Lisa Schwarzbaum

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For 1,919 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 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Lowest review score: 0 Patch Adams
Score distribution:
1919 movie reviews
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An amiably raucous, scorched-earth mockumentary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The title refers not only to particular music by Beethoven but also to the fictional string quartet of Yaron Zilberman's fussily genteel, overplotted Manhattan tale in which interpersonal stresses build to a crescendo when one of the foursome becomes ill.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slippery issues about trust, parental responsibility, and the inalienable American right to personal and political freedom are ceded to Hollywood's inalienable right to stage high-pitched chase scenes and a shocking big finish.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The documentary takes on its own engaging shape - one of edgy editorial and political ambivalence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This fresh and interesting story about a tight-knit clan of Irish grifters in the rural South who make their living scamming is a ''con men on the road'' picture all the more welcome during a season of junky action thrillers and indie-style explorations of kinky sex.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tobey Maguire's characteristic placidity makes a fine mask for a man who is thoroughly awful.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The drama ultimately retreats to safer, duller, more illogical, and more reactionary impulses and stereotypes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The dramatic conflicts are soapy and unsubtle, but Karanovic pours intense authority into Esma's scarred psyche.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The mechanical beauty and android possibilities of the future excite the filmmaker, and that's where Minority Report becomes an alluring postcard from the edge. But it's an edge over which Spielberg never seems to want to step.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bridget's most attractive asset is that she's played by Renée Zellweger.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almereyda's fascination with creative creatures and their mysterious ways is abundantly clear. And distracting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A muscular, ardently naturalistic retelling of the ninth-century Anglo-Saxon saga.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's great music, an excellent dog, and that indescribable Kaurismäki tension between misery and a cosmic joke.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Parker has a great time being the anti–Carrie Bradshaw while Keaton-as-matriarch is a particular joy -- funny, beautiful, elegant, touching, and at ease with a familiar, get-out-your-hankies holiday subplot.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Teasing drama whose relentless good-deed/bad-deed reversals are just interesting enough to make a sinner like me pray for an even more interesting, less symmetrical, less obviously cross-shaped creation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Both script and direction are the work of the glittering comedic polymath Stephen Fry.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A traditionally dressed, old-fashioned drama, starring Kevin Kline in the Robin Williams role -- is as much about the moral development of the adult as about his boys'. More so, maybe.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is all grimy, guy on guy fun, right down to the fevered, bad English dialogue.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a script cowritten with accomplished Siberian filmmaker Sergey Bodrov, the director creates a taut picture of a place, and a liberating moment of choice.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fiennes' very skin participates in the project -- his fingernails are nicotine-stained the color of tea bags. The performance works; it's a ballet, a concerto of big, big Acting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Superbad is cute if you like guys who aren't even remotely bad, in a coming-of-age tale so old-fashioned the girls might just as well be wearing bloomers.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An adventurous song selection and stylish narrative techniques put a strangely romantic face on a harrowing story that's a parental nightmare.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film makes excellent use of the cold Scandinavian landscape to emphasize the story's gloomy loneliness. And Rapace and ? Nyqvist have compelling chemistry.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Monsters, Inc. has got that swing, that zippity, multilevel awareness of kids'-eye sensibilities and adult-pitched humor.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The cast is tasty, including Vincent D'Onofrio as a friendly fellow Mob guy, Val Kilmer as the head of the Cleveland PD, Christopher Walken as an underworld power broker, and a bunch of character actors hoping for a remake of "The Sopranos."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story is glossy junk begat of just-plain junk anyway: Lauren Weisberger, who wrote the hiss-and-tell roman à clef best-seller on which the picture is based, was herself an assistant to Wintour.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Add The Unforeseen to the catalog of artfully produced nonfiction films that show how humans are screwing up the planet.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Visually witty and even marvelous when it comes to depicting the spectacular creatures evolving at a speed previously known only in the Bible.