St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,375 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Jackie
Lowest review score: 0 The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Score distribution:
1375 movie reviews
  1. A film that's all the more intriguing for being virtually impossible to categorize.
  2. The best kind of comic-book movie. It's stylish and spectacular, yet it's rooted in history and human emotions. It's smart yet it's funny. It's wise yet it kicks ass when it has to. Just like the U.S. of A.
  3. Put aside any hang-ups you may have about subtitles. As action flicks go, Point Blank is right on target.
  4. The funniest movie of the year.
  5. At the confluence of altered states and state-sanctioned violence, this drug-fueled thriller is Stone's most successfully provocative picture since "JFK."
  6. Although it alludes to romantic conventions, with overt references to Hollywood history and an overemphatic jazz soundtrack, Wild Grass is neither poignant nor zany. It's an exercise in artifice, not unlike David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" set in the City of Lights. I'm sure the French have a word for it, but je ne sais quoi it is.
  7. If you're looking for a political message, either for or against U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, this is not your movie. The directors were satisfied with telling us about a group of courageous, honorable young soldiers - a salute these men richly deserve.
  8. Anyone suggesting that an Italian film could rival the style and grandeur of "The Godfather" might end up sleeping with the fishes. But Il Divo delivers.
  9. Is this a family film? No way. Does it include scenes that some may find painful to watch? You bet. Will you be entertained? Thoroughly.
  10. No
    The Oscar-nominated No has the gritty feel of a foreign film from the 1970s. As such, it may take a few minutes for most moviegoers to adjust to its rhythms. Ironically for a film about advertising, there’s nothing slick about it — and therein lies much of its greatness.
  11. Arrival is science fiction in the classic sense and a film of otherworldly ambition.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Morgan’s writing is occasionally pedestrian, but the sweep of the story, the performances and Gavron’s vision make up for it.
  12. A Monster Calls is the rare film that addresses the mysteries of childhood without succumbing to schmaltz.
  13. The performances are spot-on. Ali brings depths of feeling to Juan, giving us a drug dealer we haven’t seen before. Harris (Miss Moneypenny in the recent Bond films) is uncomfortably authentic as an ultimately repentant junkie.
  14. It’s hard to imagine an actor more appropriate to portray Sully than Hanks, who brings to the role a bedrock decency and soulful introspection. And Eckhart is perfect as the droll, easygoing Skiles.
  15. An evolutionary leap forward, a visually exquisite film that doesn't ignore the truths of pollution and predatory survival.
  16. School Ties offers a moving and uncompromising look at religious intolerance, narrow-mindedness and hatred. And although this movie is set in a prep school, it has more in common with ''Gentlemen's Agreement'' than with ''Dead Poets Society.'' [19 Sept 1992, p.7D]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  17. Although The Gatekeepers lacks the stylistic inventiveness of “Fog,” it is nonetheless a compelling account of what can go wrong when power is unrestrained.
  18. The film is so masterfully controlled, we feel like we’ve eavesdropped on something like life.
  19. A marvelous piece of work.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Writers Barry Berman and Leslie McNeil and director Jeremiah Chechik tell the story with tenderness and humor. And - miracle of miracles, in this day of endless endings - when the story is over, the movie is over, too. [16 Apr 1993, p.3G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  20. Do yourself and your kids a favor. On the way to multiplex to see "The Avengers," tell them The Fairy is about an all-powerful superheroine. Someday, they'll find the words to thank you.
  21. A blast, the best action movie of the summer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Snappy writing, excellent acting and sharp editing make this comedy zing as the Addams family finds love, lust and lichen growing in its midst. [19 Nov 1993, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  22. Fury is a guided tour through a manmade hell.
  23. For a nation at war with its own values, Fair Game is a compelling, pertinent and scrupulously true political thriller in the honorable tradition of "All the President's Men."
  24. This is analog filmmaking at its most daring.
  25. Co-directors Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos let the painful stories emerge naturally, without prodding questions or talking-head experts who place the boys’ grim lives in the larger context of the post-industrial economy.
  26. An old-fashioned film that slyly nods to contemporary sensibilities, Allied is an engaging showcase for Pitt and Cotillard.
  27. Everything you would want in a summer action-suspense movie - and just a little bit more. The movie delivers enough thrills to satisfy all but the most hard-core adrenaline addicts. And several touches, especially the lead performance of Harrison Ford, elevate this film above the standard summer suspense offerings.[9 June 1992, p.4D]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  28. Shannon's powerfully imploded performance ignites one of the best films of the year.
