Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 4,734 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 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Capturing the Friedmans
Lowest review score: 0 Captivity
Score distribution:
4,734 movie reviews
  1. Colombiana is one long megayawn; I'd have garnered more titillating thrills rewatching freckle-faced Russkie sexbomb Natalya Rudakova strut her leggy, sassy stuff in Megaton and Besson's "Transporter 3."
  2. Most unforgivable, however, is the film's coda in which real Georgian victims pose for the camera with pictures of their loved ones lost in the five days of war. Using real people to impart the emotions that the entire film was unable to evince is simply cheap exploitation.
  3. What goes most wrong is the casting. Every facet of Faris' performance feels off.
  4. Dream House is neither haunting (as the marketing appears to promise) nor all that original. But it does, thank goodness for small favors, have Elias Koteas.
  5. All of this is fair "can you take it?" territory, but in he end you find yourself wondering where Nineties-era German cinema-transgressor Jörg Buttgereit is, and when he might deign to make "Nekromantik 3." As for Human Centipede 2, well, frankly it kind of sucks ass. And we mean that literally.
  6. There are some moments of blessed levity to the otherwise mordant melodramatics...That's not enough to sustain interest in the Taylors and their toxic emotional foibles, however.
  7. They have some fun playacting at class warriors on the lam – and Seyfriend, it must be said, rocks a killer bob – but it's all just big-budget dress-up in a futurescape that reeks of phoniness.
  8. Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Chicago, Gods and Monsters) takes over the directing reins for these final two parts; his most noteworthy contribution to the series so far is a terrifyingly staged birth scene that should turn the teen fan base off of sex altogether … which is precisely what this whole dumb, punishing series has been gunning for from the start.
  9. Mostly, New Year's Eve is appalling stuff, a poorly constructed, sentimental sham. Auld lang suck.
  10. This is exactly the sort of film I wasn't expecting from either Gorak or his producers. In many too-obvious ways this is just a formulaic riff on Spielberg's "War of the Worlds."
  11. The cynic in me notes that the whole, dismal enterprise is just a cheap steal from Roger Corman's 1955 film "Day the World Ended." At least that single set-bound cheapie had a three-eyed mutant to enliven the otherwise stagy proceedings.
  12. There is running, hiding, fighting, shooting, bleeding, biting, slicing, dicing, and damnably little entertainment value in any of it.
  13. October Baby earns points for the originality of its protagonist but it has no chance of preaching to anyone but the choir.
  14. Instead of putting the high in high school, this film is the kind of drug movie that gives pot smokers a bad name.
  15. The film is slapdash entertainment not meant to be further contemplated after leaving the theatre.
  16. In short, it's nothing you haven't seen countless times before and, while it's not offensively bad, it also adds zero to the same old routine. Meh.
  17. If ever America needed Hollywood to crank out a comedic antidote to the toxic political madness that has engulfed our nation, now is the time. Unfortunately, this loopy, muddled, and ultimately insulting Campaign isn't it. It feels more like an extended Saturday Night castoff than an actual comedic commentary on American politics.
  18. The film is an ingenious, deranged, bloated, and just plain batshit crazy riff on advertising and the mad men and women it creates and/or consumes. Heady stuff, but it's no "How to Get Ahead in Advertising." This film is absolutely mental, and not in a good way, either.
  19. Atlas won't be the only one to shrug off this tiresome load.
  20. "Here Comes the Bomb" would've been a more fitting title, but props to Henry Winkler for rising to the occasion and turning in a sweet, idealistic performance in a film that otherwise feels like a tawdry commercial for the UFC and MMA.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Bad Kids Go to Hell is the kind of movie its own pampered, careless, coked-up characters would make as a class project at the ass-end of senior year: boys running around with weapons, girls mugging sexy-sassy, narrative continuity be damned.
  21. An exercise in pure sadism, The Collection moves at a clip that leaps over plot holes in its race to elicit fright.
  22. I have never doodled during a movie before in my life, but holy hell, Parker's two-hour running time takes a lifetime. Plenty of time for mental doodling, too.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Does anyone, young or old, wish to see a 72-year-old Pacino sporting spiky hair and goatee, hollering in his "Tony Montana" voice about having a boner? Is he in a contest with Mick Jagger to see who can keep up the wild-man shtick into the triple digits?
  23. Shoddily constructed out of bits and pieces of previous genre triumphs, She's All That is as dull and droning as the fluorescent lighting in your old study hall.
  24. The film, however, is short on genuine scares and ingenuity.
  25. Apart from its dramatic predictability, Temptation is a snooze because of its languid pacing and rudimentary camerawork.
