Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,499 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 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The City of Lost Children
Lowest review score: 0 Saw 3D
Score distribution:
10499 movie reviews
  1. Not just an especially subtle and thoughtful psychological drama, it's a provocative, even an unnerving one as well.
  2. Cronos surprises with its sophisticated and spirited look at a tale straight from the crypt. [22 Apr 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
  3. Bursting with a rich blend of timely themes, superb voice work, wonderful visuals and laugh-out-loud wit, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Zootopia is quite simply a great time at the movies.
  4. The entire piece is precisely woven together, from script to performance to execution, and the result is a chilling study of emotional annihilation and its aftermath.
  5. The wonderful thing about Band of Outsiders is that the daring elements that jazzed audiences then have the same power to intoxicate all these years later.
  6. Malena the film is as beautiful and seductive as its heroine, with its ravishing Lajos Koltai cinematography and sweepingly romantic Ennio Morricone score.
  7. A delightful, effervescent morality tale for children conveyed with such wit and sophistication that adults are likely to be enchanted as well.
  8. Interstellar turns out to be the rarest beast in the Hollywood jungle. It's a mass audience picture that's intelligent as well as epic, with a sophisticated script that's as interested in emotional moments as immersive visuals. Which is saying a lot.
  9. Disturbing, unnerving and wire-to-wire involving, Deep Water is the story of a dream that got so wildly out of hand that it ensnared the dreamer in an intricate trap of his own devising.
  10. This is quiet but potent filmmaking that believes nothing is more important than the story it has to tell.
  11. A smart, lively and unpretentious exploitation picture...Consistently funny and clever.
  12. Branagh has mastered the tricky high-wire act of simultaneously kidding the conventions he is being absolutely faithful to, allowing us to squeal with both fright and knowing laughter. His is a film lover's film [23 Aug 1991, Calendar, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  13. Provocative and engrossing.
  14. Exuberant and pitiless, profane yet eloquent, flush with the ability to create laughter out of unspeakable situations, Trainspotting is a drop-dead look at a dead-end lifestyle that has all the strength of its considerable contradictions.
  15. A triumph of quiet realism, a piece of sophisticated, subtle filmmaking that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking.
  16. This queasily funny and suspenseful movie is more than a smirking exercise in ideological deck stacking, and to praise it for its political relevance would be to understate its subtlety and specificity.
  17. It's an exasperating, irresistible, must-see mess of a movie about life in the modern world and so very good that even when its story finally crashes and burns the filmmaking remains unscathed.
  18. Crass and macabre, yet big-hearted, it makes a wonderfully adult bedtime story.
  19. Most of all, Davies proves himself to be a poet of the commonplace whose art is the exalting of the everyday. He may rail against "the British genius for creating the dismal," but his own work is anything but.
  20. This is one grand adventure, and, animated or not, those are always welcome.
  21. About a billion laughs (though "Hot Tub" is not for the faint of heart or anyone even slightly concerned with what's happened to common decency these days).
  22. I found it to be some kind of wonderful, flaws and all. This is one to be taken in like meditation. Clear the mind and let what is in front of you wash over you. Save the contemplation for later.
  23. A compelling entertainment because of Hill and co-writer David Giler's adroit cinematic storytelling skills and the powerful presence of Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames, whose talent and intelligence are as impressive as their physiques.
  24. The story floats along like an intoxicating cloud of vice — an effect that Wood achieves with a throbbing, surging soundtrack and an alternately propulsive and hypnotic sense of camera movement. By the time the sensory rush dissipates and the hangover sets in, only Wood’s sharply observant social critique remains.
  25. American Sniper is at its best when it deals with the assembly-line-of-death relentlessness of combat for Kyle, how it simultaneously consumes him and wears him down, and how, to his wife's distress, it turns the civilian life he returns to between tours of duty into the aberration, not the norm.
  26. The movie may, in the end, frustrate your desire for straight-up thrills and clear answers, but its irresolution is masterful — sincere, generous and entirely appropriate to the deeply searching story it has to tell.
  27. Headhunters is a dark adult entertainment, a wild and bloody adrenaline rush of a movie that deals in gleeful grotesqueness and over-the-top implausibilities.
  28. For an American film it is a groundbreaker in exploring the realm of sexual fluidity, and it does so with wit, wisdom and in a completely entertaining fashion.
  29. While the situation seems at times dire, Trapped contains a distinct hopeful streak that is at once defiant and singularly human.
  30. It sounds paradoxical but, if done right, films about a life ending can be the most life-affirming films you'll see. Truman, a great success in its native Spain, is definitely done right.
  31. No filmmaker better understands the revelatory properties of small talk and soju, and few could make the art of repetition seem so rife with possibilities.
  32. There’s an immensity to the small dramas of this awkward in-between stage, where Microbe and Gasoline revel in no longer being boys, but not yet men. Gondry brings a sense of heartfelt nostalgia, pathos and humor to this portrait of a short, unique adolescent moment.
  33. No matter what is going on, Hansen-Love's talent for bringing us inside a specific world makes Eden an experience we all can connect to.
