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 6.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 I'm Going Home
Lowest review score: 0 Lolita
Score distribution:
3656 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Bier's portrayal of the brothers' interplay holds few surprises, and the exploitation of the war between East and West is vulgar, contrived and borderline racist.
  3. Put simply, in my humble opinion, Oldboy sucks.
  4. The film portrays a family undone by grief over the death of a loved one; that, in any event, is its plot synopsis. More accurately, the film is a wallow of authorial narcissism, and a tedious, unrelenting, uninteresting wallow at that.
  5. As repellent and repellently opportunistic a piece of work as the various shock-horror provocations (The Isle, The Coast Guard) that helped to launch this worrisome career (Kim Ki-Duk).
  6. Overblown melodrama, as muddle-headed as it is palpably sincere.
  7. By all current standards it's a startlingly ingenuous film.
  8. A viscerally effective thriller ends up a repugnant exercise in moral relativism, delivered with the grandstanding swagger of the self-styled provocateur.
  9. It's amazing that anyone still thinks this kind of shit can fly.
  10. Where "Amores Perros" was a feast of energy, wit and imagination, 21 Grams is like a starvation diet -- a movie that wallows so profoundly in its own misery that watching it is like atoning for some sin you didn't commit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    One graphic that I.O.U.S.A. doesn't include is a national balance sheet of our assets and liabilities, which would illustrate that the former is more than double the latter. We're in the black, and a film this deep in the red isn't something to be scared of at all -- or taken seriously.
  11. Sucks -- because it's a frenetic bore that insists on its audience's adoration while making no demands upon their intelligence.
  12. As mean-spirited toward its working-class characters, especially its women, as it is profoundly unfunny.
  13. Just about the only good thing you can say about Spike Lee's pointless, didactic The 25th Hour is that it's filled with strong performances, albeit of stock characters.
  14. Parker has boiled An Ideal Husband into a thuddingly unimaginative costume drama laden with frocks, riding crops, servile butlers and very good actors desperately treading water.
  15. One wonders what exactly Richard LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme thought they were doing in this documentary, which doesn't so much look at the period as genuflect before it.
  16. The tediously convoluted plot involves the foursome’s attempt to pay him back, a labored venture that involves crooks with names like Dog and Plank, a man on fire, some fine cinematography, plenty of gore though no real point.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Blakeson's feature-length calling card has storyboarded austerity and sadomasochistic promise but in the end lets the game play out in a familiar flurry of double-crossings, two-timings and false deaths, content to only fetishize itself.
  17. The limp title says it all.
  18. About the only good thing to say about this mess is that it's rotten enough that even Altman cultists may be forced to reconsider their devotion.
  19. If Napoleon Dynamite really is, as reported, a semiautobiographical exercise, it is one of the most astoundingly self-hating such exercises in memory.
  20. Or
    Doggedly refusing artifice as if cinematic beauty were a filthy capitalist plot, Yedaya drowns her characters in realist grit, a colorless screenplay and no score to speak of, rendering this open book of a movie alienating in all the wrong ways.
  21. It's like a musical with no big numbers, or an action film withholding the explosions.
  22. It all collapses under an atrocious performance by Pacino, whose laughably bad accent and scene-chewing delivery serve up thick slabs of that rarest of delicacies: Jewish ham. There may be grounds here for a class-action lawsuit.
  23. The booty here is 100 percent fool's gold.
  24. V for Vendetta is a dud - far too long at nearly two and a half hours, with flat, grungy visuals, choppy editing and no sense of urgency. But as a political work, it's something else - heavy-handed, reactionary and flat-out stupid. (For the record, Moore has publicly distanced himself from the film, saying it bears precious little resemblance to his original creation.)
  25. Now, Soderbergh has made a movie so cool it's practically comatose. Sputtering along from one half-cocked gag line and self-satisfied in-joke to the next, Ocean's Thirteen is as slapdash and slipshod a three-quel as any in this summer's box-office sweepstakes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    While the women go through a few of the motions, shifting decorously under the sheets and sucking face, there's no lust in their coupling, just choreography and the conceit of two filmmakers with nothing more on their minds than fake dykes and bloodshed.
  26. 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.
  27. Increasingly, reviewing the latest Woody Allen movie has taken on the feel of a dreaded ritual, an annual excursion into careless filmmaking, desperate shtick, and vainglorious misanthropy disguised as cuddly neurosis.
  28. Ladies in Lavender oscillates between scenes so relentlessly nice they make you want to scream and others - particularly those depicting the crush Dench develops on her new housemate - creepier than anything in "The Amityville Horror."
  29. Watching Ramis struggle with his two stars is like watching someone try to juggle lead weights.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Pretentiously impressionistic, sloppy almost to the point of self-parody, Temple’s film is New Journalism without the journalism -- or, alas, the drugs.
