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 Chuck & Buck
Lowest review score: 0 Jawbreaker
Score distribution:
529 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Improves as it unfolds.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This gorgeous expressionist drama makes the comparisons so effectively at the outset that by the end they seem belabored.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Challenges us to reconcile its snapshots of earnest entrepreneurs, colleagues, and fans with its long takes of her disillusionment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A sense of authenticity overshadows any contrivance in this subtly classic drama.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Persuasive stylized drama.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Favreau, who also plays the long-suffering Bobby, mixes elements of drama into this appropriately annoying comedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The luminous images--as much the filmmakers' as the painter's--are occasionally transcendent.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The characters--their motives at once obvious and obscure--are almost painfully fascinating.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The characters have been designed to make fun of themselves, disguising the craft of writer Neil Cuthbert and director Kinka Usher in getting us to laugh at them.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The behind-the-scenes revelations are thoroughly convincing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Deftly realist character study.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The bitterly beautiful black-and-white industrial and residential landscapes reflect the sense of anonymity felt by the characters.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    [Farrellys'] great achievement is forcing those of us addicted to eye candy to see we have a problem.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    At its best when it’s least overtly allegorical--and fortunately that’s most of the time.
    • 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.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Unlike the many youth movies that can't overcome their makers' hindsight, this one may actually put you in an adolescent frame of mind.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Drew Barrymore's virtuoso performance smooths over the plot holes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Some powerful dialogue.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Jas lots of action, drama, comedy, and corn -- and few pauses, which is striking.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Scenes that should have been uproarious are weaker than many of the movie's smaller moments.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Powerful, funny romantic drama.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The movie manages to push buttons without seeming formulaic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Much of this fractured drama and dark fantasy takes place inside the mind of Charlie (Futterman),
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Potential irony is everywhere in this movie's subtly surreal situations and candy-colored imagery.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Funny, moving, and insightful look at questions about identity and community.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The lush, emotional scenes are enhanced by the sound track.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This bleak vision directed by Darren Aronofsky ("Pi") is pointless with good reason.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Despite a melodramatic score that at times seems almost facetious, the movie's tone is sober and sincere, its unlikely ending persuasive.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Realist fairy tale.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Largely free of generic horror-movie elements, such as exploitative torture and murder scenes. Those it does contain draw attention to the difference between the conventions of psychological drama and those of pulp horror.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The fluidity with which the story frequently makes the transition between the different characters' perspectives is refreshing, even daring.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Mostly it's an overearnest examination of emotional and sexual fidelity.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Though its startling shifts in tone sometimes seem unmotivated, this dark yet syrupy 1998 romance has an adolescent charm.
    • 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.
    • 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
    At a relaxed pace, accompanied by restrained pop music.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Set in an expressively underlit environment, this rivetingly moody drama is enhanced by the restrained use of incidental music.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The hinted romance, featuring Aaliyah, makes for some decent drama and some fine comedy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A mildly psychological suspense thriller with military trappings.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Writer-director Mark Brown ruptures and restores the realism in this romantic comedy with ease, dispensing earnest wisdom with a little tongue in cheek instead of undermining it with a lot of irony.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A standard mix of performances, interviews, and gimmickry -- the image and sound sometimes loop or jump in a tiresomely literal attempt to translate the techniques of scratching and "beat juggling" into cinema.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A musical number or two might have balanced the overdetermined politics and spectacle in this version.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This bright noir, with gleaming cinematography by Jeffrey Jur, is as single-minded as a short story, but the premise is almost too clever.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This gently satirical farce is atmospheric when dabbling in religion--the chef turns to spiritual magic to defuse her passion for her husband--and moving during her heart-to-hearts with her friend.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A pleasure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Lots of men cry lots of tears in this supremely self-indulgent, supremely moving documentary about making a documentary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    There are enough plot points to fill an entire soap-opera season, but writer-director Chi Muoi Lo, who also plays the son, somehow manages to juggle them all, turning seemingly superfluous elements into workable drama and metaphor.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This early-1900s costume drama surely differs from Henry James's source novel.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Writer-director Aiyana Elliott gives her father his due in this evenhanded yet impassioned documentary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Grisman presents, with a sense of humor, the apparent contradictions of a complex personality.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Includes extensive performance footage but never drags, and it isn't exposé or self-mockery.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Chillingly beautiful cinematography makes the state's landscapes appear timeless as it sets the stage for a grim history told with archival portraits.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The running joke about coffee enemas will date this innocuous, crowd-pleasing adventure comedy.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    It's hard to tell whether these characters are meant to seem as staunchly symbolic as they do when they deliver some of the back-story-heavy dialogue.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This eerily dry drama bravely attempts to show, without resorting to the literal staging of contradictory scenarios, how much perceptions of the same situation can vary.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Sandler is disarming and compelling as Sonny.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Though it suggests intriguing ideas about the nature of performance, humor, ambition, and the consumption of spectacle, the movie only superficially explores them.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This buddy movie grows on you.