Desson Thomson

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For 1,665 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Desson Thomson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 All or Nothing
Lowest review score: 0 The Devil's Own
Score distribution:
1665 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Even by its own dark standards, the movie's conclusion is as dramatically dissatisfying as it is disturbing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    It offers a sort of Chinese food poignancy, the kind that may seem satisfying at the time but ultimately leaves us hungering for more, for something authentic.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Castro remains the star of the show. You can't stop watching him.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Williams has to break out of a second-rate "Tootsie" imitation, ankles clamped in pathos and face covered in latex. He pulls it off in the end, but it's not pretty.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Never feels original, even though it's enjoyable to watch Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito and newcomer Peter Facinelli going at it with snappy patter.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Like President Kennedy, director Donaldson (who made "No Way Out," another pretty good Washington-seat-of-power thriller) has found a perfect balance of often-opposing forces: between recorded history and the demands of plain old entertainment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Beautifully filmed and very atmospheric in terms of evoking the sights and sounds of modern-day Beijing, this Chinese movie suffers a flat tire about halfway through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Although the movie has its moments -- particularly when our hero finds himself surrounded by a gimlet-eyed circle of futuristic detectives -- it's never really successful.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Playful as it is, Clare Peploe's adaptation of Pierre Marivaux's romantic comedy coughs and sputters on its own postmodern conceit.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    In the end, we don't know what we're watching, an art-house superhero film or a computer-generated "King Kong." By trying to please both sensibilities, the filmmakers have pleased neither.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    How great can an epic be, when it takes 30 years, including a whole sequence devoted to World War I, for Jean to realize he could be a little nicer to his wife? This is for diehard Francophiles and literate-movie fans only.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    With its zany daily episodes, "Groundhog" gets stuck in a non-progressive repetition.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    The film's first half is easily the best and brightest. As the movie moves into the more saddening sections, however, it loses most of its power.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    By its own deliriously rock-bottom standards, "Universal" ain't half bad. Of course, you have to be big on bloody slaughter, kickboxing, infrared gunning and impaired acting. But "Universal" executes its subtle-free mission with surprisingly watchable efficiency.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    There's nothing beyond the bloodshed and gallows humor, just intellectually secondhand implications about materialism, conformity and misogyny.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Less-than-scintillating spin on "Life Is Beautiful."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Ironically, Alien is not a bad movie. In fact -- here's the rub -- it's too interesting to make an exciting summer flick.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    At first blush, there's something vicariously liberating about Brosnan strutting through a lobby dressed only in Speedos and cowboy boots. But it also feels false. The actor seems to be theatrically slumming before his return to suave form.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Its strength is the documentary-textured depiction of Native Americans in their social environment. Its weakness is a story that's a patchy combination of soap opera, low-tech magic realism and, at times, ploddingly sociological commentary.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    It suffers from a dreary middle section. Great movie, mediocre script.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Like the mysterious, bound package Goodman gives Turturro (the contents are never revealed), the Coens isolate a small area of interest, bind it with psycho-atmospheric finesse, then wait for something significant to emerge. Even after a second viewing of this movie, it doesn't.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    This movie has all the same elements as other Grisham fare: raw young lawyer trying to make it in the South; helpless client treated badly; sleazy, star-chamber villains. Wake me up when the last-minute surprise witness comes out of her hidey hole to turn the case around.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    The movie attempts to paint too large a canvas.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Sad, sobering film.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Vaughn can motormouth like a machine gun, spraying men, women and children with manic, rat-a-tat outbursts of toxic insincerity. It's often dirty, yes. But it's also manic and inspired.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    For all its visual delights, however, Coraline remains more an engaging spectacle than a connective drama. That is chiefly because of the writing. Director-writer Henry Selick doesn't reach for the kind of universality that would enrich the movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Of all ironies, "Strangers" occasionally takes a step in the direction of the after-school specials it's trying to twit; you'll catch it trying to make you feel warm and fuzzy about Jerri.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    You're left, as with certain vivid dreams, filled with memorable images but not completely able to account for what you just experienced.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    There's something diverting but not wildly stirring about this Italian drama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    I sat through "Courage" with interest, but I wasn't particularly moved or riveted with suspense.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Refreshingly free of the hyperbole of special effects...Ong-Bak will win no scriptwriting awards, but Jaa is definitely the real deal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Desson Thomson
