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 The Battle of Algiers (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1585 movie reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Good acting from the three principals – four, if we count Max Thieriot as the son – keeps this leaky craft afloat for quite a while.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Vertical Limit is like riding a roller coaster for two hours. First it's frighteningly exciting. Then it's mind-numbing
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    I've just seen The Core, and I have a piece of advice for Hilary Swank: Don't quit your night job.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie is as padded as Allen's jelly belly.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Flat as a Moravian cookie, flat as a sailor's wallet after a month in port, flat as the average European's impression of the Earth in A.D. 800.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    “Train” makes its strongest impact in Blunt’s hands. Her vulnerability brings pathos to every scene she enters, making you wish the whole film could have been told through Rachel’s bleary eyes – and set in England, where she belongs. But it’s a pleasure to see her anywhere.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Once, for no reason, Franklin whirled the camera around 360 degrees while two people were having an ordinary conversation. I suspect he must have been as bored by then as I was.
    • 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
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Its crass good humor makes it an enjoyable, reasonably faithful but over-the-top successor to the original.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    There are usually good reasons why a movie gets shelved for more than a year, however well-acted it may be and however well-meaning its message. Many are on view in Penelope.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    Doris Day will be 89 in two weeks, which makes her exactly half a century too old to play the lead in Admission. That’s a pity, as perhaps only she could have done it justice – if it had been made in 1958.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A question: If you hire actresses from England, Kansas, Ireland and Michigan, shouldn't someone teach them all to do believable Southern accents -- and remind them to keep doing those accents as the film goes on?
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Characterizations are rudimentary, performances dull.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    This movie is made by and for people who don't care about good storytelling.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    This might all have been silly fun -- as it was in the 1999 version -- except for the carelessness of the whole picture.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    xXx
    Can I admit XXX is as deep as a Petri dish and as well-characterized as a telephone book but still say it was a guilty pleasure? Because I have to confess, when special agent Xander Cage tossed two detonators onto a mountainside and outran the ensuing avalanche on a snowboard, I was digging the action.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Lawrence Toppman
    By riffing off two iconic American narratives of the last 35 years, "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos," it has changed the template for animation, making a timely film that still deals with timeless children's themes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Carrey rolls his eyes and waggles his arms, and Leoni keeps up with him while pushing less hard. He externalizes, she internalizes, and the balance works as it might in a good marriage.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Without Gibson, this soufflé would fall pancake-flat.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe attempt light romantic comedy in A Good Year, and the results are as grindingly discordant as a punk band writing a suite of waltzes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A sometimes clever, sometimes clumsy movie.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The Girl Next Door is to "Risky Business" what near-beer is to beer. If you're desperate for a mild buzz, you might make it do.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The main message of this drama is driven home with emotional hammer blows.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I think the movie intends to empower all of its female characters, but it ends up chaining them to stale, timeworn ideas.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Without a philosophical payoff, without characters whose relationships resonate in our hearts, without explanations for situations that beg for explanations, what are we left with? To quote another great writer of battle scenes: "a tale full of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying -- nothing."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The conversion to 3-D has left the movie looking grim and dim. Almost every scene, whether indoors by candlelight or upon the open ocean, seems awkwardly dark; competent 3-D effects don’t compensate for this distraction. Equally drab are the performances, except for Gleeson and Whishaw.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture doesn't inspire or reward high expectations, but it raises smiles.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    All true, but not new -- and not especially compelling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    When Elle Woods watches "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" for inspiration in the middle of Legally Blonde 2, you have to admire the nerve of the people who made this comedy: "Smith" is to LB2 what jumbo jets are to ultralight gliders. But nerve is all they've got.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    If you're going to serve up a half-baked idea, you might as well have Sigourney Weaver do the cooking.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You cannot always judge movies by their titles, but you sometimes get good advice. The sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, supplies its own five-word review.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film seems like a loose and uncredited updating of "The Great Man Votes," a more serious 1939 entry.
