Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 8,326 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 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Lowest review score: 0 Being Human
Score distribution:
8,326 movie reviews
  1. The problem is that although the characters in Mistress America deliver witty, fast-paced dialogue, they rarely actually seem to be talking to each other, instead facing the audience.
  2. Writer-director Paul Leyden does a decent job holding our interest as well as providing a few intriguing twists and reveals. But make no mistake, this is exceedingly far-fetched stuff.
  3. Though it's handled with little subtlety, the way the atmosphere of suspicion in Vichy France filters down to the kids is a smart slant on the material.
  4. Morelli uses plentiful flashbacks drawn from the earlier movie and television series that are at times intrusive to the narrative but eventually serve to deepen the relationship of Ace and Laranjinha.
  5. It's an interesting take, and it always holds our interest, but it's finally too ham-fisted to be a completely winning one.
  6. As far as documentaries go, the film is exhaustively researched, interviewed and documented.
  7. What helps offset the predictable in this very predictable movie is a series of show-stopping numbers, so props to the folks who oversaw music and choreography. But the true saving grace is a few of the central players.
  8. The film's tone is on the sitcom side, but its likable cast and zany subplots make it palatable.
  9. Not as inspired or amusing as it might be, leans heavily on the considerable charm of its three young and attractive principals. Their charisma and the film's larky spirit, English locales and elaborate cons might be just enough to divert easily satisfied date-night audiences.
  10. If the scenario is unconvincing, debuting writer-director Max Winkler has a feel for the dynamics of this kind of ritualized yet informal social gathering, and his affection for his characters is clear.
  11. To fully appreciate the extreme lowness of Your Highness, it's best to accept that this sometimes witless and sometimes winning comedy has absolutely no socially redeeming value.
  12. Grounded by a gutsy, over-the-edge-and-back performance by Paul Kaye as Frankie, It's All Gone Pete Tong takes the long way around before finally redeeming itself.
  13. As a director, Moore is like an energetic puppy who's all over you all at once. You admire his energy, and it's awfully hard to get angry at such high spirits, but you can't help but wish he'd calm down just a bit.
  14. Ripped directly from Disney's playbook of inspirational sports movies, it's devoid of any original elements that might deter it from that successful formula, hewing closer to the sentimental cliches of "Remember the Titans" than the much better "Miracle" or "The Rookie."
  15. No matter how seriously everyone works to make the CIA impossibly sexy, the illusion that these pencil pushers are incarnations of Bond, James Bond, is difficult to sustain.
  16. The French are very good at taking sit-commy setups and cloaking the machinery with charming and surprisingly resonant comic nuance.
  17. While the story plays better on the page than the screen and some of the film's elements work better than others, a proficient Ron Howard version of things is certainly competent if only occasionally thrilling.
  18. While the film glistens a bit now and again, a closer look reveals you've been diverted not by a diamond but by a genuine synthetic zircon.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    King Corn is entertaining enough, but it's also a moral, crucially skeptical road trip down the food chain.
  19. A film truly geared to the 6-year-old level. If not younger.
  20. An amusingly sentimental whiff of a romantic comedy.
  21. There's good cause to shake the biopic form out of its exhaustively linear, birth-to-death rut, and Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent — starring Gaspard Ulliel as the storied French designer — valiantly tries.
  22. The Sparks-styled romance has almost become its own movie genre - predictable, pure of heart, sentimental and never straying from the boy-meets-girl basics, or the surface, for that matter - and in that The Lucky One delivers.
  23. If anything, the manic energy and aggressive sarcasm of Wain's "Role Models" (2008), which also starred Rudd, has become much more refined in Wanderlust, (well, as refined as something this raw can be).
  24. Has sufficient mayhem to please Diesel's action fans while allowing the star to reach out to family audiences.
  25. The kindest thing that can be said about Sandler's sense of humor is that it's unapologetically juvenile.
  26. 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.
  27. Directed in bold, energetic strokes by Taylor Hackford, "Devil" is fine disreputable fun at first, a stylish and watchable hoot. But then its tone changes, the plot goes gimmicky and bombastic speeches about the nature of good and evil clutter the airwaves and confuse the issue.
  28. That Soul Surfer rates as a giant leap for this team speaks well about the conviction the movie's actors bring to the material as well as the respect afforded the Hamiltons and their faith.
  29. Where the story falters, though, the performers admirably hold one's attention.
  30. A lot of heart and a lot of music. It just doesn't sing.
  31. Well-paced and solidly crafted.
  32. Like an aging athlete who knows how to husband strength and camouflage weaknesses, it makes the most of what it does well and hopes you won't notice its limitations.
  33. An easygoing, earthy comedy that's a good showcase for the robust comic gifts of Cedric the Entertainer.
  34. A meditative piece that is by turns hypnotically beautiful and painfully slow. It's the kind of film perhaps best appreciated in smaller doses, in the same way bench rest can help sustain a tiring museum visit.
