Lisa Alspector
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For 529 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Alspector's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Tarzan
Lowest review score: 0 Whatever It Takes
Score distribution:
529 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Some powerful dialogue.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A painstakingly crafted nonrealist story, which doesn't seem to imply anything beyond what it depicts.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This bleak vision directed by Darren Aronofsky ("Pi") is pointless with good reason.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Subplots are woven stealthily into the story, taking the pressure off the central drama, allowing it to be affecting rather than melodramatic, and heightening the atmosphere of the lush Louisiana setting.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    There's charm and insight in the candid depictions of the teenagers' sexual experiences and discussions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Realist fairy tale.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The lush, emotional scenes are enhanced by the sound track.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The wavering style and tone fragment the movie, undermining both characters' development, though each retains her power as a symbol.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Deftly realist character study.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Drew Barrymore's virtuoso performance smooths over the plot holes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Movies about the trajectory from outsider to insider in LA social and professional circles--the two always seem inextricably linked--are a dime a dozen, but this one is fresh, thanks to a script by lead actor Jon Favreau that lets us know Mike knows he resembles a character in a movie even if he doesn't know he is one.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The coincidences that bring some characters together and keep others apart in this romantic comedy are plotted with musical grace.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A sparing use of exterior shots during the mesmerizing buildup to the match heightens their impact, while invasively tight close-ups put the actors to the test.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    With its persuasive special effects, gentle pace, and more expressionistic than surreal production design, this serious yet far from ponderous drama is something of a marvel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A hallucination sequence and a scene set in a Vegas nightclub are so engrossing you forget they're animated; even the showiest techniques don't detract from the story.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    At first Costner seems to distrust the hokey character he plays, but his performance and the movie's slanted humor, rash melodrama, and ludicrous action soon become riveting.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    But Peter Hyams, who's both director and director of photography, forces us to constantly strain to see what isn't there, until ultimately the screen explodes in welcome light, a cathartic finale in broad visceral terms even if the drama hasn't inspired much emotion.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    At a relaxed pace, accompanied by restrained pop music.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Powerful, funny romantic drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Persuasive stylized drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A black waitress and a white corrections officer in rural Georgia experience more misery in the first hour of this movie than some people do in a lifetime, and to its credit the drama doesn’t collapse under the weight.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    As a ditz who's just smart enough to know something isn't right, Lyonne blends hyperbole and sincerity in perfect proportions.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Jas lots of action, drama, comedy, and corn -- and few pauses, which is striking.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The narrative--a complex structure of flashbacks and shifts in perspective that's part inspirational story, part courtroom drama, part character study, part exposé--never makes it seem that history is being oversimplified.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Improves as it unfolds.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Exciting, clever sequences driven by surprisingly little plot and culminating in a climax full of the transmogrification animation was invented for.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Potential irony is everywhere in this movie's subtly surreal situations and candy-colored imagery.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Much of this fractured drama and dark fantasy takes place inside the mind of Charlie (Futterman),
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The fluidity with which the story frequently makes the transition between the different characters' perspectives is refreshing, even daring.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A persuasively feminine coming-of-age story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A graceful, understated sense of period allows the behavior of the characters in this love story to be unusually nuanced, making their experiences seem uncontrived as well as archetypal.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The conventional ghost-appeasement scenario isn't very suspenseful, which may be part of the reason it's so gripping.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    With a distinctively middle-aged zest, Carpenter retools even the hopeless cliche requiring action heroes to spout bad puns while dispatching bad guys; his eminently stylish movie proves that new blood can flow from an old vein.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Even the melodramatic score can't ruin the essentially serious tenor of this old-style non-self-referential horror story, whose characterizations are unassailable--stereotypical shtick you buy because the performers are working so hard and their faces are so skillfully lit.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    At once self-conscious and generic, this smart monster movie about smart monsters -- supersharks cleverer than the scientist who created them -- repeatedly lulls you into thinking it's paint by numbers.