For 151 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Russo's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 75 Song of the Sea
Lowest review score: 25 Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 151
  2. Negative: 35 out of 151
151 movie reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    This one has more in common with Scott’s “Thelma & Louise” in the memorable way it escalates, inevitably but also unexpectedly, into a spin through wilder country, and a meditation on bigger themes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Credit Bowers and company, finally, for making some good calls about where to follow the leads furnished to them by the book and the first movie, and where to get creative.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The animals are so magically entertaining to watch here (helped by some gently mischievous narrative assists), the educational treatment is a fun time in its own right.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The film's indefatigable holiday spirit is infectious.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The scope of the ’toon espionage-adventure goings-on is surprisingly limited. But the filmmakers so clearly love working on these characters, their creative joy is infectious.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The movie could also teach something to the makers of "Pirates of the Caribbean" about delivering a story quirky enough to actually stick with you.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A rousing movie that’s satisfyingly infused with traditional Disney sentiment.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Jackman spends enough time compellingly playing stranger in a strange land that you’ll put up with a few unwanted doses of the old familiar.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Our advice: Forgive any conflicting elements and just drink them right down. They might be a peculiar blend, but they’re well crafted, just as you’d expect from Loach.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    At more leisurely, less furious moments, meanwhile, the cast shows the easy chemistry that comes with having now done a couple of these all-hands-on-deck episodes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Jim Parsons brings his own irrepressible energy to DreamWorks’ 3-D animated Home, segueing from almost-alien misfit Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory” to alien misfit, period.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Frozen could also leave its mark as the next step in the Disney Princess feminist revisionism championed by last year’s “Brave.” Where that film staunchly pushed a men-don’t-define-me theme throughout, here it’s the requisite fairy tale ending that gets tweaked.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    It’s also a movie that further establishes Vaughn as one of the edgier and more underrated genre voices of the moment, and that makes us wonder why Colin Firth hasn’t indulged in an action sideline all along.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The motley crew’s repartee makes for comedy that’s surprisingly consistent, yet freewheeling and sharp enough to pinball from Kevin Bacon to Jackson Pollock and back.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    In The Desert of Forbidden Art, documentarians Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev offer some background on the late Savitsky, a painter who initially collected ethnic folk art quashed by the Stalin regime.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Director Tomm Moore (the 2009 Oscar contender “The Secret of Kells”) crafts a traditionally rendered feature whose doe-eyed characters faintly echo Miyazaki yet offer a beauty all their own.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The film is also packed with enough sharply scripted screwiness from Adam's roommate (Jake Johnson), Emma's roomie (Greta Gerwig), and others to keep viewer impatience to a minimum.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Green and his cast deliver a wonderful surprise. Echo himself, a generically precious alien, is the least of it. The funny, moving, authentic bond among the kids in the movie is the unadvertised draw.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Wirkola tears through Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with such giddy abandon, it ends up being splattery fanboy fun. Preposterous, clearly, but fun.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    This isn't just physical love, warts and all, but warts, liver spots, saggy parts, and all. Still, the thing that ultimately keeps your head turned is how persuasively filmmaker Andreas Dresen ("Summer in Berlin'') argues that desire can create just as much emotional tumult in golden years as in youth.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    If you're an "Escape From New York" fan, you might have wondered about those rumors about a possible remake...Well, wonder no more. Producer Luc Besson's action factory has beaten everyone to it, stylishly. They're just calling the thing Lockout, and setting it in outer space.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A giant chef character is an icky bit of inspiration (complete with booger humor to soothe any shell-shocked young’uns in the audience), and the monsters are key to an epic-scale third act. If you thought the tale ended when Jack clambered back down from the skies, then you haven’t given it as much thought as Singer.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The well-worn plot basics are dressed up nicely by the film’s consistently clever humor, as well as a celebrity cameo roster that’s stacked even by Muppet standards.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    In the film’s sharpest visual sequence, they land in ancient Egypt, with the filmmakers entertainingly cribbing from “Indiana Jones” and “The Wizard of Oz” to get them out of tight spots.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Finally, a movie with at least some coherence despite its sadly challenging circumstances.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    A scene between Yoni and Fahed in the pilot’s makeshift holding cell is a microcosm of everything that’s right about the movie, and not quite right.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    You could argue that the only thing that’s automatic about A Dame to Kill For, really, is some of the firepower that its hardcases are packing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The basic story is identical, and when there are fraught, climactic opportunities for the movie to make a gutsy departure, it passes up the chance.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    O'Brien and his castmates seem to play loose with his script a bit more than they should in an effort to give the material a lived-in feeling.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    What's more genuinely wacky is what a kick the movie can sometimes be, completely in spite of its big, flat stunt.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Once again, the most resonant drama here is all about conveying a self-loathing born of inescapable circumstances.