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 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 The Apostle
Lowest review score: 0 Rollerball
Score distribution:
3655 movie reviews
  1. This is less a coming-out tale than a showcase for late-middle-aged hysterical divas in flowing caftans to yell, scream and ride roughshod over the young homosexuals who are nominally the movie's center.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Self-conscious camp like this can weather (even requires) a certain degree of amateurishness. But there are limits, and Surge of Power's sloppy writing and talent-show performances quickly exceed them.
  2. Koppelman and Lieven's toneless, generic direction style is slack, not slick, and they handle actors like livestock. Only John Malkovich, as Matty's psychotic uncle, retains his dignity.
  3. The editing looks like it was done in a blender, and the images of death and grief are so genre-primal that the Pangs hardly bother with dialogue.
  4. Flatly directed by Mark David, tediously paced and melodramatic.
  5. That crack in Vitale's storytelling foundation would be forgivable if the writing, acting and character epiphanies . . . well, existed. As it is, not even Scotti's formidable lips can blow life into this stillborn flick.
  6. The narrative chronology is so heavily hacked about, its tenses so addled and the material so thinly spread across so many characters, one can scarcely keep it straight in one's head without going cross-eyed.
  7. There's not a believable moment in all of it, but for a while the film chugs along on Ryan's innate charisma. Even so, no amount of movie-star twinkle could lighten screenwriter Cheryl Edwards' bizarre character arc, which finds Jackie turning, overnight, into a callous, possibly racist, ninny.
  8. But since Costner canít save his movie, it's something of a stretch to think he might be able to save the world.
  9. An intriguing failure that promises more than it delivers.
  10. Shawn is clearly meant to have deep feelings, yet the filmmakers have saddled her -- and Blair -- with a shallow angst that bums out the whole movie.
  11. The pivotal secret of God's Sandbox is no secret minutes into the story, and director Doron Eran doesn't seem to know, or care much, whether he's making feminist agitprop or softcore porn. The two don't mix well.
  12. At once illogical and insultingly stupid, filled with dead-end twists and the sort of dialogue that makes a mockery of actual adult relations.
  13. Its characters are as flimsy and expendable as the title suggests, while only the most gullible of viewers (i.e., those who've never seen a David Mamet picture) will likely be duped by the painfully et cetera who's-conning-whom antics or the mounds of forced sentimentality under which they're ill-disguised.
  14. The television commercials for the movie say something about this being the same team that brought you “Face/Off,” which is about as relevant to this picture as noting that Paul Thomas Anderson got Wahlberg to drop his pants in “Boogie Nights.”
  15. Bass isn't a gifted actor, but he retains his dignity, mostly by keeping his head down and avoiding the eyes of the idiots around him.
  16. Lamely engineered and thoroughly exploited tragedy.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It's ostensibly an action movie, and the action is so poorly shot as to be embarrassing.
  17. By all current standards it's a startlingly ingenuous film.
  18. It all misses the mark emotionally, hindered by one-dimensional characters and telegraphed developments.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It's basically the stuff of a Bill Maher monologue, knocked down a few reading levels and spun into a low-budg gonzo smorgasbord of brashly tacky styles.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    With this desperately eager-to-please fable based on a short story and novel by Isaac Asimov, director Chris Columbus clinches his berth as the master of shiny-happy message movies.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This vision of the riots as a kind of Kentucky Fried Movie doesn' lend itself to film the way, say, L.A.'s urban violence does to Sandow Birk’s apocalyptic paintings. Nor does it help that the gags are mortally unfunny.
  19. A viscerally effective thriller ends up a repugnant exercise in moral relativism, delivered with the grandstanding swagger of the self-styled provocateur.
  20. It's all a treacly, shoddily assembled, underwritten mess.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    There is one redeeming skirmish -- the climactic fight involving a snowy cliff and an elaborate pulley system -- but from the guy who's directed videos for Cher, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? We expected more.
  21. Zombie wants his film to be gleefully demented, but he fails to grasp that loud, inbred evil people torturing stupid, grating benign people isn’t disturbing as much as tedious.
  22. One almost pities the unnervingly twitchy Murphy, whose shiny makeup is dreadful, and who doesn't stand a chance alongside the focused intensity of Fanning, who commands the screen with the precision of a 30-year veteran.
  23. It's like a three-times-too-long sitcom pilot missing the laugh track.
  24. A steaming compost heap of high-art pretense and half-cocked psychoanalysis that almost makes you sorry Nicolas Roeg isn't making pictures anymore.

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