  29. When a place and its people are this stylish, we can't help but be drawn to them.
  30. Clear-eyed, fearless and ferociously funny, Young Adult is mature filmmaking.
  31. Richly photographed and featuring an attractive cast, Farewell, My Queen is a layer cake of royal pleasures, rote protocols and revolutionary politics. For skeptics who thought this story had grown stale, let them eat their words.
  32. Smart, sexy and outrageous, Deadpool delivers.
  33. For the many mavens who aren't familiar with Varda, this autobiographical documentary will be puzzling, in the best and most literal sense.
  34. One of the best films of the year, Gett: the Trial of Viviane Amsalem is bound to be compared to the Oscar-winning Iranian drama “A Separation”; but if anything, Gett is an even more artful evocation of a bureaucratic nightmare.
  35. The Hedgehog sneaks up on you with its heartfelt storytelling and sophisticated wit.
  36. With spot-on vocal performances from Thewlis, Leigh and Tom Noonan, the film is nothing less than mesmerizing — and must viewing for serious cinephiles.
  37. Where to Invade Next isn’t his funniest documentary, but it may be his most poignant.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Marguerite is a shining star, a film that will set you laughing and thinking in equal measure.
  38. One of Pixar’s most charming achievements.
  39. Burton delivers his most ambitious and engaging film since “Sweeney Todd” (2007). Although the story becomes increasingly complex as it goes along, the emotional payoff is more than worth it.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Nolte gives a superlative performance, rich and full, packed with emotion and yet not overly hysterical. [25 Dec 1991, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  40. This is very much an ensemble film, with Wahlberg, Hudson and Russell turning in performances that get the job done without begging for attention.
  41. Reeves is thoroughly persuasive as a killer who takes pride in his expertise. The role he began with 2014’s “John Wick” is tailor-made for his laconic acting style.
  42. There is much to like about this film, good performances and writing, enough true laughs for the comedy label and enough true love to keep the romance fans happy. To top it all off, the soundtrack uses Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra at all the right moments. Try to leave this movie without humming one of the tunes on the way home. [29 July 1994, p.5F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  43. It’s not necessary to be a classical-music buff to be charmed by this thoroughly entertaining film that never hits a false note.
  44. Davis Guggenheim, the St. Louis director who won an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," mines less controversial material this time around.
  45. We can quibble about the punitive punchline of John Gatins' script, but keeping complexity aloft for so long makes Flight a miraculous feat.
  46. As the highly focused Hanna, Ronan - who had a breakout role in "Atonement" - is simply brilliant.
  47. Deftly balances subtle humor with sharp observations about class, wealth and power.
  48. As memorable as it is insightful, Take This Waltz is one of the best films of the year.
  49. Looking for a feel-good movie? Fortunately, this film doesn’t qualify.
  50. The action is contained within a coherent dramatic structure and the puzzle-box paranoia of spy-agency protocol.
  51. An enthralling lament for an era in which beauty is in danger of becoming extinct.
  52. An Oscar-ready collaboration between a great director and a star at the peak of his powers, but at its heart is a message in a bottle reading: "Trapped in paradise. Please send help."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sea of Love is a tough, sexy thriller, one of the most exciting suspense movies of the year, and undoubtedly the funniest. Al Pacino and John Goodman are terrific as detectives teamed up to catch a serial killer who apparently is choosing victims from personal ads in a New York weekly. [17 Sep 1989, p.11F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  53. It's one of the funniest and most perceptive films of the year.
  54. I’m pretty sure it would still be one of the best films of the year if the explicit lesbian sex scenes were censored, but it wouldn’t earn a penny in Peoria.
  55. For cinematic sojourners, Hugo is a trip to the moon.
  56. Maybe I enjoyed the similarly themed Kick-Ass because it took me back to that innocent time. Or maybe it's because this is the most brazenly funny bloodbath unleashed on the public since "Pulp Fiction."
  57. Best appreciated as a movie about being obsessed — a character trait that’s certainly not limited to chess masters.
  58. Diesel and Johnson are at their testosterone-charged best. Theron, who seems to be auditioning to become the next Bond villain, is ruthlessness personified.
  59. At the end of the day, it’s still a comic-book movie, but one that actually raises serious questions about security, accountability and revenge.
  60. An eye-opening primer in cross-species similarity. We learn that apes are violent and territorial but also that they are capable of creativity and tenderness.
  61. Working from his own screenplay, director David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) delivers a risky, challenging film that unfolds with a spellbinding momentum. Just what it all means is left to the viewer to contemplate.
  62. Naysayers will no doubt argue that mother! is an incomprehensible mess. But as sheer visceral filmmaking, it’s a must-see. If you’re looking for meaning, read a book.
