Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,906 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 9.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Tulpan
Lowest review score: 0 Valentine's Day
Score distribution:
1,906 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 also bravely faces the future, slipping with expert ease among the thrilling mass of complications (and complicated set pieces) that Rowling throws fans in the final sprint, then guiding the faithful to the fate that awaits everyone in this world, the moment called The End.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sky Captain is a gorgeous, funny, and welcome novelty.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another thinking-person's thriller from director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, also co-pilots on "28 Days Later."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A reality-twisting cousin to "Being John Malkovich" -- showcases a Van Damme who's sly like a fox about his own image.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A spare, controlled study in communication gaps and a piercing sketch of suburban American loneliness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Elf
    The disarming comedic tone -- silly and novel in its lack of cynicism -- is driven by the fearless, cheerful unself-consciousness of Will Ferrell, a big man last seen streaking (all too unself-consciously) through ''Old School.''
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In One Hour Photo, Williams is a snapshot of human complexity worth framing.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are relaxed. The open-ended, vignette-like structure of the filmmaking sometimes imitates the movement of weary, life-worn men nursing liquor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a psychological thriller that actually thrills.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ineffably Australian and intriguingly (rather than annoyingly) artsy, Look Both Ways introduces a handful of people gobsmacked by life-changing crises, all of them trying to make sense of responsibility, mortality, and connection.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first Irish creation I've seen in ages to pull off the high-difficulty feat of trafficking in grit, drollery, and emotion without turning to blarney as a crutch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Cloverfield, a surreptitiously subversive, stylistically clever little gem of an entertainment disguised, under its deadpan-neutral title, as a dumb Gen-YouTube monster movie, makes the convincingly chilling argument that the world will end -- or, at least, Manhattan will crumble -- with a bang and a whimper.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An 
unexpectedly revealing, disconcerting documentary that benefits from the filmmaker's unmediated approach, his home-movie-
quality visual style, and his controlled use of on-the-fly moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So much goes down on Nick and Norah's one enchanted evening that the best advice is to enjoy the ride -- the actual ride -- around this vibrant new New York.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Funny, ungirdled romp - a buddy picture about buddies who actually know what women want.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ah, monsieur, you can lead a Frenchman to the Big Apple, but you can't make him a New Yorker -- and that's exactly what makes The Professional so fascinating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A helluva lot happens in 16 Blocks - an outrageous amount, really, along with a coda that deposits the audience squarely at a movieland finale. Who knew that looking both ways before crossing is where the real action is?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Shows a beguiling aptitude for self-mockery in the pursuit of polemic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Gérald Hustache-Mathieu sustains a fresh voice influenced by the Coen brothers and the infernal snow of "Fargo."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's no great romantic climax to Don Juan DeMarco (and that may be a drawback for Depp lovers looking to swoon), but there is an airy delicacy to this tall tale that fits in perfectly with the weather these days, the hormones, the whole seasonal gestalt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rutina Wesley glowers with just the right touch of sweetness as a brainy student (and stellar after-school stepper).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reflect the robust status of Yiddish theater in the early 20th century, and its post-Holocaust decline.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    That Annaud and his deft production team create believable dramatic characters without compromising the dignity of the animals they've borrowed as stars -- is the striking (and sometimes unnerving) achievement of a film that also swoops and loops through fairytale hoops.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's as if the star (Douglas) finally gets to integrate all his onscreen personas, all at once.
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    And among the things this ''HP'' does very well indeed is deepen the darker, more frightening atmosphere for audiences of all ages already familiar with the intricacies of the ''Potter'' landscape. (This is as it should be: Harry's story is supposed to get darker.)
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dumont's rigorous, serious attention to the mysteries of good, evil, and faith rewards those willing to be confounded.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A smart, playful, informative pleasure.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This funny, gory stab-athon is as sophisticated about the mechanics of Part 2s as the original was savvy about horror flicks.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Riveting true-life drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you sign on, disarmed of irony, for her trip -- I did -- you'll be rewarded with a rare thing that may in itself prove the existence of a Higher Power: a Hollywood entertainment that makes you consider deep thoughts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chief frustration of this otherwise well-made, well-acted, well-heeled picture -- a movie classy in its artful modesty, with every detail of plot and period furnishings lovingly conceived, every lick of jazz-influenced score true to the times -- is that it is so very self-absorbedly graceful about something so very insular and...unremarkable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole film is cracked, but in a stylish, downtown way.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a pleasure to meet up again with Marion, the distractible, acerbic, New York-based French photographer played once more by Julie Delpy in 2 Days in New York. This bouncy hand-knitted comedy of cross-cultural relationships, also directed and co-written by Delpy, makes a jaunty sequel to "2 Days in Paris."
