For 1,381 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Beyond the Hills
Lowest review score: 0 MacGruber
Score distribution:
1,381 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is startling that a three-hour film dealing largely with the history of the Middle East should find no time to mention either the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the role of oil in the region. And it is more than a little unsatisfying to see the complex history of American conservatism reduced to the dreams and schemes of a handful of intellectuals.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The fallibility of the romantic ideal -- which is nonetheless indispensable on screen and off -- is something Hollywood has trouble dealing with. "The Break-up," in which Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan did just what the title promised, would have been a more notable exception if it were anything like a good movie. The Last Kiss, while not quite a good movie either, at least deserves credit for its honesty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Cuarón never quite finds the tone that would allow him to fuse belly laughs with the horror of illness and death, but then perhaps Pedro Almodóvar is the only filmmaker able to mix darkness and light in that way. Still it is hard not to admire the younger man's cheeky self-confidence, and hard not to enjoy the dexterity of his camera movements and the flair with which he attempts both low comedy and high melodrama.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The middle section of the film has some of the superficiality of a made-for-Lifetime drama of female distress and resilience, a bit too eager to make its points and solve its dramatic problems at the cost of the messiness that would bring the story fully to life.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem, though, is that its techniques run too far beyond its ideas, which are blurry and banal, rather than mysterious and resonant. The Fountain is something to see, but it is also much less, finally, than meets the eye.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not for the faint of heart, the movie is unsettling and startlingly true to life. At least that’s how it seemed to me. To the minors I happened to be accompanying, it seemed to be reasonably good fun.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A mild exercise in deliberate mediocrity, with chuckles and heartwarming moments distributed as carefully as nuts in a factory-made brownie. The movie's lack of ambition is hardly surprising, but both Ms. Moore and Ms. Keaton, who can wring flustered comedy out of the mildest provocation, deserve better.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of Amelia Vincent's toothsome cinematography and the down-home locations, the movie often has the lumbering, literal-minded rhythms of a second-rate stage play -- not a moan or a howl, but a slow, anxious groan.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Reign Over Me uses the rhythms and moods of comedy to explore, and also to contain, overpowering feelings of loss, anger and hurt. And like that earlier movie ("The Upside of Anger"), this one is maddeningly uneven.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Connoisseurs of craziness need wait no longer. Cobra Verde opens today in all its feral, baffling glory. Along with "Aguirre" and "Fitzcarraldo," Cobra Verde completes a trilogy of mayhem and megalomania in hot climates.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Strictly for cultists, and even they might find less than 90 bongless minutes hard to sit through.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Even though it is sometimes dull and generally thin, there is something winning about the movie's genial lack of ambition.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It's an interesting, maddening mess -- not a terrible movie, and by no means a dull one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    La Vie en Rose, which Mr. Dahan wrote as well as directed, has an intricate structure, which is a polite way of saying that it's a complete mess... In the end, as often happens in movies of this kind, La Vie en Rose is saved by Piaf herself.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Intermittently charming, sometimes tiresome celebration of quirkiness.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A movie far less interesting than its premise. It is also slightly less interesting than its hugely popular predecessor, "Bruce Almighty."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of occasional gestures in the direction of political or sociological context -- interviews with anti-Aristide activists, news images of battles beyond Cité Soleil -- Mr. Leth is not, in the end, much concerned with offering an analysis of the Haitian situation. Like Lele, he'd rather have a party with the thugs.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A funny-sad, icky-sweet comedy of family dysfunction.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Less forgivably, the movie is dull.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It may be best to approach El Cantante less as a movie than as a two-hour promotional video for a must-have soundtrack album.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Bar-Lev has made an excellent documentary, but it would have been better if he had not made it at all.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A well-meaning, honorable movie. Which is not to say that it is a very good one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The problem with We Own the Night is that it mistakes sentiment for profundity, and takes its ideas about character and fate more seriously than it takes its characters and their particular fates. “I feel light as a feather,” Bobby says in a crucial scene, at which point the movie starts to sink like a stone.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Atonement fails to be anything more than a decorous, heavily decorated and ultimately superficial reading of the book on which it is based.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As the director, Anne Fletcher, methodically cuts back and forth between two weddings, she makes the reasonably insightful, moderately funny point that modern American weddings, however they may strain for individuality and specialness, are all pretty much alike. The problem is that much the same could be said about modern American romantic comedies.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    First Sunday sometimes feels more like a script read-through than like an actual movie, but its warmth is likely to carry you through the stretches of cliché and tedium.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For what it is -- a romantic comedy about the rivalry between a jealous ghost and a flaky psychic for the love of a veterinarian -- Over Her Dead Body is not bad.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Will Finn and Tess find the treasure before the bad guys? Will they put aside their differences and rekindle their love? Yes to both questions! I haven’t spoiled anything, by the way. But perhaps I’ve saved you some trouble.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Brett Morgen’s semi-animated, semi-documentary attempt to make the ’60s cool for a new generation of kids, does the opposite. It is a narrow, glib dollop of canned history, an affirmation of received thinking rather than a challenge to it.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The big, climactic fight, complete with an epic snuffleupagus rampage, is decent action-movie fun. And as a history lesson, 10,000 BC has its value. It explains just how we came to be the tolerant, peace-loving farmers we are today, and why the pyramids were never finished.