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 6.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lowest review score: 0 Miss March
Score distribution:
3,656 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Annaud presents a meticulously structured fable about the importance of family, particularly the relationship of fathers and sons, to both man and beast.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Maverick's sequence is perhaps Giants' most viscerally exciting and poignant.
  1. The movie is thrillingly subjective, teeming with the fullness of everyday proletarian life that one finds in the work of the directors who most influenced Marston in the making of this movie: Hector Babenco and the Brazilian realists, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.
  2. Three words of advice to those who haven't yet seen it: Run, don't walk. Composed of excerpts from hundreds of locally shot movies past and present -- from grade-A prestige pictures to unrepentant grade-Z schlock -- Los Angeles Plays Itself serves as Andersen's exhaustive but never exhausting attempt to reconcile the myriad identities of the world's moviemaking capital.
  3. It is worthy of comparison to the lifelike, character-rich films we cherish from that era (1970s), and is certainly one of the finest films to come out this year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hero is an epic, evocative of another epoch and of landscapes beyond time. It's overwhelming. And yet I miss the animating anger of Zhang's early masterworks, in which penniless young lovers were oppressed by impotent old men.
  4. Razor sharp and funny as hell, Incident at Loch Ness is the harpoon hurled into the hot-air balloon of “reality” entertainment.
  5. Caouette lifts his story clear out of the victimized whine that bogs down so many confessional memoirs and offers the viewer instead an intimate look inside his ravaged yet loving head, at once street-smart and haloed by the naiveté of a young saint.
  6. Quite possibly the most buoyant, exuberant film ever made on such an unpleasant topic.
  7. A trenchant American satirist in his previous films, Payne moves in a different direction with Sideways -- one less mordant but just as pointedly observant.
  8. For all its simplicity, however, the film is entertaining, even uplifting, with Lopez giving a stellar, confectionary performance.
  9. The movie's strength lies in its portrayal of a many-sided genius, as manipulative as he was charming and persuasive, monomaniacal to a fault, generous and sweet yet utterly clueless about the emotional havoc he wrought in the name of science.
  10. It's the director's most complexly ordered film to date - a labyrinth of ids, egos and alter egos waiting around blind corners - and may be the movies' most deliriously inventive narrative spiral since "Adaptation."
  11. Testud, who learned to speak Japanese phonetically for the role, is nothing short of sublime, her expressive face morphing from tear-stained frustration to slaphappy delirium with the speed of lightning flashing across the Tokyo sky.
  12. Like Proust's madeleine unleashing a flood of reminiscences in the narrator of his novel, Wong works the elements of his aesthetic — music, beautiful people and emotion — into a mood that so overtakes you it's nearly impossible to emerge from his films without feeling slightly drunk.
  13. The Saint works. The reason why it occasionally soars is Kilmer, an actor who’s happiest when burying himself in eccentric characterizations, a trick he performs repeatedly here even as he fills the screen with pure movie-star dazzle.
  14. What makes The Sea Inside such a riveting drama is that none of these relationships is sufficient to make Ramón want to go on living.
  15. It's a strangely stirring experience that finds warmth in the coldest environment and makes each crumb of emotional comfort feel like a 10-course banquet.
  16. A true rarity, Murderous Maids is an intelligent, moral shocker.
  17. Payami uses an exquisitely delicate juxtaposition of long shots and close-ups, mobility and stillness, music and found sound, comedy and pathos to suggest both the longing for self-expression and communication, and its limits in a repressive society.
  18. In its breathlessly claustrophobic way the movie is vital and passionate, and lit with a lyric beauty that washes over love scenes and violent acts alike.
  19. Unfolds with such leisurely, terrible beauty, it takes a while to realize that what we are witnessing is the children's long slide into beggary, exacerbated by the slow torture of faint hope.
  20. When We Were Kings is a wonderfully entertaining, at times thrilling, film. Ali is magnificent, Foreman oddly touching, and their fight, which is shown almost in total, makes for superb, nail-biting suspense--even two decades after the fact.
  21. Ghobadi's genius seems supercharged rather than weighed down by his higher calling, and his imagery is so boilingly alive that we come away from it feeling exhilarated rather than depressed.
  22. This fluidly paced film, with its keen observation of the confused longing for love, family and stability in an inherently unstable world, nonetheless keeps faith with the Czech genius for holding the tonal line between tragedy and the absurd.
  23. And like all great family sagas, The Best of Youth, while tipping its hat to the painful confusion of living life forward, reels it backward to give it the thrilling significance of time and place.
  24. A small masterpiece of tone and form.
  25. Fiercely intelligent, terrifying and absurdly funny documentary.
  26. Bujalski takes a sledgehammer to the carefully ordered surfaces and dramatic conventions of narrative cinema, favoring instead an unpredictability in which the crosscurrents of quotidian life collide on the screen in a series of brilliantly alive patterns.
  27. Lucas is a major figure, and Revenge of the Sith may be some kind of historic achievement -- the first movie in which it is fully impossible to tell where flesh ends and digital paint begins.

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