For 212 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 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Russo's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 88 Creed
Lowest review score: 25 Getaway
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 212
  2. Negative: 45 out of 212
212 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It’s clear To is striving to keep the action gripping and creative. Modestly inspired is more like it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Judy and Nick’s unlikely-buddies routine is amusing, but their exploits and interplay occasionally neglect the youngest demographic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Spy
    The character is sweetly sympathetic — less “Tammy” than “Mike & Molly” — and the laughs and chaos are all the more infectious for it.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Zooey Deschanel shows off her singing on a couple of generically pleasant soundtrack ditties.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A rousing movie that’s satisfyingly infused with traditional Disney sentiment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Unfortunately, as the story builds toward tenderness, it’s undercut with slathering tongues and bare-chested stud-muffin shots.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The dialogue also reflects the material’s stage origins in ways that don’t always translate well.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    After all the mesmerizingly illicit buildup, the film’s willful lack of a payoff is almost as strange as one of those essays.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The film was technically astonishing and yet brazenly simple.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    The film's indefatigable holiday spirit is infectious.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Far from contrived, the triangle that “Zachariah” sketches among the last three folks on earth is all too human.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Even with his glossy new look, Charlie Brown remains the Charlie Browniest.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Finally, a movie with at least some coherence despite its sadly challenging circumstances.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    A story that builds toward Po training an army of his panda brethren fails to deliver exponentially greater fun.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    The movie grows easier to like in the later, straighter going, as it stops pushing so aggressively to be naughty and lets its characters try on some introspection.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The movie's unlikely sincerity can't completely offset its ugliness for less bloodthirsty viewers, but it helps, and it does smooth over some narrative rough edges.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    First-time director Nick Ryan isn’t entirely up to the challenge in The Summit, but he does deliver some dramatic and visual highs in the attempt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The film is slow going with its mix of stilted political discourse and restless village folk just looking to celebrate life and dance. At times, it’s like “Footloose” gone didactic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The guys in Metallica are here to remind us that there’s a band behind the rage rock. The IMAX 3-D release Metallica Through the Never is all about reasserting their relevance, loudly.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    This chronicle of an ’80s high school cross country coach leading a team of Mexican farm laborers’ kids to competitive glory may be based on a true story, but the forced drama doesn’t help it to feel that way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    The cast does capable work, but you’ll wish the movie concentrated more on the comedy, which has some zing, rather than the straighter elements, which quickly start to drag.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    The story loses its convincingly scaled sense of jeopardy in the late going, and it ultimately unravels.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Pretty clearly determined to deliver the antidote to Stallone's movie, the filmmakers take their cues from Christopher Nolan's Batman filmscape, dropping Dredd into a fictional concrete sprawl (actually South Africa) that's relentlessly grounded, visually and dramatically. In a generic way, the environment works.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Macdonald knows plenty about crafting something evocative from unscripted material.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    One of the best things about the movie, aside from its screwily positive message, is the blithely freewheeling yet clever way that Rogen and company assemble the story’s puzzle pieces.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Returning director Wilson Yip commits to this tone too late, getting lost in tangential conflict and stunt casting — in this corner, Mike Tyson! — at the expense of the drama and even the action.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    This does seem to leave room for bigger, bolder, more momentous adventures down the line.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    Once again, the most resonant drama here is all about conveying a self-loathing born of inescapable circumstances.
    • 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.)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Some of this vigilante-fantasy misbehavior is wickedly funny.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    You’ll have to appreciate what fleeting cleverness you can here.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The storytelling here might also be stronger if Brown’s dialogue were less conspicuous, and left it to Patel and top-billed Jeremy Irons to more subtly communicate their characters’ passion for numbers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    Writer-director Boaz Yakin delivers his conflicting elements mostly as intended, and with obvious ambition. But he fails to take care of certain fundamentals - most problematically, coaxing out the emotion he's seeking from Statham and young newcomer Catherine Chan.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    It’s vintage Shyamalan, with a twist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Compared to the first two movie installments, this one is uncharacteristically scattershot in the life-lessons department.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    Inspiring, or amusing? Appealingly, Eddie the Eagle invites both tags.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    It’s a movie content to stay within the show’s comfort zone, changing things up mainly with flashier, 3-D visuals, a couple of which are dazzlers, and a theme that doesn’t connect in any notable way.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    As tiresome as the relentless, indulgent inscrutability and lack of story momentum can be, it says something for the movie’s visceral power that there isn’t an urge to quit on it.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    But, oh, the action. Tommila and Jackson have a couple of escape sequences that are exhilaratingly choreographed, never mind that one employs a meat freezer as its key prop. Kids should dig these bits. After all, off-kilter as Helander’s sensibility continues to be, he’s got a passion for popcorn-movie energy that can be contagious — especially when he’s not trashing Santa.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Russo
    The result is sometimes charming and always visually astonishing.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    Despite a few diverting moments and some ambitiously dramatic themes, this one is simply too uneventful and too populated by thinly sketched characters to keep its target audience engaged.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Elle Fanning is impeccably cast as Jesse, a quiet, sweet-natured ingénue shuttling between sketchy photo shoots and her clichéd newcomer’s digs in a seedy Pasadena motel.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Russo
    A wide-ranging new survey of the toy’s global subculture and appeal.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 Tom Russo
    Unfortunately, Mann also leans on ill-fitting story elements that he might easily and smartly have avoided, and the movie’s rhythms and credibility pay for it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Russo
    Best, probably, to appreciate the movie for what Slattery, Hoffman, and the cast do most effectively: craft a pervasive atmosphere of tired people trudging through tired circumstances that only seem to grow more, well, tiring.

Top Trailers