For 1,243 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Liam Lacey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Kundun
Lowest review score: 0 Date Movie
Score distribution:
1,243 movie reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Mamet's stylized dialogue, elaborate plot puzzles and the angry cleverness of his characterization makes for an invigorating, if not exactly likeable, mix.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Imperfect, but certainly provocative.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A twofold story of heroic achievements and personal failings.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The exiled Tibetans who are interviewed display a lack of bitterness, a sympathy for their enemies and hope for the future that is inspiring.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The wildly ambitious but flawed biographical film about the English cellist Jacqueline du Pré.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Pi
    Audacious and bursting with ideas, the paranoid little sci-fi independent film Pi marks an auspicious debut for New York writer Darren Aronofsky.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The S in Robert S. McNamara stands for Strange, which is an unusual middle name and perhaps an apt description of the man at the centre of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris's gripping character study, The Fog of War.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Somewhere between profound and ludicrous, kind of like a cross between "Waiting for Godot" and "Dude, Where's My Car?"
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A love letter to performers who put their egos and bodies on the line.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The voice that jerks out from Levy's throat suggests Lazarus waking from the dead.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Highly entertaining.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Myers's sheer fertility of invention is of a different order, and even if he misses as often as he hits, he's definitely a swinger.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Director Scott, flashy, fluid and at his best in the steely-blue claustrophic battle-training scenes, immerses the viewer in the process.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Not just a 3-D novelty to amuse school groups, but also a memorial.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An impressive film accomplishment, a combination of technique and extremely specific detail that reminds viewers how potent a rhetorical force the medium can be.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Now if that isn't an inspirational story, it's hard to know what is.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Plays like a sophisticated children's story.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film is an attack on religious hypocrisy, mixing melodrama and black humour in a volatile blend.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Go
    Like circus acrobats who bounce up smiling, the characters end up on their feet, and you realize in retrospect that they survived because somebody, finally, stopped to think. A final thought on Go: Go.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Often more ingenious in appearance than fact. The hunter-gets-captured-by-the-game scenario is predictable and the sequence of shell games does not, when reconsidered, actually add up.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The return to an Errol Flynn-style hero, who can swing from chandeliers, fight with two swords at once and ride a horse backward, recalls a movie era both sexier and more innocent.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    For all its accomplishments, Far from Heaven remains hermetic, an elegant exercise in deadpan irony. What does the movie ultimately mean? Art, we're told, should not mean, but be -- but Haynes's cinematic essays are designed to provoke commentary.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Shows how our family fictions sustain us, and how some truths are better left unspoken.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Tuned in to the anarchic wisecracks and slapstick humour of traditional Warner Bros. cartoons. In contrast to the computer-generated characters and slick script of a movie like "Shrek," Lilo and Stitch still feels like a cartoon aimed at kids, not their parents.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    There is both a sense of disappointment and relief when House of Sand and Fog crosses over into improbability, when the viewer can sit back, breathe easy again. All this trouble over the failure to open an envelope.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film is not about the audience's shared experience, and a lot more about how cool it is to have a backstage pass.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Ten
    Ten may strain your patience but that's the high-stakes gamble of this provocative project.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It is, in short, a compendium of clichés, yet with a presentation that makes the familiar seem remarkably warm and fresh.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It's a cop movie that refuses to cop out in the usual way.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    This is a remarkably good-looking near-corpse of a film, with a pulse that fades in and out.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Actually a pretty entertaining movie, in a kick-you-in-the-pants kind of way. A relative rarity -- a solid no-brow comedy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The film is like an Ingmar Bergman movie as realized by Monty Python: It's seriously gloomy about the loss of spirituality in the world, but at the same time rudely, sometimes hilariously, absurd.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    This witty, star-packed and visually splendid kids' movie provides a small-is-beautiful message served on a parodoxically epic scale.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Amadeus needs an additional 20 minutes running time like "The Magic Flute" needs a drum solo. Though the production is gussied up with more frills and decoration than a Viennese dessert trolley, Forman is generally workmanlike in his visual style and very uneven with his handling of actors.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    In a movie about an ant colony, perhaps it's futile to complain about a superfluity of characters. Yet this need to cover every permutation of cuteness is one major drawback to the cast of A Bug's Life.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Crude, rude, nasty fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Bad history it may be, but Elizabeth is a movie that makes you want more, as it plays to the myth of history's great actress-monarch, a character who puts today's tinselly political heros and heroines (royal and not), to shame.