Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,909 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 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Incredibles
Lowest review score: 0 Patch Adams
Score distribution:
1,909 movie reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charm-filled documentary about passionate Harry Potter fans (and one foe) leaps all over the place.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Does a great job of being in two places at once: In the head and gangly bodies of kids, and in the hearts of those of us who have survived grades 6-8.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gorgeous as the underwater life-forms are, the excitement of Aliens of the Deep comes from that most old-school, low-tech of elements: real human beings.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sagnier is yummy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Sérgio Machado, who worked as an assistant to Central Station's Walter Salles, lingers sensually over every wrong move his attractive tragic trio make.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fan-ready and saga-solid.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's hide-and-seek attitude toward truth mirrors the intricacies of one lover getting to know another -- an arresting notion of the heart that's much more than paper-deep.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is so finely minced a mixture of Sondheim's original melodrama and Burton's signature spicing that it's difficult to think of any other filmmaker so naturally suited for the job.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By the time Worf (Michael Dorn), knocking off a slimy attacker, growls a Schwarzeneggerish ''Assimilate this!'' we've already done so, with pleasure.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Anderson brings compassion to his amused sense of yuppie tragicomedy, as he does to his nuanced understanding of Boston, the setting of this appealing fairy tale.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The two XXL personalities are in fit, fighting form in a comedy as bracing and furiously right for the moment as it is broad and huggable.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The already heavy-footed clomp of Grisham's declamatory storytelling style has been given an extra-thick-soled, wing-tipped, liberal-leaning, reality-tampering kick thanks to a screenplay credited to four writers.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Charms because of its natural, non-magical attitude toward humanity.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Although In the Mood for Love isn't in the mood for action, it dazzles with everything but.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a contemplative loveliness to The Way, an affecting personal project both for Emilio Estevez, who wrote, directed, and plays a small role, and for his father, Martin Sheen.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gehry sketches and free-associates about how he's not nearly the menschy aw-shucks pussycat from Canada he appears to be but rather a wily, complicated L.A. lion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A ferocious, funny, gory, and astute Canadian horror parable.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Redgrave shimmers like one of Tuscany's magnificent cypress trees as an Englishwoman searching for Lorenzo (Nero).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's refreshingly low on the kind of Cinema of Empowerment pedantry that often goes along with stories about ethnic families, sweatshop working conditions, or women confronting issues of weight and body image -- and this little crowd-pleaser embraces all three.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Satisfying, melancholy political suspense story.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Korine remains unnecessarily smitten with sordidness, and there's plenty of it here.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An animated family movie about penguins -- in the wake of "March of the Happy Feet," they're the Angelina Jolie of animals, both cute and admired everywhere. Plus, it's about surfing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hilariously fake and rude. And thus true and tonic, if you know what I mean.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bridges' guileless performance makes this piquant little indie tale of country music, redemption, and the love of a pretty younger woman such a sad-song charmer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Genre-hoppers like Steven Soderbergh ought to love this neat triple doozy. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's intellectually ambitious debut drama Night Catches Us is all the more notable for setting well-drawn fictional characters in a fraught, real moment in civil rights history.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The hoot and giggle of a girl-power fairy tale blended from potions of ''Monty Python,'' ''Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,'' and ''Shrek.''
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The daffy, innately British joke that propels the cheeky U.K. comedy hit Shaun of the Dead is that although real zombies have risen up -- slacker wankers Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his best pal and roommate, Ed (Nick Frost), are too slack, wankerish, and blitheringly British to notice.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The generosity and gorgeousness with which Aussie writer-director Stephan Elliott (and costume designers Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel) turn this most unlikely road picture into something arresting - if a tad sentimental - in its naive vision of a perfectly tolerant world.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Underneath the ravishing imagery however, hearts are in flux.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    X2 sparkles with a lightness of spirit that was missing from ''X-Men.''
