Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 4,728 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 The Big Lebowski
Lowest review score: 0 Kazaam
Score distribution:
4,728 movie reviews
  1. As forgettable as a puff off a generic-brand butt: filtered, flavored, and ultimately unsatisfying.
  2. Fails because it takes itself so seriously, and because it is itself so seriously dull. Soderbergh's straining to give us a wink -- come on, guys, this is fun -- but really it just feels like some awful eye twitch -- a spasm of yawning self-indulgence in a mostly captivating career.
  3. Breaks down before it gets out of the driveway.
  4. Hardly lives up to its name -- bedeviled is more like it.
  5. Lacks the bite that can equal the Bruckheimer bark.
  6. Feels more like Barry Levinson's "Tin Men" on Prozac.
  7. The Art of War must ultimately be chalked up as a strategic defeat.
  8. The most lackadaisical thriller I've ever seen, overly infatuated with not only the inexplicability of random evil, but also its mundanity.
  9. The script by S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock (Ghost Dad) is so jumbled and the direction so chaotic that it's often hard to tell what's going on -- where, when, and why.
  10. A frenetic affair, busy and silly enough to make family froth like "The Princess Diaries" look like Grand Illusion.
  11. It's not wrong to wish these actors were working in the service of a better script or more assured direction, but it's probably also possible to simply take pleasure in their performances.
  12. The comedy is often harsh and cruel.
  13. Apart from the fang-restraint of the nosferatu, however, there's precious little that's altogether new or for that matter shocking about this by-the-numbers thriller.
  14. Remains little more than a briefly fascinating curiosity, a travelogue for those of us who can't actually attend.
  15. Spotlessly dull.
  16. Christian filmmaking has entered a new phase in which its creators have discovered how to soft-pedal their message under wraps of a conventional story.
  17. Just watching the trailer for Oliver Stone's new football epic a few weeks back left me with a grating headache; watching the whole sweaty film practically put me in the ICU.
  18. Selick is widely and rightly regarded as a master of surreal, dark humor, and wildly inventive animation technique, and Monkeybone is the first tarnish on his otherwise spotless reputation.
  19. Another frivolous product of whiny male anxiety that's as funny as a sitcom but longer and more expensive.
  20. Sporadically funny, the film seems weighted down, literally, with bulging, bulbous Murphys flatulating endlessly.
  21. Most of the actors seem to have been issued one facial expression at the beginning of the film, along with pain-of-death instructions not to change it under any circumstance.
  22. The finished product is as predictably dull as a newborn's soft spot.
  23. A character-driven piece with a character who seems somewhat hollow.
  24. There's not much spunk here.
  25. Not even the rich and nuanced performances of stage veterans Smith, Gambon, and Birkin can save this British period drama from languishing amid the story's unfocused longings and unrealistic musings.
  26. A limp and lackluster affair that telegraphs its feel-good smarm miles in advance.
  27. Predictable piffle, a comically unbelievable story that leaves almost no impression except what a sham our legal system is.
  28. Sex may, indeed, be all in the mind, but Romance fails to score in the mind's eye.
  29. It's the type of film that begs to be called “charming” and by doing so instead ends up grating.
  30. Nothing more than an extended version of the syndicated television program, with the unkempt Irwin spending most of the movie excitedly shouting at the camera as he taunts something venomous.
  31. Definitive modern cinematic eye-candy with all the connotations of empty calories that term implies.
  32. The Monkey's Mask is filmed with an eye toward an arthouse sheen, although Lang's dramatic pacing is sluggish and dull.
  33. A hackneyed police story, rife with clichés, implausibilities, and weak performances.
  34. The bottom line with the film is that there's just no damn mystery about it.
  35. Fumbles on so many levels it's just plain silly. To paraphrase the film's tagline: The Thirteenth Floor: You can go there, but why would you want to?
  36. When a human joke like Tony Robbins is the only one who comes away from your movie smelling like a rose, there's a real problem in Farrellyland.
