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 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1585 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The honesty outweighs the hokiness by a fair margin.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Atmosphere is the main virtue with which this "Devil" can tempt us.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A pretty good movie. It just isn't a very good "Sleuth," exactly.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    At its best, The Mist just wants to make you jump.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It never commits the sin of sentimentalizing old age, as Hollywood usually does when it deigns to admit that people over 55 exist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The leads, who were born six weeks apart in 1937, have remarkable hare-and-tortoise chemistry.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Choreographer Hi Hat and director Ian Iqbal Rashid kick the film into high gear every so often with dance sequences, climaxing with a dance-off in Detroit that seems too short.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    What makes this film appealingly honest are its details, not its grand events.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn't a film noir, but it hovers in the shadows of that genre of discontent and disillusionment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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
    It's the chemistry between the stars that makes the film stand out in a drab spring.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A brain-free ride on a cinematic bullet train.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Both the good and bad remind us that the most special thing about "Skull" is the man wearing the fedora and the rakish grin. He has never worn out his welcome, and this valedictory – it can be nothing else – is a fitting one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    His movies are thrilling and ridiculous in equal measure, and I often laughed with incredulous approval as he wreaked havoc.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film seems like a loose and uncredited updating of "The Great Man Votes," a more serious 1939 entry.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Often powerful, though presented throughout with British understatement.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Melissa Leo is one of America's most underrated character actresses, and Frozen River confirms that opinion.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    An unforced, sweet-natured story about people who find small ways to touch others and rediscover the good in themselves.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a smooth journey across familiar territory to a safe emotional harbor, always professional and occasionally delightful.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's as pitiless and brutal as any of their pictures and funnier than any except "Raising Arizona."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A sweet, innocent look at an impossibly idealized high school world.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Though its grosses may not soar into the realm occupied by "Superbad" and "American Pie," it has more sympathy for its characters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It warms the heart in the hands of such sensitive storytellers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Blessedly, the kernel of the writing remains undisturbed, and its arguments are still powerful.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The director is a cinematic equivalent of his subject, but a man who was able to reach middle age and examine that culture's good and bad points with a clear, detached mind.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie feels operatic at times. Tempestuous arias play on the soundtrack, and Puccini figures directly.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mottola also wrote the screenplay, which is most fresh and honest when dealing with supporting characters.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ang Lee adds to the mythology with the sweet, gentle Taking Woodstock.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Daybreakers is more serious, from its A-list cast to its political commentary, with blood as a metaphor for oil. Like the best genre films, it has something on its mind.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s the first Pixar effort that feels less like a creative outpouring and more like an obligation met to satisfy a distribution schedule.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The writing is haphazard at times, though the situations are funny enough in themselves to sustain our interest.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie seemed a disappointment at first, until I decided I was missing the point: It’s actually a drama about the way people treat a celebrity – with fear or reverence, as a source of income or reflected glory– and the way their own personalities change around him, while his stays the same. In that way, the film’s a small triumph.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I spent The Kids are All Right wondering whether director Lisa Cholodenko was affectionate toward her self-absorbed characters or gently mocking them. In the end, I thought she was both and liked the film more.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Because the tale is straightforward and conventional, it needed and got terrific acting.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    RED
    One of those rare action comedies that actually delivers action and comedy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The acting is so exact and the timing so crisp that it delivers precisely the satisfaction you'd anticipate.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Like all his (Aronofsky) films, it's lurid, visually stimulating, thoughtful, absurd in spots, well-cast and unrelentingly intense.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mitchell keeps the direction simple and well-behaved, usually just pointing the camera at the speaker, but you can see why this topic appealed to him.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    An honest, basic story set forth with brevity, skill, care and intelligence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Hanna's a memorable creation, a girl who carries danger with her like a plague.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Super 8 takes its place among the best B-grade science fiction movies of this generation by copying the best of the past 50 years.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The two actors are at their best when Emma and Dexter get emotionally naked. It's mildly enjoyable to listen to the self-deprecating banter people use to conceal anxieties, but we connect to them most deeply when they bare their souls.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The deliberate editing and quirky cinematography (both done by Cahill) sometimes seem at odds with each other but never get in the way of the story's honesty.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Madden has the wisdom to give most of the heavy emotional lifting to Mirren, who continues to shine at the age of 66.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Though the movie short-changes us emotionally, it delivers a credible, disheartening picture of greed and panic.
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ides can't be said to enlighten any but the naive, and it's not likely to shock us into positive political action So what pleasure can we get from this movie? Quite a bit, as it happens.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The Fords give us old-fashioned predators: Zombies shuffle slowly, silently, patiently forward, as implacably destructive as Time itself. Meanwhile, the Fords play off our memories from books, TV news and other movies.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Anonymous is fun – if you take the anti-Shakespearean tale as events set in an unreal, alternate universe.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    For certain movies, the adjectives "formulaic" and "predictable" are complimentary. War Horse is one of them.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Did anybody expect it to be a metaphor for modern America?