  63. An action comedy that works. But it’s also a surprisingly poignant romance. This is the summer flick you’ve been waiting for.
  64. Amy Schumer is so scary-good in Trainwreck that it almost seems risky to speak her name.
  65. This is a smart, moving film that's also very, very funny.
  66. Best of all is Favreau. Instead of mass-producing another superhero epic, he has given the overfed public a dish of right-sized comfort food.
  67. It's an original that plays as if it were based on a novel.
  68. A rebuke to the genteel period costume dramas that have long reigned as arthouse staples. Working from a screenplay by Alice Birch, director William Oldroyd turns the genre on its head, penetrating the pretty exteriors that conceal wild and dangerous emotions.
  69. As the central character in “Polar Bear,” Ruffalo impressively explores the geography of a troubled mind, and makes the journey fascinating.
  70. A terrific but uncompromising film that's definitely not for everyone.
  71. It's not warm and fuzzy, but for kids who comprehended "Coraline" and babysitters who savored "The Corpse Bride," this stop-motion marvel from some of the same animators is like an early Halloween treat.
  72. The storytelling is solid, propelled by characters that you come to care about.
  73. Energetic, colorful and packed with strong performances and musical numbers good enough to get by, Sparkle beams brightly.
  74. A co-star deserving special mention is Nebraska itself, which Payne films in black-and-white to mirror the austerity of life on the de-populated prairie. These corners of the Cornhusker State are as empty as the promise of a sweepstakes prize. In this land of ghosts, one old pioneer tries to grab his stake before he becomes another windblown husk.
  75. Although it's a guilty pleasure, The Queen of Versailles is artful enough that both the prosecution and the defense could invoke it when the peasants cry "Off with their heads!"
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Zootopia is visually rich, with a fully realized cityscape and an action-filled train station during commuter rush that would take several viewings to fully appreciate. It’s emotionally rich, too, a film that promises to have staying power far beyond spring break.
  76. In a first-rate cast, Titieni turns in a brilliant performance as a man who sacrifices long-held values to bow to the expediency of the moment.
  77. Despite the obvious mismatches involved, this isn’t a simplistic smackdown. Freighted with weighty issues, Captain Phillips is a film worth debating.
  78. Gilchrist ("United States of Tara") is immensely appealing as a kid who's just a bit too wrapped up in himself to grasp that perhaps his problems aren't insurmountable.
  79. An offbeat and fascinating film.
  80. May be too sterile and stylized to elicit real tears, but it's got brains and heart to spare.
  81. Films often fail to capture the turmoil of being a teenager — but not this one.
  82. If you can take it, Unbroken will lift you like the classics of adventure cinema.
  83. By turning a whistle-blower into a tragicomic figure, Soderbergh sustains our interest in a complicated financial scheme and rewards it with a kickback of ghastly laughs.
  84. At once a fascinating character study and a scathing indictment of the role of the medical-pharmaceutical complex in exacerbating the AIDS crisis, the fact-based Dallas Buyers Club is one of the best films of the year.
  85. Many of the people reading this review are doing it on a computer. And all of them are reading it in English. It’s not much of stretch to say that you could credit both of those things to a man named Alan Turing.
  86. Imagine an opulent movie palace that was 30,000 years old, with posters preserved on the curving walls and the bones of the Stone Age patrons peacefully sleeping in the fairy dust. That's essentially what archeologists found in a French canyon in 1994 and what Werner Herzog brings back to life in the extraordinary documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
  87. Like Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Oduye brilliantly slips inside the skin of a sensitive young woman who's having trouble finding her place in the world.
  88. A one-joke movie, but it’s a joke whose recurring rimshots grow as loud as our laughter.
  89. Reportedly, at least two more “Alien” prequels are planned. If they’re half as good as this one, prepare to tremble.
  90. Notwithstanding the characters’ spiritual camaraderie, Salles’ emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal’s story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process. When he reaches a crossroads choice between down-and-out Dean and his own rising career, Sal senses that except for the words on a typewritten scroll, his life on the road is gone, real gone.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    They have the perfect supporting cast, made up of a group of exceptional real-life musicians: retired members of orchestras and opera companies, and a pianist bristling with the suppressed impatience of the longtime accompanist. (To see who they are, stick around for the credits.)
  91. The Lovers is the rare film that acknowledges that romance isn’t limited to people in their 20s and 30s. It’s also a smart, quirky comedy that moviegoers of any age should find eminently appealing.
  92. Both arduous and artful, City of Life and Death is the best imaginable movie about the genocidal siege that's now called the Rape of Nanking. Anything more explicit would be unwatchable; anything more contemplative would be a betrayal of the sustained suffering.

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