Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 5,071 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Force Majeure
Lowest review score: 0 Jack
Score distribution:
5,071 movie reviews
  1. If it's a good heist movie you're after, there are surely better ways to go than with this limp caper.
  2. If Affleck stumbles, Smith's script does nothing to catch his fall. Surprisingly, Smith's truest talent – that of writing – is Jersey Girl's weakest link.
  3. Delgo is a dud.
  4. A movie designed without a proper foundation -- it feels as though it might crumble at any minute.
  5. It's all a bit of overkill.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It’s cheesy and contrived, but even the most watered-down stories retain elements of the original masterpieces.
  6. Coppola never manages to get his themes to coalesce into anything terribly coherent.
  7. 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.
  8. There’s something earnest and forthright about the movie, despite its misguided execution.
  9. A mildly diverting comedy but has little of real substance to recommend it.
  10. The fictionalization of their journey is simply not that engrossing, nor are their alter egos, with their tightly scripted character arcs.
  11. How much better this would have been had someone like Brian De Palma stepped behind the camera.
  12. Franco Zeffirelli's contrived autobiographical film about his youth in fascist Italy has little social grace -- it's embarrassingly awkward, like a dilettante playing the doyenne.
  13. The lengths to which a parent will go to save a child can be gut-wrenching stuff, but Waist Deep rarely hits you in the pit of your stomach. Blame it on the lame screenplay, which unwisely (and badly) gravitates more toward the crime-spree elements of "Bonnie and Clyde" than the fierce parental instincts of, say, "Kramer vs. Kramer" or "Lorenzo's Oil."
  14. 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.
  15. Stuff the cork back in: This wine movie was sold before its time.
  16. Not even this sprightly cast can buck the privileged sense of entitlement that bedevils this movie. Don’t count on the impish humor that Simon Pegg has unleashed so successfully in other movies to save the day.
  17. This pseudo-Phildickian actioner is chum for the bigger fish to come this summer; for Moore, it's a slummer.
  18. There's not much spunk here.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The best that can be said for this one is that we’ve seen plenty worse of its kind.
  19. The problem lies with the unimaginative story premise and the quip/reverse quip dialogue that just may be better-suited to half-hour television shows than this nearly 2½-hour movie feature.
  20. 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.
  21. I'm beginning to suspect there's some sort of ancient, or at least post-Pearl Harbor, curse in play that stops genre-oriented Asian filmmakers from creating anything of all but the most negligible merit once they hit the California shore.
  22. He is meant to be brooding, I think, but Tatum’s vague features read more “meathead” than anguished young lover. He has to carry the film, but he’s the least interesting thing going on here.
  23. Sex may, indeed, be all in the mind, but Romance fails to score in the mind's eye.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    While the compelling Plowright competently flexes her well-trained muscle, the film's melodrama too readily evokes a Lifetime Original Movie rather than subtle sentiment.
  24. This one has the feel of being penned on rolling papers, with room to spare.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    As far as Pfeiffer's performance goes, she's got charm and pep to spare, but next to zero substance when it comes to exploring her character's particular hypocrisies and pretensions.
  25. In short, there's nothing remotely real or appealing about it.
  26. An equally tired and wearisome buddy-cop movie that might as well be a forgotten leftover from the era of "Turner and Hooch." Now there's a film with classic Kevin Smith scrawled all over it.
  27. The actors do a fine, if unsoulful, job, but the real problem with A Love Divided is its unwillingness to unromanticize its heroes.
  28. Delivers sinister atmosphere but few shocks.
  29. The 3-D angle is the only one I can identify to justify Alpha and Omega not going straight to DVD.
  30. My advice? Grab Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and recast with Jimmy Dean.
  31. Despite an A-list cast and director, it's astonishing how bad this movie is.
  32. A mildly entertaining reworking of the Farrelly Brothers' superior micro-sport parody "Kingpin."
  33. In short, the character is a lot like the way Stan Lee first envisioned him, but the trilogy's screenwriter Steve Ditko would probably loathe this new, unsatisfying, and hollow-feeling entry into the new cinematic Marvel Universe.