  37. It works only sporadically, and more as a comic outing than as a vicious battle of sexual predation.
  38. The kind of movie that gives "chick flicks" a bad reputation.
  39. A mildly diverting comedy but has little of real substance to recommend it.
  40. What hath "The Sixth Sense" wrought? These days, it seems as if every psychological thriller has a surprise finish.
  41. If it's a good heist movie you're after, there are surely better ways to go than with this limp caper.
  42. This new film version, sad to say, is a hollow shell of the original series.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This film has all the pyschological depth of a wading pool. Anything you've imagined without seeing the movie is likely more interesting than what's here.
  43. An exercise in unintentional farce.
  44. And next time around... show the courage of your lowbrow convictions and get back to the gonzo, unapologetically senseless mayhem that made this saga so much fun in the beginning.
  45. The first "Nightmare on Elm Street" was wickedly surreal, but the wacky dream sequences were offset by the sitcomlike, almost satirical flatness of ordinary suburban life; that was the really scary part. Freddy Vs. Jason is innocent of such nuances.
  46. Monk would probably make a nice rental on a dull evening, with some kind of salty snack and a drinking-game accompaniment. (Drink whenever Scott cries, "Oh, shit!")
  47. Ultimately sinks under the weight of its good intentions. It’s like watching Univision or Telemundo on the big screen.
  48. The few gags that hit their mark only serve to point up how flaccid the rest of his material is, and that spells doom for a comic, no matter how much his hometown crowd cheers him on.
  49. Across-the-board, the kids are extremely adorable to watch (not an easy thing to pull off) and will appeal to the other kids in the audience who might identify with them and see the story from the kids’ point of view. But looking at this film from any other perspective, will give you brain rot.
  50. Each of the characters is dull and boorish instead of witty and urbane.
  51. It's all a bit of overkill.
  52. Even at 82 minutes in length, Superstar feels uncomfortably stretched.
  53. A dead-chamber misfire, a hollowpoint dud.
  54. It's mediocrity at its most unremarkable.
  55. Director Irwin Winkler and his cast obviously hope to shed light on the boundaries of love, and instead come up with a walloping case of the preachies.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Like the cartoon on which it's based, Inspector Gadget has moments of absurd fun and droll wit, but they are fleeting and few.
  56. If LaBute wants to plumb the depths of human unkindness, have at it -– only dig deeper next time.
  57. Herzfeld also wrote the screenplay, and so its leaden and obvious tone and the resulting dearth of delicacy rests squarely on him.
  58. As middling comedies go, this is neither as smart as it ought to be nor as dumb as you'd expect.
  59. It's a botched job through and through, made all the more distressing by Bullock's recent announcement that she's throwing in the romantic comedy towel for a while.
  60. Bait equals bad.
  61. From the swooping aerial shots of downtown Miami, to the long, long-legged beauties that seem to crop up every time the action threatens to slow down, to the nonsensical lack of logic that permeates the film like the acrid odor of wasted cordite, Bad Boys oozes Eighties Hollywood clichés like no film since "Top Gun."
  62. Neither as good as its direct ancestor (Michael Schultz's great 1976 hood masterpiece Car Wash) nor as clever as the original Friday, this is, to put it bluntly, all seeds and stems.
  63. Christina Applegate, of Eighties white-trash pinup fame, is a comic foil par excellence, delivering a snazzy, self-assured performance that lands the biggest laughs in a movie made mostly of hollow chuckles. She, in fact, is the sweetest thing in this sour, sucky film.
  64. A 119-minute trailer.
  65. A boisterous, gooey miscue.
  66. Prinze, Lillard, and Biel are all pleasant enough to look at, but the film's Romeo and Juliet tropes are shopworn by now, and the movie gives us nothing else.
  67. In all honesty I'd advise you to go rent the stunning (and brand-new) DVD of the director's great "Le Mépris (Contempt)," which seems to me to be much more Godardian and much less hopeless.
