Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,689 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Heat
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
Score distribution:
10689 movie reviews
  1. An exquisitely evocative movie that elevates rueful melancholia to a superpower.
  2. Inventive and imaginative, Napping Princess confirms [Kamiyama] as one of the most interesting writer-directors working in Japanese animation.
  3. It's unique, powerful stuff.
  4. In its ability to let us hear firsthand what life-and-death combat does to the human body and spirit, this film has few peers.
  5. Dunston Checks In is a delightful and funny family film of exceptional high style.
  6. First-time writer-director David Robert Mitchell tells a coming-of-age tale with such freshness and such bemused insight it's as if it has never been told before.
  7. The Serpent and the Rainbow does for the old Caribbean zombie movie what Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" did for the serials. It preserves all the spooky fun of a movie like "White Zombie" while drawing upon all the sophisticated resources of big-budget modern film making: richly photographed authentic locales, wondrous special effects and amazingly acute sound recording...The result is an ambitious, entertaining--though not flawless--feat of the imagination, a highly visual and skillful blending of supernatural and political terror, high adventure and anthropology.
  8. Kon's best work yet.
  9. Broadcast News is so diabolically clever that you rather expect it to be heartless, in the way that so much surface cleverness can be. No such thing. Heartless is the wrong word for this movie: It's insightful and understanding and marvelous fun, while giving up none of its thoughtfulness. [16 Dec 1987, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  10. Best and most unexpected of all, Rachel Getting Married dares to mix the bitter with the sweet. It understands that life-altering situations like weddings not only bring out the worst in human behavior but also the finest.
  11. It's billed as an environmental horror story, but The Last Winter bears all the hallmarks of an ever-popular genre that has always pitted science, technology and reason against emotion, awe and nature. It bears all the hallmarks of the gothic: ghosts, death, alienated sexuality, decay, secrets, madness and, of course, awe and trepidation in the face of the sublime power of nature.
  12. '71
    Nothing is extraneous, no moment that doesn't enhance the tension of this nightmare scenario is allowed to survive, until the proceedings become, in the best possible sense, almost unbearable to watch.
  13. Teaches important lessons in the most casual, joyful way. How it manages to do that is probably the biggest secret of all.
  14. A remarkable film.
  15. Im Kwon Taek's exquisite Chunhyang brings to the screen one of Korea's most cherished folk tales, a timeless romance in which the lovers are challenged by differences in class.
  16. Loving is an unpretentious film about unassuming real people, but don't let that mislead you. Just as Richard and Mildred Loving ended up overturning the status quo and making American legal history, so this feature on their lives by writer-director Jeff Nichols turns out to be a film of quiet but quite significant strengths.
  17. The utterly winning documentary The Anthropologist takes a unique perspective on the field of anthropology through the lens of a pair of female anthropologists and their daughters.
  18. It is best to let this stunning film simply wash over you and trust that all will become clear enough in time. Vengo in a sense is a concert film tied together with the slenderest of plots.
  19. Performances this strong and direction this sensitive make us simply grateful to have an emotional story we can sink our teeth into and enjoy.
  20. The rousing Indian drama Lipstick Under My Burkha, co-written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, takes on the repressive traditions around gender and sexuality in that country with refreshing candor and humor.
  21. With lines drawn along politics, class, race and economics, the strange-bedfellows issue of top-dollar killing and queasy conservation is one that Trophy...lays bare with gruesome, grim exactitude.
  22. Rarely have a novelist and filmmaker been better matched.
  23. [A] vital, absorbing documentary.
  24. A deeply satisfying feat of storytelling, Bless Me, Ultima makes a difficult task look easy. It combines innocence and experience, the darkness and wonder of life, in a way that is not easy to categorize but a rich pleasure to watch.
  25. Humor, sentiment and melodrama strike a balance as he brings to life nine major characters and a host of others as well.
  26. With his ability to understand and convey these absurdist scenarios in both adult and preteen terms, writer-director Solondz catches the unlooked-for humor in poignant, hurtful situations.
  27. This buoyant, giddy comedy of catastrophe is the funniest film of the year so far, possibly the most amusing mainstream live-action comedy since "There's Something About Mary."
    • Los Angeles Times
  28. The film is never more real than when Jimmy unloads his anger on someone close to him, a frequent occurrence. Eminem is an actor with a rare gift for rage, and movie careers, even big ones, have been built on less.
  29. At a time when so many in this country are at odds about what represents America at its best, it's refreshing and then some to see a film that everyone can agree is an example of exactly that.
  30. As fingers move Polaroids around in the frame, or faces in jarring close-up grapple with unresolved tragedy, you realize Strong Island is a state-of-mind piece, surveying the wreckage from within.
