Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,907 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Cold Comfort Farm
Lowest review score: 0 Gummo
Score distribution:
1,907 movie reviews
    • 37 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Concentrate instead on the delightful performances. A thespian shoutout goes to Reynolds (his hair bleached bright yellow for the gig) for his jaunty way with a cape, tights, and the hands-on-hip poses of superherodom.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Big Apple of this evanescent tone poem is an invented nocturnal landscape featuring speechifying eccentrics and absurdist moments that feel northern European in sensibility.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The political angle is gratuitous, even foolish, and certainly a distraction from the movie's visual strengths.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Filmmaker Reed Cowan (himself gay and raised Mormon) documents the church's considerable financial influence on Prop 8's passage. Then he expands his sad and furious homegrown film to record the misery of gay Mormons sometimes driven to suicide over being rejected by their church and families.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    On the other hand, this proud graduate of the School of Cleary Classics wishes that, like the young heroine herself, Ramona and Beezus dared more often to color outside the lines.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Thompson, who also wrote the script, has skittery, baffling fun enjoining her plummy guest actors (including Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, and Maggie Smith) to play broad Brit types.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And so by the time the pair admire the Grand Canyon and, Due Date has lost its way, relying on its leading men to lead by charisma alone, even though their characters have nowhere interesting to go besides the happily-ever-after of dull, responsible male maturity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The signature Eastwoodian music that the director lays over the proceedings - piano tinkle, guitar pluck, and an echo of Rachmaninoff out of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter - can't hold the assemblage together.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end cinematically inert - clearly reflects the authorship of myth-loving director Julie Taymor.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The affectionate, bemused, structurally unkempt portrait is at its best capturing Merritt's close collaboration with his longtime friend and bandmate Claudia Gonson.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The telegenic Lomborg is the on-camera "star" of the show, while his angry critics growl on cue.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The biggest strike against Rango, though - for both the movie and the hero - is that the lizard is so damn ugly.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Some of the riffs are really funny and/or expertly scary. Others have the feel of awfully snappy dialogue crafted by middleaged people trying a little too eagerly to sound like the young people from whose mouths the banter flows.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Haywire cavorts around the world - Barcelona, Dublin, upstate New York, New Mexico - with Bourne-again energy and timeline shuffles, making only cursory attempts at plot coherence
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is high-quality work from a professional (Gibson) who, news reports have suggested, has recently sunk to terrible lows in his nonprofessional life.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not to get all Dorothy about it, but when it comes to Cars, there's no place like home. The emotional punch of the original is inextricably rooted in the movie's appreciation of off-the-beaten-track America, and all that homegrown vintage car culture signifies.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a pomo twist to the whole overeager enterprise, in all its theoretical, film-school charm: Similar to 2010's "Machete," the movie was born from a fake 
 trailer commissioned by Grindhouse directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's biggest surprise may be that the story we think we know from modern scary cinema - that horror is a fun, cosmic game, not much else - here turns out to be pretty much the whole enchilada.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marigold Hotel achieves what it sets out to do: Sell something safe and sweet, in a vivid foreign setting, to an underserved share of the moviegoing market.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Close's passion for the character she plays - 
a role, she has explained in interviews, that has absorbed her since she first played Nobbs on stage 30 years ago - contains its own intrigue.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like Bill Murray and Greg Kinnear before him, this funnyman reveals serious acting chops.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Michelle Williams plays Monroe, and she's a wonder. Working opposite a suitably florid Kenneth Branagh as that high thespian Sir Larry.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    David Schwimmer directs this smarmy Hot Topic drama with empathy for the craft of acting but less interest in the craft of making a movie move.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Always the smooth showman, Spurlock avoids answering his own question: Is he selling out or buying in?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For some viewers, Moonrise Kingdom may be movie heaven, another bric-a-brac-jammed bauble to place alongside "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" and "The Darjeeling Limited." Personally, though, I wish that Anderson would come out from under the glass, or at least change what he's doing under there.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It is fun, though, 
 to see the younger Hanks play a murderer - it's like seeing Justin Bieber work blue.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's power is undercut by the overemphasized presence of celebrity traveling environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    3