    • 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
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The warm performances give the film momentum, but writer Audrey Wells and director Peter Chelsom (who chops dance sequences clumsily) often stumble.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Bertino directs at a funereal pace. Speedman remains comatose, though Tyler flickers fitfully to life. The mournful look on her face suggests she's remembering the days when she was given more psychologically complex scripts, such as "Armageddon."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    You must cast aside all rules of our space-time continuum to appreciate a fantasy like this one, though even then you might consider 130 minutes to be too much of a good thing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bits of welcome weirdness creep in, mainly through the too-brief character of Ghantt’s intense fiancée (Kate McKinnon). But Hess has little time for wit.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Man on Fire is as ludicrous as "John Q," "Virtuosity" and "Out of Time," yet substantially more violent, artificial, self-conscious and dull.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The acting is adequate, though Lohan looks more like someone who has just gotten out of high school than college.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    The Giver has an unsavory reek of box-office calculation about it, from the overworked “teens-must-save-a-world-ruined-by-adults” plot to the casting of pop star Taylor Swift in a small and irrelevant role.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    While it doesn’t recapture the black magic of the original, it delivers the requisite terror in the last half-hour after a slow and ambiguous start.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I didn't believe most of what I saw until the last 20 minutes, and whaddaya know? This thriller finally cast the spell it had been trying to achieve and lifted itself above the pack of late-summer, clean-out-the-studio-attic releases.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When Rock of Ages remembers it's supposed to be a cartoon, it's a noisy, sweaty, giddy ball of fun. When it suddenly develops a conscience or tries to process a thought deeper than "I love rock 'n' roll," it trips over its own feet.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    We waited 10 years for a sequel to the movie version of "The X-Files" – and the best Chris Carter could do is The X-Files: I Want to Believe?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Lil' Bow Wow deserves a better-made film than this pleasant, sloppily assembled fairy tale.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Souza and Shelton throw in all kinds of ridiculous devices they learned in second-year screenwriting class.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    As Disney-fied as "Pinocchio," barely challenging the images Americans have treasured for 150 years.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Just Will Ferrell doing the same man-boy shtick he usually does.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a drab jumble of meaningless action, dull characters and animation as flat and superficial as its story.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    As a vegetarian, I'm grateful that Around the Bend -- an extended commercial for KFC passing itself off as a heartwarming family drama -- is a loser.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Melvin Van Peebles wrote and directed the biting "Don't Play Us Cheap" 30 years ago to complain about racial stereotyping in films. But Hollywood never listened. It kept playing African -Americans cheap in mainstream comedies, whether the directors were white or black. Deliver Us From Eva -- is one of the worst recent offenders.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Campion has no clue how to sustain suspense and no actress of the caliber of Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet (her recent leading ladies) in the main role.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Johansson, hair dyed brown to make her seem less glamorous, spices up this bland role.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    He (Horn) gets so deeply into the whirling mind of Oskar Schell, dominating every scene he's in – which is almost every scene, period – that he lifts the movie out of the realm of "Forrest Gump"-like emotional manipulation.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's hampered further by a piece of star miscasting unmatched in recent memory: Julia Roberts' archly evil queen remains as jaw-droppingly dull as her costumes are jaw-droppingly gaudy.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The real stars are the orchestrators and musicians who swaddled Spacey in a gorgeous blanket of sound.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    If they decided not to give us Camelot, did they have to leave us with so Camelittle?
