Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 5,692 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Bad Education
Lowest review score: 0 A Haunted House
Score distribution:
5692 movie reviews
  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least among Janeites, that we’ll spend long hours scouring every streaming service out there, hungering for a corseted drama to watch. In that respect at least, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is fresh meat, if a tough cut.
  2. Isaac and Olsen are both mesmerizing actors, and Lange and Felton also do very good work in supporting roles, but their collective gameness – all that acting their pants off (sometimes literally) – is underserved by the film’s script and direction.
  3. Still, when The Yellow Handkerchief finally hooks into the meat of Hamill’s source story, the narrative tension puts enough wind in the film’s sails to arrive at its corny but sentimentally satisfying conclusion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    These characters are too remote, too pretty, and too unrealistic to move us in any lasting way.
  4. A movie worth viewing. Besides, it's the only movie to boast NYC millionaire mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg as its executive producer.
  5. The Coen brothers’ newest is an odd amalgam of tics and stutters that plays like something of a greatest-hits reel but never seems to jell into a real comedy.
  6. The subject itself – the musicians, the music – and the spirit of the thing – one son’s obvious devotion – transcend the film’s technical shortcomings.
  7. Still, you find yourself rooting for these women, even if their adventures aren’t always up to snuff.
  8. The true wonder of this low-budget movie, however, is its acquisition of the rights to so much of the previously mentioned music. It's almost exclusively Dylan and the Dead, but damned if you won't be stopping for some Cherry Garcia ice cream on the way home.
  9. This film is more a love story about the marriage between Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), rather than a historically accurate backstage look at the making of this important movie in the Hitchcock filmography and the American psyche.
  10. As filmmaking debuts go, Panos Cosmatos' Beyond the Black Rainbow is as striking as it is nuts.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A consistently workmanlike helmer, Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle: Los Angeles) keeps the pace brisk and the overall tone closer to that of the recent G.I. Joe vehicles, infusing this glorified toy commercial with an almost aggressively knowing sense of humor and exactly one fun action sequence on New York’s most conveniently located mountaintop.
  11. For fans, Oasis: Supersonic is a reminder of both the band’s musical strengths and of a simpler time for pop music in general, pre-internet and all that that implies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    To question that this movie is a visual feast would be an act of real cynicism. But as the old Chinese proverb goes, "Gold and jade on the outside, rot and decay on the inside."
  12. But 'neath its candy-coated shell lies several solid grains of truth -- not to mention some fab choreography, a solid-gold title, and a couple of pristine examples (in Swayze and Grey) of what is meant by the term "career-making performance."
  13. The comedic success of this pair of dramatic archetypes, the radiant flibbertigibbet and the gray, lumpen elder spinster, in a lightweight bit of piffle such as this is a testament to both Adams' and McDormand's smarts. It's tough to play dumb when you're not and even more difficult to dial down your own innate brilliance.
  14. Ultimately, though, We Were Soldiers fails to bring as much to the table as it at first seems it might.
  15. Rather born to wear a frock coat, Dancy shares the stammer-blush, winning-grin methodology of countryman Hugh Grant, only with more probity and better posture.
  16. The two fantastic performances by Allen and Costner that anchor The Upside of Anger are the reason to see this contemporary drama.
  17. The costume design, however, is the film's most enthralling aspect; replicas of actual Chanel designs were created for the film, and a fresh costume graces nearly every sequence. Alas, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky unfolds on a screen instead of a catwalk.
  18. Provocative though it is, Felt literally wears its ideas on its sleeves.
  19. Shot in just over a week with a minuscule budget, this artsy thriller feels like a one-off from Shimizu's Ju-on films but is probably worth a look for fans.
  20. Digging for Fire fails its title’s own promise: It has the capacity for startling insight and artistry, but mostly it’s just a toe listlessly pushing dirt around.
  21. Pop psychology has never been as visceral as it is in Saw III.
  22. There is no doubt the film is exquisitely felt, yet Touched With Fire often feels like a "David and Lisa" redux for the psychotropic drug era.
  23. Unfortunately, for all his large soul and exquisite mastery of image, Nava is also one of the worst writers to ever accrue more than two major-movie screenwriting credits.
  24. It's a promising epic that ends with what feels like a lie. In short, it's a glorious mess well worth seeing, but light-years away from what fans were expecting.
  25. Wispy, cosmopolitan slice-of-life.
  26. AKA
    An interesting though not extremely successful experiment, but it definitely makes you want to see what Duncan Roy does next.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's an exploration by the audience, the filmmakers, and the subjects themselves of a kind you've never quite seen in a documentary before.
  27. Even though the movie is made with an abundance of heart, it's sad to report that the final result has only a weak pulse.
  28. Fans of the irritatingly limp and relatively toothless Twilight series may actually find their tormented inner selves fondled to exquisite, precoital perfection with this slick and gleeful adaptation of the classic Eighties vampire-next-door flick.
  29. It’s worth a watch to see these two reliably comic actors do some heavy dramatic lifting and tenderly spot for each other.
  30. By the time the film's abrupt conclusion arrives, you realize you've been watching a love story and not, as some might hope, "The Lord of the Rings: The Asian Edition."
