For 1,689 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Scott Tobias' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
1689 movie reviews
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Generally speaking, the more obscure the fetish, the worse the subplot gets, though they all wear out their one-joke welcome before Lawson inevitably turns up the sentiment and makes the film about love and kids and happy unions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Despite a handsome production and two genuinely brilliant lead performances, The Theory Of Everything stumbles into virtually every pitfall that afflicts biopics about geniuses.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The film suffers for her (Brenda Blethyn) egocentrism.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Easy Virtue needs a strong center to justify its celebration of American effrontery, and Biel lacks that prideful edge.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Without any glimmers of depth or subtext.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Just because the live-action Seusses have dialed down expectations doesn't mean that Horton shouldn't aspire to more than time-wasting mediocrity. There are precious childhoods at stake here.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though the pacing is lumpy, to say the least, Blackhat occasionally bursts to life when Mann breaks out one of his signature action setpieces, which have the distinct pop of heavy artillery and the immediacy of video.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    With her confident second feature, director Sophia Takal (“Green”) takes on Tinseltown misogyny and the toxic rivalry between friends, but that’s mere prelude to a gonzo meta-fiction that deconstructs itself nearly to death.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The entire story hinges on a thinly calibrated twist ending that’s meant to provide emotional weight to Karpovsky’s actions, but instead clarifies them to the point of utter banality. There’s no mystery left to linger.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Covering the emotional spectrum between dog farts on one end and tragedy on the other reps a tonal challenge that Showtime! can’t pull off, despite a gentler touch than most kiddie fare of its kind.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Too often, Saints And Soldiers confuses bravery for faith.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Only Edie Falco, appearing as a bereft mother leading a citizen's group that searches for missing children, suggests the great film that Freedomland might have been.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though Pieces Of April comes together with improbable grace, Hedges evokes unearned tears from a premise that's already loaded from the start. Like Holmes, he serves up boxed stuffing and canned cranberries, then fishes for compliments to the chef.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Concussion isn't much of a movie, but it's a fascinating bellwether for where the National Football League currently stands on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease associated with many of its former players.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    With her (Latifah), Just Wright feels hampered by arbitrary contrivances; without her, it wouldn't be enough movie to exist at all.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    By the end, even Goodman seems to have lost interest.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In the scope of things, Ohwon's story is a route into the larger story of an uncertain and tumultuous period in Korea, and it's here that Chi-hwa-seon loses its grip.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Martin stays within his comfort zone as a New York-based illustrator still processing his mother’s death, but the tyro helmer struggles to square his distinct minimalist charm with the second-hand influence of standard-bearers like Woody Allen and Wes Anderson.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In Jewison's hands, this cat-and-mouse game plays like third-rate John Le Carré, treading lethargically over high-minded intrigue that mixes fact, fiction, and unlikely speculation in dubious relation to the historical record.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    A little focus might have helped. Or not: The Dry Land seems intent to tick off a checklist of PTSD symptoms without animating them with fresh details or creative life. It's cloaked in an earnestness that suffocates.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Roth gets the notes right while missing the music: He studiously replicates Miike's unblinking depiction of torture, but without much reflection or wit. It's merely unpleasant and more than a little dumb.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Broderick’s tendency to hang all his problems on corporate greed and heartless bureaucracy leads to some strange missteps.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Its skillful execution of a bad idea doesn’t make the bad idea any better; in fact, the scrupulousness with which West and his crew evoke the past make the film that much more unsavory.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Having a Rutgers psychology professor comment on Fischer's general symptoms is downright amateurish. In a documentary about a living subject, conclusions are better drawn through rigorous observation, not explained away in some tidy pop-psychological portraiture.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Fogel and Lefkowitz go for a loose, funny vibe that allows them the freedom to serve a range of different characters and subplots, but the center of their movie doesn’t hold.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Until he finds a style to better communicate ideas or emotions, Figgis' plans to reinvent cinema will have to go back to the drawing board.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The film is mostly an excuse to do a pregnancy-themed "Love Actually," an overblown symphony of birthing stories that reaches its crescendo in the maternity ward.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Mirren cuts the figure of a bodice-ripping paperback heroine, a withering desert flower who blooms in the arms of a swarthy prizefighter roughly half her age. Mirren embodies the fantasy beautifully -- but Hackford's feature-length valentine to her all but sabotages the rest of the movie.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The dialogue and the movie seem as canned as a Must-See TV laugh track.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    For a movie about identity to have no identity of its own leaves the story doubly adrift, lost amid moody dark-blue imagery, a vacuous lead character, and obscure symbolism, such as the bloody talking fishes.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Any relationship between the world of Because I Said So and actual human behavior is purely coincidental.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The ugliness on display in Running Scared has neither "Sin City's" context nor its wit, and it offers little more than stylish excess for its own sake, with no clear aspirations other than to twist people's arms until they yelp "Uncle."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In the end, 1408 amounts to little more than a radical shock-therapy session for a man still finding his way after the loss of his daughter.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The heroes of Peter Berg's gung-ho retribution tale are fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here, but his film is indulging in a queasy brand of escapism. Winning imaginary wars isn't the same as winning real ones, but The Kingdom nonetheless smells like victory.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Eventually finds its rhythm with late flashes of dark humor and bedroom hijinks, but it takes too much time to get there.