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Goodman exudes doltish kindness, Dillon a hapless gentleness, Reiser a vulgar buoyancy. Douglas turns in the best performance.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture isn't nearly enough on any level: not scary, not suspenseful, not complex, not atmospheric.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 88 Lawrence Toppman
    A crackling rendition of Dan Brown's novel, siphoning off unneeded fat and fancy and leaving us with a streamlined train of a picture that never stops moving.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Any story from the "Patch Adams" team of director Tom Shadyac and writer Steve Oedekerk is bound to end up floating in a soup of moral homilies, and "Bruce" does.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film, which covers Graham's life roughly from the ages of 16 to 30, presents us with characters so uncomplicated they belong in a pop-up book.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Brooks has long since mastered his whiny/neurotic persona, and Douglas does a passable version of giddy craziness. The young folks get lost in the shuffle, which leaves Suchet to steal the show with his fey, moist-eyed delivery. In this case, that's petty larceny.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The Farrellys have always danced along the tightrope between funny-disgusting and just plain gross in "There's Something About Mary" and "Shallow Hal." If the ratio was about 50-50 at the best of times, it's now 30-70 in favor of crassness.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Tries with intermittent success to juggle two stories.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    See not only the original "Detective" but the Steve Martin-Bernadette Peters film "Pennies From Heaven." If you insist on giving Downey and company $8 instead, you'll be getting wooden nickels from Hell.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Studios can release movies even more insultingly dumb, crudely assembled and cheaply produced than this one, though such an achievement will require some effort.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    If you have a strong stomach, a weak sense of disbelief, an active interest in Denzel Washington or Angelina Jolie and a temporarily inactive brain, you may enjoy it awhile.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It paints its world in pastels, but the subject cries out for vivid colors.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The "Puppetoonish" characters in Hoodwinked didn't bother me: They're primitive and inexpressive, but their personalities come through. In fact, the problem is that their personalities do come through: They're all wackily sarcastic, unfunny nonentities.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Not even the repeated sight of Jessica Alba in a bikini, the camera caressing her like the eyes of a strip-club patron, can lift this leaden refuse off the ocean floor.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A middlebrow hybrid that should satisfy most fans of spy movies without blowing them away.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Embodies all that's wrong with the sellout culture of Hollywood.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When will the people who adapt comic books into films realize that less can be so much more?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    I expected Get Rich or Die Tryin' to be gritty, scary, maybe disturbing or thought-provoking. What I didn't realize was that it would be so dull that any other effect it could have made was wiped away.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Watchable family films are so rare these days that we shouldn't put a stake through one with so much heart.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I heard a moviegoer calls this drama "a feel-good `American Beauty,'" which is like saying "a hot bowl of gazpacho" -- the point has completely been missed.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A painfully honest film, yet it's also painfully slow, drawn-out and simplistic in too many spots.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The writer-producer-director of American Dreamz makes nearly every mistake in the satirical book. His targets are either too easy or too dated. He's inconsistent in his attitudes toward them. His stereotypes are stale.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    This installment, which is subtitled "Give Us Your Money, Sheep," really isn't a Pirates of the Caribbean movie at all.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A feel-nothing movie – a series of disconnected, implausible incidents that end as arbitrarily as they began, in an effort to inspire emotions the picture never justifies.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's common in Hollywood to describe a disappointing film this way: "Well, it certainly looks great!"
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Speaking of sounding Southern, I have to admit that the accents didn't match, and half the actors couldn't even do accents. But since we all sound alike down here, that's no big deal.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Crowe likes to work with large ensembles...But he doesn't know when we've had enough, however interesting they all may be; he's like a guy who decorates a Christmas tree with so many ornaments that you can't see the foliage.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I admire Cameron Crowe for daring to write and direct a movie as strange as Vanilla Sky. I lament the casting of Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz in the leads.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You could dismiss it, as I do, as an impenetrable and insufferable ball of pseudo-philosophic twaddle.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It requires an almost childlike faith to get into the spirit of Stroke of Genius, an old-fashioned willingness to believe that the world was once this way - and might, somehow, become this way again.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A good critic likes nothing better than to go in with low expectations and be proven wrong. EuroTrip makes me a good critic. I'd have sworn I'd never laugh again at somebody assaulting a mime, but this goofy comedy makes even that ancient concept fresh.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Ferrell's ideally suited to man-boy characters, and that's what Phil Weston is in "Kicking."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A roller-coaster ride that goes on far too long, ends with a colossal crash, then follows that wreck with a lecture explaining the physics of the machinery. My head was spinning for multiple reasons, none of them pleasing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The strongest parts of the film aren't these money shots, but the buildup to the gunplay.