Lawrence Toppman

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For 1,585 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lawrence Toppman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Chicago
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1585 movie reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    From the first gentle meeting of its hero and heroine to the last line of dialogue, The Finest Hours executes all the traditional moves beautifully.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Is it too much to ask that he take a risk next time and kill somebody off, however much we’re used to having them in the “Trek” universe?
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    As you get into the flow of the narrative, and the strangeness of hearing no dialogue recedes, the movie becomes a rewarding experience.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It offers a grim view of prehistoric life: Carnivores slaughter herbivores, though we're spared most direct shots of this violence.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Why is The Emperor's New Groove Disney's funniest animated movie in years? Because it's the least like a Disney animated movie.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The writing is haphazard at times, though the situations are funny enough in themselves to sustain our interest.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a satisfying experience, whatever kind of picture you label it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Though this film doesn't have the novelty value of the first or the complex plotting of the second, it boasts the most spectacular single sequence.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture should satisfy both diehard fans, who liked the plotting and interaction of early Bond films, and "Die Hard" fans, who prefer Bond shaken and stirred by massive explosions, vehicular crashes and gunplay befitting a Central American revolution.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The script by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling gets relaxed, throwaway laughs, even if it doesn’t always hold together.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you're fond of wigs, you may be in heaven. If you're more interested in Whigs, you may wish the movie had dug deeper under the lovely powdered surface of Lady Georgiana Spencer.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's hard to fault a script that keeps finding new dilemmas for characters and rewards attentive viewers with in-jokes.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Qualifies as a solid double, maybe a triple.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Rampling carries the film, appearing in virtually every scene.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's handsomely shot, acted with fervor and reasonably subtle in delivering its message:
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's the chemistry between the stars that makes the film stand out in a drab spring.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If we can’t believe these characters could really be friends, we can live for 101 minutes in a world where they do.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The mediocre original, hampered by a saccharine plot and unconvincing reversals of character, earned lots of money but few plaudits. Now comes Ice Age: The Meltdown, a sequel with more humor, topicality, intelligence and appeal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    When the movie becomes pure fantasy, it's impossible to swallow. (No landlord rents an apartment to a 12-year-old with no adult in sight.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The rest of this well-intentioned picture never reaches (Washington's) level of subtlety and intensity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A documentary that's as chaotic, rude and funny as the band could be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Often powerful, though presented throughout with British understatement.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    In an elemental way, though, the film always works. The acting can be basic, a cross between Bollywood directness and Western nuance, but it has weight.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Vertical Limit is like riding a roller coaster for two hours. First it's frighteningly exciting. Then it's mind-numbing
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Greene's words haunt us like a prophecy from half a century and half a world away.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This is one of the increasingly rare Hollywood films that treat people in middle age as though their feelings were just as intense and their needs just as valid as those of people half their age.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Gripping but gap-filled Seven Pounds will have half your brain asking "How could this be?" and the other half saying, "Shut up and go along for the ride!" Listen to the latter voice.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Depp gives yet another introspective, slightly mopey performance -- Graham never begins to act (and never has begun, as far as I know). But they're surrounded by an authentic, first-rate English cast.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If your senses haven't been dulled by slasher films and gorefests, if you're a connoisseur of psychological horror, this is your ticket.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    One dazzling (if overlong) bridge: technologically advanced, brilliantly designed, spectacularly executed, solid as steel in its unspectacular elements. But unlike its 1999 predecessor, this is a movie that nobody but avid video gamers and motorcyclists needs to see more than once.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Its main pleasure lies in watching Bush thaw under gentle emotional heat applied by the few people who haven't given up on him.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Except for moments of labored symbolism and a too cozy ending, the movie stays sharply focused on its well-chosen targets.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you've never heard his voice, this is your chance, and you should take it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The result is an odd mix of honesty and hokum that pilots a course toward greatness before settling into a somewhat lower orbit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film takes place half in English, half in French. The chilly, responsibility-laden world of British society contrasts with the sunny, relaxed quality of life in fare-thee-well France. If these seem like cliches, Ozon and Bernheim exploit them so adroitly that they never become stale.