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There are aspects of “Horton,”... that are fresh and enjoyable, and bits that will gratify even a dogmatic and orthodox Seussian.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    After 90 minutes of My Blueberry Nights, which pass pleasantly enough, with swirly, mood-saturated colors; lovely faces; and nice music, you may feel a bit logy yourself -- filled up, sugar-addled, but not really satisfied.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The facetiousness of this project is charming at first -- as is the conceit of depicting the hunt for Mr. bin Laden using video-game animation -- but the charm wears off pretty quickly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not that Cairo, Nest of Spies is meant to be a thriller, but even as a self-consciously anachronistic knockabout farce it rarely rises to the level of wit, either verbal or physical.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A middling superhero movie! I wish I could say that was incredible.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    If this movie is not a ride, then what is it? One thing it may not be, quite, is a movie.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    You can have a perfectly nice time watching this spirited adaptation of the popular stage musical and, once the hangover wears off, acknowledge just how bad it is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The violence in his (Craig's) first outing, "Casino Royale," was notably intense, and while Quantum of Solace is not quite as brutal, the mood is if anything even more grim and downcast.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Bottle Shock is unable to figure out what kind of movie it wants to be, and flops around between madcap comedy and rousing drama. To borrow a wine-snob term of art, it lacks structure.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As it is, the movie is a hodgepodge of borrowings and half-cooked ideas, flung together into a feverishly edited jet-setting exercise in purposeless intensity.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is in the fragile bonds that form between the black soldiers and the Italian villagers that Miracle at St. Anna breaks free of its own grandiosity and tells a grounded, moving, human story. Not a miracle by any means, but an earthy inquiry into death, duty, friendship and honor. What we’ve always wanted from war movies.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A passable piece of hackwork, with some adequately suspenseful passages and a few mild shocks near the end. But the psychological dimensions of the story are so risible, and its supposed insights into race and class so wrongheaded and ugly, that irritation trumps enjoyment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Defiance presents itself as an explicit correction of the cultural record, a counterpoint to all those lachrymose World War II tales of helplessness and victimhood. This is a perfectly honorable intention, but the problem is that, in setting out to overturn historical stereotypes of Jewish passivity, Mr. Zwick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Clayton Frohman) ends up affirming them.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not especially good, but there is enough rough artistry in Mr. O’Connor’s direction to make you wish the film were better.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    More often there is a frantic, compulsive quality to the action. Fanboy intoxication with the idea of formal ingenuity too often stands in for the thing itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film insists so strenuously on its themes of redemption, tolerance, love and healing that it winds up defeating itself, and robbing Ms. Kidd’s already maudlin tale of its melodramatic heat.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Not a great film, mainly because it can't transcend -- and, indeed, lays bare -- the intellectual flimsiness of its source. But it is, nonetheless, full of examples of what good filmmaking looks like. For all its chin-rubbing, brow-furrowing attitudes, it does not, in the end, give you much to think about. But there is, nonetheless, a lot here to see.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The truth about the case of Christine Collins is so shocking and dramatic that embellishment must have seemed pointless, but in sticking so close to the historical record, Mr. Straczynski and Mr. Eastwood have produced a distended, awkward narrative whose strongest themes are lost in the murky pomp of period detail.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A diverting if not terribly original on-the-cheap horror film.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of its sometimes tiresome, sometimes amusing lewdness, follows a gee-whiz romantic-comedy formula that would not be out of place on the Disney Channel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Some of this is affecting, some of it tedious, and the film's inconsistencies of tone are made more glaring by its peculiar look.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Duke’s filmmaking is functional at best, and the extreme shifts in emotional tone -- especially a late and disastrous swerve into tragedy -- are handled clumsily in Brian Bird’s script. Yet Not Easily Broken is not easily dismissed. For one thing, the cast is excellent, and for another, its intentions are serious and generous.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    While Ms. Dörrie’s film is exquisitely shot, its themes and metaphors are obvious rather than subtle, and its emotional rhythms -- rueful laughter punctuating the pathos -- would not be out of place in a television drama.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The main problem with The Uninvited lies in its refusal to decide just what movie it wants to be a commercial for. It certainly doesn’t have much in common with "A Tale of Two Sisters," the creepy Korean horror film of which it is supposedly a remake.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is something both satisfying and frustrating about Madea Goes to Jail. Mr. Perry dutifully gives his audience what it wants, but you can't help feeling that he might also have more to offer: more coherent narratives, smoother direction, better movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Modest and diverting, rough and bland, with some good (if not quite Bette Davis caliber) actors and so-so special effects.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This movie, without being particularly good, is nonetheless far less hysterical than "Da Vinci."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The movie is curiously unmemorable, partly because nearly all of its humor depends on your having seen something like it before, even if you haven't.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A painfully sincere study in creative passion, sexual ardor and political zeal that embalms a mad and exuberant historical moment within the talky, balky conventions of period-costumed highbrow soap opera.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Dick, whose previous documentaries have examined sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, the inner workings of the movie ratings system and the life and work of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, is a cerebral muckraker. While his techniques are not as nakedly tendentious as Michael Moore’s (and his movies, as a consequence, are not as much fun), he hardly pretends to be a detached or unbiased observer.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Couldn't the creative minds at the 20th Century Fox animation studios, hoping to wring a few hundred million dollars more out of their prized family-animation franchise, have come up with something more original?