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Audrey Wells's script and Turteltaub's presentation ring true just often enough to prevent the comedy from descending forever into Cutesy-Wutesy Hell.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    A movie that's smarter than its trailer - in fact, totally different in tone and content? That's news, and it's why The Break-Up is a pleasant surprise to the open-minded.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The setup doesn't make sense from the get-go.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The Rock isn't always comfortable delivering dialogue. He's handsome, physically sculpted and farther along dramatically than Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Conan the Barbarian," but he's still learning the simple acting skills an action hero needs.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Thornton and Heder perform at about half their maximum wattage, which isn't enough to power the inert script.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Has the sex appeal of a Road Runner cartoon, one-tenth the laughs and equal plausibility.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Though the movie's a shade shorter than the first two, it feels longer.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Lisa Krueger bends over backward to make everyone happy.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers would have been better advised to stick with the Zeroes and spend less time making up heroes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It draws you into its grim and mysterious world through the first half of the movie, then falls apart like a house of cards in a hurricane.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The sequel to the 2008 hit “Twilight” makes no effort to satisfy outsiders. It's strictly for devotees who won't balk at plot absurdities, clunky dialogue and patchy characterizations.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If inciting boredom is the worst sin a filmmaker can commit, being timid is right behind it. Whether I agree with your point of view or not, I want to hear it.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Willis, who'll turn 50 a week from Saturday, has this kind of hero down pat. He may never again get or demand the complicated dramatic roles I think he could handle, but he's well-cast.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The whole thing seems to have been faked up for our amusement, like a circus freak show.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Satire's funniest when it's true, but Rock exaggerates and mistimes too many jokes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Many movies require us to turn off our brains, and many rely on clichés and/or coincidences. It takes a special kind of shamelessness to do both, and Into the Storm has that in spades.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    What seemed laugh-out-loud fresh in its unpredictable rudeness (at least intermittently) is now chuckle-to-yourself funny with about the same regularity.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Goes wrong in less than two minutes, which may be a world record for sequels to decent movies.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I recommend “Batman v. Superman” to anyone who thought director Zack Snyder showed too much restraint in “300,” who felt “Man of Steel” whisked by too briefly or who wondered how Ben Affleck could be made to seem one of America’s most animated actors while clenching his jaw as tight as a Christmas nutcracker.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Where "Wedding" introduced us to a Greek family most of us had never seen before, "Connie" plays out like a clumsy episode of "Laverne and Shirley:" familiar, phony and forgettable.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    This picture has an ugly habit of humiliating Bridget, which "Diary" did not.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The Bronze is one of those faux-naughty comedies that simply doesn’t have the courage of its lack of convictions.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    What comes from the mouth of Johnny Depp...not the crucial spark of wit or insight that could encourage us to spend two hours with this cruel bore.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Reflective, deliberate, building gradually to a climax that left me touched.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Polly works best when writer-director John Hamburg gets his mind out of the water closet, and it's in there about two-fifths of the way. The rest of the time, he's assembling a hit-and-miss comedy with reasonable numbers of laughs and lots of personality from its two leads.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers' ineptitude is staggering.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I groaned at cliches and grinned at jokes in roughly equal measure.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Monaghan gives a solid performance, and Billy Bob Thornton has sarcastically funny bits as an FBI agent.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    John Hancock must be the best filmmaker working in LaPorte County, Ind.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 33 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s hard to stay connected to a disaster film where the biggest disaster is the script.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The casting is weaker this time. Watching Peck crumble under fear and doubt was like seeing a skyscraper implode; Schreiber's more of a whipped puppy for most of the film.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 88 Lawrence Toppman
    Gandolfini's fans expect something quirky whenever he shows up, and they'll get what they've bargained for.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Smith has called friend Ben Affleck his muse, and this picture is just as bland and superficially pleasant as its star.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Once again, something that might have been a faintly amusing sketch on "Saturday Night Live" -- maybe even a tolerable 30-minute short, had the writing been more clever -- gets tortured into the shape of a feature film.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The extraordinary canine performances in Shaggy Dog and "Eight Below" lead me to wonder whether Disney could dispense with two-legged creatures altogether, until further notice.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Delivers more of what the original promised, with the crudity index up one notch and the humor index down quite a few.
