Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,646 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Frost/Nixon
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1646 movie reviews
  1. Bayona understands the forces that bind families together and the ones that tear individuals apart. His real domain is childhood itself, and few storytellers summon its fears and fury so faithfully.
  2. The movie indicts exclusion and racial hierarchy without finding villains inside that system.
  3. The movie comes off as Zootopia without social commentary or nearly as much imagination.
  4. Denzel Washington directed and stars in Fences, and he has translated every element of August Wilson’s play to the screen: A language that’s naturalistic yet gently poetic, a detailed sense of America at mid-century...drama that turns to melodrama at key points, characterizations that seethe and explode, the touch of the fantastic (or is it the supernatural?) that pervades most of Wilson’s stories.
  5. If “Whiplash” was Damien Chazelle’s bullet train through dark regions of the New York jazz world, La La Land is his leisurely bus tour through sunlit fantasies of life in Los Angeles.
  6. The final failure comes in a climax that defies science, good taste and common sense.
  7. Many critics will complain about emotional manipulation, but I share Roger Ebert’s view: “Some people like to be emotionally manipulated. I do, when it’s done well.” I think “Beauty” does it well.
  8. “Star Wars” movies have been dazzling, infuriating, heartbreaking, silly, witty, convoluted, gripping and overblown. But until Rogue One: A Star Wars story, I don’t think “dull” was the most appropriate adjective.
  9. The portrait of Elizabeth Sloane grabs your interest, partly due to the presence of Jessica Chastain in the title role.
  10. This is an extremely simple but likeable film.
  11. Treadaway gives a restrained performance that never begs for pity but earns plenty; he shows the day-to-day difficulty of living without simple necessities while retaining hope and dignity.
  12. Sometimes a movie speaks loudest when nobody raises a voice. I can’t remember a single scene of fierce denunciation, fervid declaration of righteousness, act of violence or shouting match in Loving. Yet it lands with as much impact as any movie you’ll see this year.
  13. Cravalho shows spunk and a generically lovely voice, though she’s saddled with assembly-line anthems Disney has done better elsewhere. Johnson has exuberance, deft timing and a passable singing voice.
  14. The filmmakers beautifully balance goofy moments with Gothic darkness.
  15. I can’t think of a single situation where Kelly Fremon Craig, who makes her feature debut as a writer-director, takes us to a place we haven’t often been. Yet she lays out her heroine’s dilemmas with good humor and understanding.
  16. Adams gives her best performance as a lonely woman who has to make a decision that will haunt her – though perhaps in a good way – for the rest of her life.
  17. It may cast a spell on anyone who has known loneliness, exclusion, feelings of inferiority or a desire to be encased in a hard shell to protect a soft interior.
  18. You know you’re in a top-drawer Marvel Comics adaptation when even the Stan Lee cameo is clever.
  19. Ron Howard, who’s tied to this franchise like a man trapped in a decaying house by a huge mortgage, tries without success to blow life into David Koepp’s script.
  20. You cannot always judge movies by their titles, but you sometimes get good advice. The sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, supplies its own five-word review.
  21. One of the opening scenes of The Accountant consists of puzzle pieces being dumped on a table, and that’s a fine metaphor for the film.... A few pieces can’t be made to fit, and two of those are big ones. (More on that in a minute.) But the rest of the story has been well-constructed, and the picture it gradually reveals keeps you guessing up to the final scene.
  22. People talk non-stop at lightning speed, often while walking. The action sequences, underpinned by a loud and soppy symphonic score, actually provide a sense of respite, as Gojira methodically levels buildings and patiently releases streams of fire from his crimson throat.
  23. “Train” makes its strongest impact in Blunt’s hands. Her vulnerability brings pathos to every scene she enters, making you wish the whole film could have been told through Rachel’s bleary eyes – and set in England, where she belongs. But it’s a pleasure to see her anywhere.
  24. Details matter here more than in most movies. The world needs to know this story, and nobody’s going to tell it again for a long while. Parker put his heart and soul into it, but sometimes the road paved with good intentions doesn’t lead to Hell: It stops at mediocrity.
  25. The honesty of the performances more than makes up for slight amounts of hokiness in the telling.
  26. The film’s well-paced and well-acted, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it most of the way. I faltered as projectile followed projectile and explosion topped explosion, yet even then the excitement held up.
  27. Bits of welcome weirdness creep in, mainly through the too-brief character of Ghantt’s intense fiancée (Kate McKinnon). But Hess has little time for wit.
  28. While it doesn’t recapture the black magic of the original, it delivers the requisite terror in the last half-hour after a slow and ambiguous start.
  29. In our post-Tarantino world, Fuqua shows remarkable restraint. The long, efficiently filmed battle doesn’t douse us in blood; for once, PG-13 is the proper rating for a violent film.
  30. Writer-director Derek Cianfrance knew he was dealing with a story full of coincidences when he adapted M.L. Stedman’s novel The Light Between Oceans, so he avoided melodrama by holding himself and his excellent actors in check. The result is a movie that crackles quietly without flaring up into an emotional blaze.

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