Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,214 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 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Assassin
Lowest review score: 0 Unfallen
Score distribution:
10214 movie reviews
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie's mild-mannerness is especially disappointing when compared with such documentaries as "The War Tapes" and the excellent "Home Front," vivid and incisive explorations of post-Iraq anger and disillusionment that have gone largely unseen by a disinterested public. If Americans are suffering from Iraq fatigue, Home of the Brave will do little to rouse them.
  1. Unfortunately, the film doesn't show its subject's creative process as much as that of her collaborators.
  2. The film's plot gets so convoluted no nongamer older than 14 will be able to follow it all.
  3. The new installment is, at best, a serviceable creep show, one with far more chills than thrills.
  4. Unlike the similarly multi-strand "Valentine's Day," Hot Summer Days has heart, however overstated most of its action.
  5. Filled with unrealized possibilities and fraught with flaws, Final Destination seems destined to be little more than a footnote in the anthology of extraordinary films to come out of the long creative collaboration between producer Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
  6. At times Miles feels a bit rickety around the edges, but the character at the center is instantly relatable and has a relaxed charm that makes the story compelling.
  7. Brolin's intermittent voice-over narration proves to be the most powerful stuff, with the rest curiously sputtering.
  8. A flat parable about the virtues of homespun conformity and the perils of defying family tradition.
  9. The film is not without humor or conflict, but it is a complex coming-of-age story that places a premium on independence and attacks sexual hypocrisy.
  10. It's not that "Inferno" as it stands doesn't provide hints of better things. The plot has its share of unexpected twists, peripheral characters hold our attention, wide-screen vistas of tourist destinations Florence, Venice and Istanbul are easy to take, and stories involving the end of the world have a certain built-in interest. But as presented on screen, none of this gels as it should.
  11. The cause is just. But there's something off-kilter about the mix. Maybe it's because the animation retains its TV flatness while the story's texture is gratuitously bulked up.
  12. Though the thin mystery at the center becomes a narrative albatross, and Lillard and Gugino seem hamstrung by the schematic nature of their characters, Stewart's melancholic electricity manages to maintain its appeal.
  13. A baroque, bloody fantasy-adventure that stubbornly remains less than the sum of its parts.
  14. This family adventure about a team of sled dogs abandoned in Antarctica naturally invokes the traditional shout of "Mush!" urging the canines to go faster, but it's also an apt descriptor of both its shameless sentimentality and ineptly structured story.
  15. Most successful in capturing the emotional elements of its story, the film relies on its excellent cast to balance out sketchily drawn characters and the unfortunate obviousness of its plot.
  16. Though what he does here pretty much defines coasting, Nicholson just fooling around adds an energy to even the kind of hopelessly contrived material that lets you know that the lowest common denominator just got lower.
  17. This is a chance to see Shakespeare with mud wrestling, something the Bard surely would have put in if only he'd thought of it himself… Though the actors have no major problems handling the language, the whole venture is listless when it should be sparkling. Shakespeare, even with mud wrestling, needn't be quite so much of a slog. [14 May 1999, Calendar, p.F-6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. At a certain point, though, the movie runs out of eccentricity capital and becomes just another contest documentary about determined participants — in this case, mostly obsessive young white men — and the well-worn narrative of defeat or accomplishment.
  19. While Alien Trespass stays true to the era and the genre, it forgets that its mission in this galaxy is not merely to pay tribute but to entertain.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    That anyone manages to care remotely about what's going on despite all this is a tribute to Bullock's appeal. She remains a disarmingly winning performer, though here she's saddled with some clunky, cliched bits of behavior.
  20. The Package is uncomplicated guy's guy movie time, the screen version of the starchy passing pleasures of bar food.
  21. A trifling historical fantasy, gossip wrapped in gossamer, beautiful to watch but it takes only a light wind to leave the story in tatters.