  31. Much like the DNA-scrambled beast to which the title alludes, this film is a chimerical chop-shop product, consisting mostly of spare parts pulled from Alien, Jurassic Park, and even The Ghost and the Darkness.
  32. Strong performances and Miller's equivocal stance toward her characters save the movie from its symbolic overload and melodramatic crash course, but in the end there may be less here than meets the eye.
  33. Tykwer ends the film on a bizarre note that caught me off guard, a too-literal bit of salvation that is more bothersome than revelatory.
  34. All goes according to course, and that's exactly the problem with Dan in Real Life.
  35. A cracking good adventure film well worthy of classic Saturday-afternoon matinee status. It's also, in myriad ways, a more youthful version of Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark."...What you don't have, however, is a great movie.
  36. Not a sequel, not a prequel, but a "reimagining" as the producers say. And they're basically correct, although I wouldn't put any real emphasis on the "imagination" aspect of that term.
  37. The Christian faith-based film genre takes a dramatic leap forward with 90 Minutes in Heaven, a well-appointed work based on Don Piper’s bestseller, that, for a change, doesn’t look and sound as though it was written, performed, and recorded in some church basement.
  38. Adams is absolutely winning in this role, which requires her to be a tough-as-nails attorney, grownup tomboy, and psychologically scarred adult. And she makes a good foil for Eastwood, though it's often uncomfortable to see the actor going through melodramatic paces.
  39. Though Take Me to the River also offers up some civil rights history lessons between recordings, it feels like a mishmash effort overall, more a home movie than a theatrical release. That’s fine. If you approach it on those terms, you can’t help but feel the love, too.
  40. Though it’s as estrogenic as dong quai, this amiable adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler’s eponymous bestseller about six friends and their book club is thoughtfully rendered with a certain universality of spirit – in that sense not unlike the books of Jane Austen herself.
  41. Of course, the film is critic-proof, but as a longtime comic book (and film) nerd, I can say with some surety that Snyder has crammed too much of a great thing into his film, resulting in a super-slog that has just too much of everything.
  42. Enemy at the Gates is a disappointment primarily because it seems so rich with possibilities.
  43. There is much to recommend this earnest and enraged film.
  44. The documentary hasn’t the depth of another study of high school ball, "Hoop Dreams,"' and tends toward repetition, but, in the end, its heartfelt saga scores.
  45. It’s not a disaster by any stretch, but purists will ache to show newcomers the horrific genius of "Ju-on" over The Grudge as soon as they exit the theatre.
  46. It's unclear if Van Sant intends to inspire guilt; here, as elsewhere, he is exasperatingly abstruse. And in this striving to not say too much, he ends up not saying much of anything at all.
  47. Problems arise in the film’s third act, however, with a profoundly implausible plot turn that sends the movie skidding into bogeyman horror. It cheapens the sentiment, and the film doesn’t recover.
  48. A weird mix of pseudo-jingoism and Bay’s usual bombastic firepower, 13 Hours ends up being a straight-up war film without an actual war in it.
  49. Although handsomely mounted, this latest star in the Marvel Universe is not a leading light. But it probably has enough juice to keep the galaxy spinning until something more original comes along and knocks it out of orbit.
  50. Writer-director Byler, in his first feature film, also proves to be a noteworthy new voice, even if his cinematic sense outweighs his narrative sense in this initial outing.
  51. As a biopic, the movie has several shortcomings, but as a background story Madame Satã is full of atmosphere.
  52. Tangled is a serviceable kids' picture and marks a milestone in the history of Disney animation, but it's splitting hairs to characterize it beyond that.
  53. British actor Hiddleston transcendently captures the sound of Williams’ voice and his performative swagger, and it’s something that’s worth seeing for its amazing conjuring act.
  54. Ironically, the problem may lie in Baird and screenwriter John Pogue's over-eagerness to give us what they think we want.
  55. It also has wild plot holes and requires an almost inhuman suspension of disbelief, but it's still a fun ride up to a point.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is all very fanciful and droll, a mildly subversive and ramshackle Scandinavian version of the "Grumpy Old Men" on-the-road formula.
  56. Chbosky surrounds his hurting characters with the cinematic equivalent of a hug circle – which is sweet, but rather antithetical to tension-building.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The script is fueled by genuine wit, everyone turns in fine performances and, beginning to end, the film actually shows some thought, if little originality.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Move over, Gordon Gecko: The new poster boy for American greed in the movies isn’t a silver-tongued corporate hustler with pomaded hair and a closet full of $10,000 suits. In fact, the new poster boy for American greed in the movies isn’t a boy at all. I know you won’t believe me when I tell you, but you’ve been replaced by Diane Keaton.
  57. Spy
    This is a different sort of comedy that more or less succeeds on its own terms, despite that fact that you find yourself rooting for the post-Snowden CIA.
  58. The window Hollywoodland offers into old-style workings of the company town is fascinating to behold, however the film doesn't always know where to direct our gaze.