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Shallow and harmlessly diverting picture.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    My Sister’s Keeper takes on a very tough subject -- and has, in Anna and Kate, two pretty tough characters played by strong young actresses -- but ultimately it is too soft, too easy, and it dissolves like a tear-soaked tissue.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Manages to be fairly entertaining in that exhausting, rackety, late-summer-kiddie-movie way.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Overlong, predictable in its plotting and utterly banal in its blending of comic whimsy and melodramatic pathos.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    If in the end the film is neither a cogent psychological thriller nor an effervescent sex comedy, it does at least have an interesting sense of place.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Never shows enough passion to be interestingly bad.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film, not unsurprisingly for a holiday- (and football-) season release from a major Hollywood studio, plays this story straight down the middle, shedding nuance and complication in favor of maximum uplift.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This movie incites curiosity tinged with confusion and irritation. It bristles with interesting ideas — about friendship and freakishness, honesty and anger — and intriguing characters, all of which may blossom in later episodes.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The filmmakers’ evident affection for the book expresses itself as a desperate scramble to include as much of it as possible, which leaves the movie feeling both overcrowded and thin.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The self-consciousness of the premise and the playlike structure of Blind Date clash with the naturalism of Mr. Tucci and Ms. Clarkson’s acting styles, and the film never lifts itself above its origin as a well-meaning, underdeveloped exercise.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A crudely made, half-clever little frightener that has become something of a pop-culture sensation and most certainly the movie marketing story of the year.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Edge of Darkness is reasonably well executed, but its competence reeks of fatigue. Another dead kid. Another angry dad. Another day at the office.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Think of 44 Inch Chest as a piece of chamber music and you can compensate for the thinness of its story and the lack of visual distinction.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Is this Karate Kid as good as the original? No, although it is better than the sequels. But why bother with nostalgia? It’s probably good enough.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A curious, somewhat ungainly movie. But it is also rich and fascinating. At times you think you are watching a clumsy stage pageant superimposed on a documentary; it’s so stiff, and yet at the same time so real.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The Exploding Girl can also make you feel bad about wishing that she were just a little more interesting.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Like Tango, Sal and Eddie, Mr. Fuqua and Mr. Martin dig themselves into a pulpy predicament, and then find themselves unable to do anything but shoot their way out. The movie is wounded, but it’s also too tough to kill.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Egoyan has shown off these etchings before -- a solemn young woman in lingerie, a handsome older man in the throes of erotic distress -- and the artistry he brings to the display feels tired and thin this time around. Chloe works hard at seduction, but its heart isn’t really in the game.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Date Night, like so many other films of its type, too often relies on words, catchphrases and inflections that signify a generally accepted notion of funniness rather than being, you know, actually funny.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As the shills reveal their souls, the movie turns into an exercise in the very phoniness it initially set out to expose. And since you’ve already paid for the ticket, you might end up feeling cheated.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It’s moderately entertaining and instantly forgettable. Poor Freddy. I can’t help thinking he deserves better.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    You’re left wanting more, but not quite the “more” Iron Man 2 works so hard to supply.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    If only the story were leaner and more nimble -- but then again this is a Ridley Scott film, so you go in expecting bombast and bloat in the service of leaden themes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Letters to Juliet represents an interesting paradox: it is a movie that is very nearly perfect without being especially good.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Its flashes of style are sometimes lively but more often seem, like the slavish period décor, to be desperate attempts to overcome the built-in inertia of the genre.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Dogtooth supplies no such explanation and at times seems as much an exercise in perversity as an examination of it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Despicable Me cannot be faulted for lack of trying. If anything, it tries much too hard, stuffing great gobs of second-rate action, secondhand humor and warmed-over sentiment into every nook and cranny of its relentlessly busy 3-D frames.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    She is the prime special effect, and a reminder that even in an era of technological overkill, movie stars matter.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    While Mr. Molina and Mr. Cage supply a measure of well-compensated eccentricity, their labors ultimately serve to emphasize the grinding mediocrity of the enterprise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Raises expectations that it has no real inclination to fulfill. The movie's best bits would stand alone nicely on YouTube, or on Funnyordie.com, the comic video boutique of which Mr. McKay is an owner and where he sometimes dabbles in short-form hilarity.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is plenty of nonsense, a great deal of stylish posturing and clothes-horsing, and a few action sequences that manage to be both gripping and preposterous.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As is so often the case in modest, aimless little movies like this one, it is the acting that saves Jack Goes Boating from triviality or worse.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For the most part, everyone struggles through, with at best mixed success. The audience included.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is something shallow and cautious about this film, which strains to maintain a glib, cheery demeanor that is not always appropriate to the details of the story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It would be easy to dismiss Conviction on the ground that it plays like a made-for-television movie, but the truth is that, as often as not, movies made for the small screen are better than this: braver, darker, more willing to explore odd corners of feeling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    RED