  22. Beautifully envisioned, badly constructed, the only truly terrifying things in the new horror movie Mama are the fake tattoos, short black hair and black T-shirts meant to turn "Zero Dark Thirty" star Jessica Chastain into a guitar-shredding, punk rocker chick.
  23. Thanks for Sharing is a bit like the recovery scene it digs into — filled with intoxicating highs and dispiriting lows.
  24. The longer it goes, the more frustrating it becomes, as Bar Lev declines to come down on one side or the other.
  25. What it really is is an unapologetic cartoon, a harum-scarum endeavor that's so comically frantic it wears you out as much as it entertains.
  26. Family Weekend is no worse than many of the dysfunctional family comedies that populate the Sundance Film Festival — "Little Miss Sunshine" is name-checked within the movie itself — but isn't any better either.
  27. The proceedings can seem less like a fresh retelling of a seminal story and more like, despite stabs at grit and terror, a theatricalized, dewy-eyed version of days past.
  28. A nod to Fellini--and that "half" turns out to be a typically dark Greenaway twist. Yet this film, one of Greenaway's most amusing and accessible, actually arrives at moments of tenderness, even love, fleeting though they may be.
  29. Biyi Bandele's adaptation of Adichie's novel of loyalty and betrayal set against the turbulence of the 1960s Biafran war, certainly makes for an honorably propulsive wartime soap. It's just not stirring enough as historical drama.
  30. Statham's broody charisma and veteran cinematographer Chris Menges' ("The Killing Fields") eclectic views of contemporary London help hold interest, even as we ponder what Knight is really trying to say.
  31. A standard-issue Hollywood family film about a boy and his dog growing up in a Southern small town during World War II.
  32. Though Reign of Fire's concept of a humans-versus-dragons smackdown is a good one, the way it's worked out on screen is more silly than compelling.
  33. Turns out to be a film that's interesting in spite of itself. It's less an impartial investigation than an advocacy film, having been hijacked by the members of the "inner sanctum."
  34. The film's long suit is the chemistry between the leads: Julian Adams, if occasionally stiff, has a strong, sometimes Matthew McConaughey-like presence; newcomer Gwendolyn Edwards shows spark as the beautiful Eveline.
  35. Far too conventional underneath all the trappings, you wish it would howl.
  36. The overall effect here is of parallel biographies juiced to feel important whenever they intersect, and an undercooked paean to lost masculinity.
  37. The four individuals' narratives are not always that compelling and make for a film best experienced on a strictly sensory level. Let the images wash over you and enjoy.
  38. A warm and pleasant romantic fantasy that shows BenGazzara and Rita Moreno to advantage but is better suited to the tube or the stage.
  39. +1
    In trying to say everything, Plus One reveals it doesn't have much to say at all.
  40. Imitating the Bourne capers rather than establishing an identity of its own, “The Take” is a strictly by-the-numbers political thriller that fails to capitalize on Idris Elba’s formidable screen presence.
  41. Despite a few inspired moments and some fun banter, Portrait of a Serial Monogamist is a slight, often random lesbian comedy that offers little new in the way of authentic depth or enlightenment.
  42. More resonant in theory than in execution, the post-Holocaust drama To Life never truly embraces the promise of its title or the roiling emotion beneath its surface.
  43. The film's underlying concept is so irredeemably screwy and far-fetched that no amount of fine work can hope to make it convincing.
  44. A stylish, serviceable recounting of Saint Laurent's life from the late 1950s through the '70s. But watchable as it may be, this drama lacks intimacy and urgency.
  45. So unashamedly confusing, so intent on piling twist upon twist upon twist, it makes your head hurt just trying to figure out what's happened.
  46. There is a guilty-pleasure quality to watching Atkinson at work even when Mr. Bean has overstayed his welcome. The film's lightness makes you wish you were the one headed to the beach.
  47. Not only does it feel like an exclusive party at which there is definitely no room for the uninitiated, its waves of idolization barely leave room for the band itself. Good as they are, They Might Be Giants deserve a better film.
