For 81 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Justin Lowe's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 51
Highest review score: 90 Mission Blue
Lowest review score: 0 The Impaler
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 81
  2. Negative: 18 out of 81
81 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Justin Lowe
    While the science behind Earle’s conservation project is fascinating, it’s her natural charisma and infectious enthusiasm that are most compelling onscreen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Overall, the writers have crafted a well-articulated universe with distinct settings and relatable, compelling characters devoted to a thrilling quest for redemption.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Making a convincingly assured feature debut, TV and web series writer-director Carey's script nails the raunchy-sweet tone required to bring off this R-rated teen-centered comedy with remarkable charm and relatability, mining a rich vein of girl-centered sexual curiosity and experimentation "loosely inspired" by personal experience.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    A taut, efficient and ultimately evocative small-scale Western that benefits from tight scripting and proficient performances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    With a keen sense of the thrills of snowboarding, a cultivated understanding of the demands of the pro circuit and genuine compassion for the casualties of the sport, Walker’s particular talent in this film is in making the general more specific.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Addressing the heartrending issue of children living with HIV and AIDS is enormously complex, but Blood Brother accomplishes the challenge with sufficient grace and empathy to give hope to anyone concerned with this global affliction.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Leveraging limited resources to impressive effect, writer-director Chris Eska’s empathetic scripting and well-tuned casting reliably guide The Retrieval’s memorable trajectory.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Chan varies the film’s stylistic veneer of naturalism with occasional, lyrical scenes of the lush woodsy environs surrounding the family home and flashbacks to the kids’ childhoods, as well as moments of low-key visual humor, as the pair stumble about searching for clues to their mother’s secret life.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Justin Lowe
    Distilling a couple of decades of stunt work and second-unit directing experience into 96 minutes of runtime, Stahelski and Leitch expertly deliver one action highlight after another in a near-nonstop thrill ride.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Under Saldanha's guidance, an extensive team of animators and visual effects artists elevates the 3D format to an alluring level, with character details, dense background imagery and often complex action and aerial sequences (including a requisite Busby Berkeley-inspired musical number) appearing effortlessly executed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Whimsically combining elements of sci-fi, drama and musical comedy, J. Anderson Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker’s debut feature is a unique mashup that succeeds more by sheer originality than any singular reserve of talent.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Despite some shortcomings, Pussy Riot remains a significant contribution to the ongoing dialogue assessing the current state of Russian society and culture, as well as the sometimes tenuous status of free speech in the free world.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Linsanity reaffirms that the best sports stories originate with dimensional, relatable subjects who earn respect and admiration through their personal struggles and triumphs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    An appealing documentary about one of the American West’s unique cowboy conservationists.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Filming a truly immersive and dimensional adaptation of a Kerouac novel remains an ongoing challenge for any filmmaker, but Polish’s film comes closer than most, while adding another layer of complexity to the author’s venerable reputation.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Fredrik Bond makes a promising feature debut with this fanciful crime-drama romance that gratifyingly eschews strict genre classification.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Simien intensifies the impact of both action and dialogue with a self-reflexive directorial style that creates a marginally heightened sense of reality, revealing more about characters' motivations than would conventionally be expected.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Swanberg's modest script lays out some fairly mundane domestic situations, which the actors elevate with a collaborative style characterized by gentle humor and authentic, frequently overlapping dialogue.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Genre comparisons aside, the expert timing and clever setups that were exhilaratingly employed in You’re Next are mostly absent here... Fortunately Barrett and Wingard haven’t lost their ironically humorous touch, as most of the film’s uneasy laughs revolve around upending typical thriller expectations.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Vitthal realizes the virtues of keeping things simple, minimizing the complexity of shots and editing to keep the focus on the characters, which constitute the strongest component of the film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    The greatest strengths of the film clearly come from Green’s novel, which resolutely refuses to become a cliched cancer drama, creating instead two vibrant, believable young characters.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Justin Lowe