  34. 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.
  35. Ultimately, it's a long, incoherent mess of a film, enlivened only by the sure knowledge that the great Will Eisner's original is available to one and all at your nearest comic-book shop.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    An orgy of mindless violence, a random collection of bloody bodies, alien misanthropy, and slobbering carnage designed to bore straight into the pleasure centers of 13-year-old boys and leave the rest of us wondering when the movies got so damn loud.
  36. Neither as adroitly funny as Franken's comic routines, nor as notable as his conversion to the fine art of politics, this is a 90-minute "What If?" with no discernible answer.
  37. Breaks down before it gets out of the driveway.
  38. A dead-chamber misfire, a hollowpoint dud.
  39. There will be blood in the ultraviolent Rambo, a movie that depicts both heinous acts and righteous reckoning with equal degrees of flying body parts and arterial sprays.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Though well-researched and competently acted, At Any Price doesn’t risk much, having neither a thesis nor a resolution. Like an awkward hug between estranged relations, there’s a lack of confidence in the execution.
  40. What hath "The Sixth Sense" wrought? These days, it seems as if every psychological thriller has a surprise finish.
  41. Although it's great fun for the under-8 set and for those of us monitoring the chaos theory that is Nolte's career of late, this film is otherwise mediocre and features some of the most uninvolving 3-D CGI since "Clash of the Titans" earlier this year.
  42. Even at 82 minutes in length, Superstar feels uncomfortably stretched.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    All singing, all dancing, all color: Rio 2 is a modern, studio animation blockbuster spilling all over the place, rather than arching into the sky.
  43. A 119-minute trailer.
  44. The rescuing of our public schools is a national necessity. I just don't know that we are aiding that cause by sending out oversimplified and dogmatic messages about not backing down.
  45. Despite some briefly breathtaking, computer-generated special effects, Virtuosity is 95 minutes of unsubstantial firefights and meandering plot twists.
  46. It works only sporadically, and more as a comic outing than as a vicious battle of sexual predation.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    What's interesting about typical Hollywood Christmas movies is that regardless of how crass, vulgar, or mean-spirited they may be, by the last scene they will inevitably try to wrap viewers in a blanket of warm seasonal cheer.
  47. The title, The Last Song, may be wishful thinking for some, but the best they can probably hope for is the close of the era of Hannah Montana movies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The film is eventful and full of suspense, but also obvious and completely contrived.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The conventional plot and absence of character dimension will most likely get the better of even the biggest Uma fans.
  48. If LaBute wants to plumb the depths of human unkindness, have at it -– only dig deeper next time.
  49. Another casualty of the uncomfortable branding so common to the teen genre, the same branding one sees in a film starring Hilary Duff, or Amanda Bynes, or the next sweet but bland blond actress that comes down the assembly line.
  50. Spottily directed and lacking the dubious merits of even the Friday the 13th franchise, this is one slasher film that should die a quick and lonely box-office death.
  51. Unimaginatively filmed and of a misbegotten construction, Tammy goes all in with its namesake character (played by McCarthy), hanging the entire movie around a person who is immediately and irreversibly established as being thoughtless, unperceptive, destructive, and uneducated.
  52. By the time the closing credits roll, you're wondering if anyone else noticed that nothing made much sense.
  53. 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.
  54. The interfacing of the two-dimensional and three-dimensional characters is so shabbily accomplished that it makes you start noticing all the other technical glitches in the work.
  55. 10 times too much, a nonstop orgy of bullets, bombs, and booty that aims low and hits the bull’s-eye with enough firepower to sink the Bismarck.
