Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 8,441 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 About Schmidt
Lowest review score: 0 8MM
Score distribution:
8,441 movie reviews
  1. The writer-director appears to be straining for his effects. Some sequences, especially one involving bondage harnesses and homosexual rape, have the uncomfortable feeling of creative desperation, of someone who's afraid of losing his reputation scrambling for any way to offend sensibilities. [14 Oct 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
  2. You can't have Rushmore without Max, and though Anderson obviously planned it this way, the kid is finally too off-putting to tolerate.
  3. It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced. [3 July 1985, p.Calendar 6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  4. Even when Griffin has a heart of stone, Tim Robbins is lacking in the knid of ice-cold magnetism that allows a thorough bastard to hold the screen like nobody's business. [10 Apr 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  5. While Malick's great ability holds us for a time, it is finally not enough to compensate for a lack of dramatic involvement - those eschatological quandaries tend to overwhelm the story. The Tree of Life, its enormous advantages notwithstanding, ends up a film that demands to be admired but cannot be easily embraced.
  6. Nothing that Davies does is ordinary or artless but his craftsmanship has its suffocating side too.
  7. Corpse Bride has more warmth and appeal than its title would indicate, but it is finally more grotesque than good-humored. And, even at 75 minutes, it feels longer than its content can comfortably support.
  8. The first-time director's unflinching camera, deliberate pacing and maddeningly long takes just amplify the story's innate harshness and test audience endurance levels.
  9. 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.
  10. Though it's a decidedly arty piece, Leviathan, named after the biblical sea creature, also lacks much in the way of traditional beauty or splendor. However, the immersive shots of those swooping and circling sea gulls are quite something.
  11. Solondz's filmmaking style tries to make a virtue out of flatness and distance, and is always more comfortable indicating where feelings would go than actually providing them.
  12. The Wrestler doesn't add up. It's constructed with great care around a lead performance that is everything it could possibly be, but the picture itself is off-putting and disappointing.
  13. A one-trick pony, a movie that has a gift only for making audiences squirm.
  14. A clever, entertaining stunt, no more, no less.
  15. Paradoxically, it is Shawshank's zealousness in trying to cast a rosy glow over the prison experience that makes us feel we're doing harder time than the folks inside. [23 Sept 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
  16. Pohlad did not lack for ideas about how he wanted to portray Brian Wilson's life, but he is without the wherewithal to effectively put them into practice.
  17. A potent and unexpected mixture of authenticity and flash -- even if this is what happened on the ground, making it worth our time on screen is just beyond the contortionist abilities of even this most acrobatic of films.
  18. Though Iron Man is diverting enough in the comic-book-movie mode, there is one thing it doesn't have, and that is dramatic unity. Unlike the irreducible element that is its namesake, Iron Man the movie is an alloy, a combination of several different and disconnected components that don't manage to unite to make a coherent whole.
  19. It's strange that in this somber inspection of moral fiber and what causes it to fray, De Palma couldn't have made his hero at least as interesting as his villain, and both of them at least as complicated as they were in life.
  20. Though it has its charms, Monsters, Inc. does not measure up. As a childhood entertainment it is certainly fine, but Pixar's celebrated lure for adults is largely absent.
  21. Drive is a Los Angeles neo-noir, a neon-lit crime story made with lots of visual style. It's a film in love with both traditional noir mythology and ultra-modern violence, a combination that is not ideal.
  22. At first Tabu is intriguing. But the enigma gets wearing as the director's attention is divided between the homage to the silent film era and the film's underlying exploration of the regret of old age.
  23. With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
  24. Self-conscious about its heroism with portrayals that lean toward the glib and the professionally uplifting, the film milks our sympathies too readily to be emotionally convincing.
  25. A performer of formidable self-absorption, Johnston has inspired a film with the same trait, and the results are about what you might expect.
  26. Like many music documentaries, this film suffers from the tendency to reiterate its point too often.
  27. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but Argentine writer-director Damián Szifron allows it to sit until it congeals in the dreary six-part anthology Wild Tales.
  28. In the end, even in the howling high frequencies and the nihilistic night, this R-rated movie misses its best shot. It doesn't talk hard enough. [22 Aug 1990, p.5]
    • Los Angeles Times
  29. It's a film of exceptional technical virtuosity that could have used some help in the dramatic department.
  30. Shallow where it would be meaningful, demanding leaps of faith it has not earned, this film's marriage of arresting technique to empty thinking is not unique, only frustrating.

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