Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,447 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Inception
Lowest review score: 0 What Love Is
Score distribution:
7,447 movie reviews
  1. If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.
  2. This is no sappy portrait of a saint: Mino is tenacious, critical and defensive, and in one memorable scene, a colleague tries to get her to face reality about what the real world holds for their students after graduation.
  3. Overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood. And its deaths, like that of Hotspur in "Henry IV, Part I," continue to shock no matter how often we've watched them coming. [16 Mar 1997, Calendar, p.7]
  4. The film is a glittering triumph of personal expression at its most elegant and opulent.
  5. Seems every bit the masterpiece it was when first released by Paramount. In this dazzling film, Bertolucci manages to combine the bravura style of Fellini, the acute sense of period of Visconti and the fervent political commitment of Elio Petri -- and, better still, a lack of self-indulgence.
  6. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film.
  7. As someone who was part of the Resistance, Melville knew enough to neither melodramatically glorify nor cynically devalue the heroism he presents. This is people doing what needed to be done, Army of Shadows says, this is the way it was.
  8. Beautifully crafted, movingly acted, still involving and entertaining, this is just the kind of film people are talking about when they say they don't make them like this anymore.
  9. With Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro has made his most accomplished film to date, a dark and disturbing fairy tale for adults that's been thought out to the nth degree and resonates with the irresistible inevitability of a timeless myth.
  10. 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.
  11. Beyond the timelessness of the story itself, the film is beautifully shot and though early in Godard’s career already showcased his ability to capture emotional intensity in the very way he frames the shots.
  12. One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against, it's no musty museum piece but a driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom.
  13. This is a film with a commitment to reality unlike any we're used to seeing.
  14. This is impressive filmmaking, but it is not easy to take in.
  15. Director Wong is at his best in this rerelease of the 1991 film.
  16. Ratatouille is as audacious as they come. It takes risks and goes places other films wouldn't dare, and it ends up putting rival imaginations in the shade.
  17. It enables us to recapture exactly the delightful sensations felt all those years ago when we and the world were young and exciting together.
  18. Gravity is out of this world. Words can do little to convey the visual astonishment this space opera creates. It is a film whose impact must be experienced in 3-D on a theatrical screen to be fully understood.
  19. Smartly written by Aaron Sorkin, directed to within an inch of its life by David Fincher and anchored by a perfectly pitched performance by Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network is a barn-burner of a tale that unfolds at a splendid clip.
  20. One reason Boal makes such a potent combination with Bigelow is that her directing style moves us right along. She is so good with both action and creating a convincing look and feel for the film that the time it takes to get up to speed with the complicated plot does not feel like a problem.
  21. A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised.
  22. The films have only gotten better by letting the relationship marinate. "Midnight's" more disgruntled edge reflects what creeps up on couples as years pass, regrets stack up, kids factor in, real life intervenes.
  23. The Manchurian Candidate proves that its fascination is intact. [12 Jan 1998, p.C1; Re-Release]
  24. Prepare to be astonished by Spirited Away.
  25. Seeing E.T. again reminds us of how much we've remained the same, how gratified we still are by a film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy.
  26. One of the strengths of Killer of Sheep, one of the reasons it has not dated, is that the naturalness and simplicity with which it unfolds give it the texture of a story told from the inside.
  27. Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
  28. Daring and traditional, groundbreaking and familiar, apocalyptic and sentimental, Wall-E gains strength from embracing contradictions that would destroy other films.
  29. Achieves its success through a combination of attitude and technique, uniting, to exceptional effect, a way of viewing the world morally while looking at it physically.
  30. From Here to Eternity remains, half a century later, a singular cinematic experience, one of the landmarks of American film.
  31. Exactly written, directed with a surgeon's precision and transcendently acted, Sideways brings emotional reality to a consistently amusing character comedy, making it something to be cherished like the delicate Santa Ynez Valley wines that are the story's vivid backdrop.
  32. An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time.
  33. As completely real on the psychological level as its up-to-the-moment visual effects have on the physical.
  34. Hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius.
  35. Heartbreaking, haunting and unexpectedly heartening, First Cousin Once Removed is an uncommonly moving documentary portrait of a mind in disarray.
  36. A perfect storm of a motion picture, with an icy, immaculate director unexpectedly taking on deeply emotional subject matter.
  37. Glaciers might be melting, the polar caps might be crumbling, but not even the passage of half a century has taken the frozen edge off this brilliantly icy film.
