Peter Hartlaub
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For 418 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 5.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Hartlaub's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Frozen
Lowest review score: 0 Venom
Score distribution:
418 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The remake of The Last House on the Left breaks the template, taking the 1972 original into an interesting new direction, with bold camera angles, good actors and a script that heaps on just as much character development as carnage.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    In a genre where too many films are all brawn and no brain, Fighting is a contender.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Retro escapist fun.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    9
    Taking your very small child to this movie is only a slightly better idea than a trip to "The Final Destination." With that warning out of the way, this action adventure is a big treat for more mature animation and science-fiction fans and a triumph for the young director.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's an entertaining, depressing and ultimately hopeful movie about the times we live in.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's all very foul, and completely entertaining.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A clever, heart-pounding thriller, and a welcome return to form for the director.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's funny, clever and marginally educational.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    This isn't just a good throwback satanic thriller - it looks as if it was made during the era of satanist paranoia.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's that constant weirdness, coupled with Nicolas Cage's best performance in pretty much forever, that makes this depraved, sexually charged, over-the-top drama so much fun to watch.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Captures an artist who has decided not to burn out, but to fade away with dignity.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The similarity between the children is the most striking part of the movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A documentary that is often told in adages, riddles and poetry.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The soul of the film is the relationship between mountain-obsessed Mallory and his wife, Ruth, who corresponded in beautifully written letters brought to life by Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    What Dunham lacks in polish, she makes up for in her ability to observe her generation, with the hardest truths coming at her own expense.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    A meditative state of a movie. While shorter-attention-spanned moviegoers should stick to "The Fighter," this is an interesting and enjoyable entry on the opposite side of the genre.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The best part about the movie is the way it shifts focus, starting as an observation of the animal and then subtly morphing to the point of view of Nénette, who passively experiences a jumble of voices that start to run together.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's all very melodramatic, but the Jouberts accompany this story with incredible visuals, with an exceptional level of access. Considering how close they get to the animals, it's a wonder none of the filmmakers got mauled.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The visuals are excellent, featuring a refreshingly small dose of forced cuteness, and plenty of the animals' natural movements.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    André Øvredal's dry horror-comedy Trollhunter is successful on multiple levels, with a brisk pace, excellent location work and a strong lead performance by Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Fright Night isn't quite a classic vampire movie, but it's refreshingly straightforward and self-deprecating.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    If you can get past the ridiculousness of the setup - easy to do, because the posters make it clear this isn't a Woody Allen movie - it's pretty much impossible not to have fun.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    This film is even better if you come in with no spoilers and low expectations.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Kill List has a slow build, but don't be lulled into complacency. This is one of the most violent and disturbing films you'll see in an art house.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The stunning and mostly uncompromising visuals more than compensate for the frequent corny turns of phrase.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Half of one song is performed with a speck of saliva on the camera. More casual fans will twist in their chairs uncomfortably, wishing that a roadie would walk up and wipe it off. Neil Young die-hards will cherish the spittle.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The filmmakers investigate, but can't answer every tough question. There are so many people who could be potentially taking advantage of these players, it's hard to sort out the wrongdoers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    As entertainment, this approach might be questionable. As a service, it would be valuable.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    What Sweetgrass lacks in context it makes up for in voyeuristic camera work that reveals a gritty beauty in the landscape, along with the human and livestock characters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It's difficult to remember a recent movie that soared so high, before plummeting with a series of bad story choices. But the end result is still a strong piece of cinema, a failure only if you dwell on what might have been.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The self-consciousness that made the director's "Love Actually" a love-it-or-hate-it film is dialed way down. About Time is more of a love-it-or-like-it proposition.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Armstrong acted like a demon, but it becomes clear there were very, very few angels associated with the sport in the 1990s and early 2000s.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Yet it's very funny, a disappointment only to those who expect to see something bold and new.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Even with its thrifty set pieces and smaller ambitions, this attempt to reboot the series based on Tom Clancy characters does the most important thing right: It almost always feels like a Jack Ryan movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Enemy is what might happen if someone let Terrence Malick make a "Twilight Zone" episode, with a quick rewrite by David Cronenberg.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    Ernest & Celestine builds a delicate and charming animated world, but you wouldn't want to live there.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    It is by far the sharpest-looking DreamWorks Animation film to date.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    The scope of the film can be frustratingly narrow. But even this limited view into the events of the Maywand District murders is gripping cinema.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Peter Hartlaub
    More in the tone of the big screen "Friday Night Lights" than "Rudy" or "The Blind Side," it succeeds as mainstream entertainment without relying on a conventional storybook framework.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    At its best, the movie is a collection of entertaining memories from a group of gutsy women.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Disappointingly mediocre.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The documentary isn't particularly thrilling, or even very informative, but it's almost certain to lower your blood pressure for 83 minutes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    It's a kids' movie from a better time, with a few small concessions to modern audiences.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Unfortunately, the inspired concept is coupled with weak screenwriting, and the movie turns out to be much more fun to think about than it is to watch.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The film is so harmless, and the young actors try so hard, that it's difficult not to have some fun.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    More action directors should include scenes such as the Mercers' extended Thanksgiving dinner, which fleshes out the bond between the brothers without using too many words.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Despite a decent cast of mostly British voice actors and better-than-average computer animation, the movie seems rushed at 76 minutes and is only marginally funny.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    If you can get past the impossibilities it is a fun time at the movies.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    G
    Unpolished but entertaining.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The makers of Into the Blue know what the audience wants. And they deliver a little bit more.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A workmanlike effort -- a precision piece of filmmaking that provides education for children and a refresher course that adults can benefit from as well.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A ridiculous teen horror movie that piles on more than enough dry humor and freshly moistened gore to satisfy its lowbrow audience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    It's a weighty and visually interesting movie that unfortunately doesn't have a strong message beyond its overwhelming bleakness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Less a story than a series of complicated slapstick bits.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A decent-looking and harmless computer animated film that is notable mostly because it doesn't appear to contain a single original idea.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    If you like gore, this is the movie for you.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The remake is a solidly crafted movie with a lot of good scares, but it also raises the question: Why even bother with an update?
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    An often amusing but also an aimless and forgettable animated comedy that is noteworthy mostly for its random musical numbers and surprising amounts of violence.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    To enjoy it you almost have to be stoned on marijuana.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The makers of Man Push Cart seem so dedicated to making a film that defies Hollywood conventions that the finished product lacks enough entertainment value to justify price of admission.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A strange film, because it seems designed specifically for extremely old moviegoers to see with their great-great-grandchildren.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    The movie is an enjoyable but flawed attempt at an epic story, with too much of the best action concentrated in the beginning.
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    A lot more enjoyable if you can leave your cognitive skills at the door.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    There are fun distractions, but it's easy to focus on the flaws.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    There are some nice moments and beautiful scenery, but the film is often slow and the dialogue is overwrought.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    It's difficult to ignore the fact that they've created a romantic comedy that has almost no romance and even less comedy.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Hartlaub
    Although the finished product isn't great, it's more akin to a bad Steve Martin movie from the 1980s than bad Pauly Shore from the 1990s. We mean that as a compliment (sort of).