    • 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."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I rarely pinpoint the exact moment when a promising action movie turns into a pulpy, asinine mess, but I can do that with Total Recall.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Isn't a bad movie, until John Woo remembers that he's John Woo and we remember that Ben Affleck is Ben Affleck.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film doesn't lose its way emotionally; it's full of great monologues about loss and responsibility.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn't really a narrative: It's a collection of mostly unrelated scenes, about half of which pay off.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's theoretically possible to make a fascinating film about a thieving, self-indulgent, freebasing, treacherous scumbag who pimps his girlfriend to a gangster and contributes nothing to society. Wonderland isn't that film.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    OK, so no plot, really.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    By the self-contradictory and ludicrous end, I had the mixed satisfaction of being proved right in my disappointment. (Di Pego wrote the equally silly "Instinct" and "Angel Eyes," so I can't say I was surprised.)
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    "Man" is like a sour, half-formed version of a TV sitcom full of dislikable, disconnected characters.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    As lame as a three-legged mule.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    As a movie, it's a mixed bag with a huge amount of heart.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Ronan, however, transcends the script. She's innocent yet wise, gentle yet forceful. She's the one thing in this picture that shows how great a movie The Lovely Bones might have been, had the people who made it believed in the book with all their hearts.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The last 40 minutes descend further and further into nonsense, until we're in an underground grotto where Jeremy Irons plays a furry, cannibalistic albino with psychic powers and super-strength.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Though it begins as a praiseworthy depiction of a unique man, it turns into a formulaic disappointment long before the overly violent end... Comic-book adaptations must remain open to sequels, but this kind of coy cowardice is despicable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Ron Howard, who’s tied to this franchise like a man trapped in a decaying house by a huge mortgage, tries without success to blow life into David Koepp’s script.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Just a great, empty wind machine.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    May wrestle with big ideas, but it does so through a succession of small emotional moments.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Molly Shannon's peachy-keen attitude and spunky patience win us over to the side of Mary Katherine Gallagher.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A Frankenstein's monster of a movie: clumsy, patched together from parts that don't align properly, desperate to be loved, destined to be chased by mobs with pitchforks - those will be the critics - until it stumbles into its grave.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The leads, who were born six weeks apart in 1937, have remarkable hare-and-tortoise chemistry.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's blah. Worse than blah, actually, because it's so stupid.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    All of Barnyard is odd. Oddly funny much of the way, oddly serious when it makes room for the early death of a beloved character or the hushed birth of another, oddly musical with its melange of hip-hop and reggae and hard rock and bluegrass.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Reviewers sometimes insult actors by saying they don't vary their expressions across an entire movie. But until Knowing, I never thought that could literally be true. Nicolas Cage does widen his eyes with about 15 minutes left in the film.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Performances are rather beside the point in a movie where dogs carry the acting burden, but Perabo is especially bland.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Inside this film, a poignant and personal story is struggling to get out. But it's couched in such awkward sentiments that it can't emerge.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Everyone in the cast treads water, acting-wise -- there's nothing else to do -- except for Latifah, who brings passion to her work.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It took four years to come up with this? Someone needed that long to assemble this patchy, recycled collection of gags about stinky butts, superfreaks, finger-wide blunts and racial cliches?
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    This film might have been daringly funny 10 years ago, even with its broadest elements intact. Now it's comfortable as old slippers and unthreatening as a sleeping kitten.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    So here I am, trying to like The Purge because I’m drawn to its simple and horrific premise, and it’s treating me (and you) as if we have the IQs of lawn ornaments.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lawrence Toppman
    A pleasant, snappy, by-the-numbers buddy comedy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Atmosphere goes only so far in a story where the major characters fade from memory.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Gosling's been better elsewhere but delivers an adequate performance. McGregor and Watts seem baffled most of the time, as well they might be. Forster keeps us from drifting off with inventive camerawork; in this case, that's like saying a hideous suit has well-stitched lapels.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The script by Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen and the direction by Steven Brill have a careless, never-gave-a-damn feel that's as insulting to viewers as the film is dull.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie, first preposterously entertaining and then just preposterous, makes James Bond films look as logical as Euclidean geometry.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The final failure comes in a climax that defies science, good taste and common sense.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Michael Bay surrounds them with action scenes cut as rapidly and irritatingly as a Gap commercial. At points, we can't tell one darting car from another, a drug triggerman from a cop. [7 April 1995, p.1F]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The film's filled with inconsequential scenes and supporting characters who add useless atmosphere or by-the-book diversity.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Weak, obligatory stabs at humor make it more generic than it might've been.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Few modern thrillers aspire to look this striking.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It begins as energetic, clichéd nonsense and ends as irritating, clichéd nonsense.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Ivan Reitman used to know how to tell a silly story, back around the time of "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters."