  35. The problem with High Crimes, acceptable though it is, is that it's not close to anyone's best work.
  36. What saved "Schindler's List" from this self-conscious nobility was the ambiguity of Oskar Schindler's personality and Spielberg's willingness to treat incendiary material coolly. The lesson he seemed to have learned there, that the strongest stories call for the greatest restraint, is one he has at least partially forgotten here.
  37. Often the film pushes Schemel to the edge of what is intended to be her story, so in Hit So Hard she feels forced into the role of self-sacrificing side-player once again.
  38. No "Babe" but should delight youngsters, although parents likely will find it is sentimental in the extreme, with a plot that telegraphs every development.
  39. Producer-director Markus Imhoof tackles a hugely vital subject, but the film's loose structure and lack of a specific through-line don't make for the clearest intake of its, well, swarm of information.
  40. With an ensemble led by Marion Cotillard and François Cluzet, the French hit has personality to burn, and squanders most of it.
  41. As a grand flourish of cinematic technique, it is awesome; as a human drama, it is disgusting and silly, a mindless depiction of carnage on an epic scale. [15 July 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  42. It's doubtful Milarepa will be opening in Beijing any time soon; all the more reason it deserves a look.
  43. If Tony Vitale's Kiss Me, Guido isn't quite the laff riot its trailer suggests, it nonetheless abounds in good-hearted humor, adding up to a perfectly pleasant summer diversion.
  44. Delicacy isn't going to set anybody's psyche on fire with its insights into grieving and emotional recovery, but as a crepe-thin romantic snack, it has its moments.
  45. A glum and unpleasant experience, caught between what it wants to do and how it has chosen to do it.
  46. Should you find yourself in the mood for Big Musical Numbers by the score rather than a film, there's a lot to like about Burlesque.
  47. It's an acceptable, play-it-safe version of the first volume in the hugely popular Veronica Roth-written trilogy.
  48. There's something about professional comedians breaking down what's funny for civilians that gets annoying after a while.
  49. In every move, Depp makes you believe this was a passion project for the actor, one he dedicates to Thompson.
  50. While the action is brisk, the film never feels in a hurry. Walken and Pacino amble through their paces. Arkin ups the adrenaline any time he's around, and he is not around quite enough.
  51. It's impossible not to root for these driven, high-spirited participants - and for the longevity of this invaluable program.
  52. Southpaw is so logic-defying it takes on a Frankenstein life of its own, especially with as energetic and focused an action maestro as Fuqua ("Training Day," "The Equalizer") in charge.
  53. The stories are interlinked effectively, and the film strikes an upbeat note yet does not address racism and discrimination. For all its affection toward its characters, however, the film is too long and too slack.
  54. Though Girls Rock! is nothing if not well meaning, it doesn't always feel like the best possible film on the subject.
  55. The latest in Hollywood's almost biblical procession of disaster films, Deep Impact tries with moderate success to be more than just the sum of its special effects.
  56. Though its elusive character is undoubtedly part of its strength, Dogtooth ends up feeling somehow like a dodge and a sidestep. As a film, it's pure and singular, but it's not quite fully formed enough to be what one could call truly visionary.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This isn't merely a horror film about things going bump in the night, but a study of the effects of desolation on our sense of personal consciousness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Skipping from one story to another and scrambling their relative chronologies, Drama/Mex presents a flashy package, but that only reveals the paucity of its ideas.
  57. That the movie works as well as it does is a testament to writer-director Thomas Farone's persistence and clear connection to his cagey material.
  58. As with the DeMille ventures, enjoyment here involves managing expectations and not taking things too seriously.
  59. Despite the riveting performances of Renfro and McKellen, we're left with classic horror-movie sociopaths, evil-doers without conscience, or much to say about the nature of evil.
  60. The new thriller from South Korean director Park Chan-Wook is a bizarrely perverse, beautifully rendered mystery that you may or may not care to solve.
  61. Mendes is charismatic and likable as Grace - perhaps too likable. Conveying Grace's parental blind spots, she doesn't turn her character's single motherhood into an argument for sainthood. Yet she avoids any darker glimpses that would lend a more satisfying complexity to the mother-daughter tension and to the movie's too-neat ending.
  62. Lurie undermines his high-wire act with the melodramatic carryings-on of the diner patrons.
  63. Stewart acquits himself solidly, though not thrillingly, as a beginning director, doing especially well in the film's involving central section dealing with Bahari's time in prison, where the filmmaking is as compelling as the feature's intentions are admirable.
  64. Two-Bit Waltz is watchably imitative, arch nonsense. It has committed performances — including a deadpan turn on the edges by William H. Macy as the dad who's only seen reading books — and the occasional, provocatively funny line of dialogue.
  65. The two men collaborate so well, in fact, that the real love match of Appaloosa is between the two of them and no one else.
  66. There is enough ridiculous fun in the Tracy Morgan- Bruce Willis pairing as two of Brooklyn's "finest" to get many of you past the squirm-inducing stuff.