  31. Catnip for comedy nerds and psychoanalysts, "Jim & Andy" works as both a vibrant raising-of-the-dead for the crazed, showbiz-piercing genius that was Kaufman — there's plenty of footage from his performance-art career — and a peek into the mind of a massively talented, box office-busting comedy star at a self-doubting, turbulent time in his life
  32. A superbly shot film of emotional extravagance, sentimentality and even humor, House of Fools is a film that is ultimately quite moving but which probably could only have been pulled off by a director steeped in that famous Russian soul.
  33. Caesar Must Die shows us in the starkest possible terms the electric power of drama to move and touch not only audiences but the actors who bring so much of themselves to their performances.
  34. Wonder Woman emerges as not only the strongest movie in the present DC cycle, but also the first one that feels like an enveloping, honest-to-God entertainment rather than a raging cinematic migraine.
  35. The unexpected thing about Dolores, finally, is that if its political story makes it important, its human story makes it involving.
  36. Complex, challenging and richly rewarding, it glows with the kind of wrenchingly selfless portrayals that are the hallmark of the Bergman classics.
  37. Intelligently written and directed with a pleasing frankness by Bill Condon and well played by Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and a strong supporting cast, the film skillfully uses the forms of old Hollywood to tell a story that would have given heart failure to Harry Cohn and his fellow tycoons.
  38. Like an exquisite minimalist painting - its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film, like the many mysteries it slowly exposes.
  39. Irresistible, hugely satisfying feminist fairy tale.
  40. Despite the pain, sadness and vast emotional upheaval depicted here, Bridegroom is also a movie filled with hope and passion, dignity and pride, and many stirring pockets of joy.
  41. Brings maximum subtlety, nuance and insight into the timeless story of first love.
  42. An invaluable portrait of us-and-them America, a smart, generous, poignant, quietly disturbing movie about secrecy and hospitality, and how easy it is for a tradition of separateness to flourish when the stakes are as deceptively frivolous as an eye-popping yearly party.
  43. A first-rate contribution to the Holocaust canon.
  44. An expertly designed theme park ride of a movie that packs nonstop thrills.
  45. This remarkably revealing and timely film, in which the depiction of pain and sorrow is suffused with a sense of beauty and a graceful, flowing style, more than lives up to glowing advance notices.
  46. Sicko is likely Moore's most important, most impressive, most provocative film, and it's different from his others in significant ways.
  47. [A] smart, relentlessly chilling thriller that opts for originality over cheaply rejiggered jolts.
  48. A deceptively simple, deeply resonant story about the inherent loneliness of family, the odds against assimilation and the enormous distances that can divide two people.
  49. Crisp as the creases in its naval officers' uniforms, this tale of seething conflicts aboard an American submarine on the eve of nuclear war is strictly by-the-numbers, but hardly ever are traditional elements executed with such panache.
  50. By turns thrilling, disorienting and draining, Sicario exists in a border zone seemingly of its own devising between the art film and the action movie.
  51. It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  52. The singular achievement of Jonathan Karsh's graceful and rigorous documentary is that he enables his audiences to see his heroine's family through her very clear but always loving eyes.
  53. As uplifting as anything you will find in theaters.
  54. An extraordinarily intimate, deeply affecting and revelatory documentary on how pain and passion can come together in a creative artist.
  55. It's a film of high energy, punctuated by rock music and a dark wit, yet it is capable of profound reflection and tragic irony.
  56. Director Papu Curotto brings Andi Nachon’s tender script to life with stirring economy and warmth as well as a wistfulness so palpable it’s practically its own character.
  57. The disturbing, involving, always-complex story of British mathematician Alan Turing is a tale crafted to resonate for our time, and the smartly entertaining The Imitation Game gives it the kind of crackerjack cinematic presentation that's pure pleasure to experience.
  58. Working with excellent site-specific music and this trio of exemplary -- and exceptionally well-cast -- actresses, director Bertuccelli does a superb job of touching just the right emotional notes in recounting the consequences of deception and the importance of family.
  59. Showing an unobtrusive mastery of camera movement, Bi lends concrete form and rich dramatic life to the Buddhist notion that past, present and future are all equally untenable.
  60. It's a chilling, completely fascinating documentary.
  61. A heart-tugger made totally irresistible because of the combination of Kitano's wry, sly sense of humor and his rigorous detachment.
  62. Emmanuel Carrère's witty, elegant La Moustache is a deliciously unsettling, beautifully sustained enigma, a film of much beauty and flawless performances, especially from Vincent Lindon in one of his most demanding roles.
  63. Well-directed with exceptional access by veteran documentarian Doug Pray, whose previous films include "Hype!," "Scratch" and "Art & Copy," Levitated Mass in essence intercuts three stories, each of which is more unexpected than one might imagine.
  64. A moving and infuriating look at the 2008 murder of openly gay teenager Lawrence "Larry" King.
  65. Bastards is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.
  66. Filmmaker Leon has deftly structured Gimme the Loot as a picaresque tale, an anecdotal, observational film that introduces us to all manner of eccentric and original characters. Will Malcolm and Sophia get what they want, what they need, or something in between? The only sure thing is that being along for the ride is pleasure of the most unexpected sort.