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Most painfully, the semi-alert Owen and the leaden Aniston go together like sausages and syrup.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 88 Lawrence Toppman
    If you've been seduced by Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage version of "The Phantom of the Opera," you'll fall in love with the gorgeous, splendidly cast film.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    On a simplistic level, the movie works as a revenge fantasy...Yet anybody who thought about the movie for two minutes would have to conclude it couldn't happen.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Emotionally stultifying and brain-dead.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    The most frustrating thing about the movie (as with “Cloud Atlas”) is that it could’ve been memorable, had the Wachowskis turned their vision over to more talented storytellers.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I can't explain the film's main problem without giving plot points away; suffice to say that, after decades of watching Earth, Klaatu's team of observers has missed a crucial event you and I witness every day. I can tell you about the secondary problem, though: too much money.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Hints heavily at its One Big Secret from the get-go, then waits for you to figure it out miles ahead of the not-too-bright characters.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The plot of "Nights" will occupy only 10 or 12 brain cells.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie hasn’t one character or sequence more memorable than the next. It’s as violent, humorless and brutally efficient as a Stalinist purge, a juggernaut of slaughter and smashing that stuns the senses and leaves nothing behind in the memory.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    The film whirls by in a satisfying torrent of chases, escapes and discoveries.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Lee sleepwalks through his part, even in romantic scenes with equally bland Cameron Richardson.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Barry Levinson leaned on Robin Williams the way a one-ring circus relies on its lone acrobat. So they're jointly responsible for the film's utter failure.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Predictable but agreeable time-waster.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A fairy tale full of fascist, Bible-thumping straights, self-deluded and pathetic gay people who deny their impulses, and two honest lesbians who triumph.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    This movie is an act of hubris so huge that, in Alexander's time, it would draw lightning bolts from contemptuous gods. Today it will get sniggers from stunned critics and a collective yawn from a public unlikely to share Stone's egomania.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Except for a surreal moment when Fat Albert meets the real Bill Cosby, who tells his cartoon creation he must go back into the television, nothing inventive occurs.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Elementary school-age boys may well be delighted, but it offers not a scintilla of stimulation for anyone else.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A marginally above average crime caper with one big plot twist that's pretty tough to believe but mildly interesting to consider.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    I don't know if Nispel and Scott Kosar, who make their feature film debuts here, are the worst director and writer in the world, though they might well represent the United States if anyone holds a competition. I do know they deliver a total of zero laughs, scares or surprises in this remake of the infamously creepy 1974 picture.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    By the pseudo-shocking end, we're half-entertained by the dedicated cast and half-lulled to sleep by the dull, overfamiliar sounds they make.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Like so many sequels, The Chronicles of Riddick demonstrates Hollywood's law of diminishing returns: Its quality is inversely proportional to its budget.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    Schwarzenegger, weathered and ironic, strides through the film with old-fashioned authority. Except for Clarke, who walks an ambiguous line between heroism and sinister monomania, only Big Arnie leaves the slightest impression after the credits roll.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The only interesting character is the dragon, who grows from an adorably dependent baby to a protective, intelligent adult voiced by Rachel Weisz.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 12 Lawrence Toppman
    The most catastrophic misfire in a dreadful movie season.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    What could have been an all-occasion Hallmark card turns out to be an emotionally genuine love letter to a young man who transformed the town of Anderson, S.C., in the 1970s.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Does David Arquette have a career? If so, what's he doing in this unintentionally hilarious gangster movie?
