Lawrence Toppman

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For 1,591 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 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lawrence Toppman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Spectacular Now
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1591 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Slight, enjoyable comedy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The most radical thing about the movie, the thing that may make it most appealing to modern audiences, is that the filmmakers say both sides are right.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    You'll respect him more as an actor if you see this film – and you should, even if you haven't enjoyed the action movies he's made over two decades.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    To enjoy it, you have to make a leap of faith wide enough to sail over a Grand Canyon of disbelief.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Grant handles the slapstick humor gracefully and speaks his lines with sincerity and warmth.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The actors do well, with Brosnan playing a kind of James Bond who has fallen into seediness and shady dealings. Bell carries her weight in the emotional scenes and the battles, and Wilson proves (as he occasionally has) that he can do more than be a laid-back comic foil.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Formulaic, yes. Settled with as many reconciliations and promises of happiness as “A Christmas Carol,” absolutely. But a familiar pleasure, nonetheless.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Edward Norton's a more evocative actor than Eric Bana, and he supplies all the emotions required by Leterrier and writer Zak Penn.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film’s fast, amusing, good-looking and not overlong, which is all sensible non-geeks ask of such movies.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Has its own peculiar, loose-knit kind of charm.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ali
    Overlong, entertaining, sense-assaulting drama.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Vaughn delivers every line with his usual deadpan glibness, which suits the part. But I smiled as I watched the big-bellied, multi-chinned actor connecting with the porcelain, model-thin Witherspoon.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Heartfelt, if rather repetitive, documentary.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Remains gripping until the final 15 minutes, when a series of sudden, unjustified plot twists leave us shaking our heads.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    State-of-the-art.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Lee pulled me into this coming-of-age story as if it were mine; there's a universal quality to his nostalgia that might satisfy anybody, whether you grew up hearing Beethoven or "Boogie Oogie Oogie."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    An unrepentantly rude, anti-seasonal dish of malice and mischief. Director Terry Zwigoff works from a story that originated with the Coen brothers and passed through at least four writers, including him...The results may leave you aghast or breathless with laughter, but you won't be neutral.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A middlebrow hybrid that should satisfy most fans of spy movies without blowing them away.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Coen brothers have never really accepted the idea that a movie has to have a plot. Offbeat characters, sure. Oblique dialogue that sounds meaningful and occasionally is so, absolutely. Eye-catching cinematography and a subtle, mood-reinforcing soundtrack, no question. Irony layered on thickly as cheese in good lasagna, yes. But a narrative that makes sense from end to end? Well, one doesn't have room for everything.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's funny, in a can't-look-away-from-the-train-wreck way, and it's brutally honest. But it's not pretty.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie has entertaining cameos, too, especially one by Holly Robinson Peete. At 23, she played Officer Judy Hoffs on the TV show. At 48, she plays … Officer Judy Hoffs, the oldest undercover cop on Jump Street. Absurd? Of course. But pretty funny, too.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Historians at Ellis Island estimate nearly half of all Americans had at least one ancestor pass through there between 1892 and 1954.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    However much Underworld recycles elements from other films, it carries us into a well-constructed, convincingly scary world worth visiting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Patty Jenkins makes an impressive debut, showing savvy that often eludes old pros.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Ken Kwapis uses those monster infants perfectly, down to a funny final outtake.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For once, I didn't feel cheated by an unresolved ending, but let's hope this is the end. Robert Ludlum wrote three Bourne novels, and this is one series that ought not to be dishonored by inferior sequels.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    [A] warmhearted, conventional and irresistible dramedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The comedy, which verges on farce from time to time, also has the smilingly cynical approach to romance that we identify with the French.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Fiennes isn’t naturally an outgoing performer, and he’s playing the most extroverted author in English history. So he does his best work in intimate moments, when Dickens finds himself at a loss for words.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    On first acquaintance, Seabiscuit seems to be about anything but horse racing: the disappearance of the American frontier after 1910, our love affair with automotive speed, the passing of a rural way of life, homelessness during the Depression.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    De Palma makes us sweat; slow, quiet scenes are as nerve-bending as occasional explosions and the final, frantic battle. He calls himself a director for hire on projects such as this and "The Untouchables," where he has little input before shooting. But his skill at maintaining tension is his main asset, and he uses it to the max here. [24 May 1996, p.1E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie has four significant virtues, principally its cast.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    One of the best things about real Americans is that we can stand criticism. Informed or idiotic, scholarly or superficial, it's all welcome.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you want a glimpse of a damaged mind and a thorough look at an artist’s healthier psyche, you’ll be satisfied.