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The one appealing aspect of Before The Rains is that there are no villains, just three characters who are driven first by shared desires, then by a natural impulse for self-preservation that brings them into conflict.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    For all the film's aggressive crosscutting, the individual stories would work just as well apart as together, because they pack less cumulative power when yoked awkwardly into one sweeping statement.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The Sisters is still somewhat compelling thanks to Bello, whose unguarded, provocative work continually resuscitates this corpse of a melodrama whenever it lays fallow.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    From its title on down, Towelhead alarms and manipulates, and succeeds in goading the audience like a schoolyard bully, but apart from Bishil's harrowing attempts to find herself, the strings stay too visible.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Goold, a highly regarded British theater director making his debut feature, lacks the panache to realize this twisted relationship onscreen. Instead he’s made a stolid, well-acted, intelligent drama that respects the complications of Finkel and Longo’s storytelling agendas without bringing them to life.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    At the center of the movie, Tsimitselis makes for a disappointing blank, a pretty poster boy who leaves a long trail of emotional wreckage in his wake.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Watching Charlie Bartlett only makes Wes Anderson's work seem more accomplished by comparison, because it underscores that thin line separating the agreeably fanciful from the overbearingly precious.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Harris’ wondrous arrogance as Coupland nearly justifies The Quiet Ones, because he’s so absolutely certain of a methodology that’s so absolutely incoherent.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Madison couldn't be more wholesome if they served it with a tall glass of fresh milk.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    If he (The Rock) can keep those wandering eyebrows in check, his future as an action hero appears unlimited--that is, provided he can resist taking roles in movies like this one.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    A streamlined script might have helped. Curran and Winterbottom lose themselves in the soupy business of union shenanigans, an internal investigation and Lou's intervention in a troubled boy's life, but the added complications -- and the talk, talk, talk they require -- take away from the disquieting core of Thompson's story.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though harmless and reasonably good-natured, Where's The Party Yaar? ("yaar" translates as "dude") doesn't add many novel touches to its predictable formula, except for a couple of limp nods to Bollywood song-and-dance numbers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though he invests every ounce of his considerable charisma in the lead role, Russell Crowe still comes across as a man unworthy of the paradise offered to him.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    What should be a momentous occasion instead gets anonymously processed through the Doc-U-Matic, with exhilarating live material cut into a sloppy assemblage of interviews, archival footage, and awkward reenactments.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Genre clichés catch up with Schultz just as surely as the past catches up with his characters and the sweet, redemptive possibilities of their relationship gets washed away in the tide of gratuitous bloodshed.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The documentary Sushi: The Global Catch tries to be two things at once: an international survey of the way sushi is marketed, prepared, and consumed, and an argument for sustainability, particularly with regard to the bluefin tuna population. These threads are related, but one nonetheless takes away from the other.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    But save for the mesmerizing final tracking shot, Bright Future just mopes around aimlessly, hoping that its vague themes will eventually congeal into something profound.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are both superb in the lead roles, but Rozema’s emphasis on the primacy of family and nature exposes a deficit of visual and narrative imagination.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The lesson at the core of Goethe's poem -- that powerful spirits are not to be taken lightly, and should only be conjured by those who can control them -- goes out the window, and the mentor-student relationship gets swallowed up in the action. Bruckheimer may be the dark lord of Tinseltown, but he's the Mickey Mouse of this scenario, and the mops and brooms get the best of him.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Charlie Kaufman could have made a great movie out of Click, a soupy existential comedy about a "universal remote" that lets a man magically rewind, fast-forward, and pause his life.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Wang loses himself in an old-fashioned script that tries to recall the classic screwball ensembles of Golden Age Hollywood, but lacks the cascading wit to pull it off.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    If anything, blame the kids: They’re all adorable, roly-poly delights, but the first year of life has its natural limitations.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Champs dances around the ring when it should be punching.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    At times, G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a sense of its own ridiculousness — Pryce seems to be having a good time, anyway — but not enough to soften the mass death, hardware fetishism, and militaristic zeal that gets in the way of its escapist fun.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though Craven shows flashes of the old magic, Cursed eventually settles into rote, uninspired horror fare, hog-tied to the Williamson formula all the way to arbitrary finish. The film may be one of the best ever not screened in advance for critics, but that still doesn't put it in the finest company.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The racing sequences are the series' meat and potatoes, but in terms of story, Tokyo Drift barely offers a stalk of asparagus.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In trying to make sense of an android’s point-of-view, Sono has sensibly turned repetition and routine into a narrative strategy, but the unrelieved tedium of The Whispering Star takes a toll. If anything, Sono’s past work has suffered from a an overabundance of jokes, digressions, and crazed visual flourishes, but their near-total absence here becomes a problem of another kind.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Though Burmester and Elliott make able sparring partners, Red Betsy literally succumbs to an on-the-nose staging of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” with the old man cast as the model for Scrooge in a school play.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Despite some genuinely arresting imagery—urban decay abstracted as poetic horror—the true narrative of Lost River is its bizarre, haphazard search for its own identity.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    At times approaches the flavor and shapelessness of real life.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    There aren't many laughs in this vaudevillian gambit, and fewer still in the fish-out-of-water comedy of Madea hosting a rich white family that's chiefly concerned with yoga, wi-fi, and their carb intakes. Still, Perry remains a true outsider artist-nobody makes movies like his. (And please don't try.)
