L.A. Weekly's Scores

For 3,656 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Japan
Lowest review score: 0 Grind
Score distribution:
3,656 movie reviews
  1. A quietly devastating song.
  2. Zwigoff pulls off something in Ghost World that seems a minor miracle -- he creates someone with a complex inner life.
  3. Ramsay has made a movie in which a universe of hopelessness and decay is penetrated by shafts of light that remake these bleak surroundings in strange and beautiful ways.
  4. Here's a picture that you actually want to see a second time, not for the sake of further wrapping your head around its gnarly conceptual matrix, but because of the sheer visceral charge it provides. Here, at long last, is a summer movie -- like its precursors in the Terminator canon -- worth its weight in cybernetic organisms.
  5. Not a campy movie. True, it has its ironies, but though you can read it ironically if you wish, Haynes' triumph is that it also plays beautifully straight.
  6. Deliciously wicked, strangely poetic portrait (adapted by Patrick McGrath from his own novel) of a schizophrenic man at once tyrannized and elevated by oedipal terrors.
  7. To Be and To Have works in the grandest tradition of documentary filmmaking -- it keeps company with a small, specific place going about its business, and from it parses the whole world.
  8. Tough and relentless, dazzlingly researched and crafted. At its core is compassion for those who are angry, violent and uneducated.
  9. AKA
    So never mind the Xmas schlock -- go treat yourself at once to this sensationally entertaining soul food.
  10. The film's extraordinary shifts from windswept sorrow (Mahmut watching from a distance as his ex-wife departs Istanbul for a new life in Canada) to deadpan comedy (the cousins' carefully engineered capture of a household rodent) are uniquely, triumphantly their maker's own.
  11. A classic of politically engaged filmmaking, based on a book by Saadi Yacef, a former FLN leader who also produced the picture and played a version of himself.
  12. Breathtaking stuff that freezes the toes, harrows the soul and turns the viewer's seat into a foot-wide ledge over a yawning chasm.
  13. It makes a convincing argument that Dowd's personal history is a kind of history of the 20th century itself, encompassing the era's art, science, commerce and politics.
  14. The true mystery is the journey itself, which will turn out to be one of the most spiritually enervating, and elevating, Outward Bound courses ever undertaken.
  15. A charmer, complete with cute critters voiced by the ultrafamous.
  16. Gibson has made a big, bold, nightmarishly beautiful film not just about the dawn of the Christian faith, but about the awful tendency of human communities (wherever and whenever in the world they may exist) toward self-preservation, intolerance and mob rule.
  17. The deeper strength of Smoke Signals rests on the sensitivity and truthfulness of Farmer’s performance as the ebullient, self-hating alcoholic father, and that of Irene Bedard as the young woman he knew in later life.
  18. Exquisitely calibrated domestic drama.
  19. The film unfolds at a deliberate pace, with a soundtrack occupied less by dialogue than by the sounds of water flowing and crickets chirping. And if you listen carefully enough, you might just hear the sound of one hand clapping.
  20. Vol. 2 is the most sheerly enjoyable movie I've seen in ages, allowing for all the intimacy that was missing from its predecessor -- this time, the violence feels PERSONAL. Yet this film, too, would be richer if it didn't stand alone, but rather were part of one grand grind-house epic.
  21. Perhaps because this is director Yoji Yamada's 77th movie, every aspect of his filmmaking is placidly assured and meaningful.
  22. The kind of small film -- morally ambiguous, graceful in its admission of imperfect knowledge, at once specific and universal -- that expands our understanding of the emotional economy of family life, with its ebb and flow of love and hostility, secrecy and egregious candor. You must see this film.
  23. The weirdest, freest-wheeling, most obsessively inventive motion picture you'll see this year. Parts are confusing, parts are berserk, parts are exasperatingly slow. But in a world of cookie-cutter movies, Maddin's movies are like nobody else's -- funny, Romantic, as deliriously overwrought as a drug lord's wedding.
  24. Can now be appreciated not just as a minor classic of tragic destruction, but also as a somber exploration of conflicted postwar emotions.
  25. At once a romantic melodrama, a sharp social comedy and a fierce political commentary on Korean society's cruelty to social outcasts. It's also a triumph of artistic indirection: Not a single scene plays out the way you expect. This is a film that gives humanism back its good name.
  26. Simply put, it represents the work of a filmmaker so exhilaratingly in command of his craft that he can, among other things, turn a single image of two people standing next to each other -- fully clothed, their bodies not quite touching -- into one of the most sublimely erotic moments we have ever beheld on the screen.
  27. As it turns out, Shrek 2 is one of the funniest movies I've seen in years. But I'm far from sure that it's a kids' movie anymore, even though, like its predecessor, it's a thoroughly sugared-up reading of the book, by veteran New Yorker cartoonist William Steig, on which both films are based.
  28. LaGravenese (writer of "The Fisher King," adapter of "The Bridges of Madison County," making his directorial debut) eschews distractions of style and molds our attention to the performances.
  29. The best of the Harry Potter films so far, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is also hands down the scariest, and the deepest.
  30. Dunne is committed, thank good-ness, unapologetic for even the most fluttery sentiment or spookiest chill, enjoying the swellness of the very idea almost as much as any fanciful girl.

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