The Seattle Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 1,201 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 I Am Not Your Negro
Lowest review score: 12 Bride of Chucky
Score distribution:
1201 movie reviews
  1. Hope Gap is a deeply sad film, and maybe not what a lot of us are in the mood for these days, but it’s ultimately uplifting, in its quiet way.
  2. It’s arresting, but the rapid shift in tone could give one whiplash.
  3. Affleck, who has struggled in real life with alcoholism and has been in and out of rehab on a number of occasions over the years, makes his character’s pain palpable and totally believable.
  4. This is a picture whose subject, loudly and frequently proclaimed, is magic. But there is precious little of the genuine article to be found in it.
  5. The fun is watching the shivery details — such as a shot of the back of Cecilia’s neck, in which we can almost feel the sudden scent of a presence — and appreciating the skill of Moss’ performance.
  6. There is a touching universality to these life stories, which at this point have a lulling near-sameness: grown children, long careers, lasting passions and friendships (Paul’s and Symon’s is particularly touching), a looming shadow of illness, the nearness of twilight.
  7. This film is both a loving homage to Austen and a celebration of fashion and decorative arts.
  8. “Do all lovers,” wonders Héloïse in a passionate moment, “feel as though they’re inventing something?” Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a bittersweet celebration of passion and art, feels like that; you’ve never seen another movie quite like this. In its quiet gaze, love becomes art — and vice versa.
  9. The essence of the London story is retained, with stouthearted Buck being annealed by adversity, overcoming brutality, confusion and loneliness and then responding to the kindness of Thornton to become the leader of the pack. And all that is accomplished with a soft touch. What we have here is the call of the mild
  10. You leave The Assistant thinking about why some of us are invisible and some of us don’t notice — and about how evil lives in the places from which we look away.
  11. Sonic the Hedgehog is bright. It’s cheery. It’s here and then it’s gone in a relatively compact 100 minutes, leaving little beyond a slightly sweet aftertaste to mark its passage.
  12. I enjoyed Downhill purely for Louis-Dreyfus’ performance; we don’t get to see the “Veep” star on the big screen very often, so why not revel in her talent when we get the chance? As an exhausted working mom unable to keep from micromanaging the vacation — and a wife suddenly questioning her choices — she’s funny and moving and utterly believable in every moment.
  13. Sometimes too many ideas collide into each other — a zippy back-and-forth structure in the screenplay gets abandoned, and the pacing in the final act feels off — but Birds of Prey is never boring and often great fun.
  14. You watch wondering what good actors like Lively, Law, Jeffrey and Sterling K. Brown (as a former C.I.A. officer) saw in this muddy screenplay, and why Morano, best known for the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” couldn’t find a way to make them spark.
  15. The dialogue, the violence, the humor (largely provided by Grant’s character) and the intricacy of the storytelling make for a picture in which most everyone in it seems to be having a great deal of chatty, bloody fun.
  16. For a fun time to dispel the gloom of January, Dolittle is just what the doctor ordered.
  17. If Like a Boss had a decent screenplay, and was competently directed, it might have been pretty good.
  18. The first creature feature of the new decade is here, and boy is it dumb.
  19. While occasionally the film wanders a bit too far into sentimentality (a scene involving a baby feels like it crosses a plausibility line), watching 1917 is an emotional and moving experience. You think of these two young men as one minuscule piece of an enormous tragedy, filled with individual stories.
  20. This Little Women purist was moved to tears by this movie, and didn’t want it to end. Beautifully intimate, gentle and wise, it made me — and all of us — part of the March family. And what better Christmas gift could we wish for than that?
  21. On the whole, “Spies” is a very nice trifle turning up just in time for the holidays for families seeking a kinder, gentler alternative to “Star Wars.”
  22. Ultimately, the film’s unwillingness to go deeper makes it fall flat.
  23. You can imagine how other filmmakers might approach this — it’s a beautifully cinematic story — but no one else would film it quite as Malick has. This quiet, meditative and very deliberate film (nearly three hours long, though not a great deal happens) is at once historical drama, love story and ode to nature.