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    A sort of retarded "Top Gun," Rob Cohen's Stealth revisits the world of cocky fighter pilots and war games turned real, but it has some serious moral quandaries on the brain, and too much thinking gets it into trouble.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The Messengers, dutifully cobbles together a pastiche of successful horror films past--"The Grudge," "The Sixth Sense," "The Birds," "The Amityville Horror," and "The Shining"--without asserting a single original idea of its own.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    By showing up and not embarrassing itself too much, the film far exceeds the standards established by the likes of the Shelley Long/Corbin Bernsen team-up "Frozen Assets" and 2012’s dire sperm-heist comedy "The Babymakers."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Spinning a handsome Disney adventure out of a videogame is a testament to Bruckheimer’s commercial savvy. The fact that it still isn’t particularly good seems beside the point.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Wolf Creek 2 does all it can to paper over the fact that it shouldn’t exist, but the film severely diminishes the integrity of the first Wolf Creek by turning Mick into a cartoon icon, more Outback legend than man.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Von Trotta lingers for so long on the backstory and framing story that the movie's heart never comes to the fore.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The film disappoints on its own terms, failing to drum up any sympathy for a self-pitying rich kid who can't pry his eyes from his navel.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    There’s a promotional bent to Mad As Hell that whiffs more of branding than rigorous documentary filmmaking.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    With a cast this gifted, some of the throwaway jokes stick, but when Along Came Polly goes for its biggest, grossest laughs, the strings show well in advance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Borderline-experimental in the way it challenges the limits of perception. It's forward-thinking, visionary, and much of the time unwatchable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Loach becomes his own pale imitator with Looking For Eric, a wispy little comedy that uses fantasy to gloss over even the darkest and most intractable problems.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The sequel, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, isn't motivated to change the formula in the least, but it's ever-so-slightly more palatable, if only for being less of a total spazz.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    It's just another gangster movie for the pile.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    What it lacks is artistry, those small touches of personality that might have distinguished its lugubrious history lesson from a bunch of pretty pictures with captions telling the story.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Working under a limited budget, Catania stirs up a thick gothic atmosphere and delivers the goods with a certain amount of proficiency, but when professionalism is the best thing a film has going for it, there isn't much else to discuss.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    With sumptuous widescreen photography and a pounding world-music score, the film makes for an absorbing travelogue at best, as pretty as a picture book and just as flat on the surface.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In spite of Frieda Hughes' objections, a few snippets of Plath's poetry slip into Sylvia, but they don't do the movie any favors--they just add more weight to a story that already buckles at the knees.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The overall mood of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop is curdled and sour. It leaves the feeling that the next chapter can't come soon enough.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Director Andy Fickman, who previously blanded Johnson up in "The Game Plan," has fashioned the film into a one-size-fits-all, action-packed special-effects extravaganza for the whole family.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The shocks are no less effective than the ones in the other Paranormal Activity movies, but no more original, either, with only the whipping of a handheld camera to set it apart from the offscreen gamesmanship that’s long been the series’ stock in trade.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Could not be more ordinary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    In spite of the title, there's nothing particularly "real" about Lars And The Real Girl, just a couple layers of quirk several stops removed from the world as we know it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Glory Road treats history as if it were a 7th-grade social-studies text laid out in a 16-point font, getting the basics right without trying to evoke any of the details that would make it memorable. In other words, it gets the Bruckheimer treatment.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The best parts of Runner Runner feel like a Rounders facsimile—right down to the metaphor-heavy narration—and the worst seem like a case of mission drift, as if the filmmakers set out to make a behind-the-curtain thriller about online gambling, but got hung up in paying off the plot.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    The farce withers away when it should be expanding.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    Pleasing low-key comedy.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    By the time the film escalates into a suitably ridiculous Grand Guignol finale, all connection to reality has been severed.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Scott Tobias
    At least Douglas has a good time bringing the smarminess that McConaughey so studiously avoids.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's mostly boilerplate horror, plucking visual ideas from better sources and relying on the sick novelty of referencing an actual catastrophe.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The big reason Chaos Theory doesn't work is that the gears are visibly grinding away, cranking out neat little ironies and life lessons without any liberating surprises.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Far from a watershed moment for lesbian coming-out films, Gray Matters has a queer sensibility that's several miles south of "Will & Grace."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It would take a heart of stone not to be affected by My Sister’s Keeper, but the film’s unceasing manipulation has a Medusa effect on the organ.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Everything and everyone acts as cogs in a relentless plot machine that keeps twisting and twisting like an annoying little gizmo on Christmas morning.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The key mistake was Ahmed's choice to direct it himself; it's promotional when it might be revealing of impasses (and commonalities) between cultures and the complex tactics comedians use to address it.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    While Fraser’s presence doesn’t necessarily elevate Furry Vengeance into something better than the dumb, lowbrow timewaster it aspires to be, Fraser does make it a little easier to digest.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    If it doesn't look ridiculous now, try watching it again in a decade or three. Then it'll be funny for all the wrong reasons.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The "What The Bleep Do We Know?" crowd may well receive the film's wisdom like communion, but the rest of us are free to gag when Salva tries to jam it down our throats.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    In spite of fine work from Bardem and Álvarez, Biutiful is an irritating, oppressive 150-minute dirge, not the step forward Iñárritu's dissolved partnership with Arriaga seemed to promise.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Until now, the sequels have gotten away with the cynical franchising of John McClane, but A Good Day To Die Hard, the worst entry in the series by far, exposes the hollowness and stupidity of McClane 2.0.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Take Lola Versus, a Greta Gerwig vehicle that feels like a pilot awaiting pick-up from a network that doesn't exist.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    A strange, stilted, misbegotten drama, undone by variable performances, awkwardly inserted flashback and fantasy sequences, and a gloppy overlay of voiceover narration.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    21
    Short of counting the cards out loud, these geniuses seem to do everything they can to get caught.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Once the torture finally commences, the film attempts to float a political point about the Third World taking back First World health-care privileges, but the chief torturers' sadistic humanitarianism is never seriously considered.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    What started out as a fleet one-off swashbuckler with novel supernatural elements has become loaded and graceless, with each new entry barreling across the goal line like William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The Expendables 2 makes a franchise out of a novelty item, and the nostalgic kick is gone: It's a reminder that most of those '80s actioners were xenophobic and dumb, that many of its stars had more muscle mass than charisma, and that the sight of these old fossils referring to themselves as old fossils is more pathetic than cheekily self-referential.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Because Saw does nothing to alter the look, tone, and engineered gimmickry from one movie to the next, it keeps going deeper into backstory and character arcs than horror series past, as if this ugly, cheap-looking schlock were somehow "The Lord Of The Rings."