  67. Nakache and Toledano...pepper the film with enough stirring emotional beats, crowd-pleasing bits...and vivid supporting characters such as Samba's ebullient immigrant pal, Wilson (Tahar Rahim), that there are distinct pleasures to be had.
  68. The bookish group at the heart of this talky film is having such a grand time trading tart exchanges their mood proves infectious. The sparring helps offset some of the contrivances that make Liberal Arts less buttoned up than it should be - so an A for effort and a C for execution.
  69. While there's regrettably nothing terribly witty or surprising about any of this as either love story or laugh machine, director Scott Marshall does manage a breezy, good-natured tone toward this oft-mocked cultural phenomenon that allows for eye-rolling and smiling in equal measure.
  70. There is more to admire in A Beautiful Mind than you might suspect, but less than its creators believe. When the film does succeed, it almost seems to do so despite itself.
  71. Phantom is a relatively tight, gripping story told with efficiency that makes room for its fine roster of actors to explore old-fashioned ideas on honor and loyalty.
  72. Ironically this big, lumbering movie could have used more, not less. More Godzilla without question, and more emotional content for its very good cast too.
  73. You can't roll monstrous boulders straight at audiences any more and have a whole theater-full duck and gasp with fright--and pleasure. We may be plumb gasped out. And although Harrison Ford is still in top form and the movie is truly fun in patches, it's a genre on the wane. [24 May 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  74. The largely engaging class-reunion dramedy 10 Years allows audiences to pretend they went to high school with the likes of Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara.
  75. The animation style mirrors the original, which is simple in an appealing way. It is particularly effective in the action sequences, which make the most of animation's ability to create a playful reality. But the multi-layered historical references designed to be adroitly wry are a trickier gambit.
  76. Though the story is drawn in broad strokes and overloaded with melodrama, director Mat Whitecross' exuberant feature understands the communal joy and personal necessity of rock 'n' roll.
  77. Director Paul Anderson, whose last film was "Mortal Kombat," well knows how to build suspense and increase tension. But counterbalancing all of that is Event Horizon's position as a sci-fi splatter film, intent on drenching the screen in blood and gore whenever possible. [15Aug1997 Pg 16]
    • Los Angeles Times
  78. A visually wondrous experience in high-contrast black and white, bogged down by a slow, underwrought story and uninvolving characters. It would be easy to dismiss it as another great-looking film with little else to offer, but that wouldn't be entirely true.
  79. The result is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser that will strike Chen's admirers as a heartfelt but decidedly minor effort.
  80. The problem with The Runaways is that they went with the wrong girl.
  81. Comedy is ever an effective weapon against hypocrisy and oppression, but to be effective it has to cut a lot sharper and deeper than it does in You I Love.
  82. Deliberate silliness is hard to sustain, but Undertaking Betty pretty much succeeds.
  83. It's just that there isn't enough story - the book shouldn't be required reading for the film to make sense.
  84. Make no mistake, Vamps is mostly a misfire, but Heckerling still shows enough flashes of wit and wisdom that she remains hard to entirely dismiss. Don't bury that coffin just yet.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ecological passion meets unquenchable self-aggrandizement in the beautifully filmed deep-blue-alert documentary Sharkwater.
  85. You get the sense that Kelly is too angry to really find any of it funny. It's easy to empathize with his position, not so easy to remain engrossed in a film that's occasionally inspired but ultimately manic and scattered.
  86. To his credit, writer-director Nathan Morlando has crafted a stylishly shot and evocatively designed period piece. But it's the dashing, quietly charismatic Speedman who proves the main draw, holding our attention even when the movie doesn't.
  87. The only real reason to catch Eros is to see Wong Kar-Wai's beautiful opening piece, "The Hand."
  88. There's a spirit of generosity to How High that allows many performers to shine beyond its sharp and amiable stars.
  89. Surprise after surprise follows in this increasingly dark comedy, which is loaded with sharp observations and exceptionally complex characterizations.
  90. Endearingly uneven.
  91. A leisurely, understated film reminiscent of any number of Japanese counterparts featuring quietly heroic rural teachers. It is easy to label the film as slow, old-fashioned and sentimental, which it certainly is, but it has the tenacity of its heroine, the pretty and intelligent Melinda (Alessandra de Rossi).
  92. Moss brings warmth and dignity to a part that could've easily slid into stereotype, while Camryn Manheim owns her few scenes as Amanda's best friend.
  93. As a diverting way to blow 90 minutes, you could do far worse than this gritty, sometimes nasty, mostly absorbing potboiler.
  94. The film's plot...is more contrived than creditable, motivations are not always clear, and some characters, for instance Kiefer Sutherland as a praise the lord and pass the ammunition Marine, are not very convincingly acted. [11 Dec 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  95. An engaging and forthright documentary.
  96. Chittenden and Tzu-yi are expressive actors, but, like the film itself, are hamstrung by the project's self-imposed confines.

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