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 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Alspector's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Tarzan
Lowest review score: 0 Whatever It Takes
Score distribution:
529 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    This movie restores genre elements to a level of potency that's disturbing, satisfying, and rare as hell.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    A scene set inside the chicken-pie-making machinery proves that the Rube Goldberg formula is infallible.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    This surreal, subversive teen drama tanked at the box office but has since become a cult favorite, prompting this new release with 20 minutes of additional footage.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Some powerful dialogue.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    It's easy to suspend disbelief and embrace this historically creative fiction, whose clever relationship to what's known and what's unresolved is part of what makes it so intriguing and so romantic.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Without becoming manipulative, sensational, or trite, the movie lets us know what became of the animals -- many dogs and one stowaway cat -- on the ill-fated ship.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Mitchell, who also directed and wrote the screenplay, originally created this glorious rock opera for the stage with composer-lyricist Stephen Trask.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Often coming across as simultaneously out of control and self-possessed, Borchardt can't have been an easy target, but the filmmakers seem to have nailed him.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    A movie whose story may be even more innovative than the superreal solidity of the animated characters.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Almost cagily creating understated drama from high-stakes reality.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    A wonderfully complex examination of sexual and material politics that's full of bravely provocative, gently funny, and warmly human encounters.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    The visuals are wild, the sound track has the audacity to underscore the subtext instead of just echoing the obvious, the comedy is irreverent and occasionally slapstick, and the metaphorical details are consistently strong.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    A hopeless romantic meets a hapless realist in this gritty, elegant drama brimming with spontaneous-seeming close-ups.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Dizdar inventively examines bigotry, combining daring humor and hyperbole, dark realism and shining idealism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Scenes of ingenious slapstick violence.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Alspector
    The stylized physiques and movements of the characters in this exciting animated musical-romance-adventure are at once realist and fantastic.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    An unprecedented friendship between a monster and a child leads to an amazing chase scene.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    With the devout collaboration of the cast, Williams blurs the boundary between experience and storytelling as if the distinction were not only irrelevant but presumptuous.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Sumptuously hued in its emotional and visual tones, this drama is also a fairy tale, its plot contrivances beautifully justified by its minimalism.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Using archly staged interviews and reconstructions that draw attention to the components of the documentary form, Morris does justice to the complexity of hot-button issues by suggesting several layers of subtext at once, portraying the articulate Leuchter as both rational and prone to rationalize.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    One girl's melancholy (beautifully expressed by actress Kerry Washington) is a response to a fractured romance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Full of adventure, spectacle, light romance, and the kind of suspense that doesn't require an unpredictable outcome to make your spine tingle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Spheeris, who includes her offscreen questions, evidently sympathizes with her subjects, though this doesn't stop her from pointing out their hypocrisy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    It's an inspired pairing. Wilson is electric as he seduces Chan into a partnership in this self-consciously crafted western, whose cleverness is only part of what makes it so funny.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The bitterly beautiful black-and-white industrial and residential landscapes reflect the sense of anonymity felt by the characters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Alspector
    Possibly the most daring and honest drama about sexuality I've ever seen.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Lee performs magic. He's preserved and expanded the experience of an adrenaline-pumping, uproarious night of racism-, classism-, and sexism-subverting humor.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The twists and revelations of this rigorous noir reduce it to canned psychodrama.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Deep and textured drama.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Lisa Alspector