    German filmmaker Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) noodles around with form, composition, and sexuality in 3, a playfully pieced-together, beautifully shot, and secretly ridiculous drama about a triangular relationship among blasé Berliners.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An old-fashioned, tastefully constrained supernatural thriller, The Woman In Black embraces the elements of gothic horror movies with pleasing seriousness.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Guilt Trip is not about Rogen, bubbeleh. Streisand is her own once-in-a-lifetime trip, looking gawjuss with that divine voice and those killer fingernails, and the sight of the lady scarfing down four pounds of beef at a Texas steak joint is one a Streisand lover can now cross off her bucket list.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's the parental mush about trusting one's kid to make her own discoveries and blah blah blah (spoken in a Sandlerized version of a Dracula voice) that drains the movie of blood. What's left are platitudes, and Sandler singing a novelty song in a Transylvanian-accented falsetto.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A polarizing load of quirkiness in Extremely Loud gunks up (at least for this hometown mourner; your results may vary) what is at heart a piercing story.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In making the radical artistic choice to tell the story as if it were being enacted by players on a stage, Wright falls passionately in love with his own fanciful artifices.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Heavy on mood and murk.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Owen devotes himself to the horror-flick role of a father battling his daughter's monsters with the same trademark efficiency and intensity he brings to every project, whether pulpy like "Killer Elite" or pure like "Shadow Dancer."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fault, I think, isn't in our stars but in the script, running up a huge comedy tab the likable players can't pay off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The power dynamic may charm the French, but it's likely to push the cringe buttons of local moviegoers in Obama's post-"The Green Mile America." Apart from the wince-inducing moments, The Intouchables is often a pleasant buddy picture.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Love and sex are scary in Bradley Rust Gray's over-Freuded exercise in semi-horror/gender studies.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The yarn is too irresistible: We're fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but are left hungry for beef.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not to be confused with a dramatization of Kate Chopin's great 1899 proto-feminist novel, this by-the-numbers British ghost story, set just after WWI, devotes a lot of energy to set decoration.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Struck by Lightning sticks to generic character sketches of high school student types - the jock, the goth, the cheerleader, etc. - and gives Carson the best lines. In between, some charming, buzzy talents pitch in on this short little lark.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So much is satisfying in KC that its shortcomings are all the more discordant.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ironically, they make the bond between John and Savannah look so natural that the ''dear John'' turn in their relationship makes even less sense than it does in the book.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A sad-but-hopeful, dramatic-but-gentle fairy tale intentionally made less upsetting for teens.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Timing is everything. And Youth in Revolt is late -- arriving not just at the tail end of the star's sell-by date for this particular kind of character, but more importantly at the tail end of the intended audience's attention span for an inconsequential Sundance-y tale of sexual coming-of-age.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut (she also plays fellow Hurl Scout Smashley Simpson), and it's clear she's more attuned to grrrlishness than real athletic power.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A frustratingly old-school, Hollywood-style, inspirational biopic about Amelia Earhart that doesn't trust a viewer's independent assessment of the famous woman pictured on the screen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There is every reason to learn about the link between jewels and death, by all means, but no reason to try to disguise a term paper as entertainment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    You know what you want to see if you want to see The Notebook...You want to see girls in pretty 1940s dresses, soldiers in stirring World War II uniforms, handsome automobiles and equally handsome Southern landscapes. You want to see romance overcome adversity.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Their message (Cassavetes and screenwriter Jeremy Leven) in My Sister's Keeper? Cancer sucks, but there's always the balm of beach scenes and an emo soundtrack.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By the end of Death at a Funeral's effortful farce about busted British propriety, you may feel that peculiar facial ache that comes from wishing to laugh with no really satisfying release.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is ornate, arbitrary, and fetishistic, too, with the added challenge of being hell to follow for those without access to crib notes. Intellectually, I can admire the emphasis on visual style over plot clarity.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hell of it is, Be Cool is tepid entertainment that could be cool if it spent less time entertaining us as if we were demanding a definition of rhythm.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Glued tightly from page to screen, Sin City is so seduced by the visual possibilities of sin that style becomes its own vice.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This insanely busy, exceedingly long, and sometimes endearingly preposterous rendering has simply gotten the directions reversed in its insistence on sticking only to where men-who-make-adventure-flicks have gone before.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Each joke and one-liner is a made-for-HBO zinger, each scene with Sandler a reaffirmation of the old friendship between the two successful SNL alums.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yes
    Parse the philosophy behind the spill of words, though, and you'll find intellectual jumble, junk. Better to nod to Yes as a drowsing chant than take it seriously as a statement of global concerns.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Think of Elizabethtown as Cameron Crowe's rambling amateur travelogue, one from a well-liked professional filmmaker momentarily so distracted by private notes scrawled on his souvenir map that he gets lost en route to telling his story of self-renewal. This undershaped, overlong warmedy is an homage to the memory of his late father.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not one bit of the story tracks. But with these women in these roles, you're asking for truth?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Neither powerful nor interesting. It is a run-of-the-mill movie ''product'' developed as part of a 50 Cent marketing plan.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wayne's World's Penelope Spheeris directs and also plays herself, in a movie with a message as self-congratulatory as it is meta: All problems are surmountable when selfless Hollywooders work extra, extra hard, pulling together ''for the kid.''
