For 960 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Justin Chang's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Columbus
Lowest review score: 0 Some Kind Of Beautiful
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 98 out of 960
960 movie reviews
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Falcone’s attempts to spin this flat, formulaic comedy into an affecting character drama are frustrated by filmmaking choices that work against a sense of persuasive reality.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Divorce Corp. is reasonably cogent when it comes to explaining divorce-court terminology and statistics, even if it comes up somewhat short in terms of actual facts and figures. The filmmakers are far less successful when they start dragging in outrageous examples of official misconduct.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Diverting in bits and pieces, but absent the heart, soul and ingenuity one associates with the best of Disney animation, the endlessly merchandisable picture could very well soar at the box office, but it won’t stick the landing where word of mouth is concerned.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Uneven but not unpleasant.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A sporadically engaging martial-arts extravaganza that looks even better compared with its predecessor, last year’s borderline-insufferable “Tai Chi Zero.”
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    This broad ethnic farce serves up a full-on culture collision, but -- thanks to a handful of diverting performers -- stops just short of becoming a train wreck.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    For all its initial playfulness, the script never rises to the level of surreal, cortex-tickling pleasure it seems to be aiming for, and for all its self-awareness it’s weirdly devoid of humor.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Appropriating all the external trappings of big-budget fantasy but none of the requisite soul, this leaden epic never soars like the CG-rendered fire-breather at the core of its derivative mythology.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Surfing the crowd in Altman-lite style, pic skims the surface entertainingly but goes limp in its stabs at seriousness, especially in the final scenes, which all but drown in emotional confrontations and hasty happy endings.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Silly, screechy and eminently watchable.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    This silly but straight-faced supernatural thriller manages to elicit an occasional shudder in between cheap jolts and false scares, emerging as a feat of competent direction (by debuting helmer Stiles White) over derivative scripting (by White and writing partner Juliet Snowden).
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Rebecca Hall's enjoyably bubbly lead performance lends the picture an occasional frisson of amusement.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Although funnier and mercifully shorter than its 2012 battle-of-the-sexes predecessor, this third collaboration between manic comedian Kevin Hart and director Tim Story (hot on the heels of their January hit “Ride Along”) is an exceedingly formulaic and ultimately exhausting thing to experience.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A cute but disposable item were it not for the story’s weird racial undertow.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    The body count runs high at Brangwyn boarding school, but tension, surprise and viewer interest are the real casualties in The Moth Diaries.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    This painfully well-meaning but largely unpersuasive bid for cross-generational understanding feels at once of-the-moment and too obvious by half, like a less overblown version of “Crash” for the information superhighway.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Josh Stolberg launches a scalding attack on the stodgy conservatism of the American public school system, only to end up stacking the deck in egregiously smirky and simple-minded ways.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Falls somewhere between stale retread and half-hearted parody of superhero-movie formulas.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A clumsily edited feature-length version of five episodes from History’s hugely popular 10-hour miniseries “The Bible,” this stiff, earnest production plays like a half-hearted throwback to the British-accented biblical dramas of yesteryear, its smallscreen genesis all too apparent in its Swiss-cheese construction and subpar production values.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Like a beautifully tailored suit that starts to smell funny after a few minutes, this sumptuous but stultifying lark sets up a quasi-Hitchcockian intrigue between two strangers abroad, but smothers any thrills or sparks in a haze of self-regard.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Waist Deep packs considerable energy and style into its tale of an ex-con forced back into a life of crime to rescue his kidnapped son. Yet the kinetic direction and occasional sly humor can't disguise the tale's banal brutality or pump much excitement into its routinized pileup of shoot-outs and car chases.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A capably assembled if ultimately unremarkable thriller.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Intermittently stirring and undeniably well made as it slowly unspools a multi-pronged drama set during the 1999 outbreak of the Second Chechen War, the picture has run-of-the-mill pacing and storytelling lapses that are compounded by its ultimately hectoring, didactic approach.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Jessabelle serves up a murky and underwhelming cauldron of Southern-fried voodoo-horror claptrap.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    The future looks alternately grim and hysterical in Aeon Flux, a spectacularly silly sci-fier that plays like "The Matrix" crossed with "The Island" and reinterpreted as a long-lost Michael Jackson video.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Even the Brit-wit chemistry of Russell Brand and Helen Mirren can't offset the self-conscious degree to which this tame, calculated effort sticks to its source.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Nowhere near as much fun as its title, playing out like an unusually obtuse episode of "The Wire."