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 33 Lawrence Toppman
    The rest of the film couldn’t convince a sixth-grader it might happen. CIA agents search a home for evidence but leave the front door unlocked and unguarded, so Devereaux sneaks in and knocks them out.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    He (Murphy) can't make chicken a la king from the chicken manure supplied by the writers.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    This frantic scrambling to create a credible fantasy is typical of the script by Aline Brosh McKenna and Robert Harling, which whips the "opposites attract" recipe into a souffl? that never rises.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You'll have to swallow this gooey confection whole or spit it out after the first couple of bites.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Without a plausible script, crisp dialogue or rounded characters, the majority of the picture will sag gracelessly.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    It's the cheapest looking, least exciting, least funny Chan project I've ever seen.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 12 Lawrence Toppman
    It's an uncoordinated, flailing hodgepodge of music videos, chases, crashes and moronic plot twists.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A miler trying to run a marathon, a fair middleweight idea trying to deliver heavyweight thrills.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Martin, who plays Clouseau and wrote the script with Len Blum, has completely mishandled the character.
    • 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
    • 38 Metascore
    • 0 Lawrence Toppman
    Bad actors, bad music and bad plot make it a hellish bummer.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Gothika was supposed to provide proof that she (Berry) could carry a film as a leading lady, but it doesn't. That's not entirely her fault, since nobody can fetch a drink of water in a sieve.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The story's so sloppy that it contradicts itself constantly.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Affleck simply wasn't meant to play action heroes or tough guys. He's about as tough as tapioca pudding.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Since there can be no suspense, the point is to enjoy the hewing of limbs and the severing of necks, to delight in chopped-off fingers and gouged-out eyes. The title characters are embodiments of utter evil, right?
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Recycling is a good idea in principle, but certain products should be sent directly to a landfill without re-use. Be Cool, the feeble film follow-up to "Get Shorty," is one of them.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The Critic's Code of Honor forbids me from explaining in detail why the storytelling is so inept, because I'd have to spoil the silly surprises. So I'll say only this: You can interpret the climax two ways, and both will probably infuriate you.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The special effects excite at first but wear out their welcome.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 33 Lawrence Toppman
    What do you get? A reboot of "The Lone Ranger” that metaphorically drags this noble story – and literally drags its title character – through a steaming heap of horse droppings.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Wanda Sykes and John Michael Higgins have energy as Evan's aides, and Jonah Hill (hot off "Knocked Up") gets laughs as a sycophantic researcher, but Graham has no chance to show what she can do.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Vondie Curtis-Hall has managed to top (or should I say "bottom"?) his last theatrical release, Mariah Carey's "Glitter," with a movie that offers not one praiseworthy moment: not a scene, not a performance, not a technical achievement, not even a line of dialogue.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture lasts 111 minutes, partly because of numerous false endings. Now, that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Chaotic, sometimes funny.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Plays like some uninformed seventh-grader's view of gay men.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Yet even the language, finally, becomes as inauthentic as the accents.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The outtakes prove Analyze That could have been even worse.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The story's sweet, however stale, and many performers have energy. But screenwriters Alonzo Brown and Kim Watson drain the reality out of it.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Folks wanting to hear the usual New Testament message will be pleased; others may feel that the tension dissolves in homilies and wish the main character weren't led around by a blonde-haired little angel in a white dress.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The biggest irony of this project is that it was made by a company that calls itself Original Film but has produced perhaps the least original movie of the year so far.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Kingsley gets the film's one big emotional scene and makes it count.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You can get all of this free on television any week, so why pay for it?