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In this slapdash production directed by Mel Smith ("The Tall Guy" but also, alas, "Radioland Murders"), written by Richard Curtis ("Four Weddings") and Robin Driscoll, there's just enough unrepentant self-centeredness missing to take the hilariously brutish edge off Bean's game for those who know him.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Suicidal depression has rarely looked so amusing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are stretches of big fun in Big Trouble, and little pleasures too.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As filmmaking, the docu is only travel-diary so-so. But the chance to experience the machine-gun rhymes of ''the Turkish Eminem'' - a young man called Ceza - is priceless.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And there's that perfect soundtrack, jammed with hit after timeless hit. So integral is the music to the heat of Chill that even a now-hackneyed scene like ensemble-dancing-while-cleaning-the-kitchen (to the Temptations' ''Ain't Too Proud to Beg'') takes on a glow far lovelier than the chore warrants -- as does this ingratiating, fake movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Must viewing for the Bridezillas set, this winning pageant of gaudy bad taste is the work of some of the U.K.'s most popular comedy performers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Somewhere in all the blood (sickening realism is a selling point), a question is posed: When does the one fighting a monster become a monster himself?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Merida may be a headstrong heroine, a feisty animated hybrid who calls to mind Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and the neo-fairy-tale protagonist who faces off against her evil stepmother in "Snow White and the Huntsman." But she is also, for safety's sake, a nice girl in a pretty green dress who loves her family and believes in dynasty.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Flirting is a little too weighed down with stage business to soar. But episode for episode, it's one of the ha-ha-funniest movies currently around.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A Little goes a long way.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jaa, mesmerizing as ever to behold with his pinwheel moves, also (co)directs for the first time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is weightless entertainment that's both camp and true, a warped adoration of star-quality actresses as amazing creatures who can project the lives of fictional characters as well as the essence of their own fabulous selves.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of those thrilling confluences in pop culture that rewards audiences for thinking the worst about politicians and the best about movie stars.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Knows what it needs to do for both its stars, does it, and doesn't make a federal case about it. I'd watch these two together again in a New York minute.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a movie about actors acting; who cares why Juliette was in the pen?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Among the drawbacks: Director Érik Canuel jumps through hoops in an effort to make the stage piece (by William Luce) move like the movie piece it isn't.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A Lebanese variation on sweetly soapy dramas about Women Who Bond With Wet Hair.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is a rigged game of clichés and platitudes, but fans will be pleased by additional proof that Latifah is a lovable Queen but not a pampered princess.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In The Informant!, that brain -- screwy and yet capable of doing important undercover work -- free-associates like Ellen DeGeneres on a swing through Walmart. Cute, but as even Agent 86 would say in "Get Smart": Missed it by that much.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's so much dark material jammed into this complicated, conflicted, challenging, and charismatic man's (Gibson) own noggin that sometimes he knows not, I think, what he's done. Here, behold, Mel Gibson has made the weirdest, most violent movie of the year.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a royal, finely modulated double performance by an actor who always wears his powers with graceful modesty.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Escape 2 Africa is pretty tame, but it knows how to keep its own turf tidy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    300
    Look, but don't be touched: There is much to see but little to remember in this telling of a battle we are meant never to forget.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The classy production, with its aesthetic graces, is especially convincing about the charisma of the man, a performance specialty of the great Bardem.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But the great revelation in this version is the terrific, beautifully controlled work of Alexander -- Seinfeld's most gifted actor, whose recent movie roles have not allowed him to show his range.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Reckoning, with a script by Mark Mills, demands close attention; it's a play of words and ideas crowding for consideration.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The point is, wherever he is, this James Bond is pissed. And that ceaseless anger begins to curdle every sequence that might otherwise bring a little happiness. I mean happiness for us, the viewers.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Has a sensuous, intimate filmmaking style that overrides The Wedding Song's more precariously loaded plot parallels.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shortz's gentle manner and French-foreign-agent mustache go a long way toward making him a thinking girl's pinup nerd - and this despite the man's pitiless insistence on making the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle ''tough as a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.''