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film’s well-paced and well-acted, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it most of the way. I faltered as projectile followed projectile and explosion topped explosion, yet even then the excitement held up.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It offers razor-sharp editing, first-rate performances, direction that yields maximum emotional effect and a flabby, unconvincing screenplay.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Exactly the right length. That sounds like faint praise, but isn't it rare? Many movies drag past the points where they should stop; others end abruptly, leaving you to wonder at things unexplained or unconcluded.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Wheeler and director Lasse Hallstrom don't want us to take anything too seriously.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The honesty of the performances more than makes up for slight amounts of hokiness in the telling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Hanna's a memorable creation, a girl who carries danger with her like a plague.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Cash made some untamed, exhilarating sounds in its formative days. Walk the Line is strongest when it shows him in love with either his music or his muse.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It plucks ceaselessly at our heartstrings to play a sad song indeed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    People talk non-stop at lightning speed, often while walking. The action sequences, underpinned by a loud and soppy symphonic score, actually provide a sense of respite, as Gojira methodically levels buildings and patiently releases streams of fire from his crimson throat.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Blanchett is riveting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The two leads don't have sexual chemistry together, but that's part of the point.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    What could have been an all-occasion Hallmark card turns out to be an emotionally genuine love letter to a young man who transformed the town of Anderson, S.C., in the 1970s.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This combination of tightly controlled farce and gross-out comedy works unexpectedly well, until the filmmakers lose their nerve at last and settle for cozy homilies. Still, four-fifths of a rarity is about twice as much as studios deliver nowadays.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The results have the Coens' usual tartness most of the way, before turning soft and gooey at the center.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It really gets gloomy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I never thought I'd crack up watching a family mourn the death of a beloved daughter. But I've never seen a film quite like The Host, and that's far from the most bizarre thing in it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Carrey rolls his eyes and waggles his arms, and Leoni keeps up with him while pushing less hard. He externalizes, she internalizes, and the balance works as it might in a good marriage.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    As usual, Almodovar finds unusual camera angles to break up the straightforward storytelling. But for the first time I recall, not a single male character is crucial to his story, and no actor has a leading role. You won't miss them.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie indicts exclusion and racial hierarchy without finding villains inside that system.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The energy never lets up, and two committed, unfussy leading actors are an improvement over other summer flicks.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This good-humored bonding story emphasizes the actresses’ gifts, rather than their gender.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of the movie feels like a loose, sometimes improvised lark among friends.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    One of the rare action films that needed to be longer. Then changes in mood wouldn't be so abrupt, and director Peter Berg and writers Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan would've had more time to reveal things we want to know.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ang Lee adds to the mythology with the sweet, gentle Taking Woodstock.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    So wild an approach demands straightforward performances that don't draw attention to themselves, and that's what the actors supply.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching them, you realize how far computers still have to go in accurately depicting the play of muscles as beasts run, crouch and leap. Though Annaud doesn't cut to them for cute reaction shots, as weak directors do, the tigers show near-human fears and affections.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The 23-year-old Evans has been acting just four years, and his near-anonymity makes him well-cast: He's an Everyslacker breezing through life in Santa Monica, the kind of guy who could turn into a hero under the right circumstances or remain a zero the rest of his life.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Son's Room refers to every room this family will inhabit for a long time -- he's an unseen, ubiquitous presence -- but they may learn to lead ordinary, even joyful lives again.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Muschietti does an excellent job of revealing just enough about Mama as we go along (and just enough of Mama herself) to show he's in control of this genre.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The real surprise is not that the high-strung Key and grounded Peele have rapport – their sketches demonstrate that – but that it can be used to anchor a full-length comedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film isn't quite as striking as its star, but it's just as honest.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The whole movie has a matter-of-factness that extends not just to the final photographic montage but the last line of dialogue. We can’t ask for more from this genre, and we often get much less.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A thriller that's frequently implausible but almost always thoughtful. It asks us to rethink the way we see Muslims
