For 250 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Russo's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 88 Creed
Lowest review score: 25 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 250
250 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Tom Russo
    After a long, long stretch in which the series’ attrition had come to feel like even more of a bummer than intended — no more Mickey, no Apollo, no Adrian — the franchise has welcome new life. But instead of going by Rocky, he goes by Creed.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    It’s simultaneously silly and progressive, a familiar movie moment reserved for the girl you’d least expect.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Hegedus and Pennebaker do solid work presenting Wise’s arguments. It’s a tricky narrative challenge to shift from inherently compelling wildlife scenes to abstract courtroom debate, but the film manages it capably, even spicing things up with one justice’s admonition that Wise needs to cut his slavery analogies.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The upshot: The movie develops a distinctively trippy identity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A Cinderella subplot involving the prince’s scullery maid (Zooey Deschanel) is similarly both familiar and tonally refreshing, from the whimsical vocals to the disco skate that subs for a glass slipper.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to visit this corner of the world, you’ll instantly recognize the blissful natural grandeur that Moana captures, as well as the Pacific’s intimidating vastness.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    This is less a throwback to cutely misunderstood Molly Ringwald than to “My So-Called Life” — but with our high-school heroine stuck in a spiral like Claire Danes never knew.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Spy
    The character is sweetly sympathetic — less “Tammy” than “Mike & Molly” — and the laughs and chaos are all the more infectious for it.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Lowery’s update turns out to be one of the summer’s best surprises, a gorgeous, magical reworking that deftly strikes that once-elusive balance between contemporary and quaint.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Inspiring, or amusing? Appealingly, Eddie the Eagle invites both tags.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The result is a story that’s awfully scattered thematically, but one with such inventive wit and screwball-quick pacing that issues like spongy motivation hardly seem to matter.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A wide-ranging new survey of the toy’s global subculture and appeal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Director Baltasar Kormákur (“2 Guns”) and his cast craft a lean narrative tone that humanizes the action without an excess of gloss.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A narrative feature can do what the documentary couldn’t: re-create the tightrope act in full, glorious motion, rather than editing together surreptitiously snapped photos. These dizzying IMAX 3-D visuals truly are big-screen magic.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Polished? Not exactly. Poignant? Definitely.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A Monster Calls is a portrait of coping that’s both fascinating and heartbreaking.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    For audiences with an extremely high tolerance for brutally fetishized shootouts and bloodletting, this continuation of Reeves’s potential-filled reluctant hit man saga is electrifying, both visually and in its cracked narrative ambitions.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The movie is sufficiently in touch with current comic books that it’s keen to explore Batman’s psychology — breezily, but still.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The loosey-goosey fun might be a bit much at the finish, but it’s still a laugh watching McCarthy try to get back on her feet.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    It’s like an international-relations microcosm imagined by the Coen brothers, down to an occasional sense that the absurdity isn’t taking us anywhere.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The result is entertainment whose pace and sound, while dizzyingly brisk at points, still accommodates characters and a setting that are terrifically rich — a menagerie more fully, memorably realized than “Zootopia.”
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Krasinski infuses The Hollars with familiar wry humor, but he also delivers a film that’s unexpectedly rich with sweetly moving moments.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The movie bogs down only toward the finish, when it turns into a metahuman free-for-all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Even with his glossy new look, Charlie Brown remains the Charlie Browniest.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    It’s vintage Shyamalan, with a twist.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A lean indie horror flick that manages to creep us out even before getting to the part that’s meant to be truly unsettling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    They even make the requisite cameo by Marvel founding father Stan Lee feel profanely inspired. Not your usual Marvel superhero scene? In this case, that’s a good thing.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    This feature adaptation of kid-lit author R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror-comedy series is out to thrill fans with a story that’s just as obsessively invested as they are, right down to Black’s meta casting as Stine himself.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Finally, a movie with at least some coherence despite its sadly challenging circumstances.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    What’s somewhat unique about Jojo Moyes’s weepie, which the writer scripted from her 2012 bestseller, are the provocative dilemmas it explores to coax those tears.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Judy and Nick’s unlikely-buddies routine is amusing, but their exploits and interplay occasionally neglect the youngest demographic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    If there’s one popcorn movie so far this summer that actually makes us fear for — and care for — its protagonist, this is it.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    It all makes for competent but routine suspense.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    A James Franco-Bryan Cranston teaming that’s not as wild as intended, but reasonably diverting just the same.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Between Josh Gad’s charmingly earnest voice-over performance and more of the arthouse gloss that Hallström has drizzled on everything from “The Hundred-Foot Journey” to “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” it’s a weepie that can be tough to resist.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Enjoy the sense of never quite knowing when the movie is going to stick another pin in its balloon of sincerity, and you’ll like the Coopers well enough.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The best moments come in seeing Galifianakis’s costars try to keep up with him as he finally, frantically lets loose.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    This time the not-so-idle talk is about taking a socially conscious stand against gang violence. And while some of this territory is covered too tritely and safely to have all the impact intended by director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man Holiday”), the movie’s entreaties are compelling enough.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    It’s comedy with a hint of honesty — but we’re fine with shallow and sparkly, dahling.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Consider it a predictable movie with flashes of unpredictability, one that actually coaxes some early laughs with, yes, scatological wit, then makes us groan when it shamefully takes the low road back to poopville a bit later on.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Aussie Rosalie Ham’s quirky gothic novel is too tonally erratic to be completely satisfying. But we do get two Kates for the price of one, in a sense, as this crazy quilt of a movie allows her to play both entertainingly vampy and vulnerable.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Pan
    Passable adventure that offers the occasional flash of real cleverness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The result is sometimes charming and always visually astonishing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Its animal spin on unlikely-buddies interplay is amusing enough, but hardly as inspired as the teaser promised.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The film comes across as an irksome contrivance. What’s meant to communicate the mysterious, even taboo allure of playing chameleon instead just leaves us scoffing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The film is surprisingly light on conflict and definitely goes a bit heavy on period bromantic bonhomie. Even so, it’s an intriguing study of the personalities and torturous process behind some of the early 20th century’s great writing.
    • 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.

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