  38. The performances of Close and Silver are flawless, but it is Irons' portrait that remains behind, an enigmatic after-image… Reversal of Fortune is a delectable tour through facets of the lives of the rich and famous that Robin Leach wouldn't touch with a forked stick. [17 Oct 1990]
  39. Crouching Tiger's blend of the magical, the mythical and the romantic fills a need in us we might not even realize we had.
  40. Quietly devastating. [15 Dec 1993]
  41. A brilliantly conceived epic fable.
  42. It may seem like nothing much is happening on-screen, but by the time A Summer's Tale is all over, it feels like everything important has been said and done. Welcome to the magic of Rohmer, one final time.
  43. The film, which came out in 1970 after a censorship battle with the Franco regime, catches — and releases — all the tension of shifting sexual mores. You can almost sense the director's pleasure in taking apart the duplicities of a patriarchal Spanish society. [21 Feb. 2013]
  44. When it comes to unflinching, riveting looks at a compulsive artist who can't be other than who he is, nothing comes close to Crumb.
  45. While the bleak, funny, exquisitely made Inside Llewyn Davis echoes familiar themes and narrative journeys, it also goes its own way and becomes a singular experience, one of their best films.
  46. Wonderfully humanistic film. Yi Yi investigates the entire melody of life.
  47. Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.
  48. The reality of François' classroom is so intense that it holds our interest even while the film's dramatic focus is building so quietly under the surface that we don't notice it at first.
  49. One of the bloodiest and most beautiful reflections on atonement in the Scorsese canon... It is still one of cinema's most breathtaking films.
  50. For 20 years, Claire Denis has been among France's foremost filmmakers with her acute yet subtle observations of the ebbs and flows within relationships. Her perception and understanding seem to grow only richer over the years, and her newest film, 35 Shots of Rum, is surely one of her finest -- and thereby one of the best films of the year.
  51. Creates magic of a completely different sort. It makes the unlikeliest subject unforgettable, finding drama, beauty, even poetry in simple things and simple lives.
  52. This witty and tender 1966 gem remains as timeless and fresh as ever.
  53. It's important to remember that Sinclair was as much a committed socialist as a novelist, someone who probably wrote for political purpose more than for dramatic effect. So while Day-Lewis' gorgeous acting largely disguises it, the people in "Blood" tend to be schematic and the film as a whole has a weakness for the didactic.
  54. Although its computer-generated imagery is impressive, the major surprise of this bright foray into a new kind of animation is how much cleverness has been invested in story and dialogue.
  55. A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s. Coming at a turning point in French cinematic history, it drew upon several major talents - director Louis Malle, star Jeanne Moreau, cinematographer Henri Decaë, musician Miles Davis - and achieved near-legendary results with all of them.
  56. Made with intelligence, imagination, passion and skill, propulsively paced and shot through with an aged-in-oak sense of wonder, the trilogy's first film so thrillingly catches us up in its sweeping story that nothing matters but the vivid and compelling events unfolding on the screen.
  57. This film becomes the kind of love note to movies we want and need.
  58. There's such a rich sense of the fullness of life in Moolaadé that it sustains those passages that are truly and necessarily harrowing.
  59. Nearly three hours long, and deliberately paced at that, this first feature ever in the Inuit language is a demanding experience. But the rewards for those who risk the journey are simply extraordinary.
  60. Fast, funny, unexpected and uninhibited, The Triplets of Belleville may be animated, but it is also the product of an artistic vision every bit as rigorous as any lofty Cannes prize-winner. Hearing about a film this special isn't enough. It demands to be seen, and it generously rewards those who, like Madame Souza, let nothing stand in their way.
  61. A dazzling epic of love, guns, gangsters and cigarettes.
  62. In a commanding performance that is as compelling as it is unexpected, Mirren has turned The Queen into something you never imagined it could be: a crackling dramatic story that's intelligent, thoughtful and moving.
  63. An invigorating powerhouse of a personal documentary, adventurous and absolutely fascinating.
  64. 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.
  65. Stirred up impassioned debate everywhere; it would seem the greatest compliment that could be paid a stunning entertainment. [30 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
  66. Provocative, hallucinatory, incendiary, this devastating animated documentary is unlike any Israeli film you've seen. More than that, in its seamless mixing of the real and the surreal, the personal and the political, animation and live action, it's unlike any film you've seen, period.
  67. If film means anything to you, if emotional truth is a quality you care about, this is an event that ought not be missed.