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not since "Snow Falling on Cedars" have I seen so pedigreed a lit-pic sit there like such an inert teapot, available only to be admired for its mysterious, ineffable Asian teapotness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Still, it's only just a jump shot or two before Glory Road settles into its rudimentary, music-cued rhythms of classroom civics lessons punctuated by on-court action.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Funny, director and co-writer Dani Levy suggests with no little coldness, how the scent of money can do what religion, ideology, and ethical principles cannot.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A shaky piece of work, with stumpy cinematography, choppy edits, speechy dialogue, and loose plotlines. And yet: There's an easygoing authenticity to the depiction of Kenya and her world that coexists with the picture's many weaknesses.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When the florid speeches of volcanic rage and frustration draw to a close - and when Collins and Gooding complete their acting exercises - we still have no clue who these men are and what sent them down their intersecting moral dark alleys.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That everything gets worked out -- friendship affirmed, jokes made about silly magazine articles on reeling in a boy -- is as sure as the soundtrack's inclusion of a Mandy Moore song.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is cross-eyed with fuzzy thinking; it's also an interesting, if wacko, artistic response to world events.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And as ever, the jokes are a jumble of the gross, the baggy, the raunchy, the mistimed, and - every once in a while - the refreshingly incorrect.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scottish actor Peter Mullan saves a drama tangled in the seaweed of life lessons from drowning in pathos.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fact that this formulaically winsome movie, directed by British TV helmer Julian Jarrold, is based on product-line changes at a real Northamptonshire factory does little to freshen its approach.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An overdeveloped coming-of-age potboiler.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's nothing particularly revolutionary about writer-director Robert Edwards' grimly satiric political fable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An alarming male wallow passing as a fetching date-night dramedy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Connoisseurs of digital animation, graphic novels, and the history of dystopian art will have plenty to discuss about Christian Volckman's visually striking, technically impressive black-and-white animated feature Renaissance…But no one will be talking about the movie's banal plot, the trite dialogue, or any of the indistinguishable characters who offer a bleak futuristic vision of cinema that's all style, no soul.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie represents an earnest effort to compensate for all the love the media has shown to firefighters and other land-based first responders in recent years with little thought to the Coast Guard; the drama also crashes on wave upon wave of clichés.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shortbus is chipper, it's fresh, it emits a distinct musk of controversy. I'll take the longbus.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scott Sommer's late-1970s coming-of-age novel, with little of the vivid specificity of "Mean Creek," even though the two share a screenwriter and a producer.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    However admirably Minghella urges a break from complacency and an entry into a state of local/global compassion, his characters are position holders rather than people.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What a dull, nice movie, wrenched from a wild premise and battered into docility.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The shallow frat-on-frat rivalry and the poor-boy-loves-rich-girl subplot don't mean a thing. But the stepping does got that swing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An overstuffed, unengaging drama that makes time for a love triangle.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The culprit, I'd say, is the uninteresting casting of Miss Roberts in the title role. She's a pleasant enough performer, but her made-for-teen-TV acting style, a perky blandness, doesn't supply a clue as to the appeal of Nancy Drew after all these years.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The message is so good-hearted, so inarguable, so dull.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For all the creaminess of the sets and costumes, every character talks as if she is still made out of written words, not flesh, and each woman's struggles feel about as important as a tea dance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Time, Kim Ki-Duk's pointed commentary on surfaces and consumer fads -- with particular meaning for plastic-surgery-obsessed South Korea -- is as tautly ''pretty'' and inexpressive as the results for those who compulsively seek cosmetic perfection.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's fun to see the glamorous actress turn down her movie-star flame, but it's a pity she's stuck with so many trite gestures on Kate's journey to fulfillment.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Robert Downey Jr. is an uncomfortable sight as the school's hard-drinking, overstressed principal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everything about Foster's ocular intensity is riveting, but little in this hushed vigilante drama makes sense.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    No matter what panache Bier adds, Things We Lost is still a TV-scaled tear-duct drama about a beautiful woman who pushes past sadness in her House & Garden home.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Too bad Kapur's new, glittering sequel also shows up feeling prematurely old, square, and cautious. A production of exquisitely complicated wigs and expensively grand wide shots, it pauses often to admire its own beauty, leery of messing with previous success.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The brittle, very ''written'' catty quips meant to characterize Washington hypocrisy sound perfunctory; the story of an aging, self-hating homosexual who goes home alone to his lacquered town house feels ancient as well as uncomfortable for the writer-director. (Harrelson seems both game and ill at ease.)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    True to his stolid, humanist instincts and characteristically stodgy directorial style, writer-director John Sayles creates a story more educational than engrossing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Neither star is sloppy, but both are loose and mellow -- a couple of pros who know they're the whole show.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Paul Andrew Williams' unnecessarily hectic debut feature won several British film festival awards, no doubt for its bounty of low-budget stylized violence and blood, as well as its thing for prostitutes and runaways.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adams, of course, is a peach. Her sparkle requires only minor character adjustment and twinkle recharging from her recent triumph as the old-fashioned modern heroine in "Enchanted."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The team who made "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" display plenty of whirligig energy, if not much control or lightness of touch.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Forget "Monty Python," You Don't Mess With the Zohan is a circus that never really flies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hancock can revel in schmuckery, of course, because you and I and cute kids and peaceful oldies worldwide know in advance that there's no way on Hollywood's green earth Will Smith will ever play someone seriously, dangerously unsavory.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Promotion edges toward some pretty bleak stuff. Then it steps back and laughs, like an office slacker.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Older and sadder, Mulder and Scully are no longer sure they've got the energy to even ask if the truth is still out there. And it feels as if Carter is skeptical, too.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    W.
