Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,242 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 American Woman
Lowest review score: 0 Black Christmas
Score distribution:
1242 movie reviews
  1. It’s good to have Demi Moore making a comeback after a prolonged absence from the screen, but not in a load of unmitigated crap called Corporate Animals. It’s never smart to make up lists of the worst movies ever made, because every time you do, something comes along that is even worse than what you saw before. But I think it’s safe to say that in the final top ten tally, this abysmal dreck will come in close to the top.
  2. After awhile, Last Blood feels less like a new Rambo movie than the latest installment of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
  3. So which side of the movie finally prevails — the lackluster conventionality of its text or the breathtaking singularity of its visuals and action? The latter does, if just by the nose on Brad Pitt’s perfectly imperfect face. Combined with the film’s lavish technical achievements, his classic movie star sturdiness makes Ad Astra a memorable filmgoing experience even as the story it tells slips off into the ether.
  4. This works in her favor, since everything around her is trashy and forgettable. J-Lo is the only reason to see it. As a pop flick of no consequence, it’s inviting but forgettable an hour later — but the praise Lopez has received is well deserved. She’s developed nicely as an actress. Call it learning on the job.
  5. The Goldfinch arrives as one of the year’s deadliest disappointments.
  6. We end up spending way too much time running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fear.
  7. Angel of Mine is a much better meld of psychodrama and soap opera than it appears on the surface.
  8. It’s a disaster.
  9. The story Hood’s film tells is a vital one to revisit, not just because the deceptions it illuminates inform so much of the political and international morass affecting our daily lives, but also shows the power of a single act of moral courage, and it does so while being blisteringly entertaining cinema.
  10. It is a doom-invoking, cathartic and strangely satisfying head-trip that’s also a bit ridiculous.
  11. It is the Oscar winner’s most affected performance to date, which is truly saying something when you consider that she has already played both Katherine Hepburn and Bob Dylan.
  12. Like that dash across the freeway, the dirty jokes, bad language and bursts of violence end up being something that we have to grit our teeth to endure to get a glimpse of the inner lives of these boys, which are far richer than we typically see from a Hollywood comedy.
  13. It’s far from subtle, more than a little sudsy, but also pleasingly direct and full of heart. Most significantly though, its timing is perfect.
  14. The truth is, the film represents a troubling trend in films today, where production and marketing types think they can get by providing shallow examples of things that are popular in the social justice zeitgeist — women being tough-as-nails lead characters, for example — and act like that’s enough. It’s not. Give us real characters; give us good writing; give us a compelling story. Otherwise, don’t bother.
  15. The value of sensitive, balanced acting to enhance a mediocre movie has never been more evident than in After the Wedding, a ruminative though pointless remake of Susanne Bier’s 2006 Danish melodrama of the same name. Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams are splendid bookends in a well directed yet clumsily written sudser by Moore’s husband, Bart Freundlich.
  16. This one is too close for comfort to "The Road" to inspire much fresh or original thinking.
  17. Øvredal also coaxes mostly strong performances from his young cast. This is especially true of Zoe Colletti (Showtime’s City on a Hill) as protagonist Stella.
  18. If he weren’t voiced by a mellow and serene Kevin Costner, Enzo would sound like Martin Short’s old Ed Grimley character, only with Formula One replacing Pat Sajak and Wheel of Fortune as his object of obsession.
  19. No one was expecting Midnight Run level repartee from Hobbs and Shaw, but is it too much to ask for a bit more than the who-has-a-bigger-penis stuff we get here?
  20. The result is a well-intentioned but ultimately torpid film, one that feels much more concerned with saying something important than it is the far more noble task of conveying a compelling story worth telling.
  21. Rancid, preposterous and hysterically over the top in ideas and execution, “once upon a time” perfectly describes writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is indeed another hopped-up fairy tale like every other Tarantino epic.
  22. While the man in the title may have played a part in ushering us towards this unfortunate state, Mike Wallace Is Here is nonetheless a refreshing return to a more promising era when a swashbuckling, nicotine-huffing newsman made powerful people sweat for our collective edification.
  23. The cinematography is beautiful (filming in the Virgin Islands, you’d have to be a moron to make a movie that looks ugly) and the four-member cast is easy to take. Not the worst way to spend 90 minutes on a hot day.
  24. If you have a strong stomach it is well worth seeing for the lessons it teaches about the value of survival in the pursuit of redemption.
  25. When violence does befall Clare and her family, it is far more devastating than anything she could possibly have imagined. It’s also as shocking and difficult to watch as any I have seen in a lifetime of watching violent movies.
  26. Produced by Cameron Crowe, who interviewed Crosby as a young journalist for Rolling Stone in 1974, the film spins a powerful and enlightening fable about the ultimate cost of survival. It’s about what happens when the most reckless and bridge-burning among us ends up being rock’s Harry Potter — i.e. the boy who lives — and must sift through the guilt and wreckage of all the relationships left in his wake.
  27. The sum of the parts in martial arts on view here do not add up to a fascinating, consistently intelligent whole. You can write the plot on the head of an ice pick.
  28. The movie has moments, but clichés abound and it runs out of energy and steam early. In a memorably bad summer, count it as another dull indie-prod on its way to home video.
  29. The best of what The Lion King offers is a somewhat technically up-to-date and generally well-voiced reworking of the familiar, but nothing surprising or vital. There is certainly nothing in the least bit urgent about director Jon Favreau’s new telling.
  30. While Crawl never quite achieves the classic status of Jaws, it’s so convincing that you forget about the mechanics and become petrified by the gore.

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