  30. The one saving grace is a sweet, affecting performance by Werner de Smedt.
  31. Try as they might, the two central performers can never overcome the film's underdeveloped core, and are left flailing about amid Nutley's listless, glacial pacing.
  32. As dull to listen to as it is gorgeous to look at.
  33. Trimmed to an hour, and tucked between a documentary on snails and an episode of Coronation Street, writer-director Mark Herman's Brassed Off could prove lively watching indeed. As it is, however, his pedestrian if sweetly well-meaning inspirational about a coal-mining town done in by Thatcherism is too long, too laborious and 15 years too late.
  34. Too much of a mess to say anything with assurance, pieced together as it is from mismatched institutional movies such as "Cool Hand Luke" and "Shock Corridor" -- with "Lord of the Flies" thrown in for good measure -- and turning on plot points that simply don't wash.
  35. The director gives us not just a pop Holocaust but a prettified, palatable Holocaust.
  36. Among its other sins, the disposable romantic comedy Music and Lyrics fluffs a golden opportunity to make hay with Grant's dark side.
  37. Without serious political and ethical stakes, the story limps to a halt, shrouded in platitude and faux drama.
  38. A lurid, overheated Southern Gothic that wallows in its own unpleasantness.
  39. It is, however, Tortilla Soup's cultural transposition that feels most phony. Where Lee brings depth and subtle observation to his middle-class ensemble piece, Ripoll has simply added a thin Latino glaze.
  40. With flashbulb editing as cover for the absence of narrative continuity, Undisputed is nearly incoherent, an excuse to get to the closing bout (shot through bars and barbed wire in case we forgot the combatants are incarcerated), by which time it's impossible to care who wins.
  41. The makers of Lisa Picard Is Famous -- having mastered the obvious early on, set their sights on the unfunny and repetitive.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Ultimately, it's as vapid as (Michael Jordan's) perfume and as disposable as a pair of his Hanes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    Slowly degenerates into a gory revenge thriller that is never thrilling, but is often boring and frequently repulsive.
  42. All might have been forgiven were it not for a needlessly Shyamalanized ending that deserves to earn Wyatt at least 25 years for grand-theft cinema.
  43. The uneasy meeting of cultures is mirrored all too well in the stiff and clumsy direction.
  44. If only the whole thing were as funny as an Albert Brooks movie.
  45. The skits are dreadful, the jokes suck.
  46. The thunderous clashes between armies of computer-generated Trojans and Mycenaeans, when they do arrive, feel decidedly un-epic, as though we were watching a child's toy-box war between plastic figurines. Which makes them perfectly in line with the rest of Petersen's artless approach.
  47. The movie is monotonous, and by the time it gets to its climactic re-enactment of the Tate-LaBianca killings, it seems little more than the heir to "Survive!, The Zodiac Killer" and other unsavory 1970s horror cheapies that tried to turn a quick buck on real-life tragedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A manifesto in the form of an enormously budgeted quasi-sci-fi epic, Cloud Atlas is evidently personal, defiantly sincere, totally lacking in self-awareness, and borderline offensive in its gleeful endorsement of revenge violence against anyone who gets in the way of a good person's self-actualization. The rest of the time, it's just insipid, TV-esque in its limited visual imagination, and dramatically incoherent.
  48. The movie is so rigged to elicit the audience's empathy that it becomes difficult to watch; it's stifling.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Has so many dead moments that singing spots by Gladys Knight, Pastor Marvin Winans and Mary J. Blige simply highlight, rather than alleviate, the inertia.
  49. So radiantly awful that, given the egghead credentials of the director and his screenwriter and star Sam Shepard, I initially took the charitable route and assumed I was in the presence of parody.
  50. This depressingly uninspired action-comedy (based on the 1975–79 TV series) is Hollywood’s latest McMovie -- name-brand recognition as raison d’être or, if you will, creative bankruptcy on a very large scale.
  51. Singleton has neither the emotional nor intellectual depth to do justice to his thesis. He is too in awe of the stereotypical hood lifestyles and macho posturings that he's trying to critique.
  52. Schumacher has gone into the cinematic heart of darkness and emerged with his own peculiar kink on the war movie: Vietnam beefcake.
  53. The predicaments of this whiny, unprepossessing crew inspire about as much sympathy as a celebrity divorce.
  54. Won't be of much value to anyone besides die-hard Cubs fans or the Santo family itself.
  55. O
    The makers of this malnourished teen drama haven't just dropped six letters from the title of Shakespeare's Othello, they have excised everything that gives the original its troubling power -- principally a point but also furious passion.
