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
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Lane, perhaps the most underrated actress of those deemed employable in their 40s, wonderfully embodies the mogul's wife.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Its familiar story has pleasing quirks.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Technically, the film can stand with most releases. The cast includes veterans Hal Linden, Paul Rodriguez and Jennifer O'Neill, all of whom do good work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The credits say DiNorscio, who died during filming in 2004, never informed on anyone. But is that such a great thing? If you live in a sewer, is it so terrible to be a rat?
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A gently pleasing if mostly undramatic picture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's the most claustrophobic, airless movie of the year, a menage a quatre among unstable, manipulative, needy people who prey on each other like sharks at a feeding frenzy of the emotions.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Thirty minutes into Be Kind Rewind, you may wonder what you're doing in the theater. Sixty minutes into it, if you have stayed, you will know.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Perhaps the director should make only silent movies. Scenes where characters communicate via eyes and body language usually work here, even if we don't know exactly what's going on.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a pleasant but insubstantial excuse for a film.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    What makes Blade 2 marginally better than "Blade," especially if you thought the first was a hollow spectacle? It has a plot.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture feels like an entertaining short story, competently executed at undue length, and that's its origin.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Inside Moonlight Mile, an honest and heartbreakingly true movie is struggling to get out.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    While the 29 pages of his (Van Allsburg's) mini-classic would have made a superb half-hour TV special, Zemeckis and writer William Broyles Jr. have created a steroidal monster with a heart about one size too small.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Vardalos is of Greek ancestry, which makes stereotyping permissible: She can tease Greeks, just as Italians can safely mock Italians or Jews can poke fun at Jews. But isn't it demeaning to reduce your heritage to clich?s?
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Starts as sweetly impossible and ends as impossibly sweet.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A sometimes clever, sometimes clumsy movie.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's cheerful nonsense from blithe beginning to obvious end.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Performances keep the film afloat and focused whenever it threatens to drift. Deschanel, Harris and Warner are ideally cast. You might not think Ferrell would be, but he gives a different performance than I've seen from him.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It delivers cop-genre thrills at the pace required and reminds us Omar Epps is a star in the making.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Production values are acceptable in the Klasky Csupo vein. If you know that company, you're prepared for animation that isn't conventionally attractive: flat backgrounds, characters with big heads, pushed-in faces and beanpole limbs.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Performances are simple and complementary, and Hidalgo's potential death scene sustains suspense as much as is equinely possible.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a passably made, grittily acted slice of life in Texas that veers not an inch from the norm for this sort of picture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Far too clever for its own good.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film has a huge heart, and it's in the right place.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The pleasure comes from watching the clever rodents do their stuff. Computerized images have been kept to a minimum, and real animals provide most of the film's atmosphere.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A conventionally violent, do-or-die ending on such an unconventional movie.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's watchable, due to the rotoscoping technique...It's also as lightweight as the smoke rings blown by one of many perverse, dull characters.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Good idea for a movie about rebellious Asian Americans doesn't fully pan out.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Starts as a tart little lemon drop of a movie and ends up as a bitter pill. I'm glad to have seen it, for I appreciated Campbell Scott's dominant performance and Jesse Eisenberg's breakthrough. But I hope writer-director Dylan Kidd mixes less acid into the next drink he pours.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Chaotic, sometimes funny.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It flies apart when it clumsily introduces humor at a funeral or an application for death benefits.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Movies about artists play fast and loose with truth, but this is a hoot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Will dazzle you while establishing the world in which it takes place. After that, you may wonder whether Guillermo del Toro got amnesia halfway through.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Whatever you think of Melinda and Melinda, you have to admire Woody Allen for this: After years of criticism that he didn't use people of color in films, he's written two interracial romances.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    As a movie, it's a mixed bag with a huge amount of heart.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's watchable from start to finish, despite lapses in common sense, and it boasts a terrific cast of over-40 actors.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you like films short, sweet and soothing, this may be exactly your "Dish."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Handsome and competently acted and prettily shot and all the other things critics say when what they really want to scream is "Aaaaaaaargh! No more Jane Austen adaptations, ESPECIALLY not Pride and Prejudice.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Nicholson operates in full-bore demonic mode in Anger Management, eclipsing gentle star Adam Sandler and satisfying everybody who's been waiting for Hollywood's Wild Man to cut loose once more.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I do wonder why a gay director's best-known movies about straight guys, Talk to Her and "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," suggest that satisfying relationships with women are most easily achieved if they're 1) unconscious or 2) in bondage.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of the actors keep an icicle-stiff upper lip except for Winslet, who darts around like a finch with a beak full of sunflower seeds, and Burrows, who exudes a musk of refined sexiness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Green knows how to convey a mood visually and develop tension with his camera. He just doesn't give people enough interesting things to say or know when to shut them up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Jon Favreau, J.K. Simmons, Thomas Lennon and half a dozen other capable comedians drift in and out. Yet the movie seems long even at 105 minutes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Everyone's entitled to a slump, and this is only the first blah film in five for Guest.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    95 breezy minutes that typify cotton-candy filmmaking.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    We get pleasure watching two sets of likeable, convincing actors move toward their foreordained futures. The film's affecting ending proves familiarity needn't breed contempt, after all.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Characters behave arbitrarily and incredibly, and a clumsy resolution brings the film to a thudding halt.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The setup doesn't make sense from the get-go.
