The Observer (UK)'s Scores

For 74 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Chinatown
Lowest review score: 40 Skate Kitchen
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
74 movie reviews
  1. The film may not be flawless (it’s a touch textbooky at times) but Oyelowo is note-perfect.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fonte, who deservedly won the best actor prize at Cannes this year, is remarkable.
  5. A crowd-pleasing, if slightly formulaic, documentary in the vein of Spellbound.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Byrne and Hawke, both easygoing, naturalistic performers at their best when they barely seem to be acting, have an utterly persuasive connection.
  11. 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.
  12. Widows is a sinewy treat that seamlessly intertwines close-up character studies, big-picture politics and audaciously reimagined heist-movie riffs.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. While Gosling plays everything close to his chest, it’s Foy who invites us into the unfolding drama with her wonderfully empathetic performance.
  19. In its better moments, this studio oddity is a tense thriller, at its worst, draggy and self-indulgent.
  20. 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.
  21. At least the CGI is clever, the consistency of Venom’s viscous, hostless form moving between molten metal and melted chewing gum.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. I can’t shake the inkling that it would’ve worked better as straight documentary.
  26. 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.
  27. It’s unfortunate that caricatured villains lessen the impact of the film’s upward punch.
  28. 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.
  29. The film is a vehicle for Haddish, whose timing and delivery make the jokes jump off the page.
  30. 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.

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