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Though the jokey lines seem out of place, the somber tone of this 1998 action movie makes the political subtext -- nearly obscured by the expected double crosses, extravagant destruction, and incongruous-buddies shtick -- more sincere and less grandiose than usual.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Though its startling shifts in tone sometimes seem unmotivated, this dark yet syrupy 1998 romance has an adolescent charm.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    It's all very clever but not really provocative - though a layer of political subtext may make the scenario seem funnier and more meaningful.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Kempner's lighthearted yet not apolitical collage conveys how Greenberg's success as an athlete in the 30s and 40s contradicted an ethnic stereotype.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The behind-the-scenes revelations are thoroughly convincing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Intending to study the degree to which social class would determine the subjects' destinies, the series actually documents something more filmable--the degree to which the subjects believed social class would determine their destinies and the degree to which they believe it has.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A wizard at manipulating time, Kitano introduces staccato elements that interrupt the meditative pace even as they help set it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Challenges us to reconcile its snapshots of earnest entrepreneurs, colleagues, and fans with its long takes of her disillusionment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The characters--their motives at once obvious and obscure--are almost painfully fascinating.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This friendly, briefly exciting story (1998), inspired by John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, achieves a nice balance between caricature and nuanced characterization and even manages not to be cloying.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    By the time the fighting between clones and their originals turned to fraternal bonding, I was quite moved, even blissed out.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    At once a light comedy and a reasonably serious meditation on the perils of fame.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Divided into sections bracketed by the arrival of each new DJ and is enlivened by the edgy yet trendy environment.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    [Farrellys'] great achievement is forcing those of us addicted to eye candy to see we have a problem.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The movie manages to push buttons without seeming formulaic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Scenes that should have been uproarious are weaker than many of the movie's smaller moments.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Many of the plot points seem belabored because they're introduced in the voice-over, then ploddingly dramatized, then analyzed by the family over meals.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This is a sensitive and at times gently humorous love-and-war story; the flight scenes are exciting and exquisitely crafted, the characters lovingly drawn.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The treatment of this touchy material is impressive, neither gratuitous nor mincing, but this satirical comedy doesn't really go anywhere.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The music's great, but frequent tight shots of actors ostensibly blowing their horns look phony enough to be distracting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Though hypocritical in the way it sensationalizes sexuality, this serious and funny 1998 movie about a 15-year-old coming to terms with her body and her family in 1976 is, refreshingly, never coy or ironic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This gorgeous expressionist drama makes the comparisons so effectively at the outset that by the end they seem belabored.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    For the sake of more irony--the movie is lousy with it--the precocious characters have an infantile response to the discovery that their parents are missing: all want their mommies after a night of junk-food excess.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Entrancingly lurid live-action fantasy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Stylistic excess, comedy, and romance often help make extremes of cruelty and horror function as cathartic metaphor, and all three figure, not always successfully, in this sequel.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The social criticism is as unforced as the humor (and the references to "The Conversation") in this 1998 conspiracy thriller, whose spirited action is balanced by an almost contemplative attitude toward surveillance phobias and the movie cliches they've spawned.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A judicious mix of the lightly gory, the generously cartoonish, and the unexpectedly atmospheric makes for action that's scary yet unintimidating.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Mildly exciting sports-in-prison movie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Depp conveys his character's ambivalence and ambiguity with utter conviction, and though the annoying score tries to throw Pacino's monologues over the top, his persuasive, low-key performance puts the violins in their place.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Disarming-misfit story, which combines elements of a road movie, romance, small-town idyll, and police procedural.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Their blossoming love is thwarted at every opportunity by wicked stepmother Anjelica Huston, whose practical motive -- she wants her own daughter to become queen -- is part of an unusually nuanced characterization.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Political incorrectness, gross-out humor, references for their own sake, and some real wit are distributed over the 85 minutes with an unusually consistent sense of timing and proportion, and the tone is just right.