Charlotte Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,615 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Million Dollar Baby
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1615 movie reviews
  1. Freeman's understated, deeply-felt acting tops a passel of good performances. [25 Dec 1998, p.7E]
    • Charlotte Observer
  2. This little piggy's gone to market, and he isn't coming back. Not to suggest the sequel lacks heart or an uplifting message. It has both. But they've been subsumed in slapstick clowning and the introduction of characters with no reason to exist, other than to line the shelves of toy stores. [27 Nov 1998, p.6D]
    • Charlotte Observer
  3. It's got a satisfyingly brisk rhythm and two appealing performances by Brendan Gleeson and Peter MacDonald as good-natured ex-cons. But despite the brogues of their bosses, the tough-guy atmosphere is pleasantly old-hat. [10 July 1998, p.12E]
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  4. A better-than-average thriller. That's a tribute to director Harold Becker and stars Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin, who stretch the script's one idea almost to its breaking point. [3 Apr 1998, p.8E]
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  5. Brosnan has toughened up emotionally for his second outing. He's been teamed with Asian action star Michelle Yeoh as Chinese agent Wai Lin, and he's been given a script that provides more fun than the lethargic "GoldenEye." [19 Dec 1997, p.11E]
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  6. Career Girls is a chamber piece: intimate and direct, two voices performing monologues and duets of irony, despair and hope. [29 Aug 1997, p.11E]
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  7. Maybe Hollywood has used this "uptight guy liberated by free spirit" idea too many times. Either way, this is a form of recycling that no longer pays off. [9 May 1997, p.1E]
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  8. If you want the cold, honest truth about "Space Jam," prepare yourself for the shock: It's average. It's broadly funny in spots, but without any edge. It'll make kids giggle, but it makes a minuscule effort to appeal to adults. Special effects are sometimes imaginative, sometimes just the same explosions and pratfalls Warners Bros. has done for half a century. [15 Nov 1996, p.1E]
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  9. It'll hearten anyone who believed Lee had insights and merely needed to find the right vehicle to express them. Bus is that vehicle. [18 Oct 1996, p.1E]
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  10. Writer Lou Holtz Jr. and director Ben Stiller (who has a funny cameo as an accused killer) needed to make the film scarier, turning Cable Guy into a veritable demon. Instead, they vacillate between comedy and attempted thrills like a TV set with a broken vertical hold. [14 June 1996, p.1E]
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  11. De Palma makes us sweat; slow, quiet scenes are as nerve-bending as occasional explosions and the final, frantic battle. He calls himself a director for hire on projects such as this and "The Untouchables," where he has little input before shooting. But his skill at maintaining tension is his main asset, and he uses it to the max here. [24 May 1996, p.1E]
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  12. Executive Decision, a film as generic as its title, follows its 'subdue the terrorists' template by the numbers - but they're numbers that can work over and over, when handled as competently as they are here by director Stuart Baird. [15 Mar 1996, p.8E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The movie misses Henson's good-hearted inventiveness, but there's ample evidence that the second generation of Muppeteers are almost as good at pulling the strings as the first. [17 Feb 1996, p.8G]
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  13. Romance has its place in movies - there's too little of it these days - but this remake of the 1954 film leaves an odd taste in the mouth. It has the trappings of a grand affair: tuxedoed men pursuing elegantly gowned women, helicopter flights to Martha's Vineyard, croissants and coffee in Paris. Yet it carries a mercenary message. In most fairy tales, riches are a reward for sacrifice or hard work; in the new "Sabrina," they're proof you have value as a human being. [15 Dec 1995, p.3E]
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  14. Larry Clark's documentary-like direction and Harmony Korine's undeviatingly dull screenplay make it possible to believe these useless lumps of flesh exist. [1 Sept 1995, p.3F]
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  15. Writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris must figure the blinking lights on Angela's screen will cloud our brains. They ask us to ignore plotholes the size of craters... Nor does director Irwin Winkler shoot scenes suspensefully. [28 July 1995, p.9F]
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  16. Director Michael Bay surrounds them with action scenes cut as rapidly and irritatingly as a Gap commercial. At points, we can't tell one darting car from another, a drug triggerman from a cop. [7 April 1995, p.1F]
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  17. The director is strong on setups, and the hunt for the virus is tense. [10 Mar 1995, p.1F]
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  18. Some writer-directors would have squeezed pathos from this story until the corn turned to pone, especially in a post-Christmas release. Writer-director Robert Benton (Places in the Heart) keeps a gentler grip on the proceedings and makes 10 times the impact. [13 Jan 1995, p.1F]
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  19. Ran
    All that matters is that emotions be real, and so they are: wracking grief, harrowing madness, unquenchable hate. Composers have tried and failed to turn "Lear" into a workable opera, but Kurosawa has found the visual equivalent. Yet the last image of a man, solitary and silent, is more haunting than all the destruction. [10 Aug 2001, p.7E]
    • Charlotte Observer
  20. (The Coens have) never again achieved the one-two punch of Blood Simple and "Raising Arizona" - the first darkly cynical, the second light-headedly comical.
  21. Just as moving, uplifting and funny as ever in its slightly modified form. [2002 re-release]
  22. Watching it again reminded me how remarkably the sound engineers did their jobs. Listen to the subtly amplified heartbeat - Ripley's? the ship's? - that pulses under the soundtrack through the last 15 minutes.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's one of those films in which even the dog is funny. [14 Mar 2004, p.9E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the all-time great horror films. [22 Oct 2004, p.11H]
    • Charlotte Observer

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