    • 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."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    For those who wish to decode The Names of Love, there's a sharp commentary on French prejudices, character types, history, and culture embedded in Michel Leclerc's droll autobiographical French comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bug
    The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As ever, Egoyan assembles a devoted repertory cast, including Christopher Plummer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a season of bulging Movies Earmarked for Importance, it is almost startling to come across something as unhyped - and perfectly swell - as The Ice Harvest.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An elegant adventure of a different kind.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Working from a script by his wife, Sarah Koskoff, "High Fidelity" actor-turned-director Todd Louiso shapes the movie to Lynskey's rhythms.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Not coincidentally, African Cats opens on Earth Day. Meeting these magnificent fellow creatures might be a fine way to celebrate.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    When it comes to crazy, violent, semidelirious, testosterone-laden, proto-Viking tales about a mute visionary one-eyed warrior who breaks skulls, Valhalla Rising is pretty great.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The true pleasures of Bound lie in the Wachowskis' inventive updated take on film noir traditions, sensuously realized by cinematographer Bill Pope ("Clueless").
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a relaxed, unforced, melancholy sweetness and swing to this modest iteration of the "Big Chill/Return of the Secaucus 7" formula, a pleasing directorial debut for screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The soft-spoken, impressionistic documentary (with a hypnotic score built from the sounds of construction) climaxes with a six-minute helicopter-cam view of the colossal structure to which these somebodies have been dedicating their sweat, and sometimes their very lives.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What blows us away is the power of Ifans' moist puppy eyes and chilling smile as a true believer undeterred by reality.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Writer-director Salvatore Stabile has a good eye for the details of hard-luck ordinariness, and he sketches believable family bonds with a minimum of flourish.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Renner's Cross is a conflicted hero built to take advantage of the "Hurt Locker" star's best qualities as an actor - his default intensity, the way he conveys that complicated mental calculations are taking place under cover of watchful stillness, even underwater.
    • 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.]
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Crystal turns in his best (read: least sappy) performance in ages, getting through an entire movie -- most of it, anyway -- without mugging.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pandaemonium goes a long way toward capturing the compelling delirium of opium among a crowd of freethinking British iconoclasts.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I do wish the movie's ending weren't so squishy. It's been changed from the finale that Sundance audiences saw earlier this year and now reeks of focus-group testing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    9
    Storyboarded with precision, and enhanced with a resonant score by Deborah Lurie, Acker’s handsome, feature-length 9 is, for all its visual flights of fancy, grounded in an apocalypse-proof message graspable by any schoolchild.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These movie guys specialize in snapping vignettes of human inconsistency - no fancy lighting required.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The crowd-pleasing comic Euro-drama The Concert is, at its musical center, as full of ripe emotion as Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major. It's also as darkly funny as a Slavic farce, a composition of sweet cacophony.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While each Yorkshire playmate-of-the-month warmly assesses her own undewy flesh, the movie gives off a happy vibe of appreciation -- for the dignity of the real Rylstone lot, the actresses who play them so lovingly, and the simple, flower-bed borders of the story.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Very ''Waking Ned Devine.'' There's shrewd wit to Pouliot's gentle, no-bull farce.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rachid Bouchareb's intensely dramatized, passionately partisan story of militancy in the struggle for Algerian independence from France after World War II makes effective use of "Godfather" storytelling theatrics.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A realistic drama that looks and feels as inevitably true and moving as a good documentary.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miller's theme is innocence, the loss of it, and the reclamation of equanimity in the face of that loss, and the music she makes is haunting.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This strong, assured Band of Brothers-style drama from director Jang Hun makes universal points about bonding, misery, loyalty, and the senselessness of war through a portfolio of soldiers.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charm-filled documentary about passionate Harry Potter fans (and one foe) leaps all over the place.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gaily busy kid flick.