    • 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
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The real stars are the orchestrators and musicians who swaddled Spacey in a gorgeous blanket of sound.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Fanboys won't mind the absence of depth or emotion; they may even welcome it for making the film more representative of its comic-book origins. The rest of us, however, cannot rejoice at the overspending and overkill likely to come in Hellboy III.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Steven Zaillian never seems completely at home with these characters, not because he's white but because he's a cerebral screenwriter frustrated with a story that gives him little that's meaningful to say. Like Washington and Crowe, he's a chef functioning here as a short-order cook: The meal's perfectly edible but falls short of delicious.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The juice in "Man" comes from supporting characters.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The loosely autobiographical 8 Mile, an uneven but watchable drama about life in Detroit's slums, begins the shrewd transformation of vitriolic rapper Eminem into a mainstream figure.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Entertaining and preposterous in nearly equal amounts.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    What keeps this from cloying? Universally good performances, led by Banderas' blazing intensity.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's gently funny, modestly scary in spots, full of valuable but low-key observations about life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    There's an extraordinary subplot in Blood Diamond, sandwiched between a main story meant to arouse outrage and a Hollywood-clumsy finale meant to provoke a standing ovation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    So I was curious to see why we needed a two-hour documentary about the three-hit wonder who cast away his career halfway through life and coasted on celebrity status for 30 years. After seeing Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I'm still not convinced we do.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The only thing they don't take time for is characterization, which the story badly needs.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I don't mean to be negative, but I want Orny Adams hung naked over a pit of snapping crocodiles. That said, Comedian is a lightweight but appealing backstage film about two performers.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When will the people who adapt comic books into films realize that less can be so much more?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Someone watching Stop-Loss with younger eyes might feel the heat of the main soldier's dilemma more than I did, but I couldn't help thinking director Kimberly Peirce was presenting us with abstract ideas in the forms of half-realized characters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    An old-fashioned suspense drama with an old-fashioned belief at its core: Justice can be done in the world, and the United Nations is the global organization to do it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie gets full marks for earning its G rating: no violence, no cursing, no sex or nudity, no drugs, not even a rogue cigarette blotting the landscape. It's easier to achieve this rating when your hero barely speaks and has little consciousness of the adult world, but "Holiday" proves it can be done-and should be more often.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Brett Ratner can't make chicken a la king out of chicken droppings, and that's what writers Simon Kinberg ("XXX: State of the Union") and Zak Penn ("Elektra") supply.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Coppola lacks a firm grip on this material, and it starts to get away from her midway through.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Director Steven Shainberg and writer Erin Cressida Wilson argue that everyone deserves the love that makes them happiest, and that these two will remain miserable until they stumble upon each other.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    So the science in this film of Jules Verne's science fiction classic is ludicrous. Well, how's the fiction? Not terrible.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Kapur’s contradictory feelings about his material result in a movie that works against itself. As righteous and consistent as his anger may be -- it’s displayed from the opening title cards to the final shot -- it doesn’t blend successfully with the story.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Multiple lobotomies. That's the only way to explain what happens in the middle of Hitch, whose first hour sets up one of the brightest romantic comedies in months and whose second hour tears it down.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Uproarious imbecility.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie Rendition asks, admittedly in a one-sided way, whether the ends justify these means.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet do exactly what’s asked of them as Frank and April Wheeler, who may be ironically named: They spin emotional wheels constantly but get nowhere.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Fair, overlong James Bond from the second shelf.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture doesn't inspire or reward high expectations, but it raises smiles.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Johansson, hair dyed brown to make her seem less glamorous, spices up this bland role.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The good-hearted Galaxy Quest delivers fun and confusion in equal measure, as it gently tweaks the fanaticism of "Star Trek"/"Star Wars" fans while validating it at the same time.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Ray Liotta and Jason Patric do some of their best work in their underwritten roles, but don't be fooled: Nobody deserves any prizes here.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Is it a bad thing that Disney has commercialized, denatured and inflated the story to make it indistinguishable from any handsome sword-and-sorcery epic? Perhaps not, for it IS handsome on its grand scale.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Alfred Hitchcock once said, "Drama is life with the dull bits left out." Well, Rachel Getting Married is drama with the dull bits left in.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    How odd that some of the most appealing elements of this new animation should be action sequences as old as cinema itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Heartwarming drama.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Asks questions worth pondering. I only wished the writer-director-editor answered more of them.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Has more psychological complexity than the average suspense drama, and the results prove more satisfying than not.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    In the end, your reaction to "Hour" may depend on your feelings about humanity's collective common sense.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If the longest and beefiest "Spider-Man" movie to date were a baseball player, it would be tested tomorrow for steroids. That won't stop "S-M 3" from hitting a home run at the box-office, where fans will roar.