  56. The script is painfully underbaked, and director Bille Woodruff (Honey) continues to raise a question: How can someone from a music-video background have absolutely no sense of rhythm, timing or pacing?
  57. Replete with false dilemmas, assisted by a dreadfully stagy screenplay and directed with all the animation of a tableau vivant, Metroland is such a draggy bore.
    • L.A. Weekly
  58. The result is a soulless piece of product, an ungainly hybrid of sketchy hand-drawn characters in blocky CGI environments, derivative at just about every level.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Surprisingly few insights from the quintet, and after 90 minutes we're more familiar with the furniture of their rooms.
  59. Of course, it's terrible -- but did it have to be this bad?
  60. This brittle little confection from director Peyton Reed (Bring It On) may drive you up the wall -- unless you're willing to settle for great frocks, stylish production design and wicked opening credits.
  61. Achieves a generic period look, but there's nothing lived-in about its rooms, nothing persuasive or necessary about its time and place -- there's no longer even a movie fan's nostalgia to give it some spark, or a reason for being.
  62. Black Snake Moan is, at its core, a fairly straightforward variation on George Bernard Shaw -- "Pigsfeetmalion," if you will. One day, when he outgrows his terminal adolescence, Brewer might be the perfect filmmaker to tackle Faulkner or Tennessee Williams.
  63. A lobotomized updating of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Dull, tacky docudrama
  64. As Bomb snakes its way toward tragedy, it grates rather than entices. The actors come off more as poseurs than as characters, and the film's political and cultural insights are superficial and old hat.
  65. An orgy of bloodletting and dismemberment that's more monotonous than shocking. Aja and Levasseur are to splatter what Liberace was to rhinestones: practitioners of gaud.
  66. This feels like a movie that was grown in a petri dish -- poked and prodded with all manner of overcooked symbolism and thesis statements, but fatally absent the genuine human emotions about which it incessantly prattles on.
  67. Like so many movies of its kind, Dead Man's Shoes gets hopelessly lost in vicious process, and so loses all sight of anything you might optimistically call insight.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Hardcore fans will appreciate the handful of genuinely gnarly aerial sequences, but these gravity-defying stunts, which can be thrilling as part of a five-minute James Bond pre-credit sequence, grow very tedious when repeated over almost two hours.
  68. Some will see this as a movie about how we're all God’s children. I saw only the misanthropic fulminations of Jensen's runaway ego.
  69. Kidman, who speaks Russian for much of the movie, turns in a technically impeccable performance, but the movie gets far more out of her than she out of it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    What's most grating, though, is how the film pretends to be an inspiring story about one ordinary guy's pursuit of a quixotic dream to meet his muse, when in fact Herzlinger's adoration of Drew is considerably less heartfelt than his infatuation with himself.
  70. In fairness, the movie isn't the absolute worst of its kind and there's a certain charm to Butcher's amiable, puppy-eyed performance. But Michael McGowan's direction is as flat as an asphalt road, and his script is gasping for air long before it enters the final stretch.
  71. Mike Myers wrote the abominable script, plays both leads and is miscast in each.
  72. At once illogical and insultingly stupid, filled with dead-end twists and the sort of dialogue that makes a mockery of actual adult relations.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    There's no excitement or terror in watching the 3-D execution of 2-D actors giving 1-D performances, just the steadily diminishing returns of the same eye gouge delivered ad infinitum.
  73. He (Berlanti) shoots for bland entertainment and scores.
  74. Heartless piece of ill will.
  75. What Jackson's Shaft can't do is talk the talk, or much of anything else, in director John Singleton's feature-length insult to one of the more cherished modern screen icons.
  76. A surprise hit in Thailand, the film is nonetheless a reductive mess.
  77. Barely competent. The pacing never accelerates beyond sluggish, and Lesnick's script is an awkward pile of gag lines.
  78. Birth may be the most futile application of cinematic and acting skill I've seen all year. A little "Twilight Zone" flummery would have livened up the proceedings to no end.
  79. Unfortunately, none of the characters -- despite the film's strong cast -- ever seems worthy of the attention.
  80. A mindless muddle.
  81. The mood is hermetic to the point of claustrophobia, embellished with a sense of everyday surrealism indebted to David Lynch.
  82. Lazily directed by Charles Stone III (the man behind Budweiser's "Whassup?!" campaign) from a leaden script by Matthew Cirulnick and novelist Thulani Davis.
  83. Achieves a level of hypocrisy astounding less for its brazenness than for its sheer stupidity.
  84. A soulless affair.
  85. Self-satisfied, incoherently busy farce.
  86. It has a terminal case of the cutes crossed with the labored earnestness of a disease-of-the-week melodrama.
  87. Manipulative, feel-good drivel wrapped around a cloying performance by Kevin Spacey.

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