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Witch is a horrifying film, one unique in my experience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    By the end, Wilbur becomes an unusually complicated character: We empathize with his suffering, find his selfishness appalling, enjoy his gloomy wit and frank self-appraisal.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The first two-thirds are classic science fiction, technologically plausible and emotionally resonant. It's only when God enters the picture that things slide downhill.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Kasdan ends up with an intellectually dishonest movie about intellectual dishonesty.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The first movie I'd have enjoyed more asleep. That's not because it put me to sleep, but because it may be the most dreamlike film I've ever seen.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    That's why Forgetting Sarah Marshall, shorter than "Knocked Up" and more focused than "Superbad," tops all other Apatow productions so far.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Soloist does have the courage to be true to the real Ayers' fate at last, after the exaggerations end. And the smart, hard-working Foxx and Downey ensure that their scenes all stay grittily honest.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If movies were still silent, Girl With a Pearl Earring would be a near-masterpiece.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    His (Branagh) Thor has more complex characters than the usual "Transformers"-style melee; though that may not be what the readers of Marvel comics now want, it satisfied me most of the time.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    (Ford and Thomas) give Random Hearts muscle when the story turns flabby, spine where it sags, wings where it threatens to stay earthbound.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I felt depressed when I realized all 87 minutes had passed without one word about forgiving sin or reaching out to the image of God in neighbors who don't think as you do.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Another whirling crime caper that leaves you shocked and chuckling at the same time.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Three-fourths of a terrific thriller, which in this dreary run of winter movies seemed like clear spring water to this parched traveler. The setup is so riveting, the suspense so carefully prolonged, that I didn't mind when it unraveled into lunacy near the end.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Nair and screenwriters Matthew Faulk, Mark Skeet and Julian Fellowes have faithfully carried most of the main characters over from the novel but have changed its point of view.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Pattison grows on us as he grows on Bella: His weird mannerisms and nervous delivery stop seeming like quirks and acquire an intensity that's hard to resist by the end.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Reminds me of the golden retriever that lived next door long ago: endearing, consistently sweet-natured, ready for a brisk turn around familiar territory as long as no strenuous intellectual demands are ever made.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film works best among the beasts. Their training is impeccable, their emotions are palpable, and almost all of their behavior is credible. One "Jaws"-like encounter sends a carnivorous leopard seal after a fleeing canine, and it's as tense as anything I hope to see this spring.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    As warm and reassuring as grandma's hugs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Malcolm Lee's brilliant documentary about American race relations.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers do everything they can to balance levity and leavening. The subject says "drama," and the three supporting women deliver well-shaded, understated performances. (Howard shows us how weakness can be just as destructive as malice.)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Watchmen is a fitting tribute to Alan Moore's fascinating graphic novel, even if he refused to let his name be used in the credits.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film contains the usual Moore plusses and minuses, now familiar to anyone who's watched even one of his films.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Because the tale is straightforward and conventional, it needed and got terrific acting.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Part of the film's failure to arouse real horror is the languid direction; not enough seems to be at stake emotionally.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Characters in Breillat's movies often make sex their god, lose faith in it, then find their lives hollow and grim. Bergman wouldn't have been so concerned with bodily woes, but he'd have understood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A handsome tribute to an era as quaintly distant as tail-fin Chevrolets and A-bomb scares.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I predict Northfork will give you food for reflection or a case of the hives. I stopped scratching 20 minutes into the movie, settled into its lulling rhythm and floated away into the Polish brothers' flaky, austere dreamworld.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Pavich gives the Chilean-born Jodorowski his full say in the documentary, partly in Spanish and partly in expressive if slightly fractured English.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mangold has been smart or fortunate in casting, and personalities sustain interest even when the narrative flags.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Sitting through Source Code is like watching a chef coax a beautiful soufflé into perfect shape for 80 minutes, then drop a bowling ball on it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Chuck and Buck: A fungus among us.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For certain movies, the adjectives "formulaic" and "predictable" are complimentary. War Horse is one of them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Here’s a paradox: The millions of people who have read Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo are the panting target audience for the Swedish-language film adaptation. Yet they’re also likeliest to be disappointed by this carefully crafted drama, while people who haven’t read the book are likely to enjoy the movie and wonder what the literary fuss is about.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Denzel Washington doesn’t demonstrate how great he is with first-rate scripts such as “Flight.” He does it by elevating sophisticated pulp like The Equalizer to a higher level.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Wes Anderson's movies taste that way to me. They're dryly funny, well-acted, never less than quirkily entertaining. But they're never more, either.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    By the end, a Zen-like calm that might be mistaken for stasis settles over the story. But these lives move forward slowly, inexorably, and they move us, too.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Most importantly, Shut Up & Sing is about what happens in the music industry to people who won't.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    300
