Lawrence Toppman
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For 1,419 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 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lawrence Toppman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Exorcist
Lowest review score: 0 Waist Deep
Score distribution:
1,419 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    You know the feeling you get when you make a meal of two mildly savory appetizers that don't quite go together, and you leave you wishing you'd eaten one hefty entrée? That's Julie & Julia. Half an hour later, I wanted to watch another movie.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film is always fun, but as Carroll might have observed, it’s not much of a muchness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It seems perverse to say a musical is at its best when nobody is singing, but Nine is a perverse kind of musical.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's grim, funny in one sequence about shapeshifters, vivid in moments of violent action, nearly devoid of plot twists and marked by long patches where Harry, Ron and Hermione camp in the woods or by the sea or near a frozen lake and ponder What It All Means.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    He (Chomet) keeps us waiting for a narrative payoff that will equal that visual splendor, and he makes us think that many small inspired touches will add up to something memorable. But when he opens his hand at last, there's nothing in it.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A hymn to that beautiful city, is among his least consequential efforts. It's attractive and easy to slip into, but he didn't put enough thought into the design, and it soon falls apart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Like all his movies except "Badlands," a taut 1973 debut, "Tree" looks gorgeous, has philosophic ambitions, meanders wherever Malick's imagination takes him and stays dramatically inert.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film has a huge heart, and it's in the right place.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture doesn't inspire or reward high expectations, but it raises smiles.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Creature is refreshingly and intentionally silly, in an era when horror has devolved mostly into torture porn and high-tech, computer-generated assaults on our senses.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    So what's the motivation for the earnest, handsome, well-acted, unenlightening, workaday J. Edgar in 2011?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching Arthur Christmas is like doing your holiday shopping on Dec. 23: fun and frantic, exciting and maddening.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    At times, the animatronic effects used to create the wolves are too obvious, and the one-by-one kill-off plotline employed in so many horror films gives The Grey a plodding predictability. At nearly two hours, it's also too long.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Where Collins' book paid careful attention to detail, Ross pays far too little. Characters never become exhausted or desperate or gaunt; they don't even get chapped lips or broken nails.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a brisk but restful breeze blowing through our heads, requiring no thought whatsoever – in fact, thoughts are an impediment to enjoying it – and touching us just a bit in unexpected ways.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This visually engaging, well-acted story held me for an hour as tightly as anything I've seen this year. But as we neared the climax, I realized only a miracle could resolve the contradictions of the tale – and we didn't get one.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Nothing in the longer Frankenweenie is new.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Rob Cohen shoots believable action sequences, too. Nobody jumps the gap between skyscrapers or falls 40 feet, then gets up and runs away.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Where the musical falls short is – well, music. Hooper's quest for realism leads singers to sob, choke off sentences or drop into inaudible whispers during grand melodies. A musical ought to convey emotions too large for speech: sorrow, joy, love that can't be expressed in ordinary ways. Turning songs into vocalized dramatic monologues misses the point.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Atmospheric, well-acted, pointless story.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Whether or not you think of this as a knockoff, it has a ripeness “Twilight” never did.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    For a while, it’s fun to watch Bardem camp around in his rose-tinted glasses and stuck-my-finger-in-a-socket hairdo.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    Whether you take to it will depend on whether you consider “high-octane” or “nonsense” the more important word.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Aspires to rise above the conventional drugs-and-action genre and succeeds about half the time.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Adults will wish the movie were less simplistic, obvious, clumsily plotted and shallowly characterized. But what are adults doing in the theater at all?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    On the positive side, the four Worm Guys haven't lost their squiggly charm, and Rip Torn is always welcome as MIB mastermind Zed. On the minus side, you get two Johnny Knoxvilles, one of them a tiny head that protrudes from the big one's shoulder.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Cuba Gooding Jr. lands on his behind more often than a one-legged figure skater, and the preschooler next to me giggled every time.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The acting is solid.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of the time the movie limps amiably toward its feeble conclusion.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A loosely woven crazy quilt of other, better movies.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Tries with intermittent success to juggle two stories.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Even if they're on the side of the angels, 106 minutes is a long time to keep this sermon going.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Goodman exudes doltish kindness, Dillon a hapless gentleness, Reiser a vulgar buoyancy. Douglas turns in the best performance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    If we had a story we could believe, we'd be in stitches.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The characters are so conventional that the movie has nowhere interesting to go, even when a corpse complicates affairs.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Offers an amusing break to the undemanding.