    • 29 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    For his directorial debut, The Collector, Dunstan streamlines the "Saw" concept slightly by silencing the killer and focusing more intently on a house that’s been converted into a jury-rigged deathtrap.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Compared to a recent Argento dud like "The Stendhal Syndrome," Mother Of Tears at least has some of the go-for-broke gothic spirit of his earlier work. He's just lost the ability to shape it into something artful.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The idea of a toy store as a living, responsive being is a good one, but Helm doesn't take that idea to imaginative places.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's a celebration of libertine sexuality - nothing more, nothing less - and almost remarkably untroubled by any of the dramatic issues it raises. Much of its 79 minutes is spent marveling over how skillfully the actors simulate the real thing.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Adhering to few solid comedic principles, The Comebacks swings wildly between lame movie references and slapstick, slightly less lame funny names (such as Aseel Tare, the running back who couldn't possibly be injured) and Airplane!-style spoof, and a few mildly amusing stabs at irony.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Unlike, say, "Eagle Eye," Echelon Conspiracy doesn't put enough conviction behind its stupidity. It's mostly just bland.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It isn't easy to insult the intelligence of preschoolers, but Chimpanzee's insistence on turning the two gangs into the Sharks and the Jets does the job long before Allen lapses into his Home Improvement grunting.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Judging by the far more interesting adults in the film--Braga, a terrific Laura Linney as Webber's mother, and Hawke as his father--the solution for Webber and Moreno is to grow up and not be so full of themselves. In their current state, they make for unpleasant company, and so does the film.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    von Donnersmarck's meat-and-potatoes direction makes The Tourist astonishingly lifeless and awkward, reducing two of the world's biggest movie stars to something akin to shy, pimply teenagers on their first date.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    While it's a pleasure to watch the likeable Johnson open up and come out of her shell, Phat Girlz belongs to Mo'Nique, a grating, belligerent woman who alternates self-deprecating fat jokes with drama-queen meltdowns and simpering pleas for acceptance. Save it for the talk-show circuit, please.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Like the worst of late-period Allen, the film recycles character types from his previous work without inventing new reasons to summon them into existence. They're left stranded, seven characters in search of an author.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Gulager shows that he truly is PGL's most gifted alumnus.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's a personal story that feels like it's been constructed from other movies.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Trust The Man presents itself as a funny, insightful Manhattan relationship comedy in Woody Allen mode, but morphs into the phoniest of Hollywood rom-coms.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    For a film about growing up, Illegal Tender loses itself in a lot of silly juvenilia.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The result is two bad movies in one: a gimmicky romantic comedy, and one of those seasonal headaches that submits loud family dysfunction as a vehicle for Christmas cheer.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Taken's subject matter is too serious for an escapist chop-socky movie, and the sleazy, exploitative tone undercuts the thrills.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The film’s biggest problem, beyond the overheated melodrama and paper-thin period trappings, is that the trio's fictionalized dalliances diminish their real art.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Terminally awkward in the way it meshes fake real footage with faker fake footage. It isn’t required to be convincing as fact, but it doesn’t convince as fiction, either.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Better performances might have sold The Divide, but aside from Arquette's fine work as a single mother driven to self-degradation, the cast amplifies the impression of a canned, one-act theater piece.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Craigslist Joe takes Garner on a 21st-century hitchhiking trip that not only didn't end in his gruesome murder, but in a month to remember fondly. It's an inspiring experience. For him.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    At the movie's center, Schreiber approaches the role with a seriousness that lacks joy or any other colorful inflection.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    With its minimal settings and focus on the abstract lingo of market transactions, "Margin Call" stands as the new model for how to do Wall Street on a budget, embedding its moral themes in language and complex characters. By comparison, $upercapitalist seems naïve about both the market and the humans who operate in it.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The loaded cast does what it can with the paper-thin characterizations, but Vantage Point gets hijacked early by its high-concept premise, and it quickly devolves into a by-the-numbers thriller with the numbers out of order.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    There are many stretches when it's easy to forget that Get Smart is a spoof; it's more like a third-rate James Bond with pratfalls.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Cruise is thrown into many sticky situations, with legions of trained assassins surrounding him on all sides, but he never once suggests that things aren’t entirely under control. It’s profoundly boring to watch a hero without weaknesses; after all, even Superman has Kryptonite.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Recommended to those who feel "The Crucible" doesn't feature enough bodies ripped in half vertically. Others are duly warned.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Ultimately, Lakeview Terrace isn't about race so much as it's about being a man, which has been LaBute's fallback theme from the start.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The rigors of identifying and training companion dogs are fascinating, but they would fit more comfortably in a non-fiction format, where nobody has to play pretend. As it stands, the dog is the only creature who acts naturally.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Despite some promising early goofiness involving full-contact soccer and the quest for a chicken burrito, Battleship plays it regrettably straight most of the time, as if the fate of the world really might rest on how well the Navy can hurtle projectiles at alien warships. With eyes closed, the movie uncannily resembles a giant baby playing with pots and pans.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    In short form, Cashback simply dealt with how a quirky group of supermarket employees whiled away the endless hours of a night shift, but the feature version spoils that economy by tacking on a romantic subplot and indulging its hero's precious ruminations on love and art.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Fuqua keeps the action moving efficiently, but he doesn't know when to stop piling it on, and eventually, Wahlberg's army of one becomes more a comic-book vigilante than a righteously disgruntled patriot.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    In a post-Matrix, post-John Woo world, a handful of slow-motion shootouts shouldn't be all that's on offer.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    A more accurate way to describe it would be "conceptual nightmare"--crass, schizophrenic, culturally insensitive, horribly paced, and shameless in its pandering to the lowest common denominator.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Wiseman's Total Recall isn't intellectualized like "Blade Runner," or even that much more sophisticated than his "Underworld" movies.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Penn, who probably didn't need this shoddy placeholder after the cult success of "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle's," acquits himself with a gentle charisma that makes the crudity go down easy. Granted, it's still s---, but with a sweeter odor than usual.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's raunchy/sweet in the "American Pie"/"40-Year-Old Virgin" tradition, and as dynamic as a glob of lazy sperm.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Chan’s anything-goes affability keeps the film from scraping bottom.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    All these stereotypes are meant to exalt small-town values, but The Final Season is proof that it's hard to paint masterpiece in broad strokes.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's said that opposites attract, but for the brief period they're onscreen together in the dire comedy Over Her Dead Body, Eva Longoria Parker and Paul Rudd are one of the more bizarrely mismatched couples in recent memory.