    The intrepid one is the outstanding Josh Brolin, who does such a phenomenal job in the title role that he carries every scene he's in to a place of subtlety and integrity far beyond what Stone needs to make his attention-grabbing noise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Even the championship showdown feels polite.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As the players enact the fall and rebirth of civilization, Meirelles suggests that even a society gone to hell looks better with a little music-video-like pizzazz.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Best in show is the divine Gillian Anderson as a powerful celebrity publicist, editing the image of her clients in much the same way this adaptation tames Young's much pricklier book.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Deserves sympathetic attention, if only for the family-values specifics loaded into the story, and the way mildmannered stars Ben Shenkman (Angels in America) and Tom Cavanagh (Ed) embrace their instructional roles.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shanley turns out to have dismayingly few original cinematic notions to back up the basic did-he-or-didn't-he hook in his study of conviction and compassion.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mildly cute, mildly drooly, majorly too late spoof/homage.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie works hard -- desperately hard -- to be all things to all audience segments. And the visible effort erodes the sense of gaiety, of unfettered fun.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The effect-laden showdowns feel more dutiful than daring, and the rare moments of fun are parceled out frugally, like precious nuggets of adamantium.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ed Helms and Ving Rhames score laughs. But the breakout is "Step Brothers'" Kathryn Hahn as the tough (sales)girl who keeps up with the boys.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    More like a summer-camp theater project than a studio movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With Green Zone, though, the malaise has finally hit me. So while Damon's Miller uncovers the (inconvenient) truth of why the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, all I want to know is: How does he suggest we get out?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A historical drama as static as it is stately.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Chan needs a foil, and Hewitt, while perky, doesn't project nearly enough comedy weight; she's too slight and tailored for his style.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's missing from this by-the-numbers drama is a sense of abandon.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The entertainment gods have cast mixed blessings on Stolen Summer. Let Pete Jones pray.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Even though Bullock engages in a climactic scene of blue-screen peril, she essentially cedes the match to the kids. In this mediocre murder case, their presence is the only thing that's really killer.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hunt is so vibrant that the movie suffers when she's not around.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Too many moments of evident labor weigh this clever production down. To quote the playwright: ''Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.''
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Howard luxuriates in writerly misery as Barlow, and the participation of the filmmaker's real-life wife, Debra Winger, as Barlow's ex gives the scenes between the two of them an unfakeable erotic charge.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With no headliners to raise hopes, this negligible entertainment has its own boneheaded charms.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Figgis never frees the play enough from the stage to fill the screen.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The characters are tedious, as are the fussy performances of Bale and Beckinsale. Everything good in this rock & roll fantasy belongs to the sexy, worldly-wise McDormand, who makes Jane ripe, real, and irresistible.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wargnier directs his French historical drama, a foreign film Oscar nominee, in a way that allows little perspective on the extent of Stalinist cruelty; even when terrible things happen, they do so sedately.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Cell is foremost about singular imagery, a succession of still pictures strung together frame by frame.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Croft is one humorless butt-kicker. Excavations in exotic lands have rarely looked so much like items on a to-do list.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Technical elegance and fine performances mask the shallowness of a story as simpleminded as the '50s TV to which it condescends; certainly it's got none of the depth, poignance, and brilliance of "The Truman Show," the recent TV-is-stifling drama that immediately comes to mind.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something already exhausted, however, in the intrusively gauzy, wobbly, blurry, zoomy digital-video look of the piece.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's not a moment in Bagger Vance that can't be anticipated.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The kids in this syrupy family picture are spunky tykes and the adults are dolts, but Wood is worth watching because she's so clearly ready to play nobody's girl but her own.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adorable or what?
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When Barrymore finally gets mean, the movie finally gets good. Then comes another sing-along, dammit.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Van Damme and his cronies (including Lela Rochon, Paul Sorvino, and, for no immediately graspable reason, Rob Schneider as Van Damme's rabbity sidekick) race, speed, shoot, chop, and zip through scenes of such festive mayhem, plot is a clunky afterthought, like a lopsided fake Prada label on a cheap nylon knapsack.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's missing in The Missing -- despite throwing in The Everything, from magic trinkets to group hugs -- is soul.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wrings laughs from the antics of affable, eccentric villagers who cheerily break the law.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The actors themselves are more rip roaring and full of spunk than in their first outing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as if, in exploring the scars that shape these personalities, Téchiné has forgotten to color in the flesh.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A revolutionary life has rarely felt less edgy, or the biography of an iconoclast more bourgeois.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Maybe this well-loved Luke is who his neighbors want him to be, a good fellow who, with his father, reopens the old movie house in town -- the Majestic -- thus allowing his neighbors to dream in the dark again.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wafer-thin, content-light, structure-wobbly, and whimsy-heavy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Smith's book is a charmer, but the keys to this ''Castle'' have been misplaced.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Remains a sampling of stagy scenes barreling to a gruesome climax, parts greater than the sum of the whole.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adrien Brody completists will appreciate Love the Hard Way, if only as an example of the kind of self-conscious, brat-noir projects their man probably won't be doing anymore.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A quaint, romanticized rendering.