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
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Impressively nuanced.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Much of the three-hour movie takes place in the prison, but the resonant characterization, expansive plotting, and judicious use of exterior locations and flashbacks remove any sense of claustrophobia or sluggishness.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Many of the gags rely on the incongruity of Grant's nervous, cultured character posing as an Italian-American stereotype, but they're subverted by his earnest relationship with his fiancee, whose affection hardly seems worth the trouble.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Images about imagery can be diverting, even insightful, but this painterly 1999 feature piles up studies in elaborately choreographed motion that are their own reason for being.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Its depiction of teenage behavior appears calculated to seem irreverent while satisfying expectations.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    It's marvelous or unwatchable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Until the story diverges from a similar agenda, the gags about the daily grind and what happens when a drone forgets how to be submissive make for beautifully low-key satire, and the caricatures of office types seem clever.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The connection between his boasting about killing and killing so he can boast about it -- is made beautifully insidious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Though it strives for broad humor, pushing cuteness and light irony, this bland 1998 movie isn't exactly a comedy.
    • 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.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    I kind of liked this slow, stoner comedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Though there's a crime to be solved, a romance to go awry, and lots of trooper-police politics to elaborate on, the strangely drawn out pacing somehow feels fresh rather than oppressive.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This realist fairy tale of impossible love has a fair amount of nuance and charm.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This special-effects animal-action comedy is for heavily identified pet owners.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The contrast between Tucker's motormouth and Chan's man of few words should be funnier, but the plot -- which is cliched without quite becoming self-reflexive -- and the uneven pace dampen most of their moments.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Beautifully regenerates the Jay Ward TV show its characters were based on.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Visually imaginative and even persuasively spiritual.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Inspired, self-referential animated musical.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    It's all very impressive without being particularly enthralling.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Isn't terribly frightening or gory, and at times it's even atmospheric. It also has a sense of humor, and the digs at the prequels hit pay dirt.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    The payoff matters at least as much as the setup, and this story's secret is way too easy to guess.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Danny Glover and Mel Gibson make a gently contrasted (and nicely self-reflexive) odd couple in this action-comedy sequel.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    A businessman is visited by an otherworldly presence who has the nerve to fall in love with his daughter in this savory, extralong feature, whose obvious plotlines unfold with an almost painful slowness that somehow makes them deeper.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Cher generates much of the movie's limited interest with her powerful screen presence, and Maggie Smith's skill as a diplomat's widow who believes she has a special relationship with Mussolini is undeniable. Yet the story, structured by the fragmented perspectives of too many characters, is more often lightweight than funny.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Even as you're wincing at what you thought was misguided earnestness, it's being subverted by filmmakers who've turned many of the genre's weaknesses into tiny triumphs.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    This 'heartwarming' thriller refuses to distinguish realism from stylization, and much of the plot is a twisted mess of repetition and unpersuasive motivation.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Would be sweeter if the fair maiden weren't such a pill and more exciting if the villain weren't quite so nasty.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Instructive comedy, which is marvelously neutral toward a type of sexual and domestic relationship that's often exploited or overblown.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Engagingly corny drama.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Plotted densely enough to make the lulls forgivable, this movie concerns a contract killer (Bruce Willis) who employs several small-business owners to craft his super-high-tech weapons and the many accessories that enable him to assume multiple identities.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    There are moments of high hilarity in the slapstick that results when the characters attempt to minimize mucus-membrane contact during sex.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Sex and JFK's assassination are intertwined in this puerile, pseudodark story about a wacky family--an adaptation of Wendy MacLeod's play that uses the medium of cinema mainly to exploit archival footage.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    It's always at least a little disingenuous to attack the medium that's your bread and butter; this media-bashing movie tries to get around the problem by restricting its critique to television, specifically the news.