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This galvanizing cinematic work is also gorgeous, experimental, alive with a Scandinavian strain of chutzpah, and artistically elegant.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An effortlessly clever animated confection.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Peculiarly bloodless.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stepping into sacred shoes once worn by Kevin Bacon, Wormald handily owns the role for a new audience. Same goes for a terrific Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole) in the sidekick role of Willard so memorably originated by the late Chris Penn.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ice Age: The Meltdown blithely looks on the bright side of life, amassing a screen full of vultures to sing and dance ''Food Glorious Food'' and daring us not to get happy.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't leave before the final frame -- if you're still breathing.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A "Romeo and Juliet" tragedy of surprising power.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A nifty horror movie that doesn't claim to be anything other than a zippy exercise in creature-feature entertainment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The whole cast is museum quality, and the ''music'' performances are pitch-perfect in their dissonance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie bubbles with intellectual curiosity and narrative ambition.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    MIB3 is one giant leap for mankind because Josh Brolin shows up to play the younger Agent K. And he just nails the feat, triumphantly creating a riff on/homage to the Tommy Lee Jones-ness of K that goes much deeper (and funnier) than a simple imitation of drawl and speech patterns.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The performances are razor sharp. And the ideas in this movie are, no kidding, big.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    As loose and restful as pajamas.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are no zombies to distract from the plausibility of Right at Your Door. And that's what makes this smart, coolly horrifying American indie thriller one of the scariest movies you're likely to see all year — a post-9/11 nightmare about terrorism, panic, and paranoia with real, waking-life implications.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A bouncy, well-built, delightfully nasty tale of resentment, desperation, and amoral revenge that does for employer-employee relations what Danny DeVito and Bette Midler did for the bonds of matrimony in the great 1986 Zucker brothers comedy "Ruthless People."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Goes where all too few films dare to venture these days -- into the heart of moral darkness.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bale is mesmerizing and Rodriguez keeps up with him as the whole unsafe contraption zooms.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Real Steel is directed by "Night at the Museum's" Shawn Levy, who makes good use of his specialized skill in blending people and computer-made imaginary things into one lively, emotionally satisfying story.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The observations about parenthood, pro and con, are quick and smart, and Scott effortlessly steals the show, softening Westfeldt's brittle cuteness.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Scott gets into the zip and rush of urban energy with an enthusiasm bordering on hilarity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In the handsome, haunting submarine thriller Below, the usual perils of deep-sea maneuvers are heightened by psychic unraveling.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's probably the impresario's best-made movie yet, his most joyful, and his most moving.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Her death was shocking; this well-made telling of her life is inspiring.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ewan McGregor and Eva Green are easy on the eyes as lovers in Perfect Sense, an intriguing apocalyptic romance with a multi-purpose title.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Under the direction of "Bend It Like Beckham's" Gurinder Chadha, this festively busy and exuberantly multicultural charmer is its own intriguingly postmodern creation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This dazzling reverie of a kids-and-adults movie, an unusual collaboration between lord-of-the-cult multimedia artist Dave McKean and king-of-the-comics Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), has something to astonish everyone.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An affecting, old fashioned, antiwar war story.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hilariously fake and rude. And thus true and tonic, if you know what I mean.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Think of this witty, economically gory little tour de force as "28 Days Later" written by linguist Noam Chomsky.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The superb character actor Celia Weston (In the Bedroom) is truly breathtaking as Ronnie's boozer mom.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    To Winn-Dixie's great credit, both as a book and as a dandy, dignified movie, there's nothing condescendingly lesson-like in the wisdom India acquires.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie luxuriates in cinema references while laughing at its own fetishes -- a neat talent.
    • 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.''
