Peter Hartlaub

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For 435 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Hartlaub's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story
Lowest review score: 0 Silent Hill
Score distribution:
435 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    There's no greater meaning to any of this, and the slapstick turns won't seem particularly ambitious to anyone who grew up on Bugs Bunny cartoons.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Very imaginative and can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    There are flaws, but also some fun surprises. Much closer to Hitchcock than "Hostel," this is what can happen when a pile of trash falls into the hands of a talented and resourceful director (James DeMonaco).
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A throwback to all those guilty pleasure action movies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    At times hilarious and occasionally very sad, it's a cautionary tale about the lure of instant fame.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    As entertainment, this approach might be questionable. As a service, it would be valuable.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Children in the audience may not be thrilled at the highbrow humor and lack of pointless action, but tough luck. Life is more than "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" and "The Smurfs" sequels.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    May not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    As cluttered as the movie gets before the ending, it's funny throughout, with some 1970s and '80s music thrown in to keep adults happy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    While the songs are recycled, Across the Universe stands out just by existing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The talented fantasy filmmaker and heir to the "Lord of the Rings" throne gets the tone right throughout Hellboy 2, and the hip retro charm alone is enough to merit recommendation.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Won't make anyone forget "The Shining," but it's a nice throwback to the days when scary movies featured pretty good actors, a plot that holds together and a couple of creepy-looking ghost kids.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    An enjoyable way to start the Oscar season.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Funny and honest.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Occasionally thoughtful and very entertaining.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The ending takes an unfortunate detour that stretches the running time, but this is still quality Pixar work.
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The multiple-story-line family drama is too cliche-ridden to be considered a great movie. But it's still a very good one, filled with excellent performances, entertaining writing and a final few scenes that are quite moving - even if you can see most of them coming at the end of the first act.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Mainstream audiences will probably be confounded by Drive, while lovers of gritty filmmaking will defend every exaggerated shotgun wound as art. Know which camp you're in before you enter the theater.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The entertaining new film from Sony Pictures Animation is a nice surprise, and the rare mainstream American kid film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Fans of this film will some day wear out their DVDs and Blu-rays playing that fantastic battle scene again and again.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Even with the conflict overkill, most of the small moments ring true. Dolphin Tale has more in common with "The Swiss Family Robinson" than most modern live-action family movies, where slapstick and cheap laughs feed short attention spans.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's the kind of fun and quirky film that you don't see very often in art houses this time of year.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    For such a torment-filled story, the ending is surprisingly satisfying, with an important message that a lesser filmmaker might have telegraphed too much.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Retro escapist fun.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A funny comedy, and sometimes an even better drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's clear by the end that one Ruth Gruber is worth more than 100 pundits fighting about partisan politics.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's all very foul, and completely entertaining.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Twilight has a few gory plot turns - mostly offscreen - and one near-sex scene that may offend a few Amish people, but the rest is maybe 33 percent less wholesome than "High School Musical." It's almost certainly less risque than what you were watching when you were 14. (Cue the soundtrack to "Risky Business.")
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Miyazaki is arguably at the Kubrick/Polanski level, where his lesser films still yield great rewards. Even during the moments that don't soar, The Wind Rises continues to satisfy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The Peanuts Movie delivers genuine happiness with the door left open for woe.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Esrick spent 10 years on the film, and the result is a comprehensive portrait.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    With apologies to George A. Romero and the impending zombie apocalypse, The Eclipse may be the most realistic film where something dead comes to life and tries to feast on human flesh. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/15/MVST1CTGJ4.DTL#ixzz0lDuetYGS
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The stunning and mostly uncompromising visuals more than compensate for the frequent corny turns of phrase.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    About five times as funny as "Scary Movie 3."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A solid piece of filmmaking, from subtle beginning to the excessive end.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore find a nice balance between the over-the-top high jinks and an emotional core, which unexpectedly crystallizes relatively late in the movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    There's nothing too small about Nolte's performance. He's the perfect companion for a rookie feature film director looking to make a good first impression.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Rocket Science has the makings of either a tragedy or a crowd-pleasing underdog story, but writer-director Jeffrey Blitz instead takes the movie on a different, and ultimately more rewarding, direction.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Very entertaining.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A nice surprise, surpassing the quality of the first film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Marshall takes a modest budget and a concept that isn't all that original and produces a frightening, intelligent and sexy thriller.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It is by far the sharpest-looking DreamWorks Animation film to date.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    An honest, fair and quite voyeuristic look into avatars and the real-life humans who control them in Second Life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The end result is an interesting documentary that is as unpolished and gutsy as the championship-caliber high school hoop stars at the other end of his camera.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    While it's riveting throughout, The Mist is a bit bloated.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Has a solid story, which keeps things interesting during the quiet moments when nobody is getting kicked in the head.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Anyone can make a bad movie. But it takes a unique set of circumstances to make a movie so horrible that people are celebrating its badness two decades later.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Dawson turns out to be a necessary ingredient, propelling the emotional core of the film forward, while somehow convincing the audience that a smart, attractive woman could find a schlub like Dante desirable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The similarity between the children is the most striking part of the movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Instructive as a portrait of activism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The ego trips and sexuality and driving are all filmed with equal intensity, to the point where the emotions and flesh and crunched metal seem to blend together. The movie's only major problem is that the tension sometimes overwhelms.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Tribe superfan Rapaport doesn't fawn, but he juggles too much, and the ending feels pat. It's still an outstanding effort, and one of the more honest band biopics in recent years.