  68. An intense, nihilistic thriller as well as a model of implacable storytelling, this is a film you can't stop watching even though you very much wish you could. That's because No Country escorts you through a world so pitilessly bleak, "you put your soul at hazard," as one character says, to be part of it.
  69. A documentary potent enough to alter how you see the world.
  70. Director Judy Chaikin, who co-wrote the film with its deft editor, Edward Osei-Gyimah, infuses this fine portrait with grace, nostalgia and a well-calibrated dose of social commentary.
  71. This offbeat emotional thriller is an unusually satisfying film, intricately constructed, surely directed and splendidly acted. [25 Nov 1992]
  72. To borrow a marketing phrase from another, very different film, A Prophet really is the movie that reminds you why you love the movies. Especially movies like this one.
  73. Intense, immersive and in control, Winter's Bone has an art house soul inside a B picture body, and that proves to be a potent combination indeed.
  74. L.A. Confidential, with an exceptional ensemble cast directed by Curtis Hanson from James Ellroy's densely plotted novel, looks to be the definitive noir for this particular time and place.
  75. Once positions hardened, tragedy was all but inevitable, and Bloody Sunday" does the spirit of that awful day full and unforgettable justice.
  76. Superb.
  77. Her
    Acerbic, emotional, provocative, it's a risky high dive off the big board with a plot that sounds like a gimmick but ends up haunting, odd and a bit wonderful.
  78. A dazzlingly imaginative work with awesome production values and special effects that bear comparison to those of "2001."
  79. Egoyan understands how potent a deliberate pace can be, how effective it is in making already powerful material strong enough to tear at your heart.
  80. A clever and outrageous piece of whimsical fantasy that is unique, unpredictable and more than a little strange.
  81. Because Linklater now wears his heart on his sleeve, he has made a film that in its joy, optimism and aesthetic achievement keeps faith with American cinema at its finest.
  82. Bird has created the unprecedented film that is not just a grand feature-length cartoon but a grand feature, period, a piece of animation that's involving across a spectrum of comedy, action, even drama.
  83. See it and it'll stay with you as your own memories do: funny, poignant, bittersweet and irreplaceable.
  84. Mellow, beautiful, rich and brimming with love, "Hannah" is the best Woody Allen yet and, quite simply, a great film. [7 February 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
  85. When on-the-ground reality is conveyed with the complexity and fascination it is here, unforgettable documentaries are always the result.
  86. It's the style of the thing, not the plot, that is the attraction here, the great way the cast has with the snarky dialogue.
  87. Adventurous, provocative, even daring.
  88. [Russell's] dizzying, outlandishly entertaining American Hustle is a 21-first century screwball farce about 20th-century con men, scam artists and those who dream of living large, a film that is big hearted and off the wall in equal measure.
  89. It's a mind-bending film, devastating and disorienting, that disturbs us in ways we're not used to being disturbed, raising questions about the nature of documentary, the persistence of evil, and the intertwined ways movies function in our culture and in our minds.
  90. The fact that this kind of serious material ends up playing puckishly funny as well as poignant is a tribute both to Coppola and to her do-or-die decision to cast Murray in the lead role.
  91. Those who see it will, quite frankly, not believe their luck. It is that satisfying, that engrossing, that good.
  92. It convincingly demonstrates that when done right, moral and political quandaries can be the most intensely dramatic dilemmas of all.
  93. Director Spike Lee has made some of the most hard-edged and unsettling American films on racism and its effects. Yet none has been as moving as this. [24 Oct 1997, Pg.F2]
  94. House of Flying Daggers finds the great Chinese director at his most romantic in this thrilling martial arts epic that involves a conflict between love and duty carried out to its fullest expression.
  95. Ida
    Spare, haunting, uncompromising, Ida is a film of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.
  96. A provocative political thriller that is as troubling today as when it came out in 1970. Maybe more so.
  97. The musical biography of comedian Fanny Brice emerges as a true classic, as enthralling as the day it was released in 1968. It is a superb example of Hollywood craftsmanship in which all elements have been blended to perfection with inspired artistry.
  98. This is a police procedural, if you will, about what's been called the artistic crime of the century.
  99. This small gem of a movie always feels true and real as it gently reveals the quiet moments that define our lives.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result, narrated in a grave monotone by Campbell Scott, is a catalog of horrors so absurd and relentless it verges on farce, or Greek tragedy.

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