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is an action-comedy sequel so indefatigably preposterous and farklemt -- as they say in certain Upper West Side saloons -- that it actually improves on the original.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An inviting international audience-pleaser.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gentle, traditional (like, from the last century) romantic comedy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Diverges to become something quite powerfully unnerving and guilt-ridden.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This very earnestly American prison gives off an unusually mellow European air.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This latest market-savvy bit of circuit preaching is less cartoonish than Perry's previous big-tent revival meetings.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another contemporary story about a woman with a successful career punished with a lousy personal life.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A tacit auteur-to-auteur endorsement of the inalienable right to make movies--regardless of talent or sobriety or adult responsibilities--is what gives American Movie its uneasy kick.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For all Golino's comeliness, she's upstaged by the windy beauty of the landscape, and by Crialese's attention -- in an Italian neorealist way -- to the routines of daily life in an insular, traditional culture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beauty competes with vacuity in Elephant, and for a good stretch of writer-director Gus Van Sant's maddeningly passive ode to high school innocence and Columbine-age youthful evil, beauty wins.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Duplicity doesn't have depth -- but it does have Julia Roberts, in full Hollywood movie-star mode.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In making a movie about the hot mess of Afghan history, a sense of reserve turns out to be a useful tool for peace.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are mediocre. The heart is big. The weather is swell.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Absolutely, probably more comfortable with human romantic complication than the usual stuff released on Valentine's Day.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Misfit teens in the process of forming a high school band learn life lessons and raise their goblets of rock. But there's enough of a strong filmmaking backbeat in Bandslam to carry the movie's light tune.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The three kindergarteners make up for their lack of irony with laser-power eyes, radical post-post-postfeminist blithe confidence, and some of the coolest retro-futuristic animation style this side of Gerald McBoing-Boing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The storytelling in A Royal Affair is traditional bordering on square. But the historical drama itself - about how an idealistic German doctor influenced a silly king, romanced a queen, and brought the Age of Enlightenment to 18th-century Denmark - is kind of amazing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is a picture half sweet, half bitter. Charles Dickens would approve.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It ought to be seen, because it's a work of moral and spiritual mystery.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Intense but dignified.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For this 21st-century Nick and Nora Charles, the flame is kept alive despite his nighttime anti-snore nose strip and her nighttime bite guard -- thanks to a shared appreciation of the hilarity of nose strips and bite guards.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There’s something earthy and elemental in this tale that was missing in Blue, something quirky and (measured by Kieslowskian standards) energetic.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That sense of déjà vu is at once this Harry Potter's balm and its limitation: many charms, but few surprises.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    At this point in the actor's career, it is pretty well impossible to tell when Malkovich is camping it up, or just being John Malkovich. Under the end-of-civilization circumstances of Warm Bodies, he's just the right guy for the job.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Newcomer Jessica Haines is transparent and heartbreaking as the prof's unorthodox daughter, a victim of violence as the old ways crumble.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is what a videogame movie looks like now.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The villainous Polluter-in-Chief is eloquently played by Robert Knepper, familiarly loathsome as T-Bag on Fox's "Prison Break." And when Knepper and Statham get together, there's a fine showdown of grimaces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The natural, pleasurable 1990s hipness [Lohan] brings to her assignment is therefore all the more impressive. Hayley-holics should be grateful to this new girl at camp too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The cinematography is consistently hipster handsome, the script is bracing in its lewdness, and Brosnan adds no unnecessary weight to Noble's meaninglessness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There is also a manufactured symmetry, an every-gal's-got-issues roundness, an HBO sitcomitude to the movie that undercuts its own observational intelligence.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everyone in this madly good-looking clan has got soapy problems as befits an aspirational, say-amen holiday movie.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aside from the awesome flames and pyrotechnic scenes of crisis, danger, and part-of-the-job bravery, the movie is a quiet salute; it does its job.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    My new theory is that Willis' own aesthetic soul is more old-world than he knows, and that he works best with directors who either are (Luc Besson) or might as well be (M. Night Shyamalan) European.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Square, sincere, and proud of it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the end -- an ending of such power and narrative originality (in both book and movie) that those who know it ought never breathe a word to those who don't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A handsome epic, a brave-hearted 19th-century man-saga from the director who made the period piece man-sagas ''Glory'' and ''Legends of the Fall.''
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a pretty, surface-y documentary rather than the kind of exciting one Vreeland would have demanded, declaring, "You gotta have style!"