    Obscure, lyrical and exhibiting a far more European sensibility than even many American indies, Tim Sutton’s second feature is suffused with deep thoughts and emotions, but demands patience.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Not that it isn’t entertaining, but the film's premise is certainly well past its “use by” date, resulting in another passably palatable sequel distinguished by a lack of narrative and stylistic coherence that could potentially underpin a really viable franchise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Turns out to be something like a comic riff on "Training Day." Leaning more toward Hart's brand of slightly raunchy humor rather than Ice Cube's equally popular family-friendly fare, the PG-13 film exhibits broad appeal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Aside from some uneven handling of the cast, Ball competently styles the action sequences throughout the film and capitalizes on his VFX expertise with pulse-pounding scenes tracking the Runners through the Maze battling Grievers.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    The filmmakers’ intent to depict them as “normal guys” mostly succeeds, primarily due to their not inconsiderable charm.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Davey’s tortuous emotional distress, while generically relatable, seems more appropriate to a younger teen rather than a young woman who’s practically a college freshman. This curious disjunction impacts the performances as well, which are adequate but rarely persuasive.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    The film’s restricted scope of analysis and limited selection of sources threatens to undermine its conclusions.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Without a strong thematic throughline, Levy relies on a highly episodic structure, letting the subject matter lead him along, rather than shaping the material into a compelling package.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    The script succeeds by expanding the Paranormal Activity mythology with additional details and even a few surprising twists.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Although Gregorini is very clear on where her lead characters are coming from, it’s where they’re headed that remains entirely vague, an oversight that leaves them unfortunately adrift.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    As a document of the American political process, Caucus offers an intriguing if limited snapshot of a specific campaign season, but lacks either breadth or depth.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Rose-tinted as the film’s perspective may be, Ping Pong Summer is still a lingering, entertaining glance back at an era that Americans just can’t seem to get enough of, whether in music or movies.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Creepy enough to get the job done, but not sufficiently extreme to fulfill the initial setup.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    Although the pacing would have benefited from some judicious tightening, much of the film’s effectiveness is attributable to the lead actors’ well-modulated performances.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    An accomplished first feature that doesn't quite achieve its initial promise.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Justin Lowe
    The film is attractively and professionally packaged however, with accomplished camerawork and editing supporting a narrative that eventually seems to reveal more smoke than fire.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Beyond a few chuckle-worthy one-liners and some amusing visual comedy, there’s not much to engage adults, although the wee ones should be distracted enough.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    The castmembers portraying Splinter and the turtles achieve a persuasive level of realism that was never possible with the elaborate puppetry required for the original film series and adequately fulfill expectations for their characters.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    The scares are as hit-or-miss as the filmmaking in the second installment of the “VHS” found-footage horror anthology series.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Hughes and cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr. handle the assignment skillfully enough, but without much imagination, sticking to a conventional action style that is more about the quantity of explosions than nuances of execution.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Anders’ well-attuned comic sensibility makes for moments of hilarity in some of the more originally conceived scenes, but bogs down in predictability with reliance on too many stock situations that absorb the bulk of the running time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Passably absorbing to start, Shaul Schwarz’s examination of the issues surrounding Mexican and immigrant musicians who glorify drug lords and their exploits gradually bogs down in repetition and narrative inertia.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Although screenwriter John Kare Raake’s Raiders of the Lost Ark template may sometimes seem a bit shopworn, at least it doesn’t dwell too indulgently on Viking mythology, playing to the strengths of the action scenario instead.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    A blithely derivative romantic comedy that isn’t without a certain smug charm.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Justin Lowe
