Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,705 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 10 Things I Hate About You
Lowest review score: 0 Dead Silence
Score distribution:
7,705 movie reviews
  1. Intense, hypnotic, assured, Croupier mesmerizes from its opening image of a roulette ball on the move.
    • Los Angeles Times
  2. Assayas has made a great film from Jacques Chardonne's classic novel. Although far different in tone, time, place and temperament, it brings to mind "Gone With the Wind" in its depth and scope and in its love story, which unfolds over a turbulent era.
  3. A constant, idiosyncratic pleasure that leaves us eager to see what the Goodmans and Logue will do next.
  4. Exquisitely made with a mesmerizing sense of style, it shows the wonderful things that can happen when traditional material is both handled with care and adroitly updated.
  5. An exquisite love story directed with admirable subtlety and sensitivity.
  6. In short, Wonderland is an extraordinary film, as entertaining as it is observant, about ordinary people.
    • Los Angeles Times
  7. 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.
  8. A superlative work, offering a rich emotional experience that at the same time calls attention to the seemingly endless suffering of the Afghan people.
  9. A dazzlingly imaginative work with awesome production values and special effects that bear comparison to those of "2001."
  10. Lutz's dialogue is consistently sharp and snappy, and the large cast forms a sparkling ensemble under Junger's adept direction.
  11. Cookie's Fortune, which knows how to treat serious matters with humor, is to be treasured as an utterly distinctive work by one of America's finest filmmakers. [2 April 1999, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  12. Late Marriage will assuredly rank as one of the cleverest, most deceptively amusing comedies of the year.
  13. 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.
  14. Go
    Offers breathtaking comic-action fantasy….Exhilarating and sharp, it never stops for a second. [9 April 1999, Calendar, p.F-6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  15. It's a shining valentine to the movies--full of homages, collages and swooningly romantic Ennio Morricone music--and it gets right at the messy, impure, wondrous way they capture and enrapture us. [16 February 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  16. Electrifying… As writer, director and editor, [Soderbergh’s] control is mesmerizing. It's also more than a little creepy; as though Soderbergh were drawing us, a step at a time, into a warm pool where intimate secrets flowed back and forth as simply as currents of water. [4 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  17. Irresistibly funny… Just about the best holiday gift imaginable. [23 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. A little movie with big truths, a work of such fierce intelligence and emotional honesty that it blows away the competition when it comes to contemporary romantic comedy.
  19. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  20. 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.
  21. It's as engaging, as modest, as utterly American and as thrilling as the true-life story it's based on. [11 Dec 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  22. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  23. It is Scott's work as the savagely articulate Roger, a tireless would-be seducer, bottomlessly self-confident and oblivious to rejection, that is the film's glistening and provocative centerpiece.
  24. A convulsively funny affair.[15 July 1988, Calendar, p. 6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  25. A rich, unnerving film, as comic as it is astringent, that in its own quiet way works up a considerable emotional charge. [8 Oct 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
  26. The summer's uncorseted, unqualified delight. [14 July 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  27. This is a film that insinuates itself deeply into our awareness. It's that rare pulp story with something on its mind, an unnerving, socially conscious thriller with a killer sense of narrative drive.
  28. His is a triumph of pure filmmaking, a pitiless, unrelenting, no-excuses war movie so thoroughly convincing it's frequently difficult to believe it is a staged re-creation.
  29. With this masterful, flawless film, Xiaoshuai emerges in the front ranks of China's now numerous, world-renowned filmmakers.
  30. Mendes, in only his second feature (following the Oscar-winning "American Beauty"), has told this surprisingly resonant story with the potent, unrelenting fatalism of a previously unknown Greek myth.
  31. Anthony LaPaglia and Sigourney Weaver are superb in this moving adaptation of the post-Sept. 11 play.
  32. An astonishing technological feat, but what is even more remarkable is that the technology does not overwhelm the artistry.
  33. A wonderful treasure from the seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia of crackling French crime dramas.
  34. May well be Imamura's funniest film; it is also one of his most accomplished. It is the work of a mature artist who has kept his adventurous spirit alive, which he has expressed in a complex and risky work carried off with an effortlessness that comes only from wisdom and experience.
  35. This is a nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.
  36. It enables us to recapture exactly the delightful sensations felt all those years ago when we and the world were young and exciting together.