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole thing wobbles, like the garish, trashy, sexy shoes the young folks are wearing this summer on their way (in droves) to movie theaters, intent on abandoning themselves to pleasurable mindlessness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you loved Amy Sedaris before in a golfer-lady wig and inbred chump's grin, you'll maybe love her again here, while wishing she had another TV-episode-size venue for her talents
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The History Boys is as much about the meaning and value of reading and learning as it is about the ho-humness of genital fondling by sir with love.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's worth seeing this stark adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure just for the extraordinary performance of Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley, the stonemason in turn-of-the-century England whose dreams of university scholarship are thwarted. And British telly director Michael Winterbottom sustains a fine atmosphere of dank misery.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Plot leaps that are fun on paper look generic on screen; here's another lawyer movie in which the characters are only as interesting as the actors playing them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Audience empathy for the displaced Redlichs, coupled with the filmmaker's proffered charms of wise natives and their mysterious rituals, goes a long way toward making this lyrical travelogue a crowd pleaser.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Georgia Lee never leaves any doubt that the bonds of ethnic family devotion are a charm against any woe more serious than an engagement to the wrong white guy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While the compiled testimony is strong, some larger context is missing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An Orson Welles-size Gérard Depardieu does gallant work as the town's leftist mayor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With no climactic showdown and no comforting revelation of motive or reassuring psychoanalytic diagnosis, the nerve-rattling potential of this sly, paranoia-inducing story may sink in only later.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The character can be a dolt, but Cornish is a marvel, exuding a reckless hunger and prowling with a sexuality of potent directness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's Kind of a Funny Story may be the first psych-ward drama to draw on John Hughes movies for tonal reference.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nettelbeck has a particularly lovely sense of behind-the-scenes restaurant choreography. And her warm, patient understanding of little girls' psyches guides young Maxime Foerste, as the turbulent niece, to a terrific performance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a character study more than a forward-moving drama, plopped down with exquisite photographic care in a beautiful New Mexico desert, and starring good actors who make a feast of their flavorful roles.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With his large bod, soft features, and air of goofy sweetness, Jason Segel is a natural fit for Jeff, Who Lives at Home, a goofy, sweet comedy.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Martin and Hunt are exactly the right lively but not sticky authority figures to keep the house (and the comedy pace) bouncing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cheery, silly, splattery, and respectful of its elders (and betters, particularly Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead").
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Certainly Garden State is a very American specimen of debut indie form, its loose, goof-about scenes of comic melancholy reinforced with the glue of quirkiness over cracks in the narrative development.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The inventiveness is still superior and the network of fiends and family is extended.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dense with plot intricacies, thick with atmosphere, and packed with showy roles for a hip ensemble.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Streep is a pleasure to behold; less so the rest of The Iron Lady.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The star (Allen), unleashed, is so energetic in his approximation of a bearded collie -- his nose sniffing the air, his whole being (which toggles between human and canine form) overcome by the need to fetch any stick thrown -- that his slobbery charm carries the picture.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A moderately adorable, musically wacky, ecologically activist CG family comedy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Surprisingly square portrait of avant-garde artist and director Robert Wilson.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The vérité fascinates, even if the artifice is obvious.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Munro's stark lily needed none of this gilding.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Robbins the agitprop celebrity may be blowin' in the wind, but Robbins, the son of a folksinger, knows how to get audiences clapping along.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's much that's simplistically grand, worthy, and fine in Perdition. If I yearn for less measured filmmaking that cries out with more reckless despair, it's because I think hell on earth is a meaner, much more interesting, and far less tidy cinematic place than Mendes trusts his audience to handle.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The leisure-time viewer will say, ''Hey, this is sort of like "Casablanca," so why play it again?''
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Chaos reigns for much of The Dark Knight Rises, often in big, beautiful, IMAX-size scenes that only Nolan could have conceived. Yet when the apocalyptic dust literally settles on this concluding chapter, the character who lingers longest in memory is an average Gotham City cop named John Blake, wonderfully played with human-scale clarity by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie flies by pleasantly, and is then instantly forgettable. Perhaps Jules Verne can explain the science of that.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Impressively unflappable and natural, 23-year-old Lohman -- whose best known credit is perhaps a role on Fox's short-lived ''Pasadena'' -- holds the whole plot together skillfully.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    She's no Mary Poppins: Maggie Smith is more like a cheery Angel of Death in the light black comedy Keeping Mum, one of those dutifully daft British diddles (complete with Rowan Atkinson as a vicar) that, except for the blunt sex talk, might have been constructed decades ago.