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Henry James' tangled, turgid prose always seems to me like a thicket of thorn trees -- so I should be grateful when somebody does the job for me on film. But I'm not - at least, in the case of The Golden Bowl.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Like the star's acting, the movie is bland, full of good intentions and generally as stiff as a fireplace poker.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Remains as flat as the Texas plains.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Know how to tell if a war movie is mediocre? An outspoken bigot, usually a Southerner, abuses a patient member of an oppressed minority -- the Asian recruit, the African American or, in the case of Windtalkers, a pair of Navajo men from Arizona in his platoon.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    When there's no dialogue, this film stays right in the pipeline. When characters open their mouths, it ends up in the tripeline.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn't a cheerful movie. But director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga tell these stories with authority and verve, making 2½ hours zip by.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Lil' Bow Wow deserves a better-made film than this pleasant, sloppily assembled fairy tale.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The dangers in the lives of these Catholic teens are self-made; they spring from small-town boredom and lead to a conclusion that's meant to be emotionally crushing but is only slightly affecting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    For all the satisfying details in the script, the big picture remains hopelessly and intentionally trite.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Is this just silly filmmaking, or have Ivory and Jhabvala succumbed to the Francophobia that gave us "freedom fries" in the congressional cafeteria?
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The whole thing seems to have been faked up for our amusement, like a circus freak show.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Predictable but agreeable time-waster.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Molly Shannon's peachy-keen attitude and spunky patience win us over to the side of Mary Katherine Gallagher.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Confidence is "The Sting" without period appeal, humor, the charisma of Robert Redford or Paul Newman and the quietly seething villainy of Robert Shaw.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    (The filmmaker) never does achieve the breakthrough with her father that she and we hoped for.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Wrestles with big questions, gets the upper hand during the first hour, then loses its grip. By the end, it's flat on its back on the mat.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching this comedy is like going out with an attractive blind date who runs out of conversation after a quarter of an hour.
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A picture sufficiently shallow that you'll discover everything that lies beneath it well before the end.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The best work comes from Timothy Dalton as the grizzled, Scots-accented head of the Pinkertons.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Ben Younger has sketched the foreground of this picture but never gets around to filling in the details.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The whole thing's as phony as a funeral oration from a pastor who never knew the deceased.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The yarn itself is a winning one.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The Observer won't let me get stoned before a review, so I'll never know what How High would be like after a big fat blunt. Without one, it's sloppy, broadly funny in spots and chaotic.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Delivers the kind of vengeance fantasy women unhappy with their husbands may want: Vicarious satisfaction, however clumsily delivered, is better than no satisfaction at all. Just be sure to stop by the lobotomy clinic en route to the theater.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a mass of interchangeable moving images, none much more significant than the others, linked to a plot looser than a 2-year-old's shoelaces.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Logan's so carried away by computerized magic that he forgets to make sense.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The dialogue includes double entendres that are rather clever, if you're mentally at the age of 11.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers would have been better advised to stick with the Zeroes and spend less time making up heroes.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The cancer of dishonesty begins to grow half an hour into the film, and it riddles the picture by the end.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The overwrought White Oleander may be middling drama, but if it bears any resemblance to truth (which I doubt), it's a brutal indictment of the L.A. County Department of Social Services.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Someone Like You is from Hollywood's bottomless box of cliches.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The lead actors come from America, Ireland, Iceland, England and South Africa. Who decided they should attempt Russian accents? Neeson forgets his, Ford wavers in and out, and real Russians in the cast make the others sound inauthentic.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It relies on short bursts of Lawrence's zaniness, punctuated by an occasional joke about stinking feet or vile breath. For his admirers, that will be plenty.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The story was primitive, the characters unmemorable, the direction unsophisticated, the writing cliched, the photography and music drab, the pacing uneven, the acting varying from adroitly funny to exaggerated.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Whenever the tires stop screeching and the fenders slamming, the story lands in a brutal pile-up of cliches.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The kids provide all the vitality, but even they've been muffled by the director.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Some movies need a suspension of disbelief. Simone requires a suspension bridge. And as fast as you try to build it, the movie keeps tearing it down.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    After concocting one tense crime at the beginning, the writers can't do any better than to imitate it later.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Darabont and Sloane stumble consistently and fall into the abyss.