  24. “Cats” the movie is deeply, deeply weird, and not in a good way.
  25. The Rise of Skywalker rates right up there with the 1977 original, “A New Hope,” and 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back.”
  26. Eastwood’s very good with actors, and the central trio of Richard Jewell make the film worth watching.
  27. It’s all undeniably silly, but satisfying in an overstuffed blockbuster sort of way.
  28. It’s a pretty picture and a sweet adventure, and sometimes that’s enough.
  29. Johansson and Driver are remarkably, heartbreakingly good in every scene; showing their characters’ journeys to an unflinching camera, letting the gap between them get wider yet unable, for their son’s sake, to completely walk away. It’s a drama playing out on two larger-than-life faces; a family torn apart, and yet enduring.
  30. Schultz has a lovely way of telling a just-on-the-verge-of-melodramatic story on a very human level.
  31. Not every moment in the film works perfectly — Matsoukas, on occasion, slips the actors’ dialogue into internal monologue voice-over, which mostly just seems confusing — but Queen & Slim has a remarkable power. You watch it recognizing the world you know, and wishing you didn’t.
  32. Ruffalo, as a character more polished and reserved than he usually plays, is compelling as ever; he’s able to convey the sense of time passing, with the case weighing down on him more heavily as years slip by.
  33. In this season of Big, Serious Movies, what a treat to find this wonderfully silly, perfectly paced hall of mirrors hanging out at the multiplexes. It’s as if Agatha Christie came back for a visit, after getting caught up on pop culture in the beyond.
  34. While A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is charmingly filmed (I loved the animated depictions of the toy Neighborhood, and the way Heller switches camera formats to give a more old-school portrayal of Rogers’ TV show), it didn’t quite have the emotional wallop I expected.
  35. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (the latter also wrote the screenplay, both directed the original), it’s gorgeous-looking. It’s briskly paced. And it’s tuneful. Uh, about those tunes: They’re blaringly, oppressively, crushingly LOUD! With “Frozen” we got the rousing Oscar-winning “Let It Go.” With Frozen II, someone should have told the songwriters to tone it down.
  36. As a movie, The Good Liar is just so-so, but as a master class in performance and star quality, it’s a pleasure.
  37. Whether you care about motorsports or not, Ford v Ferrari is a kick: both a rollicking true story well told, and a moving depiction of male friendship.
  38. The Irishman is long, to be sure, but it’s never less than compelling — Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, all in their mid-to-late-70s, are each carrying a lifetime of work, with practiced ease.
  39. The gorgeous, perfect final shot of Pain and Glory — I might have gasped out loud — will make you feel glad to be alive, and in a movie theater.
  40. Its central characters never find much chemistry — Clarke’s Kate is a one-note character, which is one note more than Golding’s character gets — and I left Last Christmas with many, many questions, none of which I can share here without giving away too much. The elf costume, though? Just right.
  41. The effects work rivals the likes of “Saving Private Ryan” and, well, “Independence Day.” It’s spectacular and realistic-looking. That’s to be expected. What’s not expected is how serious-minded and well-acted the picture is.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Doctor Sleep is a monumental achievement of tension, suspense, forgiveness and sacrifice I’m not soon to forget.
  42. Arnie, oddly, supplies a significant amount of humor here. His Terminator has developed a kinder, gentler side over the years, asserting “I’m a very good listener and I’m extremely funny.” Well, maybe not “extremely,” but yeah, he actually is.
  43. Motherless Brooklyn is lovely to look at — the cast, in addition to their acting talents, all look great in ’50s styles — and I enjoyed the noir-y jazz of the dialogue. (“Everybody looks like everybody to me,” a bartender tells Lionel, who’s looking for someone in the shadows of a club.) But it’s easily half an hour longer than it needs to be, and it’s full of moments that don’t go anywhere.
  44. Harriet is a handsome and surprisingly quiet film, taking the time to honor the main character’s deep religious faith.
