The Observer (UK)'s Scores

For 882 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Lowest review score: 20 Playing with Fire
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 882
882 movie reviews
  1. There’s a despairing inevitability to the film’s incremental pacing – we feel every aching minute of the nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time. It’s not exactly fun, but it’s a relentlessly powerful piece of film-making.
  2. The film tackles issues of race, sexual violence and the low-level simmering cruelty that is a fact of life for those hardy individuals who make a life in the bush in the late 19th century.
  3. Playing out to the histrionic squalling of a country-infused score, this is film-making that aims to smite its audience into submission.
  4. The result may be a tad overlong and convolutedly overstuffed, but it made me laugh, cry and think – which is more than can be said for many a Marvel flick.
  5. The atmosphere is stripped down and austere, allowing the songs to speak for themselves as they transport us from this world to the next.
  6. Unlike movies such as Black Panther and Shang-Chi, which functioned as self-contained entities, this film requires an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel minutiae and world-class cross-referencing skills to fully work. And who, outside the diehard fanbase, has the bandwidth for that level of commitment?
  7. The screenplay is so meta that at times it is practically consuming itself, an ouroboros of in-jokes. But there’s an affable appeal to the picture that disarms the more self-satisfied tendencies of the writing, and which stems from the chemistry between Cage and Pascal. Come for the industry satire, stay for the endearingly goofy buddy movie.
  8. Happening is a visceral, confronting experience.
  9. It is piercingly insightful without ever labouring the point.
  10. Along the way, the director, Arthur Harari, takes the exhausted true tale of the lone Japanese soldier and sculpts it into a captivating tragicomedy, a sharp-eyed study of zealotry and self-delusion, ridiculous and heartbreaking in about equal measure.
  11. A quality cast tackle the script’s various twists and turns with aplomb. But the tale itself feels cumbersome and over-furnished, listing under the weight of its bolt-on subplots and endless reams of dialogue.
  12. The respective charms of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum receive a rigorous workout during the course of this caffeinated, overeager adventure romp – to the point where significant signs of wear and tear begin to appear.
  13. While the Norns-of-fate narrative may contrive several reversals of fortune and sympathy, there’s little of the genuinely uncanny weirdness that made Eggers’s first two features such a treat. What madness lies herein is not of the north-northwest variety but more in keeping with the bonkers blockbuster spectacle of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
  14. It captures the wary, precarious nature of a community that relies financially on the same forces – the rampaging drug cartels – that also terrorise it. Huezo taps into the intense vibration between young female friends who treasure each other above all else.
  15. Beautifully believable performances from Haarla and Borisov add emotional weight, rivalling the nuanced naturalistic charm of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy.
  16. It’s a genuinely exciting piece of storytelling, a propulsive real-life quest for truth driven by ingenious tech-geeks and the disarming force of Navalny’s personality.
  17. In this third outing, there’s a crucial crackle of chemistry between Mikkelsen and Jude Law’s younger Dumbledore.
  18. The atmosphere, of sun and celebration, rings as hollow as the Europop that Ante blasts to drown out arguments; sonar-stabs of cello on the score sound a warning
  19. With its colour palette of mossy greens, terracotta and earth tones, and its matter-of-fact approach to themes of folklore and mysticism, this gorgeous first feature from Italian director Laura Samani is as enchanting as it is unusual.
  20. There is about as much jeopardy as you’d expect from an action thriller about an obscure land dispute; a tense encounter with an angry polar bear and a phantom hot air balloon are highlights during the endless plodding across the frozen wilderness.
  21. Letts gives thoughtful context to the way he was able to straddle the racially delineated worlds of dub reggae and punk rock, drawing parallels between the merging of subcultures in 1970s London, and the intersection of hip-hop and rock’n’roll in 1980s New York.
  22. Ali & Ava is a vibrant work that uses the transcendent power of song to turn a streetwise tale into a diegetic musical, with genuinely surprising results.
  23. Poehler, herself a gifted comedian, doesn’t include her own voice in the film, though we still get a sense of her feminist perspective.
  24. The picture, a big-budget spectacle guided by the sure hand of action director Seung-wan Ryu (Crying Fist), is at its most effective when the hurtling camera is strafed by bullets. It’s less successful when the headlong pace falters to allow the screenplay to hammer home its message of collaboration and tolerance.
  25. Blending melancholy wistfulness with unruly energy and piercing humour, it’s a down-to-earth tale of love and death, boosted by a brilliantly believable central performance and elevated by fantastical moments of hallucinogenic horror and ecstatic joy.
  26. At the core of the film, partially concealed by Bay’s posturing and swagger, is a bracing, slickly executed B-movie.
  27. The slow creep of the camera mirrors the incremental build in pressure; this is the kind of tension that feels like a tightening chokehold on the audience.
  28. It’s not surprising to learn that its writer and director, Lauren Hadaway, who based this film on her own experiences on a college rowing team, has a background in sound editing.
  29. With great physical poise and precision, Wilson (who optioned and developed the source book) engages the audience on a visceral level, her deceptively low-key performance taking us deep inside her character’s dreams, desires and insecurities.
  30. It’s sharp, silly and frequently very funny.

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