For 1,290 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Liam Lacey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Happy-Go-Lucky
Lowest review score: 0 People Like Us
Score distribution:
1,290 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    In the end, the spectacular martial-arts epic seems to signify nothing much more than its own beauty, as brilliant and ephemeral as a fireworks display.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Not much happens in Drinking Buddies, which, frankly, is refreshing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The movie is pretty damned funny in its insubstantial, gratuitously violent, gratuitously everything way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Here is a psychological twister with an implausible and hard-to-follow plot. All of this is more than compensated for by terrific performances, a seductive colour palette that is greenish and glassy, and a minimalist style reminiscent of Michael Mann.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A thought-provoking film that examines women’s limited choices in a patriarchal country reeling from the contradictions of rapid modernization.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The result is a beautifully designed, lyrical fable of a movie, full of God's-eye shots from on high, placing the characters against the Italian scenery and medieval architecture.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Though Three Monkeys feels conventional compared with Ceylan's other work, it maintains its auteurist imprint, especially the rich colour palette and suggestive HD camerawork that helped Ceylan take the best-director honours at Cannes this year.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Crude, rude, nasty fun.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Good Night, and Good Luck may be simplified history, but it's almost consistently well-crafted.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Apart from its star, though, Emma may be the least convincing Austen adaptation so far.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Obviously, this is no easy sell, but give writer-director Siddiq Barmak full credit for portraying his country's social catastrophe with restraint, concision and some real beauty.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Even when the plots of sexual confusions, transgression and tragedy became absurdly complicated and arbitrary, there was always the mise-en-scène to die for.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The [final] battle is vast, and undoubtedly required thousands of hours of matching puppetry, robotics and computer code, but it is not without tedium.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Avenue Montaigne is not a film to be taken too earnestly, but it would be a mistake to miss its bittersweet undertones. The movie is as airy as a spun-sugar dessert, but Thompson's observations on the artistic life are both affectionate and knowing: Beauty and wealth, though inevitably compelling, are appreciated as means to humane ends, not goals in themselves.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    There's something genuinely exploratory and original here in the depiction of people being pushed into adulthood before they're ready.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Though Babel lacks any tragic sense of inevitability, it almost compensates with a handful of vibrant performances and the palpable physical texture of the settings.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The interest here is about watching Hardy, bouncing off Gandolfini and the other cast members, as a quiet man who has turned being underestimated into his primary survival skill. And all the while we wait for the moment when Bob the puppy grows into Bob the pit bull.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Whether Omar will ultimately serve to change or harden hearts remains ambiguous, though it’s a movie that’s entertaining enough to appeal to the kinds of ordinary kids we see in the movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The work is more muted than Miyazaki’s more fantastical films, but visually complex and gorgeous, from the rustic mountain scenes to the urban scenes and soaring aerial views.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    As usual, the Coens' visual elements are pristine. The contrasting colours in the fire-lit interiors are gorgeous, while cinematographer Roger Deakins keeps the camera close, resisting traditional panoramic views.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Fortunately, there's always the fascination of watching actor Toni Servillo, who does a brilliant job of playing Andreotti (known as Beelzebub) as a kind of devil with a clown's exterior.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Though the threat of exposure and incarceration lurk behind every story, the characters' ingenuity and humour serve as impudent alternatives to authoritarian stupidity and brutality.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It's a screwball comedy, with a possible debt to Preston Sturges's 1942 film, "The Miracle of Morgan Creek," a movie inspired by the Dionne quintuplets, and similarly set in a small town turned upside down by media and political showboating.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A horror movie based on history, offering some of the most spectacularly brutal, viscerally intense battle scenes ever brought to a Hollywood movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    In many areas, Food Inc. could be accused of being a fast-food version of a documentary – it's everywhere at once, skipping across the surface of a vast subject, and adding nuggets of sweetness to the scary filler.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film is an attack on religious hypocrisy, mixing melodrama and black humour in a volatile blend.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A very funny, very unusual ensemble comedy that falls somewhere between slapdash and brilliant, an improvised comedy with more hits than misses. It's also an oddly touching tribute to the joys of show biz.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Smart, serious and deftly composed, New York director Jill Sprecher's jigsaw anthology film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, is the kind of work you want to applaud just for its ambitions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Zathura involves a lot of yelling, a lot of explosions and a lot of flying objects -- but what else would you expect from a movie that is, honestly for a change, intended for 10-year-old boys?