  34. King Kong is an homage not just to the original but to the history of movies themselves.
  35. The brilliance of A Scanner Darkly is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books.
  36. Employing a restless, constantly moving camera and deliberately isolating soundscapes, the meditative and often mesmerizing film confronts the global issue of swelling immigration in the face of steely bureaucratic indifference with a disarming grace and palpable humanity.
  37. A bold and unqualified triumph, nifty trick and treat for Halloween that is, arguably, Hancock's best film ever, surpassing even his potent heart-tugger, the 1973 baseball drama "Bang the Drum Slowly."
  38. While governments and politicians dither about global warming, the world’s undersea coral is moving toward a devastating death. If you don’t believe that, or don’t think it really matters, Chasing Coral presents the evidence with beauty, intelligence and a surprising amount of emotion.
  39. Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker, he's a fantasy visionary with an outsized imagination and a fanatical specificity, a creator of out-of-this world universes carefully conceived down to the smallest detail. His particular gifts and passions are on display in the long-awaited Pacific Rim and the results are spectacular.
  40. Smart, thorough and thoughtful, this disturbing film unfolds like a slow-motion nightmare that has taken half a century to fully reveal itself, a trenchant examination that deserves to stand next to compelling Israeli documentaries on similar themes, including “The Law in These Parts” and “The Gatekeepers.”
  41. It tells a story irresistible to our age of rampant voyeurism and reality TV, yet it also has a potent emotional core that cannot be denied.
  42. A sweeping romantic fable about love and mortality, targets an audience of girls in their early teens, but has been made with such skill and sensitivity that its appeal spans generations.
  43. The thinking person's caper flick, with its endlessly clever plotting revealing character under the utmost pressure.
  44. Just when you thought you had seen every permutation of the “making of a band” documentary, along comes Breaking a Monster, a thoroughly engaging portrait of Unlocking the Truth, a heavy metal outfit composed of African American middle schoolers.
  45. Tells a tale that is stranger than fiction several times over. Viewers of this remarkable documentary will be astonished at not only what this art looks like and why it's forbidden, but also where it is and how it got there.
  46. Most fun of all, however, is basking in Chappelle's ability to be effortlessly funny. Whether he's making believe he's a pimp in a Dayton clothing store or charming little kids in the Bed-Stuy day-care center that was concert headquarters, his personality infuses the film with infectious good feelings.
  47. Truly, there can be nothing as complex as the simplest human relationships, and nothing as satisfying as a film that understands that as this one does.
  48. Na captures at once the fragility of the human body and the deep-rooted darkness of the human soul. The Yellow Sea is easily one of the films of the year for underserved action-heads.
  49. Though Kidman doesn't hesitate to make Grace high-strung and as tightly wound as they come, she also projects vulnerability and courage when they're called for. It's an intense, involving performance, and it dominates and energizes a film that would be lost without it.
  50. Colliding Dreams is a film of ideas and a film of history, a thorough and engrossing look at the root causes of the tortured relationship between Israel and the Palestinians.
  51. The Lords of Salem is like some queasy-making machine, a chamber piece of possession and madness that exerts a strange, disturbing power.
  52. As its name promises, The Great Beauty is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino's mind, a lot more.
  53. After watching Charles Ferguson's powerhouse documentary about the global economic crisis, you will more than understand what went down - you will be thunderstruck and boiling with rage.
  54. Zhang and his sterling actors have made something fairly unforgettable about the tragedy of forgetting.
  55. This rollicking crowd-pleaser might just be smart and substantive enough to be one of the year's best.
  56. Both a step back and a step forward from the trends of modern animation, it feels like a classic even though it's just out of the box.
  57. The most frankly sensual movie in memory. Winner of five Cesars, the French Oscar, including best picture and best actress for its luminous star, Marina Hands, it has found the soul of the celebrated D.H. Lawrence novel.
  58. This is writer-director Richard Linklater at his wry, whimsical best, and considering he was the filmmaker behind 1993's "Dazed and Confused," that makes the movie something of a milestone.
  59. From the first overheated moments of Bridesmaids...it's clear we're in for that rarest of treats: an R-rated romantic comedy from the Venus point of view.
  60. If this labor-of-love portrait is any indication, forgetting Frank Zappa is not going to happen any time soon.
  61. Most of all, Wallace & Gromit retains the clever, one-of-a-kind sensibility that made its shorter predecessors so delightful. With every studio comedy looking for a formula for success, it's refreshing to find a heroically whimsical film that succeeds by following no formula known to dog or man.
  62. Wildlike is an uncommon and deeply sensitive take on this type of story.
  63. The Wind That Shakes the Barley turns out to be a more complicated, more dramatically potent story than it appears at first. It's concerned at its core not with how bad the British were but with what the cost of dealing with them was for the Irish.
  64. For all its gifted collaborators, "Film" was not a match made in heaven. But for moviegoers who care about film not just as a title, Notfilm can be unreservedly recommended.