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A tough internal struggle must take place before one can come forward and admit enjoying The Devil's Rejects, a movie so fundamentally horrible that even its creator has to admit he's basically made a 101-minute snuff film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Undefeated is filled with wonderful narratives, which impressed academy voters enough to garner an Academy Award this week. It's a credit to directors Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Daniels that the personal stories of the kids and coaches resonate more than the wins and losses.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's one of the least scary films that he's made - but still entertaining, and very, very gory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    If you were ever wondering what "Die Hard" would have been like if Neil LaBute directed it as an art film, prepare to enjoy Lovers of Hate.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Patterson's verite style is bettered by the work of cinematographer Eric Koretz, who surrounds the bleak characters with beauty and color.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Fright Night isn't quite a classic vampire movie, but it's refreshingly straightforward and self-deprecating.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Yet it's very funny, a disappointment only to those who expect to see something bold and new.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Hardy's performance takes a little bit of the sting away from seeing Gandolfini perform on a big screen for the last time. As irreplaceable as Gandolfini may be, it's invigorating to see a young actor elevating to similar heights right before your eyes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Funny, very clever and still packs some cover-your-face bloody thrills that top any "Saw" or "Hostel" movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Satan is optional in The Last Exorcism. This is the rare horror film that would have been entertaining even if nothing scary happened.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A clever, heart-pounding thriller, and a welcome return to form for the director.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's an entertaining, depressing and ultimately hopeful movie about the times we live in.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    If studios insist on remaking classic horror films, this is definitely the way to do it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The female actors, particularly Hudgens and Ashley Benson, are game for the ride. And Franco is indispensable, bringing humor and pathos to one of the more repulsive cinematic creations in recent memory.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The movie's shockingly tasteless setup is also its secret weapon. Despite many scenes in The Ringer that could individually be viewed as politically incorrect, audiences will be laughing with the athletes most of the time.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Lots of people will leave screenings of this movie in disgust -- and laughter is the last thing they will hear on the way out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The movie turns from good to great as the layers are peeled away and director Hahn provides an insider's look at the creative epicenter of the studio.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Considering the fact that a young girl is picking her nose on the movie poster, The Croods is surprisingly evolved.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The themes are also dated. There are times when Dredd 3D feels like an escapist companion piece to "The Day After." But there we go again, thinking too much. No sense in ruining such a fine piece of cheap entertainment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's funny, clever and marginally educational.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Captures an artist who has decided not to burn out, but to fade away with dignity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The biggest strength of the movie is the chemistry between Cumming and Isaac Leyva, a first-time feature film actor with Down syndrome, who does as much to make these scenes work as the experienced actors he's sharing scenes with.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Succeeds in its modest goals of building tension slowly and generating a handful of legitimate scares. A few people in the audience were laughing during the first half of the film. No one was laughing during the long walk out of the theater.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    This has to be the first children's film to weave a Grand Theft Auto joke into the script -- and like most things in the movie, it's pretty amusing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Perhaps anticipating an older audience, most of the lessons are one-sided, with the old-timers seemingly harming the children while actually saving them.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    It's a stoner movie all the way, with much deep thought but little active conflict.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    There's little illumination.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    There are some nice moments and beautiful scenery, but the film is often slow and the dialogue is overwrought.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The filmmaking is unremarkable, but the obsessiveness of the lead character is infectious enough to make this drama passable entertainment.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    If you like gore, this is the movie for you.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    As the camera follows four campers in a Portland, Ore., rock school for girls, the result is less a journey than a collage of random thoughts, circumstances and events. There's plenty of telling, but not enough showing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The sexual tension is thick between the woodland creatures in Alpha and Omega, an animated children's film with a plot that has more in common with "The Blue Lagoon" than "Bambi."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The Providence Effect" is flawed, but it's still a moving film.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Basically, this is a really good movie until the last part, where director and co-writer Darren Lynn Bousman ruins so much so fast that you'll wonder if his actions are deliberate -- or if the studio interfered.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The result is an interesting but often frustrating effort by the director of "The Sea Inside," who proves that ambition and talent aren't enough to ensure a compelling drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    If you can get past a few swear words, the film's simplicity makes Glory Road a good starting point to get young kids to talk about racism.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Even if it means blowing more than half the budget on animal wranglers, any movie that profiles Saddam Hussein's eldest son and Iraqi psychopath Uday Hussein is incomplete without the presence of his personal zoo. It's like filming a Michael Jackson biopic and leaving out the chimp, Ferris wheel and kid who played "Webster."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Has beautiful scenery and some enjoyable moments but leaves the viewer feeling the need to find the book to get the rest of the story.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Although intriguing to look at, Renaissance -- the latest animated film geared to adult audiences -- is undone by a plot that is ridiculously hard to follow and hackneyed.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Unfortunately, the writing has become so bad that it becomes impossible to keep your head in the game - even as your toes continue to tap to the beat.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Most audience members will probably want more.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A movie for people who value heart and earnestness over technical filmmaking skill, and consider unpredictable plot turns a betrayal.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The picture eventually collapses under the weight of its own gimmickry, but it's still an entertaining distraction for cerebral horror fans who want an appetizer before the B-horror feast that is "Diary of the Dead."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Despite the fact that the movie covers some new cinematic territory, much of the humor feels recycled, mostly from the "Seinfeld" episodes "The Boyfriend" (the one where Jerry has a man crush on Keith Hernandez) and "The Outing."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    It's a pleasant and well-intentioned end of summer diversion that doesn't possess the imagination-stoking qualities of a premier children's movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Definitely worth your time, if not your $9.50. In other words, wait a few months and definitely check it out as a rental.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The movie is too lethargic for its own good, and many of the events and minor characters don't quite ring true.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The result isn't a great film, but it's true to the original brutal vision.
    • San Francisco Chronicle

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