CNN's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 146 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story 4
Lowest review score: 20 Unhinged
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 146
  2. Negative: 6 out of 146
146 movie reviews
  1. Simply in terms of presenting a draft of history through his earlier work and scalding commentary via his more recent endeavors, Souza's aim has been true.
  2. Antebellum is built around a provocative twist, and it's a good one -- as well as one that definitely shouldn't be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made "Get Out" a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
  3. The casting alone should spur interest in The Devil All the Tim -- Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), together at last -- but can't make the movie feel like less of a slog. Adapting Dale Ray Pollock's grim novel, awful characters proceed along parallel tracks, en route to a whole lot of violence and unpleasantness.
  4. Helen Reddy might seem so 1970s, but her song "I Am Woman" became a feminist anthem of its time, and serves as the title and centerpiece of a reasonably good movie biography, if one that -- perhaps due to the nature of her life -- feels a little like the Hallmark Channel version of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
  5. Strange and more than a little sad, You Cannot Kill David Arquette -- a documentary about the actor's adventures in wrestling -- derives most of its strength from the discomfort associated with watching it. As the son of a showbiz family, the fact that Arquette is reduced to this cry for attention more than anything reflects the enticing lure of the spotlight.
  6. Fatima largely works as a drama, in part because it's so earnestly presented, and unexpectedly timely in dealing with loss. If that adds up to something less than a miracle, given the aforementioned challenges, it's not an inconsequential achievement.
  7. The heartbreaking aspect of Robin's Wish lies in the fact that Williams died without knowing what was happening to him, while there's uplift in Schneider Williams' determination to set the record straight. How well that works translating that specific mission into a stand-alone documentary is, to some extent, another matter.
  8. Mulan is big, sumptuous entertainment. It's good, but not great, transforming the story associated with the 1998 animated musical into a song-free, live-action movie that's more adequate than transcendent -- a perfectly reasonable family-viewing investment that's worth seeing, but not necessarily a must-buy.
  9. Another adventure in nostalgia that nobody really needed and yet, if not excellent, manages to be good-hearted and reasonably fun.
  10. The film simply lurches loudly from one mundane action scene to the next.
  11. The closing kick of The One and Only Ivan is somewhat stirring -- and certainly works hard at being so -- but it's pretty tepid until then.
  12. A small-scale movie with a throwback drive-in feel that loses nothing in an at-home setting, and based on its minimal merit, has little to lose in any event.
  13. The undercooked plot works just well enough to fuel this vehicle for Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, mashing up old movies in a fast-paced package.
  14. One of the year's best documentaries, Boys State presents a fascinating look at teenagers brought together for an exercise in government, which somehow manages to unerringly encapsulate partisan divisions in the US right now. An opening medley of past participants -- including Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Cory Booker, Rush Limbaugh and Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito -- only stokes curiosity about where these youngsters will be 30 or 40 years from now.
  15. Makes puzzling choices in harvesting the material, mostly providing an incentive to go back and watch the last one again.
  16. Howard serves as a fitting celebration of that life and career. It's a chance for those who knew him to pause and fondly look back, in a way that merely adds to an appreciation of the parade that he helped start.
  17. This adaptation of Simon Rich's novella has some fun contemplating how the modern world would like to a 20th-century immigrant, before scraping the barrel for deeper themes.
  18. The Secret: Dare to Dream at best feels like a tepid distraction even for those receptive to its blueprint, far from the stuff that dreams are made of.
  19. The American Civil Liberties Union battles the Trump administration on multiple fronts in "The Fight," an excellent documentary that captures the heady political moment for which the organization was born. Presented in a taut, tense way, it's a glimpse into what makes the ACLU tick with the pacing and stakes of a dramatic thriller.
  20. The Go-Go's has pretty much everything you'd want in a rock documentary, presenting an oral history of the chart-topping all-female group with sex, drugs, music, money, and the intramural squabbling and wounded egos great success tends to unleash. Hard to believe it's been 40 years, but anyone who remembers the band should fall head over heels once again.
  21. Tesla even more aggressively incorporates documentary-style techniques and weird anachronisms into the drama. His story is essentially narrated by Morgan's daughter, Anne (Eve Hewson), in a way that gives the movie a decidedly off-kilter spin. At one point, Hawke even sings a few bars of the 1980s song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," recorded decades after Tesla's death.
  22. Neither film is especially memorable, which is too bad, squandering Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie and Ethan Hawke, very intense and brooding as Nikola Tesla.
  23. The Outpost manages to be both harrowing and less than completely involving, a movie that can be admired for its visceral portrayal of war while leaving the characters underdeveloped.
  24. Playing an aging star estranged from her daughter might not seem like a major stretch, but Deneuve and Japanese writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda (whose "Shoplifters" took top honors at the Cannes Film Festival) spin that premise into a cinematic breath of fresh air.
  25. Lewis -- who is battling pancreatic cancer -- was not much more than a kid when he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and has seemingly lived three lives since then. That's why despite the documentary's uneven aspects, his legacy is ample motivation for any student of history to see Good Trouble as a good investment.
  26. A central takeaway is not only about the man but the warm nostalgia that he represents -- the memories, as Miranda and others recall, of grandmothers hushing them during the minutes he came on each day, running through the Zodiac with horoscopes filled with a persistent sense of hope.
  27. Directed by Brett Harvey, Inmate #1 has a few minor flaws, including an overly sappy musical score. Still, its subject is so inherently likable that a feature-length dose of Trejo's boundless energy feels like the kind of adrenaline shot we can use right about now.
  28. The film turns out to be a fun but thin construct, fostering a sense of itchiness to see how and if it's going to pay off.
  29. Greyhound is kind of an odd duck -- another World War II tale courtesy of Tom Hanks, who wrote and produced the film through his company in addition to starring in it. Old-fashioned and relatively small in scale, it's a sturdy if unspectacular depiction of the Battle of the Atlantic, streaming ashore via Apple TV+ instead of a planned theatrical release.
  30. Granted, nothing can fully replicate the unique qualities of a live theatrical experience. But if anyone doubts that Hamilton can still deliver a Broadway wallop to the comfort of one's couch, well, just you wait.

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