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This sloppy, pleasant comedy by playwright and TV producer Robin Schiff (Almost Perfect) is an amiable mess, a padded-out expansion of a play called "Ladies' Room."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nothing Lee has done is as flashy or as mucked up as Bamboozled.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gentle Bingenheimer, who retreats from being ''figured out,'' is dubiously honored with unenlightened commentary by people hell-bent on doing so.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As a work of art, the movie, shot quickly on digital video, is genial enough if unrefined.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    At least some Goode may come from Chasing Liberty: I hope we'll be seeing more of the handsome and unboyish young man with big star potential who looks ready to take on more, not Moore.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The only real heat among the group comes from Jennifer Connelly, who, as the bad-girl middle daughter, raises the stakes any time she's on screen.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Here we are again: not entertained, not nearly enough, by an installment of the ''Star Wars'' epic that, for the first time, exhibits symptoms of...nerves. And a chill, conservative grimness of purpose, rather than an excited thrill at the possibilities of cinematic storytelling.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's not the fault of "The Sopranos" charismatic, beefy star (Gandolfini) that he's an actor of such substance and quiet ardor as to make idle movie star ribbitting look frivolous.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Human Stain is, contradictorily, drained of color by the spotlight turned on its charismatic leads. Between the labors of simplifying the story for the screen and accommodating the stardust of world-class actors, an essentially, uniquely American tragic hero and heroine are bleached of real American tragedy.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Doesn't keep any secrets but an open one: that Johnny Depp is on a roll, and actor's block is definitely not his problem.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Radio is assembled from small, hard stones of ignorance and intolerance paved over by large, mushy examples of community goodness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That The Big Kahuna is hardly more than a sketch or curtain-raiser is not the fault of the play in itself -- it's short-film size, not feature-worthy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like a blue plate special at a theme diner, Sunshine State comes with a lot of overdone side dishes thrown on the table at the same time.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The production feels self-congratulatory and illuminated only dimly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Simplest of its charms is the opportunity to watch Mortensen adapt his charismatic demeanor of wary, taciturn soulfulness from that of a Middle-earth king-in-waiting to one fitting a half-Lakota horseman in 1890.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As it is, the story collapses like a bad tip to Liz Smith. Still, there's something brash, retro, and even stupidly touching about all the chatty mania, and the way Baitz and Pacino get off on paranoia, conspiracy theories, and the lure of 1960s idealism.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Soon enough a pointed ode to New York City nerve-rack and survival skills dissolves into a far more average, less compelling, and sometimes just slapdash-vicious cat-and-mouse game.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As PC busting goes, this first feature directed by Tony R. Abrams and scribe Adam Larson Broder shoots at close range, and there's something endearing about the way the filmmakers fire away so eagerly at such fluorescent-colored targets.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ang Lee's bloody but dramatically anemic depiction of the American Civil War as fought by boys without uniforms.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The amazing thing about John Woo's steely, impersonal adaptation of Philip K. Dick sci-fi story about a tech genius whose memory is erased...is how it vanishes in front of our eyes even as we watch it.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's not a guy I know who hasn't been looking forward to seeing The Rock pick up the big wooden stick first swung by Joe Don Baker more than 30 years ago.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When it's dull, which it is too often for a kidnap caper, this movie is about a woman chirping ''notice anything new about my outfit?'' to a man whose idea of style is a jacket not crusted in human blood.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Enough cheery mockery to amuse even non-tokers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Never harmonizes into a cinematic experience any more resonant than the average, manly, why-we-fight pic, or coalesces into a stirring cry for freedom.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Agresti fattens us up with the kind of kid's-eye-view tragi-comic adventures that regularly supply empty calories in artificially sweetened foreign-language imports.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Among its better tricks, Matrix Revolutions finally gets the love-story subplot of Neo and Trinity in the right proportion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie follows convoluted narrative tracks. By the end of the drowsy journey, the characters are indistinguishable from the scenery.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The author was able to compensate for the book's plotlessness by contemplating other people leading full lives quite as important as hers. In Wells' movie adaptation, even the birth of a friend's baby becomes all about Frances and the play of emotions on Lane's busy, beautiful face.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a series of endings, she, and the audience, are falsely promised that she can have it all. In other words, The Prince & Me is committed to the controversial American policy of No Fantasy Left Behind.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Too often, Purple Butterfly is as impenetrable as Zhang's placid, obdurate beauty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Laddish, one joke, genre scrambling rock & roll fairy tale.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The one valuable prize for audiences in this war pic Cracker Jack box is Jude Law. Once again the talented Mr. Law makes more of a role than most movies know what to do with.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The frustration of this good-hearted, off-key warble of an indie, written by Rose with Robert Cary, who directed, is that the filmmaking pales when compared with the classic elements of 1950s and early '60s romantic musicals to which it pays homage.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as self consciously arty and fragmented as ''Twin Falls'' was controlled and organically built.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Unfortunately, the charming Batfamily can't stay in their cave indefinitely; they've got to go out and fight crime. And that's where this elaborately high-style production from Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher hits an iceberg.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Under Reitman's deanship, Ferrell lets his freak flag fly and Vaughn unlooses a notably funny, light-on-his-feet lunkheadedness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The noisiest laughs in this watery animated comedy are reserved for those who value self-referential winks above all else.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scattershot, hit-and-often-miss comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The real soullessness here is built into the production, a polished adaptation of Hong Kong-style filmmaking that, with its cast of depressive characters, allows for little Hong Kong-style joy.