Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 310 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Lady Bird
Lowest review score: 25 The Snowman
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 310
310 movie reviews
  1. The animators have figured out horses and falcons and snakes, but human body movements are stiff, awkward, and mechanical.
  2. There is enough space for Bell and Bening to do some good work, particularly Bell, who has more to chew on here than anything he’s done since Billy Elliot.
  3. Director Wes Ball allows nearly every scene to overstay its welcome.
  4. Gudegast is using the Heat homage the way a magician uses a flourish — to distract you from the other story he’s telling. I confess to getting a kick out of watching it play out.
  5. In essence, it shows that what the “horse soldiers” did was pretty remarkable — efficient, daring, effective.
  6. The movie also trumpets hometown values, and makes fun of the way Liam’s wealth and fame have insulated him from simple pleasures of small-town life (underlined by director Bethany Ashton Wolf’s cozy visual presentation). The movie pokes fun at his materialism, when it’s not indulging in it.
  7. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is a cockeyed love story that starts as weirdly as it ends.
  8. Spielberg and Co. are obviously excited to be making The Post, and that palpable enthusiasm makes the movie feel so unusually lively for a big-studio movie. It’s nimble, crisp, passionate, full of verve and invention.
  9. What is Cooper after here? He seems to want us to gasp at the naturalistic horror of it all, drawn from history and accompanied with the sober denunciation of actual frontier massacres (Blocker is a veteran of Wounded Knee), but the parade of grotesque violence (murders, rapes, suicides) suggests something more surreal, less literal.
  10. Aaron Sorkin’s entertaining new film is a tough, smart look at the way some Hollywood heavyweights treat women. Spoiler: not well. But it’s also more than that – it touches on broader legal and labor issues and systems that disadvantage women everywhere, in different ways.
  11. Williams and Plummer are fine, yet for all their efforts the movie endures a strangely listless first hour. The kidnapping and subsequent investigation feel under-plotted, highlighting Wahlberg’s curiously inert presence in the movie.
  12. Chalamet and Hammer map this progression expertly.
  13. The movie is a pitch-black comedy, told with a wink and a smirk by unreliable narrators, who include Harding, her mother, and her husband — all presenting self-serving versions of the truth, often standing in arch contrast to the images we are shown.
  14. Although the sci-fi trappings of Downsizing make it seem like a big departure from Payne’s previous work — The Descendants, Sideways, About Schmidt — it is the same in important ways. It’s a movie about a man suddenly separated from people he’s loved, trying to learn how to live again.
  15. The Jumanji reboot Welcome to the Jungle is a happy surprise — a movie that turns out to be good (almost clean) fun, and is much more interested in character and comedy than special effects.
  16. As the movie explores Nye’s family history, we do see just how intertwined the threads of thinking and emotion can be.
  17. Churchill, by way of Darkest Hour, hands the actor some of the best speeches of his career, and Oldman brings them vividly to life.
  18. Del Toro somehow manages to keep the deeply weird mash-up of ideas and images coherent, unified by style and mood.
  19. These sequels trade directly on the emotional legacy of the originals (The Last Jedi makes some leaps into sentimental hyperspace, particularly in the way that it handles Fisher on-screen), and the more of the aged Luke and Leia we see, the more we chip away at the mythic power of characters as Lucas left them: Young, strong, immortal.
  20. A very sloppy piece of work, apart from the cinematography, which is pretty, and the Mills Brothers songs, which are fantastic.
  21. The Disaster Artist really hangs on James Franco’s performance. He’s an uncanny mimic of Wiseau’s legendary accent and mannerisms, but what he really nails is Wiseau’s complete lack of self-awareness.
  22. A movie that could have been about loss and defeat becomes something else — a testament to spiritual stamina, to the power of family bonds and their importance to homes, to streets, to neighborhoods and to cities.
  23. What does work is Washington’s subtle, authentic, meticulous work as a walled-off, neurodiverse man.
  24. The movie is antic, bouncing frantically from one story element to another, and poor Stevens, looking electrocuted and sleep-deprived, plays Dickens like the Man Who Invented Meth.
  25. It’s a remarkable performance by McDormand, matched by Rockwell.
  26. In general, Coco is the kind of first-rate technical production you expect from Pixar. On the other hand, it often feels more frantic than exciting, and it counts on moments of humor that often do not materialize.
  27. Cowriter and director Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie) does a skillful job making us feel these inequities as they take place over time and become the fabric of lives, the basis of the assumptions people make about race and culture — the way things are.
  28. Last Flag Flying lacks the casual, lived-in realism you usually find in a Linklater film. You don’t buy the men as long-separated pals, and so you don’t really buy the premise — the connection that caused Doc to seek out these men is not visible on screen.
  29. There are a few fearful moments when you think the movie will be a collection of affectations. But the characters are too real, Gerwig’s eye for the adolescent lives of young women too keen.
  30. A movie that succeeds as a tearjerker, if you can withstand those pushy moments (and there are a few) when it kind of makes you want to hate kindness.

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