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A Touch of Sin is a distinct departure, dipping into the pulpy martial arts tradition in a scathing portrait of post-Maoist China, where money is the new religion and horrific violence is its by-product.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film is a vertiginous experience of hanging 350 kilometres above the Earth.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Undoubtedly the rudest and possibly the most inspired comedy of the summer.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Though there are moments when the drama turns into intellectual debate, the film is also emotional, moving with a fluid, mounting tension and moments of anguish and strange, startling humour.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The best of The Desolation of Smaug is saved for the last, when Bilbo goes to steal from the massive fire-breathing dragon, Smaug. The orange-eyed beast is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who, through a sludge of voice-altering electronics, seethes and preens between fiery exhalations; this scene is one of the few occasions in the film where anyone actually takes time to talk.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Yet, about as often as Marvin's Room strikes a chord of emotional authenticity, it hits a fistful of false notes as well.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Timoner offers a resonant, often painfully funny, drama about two good friends who become enemies against the backdrop of the pop-music business.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The freestyle approach is an apt fit with the freestyle, spontaneous comedy, as both the playful director and affable star capture moments on the fly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The pitch on Dear White People is that it’s “Do the Right Thing for the Obama generation,” which is both an oversell and a disservice to Justin Simien’s witty satire about race relations on a fictional Ivy League campus.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Mostly, it's a Coen brothers movie so slick, so careful in rationing its darkly perverse and personal elements, that it seems suspiciously sweet. Intolerable Cruelty feels like the Coens' peculiar new way of being cynical, by pretending they're not.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    But it’s Rooney who commands the most attention. As she already proved in David Fincher’s "The Social Network" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," she has an oddly fascinating screen presence, suggesting both vulnerability and inscrutable levels of calculation. Few actors or actresses can make inexpressiveness look so smart.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Essentially agenda-free, My Perestroika has the quality of a candid conversation with long-lost cousins from another country.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    No doubt, Blood Brother is narrowly focused on Braat’s needs and evolution, but in contrast to social-issue films filled with talking-head experts and bullet-point graphs, this is a portrait of a caregiver that goes to the core of motivation – in this case, the need to share love.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Possibly no one else does "grim" with as much unsparing enthusiasm as the Scandinavians.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The Clowns and the Krumpers have a rivalry that parallels the Bloods and the Crips battle for the neighbourhood, but fought out in moves, not bullets.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Ultimately, the performances carry the film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    As a young man he dreamed of racing cars. Now he rides a bicycle to the market each day, to negotiate with an elite fraternity of top fish dealers, who save their best for Jiri's restaurant. Like the fish that are disappearing from the oceans, they're probably the last of a breed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A movie that is often as awkward and as filled with mixed impulses as the age it documents.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A conventional mixture of thriller and moral drama, the film is unsettling in both intentional and unintentional ways.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    In a series of mini-rants with insights that range from the ho-hum to the profound, the sixtysomething Žižek, paunchy, bearded and bobbing his hands like a squirrel’s paws, rummages through what he calls the trash can of ideology.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Unlike "Being John Malkovich," which JCVD sometimes resembles, there is no secret portal to the star's head; instead, the audience gets a fleeting glimpse through the smeared window of his soul.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Throughout, Dorff is doggedly credible as an obtuse actor, but the richer performance here is from Fanning, and it might have been a stronger movie told from her character's point of view.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The combination of Hardy’s almost androgynous features and powerful physique evokes a young Marlon Brando, and while it’s premature to say he has a talent to match, he has emerged as one of the screen’s most versatile and compelling presences. Locke is what you might call his sedentary tour de force.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    What's right about Horrible Bosses is less easy to identify, but it comes down to something like esprit de corps. The three principal actors click. The looseness of the structure actually proves a benefit, allowing Bateman, Sudeikis and Day, all trained on television comedy, to bounce off each other, talk over each other and apparently pull lines out of the air.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An emotionally powerful if somewhat divided experience. The grimness, the sweat, the panic are there in Saving Private Ryan-level intensity. At the same time, you never entirely lose the sense that the movie is a formal and calculated cinematic exercise, something of an illustrated argument.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film extends Jackie's fame beyond her allotted New York 15 minutes and keeps it alive 30 years later, thanks to a mixture of fond high-profile interviews and grainy archival clips.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The movie's climax takes Harry Potter into territory that is much more like epic horror than most of what the series has seen before. There is more obvious religious symbolism and apocalyptic violence as Harry emerges into his role as “the chosen one.”
