For 1,463 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 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

A.O. Scott's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story 3
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1,463 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 47 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.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    This movie, with its relatively modest running time and not-quite-household-name cast, is no more ridiculous than, let’s say, the “Thor” movies, and a lot less pretentious.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    What is most striking about this movie is how un-self-conscious it is as it conducts a prurient and superficial inquiry into adolescent female sexuality.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    You can admire what he does without really enjoying it, and two hours and 46 minutes of pulverized architecture is a lot to endure. But in every Michael Bay movie there are at least a few moments of inspired, kinetic absurdity.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 A.O. Scott
    “Another Earth” was a heartfelt entertainment that managed to infuse a tantalizing science fiction premise with thought and feeling. I Origins is too committed to explaining itself to repeat the trick and falls into the trap of taking its daffy intellectual conceits far too seriously.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A shallow yet empty action extravaganza.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This picture is mostly a lump of run-of-the-mill profanity sprinkled with a few remarks so geared toward engendering audience sympathy that you might think he was running for office -- or trying to win over a probation officer.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Wants to be everything and adds up to nothing. "War" is a film that tries to excel on several levels and falls flat on all of them.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This may be the first movie that runs under two hours and yet has no attention span. Characters are abandoned and picked up; narrative threads dissolve before your very eyes.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Couldn't be more artless.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Overplotted, hollow thriller.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Its bone-deep willingness to do anything to entertain is exhausting.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A washout.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Feels like an early rehearsal for a play where all the movement is being coordinated but the underlying emotional notes have yet to be set.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like its title, it's a clumsy contraption.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie doesn't turn out to be as benignly right-wing as it initially suggests, though the plot turns can be spotted a mile away.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Forlorn melodrama, which is low on drama and high on mellow.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Could serve as a textbook example of what to avoid in nonfiction filmmaking.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By interweaving several stories, the movie suffers from a peculiar multiplier effect: it deepens its shallowness.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like a soft drink that's been sitting open too long: it's too much syrup and not enough fizz.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Filled with voyeuristic shots as the camera peers through picket fences and windows and around corners; the film looks as if it were shot with a surveillance camera from a 7-Eleven
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie is like spending an idle afternoon browsing, and not buying.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    So disorganized that it seems to be pulling its conclusions out of its pockets, along with scraps of paper, matches, lint and half-forgotten junk.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By the end the most vivid figure on the screen is the lovable doggie who goes wherever dangling fingers are waiting to give the happy pooch a scratch.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Appears to be a somewhat sinister episode of "Nightline."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It has the melancholy mildew of both "Marty" and the 1940's weepie "The Enchanted Cottage."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A piece of moldy wax fruit if ever there was one.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This dumb, only intermittently (though sometimes even intentionally) funny sequel presumes that since almost everything else from the 1980's has come back, why not the cynosures of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" movies?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Such few assets aren't enough to alleviate the film's shallowness.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like a zombie picture directed by one of the undead.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Perhaps the directors are under the delusion that the dodging and leaping can make up for an ending that leaves the cast members of "Killer" adrift and nearly scratching their heads in puzzlement.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This mistaken-identity picture is so film-culture referential that the final product is a ghost.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Even the handful of moments that are amusing feel recycled from old sketches of Mr. Murphy's.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The lip movements of the animated figures are slightly slow, so you feel as if you're watching a badly dubbed Japanese creature feature from the 1960's. The dialogue is almost as stilted, and after a while you drift into that half-dream state that inert movies can create.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The documentary doesn't get near the prowess of its subject; it passes through your life like a minor daydream.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The unfortunate thing is that children will probably waste their summers indoors watching "Recess" over and over again.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Pallid compared with the flaming id of television's "Will and Grace," the happy swizzle stick Jack, who's all appetites. When series television is more entertaining than a series of short independent films, that's something to worry about.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Tacky and disposable.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The most indolent waste of screen time since Andy Warhol's marathon shot of the Empire State Building.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Sitting through the lavish and dumb action spectacular Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is about as much fun as watching someone else play a video game.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Tries to show it has its heart in the right place, but it's such a crude undertaking that it doesn't actually seem to have a heart at all.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This crude comedy delivers on the "No Shame, No Mercy" threats from the original. Unfortunately, it all adds up to "No Good."
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Summer is like an episode of the religious children's series "Davey and Goliath," without the entertainment value of animation and a talking dog.