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Hawn always appears to be acting with a vengeance, but Sarandon just breathes her part.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    An endearing, well-acted trifle with lovely intentions.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Without Gibson, this soufflé would fall pancake-flat.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bits can be extremely funny. I howled at the ranting, mustard-splotched, wiener-waving Michael Moore.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The vigorous, unsubtle acting provides consistent pleasure, once you stop expecting it to seem realistic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Maybe this is a case of too many cooks spoiling a simple broth: The movie had four producers, five executive producers, three writers (credited ones, anyhow) and three editors.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    By the end, I felt like a beetle going round and round in a toilet bowl that just wouldn't stop flushing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    One thing the movie does well is skewer Bill Clinton. Though Hayes works for him and nominally defends him to detractors, we see old sins rehashed: Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, his impeachment.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It combines elements of "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars" and James Bond flicks with generically satisfying results.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The director is strong on setups, and the hunt for the virus is tense. [10 Mar 1995, p.1F]
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Paul Schrader's movies depict dark nights of the soul, but sometimes you feel like you have to end the dark night with a shower. Auto Focus is such a movie.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A mixed bag with a huge amount of heart.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you wanted this "Snicket" movie (and the presumed flood of sequels) to be faithful to the novels, you have come to the wrong franchise.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Writer-director Derek Cianfrance knew he was dealing with a story full of coincidences when he adapted M.L. Stedman’s novel The Light Between Oceans, so he avoided melodrama by holding himself and his excellent actors in check. The result is a movie that crackles quietly without flaring up into an emotional blaze.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I can safely say I've never seen anything as ridiculous as Live Free or Die Hard. I'm not saying my 10-year-old self didn't enjoy a lot of it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Foster and Yun-Fat each show about three-quarters of their characters.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Spade, who almost invariably plays smug or smarmy characters, proves he really can act.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Though it starts slowly, it lumbers toward greatness in the last third and restores him [Lucas] briefly to the top of his class.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    So what's the motivation for the earnest, handsome, well-acted, unenlightening, workaday J. Edgar in 2011?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The film goes from stylish to ghoulish to foolish.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Whether or not you think of this as a knockoff, it has a ripeness “Twilight” never did.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bullock good, but King reigns in movie sequel.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It is a gimmick, rather than an idea worth exploring.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Weitz has done one remarkable thing in "Company" that doesn't strike you until later: He's given us a functional family that overcomes difficulties with patience and effort.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This giddy summer extravaganza does deliver aerial thrills with eye-dazzling visuals and ear-smacking (though beautifully designed) sound.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Letters covers less emotional ground than its predecessor, because Eastwood and first-time writer Iris Yamashita (who shares a story credit with Paul Haggis) allow Japanese soldiers only three modes of behavior.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's not the dark comedy it wants to be - that would be "M*A*S*H" with a more modern setting and more gruesome consequences - but it's worth a look.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Watching Wedding Crashers is like stuffing yourself with raw cookie dough. It's a guilty pleasure that goes down easily, but you can't help wondering what it would've tasted like if someone had finished the job.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It takes its plot from the 2001 German film about a workaholic chef, dumbing down the original slightly and inserting a couple of phony crises. You're spared not only subtitles but subtlety.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Few actors can match Carrey's ability to change his features and body language.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Nothing in the longer Frankenweenie is new.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The supporting cast is almost uniformly good, from Conchata Ferrell as a sympathetic waitress to Erick Avari as a corporate type with a surprisingly big heart and a hidden silly streak. Turturro relishes his quiet overplaying and steals the bulk of his scenes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The portrait of Elizabeth Sloane grabs your interest, partly due to the presence of Jessica Chastain in the title role.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The romance seems tacked on as a way to humanize this character; there's no reason the nurse would take up with a brash, secretive American.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Certainly satisfies our hunger for a light, bright dessert, yet it may leave you hungry for more.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When we have to spend time with Beast and Angel and Nightcrawler and Cyclops and Psylocke and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, still strong), the movie too often becomes a parade of cameos. Apocalypse has no personality, merely the malevolence of a megalomaniac.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Most crucially, we don't learn what brought the four women together; Olivia's so much younger than the others that there's no reason to think they'd ever have befriended her.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Yet for all the fun the sequel provides, the series shows signs of wearing out quickly, unless characters get developed thoroughly and in unexpected ways.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    He (writer/director David Gordon Green) fired his arrow straight at a worthwhile target, but it fell a little short.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lawrence Toppman