    • 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?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Cholodenko doesn't put much activity into her languid movies. Watching them is like sagging back on the couch at a party that has run past 2 a.m., knowing we can leave -- surely nothing exciting is yet to happen? -- but basking lazily in the pleasant atmosphere of half-intoxicated flirtations.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Randolph and Parker play fair with us, setting up a motive early and clearly. Yet whether you buy the motive or find it far-fetched, it almost immediately tells you who's responsible for the death.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I'll sum up my reaction in a word: Yawn.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A typical shallow caper film. Just assume the truth is the exact opposite of what's happening.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The real joke is that the picture's most conventional elements, the superbly acted entanglement between the complicated Orlean and the boastful but unexpectedly thoughtful Laroche, would have made a compelling movie all by themselves -- if written by someone other than Charlie Kaufman.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    As dry as a high school history book, solemn as a funeral service, humorless as a Politburo meeting, bloated as a waterlogged corpse and unbalanced as a bout between a debutante and a sumo wrestler.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    There is indeed a murder - two of them, in fact - and the movie proceeds strictly by the numbers laid down long ago in some by-the-book Hollywood writing class.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The writing is self-consciously literary in a way that probably worked better on the page.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Eventually, though, the movie turns into a "Touched By An Angel" knockoff that dares us not to reach for a hankie while we succumb to its comforting message.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I can't tell you if Red Dragon is more faithful to Harris' book than "Manhunter," which I haven't seen in 16 years. I can tell you it's less artful and atmospheric, a straight-ahead thriller that never rises above superficiality.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    By refusing to take anything seriously (including himself), Shatner lifts the movie to a truly funny level of absurdity. Soon, though, it goes back to being the type of buddy picture Hollywood stamps out like stale cookies.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    sSo pleasingly forgettable that I spent most of the movie mentally casting American actors for the inevitable remake.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Could there really have been a black evangelical church in rural Georgia where half the congregation consisted of whites who stomped, flung their hands in the air and rocked along with their brethren of color 15 years after forced integration? Just asking.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    These pros lift this button-pushing blob of faux folksiness to a higher plane than it deserves.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Peter Berg directs the action sequences cleverly at first. Then he starts to behave as though a hornet flew down his pants at the instant he aimed the camera. He's not much of a dialogue director, but there's not much dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Except for Sanaa Lathan, who sears the screen in a brief appearance, director Carl Franklin and his cast seem to realize they're making a second-tier thriller.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Somewhere inside "School" lurks a heartwarming or hilarious movie, perhaps both.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    After the box-office failures of "The Emperor's New Groove" and "Treasure Planet," I wonder whether Brother Bear might not be the last traditional bit of Disney animation for a while.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Leaving the book aside, how well does the picture fare? Middingly, and in fits and starts.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film works best as an extended "Twilight Zone" episode.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The plot of "Nights" will occupy only 10 or 12 brain cells.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Whether or not you think Starsky & Hutch is funny -- and I did, though intermittently and in spasms -- you have to admire it for being the first openly gay cop-buddy comedy from a big studio.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture isn't nearly enough on any level: not scary, not suspenseful, not complex, not atmospheric.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The new Dawn of the Dead moves along with speed and slick visual style, but it's soulless and anonymous as -- well, a shopping mall.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The special effects look like a high school science project: The giants are clearly rear projections behind the real actors, and that snake is as rubbery as a garden hose.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Beyond the philosophizing, Mean Girls is a standard collection of low comic jokes.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    What do you get if you start with the first great narrative of Western civilization, then remove all the psychological complexity and profound characterization? Troy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    There's plenty to offend Christians and non-Christians in Saved! but little to trouble either: The movie vanishes in memory like morning mist expelled by the first stiff breeze.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie veers from cleverness to crass stupidity. You can never tell whether the next scene will induce loud laughter or contempt; for me, Dodgeball divided right down the middle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The surprising thing about Michael Moore's polemic is not one-sidedness, which was a given: It's his failure to find devastating new weapons of mass destruction to aim at Bush's head. The smoking guns he holds up often fire blanks, and the ones that don't are mostly derringers.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    De-Lovely gets hold of a few long-obscured facts but utterly loses the sense of life between the two world wars. I suppose that's progress, of a sort.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I can't help but feel that a funny movie was waiting to be unearthed amid all this self-congratulation and juvenile prankishness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I longed for something - anything - unexpected to occur. What I wouldn't have given for Wilson, the "Cast Away" volleyball, to float past with his bloody "face" print grinning at the pair!
