Portland Oregonian's Scores

  • Movies
For 3,385 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 After Life
Lowest review score: 0 Underclassman
Score distribution:
3385 movie reviews
  1. Exarchopoulos and Seydoux give their characters dimension and spark. Kechiche touches on issues of not only gender, age and sexuality, but also socioeconomic class. And if the movie doesn't quite seem to know when to end, it's because the director can't bear to say goodbye to these fascinating, fully-formed characters.
  2. It’s a harrowing and impressive accomplishment (especially considering potential government censorship), and it shows how, in its mad rush toward modernity, China has become a land of haves and have-nots, where income inequality and lack of opportunity have made a mockery of the nation’s purported ideals. Sound familiar?
  3. Telling Northrup’s story, McQueen gives a grand tour of the institutionalized sadism and astonishing inhumanity ubiquitous in the slave economy.
  4. Nothing tops the discussions of mortality between Leary and Ram Dass, during which both of these battered but unbowed explorers of reality come off as nothing less than enlightened.
  5. Inspired by uprisings in the former Soviet bloc as well as, more pointedly, the Arab Spring, Makhmalbaf serves up a surprisingly tense, sometimes poignant parable. It's good to have him back.
  6. Sorrentino’s storytelling sometimes seems deliberately obscure, and his film can be as indulgent as the society it chronicles. But as this existential odyssey draws to a close, it sews itself up with the aplomb that only a confident, controlled filmmaker can marshal.
  7. German director Christian Petzold's new movie is a testament to the way textured performances and a skillfully woven script can entice a remarkable suspension of disbelief.
  8. Joy
    An inspirational, and mostly entertaining, saga, Joy is a Horatio Alger story for the 21st century — but who reads those anymore?
  9. The experience of watching Carol is like being pulled into a different place, real and not real, like the best movies, like being in love.
  10. This time the talk was cheap, not witty or sharp. Tarantino the writer let his gift of gab get away from him and didn't give his script a close enough edit. Tarantino the director didn't do enough with the static setting; the flashbacks don't help and the big timeshift that's meant to explain everything that's happened feels incomplete.
  11. A highly entertaining, informative movie about how the subprime mortgage crisis led to a worldwide financial meltdown in 2007-08. The fact that such a movie is so unusual is one big reason why the meltdown occurred and why it easily could happen again.
  12. It's duck soup for cinephiles.
  13. It feels more like a retreat for all involved, a chance to kick back and bounce some ideas off each other and the surrounding mountains. Several of them stick and give Youth an emotional core that covers the bare spots. Caine and Keitel, old pros on the home stretch, deserve nothing less.
  14. The subject is fascinating, the talent is undeniable, but the humanity that made Lili Elbe so memorable gets lost along the way.
  15. A wonderful documentary.
  16. If Abrams didn't take many chances, he didn't make many mistakes, either. First, Do No Harm became Don't Mess With Success, and it worked. Show Me the Money is sure to follow.
  17. In the Heart of the Sea doesn't trust itself enough to be great.
  18. All Things Must Pass is a labor of love by actor Colin Hanks, a Sacramento native who grew up on the store.
  19. It doesn't all work. The energy and the performances by Cannon, Parris and Hudson can't carry a movie that careens from camp to tragedy to farce without taking a breath. Several scenes could have been cut, particularly a long, dumb take on sex and the Civil War that ends with a horny old goat in Stars-and-Bars skivvies.
  20. What is special about The Good Dinosaur isn't the characters...but the backgrounds.
  21. Legend offers two Hardys for the price of one but delivers less than a satisfying whole despite the efforts of its star(s).
  22. Creed is no "Raging Bull" -- it's a little too long and throws in an unnecessary disease to gin up the emotional content of the third act -- but it's surprising proof that iconic franchises that started in the 1970s can be revived in all the right ways.
  23. The best and creepiest sequence involves a sort of beta test, during which a patchwork chimplike creature is brought to life and rampages about.
  24. Stick around for the credits, when the real Trumbo talks about the effect of the blacklist on his daughter. It's the real thing.
  25. All involved bring a warm eccentricity that lifts what in lesser hands could be a collection of cliches about the contrasts between the Old World and the New.
  26. It's beautifully photographed, but pretentious, overlong and trite.
  27. That "The Hunger Games" movies lost momentum is hardly a surprise: even "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings" slipped after the second installment. The end feels like a relief for all concerned, and it does feel like the end.
  28. Here's a movie that's jam-packed with bizarre sci-fi concepts, political allegory, a fascinating international cast and some truly over the top set pieces. But for just about everything maniacally cool in the movie, there's a flaw, sometimes a near-fatal one.
  29. At times the movie feels like two Very Special Episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" stitched together, but on balance it's a smart, well-cast piece of grown-up entertainment.
  30. William Faulkner's oft-cited quote has rarely been more apt: "The past is never dead. It's not even the past."

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