  26. Given its many failings, nothing short of an extreme makeover could save American Mary. Scalpel, please.
  27. R.I.P.D. never creates a believable universe, interesting action sequences, or dynamic characters. It’s a paint-by-numbers approach in which the film’s comedy and drama both fall flat.
  28. V/H/S/2 is for gore hounds exclusively.
  29. What a clunker.
  30. You could drive an 18-wheeler through the substantial number of plot holes in Paranoia.
  31. Again. Via Red’s experiences as a young man and wildcatter, Jason learns that money cannot buy happiness. What the viewers learn is that money can’t buy a good movie either.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Few characters are well-drawn, rivalries substitute for real group dynamics, and the dancing is chaotic, showy, and confusing.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    It was maddening and frustrating to watch so much ambition wasted on delivering such lame junk. Very young children, I suspect, will like it, but the closer viewers are to puberty, the less likely it is to hold their interest.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    While watching it, I kept thinking this was like "47 Ronin," in which an unfortunate novice director was given a project way out of his or her reach. In no way was I prepared to learn it was the work of veteran Harlin.
  32. Branagh might as well have opened a can and dumped it on a plate, the ridges of a factory-line production still perfectly hatched on a gelatinous cylinder of crud.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Yearning to be a tale of familial abuse and social oppression finally overcome by personal triumphant transcendence through community and love, the film is instead the plainest of generic pop songs.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Not to harp on petty details, but this film is so colossally tone-deaf and off-key in every way that its collection of jarring missteps almost carries it into the arms of perverse comedy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Not to be glib but, obviously, believers will feel reaffirmed, and those looking to again enjoy and be enriched by the miraculous life and greatest sacrifice of Jesus will be rewarded. More casual viewers will find themselves glazing over from the obviousness of it all.
  33. This is one that, like a 1am rerun of a late-season Cavs-Grizzlies matchup, deserves to play out in darkness and obscurity.
  34. I was consistently aghast at how unabashedly alpha-male, heartless, and chauvinistic this film is.
  35. Instantly forgettable.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    The talented people in front of the camera fail to bring anything original, interesting, or even funny to this tedious would-be comedy.
  36. The script's tone veers chaotically -- and ambitiously -- at once aiming for a Noel Coward kind of elegant sparring, then for the lightly raunchy, rompy absurdism of "What's New, Pussycat?"
  37. It's all infuriatingly simplistic, and the performances help matters little. Quinn and McTeer are wholly uncompelling.
  38. Dull and unfunny claptrap.
  39. Next time, Pooh, why not do the work it takes and give your drowsy-eyed meal tickets some of the (as it were) good shit?
  40. The only actors who walk away unscathed are Kattan -- the best thing in a very bad movie -- and former cover girl Shaw.
  41. A muddled mess of bad-lad clichés, and Jackson's obvious talents only serve to point out how godawful everyone else seems to be.
  42. Meets the required minimum dosage of feature-film attributes, and then nods out when it comes to going any further.
  43. Indeed, the largely computer-generated Jack acts the pants off his co-stars, which can and should be taken with a whole trough full of salt.
  44. Takes the giant leap from your run-of-the-mill mediocrity into an alternative universe of awfulness.
  45. The film is a mess, going all over the graveyard but never finding the grave. It's the work of a fan with too much time (and money) on his hands, eagerly awaited but best forgotten.
  46. Aiming to break the land speed record for poop 'n' piss jokes.
  47. Wretched. And while the dirtiest, low-rottenest part of me wouldn’t mind watching the institution of Ben/Jen get reamed, the heft of the blame should be shouldered by Hollywood vet Martin Brest, who wrote an incoherent, incompetent script and further mangled it with his direction.
  48. They've taken a classic and they've battered it senseless and, boy, does it stink. It’s so bad it’s amazing it's being released, and box office-goers might soon end up fleeced. And annoyed and bewildered, perhaps even creeped-out by this cacophonous mess which is awful throughout.
  49. As Timeline so adequately proves, not every bestseller will render a good film.
  50. Though the three leads are all likable performers, their lunkheaded characters are as thinly drawn as their cartoon counterparts, and the supporting cast is littered with one racial stereotype after another.
  51. What is love? Haddaway asks in the omnipresent soundtrack song. Not this time-wasting bilge, that's for sure.
  52. There is a line between gallows humor and tastelessness, but Very Bad Things apparently doesn't have a clue where that might be.
  53. The politest way to assess Spike Lee's latest polemic is to call it too ambitious. "An unholy mess" might come closer to the truth.
  54. Little Black Book isn't your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy – it's much worse – and, rather disgustingly, the devils on earth it unmasks are all female and vindictive.
  55. Director Brill makes no stylistic advances from his recent work with Adam Sandler (Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds), and shows no signs of seeking growth or improvement.