    It is possible to have a good time at RED, but it is not a very good movie.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The considerable wit, style, and skill that Mr. Nighy and Ms. Blunt bring to the project are squandered.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The plot has so many moving parts - so many envelopes of money, dropped names, half-explained schemes and hasty flights - that it quickly becomes more frustrating than illuminating.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For myself, I was but seldom inspired to peals of true laughter, though I did relish that part when Mr. Black, confronting a fire raging in the Palace of Lilliput, douses the blaze through heroic use of such means as Nature has provided him.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Cindy and Dean remain, for all their sustained agony and flickering joy, something less than completely realized human beings. Mr. Cianfrance's ingenious chronological gimmick, coupled with his anxious, clumsy plotting, leaves them without enough oxygen to burst into breathing, loving life.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Ryder, playing the least sympathetic character with unflinching dignity and candor, is in many ways the reason The Dilemma works as well as it does.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Quite a bit less than the sum of its appealing parts.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In spite of its air of seriousness and sophistication, The Other Woman feels oddly shapeless and pokey.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Lumbering along for a bit less than two hours, which passes like three, it feels more like a chore than like an adventure.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is some cheap homophobia at the end, and a lot of the kind of misogyny that treats the existence of nonthin, nonrich, nonwhite women as a joke in itself.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    So what kind of a movie is Crash? A frustrating movie: full of heart and devoid of life; crudely manipulative when it tries hardest to be subtle; and profoundly complacent in spite of its intention to unsettle and disturb.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Apart from some half-cartoonish digital effects and the whole 3-D thing, Drive Angry could almost be mistaken for a raunchy, cheesy exploitation programmer of the same vintage as some of its cars.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    To say that Mr. Schnabel's film is innocuous is not to say that it's any good. Like so many other well-intentioned movies about politically contentious issues, it is hobbled by its own sincerity and undone by a confused aesthetic agenda.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Hop
    Hop is innocuous, though occasionally annoying and also, less expectedly, occasionally funny. Both types of occasions are mostly provided by Russell Brand, who specializes in collapsing the distinction between the exasperatingly silly and the charmingly naughty.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Everything about In a Better World feels just a little too easy: a better movie might have let in more of the messiness of the world as it is. This one falls into cheap manipulation, winding up the audience with foreboding music and the spectacle of blond children in peril.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The star does his patented shtick, supported by a handful of blue-chip supporting performers, as the story lurches through contrived, seminaughty comic set pieces toward a sentimental ending.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The absolute and unbroken mediocrity of Thor is evidence of its success. This movie is not distinctively bad, it is axiomatically bad. And THAT is depressing. A howling turkey is at least something to laugh at, and maybe even something to see. But Thor is an example of the programmed triumph of commercial calculation over imagination.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Instead of being a wild mixture of tones, it has very little tone at all, and moments of dramatic or comic intensity erupt awkwardly and then fizzle out.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This ambition - to provoke thought while tugging at heartstrings - makes The First Grader fascinating and frustrating in almost equal measure.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is not entirely without charm or wit. Directed by John Lasseter (with Brad Lewis credited as co-director) from a script by Ben Queen, Cars 2 lavishes scrupulous imaginative attention on its cosmopolitan settings.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As the plot swerves toward an almost crazy conclusion, there is the inkling of a strong, interesting idea here, about how some versions of modern religion are predicated on the systematic denial of reality, but Salvation Boulevard is itself too loosely tethered to the actual world to make the point with the necessary vigor or acuity.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Perry, a New York University graduate whose second feature, "The Color Wheel," provoked passion and puzzlement at several festivals, has a natural eye, an offbeat sense of rhythm and no great interest in conventional storytelling. This is both intriguing and a bit tiresome, as Tyrone stumbles and mumbles his way through a series of inscrutable encounters.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Her (Ms. Scherfig) eccentric eye and offbeat rhythm sustain One Day through its stretches of banality and mitigate some of its flaws.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The puppets and the music make Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life engaging, but it is also visually hectic and lacks either the dramatic intensity or the arresting insight that might have lifted it out of the pedestrian realm of the admiring biopic.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The virtuosity on display is also the director's, of course, and that, for better and for worse, is pretty much the point of Drive, the coolest movie around and therefore the latest proof that cool is never cool enough.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Lurie's movie does not quite succeed on its own, though it is pulpy and brutal and at times grotesquely comical. The story does not cohere, and the performances are uneven. But as a piece of film criticism - as a conversation with, and interpretation of, an earlier film - it is intriguing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is hard to say, though, if this film, directed by Gus Van Sant from a script by Jason Lew, is an argument for denial or a treatise on acceptance. Curiously, and in a way that is sometimes touching and sometimes icky, it does not seem to perceive much of a difference.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    In movie terms, Mr. Childers's story is too true to be good. Machine Gun Preacher, directed by Marc Forster and starring Gerard Butler, illustrates some of the ways that a terrific story can turn into a bad film despite the best intentions of everyone involved.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    For all its boisterous profanity and splattery violence, the film is more of a weary sigh than a sputtering volley of indignation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    To watch the long, painful last hour of this movie is to watch all of his good ideas and smart impulses collapse into a heap of half-written, awkwardly acted, increasingly frantic scenes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Somehow, the film is missing both adrenaline and gravity, notwithstanding some frantic early moments and a late swerve toward tragedy. It makes its points carefully and unimpeachably but does not bring much in the way of insight or risk.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Somehow Footloose never finds its rhythm. The maudlin scenes drag on, and the livelier moments pass by too quickly. It only works when it settles down and lets the characters (and the audience) hang out and have a little fun.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Patrick periodically criticizes his disciples, including Martha, for failing to be open enough with him, and that is also a shortcoming of Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is a bit too coy, too clever and too diffident to believe in.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Anonymous is a vulgar prank on the English literary tradition, a travesty of British history and a brutal insult to the human imagination. Apart from that, it's not bad.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Tower Heist could and should have been much more. Mr. Ratner goes for the safe bet and the easy score.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Fehling, tumbling from puppy dog eagerness into weepy, inky self-pity, never quite rises to the requirements of the role, which may be hopelessly incoherent in any case.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Though the tone is quiet and the pacing serenely unhurried, Sleeping Beauty is at times almost screamingly funny, a pointed, deadpan surrealist sex farce that Luis Buñuel might have admired.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is a plot, but no real intrigue, mystery or suspense, and no inkling of anything at stake beyond a childish and belligerent idea of fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There are waves of brilliantly orchestrated anxiety and confusion but also long stretches of drab, hackneyed exposition that flatten the atmosphere. We might be watching "Cold Case" or "Criminal Minds," but with better sound design and more expressive visual techniques.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Once the talking stops and the action begins, her professionalism is very much in evidence and exciting to watch. And yet, somehow, it cannot quite relieve the tedium of a movie that is too cool even to pretend that there is anything worth fighting about.