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    On the shortlist for least essential movie of the decade, a copy of a copy of a copy that's so worn down, it's about as fresh and vital as a fifth-generation dub of "The Star Wars Holiday Special."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It lacks that extra layer or two to make it interesting. The script and direction is all bones, no flesh.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Yes, perhaps the audience will like its favored couple more, but all the engineering that goes into making them sympathetic results in a film that feels agonizingly synthetic and alien.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    A few individual performances survive - Liotta finds a little of his old edge, and Pacino briefly revisits Serpico territory - but they're smothered in the slow-burning absurdity.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The photography hook gives Shutter the potential to be a genuinely creepy ghosts-in-the-machine story like the original "Pulse," or better still, a horror twist on "Blowup." But one effective scene lit solely by a camera flash isn't enough to rescue this from the J-horror slushpile.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Every scrap of footage here has been done better somewhere else.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The main pitfall of modern noirs is that filmmakers get so caught up in the chiaroscuro lighting schemes and florid twists of dialogue and voiceover that they forget noir was about expressing more than just attitude and style.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The leads are immensely appealing, but the sum of their experiences equals nothing more profound than two earnest people wrestling with a tough decision.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    It's the sort of film Robert Altman might have made if he cut his teeth working for The Disney Channel.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    By the time it reaches an action-packed finale that's choreographed like an ancient Keystone Kops short, Kit Kittredge has cornered the market on bland.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    At a time when movies, even from Hollywood, are finally turning their eyes to conflicts abroad, Annapolis seems conspicuously myopic and reactionary in its denial of the world outside campus, though a movie this formulaic wouldn't pass muster during peacetime, either.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The major problem with Pattinson’s ascendancy to the Dean throne: His soulfulness is a pose, an effect achieved more by hair and makeup (and yes, genetics) than the scenes where he’s required to emote at high volume.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    Caught in a pretentious no-man’s land between horror and melodrama.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Scott Tobias
    The lesson here is that dogs don't need "attitude." They're loveable enough on their own.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    One of the problems with We Are The Giant is that not all the stories carry equal weight, both in terms of effectiveness and in the sheer amount of time Barker spends on them.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Constructed out of poorly supported accusations, vague innuendo, and naked emotional appeals, Bush's Brain has a Rove-esque quality of its own.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though Scarlet Diva contains flashes of pungent black humor and self-deprecation, it's hard to know how seriously Argento takes herself, or how much her real life has been inflated for dramatic effect.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    In the end, though, Seeking Justice evokes the post-Watergate paranoia of '70s thrillers like "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor" without having a worthy conspiracy at the bottom.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Careening from bubbly romantic comedy to bitchy melodrama to the darker matters of murder, incest, and suicide, the film possesses the catch-all qualities for which Bollywood cinema is known, but Bose exerts about as much control over them as the conductor of a runaway train.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Botches what could be the most mischievous power since Scott Baio's telekinesis in the 1982 comedy "Zapped!": a wristwatch that speeds up time for the user until the rest of the world seems to be standing still.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Every single joke, character detail, music montage, and pop-culture reference looks extensively market-tested, whether via screenings, focus groups, or other box-office successes.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    That’s a lot of concept for a 90-minute horror-comedy, and All Cheerleaders Die handles it with a haphazard, catch-as-catch-can style that matches its tonal schizophrenia.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    In Lau and Loo’s telling, the off-the-boat indoctrination of young, undocumented Chinese families into vicious gangsterism is overstated and cartoonish, like The Warriors trying to pass itself off as a docudrama.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Comfortable with the inherent contradictions, Ishii throws all sexual politics to the wind in his highly stylized, fearlessly gratuitous fantasy, an unsettling mix of titillation, morality, victimization, and empowerment.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Once Amoedo lays all the cards out on the table, The Stranger feels like a piece of genre revisionism only in its deliberate, grinding pace, not in any refreshing turns of the plot.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It all works out agreeably enough, albeit in strict adherence to rom-com formula, right down to the obligatory wacky-best-friend roles given to space cadets Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    While there’s something compelling about an antihero whose obsession is poised on the razor’s edge between love and hate, The World of Kanako buries it in grinding, agitated repetition.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Freely adapted from Goethe’s two-part play, Sokurov’s Faust is a work of crushing tedium, relieved only by the spare moments of beauty that pop out like dandelions in a washed-out landscape of oppression and grotesquerie.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though it's tempting to praise Verete for having the courage to show the worst of both worlds, only a propagandist could get away with being so reductive; an artist should be held to a higher standard.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The film’s sketchy conception is a telling sign that Martin, Godere, and director Adam Rapp have nothing particularly funny or insightful to say about the creative process.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Knockaround Guys proceeds with a gravity that's constantly tripped up by its characters' stupidity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Miles away from "Farewell, My Concubine" in form and function, with thinly defined characters and unreflective attitudes about urban values vs. country values, the film would be impossible to identify as Chen's if his name weren't in the opening credits.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It might as well be retitled "Waiting For Antonio," since Sabato's appearances bookend miles of convoluted nonsense. For the prurient, that's probably too much to endure.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    What Penguins Of Madagascar needs is a roomful of ruthless editors to take jokes out of the script, particularly the ones aimed at pleasing the grown-ups in the audience.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Perhaps the oddest thing about The In-Laws is that it's aimed at an audience old enough to remember not only the original, but also how much funnier it seemed at the time.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    By trying to have it both ways—goosing up black-market trafficking for cheap thrills, while posing as being sincere about a real global scourge—the film winds up stuck in the middle.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The strange thing about Raising Helen is that nothing out of the ordinary ever really happens.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Go
    Escapism of the worst sort, a manipulative exercise in style that preys on the passivity of its characters and its audience. In the end, Go offers little more than the sour, impermanent rush of a pixie stick.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    As a lesson in how not to make a historical biopic, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom proves remarkably complete: It’s a dull, glossy, uncomplicated portrait of a man whose personal and political legacy is marked by serene idealism and shrewd calculation.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The film does coast along smoothly to the inevitable, which is a credit to the always-game Reese Witherspoon, who's courteous enough to pretend she doesn't know what's coming, then make it look like a huge surprise.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters continues a tradition of adequacy that could be described as “epic-ish” or “majestic-esque.”