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In One Hour Photo, Williams is a snapshot of human complexity worth framing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wide-eyed Sara Paxton and hipster-bespectacled Pat Healy play the joint's only two employees, working each other into a lather of what turns out to be well-founded hysteria. Kelly McGillis is a surprise treat as a grouchy medium.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Damon's how-to-break-the-law lesson - as ludicrous as anything else in this enjoyably zigzaggy exercise in accumulating peril - grants Neeson the fun of experimenting with an American ex-con accent for his one scene.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As engrossing and logic-resistant as the state of dreaming it seeks to replicate, Christopher Nolan's audacious new creation demands further study to fully absorb the multiple, simultaneous stories Nolan finagles into one narrative experience.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reflect the robust status of Yiddish theater in the early 20th century, and its post-Holocaust decline.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something invigorating about this unpretentious dog tale. And if a penguin drops by to promote his own movie product, well, there's room on the frozen continent for all.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mamet regulars Ricky Jay and Joe Mantegna blend well with Mamet newbie Tim Allen, a treat as a spoiled-rotten aging Hollywood action star.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ozon specializes in dissecting the vulnerability, erotic longing, and garbled intentions with which people regularly rub up against one another.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lasse Hallström calms Irving's typically busy 1985 best-seller with a balm of the Swedish director's typically soothing lyricism.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Johnson also grabs hold of a fundamental truth and seduces us with it: The schoolyard can be the noirest burg of all.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The characters in Alien Trespass (directed by X-Files producing alum R.W. Goodwin) are specimens of Sputnik-era determination, led by a gung-ho Eric McCormack.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I'm holding the filmmaker responsible for getting us all back again - to feelings of excitement and delight. Vital as they are, Gollum and Bilbo can only do so much to keep us enchanted. Is Jackson able to sustain the magic in two more installments? I peer into Tolkien's Misty Mountains and embrace the journey.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ever-magnetic Sam Rockwell is Kenny, Minnie Driver is full of beans as Betty Anne's best friend, Melissa Leo is wicked good as an ornery cop, and, in her two chewy scenes, Juliette Lewis reminds fans why we want her to run free forever.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's in the brightly observed vignettes from mall-society life, captured with a low-key, on-the-run visual style, that Burman shows his best stuff and deadpan wit.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Good times and bum times, they've seen it all and they're still here. Lucky us.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is a duet of outstanding loveliness between Kendrick and Gordon-Levitt, also an actor of nuanced control.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are razor sharp. And the ideas in this movie are, no kidding, big.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    New-era losers (the cast is a cheery scrum of relaxed kids, led by genuine whiz pitcher Sammi Kane Kraft in the role created by Tatum O'Neal) now include a rotten kid in a wheelchair.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An elegant adventure of a different kind.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A majority oriented movie that assumes sophisticated familiarity with a sexual minority.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Intense, autobiographically based drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's not quite the same thrill as glimpsing the man behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz, but for journalism junkies, the fascination of Page One: Inside The New York Times is something like that.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As ever, Egoyan assembles a devoted repertory cast, including Christopher Plummer.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nakedness has rarely looked so...naked. And innately, universally comic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Their love story was inevitably complicated. And so is the documentary Chris & Don: A Love Story -- not simply a love letter to love -- by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This striking, slow-building drama from Cate Shortland uses fractured, impressionistic imagery as a mirror of moral dislocation as the children make their way through an unfamiliar landscape.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    After teeny indies, this studio release retains the trademark love of warped American gothic that the Polishes share with David Lynch and the brothers Ethan and Joel Coen. But the unexpected streak of yearning sunniness -- the Spielbergian touch of boyhood dreams propelling a grown man -- gives The Astronaut Farmer a warmth that's new for them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As loose and restful as pajamas.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cynical and cheerily merciless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A nifty, entwined, ultimately gripping adaptation of British crime writer Ruth Rendell's novel ''The Tree of Hands'' by French director Claude Miller.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Martha Marcy May Marlene leaves a viewer hanging, quite literally, lost in an enveloping fog of mood without resolution. Olsen, meanwhile, definitely marks her arrival.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cheery, expertly constructed Spanish farce.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jeunet maintains a firm control of his dreamscape creation, drawing on influences as varied as "Toy Story," "Children of Paradise," and TV's "Mission: Impossible."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Betty Thomas demonstrates her expertise at keeping indulgence at bay in even the coarsest of comic situations.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Luc Jacquet's exquisitely shot eye-of-God study of a year in the lives of these distinctive birds is a nature film built with a feel for the epic and a love of operatic narrative.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In our summertime-movie world of aliens and superheroes who look all too familiar, Dodge and Penny look all the rarer in their precious humanity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In his elliptical and somewhat loopy drama about the slipperiness of love at any age, French filmmaker André Téchiné uses the sight of scudding motorboats on the waterways around workaday Venice as a visual reinforcement of time as a river.