Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 9,844 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Under the Skin
Lowest review score: 0 Behaving Badly
Score distribution:
9844 movie reviews
  1. It shows promise but finally hits things so hard, both literally and metaphorically, that it's hard not to feel pummeled yourself by the time it's over.
  2. Possibly because Stone empathizes so enormously with co-writer Kovic, who came back from Vietnam at the age of 21 paralyzed from the chest down, the director has lost the specificity that made "Platoon" so electrifying. In its place he uses bombast, overkill, bullying. His scenes, and their ironic juxtapositioning, explode like land mines. [20 Dec 1989, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  3. The Sense of an Ending, despite its polished construction and immaculate pedigree, doesn’t ultimately mean as much as it thinks it does.
  4. Though plenty of road-tested war truths about sacrifice, honor, grit and intimacy get trotted out, "Stalingrad" is deep down a spectacle campaign forged in operatic violence and a siege of the senses, and on those terms it has its moments.
  5. It's a bare-knuckled crime drama set in 1988 that stylistically could have been made that year and emphasizes Gray's strengths as a director while drawing attention to his limitations as a writer.
  6. Fjellestad exhibits a playful adoration for the man and the otherworldly sounds of his machine in an intriguing rendering of one of music technology's seminal figures.
  7. Flawless this Joel Schumacher film is not, but it plays so well that scarcely matters.
  8. Ribière and Le Bourdonnec get almost hypertechnical with all the cattle breeds, feeds, grades, cuts, marbling, dry-aging and preparation. Nevertheless, most any carnivore would find this absolute torture on an empty stomach.
  9. It's a gritty story made in the director's more elegiacal mode, a confusion of style and content that is not in the film's best interests.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Anyone who follows Scott's career in any depth may be frustrated by the film because the brush strokes are broad, and the focus feels more about the scrum and swirl around the man than the man himself.
  10. Hitchcock puts major league star power at the service of its peek-behind-closed-doors premise. But whatever that relationship was like in real life, this is one cinematic portrait of a marriage we could have lived without.
  11. The young filmmaker rarely digs beneath the harsh environment's many fraught surfaces. He simply lets his cameras be his guide.
  12. 42
    Robinson's combination of fortitude, restraint and passion for the game was stunning. You can't help getting caught up in this story, even as you are wishing the telling was sharper than it is.
  13. For all its mosaic of nice details, Silverado is still a faintly hollow creation-constructed, not torn from the heart. For a generation of kids to whom the Western is a new adventure, there probably will be action and distraction enough to dazzle. Those who need to be deeply stirred by this redoubtable form will still have to wait: Silverado is good but not great. [10 Jul 1985, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  14. Bubble Boy simply has the gall to make light of one of the last untouchable left in America: disease.
  15. Where "Paris" was the ingénue, fresh-faced and surprising, "New York" needed to come in with the confidence of a more practiced hand, and it never quite manages that. Better to think of it as a day trip rather than an actual film, just a brief, mostly delightful excursion into the city.
  16. If a concept is to sustain itself over a multipart story, it must make an emotional connection, and this "Reloaded," especially with stars cast for their lack of affect and affinity for blankness, cannot do that.
  17. It’s surprisingly intimate at times, but we leave without greater insight into its subjects’ world.
  18. The movie hardly allows itself any sharp moments at all -- it's much too sweet-natured to be cruel, and much too cheerful to be angry. It probably could have pushed a few more buttons, but Baby Mama aims to please and succeeds.
  19. The movie has a lot of the elements that might make it thrilling and it's visually arresting, but it's missing the emotional connection necessary to make it interesting.
  20. If I Stay takes time to find its footing amid miscalculations and awkward moments.
  21. In some sense, California Solo is like meeting an engaging stranger: At first there's a certain air of enigmatic mystery that makes you want to spend time with them, but eventually things turn awkward and you just want to get away.
  22. Somehow, what starts as a series of cheap shots in a barrel develops into something more, thanks largely to warm, engaging performances by Cusack and Tomei. War, Inc. is both right-on and somehow off, but it gets points for trying.