    • 11 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It's an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new Pinocchio. Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    With the exception of some of the battles, which have the angry desperation of Mr. Yuen's inspired martial-arts choreography, Close is a nominal effort.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    By Monday, Torque will look like a period piece with its expiration date, January 2004, prominently displayed. The inevitable movie-inspired video game will appear more realistic.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It's one of the rare films for which a blooper reel would be redundant.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This movie is a suspense thriller whose only suspense comes from an audience wondering if the picture will hit its promised 97-minute running time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The eventual video game is bound to be a lot more fun -- and less slowed down by bad dialogue -- than this "Dead."
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    At least it isn't a remake -- though given how slovenly and forced this movie is, maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad idea.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The picture, which fails to achieve its ambitions or to fulfill our expectations, is ultimately worse than a violent piece of hack work, in which the director isn't interested in displaying his integrity -- or taste. You'd be better off downloading the trailer: a much more convincing piece of storytelling.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    If you're looking for laughs, give "Valley of the Dolls" another read instead.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Fitfully amusing.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Nothing in the picture works. It is both overwrought and tedious, its complicated narrative bogging down in lyrical voiceover, long flashbacks and endless expository conversations between people speaking radically incompatible accents.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Try as it might to be refined and provocative, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never rises above the pedestrian creepiness of its conceit.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    300
    Another movie -- Matt Stone and Trey Parker's "Team America," whose wooden puppets were more compelling actors than most of the cast of 300 -- calculated the cost [of freedom] at $1.05. I would happily pay a nickel less, in quarters or arcade tokens, for a vigorous 10-minute session with the video game that 300 aspires to become.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Hot Rod might be called the poor man’s “Eagle vs. Shark” if “Eagle vs. Shark” were not already the poor man’s “Napoleon Dynamite.” It certainly lacks the conceptual purity and aesthetic integrity of the “Jackass” movies. In any case poor certainly describes the quality of the filmmaking.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Raunchier and somewhat more imaginative than “Hot Rod.”
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The main audience for this dim little sex comedy has no particular interest in seeing Ms. Alba act. They want to see her in her underwear and also to confront one of the central cultural questions of our time: will she take her top off?
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Lame, long, ugly joke of a movie.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    No real mockery is intended by this harmless, mindless grab bag of slightly used gags, which lampoons some of the conventions of recent comic-book epics and adds the expected staples of juvenile humor: urine, vomit and intestinal gas.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    What is harder to comprehend is how Mr. Clooney turned out such a sloppy, haphazard and tonally incoherent piece of work. Leatherheads lurches hectically between Coen brothers-style pastiche and John Saylesian didacticism, while Mr. Clooney works his brow and his jaw and waits in vain for his charm to kick in and save the day.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    This movie sets out to honor and refresh a youthful enthusiasm from the past and winds up smothering the fun in self-conscious grandiosity.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A clumsy and confused adaptation of Michael Chabon's 1988 novel.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Drab and incoherent teen comedy.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Wears its preposterousness with a certain pride. It’s about the cat-and-mouse game between two very smart guys, and it’s perfectly happy to be as dumb as it wants.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Like his scripts for “21 Grams” and “Babel,” this one makes heavy use of happenstance and temporal displacement, and like them, too, it depends on ideas about human behavior that can only be called preposterous.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The scandal of Antichrist is not that it is grisly or upsetting but that it is so ponderous, so conceptually thin and so dull.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Has shockingly little to say.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Straining to capture artistic frenzy, it descends into vulgar chaos, less a homage to Federico Fellini’s “8 ½” (its putative inspiration) than a travesty.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    What we see on screen is a lumbering, flat-footed fancy-dress melodrama.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There are dull stabs at verbal wit that leave you baffled, bored or slightly grossed out.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It’s a phoned-in, gutless piece of hack work that reminds you of other, better films in the same vein.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    For his sins poor Stewart is kidnapped, tortured and shot up with horse tranquilizer after his leg is broken. It’s disturbing, and somewhat baffling too, until you grasp that this hapless sucker is a surrogate for the audience.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A movie that is as stuffed with bogus feeling and overwrought incident as a fast-food burrito.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A loud, seemingly interminable, and altogether incoherent entry in the preposterous and proliferating “action-comedy” genre.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    As it lurches from Act II to Act III, Battle: Loss Angeles reveals itself to be a lousy movie.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There are a few funny moments in Jack and Jill, most of them celebrity cameos that also serve to affirm what a cool, connected celebrity Mr. Sandler is. The most sustained of these is the appearance of Al Pacino as himself, falling for Jill and giving the film a jolt of genuine zaniness. I'm sorry to say that this may be Mr. Pacino's most convincing performance in years.