  48. Whatever else Proyas has done in Knowing, he has created an ending that is sure to divide audiences into camps of love it or hate it, deeming its message either hopeful or hopelessly heavy-handed. For me, it doesn't quite work; still I'm glad he took the risk.
  49. If you can get past the gross invasion of privacy issues that would exist if this were real life and not just a frothy confection, what you have is some bittersweet fun peppered by bursts of sharp patter, the best between the boys.
  50. Though there's plenty of movement and enthusiasm, director Susan Seidelman is content with a metronomic approach to manipulating our feelings - buoyant Latin music never felt so routinely scene-setting - and seems afraid to let anyone on-screen depart from established caricature.
  51. A pleasant diversion, a lightly amusing criminal comedy with a plot so complicated even the people in it can't quite believe what's happening.
  52. Like real indie films, garage bands are by definition rough around the edges, but what separates the true believers from the poseurs is their passion, their commitment -- and not just how cool they look on screen or on stage. A mainstream endeavor tricked out as an indie, Garage Days gives us plenty to look at but no reason to care.
  53. As much as we intellectually admire Jarhead, it's a cold film that only sporadically makes the kind of emotional connection it's after.
  54. At best, the jokey bits are occasionally funny.
  55. Depp is rather sweet in portraying Don Juan's self-delusions, but his performance is hampered by the role.
  56. Earnest, gee-whiz and foursquare, this simple and intentionally inoffensive sequel gets points for being easy to take and scrupulously avoiding obvious sources of irritation.
  57. You can't have Rushmore without Max, and though Anderson obviously planned it this way, the kid is finally too off-putting to tolerate.
  58. When it becomes apparent that the seemingly linear narrative is in fact woven with several parallel story lines, one might even be inclined to excuse the plot's too many convenient coincidences.
  59. As choreographed by director Moon Hyun-Sung, the adventure seldom gets sufficiently up to speed, and on the occasions it threatens to come to life, the pedestrian action sequences fail to compensate for that lethargic pace.
  60. One Candle, Two Candles proves worthwhile at least as a cultural curio.
  61. Not having a way to capture images of the machines at work means that too much of Butler's film -- his credits include "Pumping Iron" and the Imax film "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure" -- is disappointingly made up of computer simulations.
  62. The insistently quirky details don't disguise the fact that the drama grows ever more predictable and precious, complete with falling-in-love montage. Screenwriter Jason Lew's character insights take the form of the obvious.
  63. Throughout 1911 the sense of dutiful intentions blocks any building momentum. When an English-speaking character appears to declare that history is being made, it only underlines the obvious.
  64. The appealing Doleac, who also produced, acquits himself as an actor. But as a director, he shows a wobbly visual sense and an uneven hand with his cast.
  65. Here are casual cruelty, crushing heartbreak and pressure from parents and peers, all of which can involve the viewer but are nothing revelatory.
  66. The movie version of karaoke. It sings the same tune as the 2007 British underground hit, but it's a little, and at times a lot, off-key.
  67. Though the movie is not without thoughtful observations on gender roles and the effects of war, Hart's characters tend to speak in poetic truths that call attention to their authorial polish. The cast breathes what life it can into the proceedings, with Otaru particularly impressive.
  68. In bringing Heller's book to the screen, director Richard Eyre ("Iris," "Stage Beauty") and screenwriter Patrick Marber ("Closer") have tossed the book's subtlety out the window, along with its psychological complexity, its running theme of self-deception and its dark, extra-wry sense of humor.
  69. The movie has a few bursts of energy and invention — a cleverly executed jailbreak is one. But the story drifts and the pacing drags, failing to gather much steam until the final moments.
  70. DamNation is certainly a picturesque splash of doc advocacy, as long as you don't dwell on the cracks.
  71. There are moments when it is possible, with effort, to forget the plot and its tired premise and enjoy Witherspoon and Ruffalo's chemistry and imagine they are in another movie. But never for long.
