Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 233 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 After Auschwitz
Lowest review score: 25 The Snowman
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 233
233 movie reviews
  1. The foster-care comedy Instant Family has more heart than laughs, but enough of the former to squeak by.
  2. The premise is a borderline gimmick, but director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) invests the movie with enough grit — it's set in the world of hardboiled Chicago politics — to draw us in.
  3. As played by Jackman, he's imperious, self-righteous, and humorless, and it's hard to imagine such a figure capturing the imagination of the public, policy acumen notwithstanding. The movie is better at showing Rice (Sara Paxton) as a woman trampled by the press stampede — ditto Hart's wife Lee, played elegantly by Farmiga.
  4. Buster Scruggs, it seems, is about not just the Old West, but The West in a larger sense.
  5. Ali and Mortensen make the friendship feel real, using some unexpected tools from Farrelly's kit. His comedic instincts help the movie tiptoe through some dangerous cultural minefields.
  6. The movie sticks to formula, and spells everything out.
  7. Hedges is an efficient, expressive actor, and has the knack for conveying complex information with a look or a gesture, as he does here, suggesting the turmoil within his character on the night when his parents assign him to undergo therapy.
  8. Pike plays Colvin as selfless, but also a woman who would have pitched a drink in your face for calling her that. The movie takes Colvin's cue. At no point is her personal drama bigger than the suffering of the people on whom she is reporting, and the concluding events in Syria are particularly well-handled and tactful.
  9. Robert's relationship with Elizabeth is actually one of the film's better features – it is here that Pine's low-key charisma is put to its best use, and his chemistry with Pugh is useful in establishing the emotional foundation of their resilient marriage, which held together during the times of defeat, separation, and victory.
  10. Kahn surveys artists, dealers, auctioneers, and gallery operators to provide a synopsis of the New York art world, and is at its most interesting when profiling artists who represent differing attitudes toward the way money affects their work.
  11. The movie seems even longer – replacing Argento's splashy colors with dull, chilly greys, and lengthening the story (Argento clocked in at 96 minutes) with layers that feel over overwrought and overthought.
  12. Can You Ever Forgive Me? charts the offbeat alliance and ultimately the friendship that develops between the Hock and Israel, a bond that exists somewhere between proximity and affinity.
  13. It's a bold and borderline eccentric performance by Mulligan.
  14. Psychologists quoted in the film have a scary-sounding term for one of the ingredients found in most exceptional athletes. It's called a "rage to master."
  15. There are a number of movies about addiction scheduled to be released this fall, and although The Oath isn't mentioned as being among them, maybe it should be.
  16. Unlike with the series' other sequels, this one finally feels like it was worth the wait.
  17. It finds the right harmonized note of melancholy and humor in its closing moments.
  18. The sheer number of monsters in the movie serves as a stand-in for its weak plot — a retread of the first film, in which Stine's monsters attack a small town in Delaware.
  19. He's not an easy man to read, and he's not meant to be (Foy carries most of the emotional load). First Man relies on Gosling's own low-rev screen presence to hold the viewer's interest. Not until we reach the surface of the moon does the movie really venture into his head (almost literally in terms of camera point of view).
  20. It's a nice gesture that he's chosen The Old Man and the Gun as his exit vehicle, gifting fans with heaping helpings of his relaxed charm, making a nod to the Sundance Kid, and even the flimflam fun of The Sting.
  21. Phoenix has a way of drawing most of the camera's energy toward him, but Reilly, in his own mysterious and quiet way, can hold his own with anyone, be it Ricky Bobby or King Kong.
  22. Goddard provides ample space for his star-studded cast to play, often to great effect, thanks mostly to lesser-known stars like Erivo and Pullman. The production design is similarly engrossing, with the El Royale's endless corridors and secrets making it as much a character in the movie as any of its human players.
  23. As a symbiote, Brock/Venom is sometimes funny, and for a while the movie finds a rhythm that seems to suit director Ruben Fleischer, best known for Zombieland.
  24. Jenkins does something daring with the story's resolution – conceptually brilliant, but you may think that it pays a small dividend on a large emotional investment.
  25. At every turn, Starr's situation gets more nuanced and more engrossing, and in the hands of director George Tillman Jr., the movie maintains a confident, sweeping scope without every losing command, or its nerve.
  26. We're meant to thrill at Colette's emancipation, but when she breaks it off with wild Willy and finds true love (with Denise Gough) for the first time – built on respect and honest affection — it looks dreadfully dull.
  27. You see that Cooper has taken the frayed ends of American culture and knitted them together — male and female, urban and rural, folksy and hip, rich and poor, finding common ground through music. You see songs move through different musical idioms, and you see the power that can have, as long as people are willing to listen.
  28. Sometimes these anecdotes show courageous and admirable striving, and a genuine love of science. Sometimes they show something less inspiring – the way systems can be gamed by competitors whose specialized knowledge of rules combine with tactics and strategies that give them an advantage, so what's being measured and honored is not always aptitude and innate genius.
  29. All of this is in Hart's wheelhouse, and Night School might have fared better if it had surrendered completely to random comedy one-offs. It keeps coming back, though, to the desultory story of Teddy's strained romance, the least-compelling feature of the movie.
  30. A Heathers meets The Purge meets Russ Meyer free-for-all that takes elements of the Salem witch trials and transposes them to the age of the internet. That's a lot to take on, and there are diminishing returns by the time the movie reaches its bloody conclusion.

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