    Although the movie is moving and even funny in many places, it's also overextended. And composer John Williams's syrupy score practically oozes from your ears on the drive home.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Instead of an originally conceived movie that reflects Nash's troubled but brilliant mind, we have one of those formulaically rendered Important Subject movies -- the kind that seem exclusively designed for Best Picture nominations.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Hoot may be warm and fuzzy with its adorable owls, triumphant kids and inviting Florida groves. But its forced, innocuous humor is unlikely to amuse anyone but the very young -- and the extremely forgiving.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Creepy and truly suspenseful in some places, unintentionally comic or plain awful in others.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    This is a movie that knows its audience and realizes it doesn't need much of a story to hit that audience, literally, where it lives.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    A British black comedy, saves its best for last -- and God bless Maggie Smith for, well, being Maggie Smith -- but that requires sitting through a frustrating, uneven hour of sluggish preamble.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    In the end, we're treated to an overture of possibilities rather than a satisfying film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The best element of the movie is a subplot involving Noah's spiritually obsessed teacher (Rainn Wilson) and his wacky girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn), whose bumbling eccentricities give the movie an emotional liveliness it otherwise lacks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Its hackneyed themes prevent the sci-fi flick from feeling like anything more than well-directed mediocrity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    A great director's losing battle against a goofy script.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The movie Casanova, starring Heath Ledger, not only fetters the randy Venetian in political correctness, it condemns him to dwell inside the modern equivalent of a bad Shakespeare play.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Newton may not be a great actor, either, but she's full of life and charm. She's the only thing holding this movie together at all.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Fails to capture the spiritual hallelujah of the novel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The only reason this dilemma has any import is thanks to Bardem, who almost single-handedly drags the film along.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    It's too bad the movie's intriguing effect wears off (so to speak) about two-thirds through.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    There's a problem: This romance isn't developed enough to be truly satisfying -- it's fat-free SnackWell's when you want Godiva. It's not the original story we signed up for -- or thought we did.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    With the exception of a few enjoyable action scenes, such as when Aeon and fellow operative Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo) flip and backflip their way across a lethal garden of bullet-spewing trees and spikes disguised as blades of grass, Aeon Flux is surprisingly draggy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    If you're looking to take your children to something harmless, that doesn't embarrass anyone, this light comedy (a gentle parody of those "Behind the Music" specials on cable TV) is your next outing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Director Phillip Noyce has made a serious movie that switches to almost popcorn entertainment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Taxes the threshold of acceptable cuteness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    It's simultaneously arty, arcane and nasty.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    This muttering boatman seems to have lost his old-time heroism. No longer is Rambo killing for a cause, but for kicks. And his portentous blather, even by Rambo standards, becomes unintentionally hilarious.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    You leave Creatures with the unsettling sensation of being highly tickled yet greatly dissatisfied.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Even by the art film standards it apes, Solaris lacks conviction. And although it's meant to be restrained and free of emotional hysteria, the result is a movie that pretty much lies dead on the screen for an hour and a half.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    In Lost Highway, David Lynch dabbles in spooky, chilly implication and a sort of hip incoherence.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    O
    A fairly ordinary drama about young love, basketball, petty jealousy and high school politics. The movie also has one of the goofiest, over-the-top finales in recent memory.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Performances feel too manufactured to be charming.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The story moves episodically, almost painstakingly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Death Sentence, directed by "Saw" co-creator James Wan, swings the pendulum too far. One day Nick is a mild-mannered nerd who spends his days making (and loving) risk assessments for his company; the next, he's Travis Bickle from 1976's "Taxi Driver."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    This bizarre little diversion will soon scamper into the wild grass, never to be seen again.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Even though these characters are hogtied by the story's unimaginative conventions, at least their lively interactions feel genuine.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    There is nothing worth getting steamed over or particularly excited about.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    In this loser-and-the-whore story line, Allen's sensibilities have taken a turn for the nasty.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Works better as a subject for high school study rather than lasting art.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    A mediocre comic romance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Unfortunately, the idea for Dirty Dancing exceeds the execution...and the story resolves itself all too conveniently in that final scene.