CNN's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 417 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Come from Away
Lowest review score: 20 Dolittle
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 417
417 movie reviews
  1. Sr.
    At the end of Sr., a documentary so personal the word “intimate” almost doesn’t do it justice, Robert Downey Jr. ponders what his 90-minute ode to his father was really all about. The simple answer, stripped of celebrity, is the painful process of saying goodbye to an aging, increasingly infirm parent, filtered through the careers of these two entertainers.
  2. The idea of a nasty Christmas movie is nothing new, but Violent Night still manages to deliver the goods, mixing “Die Hard” and “Rambo”-style action with a fair amount of hokey ho-ho-hokum. David Harbour makes a particularly good cranky, butt-kicking Santa, in a movie that offers the sort of shared experience that should bring theaters some much-needed cheer.
  3. Writer-director Rian Johnson again assembles a solid cast behind Daniel Craig, but it’s his use of language – where nary a word is wasted – that finally gives the sequel its edge.
  4. Amy Adams nimbly steps back into the role of an animated princess trying to adapt to the live-action world, in an epilogue to “Enchanted” that has moments of magic without completely delivering on the premise.
  5. It’s a strange and intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying stew.
  6. At a time when journalism is often under siege, there’s value in displaying its noblest qualities and loftiest aspirations. Even with hiccups and quibbles, She Said achieves that central mission.
  7. Most notable as a vehicle for Jason Momoa, this wannabe spectacle from “The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence serves up lots of special effects desperately in search of a story.
  8. For those wondering who would build a giant holiday musical-comedy around Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, the “produced by Will Ferrell” credit provides a helpful clue. “Spirited” tries turning “A Christmas Carol” on its head, and while it’s big and boisterous, the movie (hitting theaters before Apple TV+) isn’t consistently irreverent enough to feel like much more than a streaming stocking stuffer.
  9. It’s a deeply personal chronicle from one of cinema’s greatest talents, yielding a movie that features wonderful moments within a somewhat scattered narrative.
  10. Say Hey, Willie Mays! is the kind of treat to help tide over baseball fans through the post-season, giving Mays his due while he’s still around to take a bow. It’s a gift for baseball fans who saw him play before he hung up that golden glove nearly 50 years ago, and maybe even more so, for those who didn’t.
  11. In the parlance of Olympic diving – a good analogy for blockbuster movie-making – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever faced an inordinate degree of difficulty, addressing the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman. That the movie manages to strike that somber chord and still deliver as Marvel-style entertainment represents a major accomplishment, though the tension created by those two forces grinding in different directions can’t entirely be ignored.
  12. Opening up about her bipolar disorder is surely a service, but the six-year span encompassed by this intimate Apple TV+ presentation labors to flesh out its revelations into a documentary.
  13. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story certainly earns its title, operating, appropriately, not as an actual movie biography but an outlandish parody of one, filled with comedy cameos and bizarre flights of fancy.
  14. The game is afoot (again) in Enola Holmes 2, a wonderful showcase for Millie Bobby Brown that this time manages to work the character’s famous brother, Sherlock, more organically into the mix. Throw in fact-based underpinnings about horrid working conditions during the time and you have the makings for a very polished sequel – one that makes the whole thing look elementary, and a whole lot of fun.
  15. Making the most of its extensive access to Giancarlo Granda, the figure at the center of it all, Hulu’s “God Forbid: The Sex Scandal that Brought Down a Dynasty” pulls back the curtain on a salacious tale of sex, lies, hypocrisy, and political intrigue – for streaming purposes, a divine cocktail if there ever was one.
  16. Call Jane is a good example of how a few questionable choices can muddle an otherwise-powerful story, with the recent HBO documentary version of these events, “The Janes,” outshining this fictionalized dramatic account. The portrait of an underground abortion network pre-Roe v. Wade is obviously timely, but its slightly askew focus blunts the overall impact.
  17. Think of Ticket to Paradise like a postcard of beautiful people having fun in a beautiful place and you’ll get along just fine. Giving it much more thought than that won’t help this rom-com vehicle for George Clooney and Julia Roberts, although the “com” part proves a trifle deficient in a movie that’s significantly better when it’s sweet than salty.
  18. A bit slow-moving at first, the history gives way to a thoughtful conversation about how best to remember this history and honor its victims, while simultaneously highlighting the modern science surrounding identifying the ship and, thanks to DNA, potentially linking its captives to their descendants.
  19. Black Adam features a protagonist of almost unlimited power, which only makes its puny script more conspicuous. Dwayne Johnson is saddled by a very limited range of expression as the ancient mystical being featured in DC’s latest superhero epic, a film that isn’t nearly as cool as its poster, while highlighting the inherent challenge of building stories around antiheroes.
  20. Getting the delicate balance of the story mostly right, “Till” captures how Mamie Till Mobley turned the inconsolable grief over the murder of her son, Emmett, into resolve and activism. Anchored by Danielle Deadwyler’s towering performance, it’s a wrenching portrayal of reluctant heroism under the most horrific of parental circumstances.
  21. Tapping into the twin markets of A) lovers of rom-coms and B) recovering English majors, “Rosaline” promotes a fleetingly mentioned “Romeo and Juliet” character front and center, then builds a very clever and breezy movie around her. The result is a welcome starring showcase for Kaitlyn Dever more likely to prosper in the hamlet of Hulu than it would have fared in the province of theaters.
  22. Forty-four years, 13 movies and innumerable corpses later, it sounds naïve to think “Halloween Ends” will really mark the end of anything, but like the holiday for which it’s named, it’s fun to pretend. The producers do seek to bring finality to this latest trilogy featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, although that turns out to be the only original idea they conjure in an odd, tedious film.
  23. Luckiest Girl Alive falls short of its promise, a reminder that, however ironic the title is intended to be, fortune tends to favor the bold.
  24. As heavy-handed as it might be, Russell’s point is interesting once he finally gets there, but by then, the movie has seemingly exhausted most of its goodwill. Playing it straight – or at least straighter – might have helped, but as is, it’s almost impossible to know.
  25. Hellraiser is obviously operating within fairly well-defined parameters, and leveraging 35 years of screen history, delivers on the most basic level in terms of special effects and gore, without – the “reimagining” claim notwithstanding – bringing much freshness to the formula.
  26. Add Mr. Harrigan’s Phone to the relatively short list of really good Stephen King adaptations, garnishing a coming-of-age story with understated hints of the supernatural and thoughtful rumination about cellphones that finds true horror in their ubiquity. Amid a month of Halloween-tinged offerings, it might be one of the few to share with the kids – at least, before the next time you punish them by taking their phone away.
  27. What makes this Hocus Pocus gel is the nifty mix of old and new, replicating the basic template from the original while introducing a new and more diverse contingent of teens to do battle with the centuries-old witches.
  28. Sidney, a documentary from director Reginald Hudlin produced by Oprah Winfrey, does the actor justice, providing context, depth and considerable warmth in chronicling his remarkable life and trailblazing career.
  29. Given a chance to step up in class, the actor turned director has assembled a topnotch cast, but in a story that teases the buildup a bit too long and doesn’t pay it off very neatly; indeed, the ending becomes what the movie’s driving force speaks of endeavoring to avoid – namely, chaos.
  30. The formula is obviously full of potential, which explains why writers keep returning to it, from “50 First Dates” to the recent Andy Samberg movie “Palm Springs.” Yet the concept is also fraught with peril.

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