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Where the movie falters is in sustaining the tricky balance between pastoral life lessons and creepy suspense.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As he did in his striking 2005 first feature film, "Man Push Cart," about a Pakistani street vendor in New York, perceptive indie filmmaker Ramin Bahrani looks at what others overlook and finds drama in everyday details.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    More a sampling of previous crowd-pleasers...than a fashion statement all its own.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The disciplined performances play against schmaltz, and the casting is inspired.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The old-pro twosome of Streisand and Hoffman make such sexy and inviting ethnics (as a certain kind of movie likes to think of a certain kind of Jewish character) that they blithely prevail over the been-there-done-that gags.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    She may be follically blond, but as an actor of distinction who's all of 25, Reese Witherspoon reveals interesting dark roots even as she plays golden girls.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As Demme's audienc we're at the mercy of political passion overshadowed by style.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Actually, there's one other way to approach Matchstick Men, and that's to forget all about neuroses and con artistry and admire the movie instead for the unsettlingly beautiful directorial study in geographical mood that it is.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Leder establishes a syncopated rhythm unlike anything we're used to in a catastrophe spectacle.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nanking, a carefully nonpunitive documentary of remembrance, is emotionally draining, as it should be, but it's also overstructured, as it needn't be; the actors are intrusive in a story that isn't theirs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    None of this detracts, however, from the terrific piss-and-merlot performances of Channing and Stiles, or from the committed participation of Frederick Weller as a Neil LaBute-era businessman caught in the lounge between two she-devils disguised as businesswomen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Spiderwick is set in the present, but goes for an overall design look of dainty, cozy, William Morris-y arts-andcraftiness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This hip send-up of the superhero lifestyle has a bunch of great comic bits from a group of great, eccentric talents, but not enough bourgeois discipline to see the story through.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    "Revenge of the Nerds" is way cooler in its proud defense of geekosity, no question. But anti-ditz role model Amanda Bynes just happens to be cute.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Harrison Ford? Terrific -- and re-energized.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Black Book may be the looniest use of the Holocaust as a playground since Roberto Benigni served up his infernal clown act in "Life Is Beautiful."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Suggests that finding one good priest is a feasibility, but it takes a miracle to meet one as hubba-hubba as Ed Harris.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The facts are so awful that Dear Zacharycan be forgiven much of its antsiness--as a memorial, as a condolence to Bagby’s parents (who became activists for judicial reform in their late son's honor), and as a howl of grief.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like Bill Murray and Greg Kinnear before him, this funnyman reveals serious acting chops.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But Levinson's passion to explain how he got from there to ''Sphere'' gives Liberty Heights its own farkatke Hollywood integrity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn, and Alan Bates play Desmond's legal eagles, and when joined by Brosnan, the sight of this grandiloquent quartet lolling in pretty Irish settings is a pleasant enough thing, 'tis.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Doesn't take advantage of its own possibilities, either as a hard-boiled gangland battle or as a soft-boiled, interracial Shakespearean love story.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The storytelling structure is far more interesting than the story itself. And the elegiac pictures of boats and water are, dismayingly, most engrossing of all.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But where would these lads be without the pop-culture-happy language of Quentin Tarantino to fuel their bull sessions? Nowhere, that's where.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Never shocks or even offends by ascribing fully adult cruelties and erotic activities to obnoxious kids; such harshness wouldn't flatter a cast this moussed and magazine-layout-ready.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Even by Soderbergh's standards of serious playfulness/playful seriousness, Full Frontal is a tricky novelty item: The director himself has variously described it as an ''experiment,'' an ''exercise,'' and a ''sketch.''
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As is so often the case since his "Monty Python" days, Gilliam is best at visual games and weakest at storytelling.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Soft sexual and racial jabs replace the more daring political commentary of the original, a crude classic from the Roger Corman factory.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The cockeyed devotion with which writer-director Roger Donaldson dramatizes the story of New Zealand motorcycle legend Burt Munro and his classic 1920 bike in The World's Fastest Indian is in direct proportion to the cockeyed devotion with which Munro himself pursued his lifetime goal of setting a land-speed record at Bonneville Flats, Utah.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rambo teaches that fighting sucks, good intentions can be futile, and coalitions of the willing are a charade: A man's got to do what a man's got to do.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Highly unoriginal but nevertheless stirring drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Everyone involved fulfills his or her job requirements adequately. But the magic is gone, and Shrek Forever After is no longer an ogre phenomenon to reckon with. Instead, it's a "Hot Swamp Time Machine."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This shambling romantic comedy...clings to a sensibility that's imperviously, uncompromisingly Canadian.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best moments in his first movie outing are those that feel most TV-like, just another day in the eternally optimistic undersea society.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Here the fascination is Hurt, so deft at steering his character away from booby-trap clichés that he guides his young costars safely out of sap's way and brightens an otherwise very yellowed tale.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Poorly engineered: lurchingly paced, the dramatic conflicts duct taped together.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A thriller made from a completist's checklist rather than with a cultist's passion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    ATL