    The new team thinks that if mayhem is funny, five times the mayhem will be five times as hilarious. That’s not how movie math works, and too many scenes spin out of control.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The kids provide all the vitality, but even they've been muffled by the director.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Aspires to rise above the conventional drugs-and-action genre and succeeds about half the time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Del Toro gets the ghostly elements right, with red and black flesh-torn spooks wailing warnings to the receptive Edith. But he goes wildly overboard in aiming for atmosphere after the story shifts to the Sharpes’ crumbling English manor.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    On their accounts (Williams/Collette), The Night Listener is compelling viewing-but on their accounts only.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A picture sufficiently shallow that you'll discover everything that lies beneath it well before the end.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film works best as an extended "Twilight Zone" episode.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 has the technical polish and competent acting of the four-film series, though less intensity. It contains no surprises and ends with an anticlimax I have heard is faithful to the book, though it doesn’t amount to much onscreen.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Damon, trapped in an inert character, shows little inner turmoil.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    It's slickly executed, handsomely acted for the most part and utterly easy to forget.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Demolition is a rarity: A film with a profound emotional truth at its heart that lies to us, scene by scene, from start to finish.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The acting is solid.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Molly Shannon's peachy-keen attitude and spunky patience win us over to the side of Mary Katherine Gallagher.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Predictable but agreeable time-waster.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Offers an amusing break to the undemanding.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Leaving the book aside, how well does the picture fare? Middingly, and in fits and starts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A well-intentioned but obvious, often clumsy picture.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Bekmambetov introduces too many elements, losing interest in them or using them inadequately.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    They've interspersed laugh-out-loud segments with dry, repetitive material.
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Joy
    The 25-year-old Lawrence is too young – Mangano was 35 when the mop took off – but compelling to watch. Yet in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Cooper, De Niro and Russell all supported her with fine work; here they lie back and make the movie a one-ring circus where she has to be acrobat, bareback rider and clown. That’s too much to ask.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The two stars of Nacho Libre, Jack Black and Jack Black's hair, take different paths.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    While Shyamalan competently scares us from time to time and makes us laugh uncomfortably at the odd actions – aren’t we snickering at mental illness? – he has nowhere interesting to take this simple tale.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Elementary school-age boys may well be delighted, but it offers not a scintilla of stimulation for anyone else.
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Whenever the tires stop screeching and the fenders slamming, the story lands in a brutal pile-up of cliches.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The best work comes from Timothy Dalton as the grizzled, Scots-accented head of the Pinkertons.
    • 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
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I'll sum up my reaction in a word: Yawn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    "Velocity" told multiple stories, each lasting half an hour, but "Ballad" wears out one tale before its end.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Once The Quest begins, the movie collapses. The ending turns coincidental, preachy and stupid.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The plot of "Nights" will occupy only 10 or 12 brain cells.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The characters are so conventional that the movie has nowhere interesting to go, even when a corpse complicates affairs.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Darabont and Sloane stumble consistently and fall into the abyss.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie, first preposterously entertaining and then just preposterous, makes James Bond films look as logical as Euclidean geometry.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The film robs mermaids of everything exotic and remarkable about them in mythology.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The story’s unbelievable, end to end.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    I couldn’t tell whether the film was intended to be a comedy; as it became more and more improbable, both predictable and ludicrous at once, I heard audience members chortle again and again.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Someone Like You is from Hollywood's bottomless box of cliches.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A movie for people fascinated by toilets and Sabbath.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Long, utterly predictable and always bland.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The whole thing seems to have been faked up for our amusement, like a circus freak show.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Beyond the philosophizing, Mean Girls is a standard collection of low comic jokes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The team of four writers supplies one surprise, and you’ll wait 90 minutes to see it. Before and afterward, stereotypical genre characters get trotted out.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The final failure comes in a climax that defies science, good taste and common sense.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The reason to see the movie is Field.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    So despite fine acting and swift pacing and well-managed effects, it falls apart.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Outdated before it opened today.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Goodman exudes doltish kindness, Dillon a hapless gentleness, Reiser a vulgar buoyancy. Douglas turns in the best performance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    A typical shallow caper film. Just assume the truth is the exact opposite of what's happening.
    • Charlotte Observer
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Most of the time the movie limps amiably toward its feeble conclusion.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    Somewhere inside "School" lurks a heartwarming or hilarious movie, perhaps both.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    (The filmmaker) never does achieve the breakthrough with her father that she and we hoped for.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Toppman
    The yarn itself is a winning one.

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