    • 53 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Whenever Rupert Everett appears as a rich fellow who distinctly does not fancy ladies, it's a hysterical history lesson of the hilarious variety.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I don't know what tools of the trade Paul Rudd and director David Wain share to dream up the kind of inspired nutso stuff Rudd has done in smart-funny-raunchy winners like "Wet Hot American Summer" and "Role Models." But whatever it is, the two are in a groove - and backed up by some blissed-out creative co-conspirators.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Emotional presence and a sophisticated understanding of commitment-phobia (as something other than a comedic punchline or an excuse for sex scenes) distinguishes this intense, contained drama, as does the unforced, sensual, and sensitive cinematography of Uta Briesewitz.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Serendipity has no business working, but it does. And by the way, Eugene Levy has no business almost stealing the show, but he does, too.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This charming, if unnecessarily coronation-length production gets the duckling-to-swan ambivalence just right.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo on Lost, Xerxes in 300, and even better, Raúl Castro in Che) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Korine remains unnecessarily smitten with sordidness, and there's plenty of it here.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Best of all, a revisit with Jedi makes a viewer appreciate spectacle, presentation, mythology -- that, and the power of a bitchin' helmet to speak volumes in a language even an alien can understand. [Special Edition]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Janet McTeer displays Amazonian power while Jennifer Jason Leigh tears into her role as a high maintenance creature with a ferocity that leaves little room for her usual acting tics.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Reveling in mess and homegrown multiracial mayhem, Death at a Funeral finds a new lease on life.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    I'm as touched and charmed by its failures as I am transfixed, at times, by its successful inventiveness and audacity.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A majority oriented movie that assumes sophisticated familiarity with a sexual minority.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The words belong to Mr. Shakespeare. All else in this Macbeth is the pleasurably fevered invention of brash Australian director Geoffrey Wright.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Earnest messages about bad climate change and good parenting skills have been replaced by a we-all-share-a-planet sense of fun that's more "Finding Nemo" than National Geographic.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The mad genius of this cheerily bonkers feature is the integration of a documentary-style safari into an outlandish fiction involving a fancy-pants CIA pursuit of a downed spy satellite, and a shotgun-wielding outback widow.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Redgrave shimmers like one of Tuscany's magnificent cypress trees as an Englishwoman searching for Lorenzo (Nero).
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a buoyant, old-wave disaster pic for a generation of well-conditioned thrill seekers charmed by the revelation that Richard Dreyfuss really is the Red Buttons of our day.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May not tell a great story, but it's a great wow.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is also visually magnificent - modestly so. Plus, it's half the length of "Avatar."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's nothing nice about 30 Minutes or Less. It's got no redeeming social value. It just ticks away, exploding all notions of where you think it's going to go. It blew me sideways.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A denouement more textbook than thrilling stalls some of the movie's power. But the early chills are potent, intense.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Arriving amid the traditionally withered harvest of January releases, Orange County is peachy.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The chemical energy between Bullock and Reynolds is fresh and irresistible.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bright dialogue and finely embroidered performances adorn The Guru like festive beading on a pair of made-in-India bedroom slippers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Argues on behalf of the Darwinian theory that all of life imitates high school...But the argument is only halfhearted. Just Friends is much more interested in - and hilarious about - the small nostalgias of suburbia.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Director Betty Thomas demonstrates her expertise at keeping indulgence at bay in even the coarsest of comic situations.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's a kind of tough beauty to this deft, satisfying thriller.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are no big thrills, only gentle laughs in this light story by Hugh Wilson and Peter Torokvei (Wilson also directed).
    • 45 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It offers an attractive getaway route from self-importance, snark, and chatty comedies about male bonding. Here, stick shifts do the talking.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fan-ready and saga-solid.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    By not trying too hard, this remake of a dumb movie has got spring in its step. The bounce is on us.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 91 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The most unexpectedly audacious, exhilarating, wildly creative adventure thriller I've seen in ages.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Battleship is a sound vessel floating in Hollywood's oil-slick sea of "Transformers" sequels and vampire riffs.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's unwieldy mess -- but there's also unruly brilliance to this dark and funny story about the havoc that ensues when a man's uncensored Freudian id is allowed the run of the place.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An unexpectedly alert teen-scream disaster chiller.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The story is timeless; this could have taken place when Doyle graduated in '76 -- or any year, really, since the effects of high school linger throughout adult life and nerds are forever.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 83 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Every signifier in this quintessentially American domestic thriller is in satisfying running order.
    • 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.''
    • 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.