Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,763 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Melancholia
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
7,763 movie reviews
  1. Hittman's debut isn't just a brilliantly tactile study of the mounting sexual curiosity and frustration of 14-year-old Lila (Gina Piersanti); it's also an important landmark in the oft-ignored subgenre of realistic movies about female adolescence.
  2. Watching this film feels like a genesis moment — of sci-fi fable, of filmmaking, of performance — with all the ambiguity and excitement that implies.
  3. Ilo Ilo is writer-director Anthony Chen's first film, but breathtaking intimacy in storytelling is already second nature to him.
  4. Ida
    Spare, haunting, uncompromising, Ida is a film of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.
  5. By focusing on the personal side of the city game, Hoop Dreams tells us more about what works and what doesn't in our society than the proverbial shelf of sociological studies. And it is thoroughly entertaining in the bargain.
  6. Moodysson captures that moment — charged, goofy and transcendent — when personal style and wide-ranging outrage fuse in an all-encompassing manifesto.
  7. Heli is a stunning piece of filmmaking. It's a hypnotic, starkly beautiful, often disturbing drama that puts a working-class Mexican family in the cross hairs of its country's drug war.
  8. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film.
  9. [A] crackerjack thriller, at once brooding, claustrophobic and unbearably tense.
  10. The film is then not so much a meditation but a reverie, a swirl of emotions and ideas, managing to be both calmly reflective and skittishly anxious at the same time. Calvary is a serious comedy, a funny drama, a ruminative film about life and a lively film about death.
  11. It humanely, intelligently questions the very nature of our desire to make sense of the past with the tools of the present, when the human mind remains the most aggressively obliterating battlefield of all.
  12. In the hands of two of the craft's best, the most ordinary of moments become illuminating, penetrating.
  13. Director and co-writer David Wnendt is after serious comedy here, a character study of psychic pain, wounds hereditary and self-inflicted, and body-conscious absurdity that treats the human condition with wry intelligence, not empty prurience.
  14. One of the better movies to come along this year.
  15. The desert trek in Tracks is as brutal as it is beautiful; the performance by Mia Wasikowska as raw as the reality. And the camels? If they don't steal your heart it must be stone-hinged.
  16. These stranger-than-fiction tales, piled one on top of the other in the most gripping way, not only mesmerize us, they also point up another of Last Days in Vietnam's provocative points, that the chaos surrounding the evacuation was, in effect, the entire war in microcosm.
  17. Superbly cast from the two at the top to the smallest speaking parts, impeccably directed by Fincher and crafted by his regular team to within an inch of its life, Gone Girl shows the remarkable things that can happen when filmmaker and material are this well matched.
  18. It is one of those scorching films that burns through emotions, uses up actors, wrings out audiences. And the jazz, well, it has its own moments of brutal, breathtaking fusion.
  19. The director's surrealist portrait of modern times and the cult of celebrity is brilliant on so many levels that even the occasional downdraft can't keep Birdman from soaring.
  20. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a marvel of Japanese animation, a hand-drawn, painterly epic that submerges us in a world of beauty.
  21. Low Down is one from the heart. It's a melancholy, evocative, beautifully made memory piece, unblinking and unromanticized, a lovely film that brings great emotion and a dead-on feeling for time, place and recaptured mood to a story that is as universal as it is personal.
  22. Urgent investigative report and unforgettable drama, Virunga is a work of heart-wrenching tenderness and heart-stopping suspense.
  23. A despairing, intentionally disturbing film that draws us into a maelstrom of desperate emotions, it holds up a dark mirror to the American dream and does not like what it sees.
  24. This enthralling film, based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, is as fascinating as it is horrifying.
  25. Night Will Fall proves a riveting, devastating, heartbreaking and deeply important film, one that you will likely never forget.
  26. The Cruise validates beautifully a life that is its own validation.
  27. Joaquin Phoenix and the terrific acting ensemble that joins him in this pot-infused '70s-era beach noir create such a good buzz you can almost get a contact high from watching.
  28. Top Five is fully loaded. The laughs are earned, the intelligence never disappears, all the performers shine. But Rock is the diamond — raw, rough and rare.
  29. Just as Turner's expressive, enthralling work changed the nature of painting, Mr. Turner, anchored in the rock of Timothy Spall's astonishing, Cannes prize-winning performance, pushes hard against the strictures of conventional narrative and ends up pulling us into its world and capturing us completely.
  30. A film of warmth, insight, humor and surprising originality… [It] isn't perfect, but when it's good, which is every moment John Cusack is on screen, it's a living joy. And when it's not-so-good--earthbound and not inventive enough--it s till almost single-handedly redeems the breed. [14 April 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times

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