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 Gravity
Lowest review score: 0 Little Nicky
Score distribution:
1585 movie reviews
    • 25 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Characters behave arbitrarily and incredibly, and a clumsy resolution brings the film to a thudding halt.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    About halfway through Irreversible comes the longest sustained act of violence I've seen onscreen.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This isn't really a narrative: It's a collection of mostly unrelated scenes, about half of which pay off.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Coppola lacks a firm grip on this material, and it starts to get away from her midway through.
    • 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
    Entertaining and preposterous in nearly equal amounts.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    You can also see Sylvia without realizing she could be witty and bemused, qualities apparent in her posthumously published novel, "The Bell Jar." This book, which spoke to sensitive girls of the 1960s like few others, is mentioned once in passing in the film. We never see her writing it or learn what it means to her.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The only thing they don't take time for is characterization, which the story badly needs.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    A gently pleasing if mostly undramatic picture.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    For all the irrelevant silliness, though, the movie never loses sight of its romantic center, and the script doesn't cop out with phony miracles or sudden changes of direction.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The main message of this drama is driven home with emotional hammer blows.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Performances are simple and complementary, and Hidalgo's potential death scene sustains suspense as much as is equinely possible.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    All the actors give performances so low-key they're almost minimalist. That works, except when we're supposed to believe every woman would throw herself at the closed-off Joe.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Garner bounces around gleefully as the young spirit enveloped by this adult body. She's young enough herself to remember what it was like to be that age, and she has the vulnerability, zest and slightly over-the-top reactions of a seventh-grader.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I never did sort out the gangsters fighting for control of a 19th-century town, nor did I figure out exactly what happened to the main henchman. But I was rarely bored.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    As a movie, it's a mixed bag with a huge amount of heart.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Like a palate-cleansing sherbet in place of an entre?. It's mildly flavorful going down, leaves us hungry for something more substantial and fades from memory the moment we've finished it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Has more psychological complexity than the average suspense drama, and the results prove more satisfying than not.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The real stars are the orchestrators and musicians who swaddled Spacey in a gorgeous blanket of sound.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bride has atmosphere and charm, but the exotic flavors have often been toned down to avoid complaints.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Heartwarming drama.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I groaned at cliches and grinned at jokes in roughly equal measure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Starts as sweetly impossible and ends as impossibly sweet.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Bullock good, but King reigns in movie sequel.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Except for the irritating Rockwell, the cast suits the characters.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The performances do shine out through this dramatic miasma.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This is strictly a picture for the target audience, though it seems to hit that target regularly.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Puts a fun, frothy spin on the 1960s TV show before sinking back into the mundane.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    This giddy summer extravaganza does deliver aerial thrills with eye-dazzling visuals and ear-smacking (though beautifully designed) sound.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Tthe kind of movie the clergy can recommend to anxious parishioners.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    North Country resorts to theatrics a judge would squelch after one outburst, as director Niki Caro and writer Michael Seitzman aim for a "Spartacus" feel.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I recommend it to anyone who needs proof that people past 60 have dreams, skills and/or sex lives.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Last Holiday floats along on the broad shoulders of one of our most able dramatic comedians. Without her, it would sag like a punctured souffle.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Feuerzeig leaves a lot of territory unexplored. Why did people overlook his suffering and bizarre behavior for so long? Were they cold-hearted profiteers, onlookers enjoying a freak show or honestly ignorant of his troubles? Are there links between Johnston's creativity and madness?
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    What keeps this from cloying? Universally good performances, led by Banderas' blazing intensity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It's a pleasant but insubstantial excuse for a film.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The summer's most anticipated film, and it gives fans what they want - then more of what they want, and more, and more, until gluttony becomes force-feeding.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The picture feels like an entertaining short story, competently executed at undue length, and that's its origin.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Lane, perhaps the most underrated actress of those deemed employable in their 40s, wonderfully embodies the mogul's wife.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    With its twist, the movie leaps into a fresh realm of fantasy. But director Marc Forster and first-time screenwriter Zach Helm don't know what to do when they get there, and the film's greatest asset almost becomes its undoing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Everyone's entitled to a slump, and this is only the first blah film in five for Guest.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you want my rock-solid statement on whether The Fountain is a masterpiece or a muddle, check with me in 2026.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The result is a beautiful painting come to stately, intermittent life.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Cool. Stupid. Juiced-up. Feeble. Stripped-down. Self-indulgent. Clever. Sophomoric.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Hector Elizondo, who has appeared in all 15 of Marshall's features, turns up as a Basque rancher and adds a bit of sparkle. I just wish Marshall's good luck charm was not a 70-year-old actor but a fresh, honest screenplay.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    When will the people who adapt comic books into films realize that less can be so much more?
