special agony and ecstasy of the game of chess.
  57. For all its unevenness, Bobby is a powerful, poignant movie and its ending -- played over a long excerpt of one of RFK's most compassionate speeches, voiced with none of the cliches of political rhetoric -- was, for me, the movie year's single most devastating sequence.
  58. Though it's unflinching in its depiction of homosexual affection, the marvel of the movie is the dexterity with which it transcends the specificity of its characters and gay theme to be a universal human statement and profound political epic.
  59. For all its moodiness, despair and disconnect, I've Loved You So Long is all about acknowledging human error and embracing ties -- to family and life -- that can't be undone.
  60. Movie magic is only as powerful as the imagination that casts it. Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki's imagination is the most creative in animated filmmaking.
  61. The two women -- as well as the always marvelous Bill Nighy as Blanchett's "older" husband -- run roughshod over its third act flaws and, with their exquisitely detailed performances, make it better than it is. It's an actor's triumph.
  62. In a disarmingly entertaining fashion, this multiaward-winning German bittersweet comedy seems to encapsulate all the emotion and drama of that profound geopolitical event.
  63. For all its excesses, it's an absorbing, disturbing, savagely beautiful "trip" movie, and an extraordinary -- perhaps even outrageous -- personal vision of the one A-list filmmaker who truly deserves the adjective "maverick."
  64. Jacob's Ladder is also undeniably spooky. It creates and maintains a mood of paranoia, its special visual effects are original and nightmarish, and it has at least three sequences as haunting as anything I've seen in some time. [2 Nov 1990, p.9]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  65. Potter 3 is, in its heart of hearts, a teenage angst movie...Cuaron has done a masterful job of bringing off this shift in the Potter paradigm without disrupting any disruption in the established style of the series and without any pandering concessions to the teen-movie genre.
  66. Pawlikowski has made a gorgeously ambiguous film -- based upon a novel by Helen Cross -- that is blessedly hard to tag; in fact, it's a compilation of genres and moods -- comedy, romance and diabolical thriller -- and that is its core strength and freshness.
  67. After a somewhat shaky start, the film gradually settles in to become another extraordinarily powerful and explosively acted drama that deftly probes the moral responsibility of an artist in a totalitarian society.
  68. The Reader is significant because -- like another film opening today, "Valkyrie" -- it asks us to see not just the Jews but the whole German people as victims of the Holocaust, and to view Nazism as more a product of explicable ignorance than inexplicable evil.
  69. Olivier Dahan's sprawling portrait of the life of Edith Piaf is the kind of grand, passionate historical drama that no one seems to be able to pull off any more.
  70. Played by Lucy Russell with a defiant, unapologetic embrace of aristocratic privilege, Grace is a maddening yet fascinating character.
  71. This collision of skate punk and pop-culture archaeology is the most entertaining slice of cultural history I've seen in years.
  72. Even if you don't like the stories, the filmmakers seem incapable of finding a corner of Paris that is not photogenic.
  73. Perhaps the most ingeniously imaginative element in Son of Rambow, a film exploding with imagination (some of it scrawled directly over the film in animated expressions of Will's private world), is its very conceit.
  74. An imaginative self-profile of producer Robert Evans, could well be the most totally irresistible movie of the summer.
  75. There's a real gee-whiz kick to the fantasy of being the brainiest kid on the planet, and a down-to-earth quality to Jimmy and his not-so-bright, but ever-so-stalwart best buddies.
  76. Explores cloudy, discomforting realities of the Holocaust not usually addressed in such films.
  77. He's (Carrey) a marvelous Grinch in this spirited, bustling and mostly faithful spin on Seuss.
  78. Deftly weaves history, film and memory into an imaginative meditation on why the movies become a part of our lives.
  79. It struck me as the most exciting and original Hollywood thriller, occult or otherwise, since "The Sixth Sense."
  80. A radically disturbing and memorable movie whose images don't easily fade or diminish in power.
  81. No, it doesn't exactly re-create the magic that made the original such an instant classic, but it's faster and more involving than "Reloaded" and it rounds off the premise and themes of the trilogy in a surprisingly satisfying way.
  82. The movie is exactly what it's billed to be: the successful blending of two distinctly different filmmaking sensibilities from two different generations. But the stronger, and more pessimistic, sensibility -- Kubrick's -- carries the day.
  83. In the world of comic-book movies, American Splendor is the real deal, the warts-and-all adventures of the most unlikely hero on the comic stands.
  84. Everlasting Moments both is a tribute to Larsson -- a relative of the director's wife, Jan (author of the original story) -- and a love letter to the art of photography.
  85. A mesmerizingly suspenseful drama.
  86. It assaults us with violence, brutality, sexual confusion and anarchy and has enough bruising, punishing humor to keep us laughing with relief.
  87. A beautiful and compassionate work, at once stark, sensory and spiritually grasping, that challenges us to forgive even the most monstrous sins.
  88. A witty little comic gem with a heart and a soul.
  89. Winterbottom's compassion transforms In This World from a political statement into an eloquent and involving human drama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Jonathan Demme's long-awaited Philadelphia is so expertly acted, well-meaning and gutsy that you find yourself constantly pulling for it to be the definitive AIDS movie. [14 Jan 1994, p.13]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  90. It's eye-filling, well-cast, often very funny and executed with great imagination and flair.
  91. Flat-out one of the best Bonds ever.
  92. What gives the story resonance is the tenderness and sacrifice and even innocence del Toro reveals amid the savagery.
  93. It's a rich, engrossing ensemble drama that reveals itself very slowly, is filled with multidimensional characters and multi-layered performances, and works toward an amazingly verisimilitude. [19 Jan 1996]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  94. An unusually satisfying and inspiring historical epic from one of contemporary cinema's best filmmakers.
  95. With his usual intelligence, technical virtuosity (the reverse-aging effects are astounding) and storytelling panache, director Fincher gives the film a power and unity that make nearly three hours go by in a flash and pulls its diverse elements together to be something unique for a Hollywood movie -- a true spiritual experience.
  96. Ironically, the challenge of directing a Japanese-language film with a non-English-speaking cast seems to have brought out the very best in Eastwood. His vision is alternately intimate and sweeping, his touch never seemed more light and sure, and several of his scenes are so delicate, dynamic and prototypically Japanese they could have been directed by Akira Kurosawa.

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