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Goldberger's words are among the more substantive in a film that at times seems ready to levitate from the screen on puffy clouds of praise.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Thin Ice itself, while not entirely unpleasant, is gnawingly familiar, a slice of room-temperature heartland quirk that tries to blend low-key comedy with violence and mayhem.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is honest feeling, genuine humanity and real intelligence in this movie, but there is also a sense of caution, of indecisiveness, that undermines its potential power. Being Flynn is an honorably ambivalent film, finally unsure of what to do with the two strong, complicated characters at its center.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The ending is also a test of the audience's openness to the kind of fantasy mocked, at the outset, by everyone in Jeff's life, including the filmmakers. They want to make us believe in something, though it's also possible that they are only fooling.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Novelty and genre traditionalism often fight to a draw. Too much overt cleverness has a way of spoiling dumb, reliable thrills. And despite the evident ingenuity and strenuous labor that went into it, The Cabin in the Woods does not quite work.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    If you found "Benji the Hunted" unbearably intense or "Marley & Me" a bit too hard-edged, then Darling Companion may be the dog movie for you. On the other hand, if you like to watch cute pooches doing cute stuff on screen, you may be a little disappointed.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    You can't help feeling that the movie owed its subject - and its audience - a bit more.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    After a sharp and promising start, she (Ms. Scafaria) allows the movie to collapse into a mild, lump-in-the-throat romantic comedy that is not made significantly more urgent or interesting by the prospect of global calamity.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Too soft and silly to be satire, too upbeat to be a cautionary tale, the film is a fun-house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our democracy in this contentious election year.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film, which is about a chaotic 48 hours in Marion's life, succumbs to the chaos it depicts, and so undermines its best intentions. It is, all in all, a likable mess.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Rather than finding an interesting, resonant ambiguity in his experience, Ms. Kim and Mr. Dano settle for a kind of suggestive vagueness, losing the thread of their character in the snow, steam and cigarette smoke that provide the film's main visual motif and perhaps also its dominant metaphor.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is by turns lurid, humid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id all the time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The movie invites you to believe in all kinds of marvelous things, but it also may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes - or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As a whole, it does not quite work, especially at the end, when Mr. Chan tries for a Shakespearean climax of filial rebellion and paternal rage. But at its less grandiose moments, the combination of expressive acting and kinetic action pays off in ways that are likely to satisfy both novices and adepts in martial-arts fandom.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Tolkien's inventive, episodic tale of a modest homebody on a dangerous journey has been turned into an overscale and plodding spectacle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    There is a troubling complacency and a lack of compassion in The Impossible, which is less an examination of mass destruction than the tale of a spoiled holiday.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is, of course, art rather than history - an elegant composition of dreams, memories and suggestive images - but its artfulness seems like an alibi, an excuse for keeping the ugliness of history out of the picture.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    An earnest attempt, sometimes effective, sometimes clumsy, to dramatize the central arguments about fracking and its impact.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    A sincere but sloppy piece of work. Mr. Hoffman dotes on his cast of first-rate British actors of a certain age - and invites us to savor their energy and professionalism. This is not difficult, though the efforts of these fine actors might have yielded greater delight if they had been given more to do.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Weitz lines up a target placed at the explosive intersection of class, race, region and every other source of societal anguish, and then does not so much miss as aim in another direction — or several — letting fly a volley of darts that land as lightly as badminton birdies.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The volatile chemistry between Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Bullock is something to behold, and carries The Heat through its lazy conception and slapdash execution.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    It is interesting to note that a movie strenuously preaching the virtue of being different should be so fundamentally — so deliberately, so timidly — just like everything else of its kind... Still, even in the absence of originality, there is fun to be had, thanks to some loopy, clever jokes...and a lively celebrity voice cast.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    What really drives the movie is its own search for something to make fun of, and for a comic style that can feel credibly naughty while remaining ultimately safe and affirmative.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The film points toward a rich and complicated story that only partly makes it onto the screen.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Despite swooping camera movements and elaborate stagecraft, the film produces detachment rather than immediacy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    This version of the WikiLeaks story, directed by Bill Condon from a script by Josh Singer, is a moderate snoozefest, undone by its timid, muddled efforts at fair-mindedness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    Though it is a celebration of modesty, there is also quite a lot of vanity in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    As television drama, Generation War is unquestionably effective. As dramatized history, it is pretty questionable.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    The Pretty One is intermittently charming, occasionally touching and entirely lacking in credibility.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    By any reasonable standard, 3 Days to Kill is a terrible movie: incoherent, crudely brutal, dumbly retrograde in its geo- and gender politics. But it is also, as much because of as in spite of these failings, kind of fun.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 A.O. Scott
    I don’t really buy Draft Day — it’s a shallow and evasive movie, built more around corporate wish fulfillment than around reality — but I have to say that it sells itself beautifully.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    If the movie looked any cheaper, you might think you were paying more to get into the theater than was spent on making the film.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    When Mr. Burton's "Planet" fixes on being entertaining...it succeeds. But the picture states its social points so bluntly that it becomes slow-witted and condescending; it treats the audience as pets.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There doesn't seem to be an original moment in the entire movie, and the score is so repetitive that it could have been downloaded directly from EnnioMorricone.com.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Awkward, obvious and sporadically -- very sporadically -- amusing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Something to behold; it's just not much to watch, despite admirable ambition and a few tense, well-thought-out sequences.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    More abrasively quirky than a lesser Bjork B-side, though the hideous monster who co-stars hails from Iceland, too.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This breathless demi-noir has so much bounce that we barely get any time to mull over the gaping holes in its moth-eaten plot. It is competent but extremely slight.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    About as scary as a sock-puppet re-enactment of "The Blair Witch Project," and not nearly as funny.