The Observer (UK)'s Scores

For 612 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Meet Me in St. Louis
Lowest review score: 20 Music
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 612
612 movie reviews
  1. It’s the eerie mystery of sadness that rings most clearly through Nikou’s film, a meditation on the construction of personality that, like all the best ghost stories, combines wistful melancholia with a hint of wish-fulfilment, of lost souls who, in forgetting, are trying to remember.
  2. Comic actors Steve Zahn and Jillian Bell are uncharacteristically earnest in this achingly well-intentioned but thuddingly heavy-handed family drama.
  3. Valadez’s expressionist images give texture to the abstract emotions of rage and pain.
  4. Shanley has an Oscar and a Pulitzer (he wrote the sublime Moonstruck, and the stage and screen versions of Doubt). Here, that’s easy to forget, given the cartoon accents and overblown metaphors about horses destined to jump the fence.
  5. There’s a hardscrabble sense of ordinary ageing folk making the best of a bad deal in often desolate and unforgiving circumstances. Yet whatever hardships they face, it’s the air of community and self-determination that rings throughout Zhao’s empathic film.
  6. The film retains a warm sense of humour about technology’s grip on society.
  7. The drama may be down to earth, but that doesn’t stop the film – or indeed its protagonist – from dreaming big, and daring to look beyond the horizon.
  8. What a joy is a documentary that neither talks down to its audience nor diminishes its subject.
  9. Levine’s playful deconstruction of tortured genius is a witty and provocative send-up of tyrannical directors, diva-ish actors and over-invested voyeurs alike.
  10. Tonally, with its extravagantly arched eyebrow and lacquered manicure of irony, this film feels oddly dated – a couple of decades out of step with current sensibilities. Were it not for Carey Mulligan’s Cassandra, an avenging angel in bubblegum-pink lip gloss, the picture may well have toppled off its stripper heels long before it got to stomp into its divisive shocker of a final act.
  11. Kawase’s frequent use of handheld camera gives parts of the film a quasi-documentary feel, but it’s the lyrical touches . . . that hit the hardest.
  12. Surface similarities to Groundhog Day are relegated to background noise, thanks to the crisp writing and the nihilistic bite of the humour.
  13. What makes this more than just another formulaic feelgood film is the grit with which Chung evokes the hardscrabble lives of his characters, balancing the dreamier elements of the drama with a naturalism that keeps it rooted in reality.
  14. There’s just enough magic and mystery to tease out a supernatural reading of the film, though Petzold encourages viewers to find pleasure in puzzling out his femme fatale for themselves.
  15. The styling is at odds with the otherwise straightforward courtroom narrative. The prestige procedural elements work better; the real-life story is enraging, and it’s fun to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s morally conflicted military prosecutor lock horns with Foster’s icy human rights lawyer.
  16. The spectacle is more involving than the plot, especially the dazzling image of Kong floating skyward, serene and surrounded by purple glowing rocks.
  17. This crystalline tale of memory, love and brain surgery from writer-director Lili Horvát (who made 2015’s The Wednesday Child) is a treat – sinewy, seductive and beautifully strange.
  18. As the detectives start to lose the plot, so does the film, fizzling into an unravelling tangle of loose ends.
  19. It’s a credit to Stanfield that he manages to keep these complex contradictions alive throughout his performance, capturing perfectly the uneasy manner that O’Neal exhibited on camera, his eyes darting anxiously as he attempts to read his surroundings, his manner a mix of fearful, furtive and oddly forceful.
  20. The film busts a gut attempting to free itself from the confines of the couple’s home. In this, it’s at least true to the spirit of lockdown, but it feels like a missed opportunity.
  21. Rosi’s broader critique of violence is implied through footage of a play performed by patients in a psychiatric hospital, and of a children’s art therapy class. He is more interested in the reverberations of conflict than the source, focusing on those who have suffered its effects directly.
  22. It may lack the depth of Eighth Grade or the punch of Booksmart, but it’s still blessed with enough post-punk energy to raise a smile, several chuckles and the occasional fist-punching cheer.
  23. There is an incandescence and a buoyancy to the animation that elevates the formula.
  24. The comedy doesn’t work quite as well this way around, though Fowler is extremely likable as a sweet-natured slacker, channelling the endearing guilelessness of Murphy’s original Prince Akeem. Still, there are enough in-jokes and returning characters to keep fans happy.
  25. This is Day’s show all the way, and her performance remains the film’s strongest suit.
  26. The result is a nicely nasty tragicomedy, a rollercoaster ride that swaps real moral dilemmas for something more disposably entertaining, picking you up, spinning you around and then spitting you out with a neat sucker-punch ending that leaves you feeling entertained, if a little bit empty.
  27. Key to the success of the film is the editing, a pinballing assault of free association, claymation and gleeful profanity, which goes some way towards recreating what it must have been like to spend time inside Zappa’s head.
  28. Maslany is magnetic, her coiled fury and sexual energy threatening to erupt as her placid partner plods along beside her.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The central notion of discovering one's unique personal identity ("the only thing that matters is what you choose to be now") takes us back to an earlier China and it's free of jokey references to other movies.
  29. Favier is smart on the mechanics of abuse, and the sobering inevitability of her heroine’s downhill skid.

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