Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 9,845 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Road to Nowhere
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
9845 movie reviews
  1. A slick piece of summer entertainment that is counting on elaborate special effects to make its derivative, convoluted story line all but irrelevant.
  2. Instead of subversion, Mazer's first outing as a feature director offers only a tweak of genre conventions. He does achieve an above-average share of laugh-out-loud moments — welcome compensation in a romp that grows more forced with every turn.
  3. Story and soul are never going to be kings on Skull Island, but they could have fared better than this.
  4. Works well enough. It has a decided plus in its appealing young star, Amanda Bynes, last seen opposite Frankie Muniz in "Big Fat Liar."
  5. Some legs of the journey are detours, and the film can feel overlong and diffuse, but as a capsule history it offers revelatory insights, particularly in its emphasis on the role of distance running in the women’s movement.
  6. An endearing, affectionately humorous and even lyrical depiction of the dawning of adolescence amid the privileged, yet Jennifer Flackett's script, for all its sheen, is problematic.
  7. Veber, also responsible for "The Dinner Game," apparently has a finger on the pulse of French audiences and Gallic-minded Americans, but there's just not a lot of freshness in this Closet.
  8. Crimson Peak's astonishing visuals don't enhance its story (co-written by the director and Matthew Robbins); they overwhelm it, encouraging us to stand back and admire the look when we should be involved in the emotional mechanics of this lurid tale.
  9. Delivers a heckuva story marred by some credibility problems but lands the majority of its punches via subtly powerful performances and a moving undercard of paternal connection.
  10. An earnest gang-warfare melodrama that may make some Chan fans long for "Rush Hour 4."
  11. It's clear early on, however, that this is standard concert-film fare geared to the faithful.
  12. Intermittently compelling but unavoidably improbable.
  13. Warm and wise comedy of middle-age malaise.
  14. There's no denying Watts' skill at a certain kind of desolate cat and mouse, but it's in the service of what is ultimately a somewhat heartless exercise.
  15. The history lesson is often framed in stagy exchanges of dialogue, diluting the strong sense of place.
  16. Kinkle's debut refreshingly sacrifices gore showpieces (though it is bloody at times) for a steadily increasing dread tied to a young woman's desperation.
  17. The picture is sleek rather than merely slick, moves like lightning and is loaded with nail-biting incidents and dynamic action. What's unfolding for the most part is fun and exciting, but unfortunately it isn't always fully clear.
  18. Sarah Silverman has a bright, toothy smile; a sweet, innocent demeanor; and the most outrageously impious sense of humor of any comedian working today. And I don't just mean she's dirty. (She's filthy.) She makes fun of things other comedians wouldn't acknowledge, let alone mock.
  19. The movie nicely captures the area around Baldwin Hills, is crisply written by Kriss Turner and portrays the upper-middle class black community seldom seen in mainstream TV and film. However, the characterizations, even the leads, rarely rise above archetypes.
  20. A persuasive if not groundbreaking drama.
  21. There are a few times when a viewer less familiar with this world can feel a bit out of place, though it is possible for anyone to find amusement in this winsome if slight film.
  22. The war scenes and their aftermath are involving and emotionally sound as well as skillfully shot and edited. And if several moments smack of revisionist history, perhaps best to ascribe them to dramatic license.
  23. Every adult in the movie is a caricature: Close, Janney and Wilson are compendiums of such broad, unattractive traits they make the ladies of "Desperate Housewives" look complex. The men, meanwhile, are weak, clueless and preening, with the exception of Fiennes, who's nuts.
  24. They may not do enough to alter the climate change film landscape, but Klein and those impassioned protesters provide something that has been in short supply in the predecessors — namely, a modicum of hope for the future.
  25. Feel-good but not cloying, zippy but not frenetic, and refreshingly free of snark, the default setting for a lot of kids' fare these days, the feature takes a pleasingly retro-futuristic stance on matters of décor and attitude.
  26. But bearing witness can be a complex thing and in its concern to illuminate Sarajevo is prone to overkill, to trying too hard to squeeze in every troubling wartime incident.
  27. French Kiss tries to be a glass of pink champagne, but some of the fizz has gone out of the bottle. But director Lawrence Kasdan and screenwriter Adam Brooks cram so many potshots into the piece that, after a while, it makes you laugh anyway.
  28. A breezy, well-paced diversion, amusing rather than scintillating yet clearly personal.
  29. This is a film without a center, a film whose young protagonist should have more texture, more of a compelling voice than she does. Through no real fault of the acting, young Astrid does not compel our attention the way she must if White Oleander is to succeed completely on the screen.
  30. It's a nervy, quasi-documentary scheme that's often successful, perhaps more so than you'd expect for this kind of a hybrid endeavor. But Macdonald's technique eventually turns out to be as distancing as it is involving, paradoxically undercutting the reality as often as it enhances it.