  72. Rourke and Wolff certainly have chemistry, and Sarah Silverman (as Ed's concerned single mom) and Emma Roberts (as Ed's potential girlfriend) provide solid support on the edges. But the humor never feels aimed in any particular direction.
  73. The film constantly teeters on the fulcrum of its own treacly good intentions and simplistic parable-like storytelling, and the extent that it stays balanced is largely thanks to its agile cast.
  74. The overall sense is of a rushed, simplistic installment in a well-worn biography franchise.
  75. The 20 or so minutes we spend with the Albatross in the squall is high adventure, to be sure. Everything else is ballast.
  76. Regrettably, the subtitles fail to capture Sul and Moon's witty wordplay — but their snappy, prickly chemistry is obvious to all.
  77. The man was not, by most accounts, pedestrian. In trying to follow so closely in his footsteps, the film, however, is.
  78. The movie loses some of its initial atmospheric tension as paranoid thrills give way to Rambo high jinks.
  79. Even though all the supporting elements of a superior film are here, the actual plot that everything is at the service of is disappointing. The texture of reality and the sheen of fine craft disguise this for a while, but not forever.
  80. Starts out as such a deliciously savage satire of TV kiddie shows that it's a shame it swerves out of control and over the top, sliding into tedium before pulling together for a clever, if protracted, finish.
  81. For all its surface verisimilitude and for all its focus on a problem that couldn't be more current, this film can't manage to feel more than sporadically real.
  82. Adventures of Power just may teach the world that, as hard as it is to catch the wind, it's harder still to drum the air.
  83. Surprisingly free of gore, unlike its predecessors.
  84. Beautiful Girls follows the boys as they work their way through these crises, and it's about as much fun as a neighborhood bar on a Tuesday night. Its crisis: not much happening.
  85. The two leads are resolute soldiers about it all, but they’re dutifully edgy elements in a stylist’s frame instead of fully realized characters living out what is supposed to be the riskiest time of their lives.
  86. A compelling monotony, but one that's never quite pleasure, never quite pain and, therefore, never quite an experience.
  87. This time out, Spielberg has chosen to put an antic disposition on, and with the single exception of casting, his almost every decision has been disastrous. He has prettified or coarsened; he has made comic scenes broadly slapstick and tiptoed over the story's crucial relationship. The result, alas, is the film purpled.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If Biraben had devoted more energy to the human contours of his story, its metaphorical implications would have sorted themselves out. Instead, he herds his characters toward a foregone conclusion, reducing both their scope and his story's power.
  88. Despite its gorgeous soundtrack, historical sweep and wealth of archival material, (the film) is weakened by sluggish pacing and an overly detailed, increasingly narrow focus.
  89. This is pretty unremarkable stuff that has little to excite outside of its nicely done twirl-and-dip sections, choreographed here by West Coast swing dancing guru Robert Royston.
  90. Perched uncomfortably between flat whimsy and Lifetime movie crescendos, the coming-of-middle-age comic drama The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is rough going.
  91. Striking images of sex and violence combine with an often effective sense of dread as these grim story lines unfold. But without sufficient context and psychological underpinning, less proves decidedly less.
  92. [Barthes'] measured, distanced style brings a certain stiffness to the proceedings and makes us miss even more than usual the Emma Bovary interior monologue that makes the book so memorable.
  93. Because the series' plot reveal turns out to be more confusing than compelling, and because turning a novel into two films invariably leads to inflated productions, only the most devoted fans of the book will pledge allegiance to what's on the screen.
  94. Neither funny enough to be a comedy nor serious enough to pass for drama, and it ambles along aimlessly before grinding to an unconvincing halt.
  95. It doesn't gel and lacks the kind of visual kinetic energy we’ve come to expect from films of this ilk.
  96. It's a pleasure to watch Lane's delicately lived-in face tremble with feeling -- it's the truest thing in the movie -- but the character's desperation feels wrong, the worst kind of sellout.
  97. Lacks freshness and vitality.

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