  65. The Stoning of Soraya M. goes well beyond its angry didacticism and its specific indictment of men's oppression of women to achieve the impact of a Greek tragedy through its masterful grasp of suspense and group psychology, and some superb acting.
  66. With its startling mix of 16-millimeter-shot, handmade animation styles using stop-motion, sketches, collages and models, along with uncensored characters often resembling cadaverous marionettes, this twisted look at life in a faded Appalachian town is one decidedly idiosyncratic ride.
  67. Zeroing in on the art of rehearsal, Becoming Traviata is an exquisitely observed look at performance and the creative process.
  68. Clear-eyed and urgent.
  69. A blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames.
  70. Riveting in its slow and steady accretion of details, its penetrating and richly textured gaze, A Woman’s Life is a bracing reminder that our experiences are often shaped less by what we achieve than by what we endure.
  71. Add one more extraordinary survival tale to the canon of Holocaust documentaries: No Place on Earth.
  72. Here the writer-director's tendency toward the allegorical casts a magical spell with Anderson finding a near perfect balance between the humanism and the surreal that imprints all of his work.
  73. There's not a second in the film that isn't a reminder that New Orleans in its architecture, cuisine and multicultural diversity as well as in its music is a unique and major American center of culture. Murphy has made a film more valuable than he surely ever could have imagined.
  74. Working Girl is the sparkling success that it is because of the sheer irresistibility of Melanie Griffith. [21 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  75. Intimate in the telling, sweeping in the implications, Loznitsa has created an unusually incisive film.
  76. Bridge of Spies is a consummate professional's tribute to a gifted amateur, a smooth entertainment with a strong but subtle political subtext that's both potent and unexpected.
  77. The look and feel of the film is entirely beguiling. It is deliberately not a period piece, heavy with dated styles and fads, but instead evokes a sense of timelessness.
  78. What gives the film a formalist kick is that the story unfolds piecemeal as a series of nonlinear moments. What gives it soul are the three lead actors who pull the pieces together with devastating power.
  79. Director Brett Haley, who co-wrote the film with Marc Basch, has managed to create a film about those final years that gets to the heart of things like loss and love without patronizing or parody. No small thing to create a movie whose cast is mostly in their 70s yet whose story is so relatable whatever your age.
  80. Gorgeous, evocative and well performed.
  81. The Attack rewards your patience. Though it's never less than involving, it grows in stature as it unfolds and ends as a more subtle and disturbing film about love, loss and tragedy than we might initially expect.
  82. That so packed (and pictorially arresting) a scenario is not only well-acted — from the kids to the elders — but handled with emotional intelligence and even eye-rolling humor, speaks to Rauniyar’s narrative gifts regarding matters of his homeland.
  83. By far the most approachable of the director's recent films, with an emotional depth that's true to life and a streamlined narrative that for long stretches barely contains a word.
  84. It's one of the most emotional and compelling the filmmaker has ever made. Confident, uncompromising and blisteringly realistic, Sweet Sixteen is a gritty and immediate film yet it goes right to the emotions.
  85. While the plot twists in Read My Lips may be too intensely melodramatic for some tastes, the performances of the two leads are impeccable, just about compelling our belief.
  86. An exceptional film, at once disturbing and elevating, deliberate yet powerful.
  87. Taut, atmospheric, impeccably made psychological thriller.
  88. One of the places where In a Better World is especially successful is comparing and contrasting the moral worlds of children and adults, showing how difficult but essential it is for each group to learn from the other.
  89. Ultimately, though, it's Abbott's show to steal — and steal it he does — as he rivetingly conjures a character who's chaotically charismatic, hugely affecting and for better or worse thoroughly real.
  90. First-time feature director Ruben Fleischer brings impeccable timing and bloodthirsty wit to the proceedings. Cinematographer Michael Bonvillain captures some interesting images amid the post-apocalyptic carnival of carnage, as when he transforms the destruction of a souvenir shop into a rough ballet.
  91. It's the best kind of unforced filmmaking, able to make its points with delicacy and tact. And the best thing about it is that it is Bottaro's feature directing debut. We have a lot to look forward to.
  92. Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can't believe your luck. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is such a film.
  93. Munich's even-handed cry for peace is not an act of equivocation but one of bravery. What Munich has to say, and its ability to say it to the widest possible audience, couldn't be more needed than it is right now.
  94. Restrained yet powerful, devastating in its emotional effects.
  95. From the shockingly raunchy dialogue to the ironic yuletide pop songs, this movie is a fun kind of nasty.
  96. Raucously funny and surprisingly insightful.
  97. This fresh and flawless adaptation of an autobiographical story by Davy Rothbart is a joy to behold. Its people are in their 20s, but what they experience is ageless, timeless and universal.
  98. It is a caustic, comic, cerebral romp for a long time before it hits you with its best shot — some Polanski-worthy darkness.
  99. Graced with performers who bring a purity of emotion to their work, the film is always dramatically convincing. There is a fundamental air of truth about it, a sense that, horrific though things seem, this is how it must have been.
  100. Bold, acutely observant and universal in its wide-ranging concerns and implications.

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