  59. Beyond the Gates bears witness to the worst of the worst, but these days, and far more importantly, so does YouTube.
  60. Something haunting is going on here, but it's as difficult for the viewers as it is for the characters to sink their teeth into anything truly satisfying.
  61. What’s missing here is the full adrenaline rush associated with this dangerous but exhilarating sport and pastime. The documentary’s start/stop narrative structure never allows anything to accelerate full throttle.
  62. There's nothing terribly bad about Bend It Like Beckham -- in fact it's a fine Friday-night-out film -- it's just that it strikes me as being an awful little piffle cloaked in the garb of something so much more.
  63. Due largely to the tremendous innate warmth and conviction of leads Quaid and Caviezel ("The Thin Red Line"), you may find yourself cutting a surprising amount of slack for this patently ridiculous tale.
  64. That’s the central problem with The Way, Way Back – it’s more manipulative than truthful.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Watching this movie is not a complete waste of time, but it is little more than a sitcom-lite diversion.
  65. As long as underdog sports stories hold a place in the cinematic universe, Eddie the Eagle, despite its shortcomings, will soar into moviegoers’ hearts.
  66. Painfully dunderheaded about the proclivities of the human heart.
  67. Danny Aiello and Robert Forster also turn up in tiny roles that further serve to distract attention from the real business at hand.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Moonwalkers blends a strange mélange of Swinging Sixties, drug-addled humor with that slow-motion, gangster gunplay that Guy Ritchie trademarked in his early work.
  68. I COULD do without "Dancing Queen" stuck in my head, but that will unstick soon enough, and with any luck so too will the memory of Streep noodling on an air guitar.
  69. Miner strives to imbue the film with the requisite autumnal haze of the original but then gives up midway through and instead resorts to the standard stalk 'n' slash formulas.
  70. It’s a perfectly nice period piece and biographical backgrounder, but the film feels as though it’s a meal of tasty side dishes that lacks a main course.
  71. Loses something in its transposition to America where the two leads are not nearly as widely known as they are in their home country of France.
  72. A huge success in Japan, this thrilling, if overlong, epic from director Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, Summer Wars) is part "Karate Kid" and part Japanese folklore.
  73. The film is wonderfully atmospheric and full of little frights, but its overall impact is only glancing.
  74. One
    All in all, this is perhaps one of those films you applaud more for design than execution while hoping at the same time that its boundary-testing restlessness becomes more widely influential.
  75. Neither ditzy enough as comedy nor realistic enough as human drama to live a long life.
  76. A grinning but toothless comedy, this Christmas-themed outing pales in inventiveness compared to the original, which brought sweet, silly anarchy to its one-thing-leads-to-another plotting.
  77. Teetering between folly and genius, this Will Ferrell comedy masquerading as a Mexican soap opera-cum-horse opera unfortunately levels off somewhere near the undistinguished center.
  78. For some reason Derailed never fully engages our sympathies. I think that's because it's difficult to swallow Owen as anything other than eminently resourceful.
  79. While this isn’t anywhere near a classic of the comedy-horror genre, it’s still a well-written work of splatstick that’s more downright engaging than 90% of the “serious” (i.e., mediocre) horrors that have flooded theatres of late.
  80. Never makes the leap from a little fantasy about sex with a stranger to a larger story about a woman settling down for life.
  81. Hoge's film raises more questions than it answers – that's his point, I think, to get us thinking – and Gosling, who previously played the conflicted Jewish Nazi skinhead in "The Believer," inhabits the role of Leland so fully it's as if the character had killed him as well.
  82. The story is so meandering and unbelievable that Westerners are still likely to roll their eyes. I have no idea what Indian audiences will make of Kites. The film is rousing, but it does not soar.
  83. Director Noyce has a sure hand with the action sequences and keeps The Saint from bogging down too often in the mires of action film exposition (once again, think Mission: Impossible).
  84. As it is, Newt Knight, the forward-thinking white liberal, is the only character with whom we might connect. And that’s a shame because this compelling episode of American defiance is so much richer than that.
  85. It's an occasionally entertaining ride, although one fraught with numerous logical holes.
  86. Suffers mightily from sequelitis. Forced to explain what’s going on and what’s going to be going on in the next and final installment (due out in November), the Wachowskis have laced the film with a series of crushingly dull and often incomprehensible scenes of exposition and yakky gabfests.
  87. The Spanish Prisoner seems an almost purely theoretical exercise, with Mamet as the con man whose sole goal is to make us believe anything he wants.
  88. The final 30 odd minutes of this revisionist Holmes explodathon are downright thrilling, and it should go without saying but we'll restate it for the record: Downey Jr. inhabits the role of Sherlock Holmes to a near-molecular level.
  89. It’s too bad, then, that Justin Chadwick’s film does not offer a more substantial portrait of the man, whose passing is a fresh wound to mourners and curious onlookers worldwide.
  90. The Duplass brothers have an exceptional eye for microexpressions (yes, they're still zoom-happy), and there's something to be admired in this new interest in a macro lens on the universe's workings. If only it didn't take wading through so much drear to get to that divine.
  91. Final verdict: Cast is excellent; movie is OK; men and women are soooo different.

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