  31. A painstakingly crafted, lovingly wrought piece.
  32. Exhilarating and frustrating at the same time... the Coens' skill is such that you're not averse to following them anywhere, but every once in a while you can't help wishing they weren't so dead set against throwing the rest of us at least a hint of what's on their minds. [21 Aug 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
  33. As repellent as Lucy's story can be, its mystery has a seductive sway, and it does add up to more than the sum of its insistently elliptical parts.
  34. The movie has the taut efficiency of a well-constructed crime thriller, while its real-world underpinnings play out with a less convincing sense of urgency.
  35. The ending feels a bit rushed and incongruous, but the film never leaves behind the humanity of its characters.
  36. The Last Exorcism Part II is an effectively unnerving, slow-burn supernatural horror tale. The film is smartly different enough from the original to survive on its own, though it lacks some of the first film's sense of surprise.
  37. Even when bits go thud, there's a brittle, unsentimental wit about kin's inexplicable tug that's hard to ignore, and the leads — game for some surprisingly sublime bits of physical comedy — eventually wear one's anti-charm defenses down.
  38. A sweet if underwhelming documentary with plenty of character, but told in such a simple and gentle way, it doesn’t quite grab audiences as it could.
  39. Frustrating though it can be, Spanglish still proves to be as resilient as its characters.
  40. Aside from Paltrow's performance, Sylvia is neither a film so spectacular it shouldn't be missed nor something so tepid you have to stay away.
  41. Smartly, the filmmakers minimize their topic's punchline potential. But even though the running time is short, the movie feels stretched out.
  42. Anne Frank: Then and Now may be an oddly structured little docudrama but it makes the most of its eerily cogent message.
  43. The film's stark juxtaposition of domestic melodrama and gonzo exploitation is very much reminiscent of "Audition." Whereas the Miike film turned into a feverish anxiety dream about feminist revolt, R100 suggests that extreme and perverse films allow the everyman to seek thrills in his otherwise-monotonous life.
  44. Anyone seeking an empty-headed, derivative joy ride through crime-comedy conventions could do far worse than Silver Case, a brisk, good-looking and never dull B movie.
  45. The number of characters makes Rugrats Go Wild somewhat bulkier than its less complicated predecessors, but fans are not likely to mind.
  46. With two gorgeous, compulsively watchable stars doing their best to rise above middling material that often proves more a hindrance than support, Chen has perhaps inadvertently created a faithful Hollywood remake after all.
  47. The film's solid acting, relatable premise and strong emotional core carry the day.
  48. The film supplies a succession of hyper-stylized and potent set pieces without ever establishing any sort of internal logic.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An even-handed mixture of suspense and comedy that aims to play fair with the audience on both fronts.
  49. Although this horror flick is somewhat absurd and seemingly forgettable when viewed in a vacuum, its coincidentally contemporaneous release with "Blue Is the Warmest Color" urges immediate reconsideration.
  50. An imperfect, messy and sometimes trying film that has moments of genuine sweetness and humor sprinkled in between the saccharine and the sadness.
  51. A mainstream holiday movie, complete with stupendous special effects, amazing make-up artistry and sumptuous production design.
  52. Just good enough to engage audiences, but it falls well short of remarkable, leaving viewers wishing for a dawn that never breaks.
  53. Ultimately, Youth Without Youth is more intriguing than it is satisfying. It hooks you, then lets you flounder.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ritchie whisks you along on a whirlwind tour, but he's not averse to putting on the brakes long enough to admire some of his favorite attractions.
  54. The spectacularly brutal fighting is the film's main calling card, and in that "Rise of an Empire" doesn't disappoint. Still, in the battle for best guilty pleasure, I'd give it to the Spartans of "300," by a head.
  55. The film is at its most effective when band members and lead pastor Brian Houston testify to the strength their faith provides during times of crisis.
  56. About as well-meaning as a movie can get, but that's never enough to ensure it comes alive on the screen, which is sadly the case here.
  57. Written with his trademark artfulness, nicely acted and gorgeously pretty, Tequlia Sunrise finally blows away into slick unsubstantiality. [2 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  58. The finale is not an all-out disappointment. It should satisfy the franchise's fans, and it does wrap up any loose ends you might be wondering about.
  59. Nothing that Davies does is ordinary or artless but his craftsmanship has its suffocating side too.
  60. Exposes director Khan's stage roots -- he has no feel for the close-up, although his use of the frame itself, and negative space, is occasionally thrilling.
  61. Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg, Pocahontas is on the formulaic side, a copy that duplicates what its predecessors have done, only a little less adroitly and with a little less style. [16Jun1995 Pg. F.01]
    • Los Angeles Times
  62. Glitter is the week's only major Hollywood release, and it offers considerable escapist entertainment while hitting an affirmative note.
  63. Thanks to Ifans, though, this remains a watchable film, one that, perhaps like Len himself, falls short of its potential.
  64. Has its rewards for those up to the challenge of tackling its nonlinear structure and brooding nature.
  65. Comes off as convincing but never compelling. There's a ponderous quality to it, as if it's forever clearing its throat to say something of value that doesn't quite get articulated.