    300 is a huge step forward in visually sophisticated storytelling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    There may not be much meat in Hodges' stew, but the sauce was so tasty I felt satisfied after the light meal.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Fede Alvarez (who did the “Evil Dead” remake) masterfully sustains a little more than an hour of shocks. Eventually, though, he resorts to the ideas lazy or unobservant filmmakers employ.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The documentary stays entirely within the corporate world of record sales, which may seem an airless atmosphere to someone who never haunted such joints. Yet the movie gradually expands to give us a somewhat larger picture of the music business.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The story might have worked as well without that stick-in-the-craw coincidence, which was inserted to maximize the horrors of Nawal's past.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Neuwirth vamps up a storm: She's like some silent-screen hellion sending lust rays out of bemused eyes.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a thoughtful, multi-layered film that falls a bit short of its goals on all fronts. Fans of intellectually challenging science fiction and/or Robin Williams will make up most of its market.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Fans expecting horror won't want a thought-provoking, well-acted courtroom drama about the intersection of religious belief and the law.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    At the heart of the film, beyond the human/crawler conflict, is the suppressed tension between Sarah and Juno. That Marshall bothered to include such a fillip sets him apart from run-of-the-mill scaremongers; it makes me want to see what else he's done and will do.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Though the movie short-changes us emotionally, it delivers a credible, disheartening picture of greed and panic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The best vampire movie I've seen in years.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    What Levine does have is a gently gruesome way of amusing us, converting the uneasiness of a wooer from another species into the everyday anxieties of a young man around a girl he likes.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This coming-of-age portion is the less interesting half, though it has the more interesting Michael. We have seen Fiennes play an emotionally detached introvert so often that he brings nothing new to the role, apt though he is.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Lynch does "explain" what's happening via a plot twist two-thirds of the way through "Drive," which will satisfy you (as it did me) or leave you asking, "Is that all there is?"
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A scathing, scurrilous, sometimes silly but often searching comedy about the nature of faith in the 21st century.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mirren simply is, and she takes Hitchcock up a notch with every look and line.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Fans of their grossest stuff needn't fear: The Farrellys are still the guys who put the last three letters in "crass," and their potty humor was too extreme for me once or twice.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Juuso, who made her film debut at 22 in this movie, is spunky and funny. The two guys play off each other like bickering old pals, and so they are: They and the director have worked together on three movies and a TV show over the last decade.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn’t a history lesson. It’s pure entertainment, an excuse for good actors to romp through a twisting, well-told tale.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The British actor, best known as Loki in the “Thor” and “Avengers” series, disappears into the character’s skinny body and twangy voice.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Hollywood hardly ever pays attention to such people, and the average moviegoer won't either. But Leigh makes an irrefutable claim that their lives matter, and that attention must be paid.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    One of those documentaries about a family train wreck that makes you wonder how people consented to have their tawdry laundry washed so publicly.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Carrera directs with a light touch, letting the screenplay speak for itself.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The sunshine in Sunshine comes from women around him (Fiennes).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's gay in the old-fashioned sense, a giddy whirl for the senses, from chilly English drawing rooms to lush Neverland jungle. It's innocent in believing love banishes all ills, even physical ones, and inspires unthinkable heroism.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This picture won't attract white audiences. I doubt that blacks would flock to a Jerry Seinfeld concert film. But we'd all get along better if we realized we had the right to laugh at each other's foibles
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    There’s not much new to The Infiltrator – perhaps nothing, except the setting of the climax – but the vintage stuff is satisfying.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film doesn't lose its way emotionally; it's full of great monologues about loss and responsibility.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie doesn't need to preach a "we're all equal" message. When we watch the boys bond with their new kin over food or music, then see the lines of Palestinians plodding through armed checkpoints to reach jobs or visit Israeli friends, we get the point.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Rookie is "Rudy" in a baseball uniform.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Greenwood, whose range has carried him from the lonely widower of "The Sweet Hereafter" to the creepy husband of "Double Jeopardy," gives a star-making performance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A clever blend of the high school comedy and the superhero genre.