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    2F2F, under the cut-to-the-chase direction of John Singleton, strips the package known as the Mindless Summer Movie down to its barest components of wheels, skin, and a pulsing soundtrack.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As a book, The Beach offers the option of diving deep. As a movie, it sticks too close to the shoreline.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A decent disaster pic comes down to the handful of colorful individuals who will live (or, depending on the prominence of their billing, die), as it has since the days of chewy disaster meatballs like ''The Towering Inferno'' and ''Earthquake.'' And the heaviest lifting in Emmerich's production falls to Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The conservatively cheery artistic style suggests that the animation team has been reading Sundance merchandise catalogs.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The charms of Evans (from 1995's oddball Funny Bones) and Lane (who's at his best playing to the balcony) are lost in all the detailed hubbub.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The screenplay, by Zemeckis and William Broyles Jr., plumps Van Allsburg's simple fable about the purity of childhood faith in what can't be seen with all sorts of wholly invented characters, complications, and declarations.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Isn't nearly as cheerily unpleasant as it ought to be.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A strange history lesson that leaves us more overlectured than properly overwhelmed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Directed, with overfondness for the goofy ways of guys, by Ted Demme and written, with overfondness for the sound of guys pontificating about nothing, by Scott Rosenberg.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As a thriller, this 21 2-hour production takes a slow route between short bursts of excitement.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beresford, who'd like to teach the world to sing, makes the moment as moving as a Coca-Cola jingle. It's not the real thing, but it's effective.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But in this standard athlete-dies-young presentation, we never do catch the magic that made Steve Prefontaine a towering figure. Instead, this Pre is a shaggy-haired, sentimental favorite -- a teen angel rather than an Olympian.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And although director Paul Anderson treats the story with appropriate deadpan respect, there are enough sparks of humor (particularly generated by Linden Ashby as a shallow martial-arts actor who worries that he's a fake, with good reason) to amuse the adults accompanying the 10-year-old boys in the audience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Kevin Bacon's passionate, sharply drawn portrayal of Billy Magic, a slick, finger-snapping, payola-pocketing disc jockey in early 1960s Cleveland, is the best thing about this conventional but heartfelt semiautobiographical coming-of-age story
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If only Roberts' warmth, coupled with Javier Bardem's scruffy sexiness as Felipe, were enough to compensate for the folded-map flatness of this production.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In this oddly uninvolving caper, the size of skulls makes its own statement: The producers assume that audience interest in movie stars is bigger than audience interest in characters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This cautionary tale might be easier to swallow if all that stuff didn't look like it came from a Sky Mall catalog.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For the invited filmmaker, the opportunity to make a statement is surely a thrill, but for the viewer - who can't pause indefinitely, as with a book, between stories - the focus-shifting is a demand.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Based on a true story, this Indian variation on a theme of "The Burning Bed" emphasizes the psychological freedom the inmate finds behind bars.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As the reigning inhabitant, Redgrave adopts the swanning gestures of Maggie Smith in this mild adaptation of a Maeve Binchy story.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Overworked if heartfelt indie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A disconcertingly jumpy tale of breathtakingly crummy parenting, the windblown movie dares a tolerant audience not to call Child Services.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The warmth comes through, even if the storytelling is simplistic and clichéd.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lovely to look at -- and languid to the point of stultifying torpor, as interesting characters make speeches to one another about life, love, and literature.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Part punk-drab British art-house portrait of underclass despair, part bloody vigilante pic, Harry Brown is shakily held together by industrial-strength sound design and the expertly employed theatrics of Michael Caine in the title role.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Downey's head and heart are in the right place, but the movie is more in pieces than whole, and more about iron than about men.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hothouse drama Mother and Child is organized like a femme-friendly spa that specializes in treatments for the psyche rather than the skin. Soft New Agey music tinkles intrusively. Sore spots are prodded and massaged. Clients pass one another in the changing room. The ritual is exquisite to some, and excruciating to others.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A lot of Money Never Sleeps - too much - is about Gekko père's desire to reconnect with his very angry daughter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film is almost deliriously stylish, which helps mask the silliness. But the bellowing music, by John Adams, is infuriatingly intrusive -- which undoes the visual good.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This cranked-up drama wants it both ways.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The voices of Liam Neeson -- as the film's narrator -- and his late wife, Richardson, inevitably add to the project's poignance.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best scenes are hilarious sessions between the great Gemma Jones and the wonderful Pauline Collins as a charlatan fortune-teller.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rileys has been casually dubbed "Kristen Stewart's stripper movie," but the handle doesn't stick: Stewart may wear skimpy clothes and grind once or twice from the neck down, but from the neck up she's all hollow, bruised eyes, twisted little mouth, and classic, coltish K-Stew rebellion.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In Catfish, the camera's-rolling readiness to trawl for drama leaves a slimy aftertaste.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An old-fashioned romance-and-sickness picture, a publicity-grabbing sex picture, an Apatow-lite horny-boys picture, and a liberal satire on pharmaceutical-industry excesses committed in pursuit of pill sales - all in one.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tonally scattershot and more than a little heavy-footed.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    How Do You Know asks really good questions but doesn't so much answer them as toss the ball from player to player until the clock runs out.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The dilemma of The Dilemma is that the conundrum at the center of the story isn't particularly hilarious.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie whips up a big old puree of ingredients borrowed from other cinematic recipes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's just a matter of time, flashbacks, many costume and accent changes, some more jazz, and a triggering tune on the radio before the truth can set Frankie, and the audience, free.