  66. Kid-Thing proves as disturbing for what it is as for what it's not.
  67. Oddly enjoyable at its most implausible.
  68. Knights of Badassdom actually delivers everything the 2011 Danny McBride-James Franco comedy "Your Highness" purported to be but fell short on. The film is "This Is the End" festooned with Middle Ages accouterments.
  69. What The Peacemaker doesn't do well, though it tries, is bring much in the way of emotion or character development to the table.
  70. This is an earnest and way-contrived endeavor that manages, due largely to Costner's efforts, to be genially diverting in a gee-whiz kind of way.
  71. In engaging but not always satisfying fashion, Jody Shapiro's film reveals the man behind the logo to be a taciturn, plain-living refugee from city life and an unlikely globe-trotting corporate spokesman.
  72. Unafraid of improbability and coincidence, writers Ned Kerwin & Scott Duncan pile on nonstop action that keeps up a furious pace without giving the viewer time to ponder its credibility.
  73. Some of what happens feels real, a lot doesn't, but even when the screenplay groans with clichés, the four lead actresses play their parts with truckloads of heart.
  74. Handsomely presented, with locations in Spain and Africa, the film at moments accomplishes its ambitions of being a tart piece of steamed-up Jazz Age storytelling.
  75. Darling's documentary is garden-variety filmmaking, but it does an effective job in illustrating how years of fiscal crises have forced academia and industry to forge alliances that once would have been considered unlikely.
  76. It's borderline parody of a kind of fey filmmaking popular at crunchy-granola festivals, but the counterfeit aesthetic is ultimately outshone by the life-affirming message.
  77. If you're thinking of seeing it, and you're old enough to drive (or even read this), do yourself a favor and rent the original instead.
  78. 5x2
    Bruni-Tedeschi is a lovely actress, and whatever emotion is evident onscreen comes courtesy of her.
  79. What lifts the film above its dubious boilerplate assemblage of talking heads and archival images is Shadyac himself. With his gentle, self-mocking humor, he comes across as an exceptionally mellow, earnest and likable guy.
  80. Unfortunately, although Gilliam has always had a taste for the outre, he has allowed it to get out of hand here and swallow the picture whole. There's an excessiveness, an unwelcome too-muchness to "Grimm's" creepy moments.
  81. Any charm and character ascribed to Carl Hiaasen's bestselling book have been homogenized in Wil Shriner's flat screenplay and direction.
  82. At times, I’m Not Ashamed is vivid enough to make one pine for a Christian-leaning teen flick that doesn’t have such a blunt, preordained ending.
  83. Mr. Donkey is deeply flawed but also fascinating. There’s a good story here, woven between the thudding jokes.
  84. The sequel sometimes feels like a series of gags ginned up by a gaggle of writers who are not always on the same page.
  85. Tighter pacing, more dimensional and compelling characters, and twistier consequences could have helped better propel this dark, semi-intriguing tale.
  86. Between the heavy-handed lines, director Adrian Popovici provides telling glimpses of a provincial, aggressively retrograde attitude toward women and the seedy nightclubs where they're preyed on. He elicits uneven performances from a cast working in several languages.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For the most part, The Rocker is content to simply keep the beat, marking time as the summer movie season moves on.
  87. What's being sold here is the movie equivalent of the honey-drenched sweet potato biscuits that are forever being passed around on-screen. Their nutritional value may be nil, but they sure look comforting.
  88. Bloated and logy, and art-directed within an inch of its life, the movie shovels heaps of phony portent and all-purpose mystical imagery onto a thin and maudlin plot.
  89. Growing Up Smith is a well-intentioned fizzle that misses what should have been an easily reachable mark.
  90. The miss-and-hit parodies score best when focusing on the Julia Stiles-styled girl next door.
  91. Recently deceased master filmmaker Claude Chabrol's 50th and final feature, Inspector Bellamy, proves a sadly bland footnote to an illustrious and influential career.
  92. An elegant Merchant Ivory production, it is too slight and perhaps too precious. But it will be a witty pleasure for admirers of its grande dames: Dianne Wiest, Jane Birkin and Bulle Ogier.
  93. Despite an intriguing premise in which the architect of a housing project is confronted by a resident-turned-activist who wants his help in getting the place torn down, Matt Tauber's The Architect feels schematic and contrived.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a very mixed bag. When it's good, Hollywood Dreams is corrosively funny and unexpectedly poignant. And when it's bad, it's over-the-top bad.
  94. An uninspired if perfectly watchable drama.
  95. But even a comic spin on grimace-inducing tales of the icky buffet, the "mattress room" (whatever you're imagining, that's it) and Levenson's own buffoonish image as a 10-ladies-a-night player -- "He never read a book," Al Goldstein cracks -- can't keep an unexplored sadness from slithering in amid the orgy of upbeat testimonials.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As for Gellar, she seems game but glum, treading water in a role that represses her comic talents and leaves her little to do but suffer in silence.

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