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 6.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Russian Ark
Lowest review score: 0 Saw VI
Score distribution:
3,655 movie reviews
  1. This gossamer work is one of the loveliest examples of minimalist cinema I've seen in a long time.
  2. The performances are revelatory.
  3. Writer-director Fabián Bielinsky's devilish Nine Queens serves as further evidence that Argentina's film industry is at the forefront of a resurgent Latin American cinema.
  4. What's appealing about Bond is precisely its unhip classicism -- its promise of clean, crisp excitement delivered without the interference of whiplash-inducing camera pyrotechnics, attention-deficient editing patterns, gratuitous color tinting and/or ear-splitting rock ballads.
  5. Signals the real end of the party, charting a denouement that arcs from blissful ignorance to violence and its ever-present threat to a final retreat.
  6. For the committed word nerd, spelling has its intrinsic pleasures, but in Spellbound it's another example of the peculiarly American mania for turning everything -- even play --into work.
  7. Noyce wants us to feel the joy of the homecoming, but he's honest enough to show, in a coda that tells what happened to the girls after their break for home, how Rabbit Proof Fence finally must be more a tale of courage than of victory.
  8. It's the cinematic equivalent of glancing up at the sky and taking a good deep breath.
  9. Another soulful gem from the peerless Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
  10. A 90-minute, years-in-the-making comic wind-up machine that begins by mocking its own audience for paying good money to see what it can watch at home for free and proceeds from there through the most wickedly funny arsenal of assaults on big government, organized religion and corporate America this side of "Borat."
  11. Maintains a reflective, bittersweet tone that's almost tactile.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Maverick's sequence is perhaps Giants' most viscerally exciting and poignant.
  12. The supreme achievement of this lovely film — all three rhythmic, leisurely hours of it -- is that what borders on faintly fascistic body worship in the novel instead feels as perfectly natural to us as it does to the lovers. Lawrence would kvell.
  13. I’d be lying if I said that The Band’s Visit isn’t touching and uplifting and all those other audience-friendly emotions against which film critics are believed to religiously steel themselves. But in a season rife with movies (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grace Is Gone, The Kite Runner, et al.) that aggressively pry open viewers’ chest cavities and yank on their heartstrings, Kolirin’s film is the only one that plucks at them gently, tickling the funny bone as it goes.
  14. By not even attempting to follow Sterne to the letter, Winterbottom and Boyce have triumphantly captured his impish creative spirit.
  15. Though I'm not fully convinced that cool and jazzy is the way to go with one of the great civil-rights battles of 20th-century America, George Clooney's elegantly muted take on Edward R. Murrow's fight with Joe McCarthy offers many riches, notably a wicked character study of Murrow and a sexy homage to the pleasures of teamwork when the team is a bunch of smart-ass liberal reporters making common cause against a wannabe dictator.
  16. It is the point -- and the power -- of Deep Water that the vast, unknowable fathoms of the sea are rivaled only by those of the human psyche.
  17. If nothing else, Memento is a savvy comment on the queasy uncertainties of the postmodern condition, in which history goes no further back than yesterday's news, and knowledge is supplanted by "information" from a tumult of spin-controlled, unreliable narrators.
  18. A raucously entertaining slice of slapstick dressed up as domestic satire.
  19. The movie's a beauty.
  20. Terrifically entertaining specimen of Spielbergian sci-fi, incomparably better than "A.I." and as dark a movie as the director has made since "Schindler's List."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film is shocking, and, for better or worse, Portillo's refusal to offer solace kindles a potent rage that's not easily forgotten.
  21. Thrilling documentary.
  22. An excellent documentary by MacArthur fellow Stanley Nelson (The Murder of Emmett Till), offers no grand theories for the Jonestown phenomenon.
  23. Tenderhearted Staten Island Christmas comedy.
  24. A resonance that is moving beyond all measure.
  25. But if City of God whirs with energy for nearly its full 130-minute running time, it is oddly lacking in emotional heft for a work that aspires to the epic -- it is essentially a tarted-up exploitation picture whose business is to make ghastly things fun.
  26. Writer-director Niki Caro, who adapted the screenplay from the novel, has crafted a script replete with both crowd-pleasing touches and subtle but powerful insights into all the characters.
  27. 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.
  28. It's fitting, then, that Dinner Rush boasts Hawks-ian virtues: fiery energy, swift, character-driven chitchat and a tough, upbeat sense of how the world works.

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