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Unable or unwilling to match the visceral chops and moral provocations of superior serial-killer chillers, Righteous Kill is content to be a twisty genre exercise; it's like "Seven" as reimagined by M. Night Shyamalan.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    What's onscreen feels as half-assed and juvenile as it was probably always envisioned to be, suggesting an umpteenth retelling of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" by way of "The Hangover," or perhaps a far less inspired version of "Attack the Block" transplanted to small-town Ohio.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    This overplayed, underachieving laffer feels thoroughly manufactured to Disney specifications.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Revisiting the book of Exodus in a feverish Southern-gothic context, this lurid, often ludicrously entertaining slab of Biblesploitation builds an earnest case for spirituality in a skeptical age.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A flashy, lunkheaded sci-fi extravaganza sure to appeal to teenagers who like their interplanetary warfare bloodless, their high-school soaps squeaky-clean and their numbers countable on one hand.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A sporadically amusing, more often grating romantic comedy.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    This slickly assembled exploitation-movie wankfest gets some mileage out of its star’s fully committed performance, though not enough to offset the grim, monotonous tenor of the proceedings — or the glib, fetishistic recycling of Asian thriller tropes.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A draggy, generally laugh-free outing that wastes a perfectly good Anna Faris.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A bland and innocuous small-fry outing that retains a measure of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon's charm, though scarcely enough to justify the time, expense and visual-effects trickery it must have taken to inflate an endearing 2D cartoon into a dopey 3D extravaganza.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A well-cast but clumsily assembled buddy-for-hire comedy that increasingly smacks of desperation as it approaches its big-day climax.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    First-time director Jason Zada does generate an intermittently spooky sense of mystery that not even the muddled scripting can fully demolish.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Director Ron Maxwell’s adaptation of Harold Frederic’s 1893 novel elicits a certain amount of admiration for its old-fashioned carpentry and earnest, worthy approach, but its stilted dramaturgy and endless speechifying defeat the committed efforts of a sprawling ensemble.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    In short, this is a Shyamalan movie minus the bravado, the swagger; there are no audacious attempts to pull out the rug from under the audience, no ham-fisted lessons about the importance of religious belief or the power of storytelling.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A stylish surface goes only so far to disguise the fact that we’re being sold some pretty cut-rate goods.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    True torture-porn aficionados will be disappointed, as editor Tariq Anwar cuts away right before blade meets flesh -- a move that feels a tad, well, gutless under the circumstances. But elsewhere, "Citizen" proves startlingly graphic, even by R-rated standards.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    It's really not all that bad. Ultra-derivative bigscreen transplant of one of the most successful (and controversial) games ever made plays like a mutant cross between a biotech thriller and a zombie movie, with all the alien autopsies, blood-gushing protuberances and meaningless scientific jargon that come with the territory.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Bland, canned but studiously professional sequel retains most of the principals from Fox's family-friendly 2003 hit, including the ever-reliable Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Safe Haven offers an unsurprising but not unsatisfying tour through recognizable Sparkville terrain.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    The film's noisy, slam-bang approach and lack of imagination in all nonvisual departments will keep it from rounding up a fresh generation of thrill-seekers.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    RV
    RV works up an ingratiating sweetness that partially compensates for its blunt predictability and meager laughs.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A ludicrous, borderline-nonsensical supernatural concoction with a slightly redeeming sense of its own silliness.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    While the fine cast teases out glimmers of nuance here and there, Mary Agnes Donoghue’s film plays like a series of hand-holding growth exercises for closed-minded conservatives, and relies too heavily on its tying-the-knot finale for both dramatic momentum and emotional closure.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    As directed by Stuart Hazeldine, even its jolts of surrealism feel curiously stilted; what it needed was a director whose reverence would be tempered by a healthy sense of the ludicrous, an ability to tap into and draw out the material’s stranger undercurrents.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Not unlike the shiny snow globe at its center, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a thing of consummate craftsmanship, a smoothly engineered and fundamentally lifeless object that's nevertheless capable of giving even the grinchiest moviegoers a brief attack of the warm-and-fuzzies.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    There are stretches of tedium in this lumpy and derivative mythology, to be sure. But there are also immersive IMAX 3-D backdrops, striking ambiguities and irresistible moments of straight-faced lunacy. The line between hack work and labor of love may be perilously thin, but you can sense the difference in the way Jones earnestly, wholeheartedly embraces the magic that powers this realm.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    The only real tension you feel in Dying of the Light is that between the thoughtful, tough-minded character piece Schrader presumably thought he was making and the bruised, indifferent hackwork that has ultimately made it to the screen.