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 Flight of the Red Balloon
Lowest review score: 0 Cthulhu
Score distribution:
2749 movie reviews
  1. The movie is an unusually witty and intelligent romantic comedy and Hollywood's best Valentine's Day gift in years.
  2. The kind of movie you're glad somebody had the guts to make, but you don't really want to endure.
  3. It's a little long and dissipates some of its power in an unfocused subplot, but the skewed sensibility of the film is both innocent and feral and offers a smart and satisfying reworking to the familiar genre. An American remake is already in the works.
  4. Compassionate, potent documentary.
  5. The film concludes that there's still simply no way out of the forest.
  6. It demands people pay attention and look inward to find the private compass that will navigate us through murky sensibilities that are as capable of seducing us as they are Tom Ripley.
  7. The real find in this lovely family film is Castle-Hughes, who makes Pai's confusion, emotional fragility and devotion palpable.
  8. Grueling but ultimately rewarding new documentary.
  9. Simply enjoy its witty and expertly crafted scenes, its controlled performances, its eccentric but mostly admirable characters, its succession of bleak but cozily Nordic panoramas and its surprisingly optimistic view of the world.
  10. This devastating film is buoyed by Dequenne's bravura willingness to go all out; she's a baby-faced kid when the camera focuses full on and an exceptionally beautiful young woman in profile.
  11. From Harry's perspective, it's a grotesque life, a dead end for his new protege Michel, but Moll also shows the sensitivity beneath the sniping and that's where With a Friend Like Harry ... really scores
  12. It may be too intense at times for wee ones, but kids of 5 and up testing the limits of their independence in the big world should relate to Lucas, dig the crazy insect world and embrace the imagination behind the colorful adventure.
  13. It's a solid study in paranoia and gamesmanship.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    A thinker's film about the ever-shifting paradigm of man-woman relationships.
  14. There is more comedy than outrage in this critique of sexual inequality in Iran.
  15. A mostly fascinating, often frustrating, boldly uncommercial Hollywood version of a boldly uncommercial art film. It's very atypical of the previous work of both director and star, and it's as personal a film, I suspect, as Cruise will ever make.
  16. In a farce like this, where the story is merely a string of martial-arts movie cliches lined up to be parodied, that has its own rewards.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Watts and Coffey may have vaulted Hollywood's gated enclaves, but this affectionate film shows they haven't forgotten, nor idealized, their days among the ranks of the struggling and ambitious.
  17. It's a consciousness-raising personal odyssey in the tradition of such recent indie hits as "Sideways" and "About Schmidt" -- only less obviously comedic and, as always with Jarmusch, blissfully unresolved.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Just in time for back-to-school, this smart film about a troubled teacher and student upends most movie images, both romantic and negatively stereotyped, of the urban classroom.
  18. When it's good, there is no more riveting movie genre than a courtroom drama, and Class Action is one of the best in ages - perhaps since "The Verdict" in 1982. [15 Mar 1991]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  19. A satisfyingly nasty piece of work so black and cruel it's often more sick than funny.
  20. A funny, sad, scary and ultimately tragic coming-of-age drama/black comedy that skillfully -- and uncompromisingly -- creates its own world and uniquely pessimistic vision.
  21. Confidently directed and elegantly designed, this smart drama is sensitive, sympathetic and refreshingly free of glib moralizing.
  22. An absorbing slice of the New China and a fascinating duel between two magnificently stubborn antagonists.
  23. Machuca is a quiet film, moving sadly toward its inevitable climax, the final scenes a lesson in the methods by which the military restores order to a divided country.
  24. This is a film about anger, shame and helplessness, and it offers no answers, merely hard questions and angry challenges.
  25. Park is neither glib nor pedantic as he charts the vicious circle that leaves victims in its wake, unintentional and premeditated, and takes its dehumanizing toll on his increasingly brutal heroes.
  26. Kidman's Virginia Woolf is already controversial -- Yet there's something fierce, noble and deeply affecting in her work that mirrors Woolf's prose style, and her turbulent presence is the soul of the movie.
  27. The story is so compelling and the movie is such a pleasure to the eyes and ears.
  28. An extraordinarily absorbing neo-realistic tragedy.
  29. Nettelbeck has created a movie recipe that ladles great dollops of dessertlike joy and equally dark tragedy around her strong-willed heroine. It wouldn't work without actors capable of finding vulnerability, humanity and kindness in sometimes inaccessible characters.