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Allusions to "Vertigo," "Rebecca," and Georges Franju's great 1960 French horror movie "Eyes Without a Face" are intentional: The Skin I Live In is, above all, the creation of a movie fanatic who loves to look.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the handsome, haunting submarine thriller Below, the usual perils of deep-sea maneuvers are heightened by psychic unraveling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Conveys the heaving passion of Puccini's famous love-jealousy-murder-suicide fandango with great cinematic innovation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are moments in Baran as wholesomely heart-tugging as any involving Charlie Chaplin and a blind girl, but the film is saved from aren't-kids-cute sentimentality by a warmth that isn't faked and a stately sense of composition.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pandaemonium goes a long way toward capturing the compelling delirium of opium among a crowd of freethinking British iconoclasts.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Genre-hoppers like Steven Soderbergh ought to love this neat triple doozy. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slums of Beverly Hills has the kind of big heart, strong voice, vivid look, and original sense of humor many young artists -- particularly young female artists -- don't find until they're riper, and some never find at all.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lee's bigger theme isn't God or survival, but the awesome adventure of making the imaginary visible, the adventure of making movies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gentle study in human resilience and luck.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's the first futuristic disaster movie that's as cute as a button. Which, when all the special effects blow over, is what we Americans like in a monster hit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This patient, righteous documentary by Ken Burns, David McMahon, and Sarah Burns recounts the story of justice undone (a serial rapist confessed) with extensive interviews, a thorough use of archival footage, and a less-than felicitous use of ominous-rumble music that unnecessarily insists, Isn't this an outrage?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Wild Grass is itself odd stuff: Sometimes it's as playful as Marguerite's crayon-red corona of frizzy hair, and other times as autumnal as the sight of Georges alone in his study, feeling stuck.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a grim modern parable to be read into the dangerous effects of the gospel-preaching local crazy lady Mrs. Carmody (brilliantly played by a hellfire Marcia Gay Harden) on a congregation of the fearful.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May not tell a great story, but it's a great wow.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reveling in mess and homegrown multiracial mayhem, Death at a Funeral finds a new lease on life.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rock and Mac exult in the kind of highly charged verbal and physical antics that are star-turn rewards for performers currently at the tops of their games.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a painterly translucence to this ''Springtime,'' and a mystery, too; each frame is as delicately poised and lit as a Vermeer portrait of a woman, beckoning but unknowable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a bouncy, loose limbed, ''families do the darnedest things'' sitcom that elicits ungrudging laughs.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Chiara Mastroianni charms here just as her maman, Catherine Deneuve, did in Demy's 1964 classic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Cuban escapade, designed to provoke, backfires when he loses focus by including Cuban firefighters in an homage to 9/11 first responders.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If all this sounds awfully classroom-bound, it isn't -- far from it. Each man's story as he tells it is riveting, truly stranger than fiction, and awesome, too, in the way of unfathomable humans.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable titanium gleam - and a thick coating of creationism lite.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a good bet the average American moviegoer, however familiar with the rhythms of cinematic global culture, has never experienced such a handsomely self contained world.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Well-made film. Indeed, discovering such a small pleasure is the kind of experience that rewards film lovers who browse with open eyes as well as hearts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Where ''Rushmore'' surprises and delights with its spiky depiction of sprawling American idiosyncrasy, Tadpole's more urbane, less complicated charms are specifically made in New York City.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Genre-hoppers like Steven Soderbergh ought to love this neat triple doozy. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Although it shares a bitter interest in slum desperation with last year's Brazilian-underbelly docudrama ''City of God,'' Bus 174 pulls ahead, I think, by not confusing cinematic pizzazz with the content of misery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Baumbach's movies are addictive dispatches from a genteel jungle of white privilege, where highly educated people behave badly. I can't take my eyes off the exotic wildlife.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The interviews Bitton conducts, almost all with Arabs and Jews who share her despair, are less meaningful than what she captures in silence: the sight of farmers separated from their farmland, everyday people thwarted in their dailiness, and children playing next to what looks like prison walls.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A sly catalog of deceits and a gentle commentary on slippery creativity and desire.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scott gets into the zip and rush of urban energy with an enthusiasm bordering on hilarity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are vividly alive.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Terry Gilliam-ish territory here, spiked with imagery from Holocaust nightmares and drug trips. Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While inevitably oversimplified, is never less than engrossing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Art history majors may write in with corrections. Meanwhile, I'm declaring that the masterly, big-canvas biographical drama Chi-hwa-seon: Painted Fire is about the Jackson Pollock of 19th-century Korea.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An unexpectedly alert teen-scream disaster chiller.