Lisa Schwarzbaum

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For 1,910 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 8.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Crash
Lowest review score: 0 Valentine's Day
Score distribution:
1910 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Concentrate instead on the delightful performances. A thespian shoutout goes to Reynolds (his hair bleached bright yellow for the gig) for his jaunty way with a cape, tights, and the hands-on-hip poses of superherodom.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Big Apple of this evanescent tone poem is an invented nocturnal landscape featuring speechifying eccentrics and absurdist moments that feel northern European in sensibility.
    • 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."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Filmmaker Reed Cowan (himself gay and raised Mormon) documents the church's considerable financial influence on Prop 8's passage. Then he expands his sad and furious homegrown film to record the misery of gay Mormons sometimes driven to suicide over being rejected by their church and families.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    On the other hand, this proud graduate of the School of Cleary Classics wishes that, like the young heroine herself, Ramona and Beezus dared more often to color outside the lines.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Thompson, who also wrote the script, has skittery, baffling fun enjoining her plummy guest actors (including Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, and Maggie Smith) to play broad Brit types.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The political angle is gratuitous, even foolish, and certainly a distraction from the movie's visual strengths.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The telegenic Lomborg is the on-camera "star" of the show, while his angry critics growl on cue.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And so by the time the pair admire the Grand Canyon and, Due Date has lost its way, relying on its leading men to lead by charisma alone, even though their characters have nowhere interesting to go besides the happily-ever-after of dull, responsible male maturity.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    David Schwimmer directs this smarmy Hot Topic drama with empathy for the craft of acting but less interest in the craft of making a movie move.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Always the smooth showman, Spurlock avoids answering his own question: Is he selling out or buying in?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like Bill Murray and Greg Kinnear before him, this funnyman reveals serious acting chops.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's power is undercut by the overemphasized presence of celebrity traveling environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie's biggest surprise may be that the story we think we know from modern scary cinema - that horror is a fun, cosmic game, not much else - here turns out to be pretty much the whole enchilada.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Marigold Hotel achieves what it sets out to do: Sell something safe and sweet, in a vivid foreign setting, to an underserved share of the moviegoing market.
    • 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
    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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Heavy on mood and murk.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The yarn is too irresistible: We're fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but are left hungry for beef.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not to be confused with a dramatization of Kate Chopin's great 1899 proto-feminist novel, this by-the-numbers British ghost story, set just after WWI, devotes a lot of energy to set decoration.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's the parental mush about trusting one's kid to make her own discoveries and blah blah blah (spoken in a Sandlerized version of a Dracula voice) that drains the movie of blood. What's left are platitudes, and Sandler singing a novelty song in a Transylvanian-accented falsetto.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Love and sex are scary in Bradley Rust Gray's over-Freuded exercise in semi-horror/gender studies.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The fault, I think, isn't in our stars but in the script, running up a huge comedy tab the likable players can't pay off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So much is satisfying in KC that its shortcomings are all the more discordant.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I spoil nothing by reporting what readers already know, that when Fifty Shades is not a dirty story, it is, as the trilogy unfolds, a study in cartoonishly weird family dynamics.

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