For 1,368 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jack Mathews' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
1368 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Jack Mathews
    The script (written by Susan Minot from a story by Bertolucci) suffers from the same tired blood as his characters, and his direction is often ponderously self-conscious.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Jack Mathews
    Fear, thanks mostly to Foley's stylish direction and a couple of strong performances, is a much better movie than "Whispers," but those familiar with the formula will get no major surprises. [12 Apr 1996]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The 20 or so minutes we spend with the Albatross in the squall is high adventure, to be sure. Everything else is ballast.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Almost corny enough to be hip.
    • New York Daily News
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The three actors do their best to breathe life into their caricatured roles.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Without the surprise, realism, audacity and upstart cheekiness -- pun intended -- that made "The Full Monty's" blue-collar strippers so irresistible.
    • New York Daily News
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    It is both inside-baseball and self-parody, exposing a world that is just as ruthless and shallow as we've been shown it is in films like "The Player" and "Permanent Midnight."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Some people will want to call it pornography. In one respect, it's the opposite.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Ali
    It was against all odds that Michael Mann ("The Insider") would make a boring movie focusing on the most eventful decade in the life of the most dynamic athlete in history. But that's what he has achieved with Ali.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Overwrought comedy-drama.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The cat-and-mouse game between the patient and doctor and the coy is-he-or-isn't-he? game being played on us by the filmmakers becomes tiring.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Sillier than it is clever, and Toback's self-indulgence is tiresome. He's a genuine auteur, all right, but his life and the funky tastes that inspire him are just not as interesting as he thinks they are.
    • New York Daily News
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    A ghetto horror movie that sets up some decent scares before becoming so amused with itself, it's a wonder we don't hear the crew laughing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Offers a dazzling showcase for Samuel L. Jackson.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Feels like a college knockoff of Billy Wilder's "The Apartment."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Judd has genuine movie star magnetism -- beauty, intelligence, presence and talent to spare. In the old studio days, she'd be Ingrid Bergman by now.
    • New York Daily News
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Solondz's refusal to frame his dark, misanthropic impulses with an overriding point-of-view seems a cheap copout for a film whose title proposes that it's about the storytelling process.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Essentially conversations, confrontations, and an extremely pat -- and very verbal -- reconciliation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Goldblum, who has made psychological confusion his actor's stock-in-trade, gives Nolan's behavior just enough credibility to keep his quest alive for us, and Heche gives a delightfully unaffected performance as Lucy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Saga too arty for own good.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Makes you appreciate opera, or NoDoz.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    There aren't many better examples of how commercial intuition sabotages story integrity in today's Hollywood.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Gets the proportions all wrong -- too much magic, not enough realism.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Underdeveloped and badly diluted by overlong -- and overly stylized -- forays into the drug use, street hustling and cultural alienation that mostly affects the boys' friends.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    As urban gangster drama, Once in the Life is way below mundane, and Fishburne's direction exceeds the rookie jitters.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    This ponderous romantic melodrama...passes like a day behind bars.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Only David Paymer -- and the actor formerly known as the singer Meat Loaf, playing Newman's suspicious neighbor, ring true.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Zwart never gets the tone right in this very American comedy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Star-packed fiasco.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Beautifully shot but overly spare documentary.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The characters she (Ephron) invents are not very interesting, and aside from the always reliable Travolta, the performances are uniformly aligned.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    On my list of favorite sports, I rank sumo wrestling just ahead of the truck pull, so I'm not a prime candidate for a "Full Monty" wanna-be about female sumo wrestlers.