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Every decade or so, someone proves animation can tell a serious adult story.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Whedon has made a superb template of an action film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Mirren simply is, and she takes Hitchcock up a notch with every look and line.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Jackson imposes a sense of grandeur but mostly loses Tolkien's sense of fun.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    LUV
    The big names in the cast add atmosphere in small doses, especially when Haysbert and Glover combine.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Hoffman and Harwood aren't afraid to show us old people who are rude, demanding, unreasonable and foolish, though the final overall mood remains blissful. Hoffman might have more to say as a director, if anyone in Hollywood cares to find out.
    • 59 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The balance between human interaction and mechanical mayhem works well until the end, when flying suits and exploding bodies fill the screen.
    • 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?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    These veterans realize they’re all playing cogs in the director’s plot-twisting machine.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    David Goyer, who wrote the script for Man of Steel from a story he concocted with Christopher Nolan, found a new way to make us care: The title character is disturbed by everything in his adopted home.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    I think the trilogy has come to its natural conclusion: However you interpret the ending, we’ve spent enough time with these two people.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Sometimes you have to praise a movie backwards. In a season of clamorous action pictures, dopey comedies and grisly horrors, The Way Way Back is notable for what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t yank on your heartstrings, though you’ll be touched gently at last.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The director mixes the colors of his palette carefully. He uses (but never overuses) slow-motion, aerial shots, extreme close-ups and quick cuts, avoiding any self-consciously “stylish” display. He varies the pace of scenes and the angle of shots enough to keep the movie flowing, but we never feel we’re watching someone show us how clever he is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Roger Deakins, probably the best living cinematographer never to win an Oscar (he’s 0-for-10), was behind the camera. So the picture never lets us down visually, even when the story occasionally strays.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    At the center of the film lies a moral question, not a literary one: Should Ginsberg abandon the potentially visionary Carr when he turns out to be a liar, an exploiter and an emotional traitor? Should he, in fact, “kill his darling” when Carr commits a heinous act and asks Ginsberg to lie for him?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    That dragon represents the best and worst things about the film. He’s terrifying yet slightly droll.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you’re worried that the re-teaming of Clooney and Cate Blanchett in a World War II movie signals something like “The Good German,” fear not: She’s better here, playing a French art historian who worries the Americans will “rescue” the art in order to steal it for their own country.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    As in “Restrepo,” we never have the sense that Junger makes judgments. Near the end, soldiers in their 20s say their bonds with other servicemen run immeasurably deep, and they never expect to have relationships this meaningful with anyone else again.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The story has overtones of “On the Waterfront.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie leaves a bunch of questions unanswered but rockets ahead in such entertaining style that I scarcely minded.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Brice stops his story just before it becomes redundant – most filmmakers these days can’t say that – and although I didn’t believe the outrageous next-to-last scene, he caps it with a laugh-out-loud joke.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The temptation to soften Grandma, to sentimentalize her character or sweeten her encounters with people she has cast aside over a long life, must have been almost irresistible. Luckily, writer-director Paul Weitz resisted it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    How you feel about Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, one of the most visually stimulating films of this or any year, depends on 1) how much you love animation and 2) what you think of Kahlil Gibran.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    You don’t often hear the adjective “uncomfortable” used as a compliment. But you’re seldom going to come across a movie that makes you as uncomfortable as The Diary of a Teenage Girl yet seems as true to life.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The slender story seems overextended at times, with Lu finding new ways each week to insinuate himself into Yu’s life. Zhang doesn’t make a point once if he can make it twice, and the characters don’t change much over the middle hour.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Hanks gives one of his least showy and most credible performances.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This installment substitutes psychological action for physical thrills.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Even if you don’t get the references, you can enjoy the ripely robust acting – especially Russell, Jackson and Leigh – and Tarantino’s storytelling skill. I could have done without the bad-boy excesses, which always seem like the mark of his immaturity, but the rest of the film comes from a mature and capable artist.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Smith dominates the film. He captures the upright stance, slightly stiff movements and lilting accent of a highly educated African who realizes he doesn’t understand America, and America doesn’t understand him.