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    As a film about intellectuals, The Barbarian Invasions can sometimes seem maddeningly scattered and contradictory.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The results are not monumental, but they are a variety of sober responses to the tragedy that help place the event in a global context. Some of the films may be, as has been suggested, anti-American in tone, but none come anywhere near defending the attacks.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It's also mysterious in fresh ways. Like Hillary, Yates and Simpson climbed the mountain because it was there -- but what strange deity sent down a Boney M song to help Joe Simpson get home?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    One of the more ingenious and fresh surprises of the summer.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Rather than another oppressive film about poverty, it's a revealing experiment in perspective.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Arguably, Lost in Translation is the American answer to Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, "In the Mood for Love," though less about history, more about infatuation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An ultra-cheap movie, ingeniously promoted through the Internet -- is notable primarily as a model of guerrilla-style niche-marketing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The acting throughout is exceptional, rooted in observed realism, but suggestive of more mythical agents at work through the lives of human beings.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    It feels like one long non-sequitur -- like closing a Charles Bronson film with a disco medley -- but there's an emotional consistency to Kitano's boisterous celebration of movement.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    More entertaining than Mission: Impossible or the last Bond film, Goldeneye, it brings back the humour and sang-froid that makes the genre work.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Unclassifiable and wildly original, it is almost wordless but teeming with sound.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Both an homage to his dad and a backstage story rich in Hollywood lore.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Undoubtedly the rudest and possibly the most inspired comedy of the summer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    A movie that is often as awkward and as filled with mixed impulses as the age it documents.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Energetic, eager-to-please culture-clash comedy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The first half is exhilarating, and the rest is a tolerably honourable surrender to Hollywood conventions.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The lanky action star of the cult television series "Alias" is assigned a tired playbook in this film, but she finds room to manoeuvre in a performance that exceeds expectations.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Captures some of the spirit of the real Che.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Both a triumph of design and cinematic engineering and, at the same time, long, repetitious and naive.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    There's a particular upside-down, half-masked kiss that instantly becomes one of movie history's more memorable smooches. It's the kiss to send any teenaged boy on a spinning high, as well as launching the new age of arachnophilia.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Running at about three hours, The Aviator is long, and the momentum occasionally flags. The depiction of Hughes's first mental breakdown feels a little obsessive-compulsive itself.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Throughout the film, Cheadle's eyes are constantly scanning his environment for opportunities or anything that may be amiss.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Apart from its star, though, Emma may be the least convincing Austen adaptation so far.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Cynical, stylish and witty. [21 Feb 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Freed from the tiresome constraints of plot and character, Rumble in the Bronx is the distilled essence of action entertainment. [27 Feb 1996, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Hal Hartley's latest film, an odd and mentally stimulating black comedy that may or may not have a point. In any case, the ride is delectably weird and entertaining. [17 Jul 1998]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    With the bigger story and more fully developed relationships than the previous films, this is the first Twilight film that feels like a real movie in its own right.
    • 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
    Though the progress of Atim's increasing empathy is predictable, the film understates its points effectively, without simplification.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    What's fun about Benson Lee's documentary Planet B-Boy isn't just the amazingly athletic displays of B-boys he puts on screen, but the film's sense of cultural discovery.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    This intimate portrait of the so-called godmother of punk is aimed at viewers who are keenly fascinated by Smith.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    An odd and irresistible documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Kimberly Reed’s debut documentary, Prodigal Sons, would make a terribly contrived novel, but is a compelling and sensational real-life story.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Eventually, Toy Story 3 finds its way back to that theme of the power of childhood play. There are a few worrisome moments en route, though, when not only the characters but the filmmakers seem to have lost their way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    English director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), takes the approach that movies have been far too reticent. His new film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is as vibrant as a cluttered wall of graffiti, jumpy enough to risk retina damage.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Animal Kingdom isn't perfect: Some performance moments are over-ripe, and there's an episode of arbitrary cruelty that's excessively creepy.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Ultimately, the performances carry the film.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" or James Gray's "We Own the Night," The Town is a deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    Less satisfying are the moments when the film concedes to American horror conventions, especially the scuttling vampire effects, which pull us out of the haunted world of these lovely damaged creatures into a place that, while not of this world, feels entirely too familiar.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Liam Lacey
    The more compelling performance comes from Watts as Valerie.