    The more rink time, the better: As directed by hip-hop music-video king Chris Robinson from a story by "Antwone Fisher's" Antwone Fisher, the skate scenes are a blast.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie flaunts its comedy roots like a messy bleach job.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A strange, black-and-blue therapeutic drama equally mottled with likable good intentions and agitating clumsiness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the heaving cross-century swirl of the climax, ''Weight'' makes its point: Jealousy is timeless; Hurley is not.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the end, One True Thing suggests, families can be healed even in loss. This may not be a true thing, but at least this emotional drama offers up hope, sweet like one of Kate Gulden's tasty cakes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A triumph of performance, production, and adaptation over the empty-calorie dither of its source material.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I rather like the whole mystic- crystal-revelations aspect of K-PAX, and the idea that even a psychiatrist of Jeff Bridges' handsome, American substantiality is open to notions of cosmic improbability.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The storytelling may be ordinary, but the cast is one of those all-star reunions.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rashid's optimistic fairy tale is inventive, in a show-queen way.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Always the smooth showman, Spurlock avoids answering his own question: Is he selling out or buying in?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The last thing Marber's quartet of modern miserables needs is to be admired; they are the very worst of average people, but on screen they have become the very best of the baddest.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What this Manchurian Candidate for a new generation makes up for in timing, it lacks in discipline and edge.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A sharp-looking Mob drama with a gooey moral center.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That durable, sexy powerhouse Beverly D'Angelo steals every scene she's in.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The unintended effect of all the melodramatic complications in Transamerica is, oddly, to distract attention from an understanding of exactly what that courage really costs.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A small, heartfelt film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A traffic map of calls and responses, lessons and homework, wishes and fulfillment. All roads lead to acting-award nominations, but none lead to truth.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This sunny ode to brotherhood, made on a tiny budget, goes a fair distance on good vibes.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Antielitist, anti-hypocrisy, pro-feel-good entertainment.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Moreau's few ripe scenes are choice, and she spices up the joint with her gravelly voice of je ne regrette rien.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best thing going for Selena is Selena herself, played with verve, heart, and a great deal of grace by the increasingly busy Jennifer Lopez (Money Train, Jack, Blood & Wine).
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Walking and Talking is saved from utter banality by a script dotted with occasional buoyant moments of tenderness and wit, as well as by the light touch of its attractive cast.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working with an explanatory script by Dean Georgaris, Reynolds is much more confident in scenes of realistic battle, or even muddy marketplace dailiness, than he is with scenes of desire.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Measured in anything other than biblical cubits, the sum of Babel's many parts turns out to be a picture that suggests Americans ought to stay home and treat their nannies better.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaker's got good taste -- and luck -- in casting.
    • 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.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A talent-stuffed assemblage of barbs and giddy musical numbers that shouldn't be written off as a feature flop -- but savored instead for the cult-ready collection of late-night satirical skits and misses it is.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The romantic troubles of three Irish-Catholic brothers on Long Island don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For Yank color in her soap-bubbly movie, director Daniele Thompson has her pal Sydney Pollack appear as...a famous director.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are mountain tunes as powerful as moonshine to be enjoyed in Songcatcher -- but there's also a mighty mushy heap of corn pone to be swallowed.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The new movie is an opulent-bordering-on-hysterical mass of chitchat and chase scenes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The premise, the structure, and the men-at-twilight conversation in Patrice Leconte's ingratiating drama feel cloyingly predetermined at times, but the sight of Hallyday and Rochefort luxuriating in their contrasting manly personas is a kick.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's nothing not to like about the movie, a teensy, hand-crocheted trifle, fitted with embroidered pockets of guest stardom, including Mia Farrow as the nice local lady who wants to see what "Ghostbusters" is all about and "Ghostbusters'" own Sigourney Weaver as a movie-studio corporate meanie, ha-ha.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The depth of the story and the characters is awfully slight to bear the weight of such fancy editing. But the performances are crisp and in focus, with Cox in particular showing a photogenic feel for expressing grief.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The premise of the short-story-size comic thriller Don McKay is as thin and crumbly as a corn chip.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Clearing is what's known in the biz as an alternative for adult moviegoers. Which is to say the film is a performance-driven drama devoid of special effects and loud noises. On the contrary, it's a meditation on midlife weaknesses and compensation.