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Favreau, who also plays the long-suffering Bobby, mixes elements of drama into this appropriately annoying comedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Whether the story's bald ironies are historical cliches or just dramatic ones, they convey only platitudes about gender, sexuality, and power.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Vigilant viewers may spend many of the 101 minutes fixating on tiny holes in the plot, but I was busy being moved by the premise and the filmmakers' confidence in the power of their metaphor: a little boy who's disappointed in the man he grew up to be.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    I kind of liked this slow, stoner comedy.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A pleasure.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Even though I appreciate this movie's craft, I wish I hadn't seen it. It's a heady, progressive -- or perhaps elaborately conservative? -- romance, but it's also a tale of terrible suffering.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A realist mode that strains credibility; it's tenuous and inflexible -- and easily ruptured by the contrived irony in Jimmy McGovern's screenplay.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    There's little rapport between Duchovny and Driver after their initial meeting. More exciting and suspenseful is the relationship between Driver's confidant (Hunt) and her husband (James Belushi), who can't seem to get all their kids to go to sleep at the same time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    As the driven competitor who learns to make hubris work for him, Jared Leto gives a complex performance that suggests a deep, intriguing interior to the character even as he maintains a convincing one-dimensional facade.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The hinted romance, featuring Aaliyah, makes for some decent drama and some fine comedy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The material is powerful--one boxer has been accused of a crime and the trial conflicts with a crucial competition--but much of it feels predigested, the themes inadvertently one-dimensional.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    As personal and political agendas mix, with deadly results, director Jim Sheridan parallels the moderated violence of boxing with the unchecked violence of terrorism.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Despite the practical nature of the costars' bond, I spent most of the lukewarm actioner wondering when the hell they were going to start kissing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Luc Besson--and Andrew Birkin wrote the pandering, adolescent screenplay for this pseudosubversive hagiography, and nearly every scene screams out its sensationalist intent, though few actually achieve the status of spectacle.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This fairly serious meditation on conventionality and monogamy blames his ennui on external forces, remaining adolescent even when it suggests its hero has grown up.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Though I hate to ruin the complex experience of following a rather calm story about a lonely widower as it becomes something else, I feel obliged to point out that the hard-core gore and soft-core surrealism of this baroque morality play may not support any theme.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Writer-director Aiyana Elliott gives her father his due in this evenhanded yet impassioned documentary.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This realist fairy tale of impossible love has a fair amount of nuance and charm.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This early-1900s costume drama surely differs from Henry James's source novel.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Though it isn't so much funny as clever, the parody will hopefully discourage some aspiring teen-movie makers from doing the same old thing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The vicarious catharsis offered by this adaptation of Anna Quindlen's novel is as efficient as that of any family-affected-by-illness drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    In a lumbering way, this depressing feel-good drama about the impact of cancer on two children, their divorced parents, and the father's girlfriend offers some useful insights into how feelings of jealousy and betrayal can limit the potential of family relationships.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The precredits sequence is exciting--it's the only part of the movie that even begins to use the idea of the vulnerability of a horror-movie audience reflexively. The rest of the story is a straightforward narrative that's threatening only to the ingenues in the cast.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    It's doubtful that the haste with which two actors of the same sex break away from a kiss in this comedy was in the script, but otherwise everybody stays in character, which is impressive given the manic range of some of the roles and the comic monotony of others.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Includes extensive performance footage but never drags, and it isn't exposé or self-mockery.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Impressively nuanced.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This insidiously complex satire is filled with apparent digressions, and our complete identification with the man occurs so gradually that it's impossible to pinpoint just when our previous disdain becomes a position of relative comfort.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Sandler is disarming and compelling as Sonny.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The deliberately obvious equating of knife throwing with sex would be funnier if it weren't so serious, and the undercut eroticism is part of what makes the movie themeless, merely a conceptual exercise.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The movie, which leans too heavily on the metaphorical value of the two historic events, dives from heady romance into heavy moralizing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This buddy movie grows on you.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Against the lush backdrop of the Andes, Crowe and Caruso define on-screen cool: good guys in a match of wits and firepower who even talk about their emotions.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A mildly psychological suspense thriller with military trappings.

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