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The movie and the movie-within-a-movie share a chemistry even more awkward than that of their flat-footed leads.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    John Waters covered the same territory in his underrated 1998 comedy "Pecker," but without Waters' colorful mix of outrageousness and affection, Posner can't stir up the rancor to score even a few glancing blows at an easy target.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    A hopelessly stolid and distant evocation of Bob Rafelson's "Five Easy Pieces."
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It’s a case study on how the quality of screen partners is only as good as the quality of the romantic obstacles separating them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The angrier the film gets, the less funny it becomes, squelched by heavy-handed polemics, a maddeningly repetitive musical score, and a running time that drags its overriding joke into the ground.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though it sounds like a contradiction, the film could be described as both dull and over the top.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    If anything, The Transporter isn't ludicrous enough; only one scene (a hand-to-hand showdown in the middle of an oil slick) reaches the inspired, delirious comic heights of the best Hong Kong movies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Amid all the excess busyness, there are formulas within formulas.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Schumacher choose to start the movie in outer space? The opening shot epitomizes everything wrong with Phone Booth: Given the chance to stage human drama on an intimate, suffocating scale, Schumacher begins in the endless expanse of the void, tricked out with gratuitous CGI effects.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    At the most basic level—and this is as basic as movies get—Everly delivers exactly what it promises, though as with most American films with sex and violence, the emphasis is heavily weighted toward the latter.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Perhaps because the present-day characters are such insufferable twits -- especially the brooding Penn, who's given to tossing around stanzas by Yeats and Dylan Thomas -- the modern story feels like a device, a flimsy entrée into events that would be better accessed directly.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though it isn't explained until the closing minutes, the title Acts Of Worship says a lot about Rodriguez's terminal weakness for the overwrought and faux-poetic.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The simplicity of the film’s East Coast/West Coast assumptions bear out in the rest of the script, which rides such tidy little symmetries all the way to shore, as mom learns to relax and her son grows up a bit. Meeting somewhere in the middle is what mediocrities do.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though co-directed by Leon Gast, who made the exceptional “Rumble In The Jungle” documentary When We Were Kings, Manny stays entirely on the surface of Pacquiao’s life and of a sport that’s rife with dirty dealing and chicanery.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Cacoyannis errs on the side of genteel respectability, sacrificing emotion and verve at the altar of good taste.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Save for the vague aura of danger surrounding Guzmán—which palpably engulfs the filmmakers as they get deeper into the cartel’s “Golden Triangle”—Drug Lord has trouble forming a coherent point of view.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    AKA
    Divided into a triptych of images sprawled across a Cinemascope frame, AKA rarely uses the extra screens for information that couldn't be conveyed well enough in one.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The few isolated funny moments, particularly a witty visual gag involving a pop-up tent with legs, provide only a short break from the screen-flooding onslaught of CGI creatures and screaming extras.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    A banal message movie.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Hayden and Perez do their best to generate sweetness and spark, but the obstacles separating these characters are as contrived as the cliches that animate them.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    This ultimately isn’t a film about human fallibility, but about high-concept grotesquerie for its own sake.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Co-writer/director Douglas Aarniokoski has a nasty little neo-noir thriller tucked into Nurse 3D, but he buries it in his all-chocolate-all-the-time conceptual sloppiness.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Much of the second half is spent waiting for the other shoe to drop, though you don't have to have 20/20 vision in order to see the big twist coming from miles away. Once it arrives, the film officially disembarks from reality with an over-the-top climax and denouement that play shamelessly to the bloodthirsty masses.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Veering wildly from macabre Southern Gothic to quirky small-town romance, Home Fries is too busy cross-pollinating genres to bother with consistent behavior and tone.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Sex Tape is a case study in how little interest American movies—and especially American sex comedies—have in dealing with sex as anything other than a source of cheap giggles and nonstop humiliation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Episodic and minimalist to a fault, Blackboards makes its ironic point about education, then makes it again a few times over for good measure, rarely expanding beyond its narrow seriocomic agenda.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The only splash of cold water comes from Lake Bell as J.B.’s bohemian tenant, who pops his bubble of self-importance (and the film’s) whenever she gets the opportunity... her chemistry with Hamm, who gives his slickster all the dimension he can, offers a nice relief from the broad culture comedy and sentimental button-pushing.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Connelly, Harris and Amy Madigan, as Tipton's devastated wife, all do their best to bring a measure of soul to Black's creations, but there's something fundamentally synthetic about Virginia, which lays bare its influences without doing much to reanimate them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The tiger footage in Two Brothers would make for a solid nature documentary, but because the animals are shoehorned into a narrative, they've been anthropomorphized to death.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Reitman has placed a not-unreasonable bet that sensual creatures like Winslet and Brolin can convey the passion necessary for their relationship to make sense, but the film carries itself too stiffly, like it’s so afraid of making the wrong choices that it doesn’t make any good ones.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The Mystic Masseur shows more signs of life than "Cotton Mary," but it's still a producer's movie: attractively mounted, dramatically inert.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Whatever fun there might be in the guesswork is wiped away by the realization that Van Looy has made a puzzle for a puzzle’s sake, to no discernible thematic end.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Transcendence wants to use this future panic to comment meaningfully on our current interconnectedness and inorganic lifestyle, but it’s screaming too much to have that conversation.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The most pressing issue with Ouija is that Stiles and Snowden cannot seem to write a single interesting line of dialogue. They volley between conversational banalities and whatever exposition might be needed to get the film to its next scary setpiece.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Affleck's psychotic enthusiasm aside, no one seems to be having a good time, and the ill will becomes infectious.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    While it's not always necessary for filmmakers to relate that closely to their material, Feig's marked distance from the story of a sullen boy who parts the Iron Curtain may account for its generic artlessness.