The Observer (UK)'s Scores

For 60 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 8% 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: 68
Highest review score: 100 Cold War
Lowest review score: 40 The Darkest Minds
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 60
  2. Negative: 0 out of 60
60 movie reviews
  1. There are many things to enjoy here, not least the force of Cage’s performance as incensed lumberjack Red (and, it must be said, his scream).
  2. The songs are a bum note, but the film does raise thoughtful questions about dogma, fake news and the identity crises that might occur once a community’s core beliefs are challenged.
  3. The decision to turn the film into a procedural with a redemptive ending feels like an attempt to grasp at justice, but it’s harrowing to watch all the same, yet offering little context and few fresh insights.
  4. While Gosling plays everything close to his chest, it’s Foy who invites us into the unfolding drama with her wonderfully empathetic performance.
  5. In its better moments, this studio oddity is a tense thriller, at its worst, draggy and self-indulgent.
  6. The characters and plotting tend to be a little schematic, but just because the trajectories of the women’s narratives are predictable, it doesn’t follow that the story lacks power. On the contrary – this is fearless, potent storytelling.
  7. At least the CGI is clever, the consistency of Venom’s viscous, hostless form moving between molten metal and melted chewing gum.
  8. The message that brutalism is not only beautiful but therapeutic will probably have its detractors, but for those who, like me, love both pensive arthouse cinema and cantilevered concrete structures, it’s a rare treat.
  9. Its Oscar-bait earworm tune may be entitled Shallow, but the film itself is as deep and resonant as Bradley Cooper’s drawl, and as bright as Lady Gaga’s screen future.
  10. What could have been laboured and polemical is deftly handled, defused with comedy and powered by a pulsating score. Dialogue that slides into rap at key moments adds a heartfelt sense of honesty. This is the real deal.
  11. I can’t shake the inkling that it would’ve worked better as straight documentary.
  12. Watching the film for a second time, with prior knowledge of the revelations of its final act, Close’s performance seemed even more nuanced, as if each look now meant something different.
  13. It’s unfortunate that caricatured villains lessen the impact of the film’s upward punch.
  14. Fashion is fleeting, style remains, said Vreeland, and indeed the film attempts to apply her mantra, more interested in consecrating Talley as a man of taste and influence than it is probing for gossip or weakness.
  15. The film is a vehicle for Haddish, whose timing and delivery make the jokes jump off the page.
  16. The stark beauty of Florian Ballhaus’s black-and-white cinematography and painterly framing can’t conceal the ugliness that unfolds as the death toll mounts and Herold starts to believe his own grotesque creation.
  17. What it all adds up to, other than a moment-by-moment experiential overload, is uncertain.
  18. There are pacing issues in a brooding, cautious middle section, but nothing terminal. There is also the problem that this elusive supernatural mystery has been mismarketed as a horror – unfortunate, certainly, but not the fault of the film.
  19. The lip-smacking, acid drops of malice in the latest film from Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) makes this unexpectedly cruel comedy as intoxicating as the mid-afternoon martinis swilled by the two central characters.
  20. It is very much the MIA story told from the MIA viewpoint. Normally, this might be an issue, but, as the film points out, so many people have rushed to undermine and discredit her, it’s perhaps only fair that in this case she gets to tell her side, without spin or sly references to truffle fries.
  21. The film is a goldmine of small but perfectly formed parts.
  22. Though it’s filmed like a romance, the moment feels captured, not staged.
  23. To evaluate it solely on the basis of representation is to do it a disservice and to further narrow the parameters of how we’re allowed to talk about movies that feature “diverse” actors.
  24. The result is entertaining enough, particularly when Annette Bening whirls through a scene.
  25. The lovely, subtle work from Macdonald, as her character blossoms and her horizons broaden, gives the film a warmth and magnetism.
  26. It’s one of the lovely ironies of Akhavan’s bittersweet film that Cameron finds true friendship in a place dedicated to stamping it out, and there’s laugh-out-loud joy to be found in the acid-tongued interaction between these soulmates.
  27. A heart-pounding heist movie and a bantering conversation between real life and fiction, the debut drama by documentary director Bart Layton (The Imposter) is a great deal sharper – and more slickly executed – than the lunkheaded criminal debacle on which it is based.
  28. An over-explanatory voiceover seems to indicate a lack of confidence in the script’s jumbled plotting and laggy pacing. The performances aren’t bad (Ameen’s charisma eclipses the expositional dialogue), but the stakes feel low and the characters gangster-movie generic.
  29. You could make the argument that this film is effective enough as a series of stunt gags in 70s costume, and an alcoholic bear certainly made me crack a smile. But the subplot involving DC’s attempts to bring up his 14-year-old daughter is a saccharine afterthought, and feels oddly out of step with the vacuous nature of the rest of the film’s throwaway laughs.
  30. The film doesn’t understand what mode it wants to operate in; serious thriller with emotional stakes or contrived, cynical satire (a set piece around a Twitter hashtag seems to suggest the latter).

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