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The movie turns into a cobweb of tricky spins and twists that seems like a hip-hop version of "Ruthless People."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Makes its points gently; the picture presents its socially conscious messages as if they were written in the sand, on the beaches where Felix would probably prefer to frolic.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Seems stranded in that nowhereland between irony and sarcasm.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Another high-concept Irish Spring comedy.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Dreary.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The daring but only partly successful Korean film Lies is built around voyeurism.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    As predictable as a fast-food restaurant. The actors' exuberance goes a long way, but not far enough.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This mishmash of emotional tones can't be redeemed by the performers' considerable investment in their work.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Nostalgia and comedy are run through a food processor until they become a flavorless paste.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This uninviting and pallid version, starring Guy Pearce, is intent on grinding all the sharp edges off the original story, in effect making the movie childproof, so no one can get hurt touching it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    O
    In trying to make "Othello" more lifelike and bring it down to a younger audience -- in effect, to make it more democratic -- the adaptation has rendered the material artless.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A kind of murder mystery, but eventually the only victim is the audience's interest -- the picture is uncompromising and inauspicious.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Weightless and polite when it means to be magical and gentle, Return to Me is a piece of fruit gone soft from being off the vine too long.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A thriller wrapped in heavy-duty gauze to muffle the chills.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Culinary purists have observed that much of what passes for the spicy Japanese condiment wasabi at American restaurants is an ersatz concoction of horseradish and green food coloring. The French-language action comedy Wasabi is just as artificial, pumped with horseradish to give it heat in lieu of actual spice.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Plays like a nutty psychological mystery.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Rock's attempts to disentangle himself from his persona while offering audiences a sliver of insight into his world is a lofty ambition, but Down to Earth falls short.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Glazes over faster than a Krispy Kreme doughnut, and neither is very flavorful after sitting around for a while.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    May be simple, but it's also simple-minded; this is, after all, a movie determined to transform its Rebel soldier heroes into men of the people, making it as neglectful of politics as last summer's "Patriot," which evaded that nasty issue of slavery during the America Revolution.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This competently made picture seems a rehash, and not a terribly interesting one. What's remarkable about it is how unremarkable it is.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Isn't much of a movie (it'll play much better on the small screen), but the likable chemistry between Dre and Snoop counts for a lot.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    While impressively made, this impassive and cold feature fails, in a spectacular fashion, to deliver the thrills.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mildly amusing but wholly unnecessary comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Given that movies can now show us everything, the manifestations that Ms. Rowling described could be less magical only if they were delivered at a news conference.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The movie is smart in small ways, yet an underachiever in big ones -- but it will probably play very well on television. On the big screen, it's distended and diffuse.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    May have been tailored just for Mr. Chan, but it still feels like off-the-rack garb. And by now, Mr. Chan deserves much better than a hand-me-down suit that smells like a rental.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Not a terrible movie, just an insubstantial one. All of DiCaprio's charisma and the director's savvy are used to divert us from the fact that there's not much going on.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Neither fast nor furious, this film belongs in the section of the supermarket where blah-white labels and big block lettering denote brandless cigarettes, vodka, crushed pineapple and, in this case, action picture.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mostly standard-issue muddle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There's not much here; some of the shots feel so static that you wonder if they're being rehearsed before your eyes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Hit and Runway is a case of the emperor's old clothes: drab, sentimental rags that desperately want to be something else.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It works in so many ways except for the script, which sounds laughable. And sadly, when Lost and Delirious trips over its own two feet, it is laughable. It needs to follow Paulie's advice and rage more.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The movie is staged like a pit stop -- Reindeer Games goes from being fun to being laughable.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Has the sweat stains of wasted energy; it's dreary, yet frantic.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A bad-taste comedy with a heart.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A movie for people who somehow managed to miss the point of the first picture.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Though Mr. Noé displays prodigious filmmaking technique, his punk-operatic meditation on life, love, anger and -- most important -- guilt is superficially inventive, but singularly adolescent.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The blandly likable computer-animation extravaganza Ice Age actually seems like a fossil, a relic from another era.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    All it wants to do is scare a smile onto your face, and it often succeeds. After all, how can a movie that offers Michael Jeter as a mercenary not be fun?
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It's hard to be drawn into a movie if you're never entirely sure what it's supposed to be about, other than about 100 minutes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There is a grungy high spirit during the first third of this film, but then it dissipates like a mist from an aerosol can.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A smorgasbord that seems to have been picked out of a Dumpster. It clumsily combines a fish-out-of-water story with bits lifted from sources including the "Terminator" movies, "Star Wars," "Starman," "Close Encounters," a couple of Pink Floyd albums and H. G. Wells.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The lack of narrative sophistication allows an Ecstasy-like disposition to set in; "Liberty" becomes goo-goo eyed over itself. It lacks the discipline to define Anna sufficiently; rather, it portrays her as either a lovable naïf or a spoiled narcissist in desperate need of a lesson.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Given the stature and the presence that the entrepreneurial rappers-turned-film-moguls Ice Cube and Queen Latifah possess, the fizzle of their scenes is doubly disappointing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The much too long, primitively plotted family action adventure Hidalgo, directed by Joe Johnston, has a handful of well-handled sequences but, given the young audience the film is intended for, the picture may be like having to finish an entire pot of broccoli to get a couple of jelly beans for dessert.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The best cartoons are built on the contradictory pursuit of meticulously arranged anarchy. But they never seem needy, or desperate for laughs, as Home on the Range does. The film seems hungrier for a pat on the head than a chuckle.