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The rest of us can pass this by, unless we're such fans of the actors - Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Watts, Laura Dern and Peter Krause - that we'd watch them in anything.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Kingsley gets the film's one big emotional scene and makes it count.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    In the end, coincidence undoes Criminal.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A painfully honest film, yet it's also painfully slow, drawn-out and simplistic in too many spots.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A well-intentioned but overlong Czech drama that comes apart completely in the last 20 minutes?
    • 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.)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The wigs, hats and gowns look realistic, gorgeous and utterly right. In a vapid confection like Stage Beauty, perhaps that's what really counts.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The cast is drab and lifeless, the characterization non-existent, the ending simply impossible. Between our jumps of fright come lumps of time that take forever to pass.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Flaccid remake of a tough 1966 original.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Eastwood has two knacks as a director/producer: He casts smaller roles well, as he did here, and he can establish an atmospheric mood, often an ominous one. But he hasn't much visual style -- for an action star.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a run-of-the-mill action film that falls short of the 1976 original - and, for that matter, the 1959 western "Rio Bravo," which inspired the first film. The characters run out of energy and personality long before they run out of bullets.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Diary rather sloppily blends melodrama and spiritual uplift with crass comedy, sometimes in the same scene.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    "Velocity" told multiple stories, each lasting half an hour, but "Ballad" wears out one tale before its end.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie, first preposterously entertaining and then just preposterous, makes James Bond films look as logical as Euclidean geometry.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie briefly suggests Viola is an incestuous psychotic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The new film, superficial and chaotic, delivers a rough sense of place, a reasonable number of skateboard thrills and very little character development or story.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Pitt coasts through the movie in second gear. I have no idea what he's trying to accomplish with his tight-lipped, low-key performance; maybe he's angling to replace Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible IV."
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Four Brothers immediately joins the Good Idea, Bad Execution club. Hardly anyone seems to care about its believability - not director John Singleton, writers David Elliott and Paul Lovett or some lackadaisical actors.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Characterizations are rudimentary, performances dull.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I just saw The Transporter 2 on the way home from the lobotomy clinic, and boy, is it enjoyable. What a difference a simple operation makes!
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Sean Bean makes a positive impression as the caring but puzzled captain of the flight, though Peter Sarsgaard flies at half-mast as a clumsy air marshal.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Emotions too often get ladled unconvincingly.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I was not disappointed by Dreamer, the most dishonest movie I've seen in a while. Nobody gets a fatal disease before the end credits, but every other clich? is exploited in this fabric of impossibilities, nonsense, stereotypes and shameless tear-jerking.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Breakfast on Pluto, like its cross-dressing heroine, is appealing yet irritating, fun company at times but just as often a bore, occasionally quite touching yet frequently fey and self-indulgent.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    By the way, the other thing that keeps Transamerica from being a mainstream movie is its obsession with penises: showing them, talking about them, placing us in bathrooms and trailers when they're in use.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    King Kong, a labor of love that's visually stunning and moving in its best moments, is also bloated, shallow, clunky, full of illogical scenes and at least an hour too long.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Brooks gives himself the last word, appearing onscreen for the first time amid chorus girls oozing PG-13 pulchritude. "Go home!" he says. "It's over!" Could he be referring to his career?