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film's not really a whodunit or even a whoizzit, so learning his identity matters less than what happens after he reveals it. The film becomes truly French in its attitudes toward thwarted ambition and emotion, right down to an ending that may strike Americans as melodramatic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's made with seriousness, intelligence and craft, and filmgoers who aren't put off by the slow pace of life in 1380 should see it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    At its best, The Mist just wants to make you jump.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    John Hancock must be the best filmmaker working in LaPorte County, Ind.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie should come with the tag line “Don't try this at home,” because the method has near-fatal pitfalls. Yet the characters' clumsy emotional growth shows us there's hope even for a stumbling father and two sons groping toward peace.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The unspoken heroes of the project are cinematographer Peter Biziou, who finds all the beauty in Cornwall's landscapes, and U.S. violinist Joshua Bell, who extracts beauty without schmaltz from every violin solo.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Whatever you feel about Truman Capote, you won't be able to turn away from him here.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ryan Gosling's riveting as a neo-Nazi who was raised in Jewish faith
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    In its design, at least, Mindhunters"surpasses all other Christie knockoffs.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The planets aligned favorably, and this "Music" is sweet without cloying the appetite. It follows the meetcute-kissyface-breakup-reunion pattern of most of its kind, but the behavior seems more genuine and the situations less forced.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie may best be appreciated by people who know the references. All five monsters come from low-budget science fiction films of the 1950s.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    These veterans realize they’re all playing cogs in the director’s plot-twisting machine.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Anyhow, I believe you would probably like this movie if you let your mind drift during the slow parts. That is easier for some of us than others, and I was thinking about my next runway project about half of the time.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Did anybody expect it to be a metaphor for modern America?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a smooth journey across familiar territory to a safe emotional harbor, always professional and occasionally delightful.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ferrell's ideally suited to man-boy characters, and that's what Phil Weston is in "Kicking."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For much of the film, Jérémie comes off as sullen, then unsettled, then just creepy. Yet at the end, as he struggles to start over, he engages our pity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Emphasizes the best element of the first one -- the half-kidding, insult-filled conversations around the shop -- and doesn't need to spend time introducing us to the characters.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Peter Berg and first-time writer Matthew Michael Carnahan do a smooth, efficient job of storytelling most of the way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    t’s possible to laugh at Marguerite and with her at the same time. Cover your ears at key moments, and you may even fall in love with her.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    One of the opening scenes of The Accountant consists of puzzle pieces being dumped on a table, and that’s a fine metaphor for the film.... A few pieces can’t be made to fit, and two of those are big ones. (More on that in a minute.) But the rest of the story has been well-constructed, and the picture it gradually reveals keeps you guessing up to the final scene.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's visually surrealistic, acted with integrity, so brutal in spots that I averted my eyes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The fact that I didn't understand a film, that its ending can be interpreted at least two ways and maybe three – all likely to be "true" – usually sends me growling in disgust from the theater. But The Life Before Her Eyes has grown on me in memory.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Van Sant moves easily from dreamy, impressionistic narratives to conventional, less stylized storytelling, and he does the latter job well in Promised Land.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The book's emotional passages have the power to move us on film, while the one ridiculous coincidence near the end is still ridiculous.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Statham fans weaned on the adrenaline flowing through "The Transporter" and "Crank" may feel short-changed, but the rest of us can appreciate the unassuming, old-fashioned craftsmanship of The Bank Job, which is based on a true-life heist.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Hulk has a split personality: Two-thirds come from director Ang Lee, one-third from '60s comic book creator Stan Lee.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie leaves a bunch of questions unanswered but rockets ahead in such entertaining style that I scarcely minded.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This is an extremely simple but likeable film.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Last week, the American Film Institute named "It's a Wonderful Life" the most inspiring movie in the history of the English language. The film was initially a flop, but it's now considered so perfect that nobody would dare remake it - under that title. Folks who see Click will have no trouble connecting the dots.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Seeing Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is like having a second date with the woman who made you fall in love at first sight.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie is based on the life of California high school teacher Erin Gruwell, played with captivating honesty by Hilary Swank, yet it feels like the usual Hollywood exaggerations.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Focus begins so elegantly, wittily and quickly that it sets up expectations it can’t quite fulfill. Yet if not every coincidence can be explained, if not every improbability gets addressed, it’s a satisfying diversion in a winter which, as usual, has too few of them.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Eastwood thrusts us into the period with an understated piano score (which he composed) and authentic production design by Henry Bumstead, who died last May after working on the film at 90. (He collaborated with Eastwood on 11 films, including the Oscar-winning "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby," and he's a dedicatee of "Flags.")