    Initially more a series of gags than a cohesive narrative, Merkins gets by on its considerable wit and a few genuinely hilarious moments for the first hour, then tries to play catch-up in the final 30 minutes by attempting to capitalize on marginal subplots.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Setting aside the movie’s tediously lame dialogue, self-conscious performances and frequently predicable scares, the narrative’s compulsively shifting chronology intermittently manages to engage, although it does little to obscure the distracting shortcomings of both plot and character development.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Playing it safe with a script that offers Riddick up as a lone avenging hero, Twohy passes on the opportunity to effectively shade the character’s distinctive dimensionality.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    The outcome is usually fairly tiresome, but on occasion reaches levels of moderate originality.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Writer-director Shaka King clearly knows this world, perhaps too well, but making pot use, or denial, the focus of nearly every scene becomes tedious.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    The film manages to generate only mild shocks and surprises.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Fastvold and co-writer Corbet subscribe to the less-is-more branch of screenwriting, assuming that audiences will be drawn in by the air of mystery surrounding the sisters, when in fact the lack of narrative detail is consistently off-putting.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Debuting directors Damon Maulucci and Keir Politz have a better sense of storycraft than the filmmaking on display.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    The too-infrequent scare techniques, however, are mostly by the book, rarely developing sufficient dread to heighten the film’s rather unremarkable climax.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    There’s no shortage of eye candy on display, with acrobats, dancers, fireworks and carnival rides providing a colorful backdrop to the fairly formulaic story arc. The lack of specific background on the event's origins and history is somewhat frustrating, however, since the 85-minute runtime could certainly accommodate further exploration.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    This passably palatable film never hits any real high notes.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Actor and first-time feature director Matt Rabinowitz’s intense focus on a fragile father-son relationship makes for unexceptional developments in The Frontier, an insubstantial low-budget ensembler.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    What new information The Culture High offers is almost entirely subsumed by its sprawling ambitions to make every conceivable connection to the marijuana debate, limiting both its reliability and its impact.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 40 Justin Lowe
    Writer-director J.C. Khoury’s second feature is a romantic dramedy featuring a conventionally appealing cast that’s squandered on a dissatisfingly derivative premise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    The cinematic axiom of diminishing returns appears to be catching up with Robert Rodriguez’s Machete franchise in only the second installment, as the series’ engagingly lowbrow concept gets overwhelmed by episodic plotting and uninspired, rote performances.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Surprisingly for a writer turned director, the most evident shortcomings with Garcia’s feature originate with the script. With barely any backstory to support them, the characters consistently appear to lack the motivations necessary for their actions.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Ill-advised and amateurishly executed, Ass Backwards begins with a passably funny concept and runs it into the ground within 20 minutes.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Cory Monteith in one of his last screen roles may be the best thing going for McCanick, a tired cop drama that recycles predictable narrative elements almost to the point of meaninglessness and then substitutes wildly improbable developments in place of actual originality.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Rife with rom-com cliches and jaw-droppingly idiotic situations, the story is so off-putting that its irrationality becomes almost secondary to its pointless attempts to prove that opposites really do attract -- when they’re actually not as divergent as they first appear.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Hank and Asha takes an unremarkable situation and renders it completely banal.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Nirmalakhandan attempts to pull off this whirlwind display of staggeringly dysfunctional family dynamics with a lightness of tone that’s often at odds with events in the film.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    The reductionist plot eventually forces both the protagonists and the filmmakers into a blind shaft without a productive exit strategy.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    The rather routine imitation of reality TV-style camera and editing techniques, along with uninspired special effects associated with Carson’s spiritual affliction, don’t attempt to break new ground but gain little by repeating familiar formulas.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    Co-scripters and directors Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath never seem quite sure which horror subgenre the film should favor, as the supernatural elements demonstrate little synergy with the serial-killer procedural plotting.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Justin Lowe
    The filmmakers attempt to inject some life into their dubiously thin narrative by incorporating sequences shot at actual haunted houses that favor more elaborate shock tactics.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Justin Lowe
    Plot details turn out to be secondary to the cheap visual effects and abundant gore that Reeder frequently manages to incorporate by taking the narrative on some inexplicable and queasily violent detours. Overall, performances are just perfunctory enough to convey the concept of acting.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Justin Lowe
    Garant and Lennon’ script, with its insistence on constantly repeating the same gags, rapidly wears thin.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 Justin Lowe
    The film’s uneasy mixture of melodramatic and supernatural elements quickly devolves into a frequently risible genre mashup.

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