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Cinematographer Christopher Doyle suffuses the film with color, fire and smoke. But the more lively his images become, the more faded the characters seem.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Miller gives the film's one genuine, focused, committed performance, and you can see why she might even reform a rake of Casanova's standing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The actors were mostly nondescript, sometimes noticeably clumsy. Stunt coordinator Dion Lam brought a bit of freshness to the martial arts choreography, but the rest of the film was as stale as a week-old carp on a fish vendor's pushcart.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A safe same-sex movie the family can embrace. At heart, it's a Britcom: a British situation comedy with superficial characters, mildly naughty humor and a familiarity that may make even homophobes comfy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The stars have chemistry, which may be all that we can hope for in factory-line fluff. But why stack the deck so clumsily?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film robs mermaids of everything exotic and remarkable about them in mythology.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film is a straight concert appearance: No backstage material after a brief introduction, no footage of him in any other context. He's certainly smooth, engaging and likeable onstage, but you won't learn anything about him you didn't already know.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie gives away its shifty-eyed villain almost immediately. What it doesn't give away is why he betrayed his trust, who wants the president dead or what they hope to gain by killing him.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The special effects, with one painful exception, hold up beautifully. But the people have no personalities, the story is unconvincing, and the whole movie is as shallow as the puddle left on a flat roof by a 20-minute shower.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The two stars of Nacho Libre, Jack Black and Jack Black's hair, take different paths.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a self-blunting satire, a toothless attack on fashionistas that twists around tortuously and ends up biting (well, gumming) its own tail.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    My Super Ex-Girlfriend offers us a heroine with phenomenal bone structure and a story with hardly any at all.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    There's nothing outstandingly good or bad about the film.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    On their accounts (Williams/Collette), The Night Listener is compelling viewing-but on their accounts only.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    They've interspersed laugh-out-loud segments with dry, repetitive material.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Besides its title, the movie has retained the book's outline...But the film throws away the point of the book completely.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Thornton and Heder perform at about half their maximum wattage, which isn't enough to power the inert script.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Scorsese in his prime might've made better use of this hamming, but this picture feels like an exercise by a Scorsese clone who has tackled the master's themes - without his energy and economy of style.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Infamous, which mines almost the exact same ground as "Capote," comes up 300 days late and artistically close to bankruptcy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A movie for people fascinated by toilets and Sabbath.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    If serious intent led inevitably to greatness, The Good Shepherd would be a masterpiece. It turtles forward for 160 minutes with unrelenting, humorless solemnity, as if everyone involved were unaware that it has arrived three decades too late to matter.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I can say only three good things about his latest martial arts picture, the incoherent The Curse of the Golden Flower: 1) Gong Li deserves better roles, 2) The costumes are astonishingly beautiful, and 3) Ummm...wow, how about those costumes!
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Before The Astronaut Farmer, I'd have said such dumbed-down filmmaking was beneath the Polish brothers. But if their dream is to ride Hollywood's gravy train once, I suppose I'll have to respect it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    An intermittently preposterous, drawn-out but sometimes entertaining story about an unstoppable ex-Marine.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Sandler, whose mop of curls makes him look like a 40-ish Bob Dylan, acts up a satisfying storm. Cheadle remains an appealing island of calm; other cast members deliver the little that's asked of them.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Long, utterly predictable and always bland.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Deals with emotional concerns for half an hour. Then it turns into a mindless bloodfest, where it's impossible to care which characters end on the zombie gore-gasbord.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Reason to make Shrek the Third: Probable earnings of $400 million worldwide. Reasons not to make Shrek the Third: Played-out characters. Bland villain. Novice directors. Slipshod plotting. No compelling story or emotional depth.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Bekmambetov introduces too many elements, losing interest in them or using them inadequately.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Dahl has directed half a dozen sardonic noir movies, dating back to "Kill Me Again" in 1989, so he should have been the ideal choice for this material. But even he can't make chicken salad from a pile of beaks, bones and claws.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Decent acting forestalls the inevitable collapse for a long time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    For all its flashes of emotional honesty and mordant humor, is nonsense at its core.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Though the movie's a shade shorter than the first two, it feels longer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Superbad simply isn't. It isn't super, as it intersperses crudely funny gags with an equal number of dry spots. It isn't ever truly bad, because even the lame segments pass quickly.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Any of the key relationships would have been grist enough for one movie's mill, but "Feast" crams them all together.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's common in Hollywood to describe a disappointing film this way: "Well, it certainly looks great!"