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Sweet Land is as empty and beautiful as the picturesque Minnesota terrain it's so clearly taken with.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Even Posey -- who brightens most movies she's in -- fails to stir the movie's unresponsive tectonic plates.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The best moments occur when -- as in reality -- we're still in the dark. As soon as the movie gets to its version of a punch line, it turns into another Hollywood vehicle spinning aimlessly in space.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    An engaging battle between terrific acting and a flawed script.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The movie's nowhere near the inspired funniness of its predecessors. But it often displays the same spirit. It's strung end to end with sight gags. Some fall flat on their faces. But, by sheer weight of numbers, many of them work. It depends on your ability to lower yourself into -- or steer stoically clear of -- the idiocy pit.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Horror fans will twitch impatiently at those long stretches between killings. And audiences anticipating a feature-length "Girls Gone Wild" video will suffer withdrawal from the lack of loosened bra straps.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Has its funny moments, but all too often it's a corny, lackluster film in which humans pretend (not always convincingly) to interact with cartoons.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Sometimes, the sincerest form of tribute is inferiority. Watching the Australian film Jindabyne, one soon embraces the conclusion: Robert Altman did this work better. And with fewer brush strokes.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    What do we want in a sequel? Just a little taste of the original or a triple serving piled high? Dead Man's Chest opts for the latter. This Disney movie isn't a follow-up to the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" so much as its empty-calorie clone.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Ultimately, Forces of Nature is more of a lull than a passionate storm.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Has its moments of fun, many of them having to do with Reilly's deadpan comic style. But the movie lacks the original edge of its better predecessors.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Even though we're caught up in his derring-do as he beguiles entire meeting rooms of jaded publishers and editors, we're kept at a dissatisfying distance from Irving and the movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Has its creepy moments, but also its cliches.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    It telegraphs its emotions loud and clear, but somehow they don't reach us.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    None of the characters are compelling, despite the star-studded vocal cast behind them, including Madonna, Robert De Niro, Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon. Our attitude toward them is casual interest, not anxious concern.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    An overture to the subject rather than a profound study.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    It's too bad about the ending because, until then, Pay It Forward... is Hollywood feel-goodism at its best.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Another gate-crasher at the let's-do-a-mediocre-update-of-Shakespeare party.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    A leisurely paced, subtly funny, though verbally crude chamber piece.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Unfortunately, the message is made clear within the first 10 minutes, leaving us with about 80 minutes of thematic repetition.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Them knows something the makers of the "Hostel" and "Saw" movies apparently don't: Subtlety and suggestion are every bit as terrifying as slashing and sawing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Unfortunately, Buscemi's film conveys the spirit of its source material but doesn't make a satisfying transmogrification out of its homage.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Ultimately, we find ourselves looking for the wrong sort of clearing: a way out.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The movie refuses to descend into the cute smarminess of a mutual recovery drama, thanks to originally conceived characters. We're always wondering -- and wonderfully surprised -- by their choices.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Future II bombards you with more brand-name advertising than three hours of prime-time TV could muster, although repeat filmmakers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis put a humorous twist on everything.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The storyline is so familiar ("Cheaper by the Dozen," et al), the audience can practically call out scenes ahead of time.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Imagine settles disappointingly for rom-com cliches. It doesn't even bother to explore its own premise.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Truth be told, none of it is actual living, and all of it is secondhand re-spinning of such better movies as "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Welcome to Sarajevo." To use an antiquated newsman's cliche: Get me rewrite.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    If P.S. I Love You proves anything, it's that Hilary Swank may be a great actress, but she can't do cute.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The story, such as it is, follows Renton's inconsistent attempts to kick his habit.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The best thing about the movie is its personable, amusing cast, all members of the five-man comedy troupe Broken Lizard. There's a chemistry among them, which obviously comes from having been together as comedians at Colgate University.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    Attenborough's aims are more academic and political than dramatic. By following an initially wrongheaded white character, he clearly wants to reach out to similar audiences. Cry could have reached further.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Desson Thomson
    The movie may steal a base here and there, but there are no homers.

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