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Natalie Portman demonstrates tour de force weeping in the back of a taxi as an American searching for her roots in Israel.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's warm advocacy of hospice, with all the dignity such end-of-life care provides, does real, influential good.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As directed by Dwight Little ("Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home," a morph of "The Day of the Dolphin" and "Lassie Come Home"), the tension-to-action sequences unspool efficiently.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This otherwise entertaining, aficionado-oriented production, with its circus-act technology that lets a viewer feel, briefly, like a member of the Petty racing dynasty, is as gaudily patched with corporate sponsorship as the sport itself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The telegenic Lomborg is the on-camera "star" of the show, while his angry critics growl on cue.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    All too content to be a comedy of surfaces and stereotypes. And because, for all the novelty of the bisexual romantic angle, there's something about Jessica, her New York-singleton ticks and her Jewish-family tocks, that feels...old.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's power is undercut by the overemphasized presence of celebrity traveling environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    We're in David Mamet World. William H. Macy -- the quintessential player of Mamet men in all their impacted rage -- stars in this claustrophobic adaptation.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This movie is as packed with flashy bogusness as a lead singer's tight leather trousers. On the other hand, there's nothing bogus about the charisma and tough sweetness of Wahlberg.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's new and nutty, though, is the physical comedy of Jackie Chan as Fogg's manservant.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something almost too controlled, cerebral, and overdetermined about Winterbottom's Western notions.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    To fully savor Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, it's best to watch with an audience overwhelmingly populated by girls and young women.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Educational and upstanding, a little overacted and more than a little overdramatized. But it's honorable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Affleck the director shows excellent instincts, not least of which is letting his younger brother, Casey, hold the center as a young guy not as smaht as he thinks he is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I love the princess squad.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An affectionate puff profile.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In aiming for a new kind of lit-drama cool, Jane Campion freezes the warmth right out of Henry James' expansive heart.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's Complicated is middle-aged porn, the specialty of Meyers, who also set ladies and interior decorators drooling over homes and gardens in 2006's “The Holiday.”
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie meets the requirements of the "Life Is Beautiful" school; those loyal to the tougher, more stringent Osama academy of realism need not apply.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This peachcolored comedy about a wacky family who shove their sadness into a bulging closet is being marketed as ''from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine'' All that's missing from the formula is a Volkswagen Microbus.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When a brilliant fish wriggles by, even a less than ardent anime viewer will want to freeze the frame and gape.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The individual components of director Marc Abraham's David-and-Goliath drama are roundly unexceptional; the script, soft and teach-y; the performances, earnest.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In moments that have nothing to do with representing the weight of love (whatever that is), the film comes alive: when Ami Ankilewitz isn't a symbol - just a man who, for instance, loves a woman.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Trembles with respect for Hillenbrand's book. It's hobbled by good intentions, grand plans for telling many stories at once, and a fear of the very audience whose intelligence and sophistication it claims to court.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Coarser, more hectic, more cheaply written sequel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hardest work falls to Cusack, a subtle actor with a valuable gift for conveying the sadness and loneliness beneath the skin of even the most jaded and self-contained men-about-town.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Love and sex are scary in Bradley Rust Gray's over-Freuded exercise in semi-horror/gender studies.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A forceful Neeson and an even more intense Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) both show their stuff and obscure the unrelieved pain endured by the men they portray.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This overlong, lurchy homage to John Cassavetes' 1980 film "Gloria" is a mess, but a fascinating one, given Swinton's desperately avid performance in the title role.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is interesting stuff. So why does The Last Stand feel driven to dumb itself down, as if embarrassed by its own ideas?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So much is satisfying in KC that its shortcomings are all the more discordant.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fact that it's difficult to believe someone who looks as dewy as Tautou would be so dangerous is much of the game.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a stagy script by Sam Catlin, director Danny Leiner uses a dainty palette of tristesse (untouched when he made Dude, Where's My Car?) to suggest that the shadow of 9/11 makes every discontent more pathetic.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Brisk and sweet, even if the script veers toward fussy and lame.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Goldberg, for all her character's tough bluster, is sweet too: Her performance here is contained, modulated, dignified without cushioning the Whoopi edge that makes her work so interesting and uncategorizable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The vignettes don't add up to a story, but Wong's nervy brio and subterranean-fantasy style make for an arresting work about an exotic subculture.