  56. Sloppy, confusing, and dull as a dented crucifix.
  57. Everything else here – from the gross caricatures to the so-called comic mayhem – is sour to taste.
  58. It is, in a word, boring, and that's the most un-Oliver Stone adjective I can think of.
  59. The movie is toothless and uninspired, and as directed by veteran filmmaker Joel Zwick (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), the film is a disgracefully shoddy affair.
  60. But for anyone who assumed Kennedy's experiment couldn't sink any lower than "Malibu's Most Wanted," there are, it appears, ever deeper depths in the realm of comedic misfires.
  61. Awash in the obvious and sports a patently predictable outcome. Somewhere, Stanislavsky is shrieking as well.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    A lame, unoriginal comedy.
  62. No film that requires a woman to jump in water and dogpaddle toward a man has the "sisterhood's" best interests at heart.
  63. Bonuses all around, but a double one for Perabo, the only cast member to survive this dull-as-dirt Cave with her actorly integrity intact.
  64. Some things are best left undiscovered.
  65. A Life Less Ordinary fails on so many levels it's nearly a textbook case of What Not to Do.
  66. This vehicle for hip-hop star Usher is no blinged-out Beamer rough-riding it over to Jay-Z's joint to wallop some cheeba up off'n the Zeezer's haid; it's more of a Yugo, as in "You go to this wannabe straight-to-video tripe, you deserve what you get."
  67. It's a shame to once again witness Martin Lawrence squander his considerable comic talents under a fat suit and fake breasts in this shoddy sequel.
  68. A wretched experience from start to finish.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Filled to the bursting point with witless, sub-Mad magazine movie parodies, pointless cameos by a seemingly endless parade of has-beens, and once-hysterical, now stale jokes lifted straight from "Airplane!" and the original "Naked Gun", Spy Hard is a truly desperate comedy.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Though not entirely incapable of provoking a smile (or two), The Benchwarmers strikes out. Again and again and again.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    No doubt this film will please the pre-teen set, but they'd be so much better off staying home and renting "Mean Girls."
  69. 97% of the movie will make you need a shower. Possibly two.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    While the impressive cast inspires a sense of hope, The Oh in Ohio's childish storytelling, paper-thin character development, and general unfunniness combine to make one bad movie.
  70. It's a curiously dull Americanization of one of the finest examples of subtle, moody J-horror out there.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    This comedy drags its feet, while the sappy sweetness will make you wince.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Surely nothing Hollywood did in its darkest, most debauched hour could possibly justify the penance we're paying that allows Harlin to continue directing movies.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Great movies can make you believe in a life beyond the frame; Zen Noir can't even convince you that what you're seeing onscreen is actually happening.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    When they’re used to tell a story as dreary, unfocused, and exhausting as Tideland, the director’s trademark dreamscapes and disorienting camera angles feel like so much artless window dressing.
  71. The first film was near-mythic in its tone and treatment of its characters, while this remake barely serves as a primer in how not to generate suspense.
  72. The movie feels mechanical all the way through, leaving Sadek's debut an inauspicious and ill-lubed affair.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    The cast, particularly Liotta, walk around with befuddled expressions on their faces, perhaps wondering what on earth they’re doing in this movie and how they can find a new agent ASAP.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Very slick and extremely silly, not to mention aptly titled, Fair Game is just that - a noisy actioner so inanely scripted, acted, and directed that it practically begs you to make fun of it.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    But though there's half a cashew of Steve Martin's amazing physical comedy, a couple of pecans of Sven Nyqvist's beautiful cinematography and a few eye-catching filberts of very Venice-y set decoration, it's not nearly enough to satisfy. Be forewarned: Open this can of Mixed Nuts and you'll find nothing but a bunch of goobers.
  73. Shapeshifters-lite. Fangs but no fangs.
  74. Must be counted as a forfeit.
  75. Despite cute kids, tough dads, and problems controlling bed-wetting and farts, Daddy Day Camp should just limp off to the nurse's tent and call it quits.
  76. It's the pod people's version of a great, contemporaneously resonant cinematic fable, created by apparent committee, and utterly devoid of both meaning and feeling. The tagline warns: "Do not trust anyone. Do not show emotion. Do not fall asleep." Yawn.
  77. The Last Legion offers guilty-pleasure fun in a cheesy, very De Laurentiis way (much like 1976's Mandingo rip-off Drum), but, in the end, it's just not a very inspired or well-conceived film, despite Kingsley's strangely endearing turn as the proto-Merlin.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 11 Critic Score
    Kind of "Hoosiers": Part 2. But the storytelling is so backassward that it’s impossible to care about any of the characters or really engage in the movie whatsoever.
  78. Do yourself a favor and go rent any Miike film other than this one.

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