  67. An exhilarating vérité work by first-timer Manuel von Stürler, the documentary follows this seasonal migration, or transhumance, with a sense of quiet awe and intimacy, capturing the feel of cold rain, deep snow and the comforting heat of a campfire.
  68. Simultaneously an art film and a crime film, Mann's latest work may not give you a ton to hang on to emotionally, but the beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp.
  69. From the clockwork comic timing to the movie's salty mix of the ridiculous and the reflective, This Is the End is stupidly hysterical and smartly heretical. Cross my heart and hope to die, it's funny as hell.
  70. A wild at heart, anarchic comedy that believes in living dangerously.
  71. The Square means to send you out of the theater arguing, and its success on that front should not eclipse its more lasting, unsettling achievement. It affirms that art, this movie very much included, can tell us things about ourselves that we’d prefer not to know.
  72. It is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of.
  73. A beautifully made, unapologetically artistic piece of work.
  74. This is a beautifully rendered film.
  75. A triumph for all concerned, it is especially so for the multitalented Chereau.
  76. Buster Keaton isn't dead, he's alive and well in Finland, where under a new identity he pursues his own particular brand of deadpan absurdism to wonderful effect. If the name Aki Kaurismäki doesn't mean anything to you, it should, and Le Havre may be the film to make it happen.
  77. A remarkable work -- lively, painful, humorous, deeply revealing of both father and son -- that is worthy of one of Hollywood's finest directors of photography.
  78. Such a smart and savvy piece of work it encourages us to feel we're eavesdropping on history.
  79. Beneath its off-color jokes and curse-laden rants, Last Flag Flying offers a pointed consideration of the hard choices that Americans of all generations have made to serve their country, and of the betrayal they have felt when that country has not risen to the level of their sacrifice.
  80. Certainly Crocodile Dundee is nothing you can examine deeply or mull over afterward. It's simply an expert crowd-pleaser. It has such a sure, easy, confident touch that it's almost failure-proof--like a tip of the hat, a sip of beer, a quick, golden G'day.
  81. One of the strengths of Killer of Sheep, one of the reasons it has not dated, is that the naturalness and simplicity with which it unfolds give it the texture of a story told from the inside.
  82. Brougher has taken material that sounds contrived and potentially exploitative and used her gift for careful observation and restrained emotionality to give it surprising authenticity.
  83. A spirited and amusing comedy that posits the engaging notion that the stars of TV soap operas have lives as screwed up and crazy as the characters they play, if not more so.
  84. Highly entertaining and encouraging documentary.
  85. Exuberant and insidiously funny satire.
  86. Tchoupitoulas is a jewel-bright whoosh of a ride through nighttime New Orleans.
  87. The vigorous Bang Rajan moves with a sure sense of direction and authority to its major culminating battle, a singularly savage and wrenching encounter that for all its bloodshed is never exploitative and concludes the film on a resounding note of tragic grandeur.
  88. Deeply fascinating, unexpectedly potent documentary.
  89. A remarkable and remarkably compelling document.
  90. Two teen girls forge an explosive connection in a compelling Pawel Pawlikowski film.
  91. Carvalho's superb cinematography, Antonio Pinto's score and a dedicated cast and crew admirably sustain this poetic and uncompromising film.
  92. This haunting phantasmagoria of a film -- comic, singular, surreal -- is not only something no one but the Canadian director could have made, it's also a film no one else would have even wanted to make. Which is the heart of its appeal.
  93. Whether it's Peterson/Bronson's more theatrical bits or his untamable character's many blood-spitting, knuckle-beating, explosions, Hardy chomps down on his once-in-a-career role with stunning ferocity and never lets go. He's extraordinary.
  94. It's a great trick the filmmakers have pulled off to make us feel as if we're there sorting through the memories with him. The movie's editing is especially artful with Maya Hawke and Casey Brooks doing the nipping and tucking.
  95. Miller and Futterman avoid the pitfalls of the genre by refusing to mythologize the artist, plunging instead into the soul of the man.
  96. A fearless and ambitious piece of work, made with equal parts passion and calculation, an unapologetically entertaining major studio release with compelling real-world relevance, a film that takes numerous risks and thrives on them all.
  97. In his knockout directorial debut writer Kevin Williamson taps into such universal memories with his shrewd and energetic dark comedy.
  98. It earns its considerable impact by telling an unnerving story and leaving it, in ways both daring and effective, fundamentally unresolved.
  99. James Mangold directs it with such energy and passion that it's as if he didn't know it's all been done before.
  100. It turns out to be an especially warm comedy with a hidden heart. It's a film whose humor has feeling behind it because writer-director Peter Hedges doesn't let his comedy overpower an understanding of how emotionally weighted family situations are always going to be.

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