Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,243 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 7.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Carol
Lowest review score: 0 I Still See You
Score distribution:
1243 movie reviews
  1. They have made a film absent of time that could not possibly be more of the moment.
  2. The result is a film—Kore-eda’s first outside of his native country and language—that feels almost aggressively low-key, low stakes and notably less urgent than the filmmaker’s earlier works.
  3. What results is a messy, ambitious, deeply emotional film that sometimes falls victim to the tropes of the genres it attempts to remix but never loses its power to move us.
  4. Instead, we just sort of soak in the despondency, like lukewarm water in a half-filled hot tub. While sometimes touching, the results of this noble experiment lack dynamism. Eventually whatever is fresh about the approach is undercut by a familiar will-the-man-child-finally-grow-up trope that has made some of Apatow’s lesser films feel insular and self-indulgent.
  5. There is an immediacy to the film so rare in period biopics and such a tactile physicality to its intellectual gymnastics. By the time Shirley draws to a close, you end up feeling pleasingly spent, like you just stayed up all night drinking a bottle of Canadian Club while discussing literary theory with a dear old confidant you hadn’t seen in years. Some friends just tire you out like that, and they are almost always the best kind.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result is a brutal and haunting meditation on violence and power in the music industry — and whose careers have been derailed in the aftermath.
  6. The High Note is a wholly unexpected and utterly enchanting summer movie throwback.
  7. The series’ trademark blend of character comedy and absurdist sight gags is in full display, served up with just the proper amount of postmodern self-awareness that adds to the fun rather than detracts from it.
  8. Overall, it is the performers that give the story life and allow Arkansas to rise above some of its shallower instincts, which include a garish costume design that seems to posit the idea that people from the South dress like rodeo clowns. Hemsworth in particular brings a truth and measured heartbreak to his portrayal of someone who has been forced to glimpse how the world works and deeply wished he hadn’t.
  9. Cole’s overarching theme of time drifting, folding inward and ultimately dooming the fathers, sons, mothers and daughters of All Day and a Night is hugely aided by the manner in which he frames these ideas visually.
  10. The movie shows that, true or not, in the right hands and with the right actors, this oft-told tale—like the Western genre itself—can course with the kind of venturesomeness that makes cinema so exciting no matter the circumstances under which we watch it.
  11. The plot may be formulaic, but there’s nothing predictable about Ben Affleck’s commitment to the role of Jack, or the subtlety and sincerity with which he plays it.
  12. Hope Gap is pithy, engaging, and insightful — the kind of movie we desperately need more of.
  13. When Whannell’s movie is at its best, the audience is not just a witness to the terror; we are part of the machinery that inflicts it. Which is not to say that — when it works — this remake of James Whale’s 1933 classic is a success born of camera placement, special effects, or even conceptual daring.
  14. Buck is lovable forever. If you think he’s perfection on four legs, he is. If you think he’s the most human dog since Lassie, Benji and Rin Tin Tin, he isn’t. Because Buck, you see, is computer-generated. Never mind. I guarantee you will love him anyway.
  15. Well-crafted, potently written and beautifully acted.
  16. All of it combines into not only a profoundly romantic experience, but also an exploration of a number of different kinds of love and connection.
  17. In what is something of a movie miracle or at the very least an unexpected surprise, this adaptation of the much-loved Sega video game franchise launched nearly 30 years ago as a direct assault on Nintendo’s leaping plumber Mario, largely presses the all the right buttons—and even does so in the right order.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Artistic creativity and long-term plotting can co-exist side-by-side, but striking the right balance between them is a Herculean task....Regardless, even if Harley Quinn is no longer with the Clown Prince of Crime, she’s still poised to laugh all the way to the bank with Birds of Prey.
  18. Unlike many of the other films of its ilk, The Rhythm Section never feels the need to move beyond Stephanie’s sadness and sense of loss. This is really a tragedy thriller more than it is a revenge thriller.
  19. It’s rare to see a war film you can truthfully label poignant, but The Last Full Measure combines the heart-pounding excitement of "1917" with the urgent, deeply moving emotional honesty of "Saving Private Ryan" to tell a heroic but somehow overlooked story of courage under fire that now emerges as one of the most valuable chapters to emerge from the debacle of Vietnam.
  20. This is a movie where the charming guys fire holes into the un-charming guys while blowing stuff up and telling mildly funny jokes. Its story is absurd, most of the dialogue not spoken by one of the two leads is laughable, and save for a draggy middle section when the plot mechanics keep the bad boys separated, it’s a lot of fun.
  21. The beating heart of the film, this performance is further evidence of what a gift Foxx’s late career shift to supporting parts has been for filmgoers.
  22. The intensity is overwhelming. Every war is hell, no matter when it was fought, but 1917, which is about a war far removed from contemporary reality, turns out to the best war picture since "Saving Private Ryan."
  23. Yes, this is a great one, and a magnificent centerpiece performance by an unknown actor named Paul Walter Hauser in the title role is a major reason it is so unforgettable.
  24. The result seems to tiptoe around the even juicier chance to tell the dirty behind the scenes stories that could have made this story a real bombshell indeed.
  25. Under the careful guidance of Australian director Benedict Andrews, Kristen Stewart’s Jean is a doomed star emerging in the center ring of her own drama, distinctive and refined, with an elegant mask that fails to cover the twitching nerve beneath the surface that feels like it’s always on the verge of exploding.
  26. The Safdies’ film is a cinematically expressive tightrope walk that seems designed to leave your blood pressure permanently spiked. It can be relentless and hard to take, but it is brimming with surprise and a vivacity that radiates off the screen.
  27. The dialogue is dull as dried glue, but the acting is fine, although the boundless range and skill of Redmayne is wasted, which might account for the reason he doesn’t appear to enjoy the ride as much as he could. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it all before with motorcycles, submarines, airplanes and ships at sea in peril instead of hot-air balloons.
  28. It also happens to be the best ending of a movie this year and the work of a filmmaker completely attuned to both her craft and the inner lives of her characters. Moreover, the shot is the final act of passion and precision in a film that is teeming with both, a work of art whose flame will continue to smolder in your mind and heart well after you have left the theater.

Top Trailers