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    An attempt to inaugurate a new movie franchise, something that might appeal to women and mystery fans. This is a perfectly sound ambition, but the movie, directed by Julie Anne Robinson from a script by Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray and Liz Brixius, is so weary and uninspired that it feels more like an exhausted end than an energetic beginning.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    If realism is what you're after, you'll do better at "The Three Stooges." The Lucky One is where you will find death, redemption and kisses in the rain.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    I don't think Mr. James intended to make a creepy, exploitative movie about teenage runaways - or, for that matter, a moralistic, cautionary tale of girls gone bad. But those are the default categories that Little Birds stumbles toward, perhaps because the filmmaker has not found a cogent way to channel his curiosity or his empathy.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Hallie's dad said it was Rocky Horror for toddlers whatever that is. Me and Hallie are 7 and we thought it was for babies.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    However you take its politics, the film upholds a dreary tradition of simplifying and sentimentalizing matters of serious social concern, and dumbing down issues that call for clarity and creative thinking. Our children deserve better.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The movie is a bust, and, as usual in these situations, it is easier to say how than why, and best to say as little as possible, cut one's losses and move on.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Everything that made the first “Die Hard” memorable — the nuances of character, the political subtext, the cowboy wit — has been dumbed down or scrubbed away entirely.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Salinger, directed by Mr. Salerno, is less a work of cinema than the byproduct of its own publicity campaign.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    One of the things that makes Adore, which was written by Christopher Hampton, hard to take seriously is how seriously it takes itself, how utterly purged of humor or credible human complication the drama at its center turns out to be.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    It feels like a halfhearted bluff and has the stale smell of yesterday’s after-shave.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    A flimsy bit of mildly romantic, putatively comic Anglophile bait.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The film is more of a pageant than a convincing drama. It’s so determined to deliver its moral that it loses its grip on the reality of its characters.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Magic in the Moonlight is less a movie than the dutiful recitation of themes and plot points conducted by a squad of costumed actors. The tidy narrative may advance with clockwork precision, but the clock’s most prominent feature is the snooze button.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The Hundred-Foot Journey is likely neither to pique your appetite nor to sate it, leaving you in a dyspeptic limbo, stuffed with false sentiment and forced whimsy and starved for real delight.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    There is almost nothing here that you haven’t seen a dozen times before, and even the surprises feel flat and familiar. More dispiriting still is that this drab complacency is wrapped around messages of daring, honesty and spontaneity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    Various secrets come dribbling out... They add up to a sprawl of narrative that is as unconvincing as the suspiciously sprawl-free, nostalgia-tinged town where it all takes place.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 A.O. Scott
    The cast would have been better served by a middle school production overseen by a creatively frustrated, inappropriately ambitious drama teacher than by this hacky, borderline-incompetent production, which was directed by Will Gluck from a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A supernatural soap opera.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The picture is so predictable that the bad acting becomes a distraction.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    This bloated spectacle has all the get-up-and-go of one of the legendary late-era Elvis Presley concerts. The picture feels longer than Presley's career and as irrelevant as he was by the end.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Still never having to say you're sorry.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Like many of the nonpolitical terrorist-as-villain spectaculars that have been held back after Sept. 11, has the whiff of something gone stale. Though it may have sat on the shelf for a while, this project had gone bad long before it was released.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Almost creates a sense of dread as you sit watching its raft of aimless, self-absorbed neurotics clang into one another.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Manages to squeeze in several different endings — like a bad pop song that doesn't know when to fade out. But as Mr. Schwarzenegger's stature as an action figure diminishes, his effort to retain a piece of the market is touching.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Blends the least of Woody Allen with a plot complication out of "Love, American Style," stuck together with sitcom glue.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    About 20 minutes in, it is clear that the couple will emerge as nothing more than crabby yuppies whose articulation of their pouts sounds like the same argument over and over again.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A shell game passing as entertainment.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A weak-witted comedy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The film falls far short of its goals, but it is a classic of sorts. It belongs in that Blockbuster on Mount Olympus, where pristine new copies of "I Changed My Sex," "Dracula's Dog," "Blackenstein" and "Battlefield Earth" play constantly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Stardom makes its metaphor of 15 minutes seem like a lifetime.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Baldwin's attack -- there's no better way to put it -- is unforgettable. He's the first shrunken narrator with a serial killer's swagger.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    If the film were a fight, they'd have stopped it.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It's hard to take Passion seriously because it brings to mind the kind of shallow psychology that wouldn't be out of place in a history short about Sigmund Freud on "ABC Schoolhouse Rock."