  37. A beautifully done adaptation of the novel, polished, elegant and completely cinematic. It is also a bit distant, a film that doesn't wear its feelings on its sleeve, but given the effects it's after, that would be counterproductive. [17 Sept 1993, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  38. Dense, satisfying, feverishly inventive and a technical marvel… But--animation aside--the treasure of the piece is Hoskins' pungent, visceral comic performance. [22 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. Superb -- Crammed with incident, and bristles with passion and energy. Tavernier treats his actors, every last one of them impressive, as an ensemble.
  40. Simultaneously heroic and nihilistic, reeking of myth but modern as they come, it is a Western for those who know and chrish the form, a film that resonates with the spirit of films past while staking out a territory quite its own. [7 Aug 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  41. A savage comedy about the war in the former Yugoslavia that artfully mixes comic absurdism with a passion for what's right and a concern for the individuality of all concerned.
  42. If film means anything to you, if emotional truth is a quality you care about, this is an event that ought not be missed.
  43. An exceptional--and exceptionally disturbing--film from a first-time director and writer (with Andy Bienen) named Kimberly Pierce. Unflinching, uncompromising, made with complete conviction and rare skill.
  44. 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.
  45. Perhaps the most original movie fantasy creation of the year: an icon of tenderness and artistic alienation that clings, stickum-like, to your mind's eye and the softest, most woundable parts of your mass-culture heart. [7 Dec 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  46. See it and it'll stay with you as your own memories do: funny, poignant, bittersweet and irreplaceable.
  47. Toy Story 2 may not have the most original title, but everything else about it is, well, mint in the box.
  48. 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.
  49. The extraordinary quality of White's script and Arteta's direction lifts the meticulously cast actors to the height of their abilities. "Friends" star Aniston digs deep but is never showy. Reilly reveals the tenderness, vulnerability and hidden depth that can lurk within a slob, and Nelson has some of the film's most outrageously funny and inspired moments.
  50. One of those entertaining confections that's so pleasing to the eye and ear you'd have to be a genuine Scrooge to struggle against it.
  51. To think of a film this assured, this unified and this dizzyingly potent, you have to go back to "Blue Velvet." [22 Sept 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  52. Hopkins' insinuating performance puts him right up there with the screen's great bogymen. [13 February 1991, Calendar, p.F-1}
    • Los Angeles Times
  53. Echoes the unmistakable freshness and excitement of the Nouvelle Vague, the sense of joy in being alive and making movies, that made those works distinctive and unforgettable.
  54. With performances that will raise the hairs on the back of your head, it's a film that knows the private geography of love, grief and obsession.
  55. A comedy poised on the knife's edge of tragedy, the film is a gutsy, truthful, deeply rooted vision of contemporary American life, scaled to the size of an ordinary man. It's a humanist triumph strip-mined of bathos and confirmation that, after directing just three features, Payne has become the most gifted comic social satirist to hit our movies since Preston Sturges.
  56. By the time this irresistible treat is over, it has created some of the funniest moments and most inspired visual humor and design we may expect to experience at the movies all year. [30 Mar 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  57. As essential in its own way as Anton Karas' celebrated zither work was to "The Third Man," Lola's music is perfectly suited to the film's aims and just about addictive in its throbbing, insinuating rhythms.
  58. On the screen, the rip-roaring rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch retains all the excitement and energy it had on stage while adding depth, clarity and emotional texture.
  59. This offbeat emotional thriller is an unusually satisfying film, intricately constructed, surely directed and splendidly acted. [25 Nov 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  60. Wickedly mocking but empathetic, able to laugh at its characters while paying attention to their sorrows, this subversive comedy about self-esteem resists the notion that films have to timidly remain within tidy genre rules.
  61. The film's immense cast and crew, headed by director Michael Bay, writer Randall Wallace and stars Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale, blend artistry and technology to create a blockbuster entertainment that has passion, valor and tremendous action.
  62. A clear-eyed vision. Authentic as an Edward Curtis photograph, lyrical as a George Catlin oil or a Karl Bodmer landscape, this is a film with a pure ring to it. It's impossible to call it anything but epic [9 Nov 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  63. Diamond-hard and mesmerizing… Bening and Cusack are perfection at what they are doing, she twinkly as any rhinestone, he dangerously passive; it's hardly their fault that Huston is the motor of the piece and so ferociously seductive that one cannot look away from her. [5 Dec 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
  64. Rising to crescendos of emotion usually reached only by tenors and sopranos, these characters are the beneficiaries of the luminous writing of the novel and screenplay as well as the expert performances of the actors, especially Scott Thomas.
