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 The Godfather
Lowest review score: 0 Grind
Score distribution:
3,655 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Save for one startlingly staged battle sequence. . .might as well have been titled "Also Ran."
  1. The Lives of Others wants us to see that the Stasi -- at least some of them -- were, like their Gestapo brethren, “just following orders." You can call that naive optimism on Donnersmarck's part, or historical revisionism of the sort duly lambasted by the current film version of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys." I, for one, tremble at the thought of what this young director does for an encore.
  2. Promising, if uneven, first feature.
  3. There's something overly studied, almost clinical, in how it all pulls together.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Alternately frustrating and rewarding film.
  8. Yet the movie, distilling into purest form the blend of viciousness and sentimentality that informs all Woo's work, winds up as emotionally bogus as it is viscerally overwhelming.
  9. It is a dull and boring film, pretty as a Turner landscape and as sweetly becalmed as the glassy Sargasso Sea in which the men of the unfortunately named “Surprise” find themselves trapped for what felt, to me at least, like weeks on end.
  10. There's nothing new about this sado-cinema, and nothing much worthy, either.
  11. You can only cram so much of this stuff into a movie without putting your audience to sleep -- The movie sags badly in the middle, swirling around itself without making headway.
  12. Came alive only in the presence of a supposed dead man -- specifically, the nefarious Lord Voldemort.
  13. On viewing, the cuts seem negligible, but what is new and clearly improved is the sound, which now booms with each door slam and gunshot.
  14. King Kong isn't terrible, but it's something that none of Jackson's previous movies ever was -- it's enervating.
  15. 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.
  16. High Fidelity wants to be hip, but it's comically square.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Even at 43 minutes short, with earnest but marketable narration by Leonardo DiCaprio and one amusing zero-gravity taco-preparation scene, Hubble 3-D's perilous endeavors are about as thrilling to watch as plumbers snaking a drain ... in space suits! If you want an eye-popping cosmic epic, rent "Star Trek." If you want interactivity, take the kids to the planetarium.
  17. Essentially a TV movie souped up by the divinely skittish cinematography of Chris Menges, the film suffers from a screenplay full of labored attempts at wit by Steven Knight, and characters who barely make it off the page alive.
  18. Malick dangles his maddeningly innocent ideas about life and death and man's gift for self-destruction.
  19. Evidently, this bloated piece of Oscar-nominated nonsense was a big hit in Denmark, which makes me think there's a glittering future in that otherwise discriminating country for several seasons of "Days of Our Lives."
  20. The most pleasure to be had from this high-tech bore is to compare the Disney world-view evidenced here (the triumph of collectivism) with that of DreamWorks’ own creepy-crawler animation, “Antz” (the triumph of individualism).
  21. If only the whole thing didn't collapse in on itself, and quickly become a parody of artistic reach and terminal folly.
  22. As factoids do-si-do with testimonials from the likes of drinking buddy Sean Penn and fan-boy Bono, the movie all but becomes the very A&E Hagiography for which Bukowski would have had little or no patience.
  23. A portrait of dispossession so acute that it's caused a few critics to cry, Let her eat cake!
  24. Loses focus and sags into a how-we-got-through-it family procedural.
  25. Shuttles between schoolboy humor, calculated savagery and, at the end, a rank sentimentalism in which love all too easily conquers all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The result is a hazy, shoegazy visual tone that is both elegiac and eulogistic - that is, at once meditative and funereal.
  26. Sofia Coppola, who's directed the film from her own screenplay, narrowly misses making the story work on the screen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A decent primer on the common and often misunderstood disease - in bold digital colors and scored to Sigur Rós and Björk, no less! - the film suffers from the attitude embodied by its self-congratulatory title.

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