  23. Sometimes it seems as if Iñárritu is literally carving out his actor's heart, so tangible does Bardem make Uxbal's fears. Iñárritu has so much that he wants to say - too much, in fact, and the film's central weakness - that he has created an emotional tsunami for both the actors and the audience.
  24. When the movie isn't forcing its cuteness or R-rated humor, there's a frisson of genuine screwball to The Right Kind of Wrong.
  25. Plays like the setup for a movie that never materializes. It has all the elements for a successful comedy, but once the premise is presented, the film doesn't know how to deliver on its promise. That doesn't mean there is no fun in "Fun."
  26. Perceptive, good-natured movie.
  27. With what we see on screen weighted too much toward pain and too little toward redemption, this is a film we respect more than love, and that is something of a wasted opportunity.
  28. Ultimately Mackenzie's tidy resolutions undercut the psychological depth, but as offbeat coming-of-age yarns go, Mister Foe has a commanding fleetness.
  29. Enlightening, at times disturbing, and always provocative, but Pappas manages to end with a glimmer of hope.
  30. Like its predecessor, it's Hollywood hokum at its most glamorous and effective.
  31. It's all pleasant enough, but the film, ultimately more of a checklist than an in-depth analysis, never really shines any fresh light on Canada's identity crisis or gets to the source of all those preconceived notions.
  32. White's film is a love letter not just to Kelly and the Beatles, but also to postwar working-class Liverpool.
  33. The best thing about High Heels are the performances - [Victoria Abril]'s tense, voracious daughter, Parades' star-turn mother, the sinister Bose, the arrogant Atkine - and the lucidity of Almodovar's narrative style, which by now seems as natural as breathing. [20 Dec 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
  34. The film means to be an unpretentious, engaging romantic comedy but stretches its charm awfully thin with a 110-minute running time.
  35. It won't be everybody's idea of entertainment but the heady documentary "Examined Life" provides a sound forum for an influential cross-section of professional thinkers to theorize on such weighty topics as life and death, politics, the environment and disabilities.
  36. Perhaps the best thing you can say about Kicks is that its strengths and weaknesses make for intriguing bedfellows, like a cautionary fable that’s as much about the hazards of forging an artistic authenticity as it is the pitfalls of a corrosive approach to manhood.
  37. A messy brew that is a bit too slack to get all the way to actually being good.
  38. There are misfires in Sucka, but there's also some funny stuff. Wayans shows a refreshing taste for self-mockery. [17 Feb 1989, p.8]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. The Bye Bye Man is cheesy, but it feels knowingly cheesy, with a heavy dose of wink-wink, nudge-nudge from the filmmakers.
  40. This portrait of a woman on the verge — of success, of suppression, of submission, of rebellion — is never fully realized.
  41. Though originality is not one of its accomplishments, Anastasia is generally pleasant, serviceable and eager to please.
  42. Strongly acted by a highly competent ensemble.
  43. It's a privilege getting to know these determined, inspiring seniors, to whatever extent Gaynes allows. But a more deeply revealing, fully candid approach would have made for a more satisfying cinematic excursion.
  44. Thraves is skillful at evoking mood and atmosphere and at depicting transitional periods in a person's life with a mildly wistful humor.
  45. [A] well-crafted but frankly nonessential documentary.
  46. There’s an appealingly sentimental destination in store for Ronnie and Myla’s parallel quests that keeps the movie from floating away entirely on its all-too-airy premise.
  47. What makes the story worthwhile is the candor and personality of the band members.
  48. Alone in Berlin is ultimately hobbled by its own cinematic inertia, its inability to reimagine the past with the kind of intensity that would also speak to the present.
  49. What Surfwise reveals is that the dark side of the surfing doctor was that he could be a terrible tyrant, someone whose controlling, self-centered rigidity limited his children in ways large and small as much as it gave them richer lives.