  45. Conversations about competing business strategies, which take up a great deal of The Current War, would seem to be a recipe for a dull movie. But the fervor and intelligence Cumberbatch and Shannon bring to their roles make for a gripping experience.
  46. Black and Blue is big and broad. There is no stone unturned, no symbol unexploited, and the emotional tenor is at 11. It’s melodrama for sure, and there’s absolutely no chance of interpreting Taylor’s film differently than the way he intended, for better or for worse.
  47. You’ll watch knowing you’re in the hands of a master filmmaker; only wondering when it’s over how certain effects were achieved.
  48. The fun of this movie — aside from the glorious and very velvet-forward costumes, by Ellen Mirojnick — is the performances of the two Hollywood pros at its center, both perfectly cast.
  49. The gore quotient is high in this one (lots and lots of exploding heads) and the one-liners flow freely. Bloody good fun, but not for the whole family. That R rating is well-earned.
  50. The Addams Family suffers from an acute case of the cutes.
  51. While Portman’s performance is skilled, she doesn’t have enough to work with — the character, as written, just isn’t there.
  52. Gemini Man is full of the expected action and bullets, none of which is especially thrilling, but you leave thinking about those two faces — and about how movie magic keeps finding new tricks.
  53. While Phoenix is always more than watchable (his scary-Fred-Astaire dance moves, born from Arthur’s habit of watching old movies with his mother, are both mesmerizing and disturbing), “Joker” really has nowhere to go. Its characters are one-note cartoony, but fun is the last thing on this movie’s mind; it’s all despair, from its opening scenes on downward.
  54. What’s most appealing about Zellweger’s portrayal is the brightness that peeps out from the clouds: her deep love for her children, her sly wit.
  55. The story is strong, the music is appealing. Abominable is delightful.
  56. This isn’t really a movie, but a delicious wallow, and regular movie rules don’t apply.
  57. An odd combination of space adventure, psychological thriller and moody tone poem, it stops just short of dazzlement; instead Ad Astra, like an astronaut lost in space, slowly and majestically floats away.
  58. Not all of Hustlers is beautiful, to be sure, but it’s always a kick.
  59. It’s a good story, well told, though you have to forgive Hood for indulging in a little journalistic cliché.
  60. The Goldfinch feels like a series of often-elegant moments, in service to a story that never quite comes into focus.
  61. Rather than using the extended running time to dig deep into these characters, director Andy Muschietti, who also directed the original, piles on the frights in a manner that builds to an ending drenched in hysteria.
  62. The film’s better than you’d expect from a late-summer offering, mostly due to a strong cast led by the great Oyelowo.
  63. Angel Has Fallen plays out exactly as you would expect from a potboiler of this type. No surprises here, other than that it exists at all. It’s the kind of movie one expects to be released at the shank end of summer. Time to turn the page to fall.
  64. Is After the Wedding a great movie? No, not especially. Are these two women treasures of cinema? Absolutely.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Other than a few blips, Blinded by the Light is a production that is as strong as any Springsteen anthem and as inspiring as any lyrics by the Boss.
  65. Like Bernadette, the movie’s lost; you’ll need to read the book to truly find her.
  66. Very, very late in ECCO’s two-plus hour running time, answers come. It’s a long wait for clarity. From the viewer, much patience is required.
  67. If “golden retriever voiced by Kevin Costner” rings any alarm bells for you, steer clear.
  68. All of this silliness is actually great fun, particularly the bantering chemistry between Johnson and Statham, who spend much of the movie squabbling and calling each other names.
  69. The pacing of the picture is problematical. It’s curiously inert in the early going, with a lot of time spent in cars with the characters as they drive around and around on freeways, side streets and boulevards in Hollywood.
  70. "The Farewell" is so unexpectedly and deliciously funny that watching it feels like a tonic — an immersion in love and art.
  71. A taut, gripping documentary about one young woman’s dream ... Maiden is wonderfully suspenseful — especially if you, like me, have no idea how the race turned out.
  72. The new version amplifies and deepens all that is good in the original. The key is in the visuals. Photorealistic computer-generated imagery renders its African landscapes and animals with astonishing realism.