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The technique is impressive. But it would count for little if the human story -- of a magnetic, resourceful, and, in the way of all Rohmer heroines, articulate woman who was mistress to the Duke of Orleans -- weren't engrossing on its own dramatic terms.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chemical energy between Bullock and Reynolds is fresh and irresistible.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The unexpected star is Hathaway, looking cool as a runway model in the role originated by Barbara Feldon, lithe as a (pink) panther, and displaying great comic timing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Larrain's (literally) dark, edgy movie is a precise artistic commentary on Augusto Pinochet's miserable regime.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Something particularly clean shines in this American fairy tale, a quality of simplicity that's almost as hard to achieve in such movies as a middle-aged man's boyhood dreams.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is an unabashedly home-cooked homage to New York eccentricity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's lost in translation is recovered easily enough in Michael Sheen's astonishing performance as Clough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Narc is as cop movie as a cop movie can be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's something Slavic about Warner's storytelling.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Lucy Walker's observant film Blindsight is about profound East-West differences in the importance of journey versus destination and comradeship versus competition.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An effortlessly clever animated confection.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is familiar psychological as well as stylistic territory for Anderson after "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums." But there's a startling new maturity in Darjeeling, a compassion for the larger world that busts the confines of the filmmaker's miniaturist instincts.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The most spellbinding aspect of Bright Future is that the surrealism sustains its own squiddish logic, concluding with one of the most breathtaking film finales of the year.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not only makes excellent use of the singer's sweetly coltish acting abilities, but it also promotes a standardized set of sturdy values with none of Mariah Carey's desperate ''Glitter,'' or any of Mandy Moore's gummy pap in ''A Walk to Remember.''
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An affecting, old fashioned, antiwar war story.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That his (writer-director Tom McCarthy) strange, often funny film is so well-disciplined and deadpan refreshing is an achievement.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The intense interviews and damning statistics (20 percent of all female personnel have experienced sexual assault) do the work of whipping up outrage.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    First-time writer-director Rodney Evans makes a ballsy leap into historical fantasia, with heartfelt fervor outrunning stray moments of artistic gawkiness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Arriving amid the traditionally withered harvest of January releases, Orange County is peachy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For the love of all things sensual and mysterious, see this one on a big screen.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a shocking, casual quality to the self-destructive narcissism of the pretty, petty kids squandering their lives in the L.A. sunshine of The Young Unknowns.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Honoring the literary ground beneath it, spotted yellow lizards and all, the movie Holes is easy to dig.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hanna's intriguing, disorienting pleasures - the movie is part poetic dreamscape, part sinister spy saga - lie more in the filmmaking flourishes than in the narrative.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As an exception to the norm, Kitano doesn't appear this time, confining himself merely to writing, directing, and editing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The time swivels in Looper evoke some of Inception's fancy temporal tricks... But it's the glimpses of Children of Men-like societal dystopia that give the movie its real weight, and distinguish Johnson's third feature as a marked step forward.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By rocketing ahead 200 years from the previous film and jiggering the story cleverly (with a script by Toy Story coscreenwriter Joss Whedon as late-'90s wiseacreish as Alien3 was early-'90s portentous) to create a Ripley reconstructed through a mix of human and alien DNA, Alien Resurrection power-kicks the whole definition of the Horrifying Other into a fresh, deep, exhilaratingly thoughtful, millennium-sensitive direction. [5 Dec 1997, p. 47]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shows a beguiling aptitude for self-mockery in the pursuit of polemic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Children bumps into a few dead spots along its irreverent way... But casual sophistication and wiggy Australian self-awareness give this product of unreconstructed bourgeois decadence its idiosyncratic charm.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dumont's rigorous, serious attention to the mysteries of good, evil, and faith rewards those willing to be confounded.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story itself is so powerful and troubling, the moral geometry so vertiginous, and the photography so big that anything other than the natural sounds of snowfall and footfall is a Flat Earth Society intrusion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The denouement of the movie is as preposterously happy as a children's fairy tale. But the moral is ageless.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This gallantly imperfect indie pops with attitude.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The intimate movie hums with a back-in-the-hood vibe that gets the two stars playing contentedly, and delightfully, for the love of local filmmaking.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    James Westby's loving and self-aware homage to mouth-breathing boys who worship Wong Kar-Wai and can't talk to girls is the opposite of Tarantino-esque: It's Westby-ish, interspersing settings of biting social oafishness with spasms of film knowledge.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every moment spent in the company of Keaton... is such a joy that the whole is more delightful than the sum of the formulaic ingredients. Keaton makes Nicholson bounce the way Shirley MacLaine once did in ''Terms of Endearment.''