    • 11 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    But the most stimulating, satisfying aspect of this action fantasy is the theme music.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    There's tenderness, humor, a gratuitous body double, and splashy lighting in this ho-hum action drama, which takes itself at times too seriously and at other times not seriously enough.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    An admirable if frequently soporific 1992 adaptation of Norman Maclean's account of life in Missoula, Montana.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    As an undiscovered beauty who frequents open-stage night at the local performance-art club, her rack hidden under paint-spattered overalls, her chiseled face obscured by glasses, Rachael Leigh Cook is charming and sincere, and ultimately so is Prinze, whose character's realization that he's not as shallow as he'd thought is convincing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The twists and revelations of this rigorous noir reduce it to canned psychodrama.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    DeVito's low-key midlife crisis is consistently moving, but Spacey, saddled with the role of provocateur, is demonically boring.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Though the questionable motives and bad planning of offscreen characters who far outrank Gibson make it difficult to take at face value one soldier's last words -- "I'm glad I could die for my country" -- some viewers will, which may be as the filmmakers intended.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Stylishly realized, but its striking cinematography, nontraditional editing, and consistently reflexive use of genre conceits add up as methodically as a math problem.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The idiosyncratic instrumentation and melodies in the score by Angelo Badalamenti ("Blue Velvet") and a masterful opening scene are wasted on this pathetic thriller.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    I never thought I'd see a slapstick animal action movie about the beauty of interracial relationships and nonmarital sex, but that's what this is, and kids seem to love it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Has an adolescent energy and a tempered sexuality.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This romantic comedy turns stereotypes inside out as the main character, whose sense of commitment is represented by a tattoo on her finger instead of a wedding ring.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Mild gross-out comedy integrates a non sequitur -- a running joke made by a sidekick -- into the plot, providing some payoff.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This watchable 1998 psychothriller deflects its cliches with canted angles, metonymic cropping, and a creeping pace, making it as much a parsing of "Twilight Zone"-brand irony as an example of it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Poor execution sometimes points up the difference between the telling of a story and the story itself--in this case, without diminishing the power of the latter.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The final image, a minimalist evocation--perhaps a compromise for an unmarketable ending--puts an intriguing spin on everything that's come before it.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    A series of stunts with bears and lots of stage fighting involving characters who are unambiguously good or evil.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The movie's strength is in its comedy; a tragic subplot feels merely manipulative.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Elmo's obsessive reaction is never examined, compromising the ability of this rambling minor spectacle to put across its obvious lesson about sharing.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The consistency with which the plot turns on characterization instead of contrivance makes this movie better than many of its supposedly grown-up competitors.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The unusually thoughtful dialogue and soul-searching performances make this romantic drama seem deeper than it is.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This spiritual thriller is too wooden to be taken as seriously as was clearly intended.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Unfortunately the allegory tends to overpower the characterizations even as it deepens them.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    An open-mindedness in the plotting of this romantic comedy set on Ireland's Donegal coast adds a couple of mild surprises to the story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The gangster-movie plot, themes, and allusions aren't nearly as intriguing as the earnestly kitschy black-and-white wide-screen images or the mesmerizing, minimalist sound effects.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This concept comedy-drama would be even better if the intercutting among households had been timed to add dramatic content rather than simply advance the subplots.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Doesn't quite support the weight of its allegory.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Has the enthusiasm and naivete of a first feature.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Pretty funny caper comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Its charm and humor will be overshadowed for some by the exploitation of gay stereotypes--which is ironic, since their arch usage ultimately allows the movie to be progressive, if only slightly.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This mild thriller's consistently dark atmosphere makes the scene-of-the-crime tableaux...transcend exploitation and even suggest a kind of feminist odyssey.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Mined for comedy and milked for drama, though what results is diminished by the very framing device contrived to punch it up.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Self-congratulatory feature, which artificially exalts the character--a classic saint with clay feet--by casting a grande dame and by reducing her motives to facile psychodrama
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Not unlike "Eyes Wide Shut," this is an eerily earnest contemplation of fidelity, and it's pitched as farce.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Nicely toned.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The ingenious if erratic slickness is disorienting and makes the movie more like drama than journalism.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Disturbing--if less sophisticated than the best SF (science fiction)-horror TV.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The script, which infantilizes one of the older siblings as much as the father does, undermines its own admonitions against parents and adult children meddling in one another's lives.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Nothing's wrong with this movie--the hockey footage is exciting, the characters quirky, the subplots idiosyncratic--but nothing's special about it either.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Slower, more earnest, and not as gory.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    It's a pleasing but shallow hodgepodge.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Insights about romance are enhanced by the novel production design, which includes puppetry, but the story's reflexivity is smug and cloying.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The filmmakers have created a pretentious extended "Twilight Zone" episode with obscenely high production values.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Labyrinthine yet oversimple, the story seems to hide a more provocative one. But perhaps this is the nature of the beast.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The new sexism -- the old sexism plus the idea that everything is ironic -- is getting old.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    It's a bitter story played for humor, in which a callous character is never quite allowed to see herself as such.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The coincidences that make the destined lovers' paths cross aren't contrived with much finesse, but the characters get in some decidedly clever lines.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Pales in comparison to the controversial "Life Is Beautiful"--a more provocative fiction, if only because it's even less realist.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The feminist veneer is the most deeply disturbing part of this callow thriller, whose fetishizing of a dead woman's body (and a live woman's sexual behavior) is far more questionable than anything even "The Silence of the Lambs" has been accused of.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This underdog comedy and its title character have considerable charm.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The narrative emphasizes coincidences, but they're nicely understated. If it didn't seem gimmicky and self-indulgent...the movie might be more affecting.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The shtick based on whether other people understand him is subtle enough for 79 minutes.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Strives for comprehensive coverage of its theme of forbidden love.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Antonio Banderas signs up for charisma lessons from Anthony Hopkins -- but they just don't take.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    This culinary fantasy is mildly inspired.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Demands that we see as coincidental if not ironic the ease with which Fraser cuts a rug at a swing club when he's hopelessly naive about everything else that's being revived in the 90s when he emerges.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The violence is suggested in a way that's neither overwhelming nor insulting to a child's intelligence as this crafty fairy tale ultimately finds a way for human and vampire characters to live and let live.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The makers of this eclectically animated adventure, a follow-up to "The Rugrats Movie," know their audience, though all the "Godfather" references will be thoroughly puzzling to at least half of it.