  30. Where you might expect either overheated teen melodrama or cartoonish farce, Nobuhiro creates a lively, engaging, character-driven piece with flourishes of offbeat humor dancing around the dynamics of the foursome as they pull together in rehearsals.
  31. It's a gripping outdoor adventure and the movies' most inspiring epic survival story in years.
  32. A smart, savvy and satisfying Hollywood comedy.
  33. It lacks history, background and cultural roots, but it's undeniably infectious.
  34. The biggest surprise for Miike fans and musical lovers alike is that for all the black humor of this deliriously bizarre fantasy "Happiness" is a warmhearted film about sacrifice, support and four generations of family togetherness.
  35. By far the best thing about it is Zeta-Jones.
  36. Sweet and sour and sexy.
  37. Like Lyne's other heavy-breathers, this one has glossy production values, a relentlessly somber mood and its share of sexual gymnastics. But it's atypical and unique in the way it builds a volcano waiting to erupt with nail-biting anticipation and sympathy for all three characters.
  38. Affliction has rarely been so sensitively explored.
  39. The music, art direction and camerawork blend together with an integrity and scope that's wonderfully exhilarating. Every frame seems to communicate the grandeur, power and fatal pull of the sea.
  40. A rousing, eye-filling, song-and-dance period musical spectacular that - despite a certain inability to decide whether it wants to be a kids' movie or "Les Miserables" - is a surprisingly enjoyable and entertaining throwback to the great movie musical style of the '40s and '50s. [10 Apr 1992]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  41. This latest remake goes back to the spirit and letter of Eric Knight's 1940 novel.
  42. This community finds its balance with an easy effortlessness.
  43. Above all, I'm Not Scared pays off our emotional investment. In the end, its elements come together with the kind of genuinely thrilling, deeply satisfying climax that even the better Hollywood movies just can't seem to pull off anymore.
  44. The film is so crisply acted and smartly drawn that you barely notice the cracks in the veneer.
  45. W.
    Seems a much more even-handed and thoughtful take on the man than anyone might have expected.
  46. Sautet lets the film wander from Ventura's desperate odyssey, but when the irresistibly charming young Jean-Paul Belmondo enters the picture as an unflaggingly loyal ally, his wandering is forgiven.
  47. It may not keep you guessing to the end, but there are enough surprises and wry revelations, right down to the last play, to make this a most satisfying cinematic confidence game.
  48. Its script is sharp, its dialogue is acerbic, its stars could hardly be better and, in its more sparkling moments, it exudes some of the flavor and charm of the later Hepburn-Tracy comedies.
  49. Pfeiffer devours every one of her scenes with a ferocious performance.
  50. Completely -- and quite cleverly -- contrived, a cascade of stupid mistakes and miscommunication stirred into a visceral stew of gooey blisters and flaying layers of bloody flesh.
  51. Captures the lovely, heart-and-eye-opening ode to youthful possibility with affection and compassion.
  52. This scruffy, unkempt tale lacks the narrative satisfaction of Kaufman's dramatic design, but between the chaotic zigs and creative jags, it proclaims its own kind of messy authenticity and a bittersweet beauty.
  53. If you're sick of the gross-out gags and sex jokes of contemporary teen comedy, this defiant blast of idiosyncratic individuality just could be your tonic.
  54. Its overall effect is haunting, hypnotic and moving in a profound and unexpected way.
  55. The movie misfires: It's numbingly cold and soulless, and the zeitgeist stays far beyond its reach. But it's so visually striking you almost don't notice, its relentlessly somber mood has a certain masochistic appeal and, while hardly a career-redefining performance, Hanks is as winning as ever.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Director George Ratliff plays pitch-perfect on the tautly wound strings of our innermost fears that nothing -- not love, wealth or intelligence -- can protect us from the monsters we harbor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    By 2020, when NASA's Orion lunar spacecraft is scheduled to launch, it's unlikely that any Apollo veterans will still be alive. Sington has done us a service in helping preserve their memories.
  56. Makes the translation with all its wit, incisive dialogue and eccentric characters intact, and then some.
  57. Captures the open-air rock festival experience more completely than any previous film of its kind.
  58. A warm-hearted and understated entertainment that's blissfully free of the heavy-handed crudity and other elements that have ravaged 21st-century Hollywood comedy.
  59. It's a barrage of visual stimulation so excessive that it's hard to sort it all out. But it's often funny, its texture can be breathtaking and its pleasures likely will grow with repeated viewings.
  60. A quirky little film with an offbeat trajectory that rattles through the bones of story with eyes open to the texture of experience and the dimensions of character.