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    [Director Patricia Riggen] has made an old-fashioned film about brotherhood. “Old-fashioned” remains mainly a compliment here; it refers to efficient storytelling, a victory of some kind for each character (except one minor player), and English-language stars who put on accents with mixed success to play South Americans.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie is not credible, even in an inner-city setting. At the same time, it's touching.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Christian Bale loves to suffer on-screen. Werner Herzog loves to make people suffer on-screen. Rescue Dawn is proof they were made for each other.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Comedy comes from an exaggeration of reality, not reality itself -- and on that score, Diablo Cody's first screenplay gets high marks.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    On the scale of summer action films, this is to the “Transformers” sequel what an Andy Warhol print is to a first-grader’s refrigerator painting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The middle 90 minutes, which put Hanks alone on an island without voice-over narration or even a musical background, is as risky as anything Hollywood did this year.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For the first time in memory, the film ends not just with the promise of more Bonds but without a firm conclusion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's different from the usual fare in one obvious way -- most of the cast are African Americans -- and, more importantly, in its willingness to leave some problems unsolved and volatile or unhappy people unchanged.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Don't be misled by the chopsticks and cherry blossoms: Memoirs of a Geisha, for all its exotic casting and locale, is our friend "Cinderella" in a kimono.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Martian celebrates both the indomitable human spirit and the belief that our species can, with patience and common sense, think its way out of almost any problem. If the film occasionally preaches, its message strikes home.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The presence of Robert Redford gives the character weight, if not depth, because we bring to the film everything we know about the actor from other movies. Redford’s characters have seemed unflappable for more than 40 years: sometimes cool, sometimes cocky, but almost always master of a situation. To see him beginning to flounder is to see a new Redford, one who catches us off guard.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s like an amusement park ride that drags inexplicably for the last hundred feet – but until then, it’s a joltingly fine journey.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Button has a wide-eyed innocence that almost never palls. It strays far from the mind of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but often enough it came near to my heart.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A rarely honest, funny movie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film soars in the right places, especially when powerful newcomer Jennifer Hudson sings, and the charismatic supporting cast keeps it chugging forward.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's packed with such passion, humor, fine acting in small roles - there are no big ones - and vitality in the storytelling that the lesson comes across entertainingly.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    About a guy who stood on the brink of greatness but, because of one flaw he could never overcome, had to settle for being pretty good before he faded away. Strange, then, that the movie works exactly the same way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    They've made a thrilling traditional nautical picture from untraditional books.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I knew blues music can make you feel you're not alone when your woman has gone, and rock your soul when you're on top of the world. But until I saw Black Snake Moan, I didn't know it could also cure nymphomania.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The honesty outweighs the hokiness by a fair margin.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's mostly a disturbingly believable portrait of a psychopath whose true depths of rage are buried where none but he can see. The ironically named Plainview does not come into plain view until the last scene, and the lupine, scowling Day-Lewis is mesmerizing in the role.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's wise, funny, honest right up to its last sadly dishonest scene, doesn't mock us more than we deserve and offers attractive women in various stages of undress.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you liked "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," you're on safe ground here -- Next time, I'd like to see Gedeck serve up a hearty meal instead of a tasty but unfilling appetizer.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If this story has a moral -- though unlike many horror films, it doesn't seem to -- it's that humans are likelier to destroy themselves than help each other.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Melissa Leo is one of America's most underrated character actresses, and Frozen River confirms that opinion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Deep as a Canadian lake: Below the placid surface, menacing creatures swim around unseen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    An almost perfect example of mainstream Hollywood filmmaking at its most expensive, well-calculated and safe: opulent production values, solid acting from its name star, distinguished performances from people surrounding him, Big Themes concerning sacrifice and honor, and a ridiculous finale full of superhuman achievements.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A peaceful, unforced film, and it inspires a feeling of relief and joy that's hard to describe.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Finding Dory can be described in exactly the same way as its title character: good-natured, funny, optimistic, darting from place to place, ranging from anxious to frenzied in tone, and unable to sustain an idea for more than a few moments.