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Andie MacDowell bursts out of her good-girl cocoon in Crush to become a bright, bad butterfly: drinking, smoking, flirting with Ecstasy, having moaning sex on a tombstone just minutes after the funeral of a friend.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Speed Racer is chaotic as a six-ring circus, gaudy as a transvestites convention and soullessly cute as a robot puppy.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Puts more miles on plot that was worn out long ago.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Epps emerges mostly unscathed, and Dutton gives an excellent performance; he's as able before the camera as he is inept behind it.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 12 Lawrence Toppman
    The worst horror sequel of this or many another summer.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Arnold Schwarzenegger, move over: Your dramatic replacement has arrived.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    It's hard to fault a script that keeps finding new dilemmas for characters and rewards attentive viewers with in-jokes.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    What starts as a cute premise crashes faster than a skateboard with an oak branch shoved between its wheels.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Diary rather sloppily blends melodrama and spiritual uplift with crass comedy, sometimes in the same scene.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Pan
    Writer Simon Fuchs begins with a reasonable idea – we’re all likely to be curious about the origins of Peter Pan – and does unreasonable things ever after.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    I also wondered how the movie got the title Cradle 2 the Grave. Nobody used the phrase; it didn't apply to any characters; it didn't even turn up in a song. Maybe the filmmakers were saving "Rotten 2 the Core" for the sequel.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn't nitpicking. Every bit of the tale is as full of holes as a wool sweater at a moth convention, and Shyamalan telegraphs each potential surprise.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The yarn itself is a winning one.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Partly a travelogue for the Greek islands, partly a simplistic love story, and generally a rehash of the Oscar-winning "Mediterraneo," as if we needed even the first one.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The truly appalling thing, though, is the stupidity of the screenplay by Richard Kelly.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Williamson deals mostly in cliches, as if high schoolers weren't smart enough to appreciate anything subtler.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This giddy summer extravaganza does deliver aerial thrills with eye-dazzling visuals and ear-smacking (though beautifully designed) sound.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    When George Lucas last pulled off an original idea for a feature film, Bill Clinton was still thought of by many voters as overweight and chaste.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Doug Liman and a trio of writers eventually forget the rules they set up and hurl combatants to places they could never have seen or even known about: Who'd willingly project himself into the middle of a Chechnyan war zone?
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Far be it from me to spoil the secret, but I will say this: The last reel should've been sent straight to the city dump.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Interesting and idiotic elements almost exactly balance each other.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Self-respecting filmgoers will find this a "Walk" to dismember.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Universal Studios has unloaded its entire monster catalog in this movie, which is aimed at people with the attention span of a kindergartner. Shreds of coherence and character have been sacrificed to fangs and fisticuffs at every chance.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It starts as enjoyable B-movie pulp, degenerates to camp, then turns into laughable lunacy.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The dialogue in Craig Mazin’s script crackles at its best, and the supporting characters (led by Robert Patrick as a grizzled skip chaser) have bizarrely funny moments.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It falls back on straightforward horror tactics, executed competently but without flair. It takes liberties with the second half of the book, including one big change that will leave fans of the novel growling with disbelief and disapproval.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Reverge Anselmo has created a movie of ineptness so perfect and unified as to boggle the mind.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Errors in logic will delight the attentive.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Trying to make sense of this shaggy dog story is like climbing a mountain with glass-smooth sides and quarter-inch toeholds.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Puts a fun, frothy spin on the 1960s TV show before sinking back into the mundane.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 88 Lawrence Toppman
    Beach blends all the performing styles smoothly: LL's blithe coolness, Blalock's sultry ambiguity, Liotta's slow-boiling intensity, Ejiofor's dapper amiability, Phifer's brooding intensity.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bullock good, but King reigns in movie sequel.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's neither dull nor stimulating, neither off-putting nor engaging.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Lawrence Toppman
    It's the poster child for bad taste, not to mention bad construction.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The story introduces a mystery halfway through to keep the plot from running out of steam, but neither its set-up nor its resolution provide much drama.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    We don't need a discussion of plot in a review of a movie made from a video game, do we? Nor do we care whether the characters are complicated (no), the acting is sophisticated (no), the direction is competent (no) or the camerawork is clever (no).
    • 34 Metascore
    • 75 Lawrence Toppman
    Could pass for any serial killer movie except for some pertinent philosophizing about the nature of evil and the operations of the soul.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    When the film stumbles to its last and silliest conclusion, you realize much of the plot line was unnecessary -- or couldn't have happened at all!
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Offers an amusing break to the undemanding.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching this is like sitting by a pinsetter at a bowling alley. That's too bad, because the picture had potential.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A mind-numbing carnival of violence.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I realize fantasy-based action movies aren't supposed to be as complex as William Gibson's novels. But do they have to be this simple-minded?
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's not only an ultraviolent, ludicrously inconsistent rip-off of Bradbury's idea, but it poisons the well for future efforts.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 12 Lawrence Toppman
    I do have one overpowering Y2K fear: that Hollywood will keep belching out movies as excruciatingly dull, brutal, mindless and overlong as End of Days.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Harden and Tierney waste performances of moderate complexity, Baranski adds her usual brand of silky sarcasm and Rip Torn provides a welcome presence as Cole's jolly campaign manager.

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