  50. Leaves you wanting to know more, and that's not a bad thing.
  51. Roseanne for President can’t quite decide what it wants to be: a political farce underlined with John Philip Sousa-esque military marches, a deep dive into the electoral workings of various third parties like the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party or an intimate portrait of a fascinating, wild and influential cultural icon. It’s all of these things and therefore not quite enough of each of them.
  52. Like the movies its modeled after, it's shallow, frequently silly. But there's something about the mix--maybe something about Parillaud as the screechy, dangerous Nikita--that may make the movie a powerful engine of wish-fulfillment. [12 Apr 1991, Calendar, p.F-10]
    • Los Angeles Times
  53. You're left wanting to have seen much more of the story from the Queen of the Mountains' singular vantage point.
  54. A mostly enjoyable wave of nostalgia.
  55. The film is amiably silly, gaudy and even pleasantly diverting for the non-Hindi-speaking viewer who realizes that the verbal gags that elicited laughter in the original language tend to elude translation via English subtitles. The comedy, however, is also heavy on slapstick, pratfalls and crazy disguises.
  56. At a certain point, Wassup Rockers transforms from a relatively naturalistic slice-of-life portrait into a surrealistic funhouse trap.
  57. Working from a glib, chatty script by Robert Lowell that's not as cleverly hatched as it likes to think it is, Haley whips it into something reasonably entertaining.
  58. It’s competently made, well-acted and largely intelligent, so why isn’t the spy thriller Our Kind of Traitor more rewarding? Perhaps it’s the feeling that we’ve trod this kind of twisty treachery on screen ad infinitum since before the Cold War-era stylings of Alfred Hitchcock — and far more vividly.
  59. Intent as it is on being both artistically and politically involving, The Great Water periodically miscalculates its effects, coming on stronger than it intends.
  60. Though comedy is an intrinsic part of the play, director Zaks has not found a way to translate it effectively on screen.
  61. Amy
    A skilled heart-tugger from Australia that verges on rock opera.
  62. Does have a large and capable cast and, in James Foley, a director with a taste for visual flourishes. They all so fell in love with the script by Doug Jung they didn't notice how much a derivative retread it is of superior material like "The Grifters" and even "The Sting."
  63. Despite honoring noir genre conventions, Buschel also draws upon his fertile imagination in dialogue and in storytelling that allows his film gradually to accrue meaning.
  64. Forbes pushes the positivity a bit insistently, yet one of the most appealing aspects of her film is its depiction of kids thriving in an unorthodox household.
  65. Straightforward and solid but only mildly involving.
  66. Though it doesn't exactly have pretensions toward the rhythms of real life, the film does nail the breezy movie feeling of a buffed-and-polished romantic comedy.
  67. "Him" and "Her" are hardly groundbreaking cinema, but they are more rewarding than "Them."
  68. This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.
  69. Until the thought-provoking, from-left-field twist ending, We Are the Flesh mostly seems like a series of sick tableaux, dredged up from the director’s subconscious and then splattered across the screen. But there’s genuine artistry even to this film’s most exploitative moments.
  70. A Wolf at the Door is undoubtedly effective and well-crafted, but its tale of reckless obsession and its inevitably unhappy ending are finally too unsavory for its own good.
  71. Despite slick camera work by Jonathan Sela and intense, naturalistic performances by Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles, The Omen retains the aura of ceremonious kitsch of the first movie, favoring a well-lighted, upscale Goth aesthetic punctuated with flashes of well-timed, cymbal-crashing shockers and giggly camp.
  72. Sweet-natured and likable as the movie is, it never really delivers on the promise of its ingenious premise, which hints at a subversive retelling of mainstream Hollywood movies but stops short at goofy homage.
  73. Constrained by the plot of the novel, the film keeps the two lovers apart for quite a spell, robbing the project of the crazy-in-love energy that made "Twilight," the first entry in the series, such a guilty pleasure.
  74. The division between the personal and scientific stories is not a clean one. It gives the film an uneven rhythm as it at times lurches between the two women's very separate lives.