  56. Predictable piffle, a comically unbelievable story that leaves almost no impression except what a sham our legal system is.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If we don’t stop these public dance-offs here and now, before too long we’re going to have an entire generation of kids seeking salvation as back-up dancers for Justin Timberlake
  57. Gondry's update of vigilante crime fighter The Green Hornet's escapades is above all an exercise in frustration.
  58. The result is a somewhat functional blood feast for the exploitation crowd, but it's hardly a bead of sweat on the original's battered backside. Oh, and the score? Basil Poledouris' bombastic brass is still No. 1.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. The script, by Adam "Tex" Vegas, ricochets between over-earnest romantic comedy staples and a noticeable lack of any consistent tone for Reynolds’ character.
  62. For one thing, Seven Days in Utopia feels an awful lot like Victor Salva's 2006 New Age uplifter "Peaceful Warrior." That film at least had the appeal of watching Nick Nolte play Yoda, whereas here Duvall simply seems to be playing Duvall.
  63. Each of the characters is dull and boorish instead of witty and urbane.
  64. You come away from Splinter feeling it would have made a far more effective short than the feature-length drag it is.
  65. This Italian import may have greater resonance for the men of Casanova's native land than it does internationally, but it definitely hits on truths infrequently addressed in the movies.
  66. Creating plot from lyrics, in this case, leads to heavy-handed literalism and limited creativity. The wall of music is amusing for a while, but grows into a loud, wearying assault long before the movie's two hours are up.
  67. Because “all in” – to me, at least – suggests a certain standard of enthusiasm, of emphaticness, and what this latest Step Up movie indifferently chunks out falls far short of that standard.
  68. 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.
  69. For the most part, this is strictly kiss kiss, bang bang, yawn yawn.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    White-bread storytelling made by, for, and about people who think joy and meaning can be acquired by simply taking a step or two out of life’s comfort zones and into African-safari packages and skydiving excursions.
  70. About as thrilling as cleaning out your garage.
  71. Why remake Craven's original at all? Oh, yeah, I forgot: Reheated depravity sells. To avoid existential despair, keep repeating: It's only a remake; it's only a remake; it's only a remake.
  72. There’s nothing especially offensive about the actress (Hudson); if anything, it’s that lack of offense, her overwhelmingly benign vibe, that has become increasingly repugnant with every picture she puts out.
  73. The film restages the greatest hits of the show's many musical numbers, to greatly diminished effect, with lackluster choreography and all the narrative appeal stripped away.
  74. It's a mess, and one that even the pickled cowboys behind me found yawningly tedious, and that's not something I ever thought I'd be saying about a Sam Raimi movie with the word “dead” in the title.
  75. This is the kind of movie in which every other line of dialogue feels like a metaphor – and from there on, the film seesaws between the uncomfortable extremes of glum and twee: an overwrought dirge keyed to a xylophonic ping.
  76. Home may be where the heart is, but I kept wishing this poor silly girl would up and move.
  77. Although the original Red Dawn was far-fetched, the remake offers little but vicarious thrills.
  78. It’s hard to take your eyes off Walker in his penultimate film appearance, cognizant of his mortality and the way he was gracefully aging much in the same way as another fair-haired, blue-eyed actor named Paul.
  79. Spotlessly dull.
  80. Sporadically funny, the film seems weighted down, literally, with bulging, bulbous Murphys flatulating endlessly.
  81. The fishy smell that permeates Perfect Stranger comes from all of the red herrings flopping around this absurdly plotted Hollywood thriller.
  82. It's not a great action dust-up by any means.
  83. The Collector feels like the final, welcome nail in the bizarrely popular torture-porn coffin.
  84. Has all the sugar-injected horsepower of a 6-year-old on a Big Wheel.
  85. It’s Brisseau's penchant for the flamboyantly perverse and the perversely flamboyant, however, that might have been best left secret.
  86. Saw
    Saw has its moments, and most of them are brutal in the extreme, but ultimately it's one tremendous misfire that will either leave you laughing or, possibly, gagging. Not what I'd call a winning combination.
  87. Forty-five minutes in, I was already glancing at my watch and wondering why the only lively actress in this film was playing the dead girl. Go figure.
  88. The emotions are turbocharged and the topic is eternally relevant, but that's not enough to save Two Girls and a Guy from being a whiny, snoozy bore.

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