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Leave it to Brad Pitt, producer and star of World War Z, to try to put the zip back in zombie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Take 13 Tzameti for what it is: a tightly screwed shocker, a suspense tour de force that proceeds through a harrowing chain of events with alarming confidence.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Neither outrageous nor subtle as a religious satire, but here's the good news for modern viewers: With it's unusual Christian backdrop, this is one of the most intriguing rite-of-passage teen comedies in a long time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Chloe is director Atom Egoyan’s foray into the realm of what might be called artful trash. This is a high-toned erotic thriller, handled with style and some emotionally raw scenes, aiming for an effect that’s pleasingly unnerving, if not outright arousing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The characters are entertainingly contradictory, though in a somewhat predictable way: Nice people aren’t honest, and honest people aren’t nice.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    For about two-thirds of the film, The Past’s release of information and emotion is almost perfect. Then, in the last third, it begins to feel contrived, as if Farhadi is trying to show a long chain of guilt, and to see how far it will unspool. The drawn-out revelations feel like overkill, though not enough to spoil what’s very good here.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The first half is exhilarating, and the rest is a tolerably honourable surrender to Hollywood conventions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Calvary is an unsettling concoction, abstract and brutal, morally serious and too ghastly in its flippancy to be simply comedy. When you stop gasping at the shocks and jokes, there’s a profundity here, in the struggle to find the balance between outrage and forgiveness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The confluence of poverty, dysfunctional parenting and poor educational prospects makes the oft-idealized small-town life look like an incubator for failure, no matter how high and spectacular the Fourth of July fireworks fly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It's a film of vigorous performances and provocative modern resonances, though it sometimes struggles to grapple with a grim, politically ambiguous, 400-year-old play.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Though the progress of Atim's increasing empathy is predictable, the film understates its points effectively, without simplification.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Instead of the typical John Grisham-style connect-the-dots legal thriller, we get a film that's idiosyncratic, with a time-shifting structure, a surfeit of subplots and characters.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    But it is bright, smart, sometimes wickedly funny, and crisply performed to the point where the acting seems richer than the script.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Not everything about Zero Dark Thirty zips by. The middle hour of the film feels overstuffed with agency chiefs and national security advisors gazing on the feisty Maya with avuncular admiration.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    As an epic, American Gangster doesn't cut it. The reputations of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather," Brian De Palma's "Scarface," Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" or Michael Mann's "Heat" are safe. At best, American Gangster is no better than a workmanlike imitation of its betters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    As angry, deluded, vulnerable and confused as Aileen is, the character remains an enigma. Apart from serving as an opportunity for Theron's emotionally deep-dredging performance, the movie doesn't know why it exists.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A light, slight, wry look at the beautiful and besotted, which gets away with not having much to say, thanks to its charm and excessive good looks.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    While Wojtowicz’s shape-shifting character is the major source of fascination here, the archival footage, including with is terrifically effective in evoking the tumultuous era and occasionally providing a reality check to the Dog’s boastful version of his life.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    If you had to be an alcoholic, you'd want to be like Kate, the young drunk played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the new movie Smashed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Director Sean Durkin's precisely constructed psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie of many m-words – memories, mirrors and madness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure. The end comes not when we have the answer, but when the movie reaches its irresolute end.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    For all that The Sessions does well, it offers some telling deviations from the real story.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    If there’s a low-key disappointment to Vic and Flo, it’s that the film teases the mind and pleases the eye without requiring emotional commitment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Surf's Up is that rarity in a children's movie, a comedy that's actually exciting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Short Term 12 is a triumph of modesty.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The very name Orson Welles stands for genius wasted and betrayed, and the movie offers some foreshadowing of his triumphs and failures to come.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Seabiscuit is a good enough movie, in the sense that it's a well-crafted assemblage of pathos and rousing moments, solidly acted and handsomely shot -- but it's far from champion material.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Both Rudd and Segel have splendid comic timing and their improvised scenes leap out from the script.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Jordan remains faithful to the looney sensibility of a hero, who is hard to take, but in his refusal to acquiesce to the social humdrum, is like a saint, or at least an artist.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Lady Vengeance is more than half over before we discover the object of Geum-Ja's hatred: a kindergarten teacher named Mr. Baek. He's played by Choi Min-sik, the prisoner in "Old Boy," and here he's as tepid as he was heated in that film.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An entertaining takeoff and a high-altitude ride eventually runs into some bumpy weather and a clumsy landing in Mike Newell's new comedy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Wong returns once more to what he seems to know best - the visual poetry of the urban Asian night, a world of characters on the move, coming and going, never really getting anywhere. [5 Dec 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    By its third act, Okwe has found his solution and Dirty Pretty Things comes across as both clever but a little pat, another British drama about the misfits who pool their resources to defy the oppressive system, though it does not precisely leave a warm glow.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The more compelling performance comes from Watts as Valerie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    With his trademark spare, unfussy direction and jumping into the story approach, Eastwood subtly establishes the themes of faith, loss and love and then he raises the drama to a different level.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Smart and youthful, with a well-balanced package of humour, romance, crisp action and character-based drama, Star Trek gives popcorn movies a good name.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Even a politically naive film critic can see that An Inconvenient Truth isn't only about science or economics; it's also about ideology.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Whether you appreciate Gloria as a portrait of a vital woman, muddling through life’s middle chapters, or as an allegory of Chilean resilience, the message is the same: Let’s face the music and dance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    At 128 minutes – Almodovar's longest film to date – Broken Embraces is an easy film to bid farewell to.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Deft and ironic, mixing banal reality with poignant metaphor in a typically Iranian style.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Bridges's big performance takes place in the context of a relatively minor movie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Mrs. Brown will not overturn Queen Victoria's prim reputation, but it reminds us that there was more to the woman than that famous plump cameo that has become the symbol of a more modest era.

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