    • 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
    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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Rampling carries the film, appearing in virtually every scene.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    [A] warmhearted, conventional and irresistible dramedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie has four significant virtues, principally its cast.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Elvis & Nixon offers an entertaining meditation on the how and the why leading up to this famously strange photo.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Don Cheadle dominates Miles Ahead.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Laughter trumps logic here, and the laughs flow freely.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Scafaria doesn’t solve everyone’s problems or end with a miraculous change of mind or heart. She writes credible situations...and characters in whom we can believe.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie remains quiet and deliberate, a synonym for “boring” in some minds (though not mine). In the end, it becomes an allegory for the times in which we live.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director David Yates, who did the last four “Harry Potter” films, delivers both big thrills at the climax and small, spooky ones when Tarzan and the others move through a world of beauty, terror and mystery.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This good-humored bonding story emphasizes the actresses’ gifts, rather than their gender.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    All his facets come through: the satirist, the prankster, the self-described political conservative with libertarian leanings, the anti-authoritarian who urged people to vote, the man tolerant of anything except intolerance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If you don’t confuse this with history – or with the French film “Marguerite,” a fictional piece loosely based on FFJ – you’ll come away touched. That’s mostly because of Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    If the cast were less likeable, the predictability of the story might become wearisome. (Of course, it’s not likely to be predictable if you’re 9.) But all the actors, especially young Fegley and Laurence, engage us.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Michael William Gordon and writer Jim Davis give us a hopeful feeling about Logan without insisting on solving all his problems – or insisting that God will solve them for him.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers fall back on melodrama fairly often.... Yet there’s freshness in the storytelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    In our post-Tarantino world, Fuqua shows remarkable restraint. The long, efficiently filmed battle doesn’t douse us in blood; for once, PG-13 is the proper rating for a violent film.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The honesty of the performances more than makes up for slight amounts of hokiness in the telling.
    • 68 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    This is an extremely simple but likeable film.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie comes off as Zootopia without social commentary or nearly as much imagination.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie indicts exclusion and racial hierarchy without finding villains inside that system.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Like waves lapping quietly at a beach, After Life makes its subtle effect, as we wonder which memory we'd choose. [8 Oct 1999, p.7E]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    A pleasant, snappy, by-the-numbers buddy comedy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    A melodrama that reaches the heart but hardly ever convinces the head.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    Well, this is the best adaptation of Block – in fact, the only decent one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    McFarlane’s at his best when he breaks new ground.... Yet too many things get repeated from “Ted.”
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Fair, overlong James Bond from the second shelf.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Some scenes achieve dramatic greatness and emotions that reach to the heart's core. Almost as many have the tinny ring of a badly counterfeited coin.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    An unassuming, brief and cheaply entertaining boxing movie. It's long on punching and short on character, but you wouldn't go to a Hill movie to see "Raging Bull."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of the actors keep an icicle-stiff upper lip except for Winslet, who darts around like a finch with a beak full of sunflower seeds, and Burrows, who exudes a musk of refined sexiness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you like films short, sweet and soothing, this may be exactly your "Dish."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    He (writer/director David Gordon Green) fired his arrow straight at a worthwhile target, but it fell a little short.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Lisa Krueger bends over backward to make everyone happy.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie runs out of steam before its finish, but she (Kidman) doesn't.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    95 breezy minutes that typify cotton-candy filmmaking.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The details of the story, crucial in a picture that's at least partly a mystery, remain a tangled blur.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Far too clever for its own good.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Blethyn glides through the proceedings elegantly, a comic swan among ducks.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Easy to like.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Amiable bundle of broad, easy laughs rather than bitingly fierce satire.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It flies apart when it clumsily introduces humor at a funeral or an application for death benefits.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Foster and Yun-Fat each show about three-quarters of their characters.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Your reaction will depend on your response to the title character, who's meant to be God or one of God's messengers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Without Gibson, this soufflé would fall pancake-flat.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Goes down easily enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It is a gimmick, rather than an idea worth exploring.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    May wrestle with big ideas, but it does so through a succession of small emotional moments.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    What makes Blade 2 marginally better than "Blade," especially if you thought the first was a hollow spectacle? It has a plot.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A sometimes clever, sometimes clumsy movie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    By the end, I felt like a beetle going round and round in a toilet bowl that just wouldn't stop flushing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It delivers cop-genre thrills at the pace required and reminds us Omar Epps is a star in the making.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Won't startle or surprise you but will satisfy your need to see good actors at work.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The setup doesn't make sense from the get-go.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Whatever he (Shyamalan) did, he shouldn't have tried to send the same lightning bolt down to Earth in the same place.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Who else in Hollywood would've met a non-actor with spina bifida (Rene Kirby), created a role for him, then shot him dancing and skiing on his hands to show how easily he fit into society?