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's hard to empathize with the family in the indie drama Every Day when each member is so sitcom-ready.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Adam is cute and all, but the real strings worth tying are those that bind this sisterhood of sharp, interesting, sexually active women together. Where's THEIR starring movie?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Something is wrong under this big tent. Actually made to resemble a good old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing movie, this cinematic Water for Elephants droops and lumbers like Rosie the elephant herself.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Natalie Portman, by the way, is fierce and funny as a babe warrior the brothers meet along the way. She's good with dirty words, too.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's easy enough to accept the romantic-comedy luck of the two finding each another. It's much tougher, and ultimately useless, to buy everything else about this fairy tale of self-reinvention in a stalled economy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The other thing The Thing has got going for it is a welcome hint of dour Scandinavian sensibility sneaked in by director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. whenever there's a pause in the unexceptional antics of aliens consuming humans.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gerwig can't make her character come alive, though, and neither can Adam Brody as one of their neediest male cases. In the midst of the froufrou, lovely, stalklike Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love) is delightful as a student who enjoys being normal and living in this century.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With very little modification, the relationship woes of the six chirpy young New Yorkers in this self-absorbed indie could be reworked into episodes of TV's "How I Met Your Mother."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tower Heist is the cinematic version of a Trump property: overblinged, eye-catching, and essentially tacky.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Florid, convoluted historical drama.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With so much flesh crunching and bloodletting, it could have been scary as all Walking Dead get-out. Instead, the movie plays safe by cutting every theme down the middle - a swing that's effective when splitting wood or vampire skulls, but dull when applied to filmmaking.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ted
    And yet. And yet, Gawd help me, the always surprising Mark Wahlberg throws himself into his thespian adventure with such radiant wacko energy, so full of Boston beans, that Ted is also kind of, well, impressively nuts.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A dull and unbewitching movie.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Plays more like a teaching tool than a dynamic drama.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In such an audience stroker, where casting is everything (on Broadway, James Gandolfini brought exciting menace to the role of Mr. Longstreet), Winslet and Waltz jell while Foster and Reilly flounder, unable to make sense of what kind of people they're supposed to be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    You see the pattern here? Winter-release slot + travel budget + Liam Neeson = slightly preposterous, routinely violent, apparently lucrative action movie in which the Irish-born star signals inner emotional conflict with his handsomely mashed boxer's face while settling outer physical conflict with his boxer's fists.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The twist in The Double slack mystery-thriller is revealed with a shrug about a third of the way in. After that, it's all about Gere looking grim, and Grace looking stricken as he learns what we already know.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, a specialist in gigantic-screen nature movies including "The Living Sea," is up to date in his use of 70mm IMAX film, but he's stuck in the past about how to tell a story.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That Cruise fails to make a case for Reacher's allure, though, has less to do with physical dissonance than it does with the film's inability - stupefying inability, really - to otherwise make a case for the character's originality in a movie so choked with visual clichés and dreadfully moldy dialogue.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ellis (The Good Wife's Graham Phillips), an alienated teen, smokes weed and hangs out with a goat-obsessed, pot-cultivating surrogate father (David Duchovny, hidden by hair). New Age details aside, though, Ellis is easily identifiable as a distant cousin-by-genre to J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Russo-Young studies the strange species of affluent Angelenus erectus under a microscope that distorts every character into unbelievability.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Howard looks peachy, and actor-turned-director Jodie Markell sweats the details -- moonlight, honeyed accents -- but the brittle script resists restoration.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fact that Allen wrote the script in the '70s explains something about why his newest movie feels so old.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oldboy caused a love-it-or-hate-it stir at Cannes last year, and how could it not: It's an onslaught made to cause a sensation. Consider me simultaneously jolted and depressed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is overplowed, even if Brad Pitt's debut as a Coen comedy player is eye-catching.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Walking the path grooved by such stone-faced confreres as De Niro and Schwarzenegger (and following up on his own more successful self-parody in "Men in Black"), Jones positions himself as a Man in a Stetson.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The scariest thing in the not-scary-enough The Ring Two is the notion that even smart, attractive adults - yikes, even mothers - just never learn, either.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Ephron sisters, sophisticates entrusted with a simple TV situation comedy, lose the magic of the com as they mess with the sit.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are pleasing outcomes for almost everyone in Happy Endings, and that's not good news.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Island begins with a whimper of interest as a cool-hued, cautionary exploration of the ethics of cloning, and ends, in a hail of product placement, with a dumb bang.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nobody will go to see Michael Winterbottom's sexually explicit, novelty-act drama - a naughty peep show for sobersides, disguised as a nature documentary - to hear the songs; everyone will go to see the shagging, which occupies the majority of the screen time.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nothing wrecks the mood of a high-toned British period piece about erotic obsession quicker than an unintentional laugh. In which case, prepare for Asylum to be derailed by snorts in all the wrong places.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    "The Station Agent's" Peter Dinklage provides diversion as a gay wedding planner.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Eventually I gave up on meaning and began instead to study the profuse imagery -- and also the flat characters and anchorless performances.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaker keeps himself squarely on screen. This is fine when he engages in throwdowns with the bigots but distasteful when Levin shows himself reacting to footage -- unseen by viewers -- of the beheading of reporter Daniel Pearl.