L.A. Weekly's Scores

For 3,655 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 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
3,655 movie reviews
  1. Moodysson's movie, one part mash note and three parts scathing piss-taker, is hugely compassionate toward the well-meaning fools in his tale, but he doesn't suffer their nonsense gladly; his film is, in large part, about grown-ups needing to grow up.
  2. A humane and precociously wise documentary by the young Los Angeles director Amir Bar-Lev.
    • L.A. Weekly
  3. Adaptation is hardly profound, but it's one of the most soulful and loopily romantic movies I've seen all year.
  4. At the end of a decade defined by much bellyaching about "the death of cinema" (including, on occasion, by this critic), Avatar concludes, appropriately enough, with an image of rebirth.
  5. Tough and relentless, dazzlingly researched and crafted. At its core is compassion for those who are angry, violent and uneducated.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Zooming back and forth between London and D.C., In the Loop hasn't any real plot -- it plays like a rather brilliant Brit-com stretched over 100 minutes, a collection of anecdotes and incidents.
  6. It's both surreal -- and wholly accessible.
  7. There's something overly studied, almost clinical, in how it all pulls together.
  8. At the center...lies the stunning Golbahari, a nonprofessional who recalls some of Bresson's most haunting model-actors in her intense, anguished grace.
  9. The visual effects are predictably excellent -- sometimes, in the case of a three-man free fall through space, unexpectedly lyrical -- but most of the movie's dramatic conflicts feel strictly pro forma.
  10. Victor Vargas has the look and feel of a neo-realist masterpiece, yet captures New York with a burnished authenticity not seen since the glory days of ’70s American cinema.
  11. There is much clattering and clanking plus a couple of songs; some of the gothic-inspired, neo-Victorian visuals are quite arresting; and the corpse bride herself is, dare one say, surprisingly hot. But the whole thing just isn’t much fun.
  12. Molina is an actor of unusually elastic gifts, but unlike Willem Dafoe, who has only to bare his scary teeth to send us all scampering for the exits, there's no getting around the fact that Molina has the face of a kindly basset hound even when it's contorted into a deadly grimace.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Unfortunately, fulfilling an apparent need to assert absolute control over his early successes no matter the cost, the director has gone ahead and loused up his 1979 masterpiece of gothic sci-fi horror.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It may seem overblown when one of the gamers calls Donkey Kong a metaphor for life, but The King of Kong is just that -- a reminder of how we all have to prove ourselves to others, and the extent to which the odds are often stacked against outsiders and newcomers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All this helps to shape Pálfi’s crudely bombastic but impressive philosophical view of the body as landscape and art, a source of personal discovery, wonder and annihilation.
  16. Outside of "Grindhouse," it may be the most bang for your buck to be had in a Los Angeles movie theater this season.
  17. An effortlessly complex portrayal that relishes the contradictions and complexities of someone capable of both exalted and debased behavior, a shape-shifter it is possible to be fascinated, repelled and compelled by, all at the same time.
  18. 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.
  19. As a character study Vera Drake is coarsely drawn, and as pro-choice polemic, it’s both a blunt instrument and a red herring. Which may be why, among all the moviegoers who staggered from the theater wielding soaked tissues, I was among the few who remained dry of eye, and raised of brow.
  20. The eerily timely subject of Haneke's film is France's unwilling encounter with the disenfranchised minorities it has tried to sweep under the rug. As one who giggled through his widely admired, irredeemably silly "The Piano Teacher," I wasn't prepared to be easily won over by Caché, but it turns out to be his most human and affecting movie to date.
  21. Grim, grueling and triumphantly powerful.
  22. Tim Burton has taken a hallowed classic of the modern musical theater, hemmed in the narrative from well over two hours to well under, cast confessed nonsingers in the principal roles, and somehow managed to make something magical out of it
  23. Election is finally, necessarily, as much about sex as it is about politics -- wanting it, getting it, losing it.
  24. Venus may be a leering male fantasy, but it is also, improbably but persuasively, a love story as tender as it is transgressive. It's a wry celebration of the tyranny of beauty, and the tragicomic way in which desire outruns the betrayals of dying flesh.
  25. Very few art documentaries are as deeply in tune with the spirit of their subjects, and the implications are enormous, since Goldsworthy is the rare contemporary art star whose work (what a radical notion) is actually about something.
  26. Fiercely intelligent, terrifying and absurdly funny documentary.
  27. Alternately frustrating and rewarding film.

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