  61. Katharina Otto-Bernstein's oral history of Wilson's life and work, narrated by Wilson, with a handful of sycophants joining in on the choruses, is monstrously one-sided. It does, however, offer insights into the director's methods and motivations.
  62. If the film has a weakness, it's an ending that's so vague and open to interpretation that it's not at all clear how director Andrew Wagner ultimately wants us to feel about these self-absorbed characters and their precious literary concerns. But the performances carry the day.
  63. Sometimes so intimate it's embarrassing, and the messiness at falling in love at any age is disquieting.
  64. The new movie year's poignant love story to beat.
  65. Always absorbing.
  66. Some audiences will find it an endurance test and Reygadas doesn't make it easy with his confrontational imagery, but he provokes emotions not often explored on screen.
  67. With more sympathy for Johnston's suffering and less reveling in the fruits of his madness, The Devil and Daniel Johnston could have been a great film instead of a disturbing one.
  68. The script (by Richard Russo) is solid, the performances are witty and fun, and the movie is a most agreeable way to spend an hour and a half.
  69. Thornton has made so many bad movies and become so notorious as a talk-show eccentric that it's easy to forget what a good film actor he can be.
  70. As much as I enjoyed the movie -- and I laughed all the way through it -- the truth is that the big screen adds nothing special to the "Simpsons" experience.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The most surprising thing about The Rocker is how enjoyable it is.
  71. It's more clever than smart, but Paul Fox directs with the same easygoing attitude of its slacker hero and finds some modest truths (also lower case) behind the props.
  72. Hot Rod is a cousin to the comedies of Will Ferrell (for whom it was developed) with a younger skew, a kooky '80s nostalgia (complete with a pitch-perfect synthesizer score by Trevor Rabin) and a low-key amiability that keeps you rooting for Rod and company to triumph.
  73. Plenty of visuals but little of the rhythm, flow or characterizations that made the earlier film an instant children's classic.
  74. It's a pleasure to see and hear so much wit in a big-budget comedy, and the fine British cast of supporting actors makes every bon mot a tasty verbal morsel.
  75. Zambrano shows an impressive sensitivity toward his actors and their characters and never allows hopelessness to quash hope in this lovely film.
  76. The film is a hopeful, rollicking, rocking, humorous, heartbreaking journey.
  77. More reinvention than remake, this black-humored, blood-soaked adventure is a colorful if impersonal audience pleaser done up in a showy, fluid style with a tongue-in-cheek flair.
  78. Hip-hop is not the beat I dance to, but you don't need to be immersed in the culture to understand the heartbeat it sets in the lives of Brown Sugar's main characters.
  79. A first-rate student film, but not much more.
  80. Truly raunchy but it's more sweetly stupid and silly than anything.
  81. The thing is far too absurd and broadly played for its own good.
  82. Winner of the top prize at the last Berlin Film Festival, the film is sporadically powerful, sensitively acted and full of music, used with imagination and flair.
  83. A disturbing, and disturbingly funny, twist on adolescent love, and Shiota captures the emotional avalanche with understanding.
  84. The flaw in the movie is that it can't give a plausible reason WHY this patriotic Catholic family man turned traitor, and the script annoyingly addresses this lack several times by saying, "The why doesn't matter." Actually, it does. We want some reason.
  85. Boyle gives us some truly harrowing sequences and a succession of images that stick in the mind like a bad dream.
  86. A passionate, well-made documentary that stresses how time is running out for a peaceful solution.
  87. Call it "E.T." for a new generation.
  88. At its best, Company Man hums from one piece to the next, a harmless, good-natured, often silly spoof with a few cutting barbs and a comic showman's love of the well-executed gag.
  89. Anyone who goes in this movie expecting a rollicking comedy is in for a shock. Its scant humor is dry as the Sahara and, like all Dickens stories, its upbeat ending is never quite convincing enough to offset the horrors of the journey toward it.
  90. Hypnotic and fun.
  91. Elf
    The real gift of Elf is the simple pleasure of a sweet and funny comedy that genuinely embraces its message of holiday cheer and still has fun goofing with it.
  92. It's cumulatively entertaining, and a fascinating and nostalgic time capsule of its era. Watch for the cameo by Brigitte Bardot.
  93. There are a lot of terrific creative energies at play in Robots and they overcome an overreliance on amusement park sensibilities in the animated adventure.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    When the monster shows up, pretty early in the film, everything becomes much more interesting, as it smashes buildings in midtown Manhattan like some sort of Rudy Giuliani, 9/11 nightmare.

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