The Observer (UK)'s Scores

For 84 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Guilty
Lowest review score: 40 Bad Reputation
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 84
  2. Negative: 0 out of 84
84 movie reviews
  1. Based on the true story of a group of Swedish men who competed in the synchronised swimming world championship, Swimming With Men is reminiscent of The Full Monty, its feelgood climax landing with a welcome, if gentle, splash.
  2. Unlike the steely resilience in the face of disaster of Robert Redford’s character in All Is Lost, watching Crowhurst slowly crack is the cinema equivalent of filling your pockets with pebbles and chucking yourself into the Solent.
  3. While Kahn offers no overt criticism, it’s hard not to question the sustainability of an art market that has evolved into a kind of prestige car park for vast quantities of money.
  4. While the action set pieces and effects are dizzyingly immersive, the storytelling is fussy and somehow uncompelling.
  5. A third act that stumbles into genre territory loses focus temporarily, but is redeemed by a scene that celebrates the power of words above all else.
  6. Watching this sporadically sparkling yet weirdly saggy “cover version” of Argento’s biggest international hit, I couldn’t help wishing that someone had been there with the scissors to trim the film of its indulgences – not the violence, but the verbosity.
  7. It’s a world that is so incoherent and inconsistent you almost have to admire the chutzpah, in which buxom lady horse-thieves dress themselves for a night of crime displaying several inches of showy cleavage, contained only by a glorified shoelace.
  8. It’s an eerily moving piece, masterfully blurring the divide between the unforgivable and understandable, finding tenderness in the bleakest and most traumatic of circumstances.
  9. This is pure genre exploitation – a gleefully gory revenge flick that leaves its small-town streets awash with blood. It may also be one of the smartest, most perceptive commentaries on a contemporary society distorted and magnified by online hysteria that you are likely to wince your way through.
  10. This glum crime franchise, unfolding against a backdrop of blighted concrete chill and semi-derelict industrial spaces, is evolving into Scandinavia’s anti-hygge.
  11. The film may not be flawless (it’s a touch textbooky at times) but Oyelowo is note-perfect.
  12. It gives heart-in-the-mouth insights into the realities of war reporting, and is a testament to the value – and the price – of great journalism.
  13. It’s not subtle – at one point he grafts Trump’s voice on to footage of Hitler addressing a Nazi rally. But subtle was never in Moore’s cinematic vocabulary.
  14. Fonte, who deservedly won the best actor prize at Cannes this year, is remarkable.
  15. A crowd-pleasing, if slightly formulaic, documentary in the vein of Spellbound.
  16. This unwillingness to divulge anything truly intimate, combined with the film’s jumbled chronology, gives the whole thing a thin, Wikipedia-ish feel. Jett says she wants to offer her fans “a primal release”. A pity, then, that this film about her is so repressed.
  17. Though it leans on the genre beats of melodrama to occasionally clunky effect in order to mine the audience’s tears, it’s impressive how it metabolises these moments of charged emotion in order to make its wider points.
  18. The film’s narrow visual focus – much of the drama plays out in the face of police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) – accentuates the crackling cleverness of a screenplay that allows us to unravel a mystery in real time.
  19. Leigh’s egalitarian insistence on voices for all means that there are a few too many of them in play. Still, there is a fascinating wealth of detail, both in the vividly recreated period backdrop and, more remarkably, given the sheer volume of people on screen, in the characters, however fleetingly they appear.
  20. Byrne and Hawke, both easygoing, naturalistic performers at their best when they barely seem to be acting, have an utterly persuasive connection.
  21. There is a slightly panicky desperation to the cacophonous production design, and a sense of trying to distract from a plot as thin as spun sugar.
  22. Widows is a sinewy treat that seamlessly intertwines close-up character studies, big-picture politics and audaciously reimagined heist-movie riffs.
  23. Fans of the band might enjoy watching the movie cycle through their hits (and there are many), but those, like me, hoping for a more robust appraisal of the late Freddie Mercury may find themselves disappointed.
  24. After four decades of diminishing returns, the fact that a guy in a mask can still take an entertaining stab at a somewhat jaded audience is oddly reassuring.
  25. 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).
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. While Gosling plays everything close to his chest, it’s Foy who invites us into the unfolding drama with her wonderfully empathetic performance.
  29. In its better moments, this studio oddity is a tense thriller, at its worst, draggy and self-indulgent.
  30. 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.

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