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    You can approach it as a surreal story -- you'd have to, to find value in it -- but happy chuckles are miles away from the point.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Yet the whole thing is so generic, so been-there-before, that I spent most of it asking myself nitpicking questions. To wit:
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Flawless never begins to live up to its title.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    What does it say about a picture when the highest praise must go to impressive scenery?
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    If you're indifferent to silly revisions of history and bad acting, you may enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm not, and I didn't.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Outdated before it opened today.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It can devote itself entirely to bodily functions or, having established its grossness quotient, take the high road toward satire like its 2004 predecessor, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." It fails mainly because it does neither.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Really should have been made 60 years ago. It would have been timelier, with its tale of life in the remote north of that country during World War II. The juicy overacting, stereotypes and dramatic exaggerations would have been more in keeping with the style of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    RocknRolla is a copy of a copy of a valuable original, and you know how faint and unintelligible those can be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching the film is also wearying, like assembling a puzzle from a box into which a sadist continually pours new pieces. I was still processing details when the abrupt ending snatched the puzzle away.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Nick Schenk's well-intentioned script employs the creaky old Hollywood device of reversing everything set up in its first half.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's slickly executed, handsomely acted for the most part and utterly easy to forget.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Mature folks may wonder why a simple and simply beautiful story from their youth has been buried under layers of emotion Woody Allen's psychiatrist might want to pick over.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    There’s nothing much wrong with the film’s pacing or characterizations. We’ve just seen it all in fresher and funnier forms, from Donkey’s sassy backtalk to Puss in Boots’ eye-widening charm.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Arnold Schwarzenegger, move over: Your dramatic replacement has arrived.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A slow, grim, atmospheric but virtually plotless look at a blank-faced loner who is obsessed with his work, has no friends except for one woman inexplicably attached to him, and ends up making those around him miserable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Damon, trapped in an inert character, shows little inner turmoil.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Gyllenhaal and Hathaway exert considerable powers of hangdog charm and fierce independence, trying to give firm shape to the saggy script. But if you want to watch these two struggle through an up-and-down screen relationship, rent "Brokeback Mountain."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A movie's in trouble when neither the hero nor the villain has charisma, and Clu is a dull dog.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A well-intentioned but obvious, often clumsy picture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The filmmakers try to make us sympathize with Barney by surrounding him with even more annoying types.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    So despite fine acting and swift pacing and well-managed effects, it falls apart.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    His (Spielberg) The Adventures of Tintin jettisons character, back story, plot, depth and emotional ties to deliver 100 minutes of beautifully shot mayhem. It's handsome, hectic, heartless and hollow, a shiny Christmas box with nothing but glitter inside.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Crash. Kick. Stab. Punch. Talk (briefly). Smash. Chase. Screech. Shoot. Mumble. That's the wearying pattern of Safe House. Had "think" been an action verb, the movie might have risen above the knee-jerk excitement of the second-tier, "Bourne"-style spy thriller. But it never does.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Critics starved for thoughtful movies will often mistake the will for the deed. A serious film about an important subject seems like an important film, even if the effort falls far short of the target. So it is with We Need to Talk About Kevin.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    So Depp summons every type of behavior Burton requires: heroism, zaniness, longing, wit, ferocity, sexuality, icy resolve. Had they stuck to one or two of these, we might have had a terrific film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's clumsy revisionism. As storytelling, its simplistic characters and ludicrous situations would embarrass a ninth-grader shooting a short film on a digital phone. Not one of its alleged revelations has the power to surprise.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A tale that ought to dispel the clouds of mystery surrounding life gathers them into impenetrable fog.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The arc of the 800-page novel, crammed into 130 minutes, becomes a line as flat as the heart monitor of a dead patient. A story that ought to possess the mad grandeur of an opera acquires the tedious regularity of soap opera.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo turn up in cameo roles anyone could have played. Kosinski was smart to limit their screen time, because it’s awkward to have actors with weight and charisma hanging around those who lack both.