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    An attractive and appealing cast helps this formulaic pablum go down easy, but the genial tone buffs the edge out of every element.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Had Smit developed his themes as scrupulously as his visual effects, Kill Switch might have been the next “Primer” or “District 9,” but instead it feels like a demo reel for a game that nobody can play.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It's telling that this slice of milquetoast is the first to get picked up by a major studio boutique. Put in the most euphemistic terms possible, the film's banal premise contains "universal themes," meaning that its sentimental clichés translate readily to all continents and cultures.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Perhaps the worst thing that could be said about Better Luck Tomorrow is that, on a slow night, it's easy to imagine these delinquents wanting to rent a film just like it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Bondarchuk mingles the you-are-there grittiness of close-quarters combat and constant assaults from above and below with war-movie clichés that haven’t been updated since before the real Battle Of Stalingrad. It’s history written with airbrush.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Lockdown is mostly a humorless bore until the obligatory bloopers and outtakes in the end credits—and even those are drawing from a flat vein, since there’s so little play in the movie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    In broad strokes, the events that unfold are undeniably riveting.... The trouble is, The 33 only knows broad strokes. Lacking any specific angle on the ordeal, the filmmakers give the once-over-lightly treatment to every aspect of it, which ensures that none of them will be properly served.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Verbinski orchestrates complex action sequences, including two spectacular bits of derring-do on a moving train, with a precision few in Hollywood are capable of pulling off. Yet The Lone Ranger, like his last two Pirates movies, seems conceived to deliver spectacle by the bulk, which means carrying the baggage of multiple subplots for the purpose of multiple climactic sequences.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Director Kevin Greutert, who cut his teeth on the Saw series (editing the first five and directing Saw VI and Saw 3D), whips up some generic Louisiana atmosphere, but his PG-13 shock effects are ineffectual, and he’s eventually given over entirely to a story that twists into melodramatic knots. The takeaway from all this: Sometimes less is more.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Opening shots tend to say a lot about a movie, but they say everything about The Notebook, a glossy adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' four-hanky sudser.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Say this for The Equalizer: It gets the job done, and that job, to quote A Clockwork Orange, is delivering a little of the old ultra-violence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Coogler isn’t exactly an invisible hand. He pokes and prods his audience at every turn: Neither the false moments nor the powerful ones leave much mystery about how we’re supposed to feel.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The film is an old-fashioned morality play writ extra-large, applying a heavy, austere tone to a sequence of events that can't bear the load. The burden falls mostly on Kevin Kline, who trades in his lithe, expressive comedic gifts for a dramatic role that fits him like a straitjacket and a pair of lead shoes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Most of it falls on Bezucha, not just for devising these monstrously cruel characters, but for putting them in situations that are far too serious to be resolved by Christmas morning. When the melodrama gets too intense, the film collapses in slapstick.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Duller than a rain delay on the Golf Channel.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The bigger The Protector 2 gets, the further it gets away from Jaa’s basic appeals.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Seems as much an imposter in the drag-queen world as its heroines; it fronts the sort of safely asexual gay characters found on network TV.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    There’s a potentially compelling story here about children of divorce and the tentative ways they set about forging their own relationships, but the filmmaking is too rudimentary to draw it out subtly.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It’s a backhanded sort of praise to say Stretch is a movie that goes nowhere fast.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It could generously be referred to as a character study about a detective haunted by her past, and a case that forces her to confront that past in Biblical terms. It could less generously be referred to as a pseudo-spiritual thriller that tries to literalize scriptural mythos in the same bloody terms David Fincher’s Seven used to literalize the Seven Deadly Sins, only far less artfully.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The Ward feels less indebted to cinema's past than a desperate attempt to keep up with the present. Carpenter has made his approximation of a cheap, twisty, shock-filled modern horror movie, and he has lost all but faint sighs of his minimalist swagger in the process.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The Watch perks up when Ayoade's spacey line readings give it something unique and unexpected - otherwise, per Costco, audiences are buying their generic sci-fi comedy in bulk.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    it’s hard to not see the puppet strings above everyone’s heads as Alaimo tugs them into big statements about suburban emptiness, economic flim-flammery, family dysfunction, and other hallmarks of America’s foundational rot.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The film feels more at home with sex than war, like a romance novel where the swinging lovers find their passions stirred by bombs exploding in the distance. Their three-way dalliances are so frivolous and silly that once the action turns dark, Duigan and his cast leave audiences unprepared for the emotional fallout.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Crowley’s thinly conceived debut feature only has one big joke, and everything around it is either long-winded setup or deflating letdown.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    It would be tempting to call Storytelling a narrow and simplistic examination of the creative process, if only Solondz weren't so quick to agree.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The November Man doesn’t pause for a moment’s breath, which tightens up the action at the expense of clarity, character development, wit, politics, themes, subtext, and all the other things that can go into a thriller besides bang-bang and crash-crash.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Without the mythical power or giddy adventurousness of the first two Star Wars movies, the impact is strangely numbing, like watching a two-and-a-half-hour ILM show reel in search of moneyed investors.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The Short Game is like a tape-delayed Olympics: old footage, slick bios, no substance.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Beyond fulfilling the dreams of a seemingly nice fellow, the whole venture is a victory of hype over substance, loudly accomplishing nothing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Adapted from a comic thriller by Carl Hiaasen, South Florida's day-glo answer to Elmore Leonard, the film missed the fizzy, beach-friendly fun of Hiaasen's work, and wound up playing the comedy and the suspense at half-speed. It couldn't keep up with its own protagonist.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Derrickson gives it everything he’s got, but when a film offers “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” as a spiritual pathway, it’s hard to take seriously.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    In the end, the film isn’t scary and it isn’t all that brainy, either. It’s just a juicy metaphor in search of worthy action to support it.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Loses its sass too quickly.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    While Barely Lethal is conscious of the clichés of the genre, it’s also the type of film that won’t let that get in the way of regurgitating them.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    There’s no harmony at all to the elements tossed into the new remake of RoboCop, but credit screenwriter Joshua Zetumer and director José Padilha for at least having some elements in play.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Though Kenner’s slick graphics and attractively photographed talking heads call Errol Morris to mind, his methods are significantly less subtle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The umpteenth variation on second-generation American immigrants bucking the traditions of their first-generation elders.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Paparazzi follows the vigilante playbook in all its banality, without much in the way of moral reflection.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Sparks has to rely on exterior plot machinations because his characters lack any inner life.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Max