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The agonizing moments that convey what it's like for Bone to feel helpless and afraid of Daddy Glen even when he's not torturing her are where the art is. The pornographic violence is artifice. [13 Dec 1996]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmakers can't decide whether to trust the period innocence of the book (and play down their casting coup) or let the young man rip as a preteen-babe magnet... So December Boys splits the difference -- safely, dully.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A painfully polite Iraq war drama pitched at the MTV generation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Could it be that the director of "L.A. Confidential," "Wonder Boys," and "8 Mile" has been defeated by characters on a first-name basis with brisket, by women who, in Susannah Grant's screenplay, represent avatars of joyless workaholism and joyless sexaholism?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bee Season answers the question no Talmudic student or fan of "Unfaithful" has thought to ask: What would Richard Gere look like as a learned Jewish scholar and teacher?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This hankie-yanker is an emotional cheat.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Even an audience moved to tender patriotism might wonder how Scott, a proven master of ''Gladiator''-size visual showmanship, could have bombed away the personality of every man fighting until he's left with nothing more than pure combat.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That Just Like Heaven succeeds at all - at least for teenage girls with limited interest in the drafting of living wills - is due entirely to Witherspoon's can-do charisma.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Doesn't have much time for refinement of image or elegance of plot. What it's got instead is an insider's feel for the local, excitable hoodlum life and speech.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaking is rudimentary in The Treatment, Oren Rudavsky's adaptation of Daniel Menaker's novel, but the feeling for the patient-and-shrink dynamic is authentic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie pretends to warn against such shallowness -- but flaunts its arousal at how exciting such a controllable world is for those with access to the software.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the most shocking contribution to this self-conscious but fascinating sampling of art challenged by life, Mexico's Alejandro González Iñárritu (''Amores Perros'') makes a horrifying suspense story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film is notable for its nice performances, its handsome photography, and its very active music. If the preceding praise sounds generic, so is the movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A weightless movie as cheerily artificial as the Old Navy pitchman's bronze skin tones.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the tradition of such food-as-love films as "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "Big Night", kitchen work is idealized as a form of communion in this indulgently nostalgic story -- deep-fried with plot, script, and character cliches but honey glazed with goodwill...
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Part "Law & Order," part "The Omen," the movie doesn't trust the audience to follow serious theological and legal discussion without a spook hook.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Something is happening to our boys: They're getting mushy. Shallow Hal is not so much about how gross people are as how beautiful they are once you get beyond the rude, noisy flesh. It's a sermon wrapped in a fat suit.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are winning -- Gyllenhaal is particularly sharp as an aggrieved sibling, and there's mutual zing in her scenes with Reilly.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ethical, independent-minded kid has his unhip charms, and so does Hey Arnold! The Movie.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In their own precisely posed ways, the drenched players in The Heart of Me are as compelling as those in any less decorum-bound love triangle.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A knock-kneed but likable just-for-girls drama set in 1963 that promotes single-sex institutions as the best breeding ground for future female senators and filmmakers.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Max
    It challenges, this nervy oddity, like modern art should.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Directed by Luis Llosa with all of the subtlety of a snake-oil salesman, is in the great tradition of cinematic cheese, as processed as Kraft Singles slices. [18 Apr 1997, p. 48]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As filmmaker Michael Mann takes pains to emphasize in his handsome, underheated gangster drama Public Enemies, the gent may have been murderous, but he had style.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Disoriented but occasionally disarming saga packed with moments out of an ''Alice in Wonderland'' adventure, a stalker thriller, and a condensed season of TV's ''Big Brother.''
    • 37 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Joel Schumacher directs with far less fetishism than he might have, while producer Jerry Bruckheimer kicks up only a fraction of the bull dust usually visible in his projects.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something almost endearingly out of sync about the sleek but now dated Euro-thriller The International.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It borders on perky -- a duller, safer tonal choice for the story of a conniving go-getter whose fall is as precipitous as her rise.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This activist documentary -- alternately impassioned, despairing, edifying, and hectoring about all the ways humans are screwing up the earth in a death rattle of hubris -- shouts, People, do something! In contrast, "An Inconvenient Truth" feels positively hushed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Often has the rambling feeling of a home movie Blaustein made for his buddies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Indeed, the point of Syriana appears to be that the whole lousy, corrupt, oil-producing and -consuming world is a ball of wax, ready to melt.
    • 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
    With those piercing eyes, Owen makes a lovely, soulful Joe, of course. But it's not the nice papa we want to understand here, it's the unapologetically naughty one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The added value that writer-director Douglas McGrath has in mind is gossip -- and a goggly interest in gossip becomes the glittering gimmick of Infamous.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Diverting enough, but it's also the kind of high-concept studio concoction Ricky Gervais might have ridiculed in his great backstage-showbiz sitcom "Extras."

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