    • New York Daily News
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Trapped does have a fine ensemble of actors and, except for what may be the most outrageously idiotic and improbable ending in a few years, is not that bad a movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The film's overriding messages are of personal responsibility and redemption. If that is Villeneuve's objective, it's done as an insidious polemic. If not, it's guilty of an even greater sin: It's boring.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The script gets so silly, the Monty Python troupe would reject it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    There's something deeper at play in the film, something psychologically foul, voyeuristic and personal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Barely qualifies as a documentary. It's the personal journey of a man hoping to claim a million-dollar literary prize by proving that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Some terrific characters and some of the year's punchiest comic dialogue.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The intimate love story is overwhelmed by the carnage. It may be an accurate picture of life in Medellin, but it's not convincing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Sometimes, movies would work better if you couldn't see them.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The film is otherwise a self-indulgent lark.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Banderas has some very effective moments, but in his emotional scenes, Cristofer has him screaming his lines into Jolie's face with such a spritzing fury, she might have filed a union grievance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The tragedy that separates the Good Crush from the Bad Crush is a cleaver that severs the film's relationship with reality.
    • New York Daily News
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The strength of Windtalkers is in its occasional, all-too-short respites from battle, when Enders is struggling with his demons and Yahzee is trying to understand his aloofness.
    • New York Daily News
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The result is a long night of confrontations that feel heavily rehearsed and unlikely. There are some good moments, but I didn't believe any of this.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    It's never a good thing to notice that the actors in a movie are having a better time than you are. It's so unfair. They're paid to work, you're paying for fun.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Among the year's biggest disappointments.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Here’s a double-scoop for conspiracy theorists.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Don't like archetypes? Wait till you meet the cliches.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Though a stickler might ask what's at stake in a fight to the death between two guys who are already dead, the hard-core fans aren't likely to be disappointed.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Its noisily inappropriate pop-rock score overwhelms its meager subplots about British class conflict.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    There's an inherent distance between movies and their audiences that -- combined with the distance between 9/11 and today's opening of the film -- The Guys can't bridge.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Though the film, adapted from a novel by Robert O'Connor, is obviously trying to reference "Catch-22," it is far too dark and violent to be funny.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Where's the levity, you ask? There is none, or rather, there is none that Manuel can perceive.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Too often crosses the line between good melodrama and rank cliché.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Jelski's dialogue is razor sharp and she got a terrific performance from the relatively inexperienced Gummersall, who runs a gamut of emotions and holds the screen like a seasoned star.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Has many of the qualities that made the actor such a great target for self-parody in Spike Jonze's "Being John Malkovich" - it's sober, deliberate, self-consciously mysterious and no fun at all.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Gerry isn't much of anything, and doesn't claim to be. It's a movie stripped of its movieness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Ralph Fiennes has faced a lot of acting challenges in his career, but playing a New York Republican who could win an endorsement from Susan Sarandon might be the toughest. Mostly, he handles the task by simply smiling warmly throughout, and gets away with it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Like Schwarzenegger himself, it looks tired, and a little bored.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The setting and circumstances of the war overwhelm the personal story and diminish the dilemma of the title character's love life.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Pie 2's greatest asset is the rare, infectious amiability of its cast of characters and the actors playing them.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    One long camp joke, with vamped scenes strung together.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    There is one good, legitimate scare in Robert Zemeckis' quasi-ghost thriller What Lies Beneath, and that's just not enough for a movie that lasts more than two hours.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Shyamalan has learned from his idol (Spielberg) how to manipulate audience emotion through the intimacy of an ordinary family that is "contacted." But he is even more shameless about it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Often tedious, sometimes fascinating anthology.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Besides repeating his premise that only fools fall in love and deserve whatever circle of hell they enter for it, he seems to really believe that morality has no place in art. Certainly, he's keeping it out of his.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Mostly, though, Hayek's problem is one of physical miscasting. She's so tiny next to the tall, rotund Molina that she looks like child in their scenes together. And despite a fake caterpillar brow, she's just not believable as a woman bemoaning her disfigurements.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The changes are meant to make it easier for audiences to accept Vincent's loyalty to Angelo and Joey, but they blunt the genetic mystery that made McAlary's story so compelling in the first place.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The Czech Republic and Russia, the respective homes of Emil and Oleg, should sue.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    You have no idea how determined director Rich Cowan is to suck the last drop of sap out of this tree.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The movie is as unpleasant as its hero, and the film audience gets no more for its money than the customers at the Laughing Stock. Still, watching Whaley take Jimmy down his tortured path has some morbid appeal -- like a train wreck in progress.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Allen was out of his element in creating characters who feel like East Coast cousins of the Clampetts, and his dialogue has never been more banal or forced.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    I may be wrong, but I think Guy Pearce is wearing Nicole Kidman's false nose in The Hard Word. Whatever it is that's on his face, it looks like a dead cod and won't win him an Oscar.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Despite the audience pandering -- not just in its violence, but in its wall-to-wall sexual vulgarity -- there are terrific elements in Baby Boy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Dunst makes Davies the most confident and interesting person aboard the Oneida and makes this voyage almost, but not quite, worth taking.