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Let loose in a plot that's surprisingly modern about sex and relationships, Morton gives Eva's torn longings an immediacy that transcends a lot of damp, 1950s rusticated preciousness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For one of those obstreperously original books that are themselves impossible to translate, Everything Is Illuminated is impressively well lit.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Part supernatural thriller, part Oliver Sacks-style meditation on the neurological mysteries of perception, and part Buddhist treatise on reincarnation, the story luxuriates in shadows.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The discreet stink of the bourgeoisie perfumes the wonderfully mordant, dry-eyed family saga, The Flower of Evil.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marvelously inventive, often-ironic Israeli storyteller Etgar Keret and his life- and workmate, Shira Geffen, spin in Jellyfish a dreamy, arty, alluringly cockeyed tale involving three unrelated women in Tel Aviv.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A grandly entertaining historical drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fados connects today's leading interpreters with legendary fadistas of the past. And it's the last title to be released under the banner of the venerable New Yorker Films.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With a taste for dark lyricism, the director delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface innocence and subterranean danger, and between grown-up secrets and boyhood bravery.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Graeme and Clive, representatives of a nation of nonbelievers in UFOs and big dinner portions, come to the psychic capital of a country that wants to believe, and they're transformed. In Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do likewise, in celebration of what the Spielbergian cosmos is all about.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bale is mesmerizing and Rodriguez keeps up with him as the whole unsafe contraption zooms.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The visual and verbal jokes are as bouncy and multilevel (hip height for adults, knee-slap-size for kids) as we have come, no doubt selfishly, to expect from DreamWorks.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Clever, laid-back.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Slow -- sometimes maddeningly, soporifically so.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This gripping if tamped-down drama is steeped in ancient Albanian culture, where the real, tragic consequences of blood feuds can keep families trapped in their homes for generations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charming, if unnecessarily coronation-length production gets the duckling-to-swan ambivalence just right.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins are so interesting that it's easy to put up with the decision-making dithering that goes along with the title.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With every detail in this clever peekaboo, the sly filmmaker dangles the possibility that fiction is fact and that Yvan and Charlotte are real -- or at least as real as the movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The easygoing silliness with which this late-summer movie surprise scuttles from mayhem to mayhem and the verve with which the cast throws itself into the fray are so cheering and liberating.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mesmerizing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Charms with its amalgam of absurdity, optimism, humor, and avuncular regard for the million small daily chores, rituals, suspicions, and courtesies of dwellers on even the sparsest spots on earth.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole film is cracked, but in a stylish, downtown way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is a sensual, psychologically modern costume drama influenced by both "The Godfather" and gals' guides to empowerment.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every signifier in this quintessentially American domestic thriller is in satisfying running order.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These guys are not charming; they're horrifying in their ignorance, and they cause real damage. But there's a weird relief to be found in the opportunity to laugh ourselves sick at their expense, if only for an instant.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jack Nicholson's dyspeptic retiree in "About Schmidt" would no doubt identify with O'Horten's entertaining pain.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like a dowser who can divine hidden sources of water, Atom Egoyan has a talent for locating the dream-state perversity that runs just under the surface of everyday life;
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The best thing about this long-awaited feature-length project, a classic Simpsonian interplay of family psychology, social commentary, and brainy visual and verbal jokes tossed off at rat-a-tat speed, is how relaxed it manages to be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A spare, controlled study in communication gaps and a piercing sketch of suburban American loneliness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Kicky, elaborately constructed fantasy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story and setting may be ancient, but under the direction of Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), and with a nicely textured screenplay by Macdonald's Scotland coscreenwriter Jeremy Brock, the vigor is fully modern.

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