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Everything in this film is forgettable, right down to bongos pounding on the soundtrack to indicate a quickening of the pulse.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Rarely has a movie worked so hard to be so inconsequential.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The action is the best thing in the picture.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    May lead to a new axiom: success has many fathers, but failure has "Project Greenlight."
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    You can't get more high-concept, or less plotted, than this, and Daddy Day Care is proof.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It's the central story that's lacking.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The current version, however, like its predecessor, fails as entertainment. Mr. McTiernan's remake may be lighter on its feet -- the sober-minded original was as graceful as a tap-dancing rhino -- but it is just as boring and as obvious.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Relentlessly softheaded and softhearted.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Mr. Deeds is mostly terrible, a shambles of a comedy that looks as if it was shot by a tabloid news crew.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Backstage isn't as good as the rap documentaries "Rhyme and Reason" and "The Show," but it still casts a keen, observant eye...on this world.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It is all a contrivance; the cast and filmmakers were under the delusion that putting unhappy women in a room would lead to drama.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    There are a few laughs, but I'm not sure that a comedy is supposed to make you recoil, which is what "Smoochy" does.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It lumbers from one scene to the next with the stop-and-start mistiming generally seen in the outtakes shown at the end of the "Cannonball Run" movies, which this picture resembles in spirit.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It's fleet- footed, merciless entertainment. But the mixture of laughs, bathos and brutality is a big turnoff.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A soulless compilation of thrills.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    There's so little chemistry between Mr. Wilson and Ms. Hudson that you begin to look back on what now seems like the halcyon time of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    "Queen" is a movie that stoops to jokes like calling Lestat's CD "a monster hit"; the movie is just a plain old monster.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    You might be tempted to say, "Huh?" Or, if you're in the theater, to leave. But wait -- there's less.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    So lacking in shame that it finally seems laughable.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    All it has in common with the original is a few dumb fun scares. In the new version, what we're left with after the scares is just plain dumb.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The stripped-down narrative is almost an apology for the ludicrous story -- but it's just not enough of one.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A film so family-safe it feels sheathed in plastic Bubble Wrap. Unfortunately, it's not even as much fun as popping the bubbles. It doesn't matter that the film is less than 90 minutes. It still feels like a prison stretch.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    After several scenes of this tacky nonsense, you'll be wistful for the testosterone-charged wizardry of Jerry Bruckheimer productions, especially because Half Past Dead is like "The Rock" on a Wal-Mart budget. And the marked-down price tags are incredibly visible.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    High-school cafeteria soup has more flavor than this bland, tepid throwback.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A stupefying mix of action, politics and melodrama.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    All hope is lost for those trapped in theaters with this picture.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The film equivalent of the dark, boring period on a haunted house ride before the gondola crashes into another room filled with dirty mirrors.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The worst that can be said of the first two-thirds of Tideland is that it is tiresome. Toward the end it becomes creepy, and not in a good way.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Our judgments, in any case, may be superfluous, since the director, Mathieu Kassovitz, has already publicly described it as "pure violence and stupidity."
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Does it have to be so witless, so stupid, so openly contemptuous of the very audience it’s supposed to be pandering to?