  68. Eager to please, but it’s so lacking in real-world skate politics that it more resembles the chugging PG-13 mediocrity of Top 40 pop-punk-lite than the hard-core Black Flagisms of Peralta’s scathingly real doc.
  69. Surely something more original than this could have been mined from the history of North America’s largest and most professional police force. As it is, though, Johnson’s film is just firing blanks.
  70. There’s only the faintest glimmer of Rock’s talent for piercingly funny humor here, a shortcoming for which the comic can only blame himself, given that he also produced and directed the movie.
  71. The jokes just aren't there, which makes it very hard for the stars -- who are trying very, very hard -- to really make a dent.
  72. The fictionalization of their journey is simply not that engrossing, nor are their alter egos, with their tightly scripted character arcs.
  73. Head Over Heels whitewashes the originality and, well, weirdness Waters showed in his first film, although it's impossibe to imagine anything starring young poster-pups Potter and Prinze Jr. could be particularly edgy.
  74. Summertime popcorn pictures don't get much goofier than this silly sequel, which is everything you'd expect and nothing you wouldn't.
  75. Torpedoed by its own overarching idealism -- the film targets the new star system, the media, the studios, digital technology, and pretty much everything else you might care to think of -- and not enough script to back it all up.
  76. An inoffensive, eminently forgettable bit of fluff.
  77. "By practicing his art, he revealed himself to us." Fellini: I’m a Born Liar provides proof positive: The art indeed reveals far more than this pedestrian documentary ever does.
  78. Barely even worthy of a straight-to-video release, as simplistic and silly as it is.
  79. There is a new definition of the term, "critic-proof movie," and it goes by the name Pokémon: The First Movie.
  80. Can barely limp to its final CinemaScope sunset shot.
  81. By the time the closing credits roll, you're wondering if anyone else noticed that nothing made much sense.
  82. It's a pleasure to watch, but I found myself wondering if having a story here even mattered to the director at all.
  83. In context, it's utterly, dismayingly typical.
  84. Very little here begs to be paid attention to.
  85. A less cohesive action-comedy than its predecessor, Full Throttle is instead a freewheeling collection of random action sequences strung together with little or no discernible rhyme or reason.
  86. Director Chappelle lays on the spook factor heavy in the first 30 minutes or so, but the film quickly devolves into a simplistic slash 'n' bash shoot-'em-up which goes nowhere fast.
  87. Jawbreaker has all the heart and soul of last week's mystery loaf (a dish that made the weekly rounds at my alma mater, sadly). And like that unidentifiable bovine by-product, the film is a chilly, messy anti-treat, sweet on the outside, sickly on the in.
  88. At its core, a very manipulative piece of work.
  89. There's little to recommend this movie, which is part and parcel with Marshall's schlock-dominated body of work.
  90. About as thrilling as cleaning out your garage.
  91. Like rocky road ice cream, The Rundown is chunky stuff, full of calories and easy to take in small doses. Also like rocky road, it’s bound to attract flies if you leave it lying around, and, more to the point, too much of it is likely to make you gag.
  92. Possibly one of the dullest takes on a real-life murder mystery, this gutter’s-eye-view of the waning days of Los Angeles porn king John "Johnny Wadd" Holmes is barely as interesting as one of the big man’s films, and a lot less revelatory.
  93. You don’t have to be a cynic to find Radio naive for suggesting that high school is a good place for emotionally fragile misfits, that racism is not a problem, that caring for someone is all it takes.
  94. The characters are mechanisms who move along the plot arc from Point A to Point B. They’re not particularly memorable individuals.
  95. Seems more like an amateur revue, perfectly all right for what it is, but not meant to be seen beyond an audience of friends and family.
  96. Learn from the Evers family: The Haunted Mansion is not worth the detour.
  97. By the time The Statement comes to its inevitable conclusion, you'll be hard pressed to remember much about it, sadly enough. In other words, The Statement doesn't make much of one.
  98. Everyone learns a lesson by movie’s end: Don’t put work before family. Curiously, no one learns that all this could have been avoided with a good method of birth control.

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