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Thornton's performance is lost in a film that is more of a schematic success than a dramatic one.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Someone deserves the grand prize for persuading David Bowie to participate in this minor drama .The movie is bland and ordinary.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Bader was lucky to get a good cast.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This could be called an art house version of "Pearl Harbor," except that sounds vaguely nutritious, like fat- free yogurt or a historical episode of A&E's "Biography." But Dark Blue World is all empty carbs, like malted milk balls.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The intentionally self-conscious style of R2PC is a little hard to take sometimes because the movie is trying too hard to be funny.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    No-Good Men, Foolish Choices and Birth on the Floor of a Wal-Mart.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It swerves from thriller to romantic comedy to farce without much conviction, though you can occasionally salvage a glimmer of amusing possibility. Mr. Williams scores with a few throwaway jokes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Some will find profundity in the film's reversals and revelations, but its provocations are not particularly insightful or original. The Death of a President is, in the end, neither terribly outrageous nor especially heroic; it’s a thought experiment that traffics in received ideas.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Broderick and Mr. DeVito look tired and out of sorts, and you can hardly blame them, given the picture's inept, curdled mixture of sappiness and crude humor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    What saves Breaking and Entering from foundering altogether in earnest self-regard is Mr. Minghella's evident affection for London, a city of inexhaustible architectural and human variety.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The screenplay, by John Brancato and Michael Ferris, tosses out a few chewy bits of B-movie wit, most of them supplied by Mr. Jones, who expresses the ambivalence of an African-American visiting the motherland through a series of bitter jokes.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The humor is coarse and occasionally funny. The archly bombastic score, by Edward Sheamur, is the only thing you might call witty. But happily, Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard show up, as the White Bitch and Aslo the Lion, to add some easy, demented class.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Not exactly uproarious. But Mr. Murphy, going back at least to his Gumby and Buckwheat days on "Saturday Night Live," has always had the ability to turn broad caricature into something stranger and more inventive.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    After a while, Mr. Cerdà exhausts his repertory of spooky effects -- too many dark hallways and illogical, foreboding point-of-view shots -- and you begin to hunger for exposition, always a bad sign in a horror film. Even worse is that, by the time the explanations arrive, you no longer care.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It feels willed, aggressive and unconvincing -- clammy rather than cool -- in a way that suggests artistic frustration rather than discovery. The water shortage may be a metaphor for the director’s creative desiccation, which his admirers can only hope is temporary.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Allen, who have never aspired very far beyond their affable television-comedy personas, are easier to watch than Mr. Travolta or Mr. Macy, who both undertake what can only be called acting. This is more than the picture deserves, but then again, so is Ray Liotta, as the chieftain of the bad bikers, and so is Ms. Tomei.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Meet the Robinsons is surely one of the worst theatrically released animated features issued under the Disney label in quite some time.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    As it is, Nancy Drew stands as an example of how to take a foolproof, time-tested formula -- a young detective using smarts and determination to solve a case -- and mess it up with superficial cleverness and pandering hackwork. How this happened is hardly a mystery; botched adaptations are as common as BlackBerries in Hollywood. But it is nonetheless something of a crime.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Don’t be fooled. The Brave One, though well cast and smoothly directed, is just as crude and ugly as you want it to be.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Its formal novelty aside, Redacted rarely hits the audience with a genuine shock or a clarifying insight. It churns through a set of ideas and emotions that are confusing and unpleasant, to be sure, but also, by now, dispiritingly familiar.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Instead of the kind of inspired imaginative synergy that distinguished the “Lord of the Rings” and later “Harry Potter” pictures, this movie, directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”), feels more like a sloppy, secondhand pander.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Proust might have known what to do with the Baekelands, but Mr. Kalin and Mr. Rodman don't make much more of them than the mess they apparently already were.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Goode shows all the charisma of a stalk of boiled asparagus molded into the likeness of Jeremy Irons.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    As it is, the film is more curiosity than provocation, an artifact of a faded world brought to zombie half-life by the cinematic technology of the present.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    What is most striking about The Spirit is how little pleasure it affords, in spite of its efforts to by sly, sexy, heartfelt and clever all at once.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Max’s righteous anger finds various allies and targets, though it is not always clear who is which. They are played by Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges and Ludacris with just enough panache and expressiveness to uphold the (increasingly irrelevant) distinction between a movie and a video game.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Any movie that awards a former Monty Python cast member a Nobel Prize in anything cannot be all bad. And The Day the Earth Stood Still could be worse.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Yes Man rarely rises to genuine hilarity. It takes no risks, finds no inspiration and settles, like its hero, into a dull, noncommittal middle ground. Should you see this movie? Maybe. Whatever. I don't care.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    So undistinguished that the moments you remember best are those that you wish another, more original director had tackled.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A superficially clever, self-important and finally incoherent thriller.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    All in all, it's a mess, and much as Ms. Blunt pouts, Ms. Adams twinkles, and Mr. Arkin growls, there's nothing they can do to clean it up.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The draggy, lurching two hours of Knowing will make you long for the end of the world, even as you worry that there will not be time for all your questions to be answered.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Does it sound as if I hate this movie? Don't be silly. But don't be fooled. This movie does not like you.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    None of it works. Or it works too hard. Whatever.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    In spite of Mr. Baron Cohen and Mr. Charles’s high-level skills and keen low-comic instincts, Brüno is a lazy piece of work that panders more than it provokes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    As a five-minute clip on YouTube, this spoof might be a small masterpiece. As a feature film, it’s both too much and not nearly enough.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Has a burnished, high-quality look and a heart swollen with maudlin self-regard.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The pieces of New York, I Love You make up a parallel city that no one would want to live in, much less visit.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    In this shaggy-dog version the wolfman’s story is both gratuitously bloody and, finally, bloodless.