  75. The story comes to life only fitfully, even with — or perhaps because of — its court intrigue and supporting characters.... But there are striking glimpses of grit, muck and voluptuous beauty (the great Ellen Kuras handled the cinematography) and, above all, there's Winslet.
  76. Very much a first film, but a venturesome start for Devor as well as a splendid launch for Warburton.
  77. When Morin ventures into more mundane territory, including several parent-child scenes, the film — and the performances — can feel forced and inauthentic. But as a zeitgeist-heavy memory piece, NY84 knows its stuff.
  78. As sanctimonious as it is sincere, this is a well-meaning picture that is seriously stuck on itself, that can't hide its air of self-satisfaction. [25 Dec 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
  79. Because it is fearlessly sincere and not totally successful, Winter's Tale is easy to mock. But it is also hard not to admire its willingness to go all out in its quest for the grandest of romantic gestures.
  80. It's absorbing, well-played stuff until Serena's emotional baggage turns her into a kind of lethal Blanche DuBois and melodrama overtakes the film's muscular bearing.
  81. Payne cops out, and the result is off-putting, despite a sparkling cast headed by a fearless Laura Dern in the title role.
  82. Though it's not that gracefully told and sometimes seems to exist just to plug eco-friendly cleaning supplies, A Green Story holds interest as a gentle, old-fashioned look at achieving the American dream.
  83. The film's scary moments are too monstrous and its happy times have too much idiotic beaming, making the film feel like the illegitimate offspring of "Alien" and "The Absent-Minded Professor."
  84. The Phenom may be choppy, but it’s saying something sincere about how the pressure to be thought of as a winner can be an athlete’s most formidable opponent.
  85. Once We Are Still Here unsticks itself from hommage mode, it finds something cathartically funny inside the fearsome.
  86. Brosnan and Neeson make fine adversaries mining the terse dialogue for veiled dramatic fervor.
  87. For much of its fast-paced running time, the film, which involves an after-school fight between two polar-opposite teachers, is just amusing enough to make up for its sheer preposterousness.
  88. Though it has loftier aims, it is in reality strictly a film made by believers for believers. It's like the Discovery Channel version of the Greatest Story Ever Told, an earnest, not particularly distinguished piece of work that has none of the touch of the poet that made Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" such a triumph.
  89. Baskin won't be for everybody, but it's well made and imaginatively upsetting.
  90. It's tempting to call Elles some kind of thinking-person's sex movie, but it's more about thinking and about sex (and thinking about sex) and is far more likely to encourage awkward, emphatic conversation than post-show friskiness.
  91. A hodgepodge of styles, True Legend works best as a freewheeling showcase for Yuen's dazzling fight sequences above any sort of cogent storytelling.
  92. The interviews are carefully augmented with speeches by President Bush and other administration officials, plus footage from Iraq and Afghanistan, and powerful graphics detailing the depletion of the global oil supply.
  93. The film reveals frustratingly little about the sisters themselves.
  94. A lovely performance by Ethiopian supermodel-actress Liya Kebede as supermodel-activist Waris Dirie works wonders to elevate this uneven, occasionally awkward but often absorbing film.
  95. If this low-budget indie is any indication, the younger Levinson's creative sensibilities appear to be darker than his dad's, the voice clearly his own.
  96. Flaked with offbeat witticisms, cheese ball effects and fanboy splatter gore, the surreal John Dies at the End has the vibe of a shaggy dog story, which works both for and against it.
  97. A gentle film yet develops increasing dramatic tension beneath its easygoing, fair-minded surface.
  98. They Will Have to Kill Us First doesn't offer much of a primer on Mali's political or cultural histories — which is the movie's biggest weakness. But Schwartz did capture some remarkable footage of musicians who've spent the last few years taking tentative steps to reclaim what makes their nation special.
  99. The Bjorn Borg of romantic comedies: precise, good-looking, dependable and serviceable, if predictable. It never really heats up, which is too bad.

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