    Told from too many perspectives, the narrative puts suspense above substance, and its social consciousness seems contrived.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    This wonderful 1997 comedy--about an unlikely group of men who are determined to strip to music rather than get day jobs--is genuinely effective at inverting gender stereotypes and other assumptions, and it's not the slightest bit heavy-handed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    The force of the social criticism is diminished by contrivance and the inclusion of peripheral material.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Though passionate, doesn't pity or flatter the rank and file.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Arch yet earnest.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    A delicate balance of fantasy and realism, caricature and character study that isn't driven primarily by its plot or even the development of its protagonist.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    It's scary and hilarious, with a magical, nonrealist tone, and it emphasizes physical comedy as much as disturbing, beautifully integrated metaphors.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Inspired, self-referential animated musical.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Jensen's use of the conventions of documentary making -- and his undermining of them in ways both bold and subtle -- seems too canny and consistent for the form. Yet the harder I try to decide whether this is a documentary or a parody, the more I wonder why it matters.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Powerful, funny romantic drama.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Shtick isn't all this movie has to offer.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Much of this fractured drama and dark fantasy takes place inside the mind of Charlie (Futterman),
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Scenes that should have been uproarious are weaker than many of the movie's smaller moments.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    All the macho men who let down their guard for Blaustein can be proud of the loving deconstruction of violence-as-entertainment that resulted.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Realist fairy tale.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Lisa Alspector
    Writer-director Aiyana Elliott gives her father his due in this evenhanded yet impassioned documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Director Ron Howard's deftness in suggesting the subjective experience of Crowe's character, who's later diagnosed with schizophrenia, makes for inspirational narrative.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Funny? This one is. It's also sweet and thoughtful.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Set in an expressively underlit environment, this rivetingly moody drama is enhanced by the restrained use of incidental music.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Writer-director Wong Kar-wai makes these five self-consciously idiosyncratic types--often seen through distorting lenses in cinematographer Christopher Doyle's somber, garish Hong Kong--fully and instantly believable.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    The script by Brannon Braga and Ronald Moore provides all the background necessary for viewers unfamiliar with the characters' previous movie and TV-series exploits, but not so much as to annoy fans.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    This low-key romantic comedy proves that destiny-powered love stories can be formulaic without being predictable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Unfortunately the allegory tends to overpower the characterizations even as it deepens them.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Director John Madden calmly dissects the emotions of a woman whose personal life is effectively nonexistent.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The movie manages to push buttons without seeming formulaic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Kelly is a supple and courageous storyteller, boldly free-associating as he mixes parody and satire with earnest psychodrama and coming up with plot points no one could anticipate.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Lisa Alspector
    The clunky plot is set in Santa Fe, and includes a foil character who might as well wear a sign on his forehead.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    A text that provokes thought more than directs it, which should fascinate new and repeat viewers for a long time.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    A persuasively feminine coming-of-age story.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    The lush, emotional scenes are enhanced by the sound track.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Lisa Alspector
    This 1998 movie is essentially a compilation of things-aren't-what-they-seem games played on the viewer; all its little tricks, including Ricci's snide and smart-alecky voice-overs about movie conventions, are really old--except one. But it's not worth the wait.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Lisa Alspector
    A blandly twisting plot with no meaningful revelations or substantial themes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Lisa Alspector
    Some delicately interwoven and unresolved subplots help make the young character's rite of passage wholly, disturbingly compelling.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Lisa Alspector
    The plot is largely a series of excuses for one-liners expertly delivered by Maguire, making all the hatred, maiming, and killing seem like digressions.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    Challenges us to reconcile its snapshots of earnest entrepreneurs, colleagues, and fans with its long takes of her disillusionment.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Alspector
    Takes too long to get its themes and characters out on the field.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Lisa Alspector
    The ultimately uncomplicated view of sexual and emotional violence in a family is only tragic, not insightful.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Audaciously combining conviction and childish humor, this SF thriller reminds us that the distinction between the tangible and the intangible may be frighteningly arbitrary--an idea that's made too scary ever to seem trivial, no matter how silly things get.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Transcendently kitschy, trippingly funny fairy tale, which has a surprising amount of psychological insight and a dance number to die for.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Lisa Alspector
    This bleak vision directed by Darren Aronofsky ("Pi") is pointless with good reason.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Many of the elements in this story about a woman who's nearly eclipsed by her overbearing mother are all too familiar, yet the combination is utterly charming.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Lisa Alspector
    Subtly profound love story.