  65. A dazzling epic of love, guns, gangsters and cigarettes.
  66. Likely as not, these things mean nothing in a conventional plot sense, but as powerful images, as pictures from a dreamlike world, they are unforgettable. And that, David Lynch would probably say, is exactly the point.
  67. GoodFellas is "Raging Bull" squared. [20 September 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  68. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. Adventurous, provocative, even daring.
  70. Superb.
  71. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  72. A sleek, accomplished piece of work, meticulously controlled and completely involving. The dark end of the street doesn't get much more inviting than this.
  73. Popular filmmaking at its smartest and most persuasive.
  74. The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. [19 September 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  75. Like taking a drug everyone says is dynamite and impatiently wondering why the heck it's not kicking in. The kick in fact turns out to be real, and as powerful as advertised, but it doesn't necessarily hit you in any way you anticipated.
  76. Star Michael Caine, who gives one of the great, inescapably moving performances in a career filled with them, based his character on personal impressions of the late author. And Greene's lifelong concern with moral ambiguity gives this film a texture and complexity that movies don't usually achieve.
  77. Creates magic of a completely different sort. It makes the unlikeliest subject unforgettable, finding drama, beauty, even poetry in simple things and simple lives.
  78. A whole world can be fit into 76 minutes, and that's what the splendid documentary OT: our town manages to do.
  79. 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.
  80. May be the best "new" American movie released this year. [11 Sept 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  81. More elaborate than the original, but just as shrewdly put together, it cleverly combines the most successful elements of its predecessor with a number of new twists (would you believe a kinder, gentler Terminator?) to produce on e hell of a wild ride, a Twilight of the Gods that takes no prisoners and leaves audiences desperate for mercy. [3 July 1991, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  82. Such nourishing comedy. It satisfies every hunger, especially the irrational ones that seem to hit hardest at holidays: hunger for impetuous romance and for the reassuring warmth of family, for reckless abandon, and for knowing who we are and what we want. [16 Dec 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  83. 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.
  84. Prepare to be astonished by Spirited Away.
  85. It's typical of the nerve, the bravado, the sheer giddy playfulness and sense of fun that characterize what has to be the boldest and most imaginative studio film of the year.
  86. Deliciously funny and fiendishly clever con-man comedy that begins on a note of ingenuity that it then sustains with the tension of a high-wire act.
  87. Effervescent, unflappable, supremely pleased with herself, Cher (delightfully played by the much-publicized Alicia Silverstone) is the comic centerpiece of Clueless, a wickedly funny teen-age farce from writer-director Amy Heckerling that, like its heroine, turns out to have more to it than anyone could anticipate. [19 July 1995]
    • Los Angeles Times
  88. The film's three leads are extraordinary, but what Moore does with her role is so beyond the parameters of what we call great acting that it nearly defies categorization.
  89. A splendid film. It uses all the resources of cinema -- masterful writing, superb acting, directorial intelligence, an enveloping score, top-of-the-line production design, costumes, cinematography and editing -- to make a film whose cumulative emotional power takes viewers by surprise, capturing us unawares in its ability to move us as deeply as it does.
  90. A thoroughly original accomplishment of a high artistic order, Northfork features flawless, spare production design by Ichelle Spitzig and the Polish brothers' father, Del, and cinematographer M. David Mullen's striking images slide effortlessly into Dalí-like Surrealism.
  91. 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.
  92. A major American motion picture, an overpowering piece of work that involves some of the most basic human emotions: love, hate, fear, revenge, despair. Directed by Clint Eastwood with absolute confidence and remarkable control.
  93. 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.
  94. It was this ineffably poignant semiautobiographical reverie that unleashed fully Fellini's shimmering, flowing poetic style, echoed perfectly in a plaintive score by Fellini's potently evocative collaborator, Nino Rota.
  95. 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.
  96. From Here to Eternity remains, half a century later, a singular cinematic experience, one of the landmarks of American film.
  97. AKA
    Among the most sophisticated, fully realized and satisfying films of the year.
  98. As completely real on the psychological level as its up-to-the-moment visual effects have on the physical.
  99. Never one to shy away from challenges, Morris has come up with one of the best documentaries of this or any year.
  100. Its step-by-step tragedy is so ruthless in its unfolding, you may find yourself wishing it were less well done, that it left you some room to breathe. But House of Sand and Fog has a story to tell and it means to tell it, no matter what the cost.

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