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    LUV
    The big names in the cast add atmosphere in small doses, especially when Haysbert and Glover combine.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This fairy-tale quality gives director Clooney, who's making his debut behind the camera, his stylistic clue. He's in perfect sync with writer Kaufman; they treat even the most "serious" scenes like Monty Python routines.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Without Essel, this might have been a run-of-the-mill dark comedy. With the 86-year-old British thespian, it's a wickedly funny and audacious movie in which she puts her capable co-stars in the shade.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This is one of the few recent westerns that requires you to keep your eyes open and memory engaged.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of Meet the Robinsons plays like a movie made by ADD adults for ADD children.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Soderbergh and writer Ted Griffin added plot twists that will catch you off-guard, dumped the clever ending and worked in a love story that's as superfluous as elevator shoes on Shaquille O'Neal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture's consistently entertaining and, though it has few brilliant comic peaks, it never plunges into boring valleys.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Whedon has made a superb template of an action film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The lack of attacks lets us concentrate on emotions rather than explosions.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Jackson imposes a sense of grandeur but mostly loses Tolkien's sense of fun.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Plusses and minuses work out about evenly, if you compare the sequel to "Sorcerer's Stone." The three young leads act with more assurance; Radcliffe emerges as a leader, rather than one leg of a triangle. (Too bad he no longer expects to make all seven of the proposed pictures.)
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Bay's movie couldn't be more timely; whatever you think about this subject, you might admire his attempt to come to grips with it in a summer blockbuster.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mottola also wrote the screenplay, which is most fresh and honest when dealing with supporting characters.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Only in the last half-hour do the usual Emmerich absurdities pile up: I laughed outright at the character who, past 65 and diagnosed with a massive brain tumor that will kill him within months, cannot be stopped by a ferocious beating, being stabbed in the neck with a sharp implement, then being crushed against a wall by an SUV moving at a minimum of 30 mph.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Would you feel anxiety or remorse if you pulled the trigger on Osama bin Laden, however satisfying or even necessary it might be? Munich argues that finding him in our rifle sights would leave any of us a different person.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A Kafkaesque series of interwoven stories that depict the hopeless lives half the populace there (Iran) must lead.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A smooth, often funny, occasionally thoughtful romantic comedy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Christopher Nolan, who wrote the script with brother Jonathan, gets so many of the big things right that I wished they had taken more time with the little ones.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Guy Ritchie, who wasn’t born when the TV show debuted in 1964, cleverly captures the elements that made it a success.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Like the story, Kline builds in intensity: He has no flowery speeches that would be untrue to his character, but he leaves a clear impression of a man who values knowledge and the imparting of it above all else.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    “Blood” may carry us into the past, but the unhappy effects linger today, like pollution darkening a sky that never turned completely blue.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Worthwhile IMAX look at the ways nations cooperated to build Space Station Destiny, and what they hope to achieve.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The casting of Daniels, Tyson and Saint, all of whom underplay effortlessly, was shrewd.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Defies logic, the laws of physics and almost anyone's willingness to believe in it. But darned if it doesn't also keep us riveted to our seats.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Like virtually all fish stories, it's discursive, funny, full of boasting, a suspect mix of truth and lies with an emphasis on the latter.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Lawrence plus latex equals laughs.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It takes place on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, and it offers an undeniable argument that life without love is unpalatable on either side.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For all the silliness, Kaufman is posing a serious question: Are we better off forgetting things that brought us pain, especially if we didn't change or grow as a result? You may not agree with his conclusion, but who else in Hollywood would pose this query at all, or explore it in such a daffy, gratifyingly inventive way?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I can’t think of a single situation where Kelly Fremon Craig, who makes her feature debut as a writer-director, takes us to a place we haven’t often been. Yet she lays out her heroine’s dilemmas with good humor and understanding.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Eisele and Washington lacked faith in their material. So they've made the big debate opponent not USC but Harvard, a more clear-cut epitome of the white world of privilege that has to face the hard truths of racial equality.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Despite juggled storytelling, the movie's compelling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Slight, enjoyable comedy.

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