Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,019 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Call Me by Your Name
Lowest review score: 0 Song to Song
Score distribution:
1019 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Swimming with Men doesn’t tackle the plight of middle-age in any relevant new way, but even though it’s not a great film, it’s not a waste of time. Oddly enough, it’s been playing on airplanes for months. Catch it now, on dry land, before they empty the pool.
  5. The result is such a bomb—exaggerated, infuriating, and about as funny as a root canal without anesthesia.
  6. The experience is simultaneously intimate and stirring; the film brings its audience to a thrillingly colorful and utterly relevant world of its own at a time when the primary purpose of other superhero movies seems to be to tease future installments and fill corporate coffers.
  7. The film is as disappointing as his fate, but it’s worth watching for the rugged, nerve-wracking performance by Colin Firth.
  8. New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town. This movie proves it like none other.
  9. Regardless of your tolerance for Restoration jabberwocky, you will be forced to admit the performance by Olivia Colman as England’s dim-witted Queen Anne is a masterpiece of madness.
  10. Witty and warm as cashmere, Green Book is a two-hander in which both stars soar with humor and heart.
  11. I wish I could have enjoyed Widows half as much as the critics who are salivating over it with rapturous praise, but Steve McQueen, Oscar-winning director of 12 Years a Slave, directs movies with a jackhammer. Turning his methodic violence with a camera from the brutality of slavery to a commercially driven feminist heist movie, he does not enhance the old Hollywood genre. He pulverizes it.
  12. Add up the ingredients and you get a mostly enjoyable dog-eared formula for escapist entertainment without critical perception.
  13. While the presence of both Law and Depp is a little distracting — the film could also be called "The Proxy War of the Long in the Tooth Former Hotties" — the acting is generally strong. But here the film’s best assets are also criminally underused.
  14. While there’s something dispiriting and cynical about this conflation of product placement and pop commentary, it does give the film a kitchen sink quality: there is literally something for everyone.
  15. Remarkable film.
  16. Aside from bad filmmaking, I don’t know what any of this means. I do know Harris Dickinson is the chief attraction as well as the only reason to suffer through a revolting score of punk rock songs and an interminable series of fuzzy, flashing camera angles advertising neon signs for sex clubs and gay bath houses.
  17. Brilliantly directed by Jason Reitman, from an intelligent, carefully researched and fast moving screenplay by Reitman, Jay Carson and Matt Bai (based on Bai’s marvelous book All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid), this enthralling film is a mirror to the shifting relationship between the media and politics, and the events that changed the last 30 years in American history.
  18. Not simply a worthy addition to David Fincher’s vastly under-appreciated "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" franchise (they’re calling it a “soft reboot,” but there’s nothing soft about it), The Girl in the Spider’s Web is also a top-shelf Batman movie. For good measure, it kicks the butt of the last few Bourne installments too.
  19. Nothing seems real, including the fact that the star is playing an allegedly legendary jazz singer without a single indication that she has any talent for the job. Although she looks weary and downbeat for good reason, she is touching and fearless in an underwritten role, and the considerable vocal chops she has displayed onstage in Broadway musicals serve her well, even when the movie doesn’t.
  20. The nicest thing that can be said about this demure little Canadian trifle is that it’s a film that finally gives the gifted, self-assured and sadly underrated Alessandro Nivola a leading role.
  21. The details in every scene and the polish and precision of a perfect cast make Boy Erased one of the finest and most unforgettable films of the year.
  22. Because it concentrates on her professional risks and accomplishments at the expense of the personal conflicts that give the film its title, it’s not a perfect film, but Rosamund Pike is so good in it that she’s certain to be remembered when the 2018 awards season rolls around.
  23. Stephen Dorff, a good actor who seems to have temporarily run out of luck, is back in a loopy and desultory “psychological thriller” without a single thrill and the psychology of a paperback called "Psychology for Morons."
  24. The film eschews a Hollywood happy ending in favor of bone-chilling reality, which makes Viper Club doubly relevant amid current headlines.
  25. Some of the visual horror will no doubt be of interest to genre fans, but even there the appeal is limited. In an age when we are awash in efficient and involving horror movies — from "Halloween" to "A Quiet Place" to even "The Nun" (which is not that great but is at least short) — Suspiria comes off as bloated and disconnected.
  26. The miracle is Melissa McCarthy, whose tortured portrait of disgraced celebrity author and convicted forger Lee Israel is the consummate performance of her career and the crowning achievement of her life. I have seen Can You Ever Forgive Me? twice, rubbing my eyes with astonishment and discovering something new and wonderful each time. This is my favorite film of 2018.
  27. The intimacy and honesty of the family rapport, the razor sharp dialogue and—most unexpectedly—its deeply grounded humor keep the film and its slight and compassionate story utterly engaging.
  28. Halloween addicts just want more — and so do I. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t deliver the goods with any new ideas or fresh suspense. It just lays there, like leftover pumpkin.
  29. Carell delivers a performance both tender and tough.
  30. Half modern western, half thriller, an unspeakable waste of time called Bad Times at the El Royale is depraved, self-indulgent trash that is a narrative mess and, at nearly two-and-a-half hours in length, seems to go on forever.

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