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It paints its world in pastels, but the subject cries out for vivid colors.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Movies about artists play fast and loose with truth, but this is a hoot.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Johansson, hair dyed brown to make her seem less glamorous, spices up this bland role.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    In the end, your reaction to "Hour" may depend on your feelings about humanity's collective common sense.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Journalists have a saying for someone who neglects or downplays the most important part of a news story: He buried the lead. That's what Paul Haggis does with "In the Valley of Elah," which submerges two important storylines beneath a pointless, unsatisfying whodunit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    I can tell you in nine words whether you'll want to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Writer-director Andrew Dominik wants to be Terrence Malick.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    To my detached eye, this slender biography suggests that Curtis went from a faintly interested glam-rock wannabe of 16 to a mildly talented performer to a quietly glum fellow of 23 whose frustrations drove him to suicide.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie Rendition asks, admittedly in a one-sided way, whether the ends justify these means.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Cook has as much depth as a coaster, so it's impossible under any circumstances to imagine Binoche falling in love with him. Her complicated, heartfelt performance is the reason to see the film: When she's around, she pierces the soothing gray nothingness with shafts of sunlight.
    • 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
    All true, but not new -- and not especially compelling.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    People's eyes still look as glassy and dull as a taxidermized possum's. But if you're going to Beowulf to experience the sweeping passions that only real eyes can convey, you're missing the point.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Fairly entertaining, repetitive exhortations of a televangelist who looks like Kurt Russell playing Elvis Presley with 12 additional teeth.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    There's plenty to admire in the performances and atmosphere, but the writer-director needed someone to pull him up short.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It makes "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" and "12:08 East of Bucharest," the last glum Romanian movies about life under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, seem merry.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If you're an elementary schooler or someone who finds Gerard Butler irresistible even when fully clothed, Nim's Island may be a treat to watch. If not, it's likelier to be a chore.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    An endearing, well-acted trifle with lovely intentions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Has its heart in the right place and its head shoved well down into a box of clichés.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    The movie's a crazy quilt of pot jokes, sarcastic put-downs and pop culture references both obvious and obscure.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    If inciting boredom is the worst sin a filmmaker can commit, being timid is right behind it. Whether I agree with your point of view or not, I want to hear it.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Monaghan gives a solid performance, and Billy Bob Thornton has sarcastically funny bits as an FBI agent.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Making a film with fine performances, adept direction, first-rate photography and a doltish screenplay is like starting a rock band with no drummer. The result may yield satisfying, even memorable moments. But every time you try to build momentum, the project falls apart.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    It’s a well-crafted, well-paced procedural drama about a monotonous psychopath.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    [Zoe Saldana] acts with the right fire and sings beautifully and evocatively.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Wan knows how to sustain tension through terror, though he could have abbreviated the flabby middle of the movie.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    “The Dirty Dozen,” one of my favorite war movies, will no doubt get a 50th-anniversary boxed set next year. Those of us who wait for it can mark time with Suicide Squad, which borrows the same concept and executes it with more lunacy and far less flair.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    While it doesn’t recapture the black magic of the original, it delivers the requisite terror in the last half-hour after a slow and ambiguous start.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    Details matter here more than in most movies. The world needs to know this story, and nobody’s going to tell it again for a long while. Parker put his heart and soul into it, but sometimes the road paved with good intentions doesn’t lead to Hell: It stops at mediocrity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Lawrence Toppman
    “Train” makes its strongest impact in Blunt’s hands. Her vulnerability brings pathos to every scene she enters, making you wish the whole film could have been told through Rachel’s bleary eyes – and set in England, where she belongs. But it’s a pleasure to see her anywhere.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 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.

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