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The part that caters to older fans is funny and satisfying, if unbelievable. The part that plays to action-movie devotees is muddled, unsatisfying and unbelievable. Luckily, the first part is about two-thirds of the movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The vigorous, unsubtle acting provides consistent pleasure, once you stop expecting it to seem realistic.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's cheerful nonsense from blithe beginning to obvious end.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's gently funny, modestly scary in spots, full of valuable but low-key observations about life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The sense of loneliness and disaffection makes its effect. Guédiguian offers no answers, and the hope he supplies is almost surreal.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The pleasure comes from watching the clever rodents do their stuff. Computerized images have been kept to a minimum, and real animals provide most of the film's atmosphere.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Starts as a tart little lemon drop of a movie and ends up as a bitter pill. I'm glad to have seen it, for I appreciated Campbell Scott's dominant performance and Jesse Eisenberg's breakthrough. But I hope writer-director Dylan Kidd mixes less acid into the next drink he pours.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film delivers the goods, reptile-wise. Though the computer-generated villains look a bit clumsy at ground level, they're superb in the air.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A holiday fable that's not destined for immortality but goes down more easily than most of the pap Hollywood tries to feed us every Christmas.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Few actors can match Carrey's ability to change his features and body language.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Hawn always appears to be acting with a vengeance, but Sarandon just breathes her part.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's not the dark comedy it wants to be - that would be "M*A*S*H" with a more modern setting and more gruesome consequences - but it's worth a look.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's watchable from start to finish, despite lapses in common sense, and it boasts a terrific cast of over-40 actors.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Offers high-speed helicopter chases, fireballing explosions, deadly laser guns, futuristic technology gone amok, multiple car crashes, two Arnold Schwarzeneggers for the price of one - almost everything except a plot that makes sense.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Kapur’s contradictory feelings about his material result in a movie that works against itself. As righteous and consistent as his anger may be -- it’s displayed from the opening title cards to the final shot -- it doesn’t blend successfully with the story.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Spade, who almost invariably plays smug or smarmy characters, proves he really can act.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When we're outside Frank's body, Osmosis Jones drags. When we're inside him, it zooms.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film, though seldom sleepy, is often hollow.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Production values are acceptable in the Klasky Csupo vein. If you know that company, you're prepared for animation that isn't conventionally attractive: flat backgrounds, characters with big heads, pushed-in faces and beanpole limbs.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The characters, irritating as they can be at first, grow on you as they grow up.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The juice in "Man" comes from supporting characters.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Steven Shainberg and writer Erin Cressida Wilson argue that everyone deserves the love that makes them happiest, and that these two will remain miserable until they stumble upon each other.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The supporting cast is almost uniformly good, from Conchata Ferrell as a sympathetic waitress to Erick Avari as a corporate type with a surprisingly big heart and a hidden silly streak. Turturro relishes his quiet overplaying and steals the bulk of his scenes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The script's hokiness flattens the performances.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I don't mean to be negative, but I want Orny Adams hung naked over a pit of snapping crocodiles. That said, Comedian is a lightweight but appealing backstage film about two performers.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Vardalos is of Greek ancestry, which makes stereotyping permissible: She can tease Greeks, just as Italians can safely mock Italians or Jews can poke fun at Jews. But isn't it demeaning to reduce your heritage to clich?s?
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Parker's afraid that we'll be bored by the language alone, so he throws in absurdities.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Nicholson operates in full-bore demonic mode in Anger Management, eclipsing gentle star Adam Sandler and satisfying everybody who's been waiting for Hollywood's Wild Man to cut loose once more.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Uproarious imbecility.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Ray Liotta and Jason Patric do some of their best work in their underwritten roles, but don't be fooled: Nobody deserves any prizes here.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If only Hollywood studios weren't so addicted to happy, oversimplified endings, the film might leave us shaken instead of slightly stirred.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    DiCaprio is up to all but the heaviest emotional lifting; when he enters a maniacal phase, you wish for Martin Sheen, who did the "back to the jungle" thing better in "Apocalypse Now."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Paul Schrader's movies depict dark nights of the soul, but sometimes you feel like you have to end the dark night with a shower. Auto Focus is such a movie.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The loosely autobiographical 8 Mile, an uneven but watchable drama about life in Detroit's slums, begins the shrewd transformation of vitriolic rapper Eminem into a mainstream figure.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Its familiar story has pleasing quirks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It ends with the corniest convention of all: an absurd mano-a-mano between good and evil.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I do wonder why a gay director's best-known movies about straight guys, Talk to Her and "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," suggest that satisfying relationships with women are most easily achieved if they're 1) unconscious or 2) in bondage.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Many shallower movies these days seem too long, but this one is egregiously short.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Certainly satisfies our hunger for a light, bright dessert, yet it may leave you hungry for more.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 26 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Technically, the film can stand with most releases. The cast includes veterans Hal Linden, Paul Rodriguez and Jennifer O'Neill, all of whom do good work.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The strongest parts of the film aren't these money shots, but the buildup to the gunplay.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Few modern thrillers aspire to look this striking.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Chaotic, sometimes funny.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film goes from stylish to ghoulish to foolish.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Inside Moonlight Mile, an honest and heartbreakingly true movie is struggling to get out.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A mixed bag with a huge amount of heart.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
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    It combines elements of "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars" and James Bond flicks with generically satisfying results.
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    • 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.
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    Good idea for a movie about rebellious Asian Americans doesn't fully pan out.

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