Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,047 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Land of Mine
Lowest review score: 0 The Divide
Score distribution:
1047 movie reviews
  1. Rarely if ever has a film ostensibly about and informed by cinema been so thoroughly un-cinematic...And un-emotional: that spark of love is also missing in action. Perhaps this is why the film chose to drop the question mark from its title. If it had been posed as a query, the answer would have been, no, not nearly enough.
  2. As the corpses pile up on every side of the law, it reminds me more of those nasty, sometimes laughable Charles Bronson genre vehicles from the 1980s, buried under 50 feet of snow. Call it "Death Wish" with icicles.
  3. A family epic that is strangely ineffectual and disappointingly underwhelming.
  4. Another anemic and pointless stringing together of stories that are not worth telling, Untogether follows the truncated lives of a group of lost souls in Los Angeles with an overdose of paralyzing cinematic anesthesia.
  5. On a scale of one to four stars, any film with a bit part for Helen Mirren, no matter how small and insignificant, deserves at least one. But nothing else about Berlin, I Love You rates a single mention.
  6. It’s not just emotion and creative innovation that feels MIA in this installment. The film acts as though it’s edgy, but lacks real bite.
  7. The manner in which Mikkelsen, the former Danish gymnast and dancer we chiefly know for his suave villains in 2006’s "Casino Royale" and the NBC series "Hannibal," plays off his largely mute charge is simply extraordinary.
  8. See it and prepare to be stunned and exhausted at the same time.
  9. The result is half docudrama, half suspense thriller with the constant threat of seeming artificial and fictional. Amazingly, the actors are so engaging and believable, and the facts are so riveting, that the movie, despite its flaws, held me spellbound.
  10. British character actors are the best in the world, and King of Thieves provides a perfect example of why. Like the distaff side of today’s British royalty that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins, it’s a marvel to watch Caine, Courtenay, Broadbent and Gambon go at each other with an aplomb that dazzles.
  11. The new year is not even a month old, but a hunk of junk called Serenity already qualifies as the worst film of 2019. Both moronically written and directed with shocking, amateurish ineptitude by Stephen Knight.
  12. I endured this modest, sometimes vulgar and often insulting family flick for one reason only: an unusual chance to watch the charming, likable and woefully underrated Tom Hanks clone, Tom Everett Scott, in a rare leading role. Big mistake. We should all have stayed home with a good book or worthwhile rerun of a real family film like "Meet Me in St. Louis."
  13. The result is 96 minutes of excessive eccentricity and unfocused gibberish that seems like 96 days at hard labor with no hope for commercial success. Color it gone.
  14. The caterpillar crawl that passes for pacing succeeds in putting any number of viewers to sleep, including me.
  15. I liked the sensory strengths of a movie without anything of beauty to look at, but Don’t Come Back From the Moon eventually fails to involve viewers completely because it’s about the consequences of a wasted life instead of the sorry events that lead up to one. Poignant and close, but no cigar.
  16. With her sweet face, alert eyes, and a tail that forever waves in the air like a maestro’s baton, this is a dog worth following, no matter the breed.
  17. Filmmakers never seem to run out of footnotes to history during World War II. This one is better served in the pages of a novel. It doesn’t work on film.
  18. Jumping, jerking and bellowing all over the screen, the same cannot be said for Kevin Hart. He may have garnered a few laughs telling homophobic jokes in his old stand-up comedy routine, but when it comes to playing a completely realized character in a full-length film, he’s as funny as a case of shingles.
  19. Poignant, funny and irresistibly charming.
  20. The first thriller of the new season is a bomb called State Like Sleep, and it’s about as thrilling as a power failure in Antarctica. One of the January cast-offs that failed to make the cut in the 2018 year-end releases, it’s a good example of why January is always dreary, in more ways than one.
  21. Some subjects grow weightier and more substantial with time, and this one has never been more relevant.
  22. Forget all of it being true; I would have settled for some of it being interesting.
  23. The two stars deserve bigger vehicles in grander epics, Pawlikowski cements his reputation as a major filmmaker to reckon with, and although it leaves you wanting more, Cold War is a film that is both illuminating and haunting at the same time.
  24. Jennifer Lopez can’t act, the meatheads responsible for the stupidest screenplay of the year can’t write, and I don’t know anybody with one hour and 43 minutes to waste in a busy holiday season, so a cinematic disaster called Second Act has nothing to recommend it, even as a temporary refuge from traffic gridlock.
  25. The movie is full of joyous, unexpected things to applaud.
  26. If Beale Street Could Talk is sad, sobering, gritty and graceful — more a reflection of the underrated James Baldwin than the overrated Barry Jenkins.
  27. Implausible even for an overly ambitious sci-fi monster flick, it also begs, borrows and steals every effect, idea and image from other people’s horror movies that were much better the first time around.
  28. As Earl, Clint Eastwood is so believable and such a charming curmudgeon that when the cops from the Federal Drug Administration led by Bradley Cooper turn the tables, you don’t want them to.
  29. Another truthful, intelligently calibrated and fully committed performance by the remarkable Lucas Hedges following this year’s previously acclaimed "Boy Erased" rewards the sensitive, pulsating and intimate family drama Ben Is Back.
  30. You go away from Mary Queen of Scots sated but exhausted. The problem, as I see it, is that in spite of director Josie Rourke’s solemnity, her passion for translating history into modern terms doesn’t always jell.

Top Trailers