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The story and settings hold interest throughout, but at times the very lack of emotional connection that Yeshi laments in his father seems to hinder the film.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Scholey, Fothergill, and crew do impressive work, but we're also reminded that wild animals don't know from cues, marks, and scripts. That's part of what makes them so compelling.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Taking its title from the site where Christ was crucified, the controversy-courting film has a lot of Catholic church business (and doctrine) on its mind, and veers from poetically eloquent to jarringly blunt in hashing it all out.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Director Thor Freudenthal (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) finds his groove with a succession of flashy 3-D renderings... They’re digitized riffs on the Sarlacc pit from “Star Wars” and the finale of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” — but as with the “Potter” cribbing, when it’s done well, it encourages “Percy” audiences to forgive the derivative chunks and thin emotion.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Hart’s clowning here is that rare case where louder is, in fact, funnier.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Snitch gets a decent amount of drama (and action, of course) out of the argument that there’s paying for a crime, and then there’s overpaying.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Zooey Deschanel shows off her singing on a couple of generically pleasant soundtrack ditties.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Chappie boasts so many entertaining elements, particularly the lead motion-capture performance by Blomkamp’s go-to guy Sharlto Copley, its shortcomings don’t sink the movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Turbo makes an entertaining go of it by borrowing very liberally from the “Fast & Furious” franchise — Michelle Rodriguez even voices a character — and sticking a slime trail onto “Rocky” for the rest.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Lem’s story is merely a springboard for Folman’s wildly sprawling meditations on what the advent of virtual performance means — for artistic integrity, creative spirit, celebrity culture, human identity, even our hold on reality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The idea that documentarian Jeffrey Radice would make the episode both the hook and the opener for his film is to be expected — it’s an attention-grabbing story. But a hook is all it is.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    A new misadventure whose negligibly refined formula somehow ends up being more consistently entertaining.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    While this is Jolie’s show, obviously — and she’s terrifically arch — the surprising dearth of other compelling characters doesn’t offer much distraction when things get off track.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    What the filmmakers come up with is a modestly likable mix of zany and gently warmhearted, even if they overdo both elements at times.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    It’s an engrossing portrait not only of government intrigue and crusading after the truth, but of media and their tangled motivations. Engrossing enough, in fact, that Cuesta needn’t try as hard as he occasionally does to heighten the drama and give it added flash.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The movie’s one big pitfall, really, is that Reeves’s character is so intently focused, he takes care of business a bit too quickly. Some final skirmishing and a tonally false sign-off feel like unconvincing bids to stretch the story to a more legit feature length.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The result is sometimes charming and always visually astonishing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    At an hour and a half, the action in Free Birds gets stretched thin. It’s Thanksgiving fare, sure, but it only partly satisfies our hankering.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Some of the exotic landscape the group trailblazes looks imported from “Avatar” — happily, bringing that immersively dimensionalized, eye-catching quality along with it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    You can picture the DreamWorks corporate confab: "OK, the kids respond to move-it, move-it repetition - give us something else repetitive, and let's get herding." It wasn't just desperate, it was insulting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    This does seem to leave room for bigger, bolder, more momentous adventures down the line.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Macdonald knows plenty about crafting something evocative from unscripted material.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    "Mars" needs Mom more than the filmmakers seem to realize.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The film was technically astonishing and yet brazenly simple.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    It’s a sequel that sticks to more routine territory of action, angst, and dystopian gloom — mostly a sound approach, thanks to the consistent strength of franchise lead Shailene Woodley and a mix of intended and inadvertent surprises.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    An uneven spectacle that can’t sustain its solid first-half character moments. But the movie can also flash a surprising, often clever sense of legacy, and is intermittently capable of thrilling us.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Some might say there isn't enough that's fresh here to recommend the movie in a big way, except that every generation of trick-or-treaters deserves its monster mash.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Seeing Ben Stiller, the late Robin Williams, and their magically roused gang together again, this time in London, is initially all about indulgent, nostalgic smiles rather than new wows. But then comes the movie’s exceptionally clever and fresh final act, which delivers genuine surprise along with many laughs.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    As with all of Disneynature’s features, there’s astonishing documentary work on display in Bears — but a leaner, less conspicuously structured view of the wild might have had even greater impact.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    It’s a preposterously overstuffed strategy that, go figure, not only works, but even cures a thing or two that ailed the previous movies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    How to Train Your Dragon 2 recaptures those lyrical highs. But returning writer-director Dean DeBlois also aims to layer on more poignancy for Baruchel and his castmates to play. At points, we’re left feeling a little detached.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Anderson’s stab at rendering the Mount Vesuvius catastrophe with a 3-D “Titanic” gloss.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Some angst away from the dolphin tank feels like padding, but there’s enough bona fide narrative to please tomorrow’s marine biologists and their parents.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Just because a Japanese animated film is screening at the Museum of Fine Arts doesn't mean that you can count on Miyazaki-caliber artistry.