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    M. Night Shyamalan has directed movies that are surprising, hokey, suspenseful, sentimental, clever, touching or cheesy. But until After Earth, he hadn’t made any that are dull from end to end.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    All performances remain irrelevant in the face of such expensive, explosive combat and destruction, and there the film excels: You will feel blown back into your seat, starting 40 seconds into the story.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Elementary school-age boys may well be delighted, but it offers not a scintilla of stimulation for anyone else.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    That’s the problem with Winter’s Tale, which tries to cram too many conflicting stories into one space and ends up defying us to believe any. Call it magic unrealism, a well-intentioned but clunky genre.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    Affleck has two expressions, a smirk and a scowl. Bardem never changes expression at all: Whatever he’s saying comes out with a dispassionate, hangdog glumness. Perhaps he watched the daily rushes once too often.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    The audacious ending, though unjustified by what had come before, was clearly something mainstream Hollywood would not have tolerated. Yet the 90 minutes in between, a mass of symbols and improbabilities so great they provoke outright laughter, made me wonder whether aliens stole Bahrani’s brain.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 42 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s rare that a movie stops making sense before anyone speaks a line of intelligible dialogue, but The Wolverine is a rare movie.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You could dismiss it, as I do, as an impenetrable and insufferable ball of pseudo-philosophic twaddle.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie is somewhat below average. The plot doesn't always hold together.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie is as padded as Allen's jelly belly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The opposite of memorable.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Excruciatingly flat comedy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Feeble, vapid picture.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Visually compelling, relentlessly loud and so shallow you need just a fragment of your brain to follow it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Puts more miles on plot that was worn out long ago.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    As in most cheap futuristic movies, everything is dark or illuminated by a drab bluish glow. The buildings look grubbily similar to each other, so every location has to be identified onscreen. Of course, that saves the audience the trouble of paying attention.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A mind-numbing carnival of violence.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    You can get all of this free on television any week, so why pay for it?
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Williamson deals mostly in cliches, as if high schoolers weren't smart enough to appreciate anything subtler.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Has the sex appeal of a Road Runner cartoon, one-tenth the laughs and equal plausibility.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Sometimes seems longer than a rainy Super Bowl.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    He (Murphy) can't make chicken a la king from the chicken manure supplied by the writers.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Just a great, empty wind machine.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    It's blah. Worse than blah, actually, because it's so stupid.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Though the writing doesn't work, you have to give Burns credit for shrewd direction. He gets the best performances I've seen from Graham and Murphy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A mediocrity at any time, because of its implausible script and bland characters.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Long before this interminable film reaches its bogus finale, you'll realize that the people in it aren't real.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Rarely connects with reality.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Cowardice and cliché - not a tasty combination.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A punch-drunk lightweight. Inside the ring, it lands some forceful punches. Outside the ring, it stumbles around, swinging wildly at nothing, until it collapses.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    If you get past the preposterous hypothesis at the start of Return to Me, you'll find a passably pleasant, utterly bland romantic comedy without a surprise to its 110 minutes.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    How bad, really, could it be? I couldn't have guessed.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Should appeal to anyone who likes films as mushy and unsurprising as baby food.
    • 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.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A frenzied, cacophonic cartoon.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The outcome is alternately unsatisfying, meaningless, contradictory and laughable.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    Writers Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis aim for the soufflé-style comedy audiences ate up greedily 40 years ago, but the film falls flat.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    A miler trying to run a marathon, a fair middleweight idea trying to deliver heavyweight thrills.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Lawrence Toppman
    The Truth About Charlie...is that this "Charade" remake is a lumpen bore.

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