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Weather Man is what indie misery looks like when re-created by one of Hollywood's big studios.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What falls in Chicken Little are hopes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie, directed with a gym teacher's whistle by "Scooby-Doo's" Raja Gosnell, is a contempo soft-focus remake of the 1968 original starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The accountant in Bloom would probably approve of the new Producers: It's an efficient extension of a popular brand. In theory, what's not to like? In reality, the whole schmear.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A chaste and tepid remake of a 1950 British comedy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Congratulations are in order for Rachel's sexual awakening, but we might as well applaud the dull girl for falling in love with the nearest bunch of lilies rather than the florist.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Martin's gift for physical and vocal comedy is as deft as ever.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    More calculated than a Starbucks sampler CD, the picture could win the up-from-hardship award.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you like Kathy Bates movies, you'll probably be frustrated with this one, since as Tripp's mother, the invaluable character actress is made to whipsaw between playing sappy domestic slave to her son's laundry and salty, overly sexual wife.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The unnecessarily famous cast for such a standard, creaking, fake-spooky ghost story (with Bible verses thrown in for good measure).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The imagery is exotically grungy and jumbled by flashback, but in the end, the picture's more pulp than juice.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The young cast is terrific, giving the stories unearned weight.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Oskar Roehler spends all his energy on cataloging ''outrageous'' behavior, and none on giving the transgressions any meaning.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    At times dark and at other times gooey.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Strangely inert drama.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shyamalan's most alienating and self-absorbed project to date.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A companion piece to "Match Point" that suffers all the more in comparison.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tthis isn't just any setup, is it: It's suds being sold as ethno-sensitive reality, a case of coveting thy neighbor's fiesta.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Todd Phillips tries for the kind of frat slaphappiness he applied so successfully to "Old School," but these boys are less scoundrels than individual salesmen for the brands of Heder and Thornton.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Watching Running With Scissors the movie instead of reading Running With Scissors the best-selling memoir by Augusten Burroughs is like running with a spatula, or maybe some weird toast tongs.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Examination of one of the English language's most useful utterances and why the sound packs such a friggin' wallop.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A wildly romanticized Australian druggie drama.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everything old is old again in this rickety extension of 2002's already rickety "Van Wilder."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Evenness of political keel, combined with a generic filmmaking style, is an artistic weapon way too puny for a successful assault on so tough, bruising, and crucial a subject.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cassavetes throws in everything he can recycle to grab a core-demo viewer -- slutty teens making out, blaring rock music, guns, split screens.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I Think I Love My Wife has got to be the unlikeliest French New Wave classic ever to be retrofitted by a famous African-American stand-up comedian best known for his stinging social commentary -- at least until Dave Chappelle remakes Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" as a hip-hop caper.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Who knows whether the project is meant to be earnest, ironic, post-ironic, made for adults, made for kids, made to teach lessons, or made to be watched in an altered state? All or none...jeez, this thing is one bumpy ride.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An awfully tidy, infernally sparkly study in skewed blessings, made manifest by Committed Acting from Sigourney Weaver.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sometimes Brenda Blethyn is content merely to nibble the scenery. In Introducing the Dwights, a drippy Australian family comedy caper, she chomps it to a pulp until we long for her straightforward monstrosity as a mother in "Little Voice."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every once in a while, though, Firth's eyebrow hints, Can you believe I'm wearing this dorky leather breastplate?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In stories like this defiantly unsubtle, structurally clunky specimen, causes women who are considering abortion to think again, and self-selecting audiences to enjoy a light, luxurious weep.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Really, I think we put up with Lars at all only because Gosling has such an affinity for the wounded boy birds he tends to play that it's easy to watch him do his thing.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The surprisingly puny haul comes from the jolly, usually sparkling comedy workshop of David Dobkin, who directed "Wedding Crashers," and Dan Fogelman, who wrote "Cars" -- two great movies that both make better stocking stuffers.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's left to Caine to wink and nod at his own contribution to real caper classics of the 1960s and '70s, produced with more emphasis on fun and less on instructive fact-finding.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Grace Is Gone grabs on to a name, a war, and the metaphor-come-to-life of a theme park with rides going nowhere. And we, the people, are spun around and shaken for tears.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ladies! Thelma and Louise drove a '66T-bird, remember?! They picked up a young male hitchhiker 17 years before you did, and they too, um, interacted with a trucker and admired magnificent American sunsets -- is it coming back to you? Nope, it's not, which is exactly why the tires are so low on this creaky vehicle.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reproducing a period-piece screwball comedy for a modern audience turns out to be one playful, self-deprecating wink too many for the star, who also directed Leatherheads.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Young boys are the only suitable audience for Speed Racer, the elaborate live-action adaptation written and directed by "Matrix" creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. And even they might feel an urge to squirm.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Some sure symptoms: The movie demonstrates a smart movie geek's obsession with the rhythms and gory details of horror storytelling, undermined by a pompous insistence on spiritual lessons of the tritest kind.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Costner (who's also a producer) plays to his middle-aged strengths in a role that exaggerates male weaknesses.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A slippery entertainment that's all feints and few punches thrown at a fight card of indistinguishable terrorists, Muslim and otherwise.

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