    • New York Daily News
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    There's only so much meaningful interplay you can get out of a beachful of slackers and some tanning oil.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Trying to resist Reese is like trying to resist Reese's Pieces: They're always the same but you can't help yourself.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The overall effect of Lucas' digital mania has been detrimental to the saga. Where the first trilogy was mythological fantasy, the second is pure cartoon. The sad truth is, the more three-dimensional they look, the more two-dimensional they are.
    • New York Daily News
    • 14 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The special effects work fine for minor acts of magic, but the climactic aerial dragon fight is lame, and most of the performances are at the level of high school plays.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    A brutally claustrophobic battle of wits and will, whose cruel nature ultimately seems to turn on the audience.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Tough, unsentimental British film.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Might have worked as a sex comedy, certainly as porn. But as a suspense thriller, it's creepy for all the wrong reasons.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    It's not honest, and it's certainly no solution.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Wenham and Porter are appealing actors, and Teplitzky's depiction of their coupling has an unflinching realism.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The film is at its worst, however, when Daredevil takes over. That's partly because Affleck, a handsome fellow with possibly the most inert film presence of any actor since Sonny Tufts, looks ridiculous in Daredevil's red leather pantsuit and horned mask.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Something less than a gem. It has a brilliant lead performance from Yuliya Vysotskaya as Janna.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Amen is propelled by a most dubious assumption -- Gerstein's belief that if the German people knew of the Holocaust, they'd stop it.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Has sentimental goo oozing from its opening frame, and the gunk gets so thick so fast, it's a wonder the projector doesn't freeze before the molasses-strapped finale.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Has all the appeal of a video game without the joystick. All you can do is watch. It's noisy and moves fast, but if you can't play, why pay?
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Sitting through the film is punishing work. The jittery closeups create a response that is more physical (I'm thinking nausea) than emotional, and there are no respites.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    An underdevelopment of a bad idea that is entertaining, so far as it is, because of McDormand's totally unselfconscious performance. This wonderful actress is never less than interesting, and even as a caricature of a stereotype, she's fun to watch.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    In trying to disguise his themes within the structure of a noir thriller, Parker was simply more successful at fooling himself than us.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Yukol has spread a huge canvas, gloriously costumed and photographed, but the staging and acting are often awkward and the saga is simply too dense for good drama.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The material here, written by Ehren Kruger, is beneath banal, and the three leads are so miscast that it's like watching a dress charade.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    To say Spike Lee is repeating himself is itself repetitious -- he is getting B-O-R-I-N-G!
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Ultimately, Murder by Numbers has been reduced to a tease, giving us a hint -- mostly through the fine performances of Gosling, who creates a charismatic sociopath, and Pitt, who's character seems genuinely troubled -- of the kind of relevant social drama it might have been.
    • New York Daily News
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    Beware of movies whose creators boast of the little effort involved. Little reward is what you're likely to get.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    The opening of writer-director Eric Schaeffer's sloppy, sporadically funny adult sex comedy Never Again shows how an undisciplined filmmaker can sabotage his best intentions.
    • New York Daily News
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Jack Mathews
    My rule of thumb for manipulative movies: I don't mind playing the marionette as long as the strings aren't visible.

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