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    All are watchable, attractive people who haven't worn out their welcomes. But if they continue to go round and round like this, they may. Aren't more African -American actors waiting in the wings to play romantic leads?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Satrapi and Parronnaud give us clues but no solution. The fun, for those of us who like fairy tales, is in guessing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I think Foy simply wants to deliver well-gauged terror and make a few points about personal responsibility and the need to overcome our fears. That he does quite well.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The three leads all played these characters over multiple seasons on the TV show; they're comfortable in these skins, and they show that. (Confusingly, all three appeared in "City of God" under other characters' names.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie feels operatic at times. Tempestuous arias play on the soundtrack, and Puccini figures directly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Treadaway gives a restrained performance that never begs for pity but earns plenty; he shows the day-to-day difficulty of living without simple necessities while retaining hope and dignity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A summer action movie that has a brain and doesn't let it atrophy? Fan me, I'm fainting!
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This is his (Kutcher) most relaxed and sensitive work on film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Nobody puts the "angst" in "gangster" like a European director. When the director's a Dane, you can count on gloomy, chilly visuals and deliberate pacing. And when the director is Nicolas Winding Refn, who made the "Pusher" series in his native country and "Bronson" in England, you can expect intense, often brutal spurts of violence.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's overwrought and overplotted, but it's plenty of fun.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    When "Hedge" clicks on all cylinders, Chuck Jones smiles down from heaven.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Though all but two students look too old, their interpretations are unanimously fine.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Many critics will complain about emotional manipulation, but I share Roger Ebert’s view: “Some people like to be emotionally manipulated. I do, when it’s done well.” I think “Beauty” does it well.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Its sensibility stays true to Gaiman's style: heroic, wryly funny, but bloodthirsty as great fairy tales can often be.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    What makes this film appealingly honest are its details, not its grand events.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie holds no clear answers. Every time you think you know where it’s going, it veers. And at the end, I’m pretty sure even Tommie and Lamb – who alternately thinks he’s enriching her life or ruining it – don’t quite know what they’ve been through. But the journey seems to have been worthwhile for them and us.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Fading Gigolo, a movie as slight and tender as its leading character, leaves you feeling you’ve just seen one of the few Woody Allen movies Allen didn’t write or direct.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Its crass good humor makes it an enjoyable, reasonably faithful but over-the-top successor to the original.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If the brothers Weitzes) don't yet have a defined style, they do seem at ease with this more sophisticated material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Auteuil does an excellent job. He's like Marcello Mastroianni, whose naturalness also deluded people into thinking for a while that he wasn't a versatile actor.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The best movie I've seen about the Revolutionary War.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    In the end, Leatherheads recalls the gloriously dated sentiments of Grantland Rice, one of that era's beloved sportswriters, expressed 17 years earlier in the poem "Alumnus Football."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Like an impressionist painting. Scrutinize it closely, and the details don't make sense individually. Step back from it to study the big picture, and it will make a sweeping effect.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    And in the end, maybe the question of Dennis' origin is irrelevant. He tells David he's come to Earth to try to understand human beings, and that quest is worth a lifetime's effort -- whatever planet you call home.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A diverting and loosely connected series of episodes about the most bizarre screen family of 2004.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Guy Pearce isn’t as physically formidable as Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson in Leone’s classics, but he’s just as determined and dangerous.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    If you wanted to, you could see this movie as an allegory about people who love each other but can never connect. Or maybe it’s a warning to parents who turn a blind eye to children’s failings until the family self-destructs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Lawrence gives the same committed, heart-rending performance, and she’s even more saintly than before: The script never lets her fire an arrow except in self-defense, and she stubbornly defies Snow in public, though she knows the probable consequence is death. Hutcherson has more personality this time, yet Peeta doesn’t deepen as a character.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Pedro Almodóvar crammed actors he’s worked with over the years into a movie so wacky it defies analysis.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    A pleasant, snappy, by-the-numbers buddy comedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    McFarlane’s at his best when he breaks new ground.... Yet too many things get repeated from “Ted.”