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The outtakes are not all that great but still better than anything else in the movie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The kind of movie that gives literature a bad name. Not because it undermines the dignity of a great writer and his work, but because it is so self-consciously eager to flaunt its own gravity and good taste.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There is nothing wrong with the story itself, but the tone is grating and the pacing sluggish. Episodes that might be howlingly funny on the page turn weirdly gross and sadistic on screen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Might more aptly be described as Bad Kurosawa, Bad Peckinpah or Bad Leone. Which might be a way of saying that it's better-than-average Stallone. I can't quite say that it's not bad: it is bad! But not entirely in a bad way.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The entertainment formula behind this short and nasty movie - devised according to someone's idea of what teenage boys with the guile, the facial hair or the "guardian" to gain admission to an R-rated movie are likely to enjoy - is sloppy and simple.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The title may be mildly provocative in its vulgarity, but the most striking feature of this movie is its dullness.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Ms. Taymor's overscaled sense of stage spectacle can be impressive and effective, even moving, but her three-dimensional, high-volume compositions translate awkwardly into the cosmos of cinema, which turns her pageantry into mummery and the physical exuberance she likes to draw from performers into mugging.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There is all kinds of potential here, but Mr. Haggis lacks the Hitchcockian sense of mischief to make it blossom.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Not entirely terrible. That is high praise indeed, given that this is a film aspiring to match the achievement of "27 Dresses," "When in Rome" and "Leap Year."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The few glimpses we catch of the Ford's Theater production of "Our American Cousin" are unfortunately the liveliest and most convincing moments in this well-meaning, misbegotten movie.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The most dispiriting thing about Something Borrowed is that with a little more art, craft and wit it could have been a lot better, maybe even good.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It is by far the least strange of all the "Pirates" episodes so far, with none of the cartoonish exuberance or creepy-crawly effects that made its predecessors intermittently delightful.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It's this compulsion to solder melancholy to weightlessness that constantly trips up the movie; Mr. Kelly doesn't have the assurance to pull off such a difficult feat.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It feels warmed over, devoid of urgency and, in spite of Mr. Broomfield's on-camera displays of doggedness, lacking in curiosity.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Deep down, though, this movie by the first-time writer-director Abe Sylvia is desperate for approval. Starting out with a blast of profanity and sexual brazenness, it lands in a zone of earnest, sloppy weepiness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The characters are trapped, suffocated, pushed through a story that gives them very little room or time to figure themselves out, and that finally turns their feelings into the wan stuff of fable.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    As a portrait of anxious, status-conscious Brooklyn parents living in a chiaroscuro of self-righteousness and guilt, Carnage misses its mark badly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    You are left with the impression of an old woman who can't quite remember who she used to be and of a movie that is not so sure either.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    When they are on the screen together here, there is enough physical charm and emotional warmth to distract from the threadbare setting and the paper-thin plot. But those defects ultimately get in the way of the stars and leave you wondering: Is this a romance about neurological impairment or a neurologically impaired romance?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Remember "American Pie"? If you do, this movie is redundant and sad. If you don't, it's irrelevant.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Paralyzes history and human drama with relentless hagiography.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The Raven tries to blend all of these motley genres together, and though the effort is valiant, the result is a mess. I suspect Poe's review of it would have been much more savage than mine.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    That potential is mostly squandered in The Dictator, which gestures halfheartedly toward topicality and, with equal lack of conviction, toward pure, anarchic silliness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    In spite of its scruffy look and slack pacing, it often rings as false as any of the big, shiny and soft studio rom-coms (starring Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl, say) of the last decade.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Ted
    The sin of Ted is not that it is offensive but that it is boring, lazy and wildly unoriginal. If Triumph the Insult Comic Dog ever got a hold of Ted, there would be nothing left but a pile of fluff and a few scraps of fur.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This premise contains the seeds of an interesting economic and political allegory, but the ambitions of the filmmakers - lie in the direction of maximum noise and minimum sense.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    The ghastliness of this damp and squishy comedy is the byproduct of a confused and earnest sentimentality, a willful devotion to wide-eyed wonder that confuses simplicity with simple-mindedness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There are too many action-movie clichés without enough dramatic purpose, and interesting themes and anecdotes are scattered around without being fully explored. This is weak and cloudy moonshine: it doesn't burn or intoxicate.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    There is a lot of nasty stuff to look at, but very little that is genuinely haunting, jolting or terrifying.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    In spite of the golden presence of Brad Pitt as the killer, a level-headed professional named Jackie Cogan, the movie has an agreeably scuzzy, small-time feeling.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Sometimes the movie swerves toward farce, sometimes into the zone of smiley family comedy and at other times into full-on weepiness. None of it is especially credible or engaging.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    Apart from the car chase, the only real fun in Jack Reacher comes from Mr. Herzog and Robert Duvall, called in near the end for some marvelously gratuitous scenery chewing as a gruff former Marine. They enliven the movie's atmosphere of weary brutality for a few moments, but they also call attention to the dullness of their dramatic surroundings.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine will most likely manage to cash in on the popularity of the earlier episodes, but it is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    It’s hard to emerge from “Into Darkness” without a feeling of disappointment, even betrayal.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    While the film has an appealingly dreamy, summer-in-New-York look and a pleasantly languorous rhythm, it gives the actors very little to do and the audience almost nothing to care about.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    A very long, very busy movie that will unite the generations in bafflement, stupefaction and occasional delight.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    None of it is as scary or as funny as it should be, and what starts out as a sly thumb in the eye of corporate power ends up as a muddled and amateurish homage to David Lynch.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    If you approach Last Vegas expecting an emotionally engaging, in any way surprising, moviegoing experience, you will be disappointed. But if you want the equivalent of an old-fashioned television variety show — a Very Special Evening with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline — you might not have such a bad time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    August: Osage County falls into an uncanny valley between melodrama and camp, failing to achieve either heights of operatic feeling or flights of knowing parody. The jokes are too labored, too serious.