    • 20 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Nearly every time Mr. Jordan, working from a script by Mr. Ellis and Nicholas Jarecki, tries for similar effects, he goes badly awry, so that you snicker when the movie is trying to be poignant and groan when it aims to make a joke.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Something TERRIBLE is afoot. Sadly, that something turns out to be the movie itself.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The problem -- the catastrophe -- of The Last Airbender is not in the conception but the execution. The long-winded explanations and clumsy performances are made worse by graceless effects and a last-minute 3-D conversion that wrecks whatever visual grace or beauty might have been there.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    You are not, in a movie like this, supposed to think too much; you are supposed to be transported beyond skepticism on a wave of pure, tacky feeling. Instead, in this case, you drown in sentimental, ghoulish nonsense.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    If you can discern any critical distance or interesting perspective here, or even a good reason to spend 90 minutes in such company, I'm afraid the joke is on you.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    The film calls attention to its own artificial status. It actually knows it’s a movie! What a clever, tricky game! What fun! What a fraud.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    It may be too much to ask for anything more, but, on the other hand, if you’re going to go to the trouble of pretending to blow up the White House, you might also want to pretend that something was at stake.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    There is no story to speak of. Just a series of anecdotes that gain very little when acted out on screen.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    Whatever thoughtful instincts Mr. Castellitto might possess are undermined by his addiction to cinematic prettiness.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 A.O. Scott
    A thin line separates the magical from the preposterous, and by insisting so strenuously on its own magic, Winter’s Tale pitches helplessly into earnest ridiculousness.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Strands one of the most gifted casts assembled in some time. Sadly, though many of the actors throw off a spark or two when they first appear, they can't generate enough heat in this cold vacuum of a comedy to start a reaction.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    So minimally plotted that not only does it lack subtext or context, but it also may be the world's first movie without even a text.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    A desperate, broad comedy.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    It's the element of condescension, as the filmmakers look down on their working-class subjects from their lofty perch, that finally makes Sex With Strangers so distasteful.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Has the dreary one-track banality of a feature-length version of an episode of "Red Shoe Diaries," Showtime's series for people who like soft core but are too lazy to leave the house.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Wants to be sweet and dark at the same time, but it is as distant as a planet's satellite.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Looks like a big-budget version of a Miller's Genuine Draft commercial.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The cast of The Core deserve Oscar nominations just for being able to speak most of the lines without succumbing to the chortles.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    A dreary crash of malapropisms and slapstick maimings wrapped very loosely around a murder mystery.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Ops is too brain-dead to play the incognito war criminal segment for comedy, although when Will is seen thumbing through the pages of a newspaper called USA Daily, the picture has inadvertently tumbled down a Mad magazine wormhole.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Festooned with yards of gross-out jokes, sniggering allusions and, astonishingly, a sentimental climax that's more repellent than any of the crude effluvia the film is drenched with.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Few people other than future airline passengers should be subjected to such misery.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The only people who could be surprised at this movie will be those who wandered into the wrong multiplex theater by mistake.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    Serves a reheated notion on a creaky TV tray.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The film isn't even as good as the second-rate game it is based on, which is nothing but a shootout.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    After about 20 minutes of "Thing," a concussion begins to look enormously appealing.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    It feels like both a joke and a turkey.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    If Boat Trip were screened on a cruise ship, most of the passengers would be dog-paddling back to shore.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    As good as cut-rate animation that seems to consist of screen savers can be.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    You'll see better film on ponds.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    A Viagra suppository for compulsive action fetishists and a movie that may not only be dumb in itself, but also the cause of dumbness in others.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The only thing that kept me watching License to Wed until the end (apart from being paid to do so) was the faith, perhaps misplaced, that I will not see a worse movie this year.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    A witless, straining mess.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    So shameless in its pandering, sentimental vision of Frenchness as to constitute something of a national embarrassment.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    An R-rated version of this mess would be only more gratingly dishonest as it tried to hide its weak sentimentality behind a fig leaf of vulgarity.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    What makes Leap Year so singularly dispiriting is precisely that it is bad without distinction -- so witless, charmless and unimaginative that it can be described as a movie only in a strictly technical sense.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The ugly smell of unexamined privilege hangs over this film like the smoke from cheap incense.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    There is nothing here to enjoy, beyond the tiny satisfaction in noting that the movie lives up to its name.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    This may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    The movie is a noisy, useless piece of junk, reverse-engineered into something resembling popular art in accordance with the reigning imperatives of marketing and brand extension.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 A.O. Scott
    His (Fleischer) first feature, "Zombieland," was a half-witty genre parody. This one might be described as genre zombie-ism: the hysterical, brainless animation of dead clichés reduced to purposeless, compulsive killing. Too self-serious to succeed as pastiche, it has no reason for being beyond the parasitic urge to feed on the memories of other, better movies.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    It may be a bit early to make such judgments, but Battlefield Earth may well turn out to be the worst movie of this century.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    A worthless piece of garbage.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    The Love Guru is downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    The most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    The law of diminishing returns is enforced so stringently that the movie succeeds not only in negating its own comedy, but its very being.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 A.O. Scott
    Most of Blended has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth graders and conceived by their less bright classmates. Shots don’t match. Jokes misfire. Gags that are visible from a mile away fail to deliver.

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