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Just as I was starting to think of it as a “motiveless psychos terrorize rich family” movie (a la “The Purge”), it gave me good reasons to watch.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    A melodrama that reaches the heart but hardly ever convinces the head.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    What made “District 9” special was attention to details: You believed in the characters, their society and their surroundings. The big effects in Elysium work fine. But the people never become individuals, and the vagueness and coincidental nature of the storytelling undermine its structure.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie fails the credibility test right here. As those of us who were social rejects in high school know, the two qualities that would defeat any prom candidate are extra weight and a blotchy complexion. Laney has porcelain skin and a sveltely curvaceous figure, so she's a candidate for prom royalty. [29 Jan 1999, p.6E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Brosnan has toughened up emotionally for his second outing. He's been teamed with Asian action star Michelle Yeoh as Chinese agent Wai Lin, and he's been given a script that provides more fun than the lethargic "GoldenEye." [19 Dec 1997, p.11E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    This little piggy's gone to market, and he isn't coming back. Not to suggest the sequel lacks heart or an uplifting message. It has both. But they've been subsumed in slapstick clowning and the introduction of characters with no reason to exist, other than to line the shelves of toy stores. [27 Nov 1998, p.6D]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    He decided early on what he wanted and pursued it straightforwardly all his life. That rarely yields riveting drama, however well-intentioned filmmakers may be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    It's got a satisfyingly brisk rhythm and two appealing performances by Brendan Gleeson and Peter MacDonald as good-natured ex-cons. But despite the brogues of their bosses, the tough-guy atmosphere is pleasantly old-hat. [10 July 1998, p.12E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s just a popcorn movie – but it’s loud, smashing fun, if you accept it as a high-tech piece of silliness.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Fear not. It’s as silly as the first, a shade faster and nastier (though also sloppier) and features a new psycho more dangerous than anyone in the original.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Well, this is the best adaptation of Block – in fact, the only decent one.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Ye shall know Entourage by its acronyms: A lot of carelessly amusing R&R, copious T&A, a fair amount of BS and a consistently low-to-medium IQ.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Gomez is a nonstarter as an actor, alternating dully between petulance and indifference. Hawke compensates with a vivid, ferocious performance that doesn’t go over the top.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Director John Lee Hancock and screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith spend about a third of the film exploring Travers’ childhood in Australia, and there the film succeeds.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    The Hobbit concludes as it began: in a welter of continuous action, with characters who have become archetypes but seldom rise above that level, and with a host of ideas J.R.R. Tolkien didn't put into his short novel.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    When the movie shifts gears, coming forward almost 30 years, Maurice becomes less interesting – and so does the picture.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Sometimes seeing a movie throws the source material into sharper relief.... Watching the textually faithful film adaptation by director Thomas Vinterberg and writer David Nicholls, though, the piece comes off more as a glossy, well-acted romance novel.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Much of the movie’s charm comes from seeing middle-aged women in roles that usually go to middle-aged men. (Vergara is 42; Witherspoon will be 40 next March.) Hot Pursuit isn’t funnier than most male outings in the cop-witness genre – the 1988 “Midnight Run” remains the best of those – but its casting makes it fresher than many.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Puts a fun, frothy spin on the 1960s TV show before sinking back into the mundane.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Except for the irritating Rockwell, the cast suits the characters.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Has its heart in the right place and its head shoved well down into a box of clichés.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Proves two things irrefutably. First, Fishburne doesn't get enough work that tests his acting abilities… Second, Luke's breakout performance in "Fisher" was no fluke.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Easy to like.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Journalists have a saying for someone who neglects or downplays the most important part of a news story: He buried the lead. That's what Paul Haggis does with "In the Valley of Elah," which submerges two important storylines beneath a pointless, unsatisfying whodunit.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    “The Dirty Dozen,” one of my favorite war movies, will no doubt get a 50th-anniversary boxed set next year. Those of us who wait for it can mark time with Suicide Squad, which borrows the same concept and executes it with more lunacy and far less flair.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Parker's afraid that we'll be bored by the language alone, so he throws in absurdities.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The performances do shine out through this dramatic miasma.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    For all the story's bland familiarity, it has winning moments. Allen's no actor, but he projects a likeable personality.