    There’s a touching story here about a boy getting over his grief and narcissism by nursing a dog through its own set of traumas, but Max is far too gung-ho about playing up the pup’s heroism and self-sacrifice to give it much time to develop.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    There's real potential in the premise of young, unmotivated screw-ups logging time at a dead-end restaurant job--a hash-slinging "Office Space," basically--but first-time writer-director Rob McKittrick makes it look like a homemade sitcom laced with profanity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The shorts in The ABCs Of Death 2 are wholly forgettable, and leave the limits of the gimmicky conceit completely exposed.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    The generic intrigue and chase scenes take over, leaving poor Muniz at the mercy of stunt doubles and chintzy special effects.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Without contrivances, the movie would only run about five minutes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Shot on shaky-cam digital video, filtered through what appears to be an old sweatsock, the film mimics Dogme-style realism in its vision of modern persecution, but in the end, it offers the sort of touchy-feely mysticism that belongs to the crystal-ball and tarot-reading set.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Compelling as it sounds, the idea behind Freeze Frame doesn't make any sense, especially when realized in practical terms.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Vigalondo is shooting for something densely layered, an expression of the complexity and moral murkiness of the hacker sphere, but he doesn’t have the plot sorted out.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    While competently staged and punched up by Lock, Stock's changing camera speeds, it doesn't have the wit or intrigue to sustain its half-length.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Taken together, the stories are a watershed of feminist clichés, composed of half-hour sections that are too tidy by half, and overlaid with writerly voiceovers that suggest an author too enamored of her own narration. But one salvageable piece emerges in the middle: a sharp and acerbically funny segment that seems written specifically for Parker Posey.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Folds like a house of cards, collapsing under its own flimsy foundation.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    A feeble and self-congratulatory heart-warmer.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Serena is quite bad, as it happens, but until it goes absolutely haywire in the final act, the biggest problem is that it’s all bones and no flesh, so busy combining all the structural elements that go into an award-winner that it has no personality of its own.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Duane Hopwood is suffused with hangdog dreariness, equivalent to a unsoled shoe treading rainwater.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    If Gaudreault's 90-minute pilot ever makes it to television, French-Canadians can look forward to their own Italian version of A.K.A. Pablo.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Stripped down to the barest genre essentials, Saw is a spring-loaded killing machine, packed with sadistic little deathtraps and ludicrous macabre twists, and its quickie sequel offers more of the same, which should again appease viewers who enjoy being jerked around.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Scott Tobias
    Right up to the ludicrous finale and an even more improbable denouement, everything rings Hollywood-false. More galling still, the filmmakers' inventions take the zing out of the facts.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 35 Scott Tobias
    Produced in partnership with YouTube and distributed by National Geographic Films, the documentary Life in a Day is offspring with the worst genetic traits of both: narcissism on a global scale, speckled with pretty pictures. In a world without books or magazines, this is the movie people would watch in the waiting room at the dentist's office.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    The indie rom-com/sitcom L!fe Happens is a case study in how bad movies can turn an ordinary, relatable situation into a grotesque distortion with only a passing resemblance to the way actual human beings live and interact with each other.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    With Cop Out, Smith works from a script other than his own for the first time--this one penned by siblings Mark and Robb Cullen--but his slack direction siphons the energy out of this tongue-in-cheek throwback to ’80s mismatched-buddy comedies.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    Taken together, these stories are a symphony of inconsequentiality, drained of tension and purpose until all that remains is a vague sense of collective ennui.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    Few of the scenes in The Perfect Game feel authentic, but the ones in Monterrey are especially lacking in flavor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    No doubt the list of talent involved in this remake sounded great, but the project hasn't been thought through as anything more than an arch exercise in style. And even in that trifling end, it fails utterly.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    On balance, more dignity is lost than gained.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    The cutaways to this cop-on-the-edge plot are jarring and lacking in conviction, and when the whole tortured mess comes together in a twist-filled third act, Safe Haven becomes a full-blown calamity.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    It's now a straight-up crime and retribution flick, capped off by the dumbest wolf-feeding coda a 13-year-old ever dreamed up.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    The emotions at play in Bella are no doubt heartfelt--and must have resonated with a few hundred people, anyway--but they're so cut-and-dried that the mawkish script virtually writes itself.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    It takes guts to remake what many believe to be Hitchcock's first masterpiece, but what Ondaatje's done with The Lodger could not be mistaken for ambition.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    Thornton is one of America's finest actors, but after this, "Bad News Bears," and "School For Scoundrels," his run of loveably irascible authority-figure roles should probably come to a close. He's kicked around one child too many.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    The film is curiously sterile and lifeless, hardly the stuff of revolution. It feels more like an ideologically reversed "Tucker: The Man And His Dream," written and performed by robots.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 33 Scott Tobias
    If there were a shred of sincerity to its straight-faced exposé of African strife, the film would be easier to forgive, but since it's really just a cheap horror-thriller about an ancient predator, the austere tone does it no favors.

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