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    While only the converted will likely see the redemption behind the manipulation, picture delivers a strong enough dose of spiritual saccharine to yield solid if not heavenly returns from its trusty target audience.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Neither a particularly good movie nor the pop-cultural travesty that some were dreading.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A self-serious eco-thriller assembled with a competent but heavy hand, A Dark Truth decries corporate corruption and Third World oppression in an all-too-obvious manner.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Compacts nearly three years' worth of globe-trotting interviews into an often visually vibrant but rhetorically muddled package. So intent on giving (almost) every perspective a fair shake that it winds up saying little of consequence.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Adorable and annoying, patently unnecessary yet kinda sweet, it's a calculated commercial enterprise with little soul but an appreciable amount of heart.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Intermittently enjoyable hokum at best.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Helmer Donald Petrie seems at times to be making the modern-day equivalent of a Doris Day comedy, setting the pic in a lacquered fantasy New York, piling on cutesy-coy dialogue and mining a fluffy premise for all manner of far-fetched cleverness.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    This tale of two former lovers reuniting after a 21-year separation also functions as a study of two terrific actors struggling to overcome the relentless mediocrity of their material.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    If the film’s trio of new screenwriters (replacing series mainstay Ehren Kruger) have seamlessly upheld the crass and juvenile “Transformers” sensibility, then Bay’s visual sensibility has, if anything, matured, to the point of demanding and earning your exasperated surrender.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Its principal ambition — basically, to make movies like “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Starsky & Hutch” look like rigorous masterworks of screen-to-screen adaptation by comparison — may be as shallow as the gutter. But from time to time, the movie does throw off its own crazy, moronic verve.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Another blandly competent, thoroughly forgettable low-budget sci-fier assembled from the stray parts of other, better movies.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Last Knights is a fairly ludicrous mystery and a so-so action movie, but it’s nonetheless been constructed with an earnest attention to detail that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A modestly affecting reconciliation drama wrapped in a so-so sports movie by way of a misogynistic romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps can't stop tripping all over itself.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A lazy attempt to milk a few more laughs and bucks from the enormously lucrative property spawned 10 years ago by "Meet the Parents."
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A clumsy but inoffensive romantic comedy.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Completely disposable yet rousing on its own crude, testosterone-saturated terms.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    The didactic presentation, grim speechifying and tacked-on love story all signify a less-than-healthy regard for the audience's intelligence.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    “Oh, Toto, this doesn’t look like the Oz I remember,” Dorothy murmurs at one point. Truer words were never spoken.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Acquits itself well enough. Gratuitously gory and derivative to the core, Venom manages to deliver some effective frights in between large swaths of voodoo gibberish.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    This dire battle-of-the-exes action-comedy severely tests audience goodwill by running an indulgent 110 minutes, crammed as it is with half-baked thriller subplots and aimless supporting characters, as if to distract from the central duo's nonstop bickering.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    While roving interviewer Ben Stein extracts some choice soundbites from scientists on both sides of the creation-vs.-evolution debate, the film's flippant approach undermines the seriousness of its discourse, trading less in facts than in emotional appeals.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Justin Chang
    Over the course of its generally absorbing if overlong 117-minute running time, it offers a brief and appreciably sympathetic take on the lure of fantasy, the pleasures of role play and the thrill of commanding the multitudes — which is to say that it’s, among other things, a film about filmmaking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    A blandly executed action-thriller whose cast names (Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe) and mild ’80s Louisiana flavor offer only modest compensations for the story’s workmanlike construction and routine twists.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    The love and dedication that the filmmakers (including Dominguez’s wife and exec producer, Shelley Morrison) have poured into this project are more than evident onscreen; what it needs now is the sort of strong, supple cinematic vision that could tie its disparate strands together.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Justin Chang
    Benson displays more energy and assurance behind the camera than he does in front of it; even still, his tonal command of his own narrative is wobbly at best, employing cynical humor and climactic eruptions of violence to jazz up what is ultimately an overly earnest and predictable cautionary tale.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    A mildly intriguing thriller of comeuppance that leaves you wanting more — not more archly stylized violence or repetitive revenge fantasy, perhaps, but more insight into the connection between the eponymous assassin (Abigail Breslin) and her highly skilled mentor (Wes Bentley).
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Justin Chang
    Watching Sion Sono’s unruly telepathic sex comedy The Virgin Psychics is a bit like having a dog hump your leg for the better part of two hours; it’s filthy and monotonous and fairly interminable, but after a while you’ve been so thoroughly numbed that you have to admit it’s kind of sweet.

Top Trailers