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Executive Decision, a film as generic as its title, follows its 'subdue the terrorists' template by the numbers - but they're numbers that can work over and over, when handled as competently as they are here by director Stuart Baird. [15 Mar 1996, p.8E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    May wrestle with big ideas, but it does so through a succession of small emotional moments.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Amiable bundle of broad, easy laughs rather than bitingly fierce satire.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    To my detached eye, this slender biography suggests that Curtis went from a faintly interested glam-rock wannabe of 16 to a mildly talented performer to a quietly glum fellow of 23 whose frustrations drove him to suicide.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The main message of this drama is driven home with emotional hammer blows.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Feuerzeig leaves a lot of territory unexplored. Why did people overlook his suffering and bizarre behavior for so long? Were they cold-hearted profiteers, onlookers enjoying a freak show or honestly ignorant of his troubles? Are there links between Johnston's creativity and madness?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you want my rock-solid statement on whether The Fountain is a masterpiece or a muddle, check with me in 2026.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It makes "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" and "12:08 East of Bucharest," the last glum Romanian movies about life under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, seem merry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Blethyn glides through the proceedings elegantly, a comic swan among ducks.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When we're outside Frank's body, Osmosis Jones drags. When we're inside him, it zooms.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    You can also see Sylvia without realizing she could be witty and bemused, qualities apparent in her posthumously published novel, "The Bell Jar." This book, which spoke to sensitive girls of the 1960s like few others, is mentioned once in passing in the film. We never see her writing it or learn what it means to her.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I never did sort out the gangsters fighting for control of a 19th-century town, nor did I figure out exactly what happened to the main henchman. But I was rarely bored.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bride has atmosphere and charm, but the exotic flavors have often been toned down to avoid complaints.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    One of many small reasons to like The Recruit is that it pays homage to Kurt Vonnegut, a forgotten old lion of literature.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Many shallower movies these days seem too long, but this one is egregiously short.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I groaned at cliches and grinned at jokes in roughly equal measure.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Won't startle or surprise you but will satisfy your need to see good actors at work.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I think Garland and Boyle just want to make our flesh creep by showing someone else's flesh decaying. If that's their aim, they achieved it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It paints its world in pastels, but the subject cries out for vivid colors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Over the course of 108 minutes, The Royal Tenenbaums drops downward on the humor scale from hilarious to funny to quirky to pretentiously bizarre to chaotic.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Lisa Krueger bends over backward to make everyone happy.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The strongest parts of the film aren't these money shots, but the buildup to the gunplay.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    People's eyes still look as glassy and dull as a taxidermized possum's. But if you're going to Beowulf to experience the sweeping passions that only real eyes can convey, you're missing the point.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's grim, funny in one sequence about shapeshifters, vivid in moments of violent action, nearly devoid of plot twists and marked by long patches where Harry, Ron and Hermione camp in the woods or by the sea or near a frozen lake and ponder What It All Means.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    All the actors give performances so low-key they're almost minimalist. That works, except when we're supposed to believe every woman would throw herself at the closed-off Joe.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It ends with the corniest convention of all: an absurd mano-a-mano between good and evil.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Atmospheric, well-acted, pointless story.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Goes down easily enough.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Rob Cohen shoots believable action sequences, too. Nobody jumps the gap between skyscrapers or falls 40 feet, then gets up and runs away.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    With its twist, the movie leaps into a fresh realm of fantasy. But director Marc Forster and first-time screenwriter Zach Helm don't know what to do when they get there, and the film's greatest asset almost becomes its undoing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Fairly entertaining, repetitive exhortations of a televangelist who looks like Kurt Russell playing Elvis Presley with 12 additional teeth.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film, though seldom sleepy, is often hollow.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Last Holiday floats along on the broad shoulders of one of our most able dramatic comedians. Without her, it would sag like a punctured souffle.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I can tell you in nine words whether you'll want to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Writer-director Andrew Dominik wants to be Terrence Malick.

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