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Instead of all-seeing, it’s more like seen it all before.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Kim doesn't sweat interweaving his story threads in any tightly controlled way. Just when the need-for-speed stuff really starts to gain traction, he'll shift for a surprisingly lengthy stretch to comic relief with the deputies and local wacko Johnny Knoxville.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander's dark-comic expansion on his cult Internet shorts, in which he crafts a back story for Santa that's as black as stocking coal.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It’s a brutal bit of screen poetry that’s matched too infrequently by the aching human stories director Fedor Bondarchuk is so anxious to tell.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It makes for a structurally glitchy inspirational exercise whose climax carries all the goosebump-making drama of a Pats preseason game.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Stabs at the dramatic don't amount to anything that makes us care, even for Bell, who has been solid on AMC's "The Walking Dead'' and in the chairlift chiller "Frozen.'' But genre fans who have been thirsting for gore via acupuncture needles or a LASIK machine should get their giddy fill.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    For all Kendrick's stolidity, he delivers a couple of wrenchingly tender scenes.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Funny thing, though: The sunnier that Barrymore gets in her scenes with Sandler, the more the iffy elements and leaden bits seem to just melt away.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The actors also acquit themselves well singing the film's numerous tunes. Breslin's voice is pleasantly melodic, while Nivola sounds like someone who's been grinding it out on tour for years.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    There are echoes of Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” in all of this that are impossible to miss.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The problem with this adaptation of Lawrence Block’s detective yarn isn’t that it casts Neeson in a role we’re seeing him play again and again. It’s that no one else in the movie makes a character feel nearly as broken-in and fully inhabited as he does.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Some of this vigilante-fantasy misbehavior is wickedly funny.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Hand it to Amanda Seyfried - she seems to have a knack for underplaying unstable characters in a way that lets their nuttiness creep right up on you.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The initial close-up of Thompson - all sourly snaggletoothed and begoggled - is as funny as anything in the original. And just that one quick glimpse would have been perfect.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    There are some amusing looks at the elation - and panic - that come with winning big, from the praise-Jesus swooning of Kevin's grandma (underutilized Loretta Devine).
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    As it stands, The Expendables 2 is lazily satisfied with repeating the first movie's formula, shortcomings and grisly strengths alike.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The dialogue also reflects the material’s stage origins in ways that don’t always translate well.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    A sequel seemingly eager to assert that monster mashes are about B-movie chills not "Twilight'' melodrama. Eager to a fault, ultimately.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The moments that elevate Wrath above the routine are right in line with Liebesman's "Battle: Los Angeles'' high points: frenetically shot u-r-there combat sequences that feel like the real thing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The story loses its convincingly scaled sense of jeopardy in the late going, and it ultimately unravels.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Compared to the first two movie installments, this one is uncharacteristically scattershot in the life-lessons department.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    An Australian crime yarn with a solid cast and tone, but not enough freshness — or enough of Pegg’s waggishness — to be memorable.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    A sequel that has some snappy interplay, typically courtesy of Malkovich, but mostly feels like a cast working to manufacture what came naturally the first time.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    While the movie seems designed to be a breakout for Jang, it's Lee whose work actually makes an impression.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Colorful as the 3-D aliens-among-us comedy is to look at, though, Corddry is handed a role that’s beige as can be, and so are his castmates.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Butler serves the cause well, considering. Think that cause is a thankless one? Shhh, don’t tell Secret Service agent Channing Tatum or president Jamie Foxx, headed your way in June with, yes, “White House Down.”
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The frustration, though, is how much the movie leans on made-ya-jump scares and contrived plot devices when its quieter chills and already fraught setups are so potent.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Are we really looking to Evil Dead for gnarly possessions played straight? That’s what Alvarez gives us for an overlong stretch, until his reinterpretation of the malevolent-hand gag kicks off a last act that’s more freewheelingly, twistedly grisly. (Don’t skip the credits, because the fan-energizing momentum peaks at the very end.)
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    As a combat action spectacle, the movie takes a straightforward, gritty approach that makes for mostly solid viewing.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Rodriguez does a fair job of keeping the zaniness coming: Vergara’s machine gun bra, Gibson delivering exposition in a “Star Wars” prop, bad guys offed by helicopter blades in dementedly creative ways. It’s enough that you’ll hope Rodriguez makes good on that new faux trailer — for “Machete Kills Again . . . in Space.”
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    An intermittently arresting, mostly standard action entry that deals death noisily more than cleverly - a lot like the original.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The thematic stuff, while well-intentioned, is also clunky, and ultimately beside the point. Action, obviously, is what you’re after.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It’s fun in stretches, but also busily forced.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Unfortunately, as the story builds toward tenderness, it’s undercut with slathering tongues and bare-chested stud-muffin shots.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It’s another brightly rendered effort, but, as the title indicates, a lot of the real creativity seems to have been used up the first time around.

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