  73. Ultimately, despite Nanjiani’s best efforts, it’s a disposable fast-car summer movie, neither terrible or good, for those biding their time before the next “Fast & Furious” installment.
  74. This film celebrates Halston’s work but shows more interest in the man — and the unexpected corporate drama — behind it.
  75. Much of the film’s pleasure is in hearing Morrison speak.
  76. Horror is a fragile thing. Suspension of disbelief is key to its effectiveness. A sudden inappropriate guffaw from someone in the audience can be enough to break the spell. In Midsommar, the spell breaks at the end and the picture collapses.
  77. Yesterday offers no answers or explanations. It presents its idea and runs — and you either buy it or you don’t.
  78. Sometimes, a movie can just make you feel better, and that’s no small gift.
  79. The most interesting revelations come early as Wyman, in voice-over, describes his upbringing in a rough section of London.
  80. Dauberman’s control over the camera and mastery of suspense is impressive, especially for a first-time director. But the film is strung too tightly, rarely breaking bad, denying the cathartic chaos one craves in this kind of film.
  81. None of these stories feel monumental, and all of them resolve themselves neatly in a quarter-hour or so. But they have a kindness to them; a way of seeing people as they are, with their flaws and their goodness.
  82. All Is True is handsomely mounted, filled with shadowed interiors underscoring the darkness of its story, the darkness artfully interrupted by candlelight and firelight. The movie’s impressive appearance notwithstanding, Shakespeare’s domestic problems do not a classic make.
  83. Though his character bears Fails’ name and the picture is autobiographical, it’s not a documentary. Fails and co-screenwriter Rob Richert have embroidered on his experiences to create a story that melds realism with make-believe.
  84. Like the toys of a child now-grown, or an antique lamp gathering dust on a shelf, “Toy Story 4” isn’t needed. But it is, for many of us, very much wanted: one last adventure, one last chance to say goodbye.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Although the film is a beautiful tribute to Pavarotti, the less-inspired approach Howard took to the film plus a slower editing beat (the running time is 114 minutes) compared to his examination of the Beatles makes the project seem like a small step backward.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The wedding of strong actors with a solid script is what makes Plus One worthy of saying “I do” to enjoying it.
  85. Like Kaling’s Molly, Late Night is immensely likable; so much so that you wish it were perfect.
  86. The Dead Don’t Die isn’t just deadpan — it’s dead.
  87. What we have here is a standard-issue comedy-tinged crime thriller indifferently directed by Tim Story (the “Think Like a Man” and “Ride Along” movies). Its nothing-special plot, the product of writers Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow, features ill-defined villains and briefly touches on Islamophobia and military veteran PTSD and drug abuse — and never follows up on any of those issues.
  88. You feel for the actors, who you know are better than this stuff, and you wonder if director F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton”) just threw up his hands. And you wonder if, somewhere, Smith and Jones are chuckling. At least somebody was.
  89. Phoenix goes off the rails in the second half when Kinberg piles fight scene atop CG-enhanced fight scene, backed by Hans Zimmer’s oppressive pounding score, until the picture devolves into a chaotic mess.
  90. The Souvenir reveals itself slowly, calmly, with great deliberation.
  91. Egerton is commanding throughout. His performance is truly a marvel. Rocketman as well.
  92. Curiously though, director Michael Dougherty and his filmmaking team obscure the battle footage in darkness, smoke and downpours, making murky much of the imagery.
  93. Ma
    Campy and goofy, vicious and bloody, if that sounds like a good time, you might have a lot of fun partying with Ma, even if you won’t remember much tomorrow.
  94. It’s got a flying carpet. It’s got an enchanted lamp. It’s got a shape-shifting genie. But alas, Aladdin lacks real magic.
  95. Olivia Wilde’s raunchy yet adorable high-school comedy Booksmart understands a basic truth: For so many former teenage girls, your first love is your high-school best friend.
  96. It’s all quite wistfully romantic, and mostly winningly so, despite the sometimes wise-way-beyond-their-years dialogue and not always plausible plot.

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