Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,774 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 Hannah and Her Sisters
Lowest review score: 0 Awakened
Score distribution:
7,774 movie reviews
  1. A Hijacking is as lean, focused and to the point as its title.
  2. Joy and redemption aren't exactly punk mantras, but A Band Called Death might just give your heart a thrashing.
  3. The Attack rewards your patience. Though it's never less than involving, it grows in stature as it unfolds and ends as a more subtle and disturbing film about love, loss and tragedy than we might initially expect.
  4. Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker, he's a fantasy visionary with an outsized imagination and a fanatical specificity, a creator of out-of-this world universes carefully conceived down to the smallest detail. His particular gifts and passions are on display in the long-awaited Pacific Rim and the results are spectacular.
  5. Intimate in the telling, sweeping in the implications, Loznitsa has created an unusually incisive film.
  6. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, as high school seniors Sutter and Aimee, bring such an authentic face of confidence and questioning, indifference and need, pain and denial, friendship and first love, that it will take you back to that time if you're no longer there, and light a path if you are.
  7. To has a great mastery of timing; he knows just how long to let a look linger before cutting away, how little he can reveal without losing us. The director keeps you guessing until the very end whether Choi or Zhang, or someone else entirely, will be the last man standing.
  8. This is a taut psychological study, based on a true story, of the complexities of personal power relationships that begins with the kind of shattering revelation that would be the conclusion of most films.
  9. It's the flesh-and-blood lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as a profoundly conflicted Muslim wife and mother that seals this cinematic deal. She's superb.
  10. An exercise in pure cinematic style filled with the most ravishing images, The Grandmaster finds director Wong Kar-wai applying his impeccable visual style to the mass-market martial arts genre with potent results.
  11. The Vogels' story is a very specific one, at once more unexpected and more moving than it might seem at first.
  12. One of the pleasures of Enough Said is watching Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini, two well-known performers only Holofcener would think of putting together, come alive both as individuals and the two halves of a relationship.
  13. Proves a highly auspicious feature debut for Moors and Porto as well as a much-deserved return to the limelight for Washington. Don't miss it.
  14. It is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of.
  15. It's unique, powerful stuff.
  16. An exhilarating vérité work by first-timer Manuel von Stürler, the documentary follows this seasonal migration, or transhumance, with a sense of quiet awe and intimacy, capturing the feel of cold rain, deep snow and the comforting heat of a campfire.
  17. Filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, whose profiles in courage are sympathetic but not adulatory, have crafted an absorbing, thoughtful report.
  18. A masterful blend of black humor and queasy dread.
  19. The Missing Picture is personal and unexpected, a documentary that mixes media in an unusual way to very potent effect.
  20. Expertly put together by editor Amy Linton, AKA Doc Pomus uses its wealth of material to create the sense of a man with a genius for putting undistilled emotion into his songs.
  21. Despite the pain, sadness and vast emotional upheaval depicted here, Bridegroom is also a movie filled with hope and passion, dignity and pride, and many stirring pockets of joy.
  22. It earns its considerable impact by telling an unnerving story and leaving it, in ways both daring and effective, fundamentally unresolved.
  23. Bastards is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.
  24. When I Walk is extraordinarily accomplished, poignant, and wise.
  25. Though this is an emotionally driven movie, it never drifts into melodrama. Collyer is as pragmatic in her approach as her characters. But it is Dillon and Watts' nuanced portrayals that make "Sunlight's" darkness so appealing.
  26. Aftermath is a bombshell disguised as a thriller.
  27. The great achievement in writer-director Jono Oliver's poignant, superb debut, Home, lies in the balance between the film's empathy for those like Jack who seek independence and its compassion for others who may need care indefinitely.
  28. I don't know whether the tall man is happy, but I do know that Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? is intellectually and visually groundbreaking, and most certainly a film.
  29. As its name promises, The Great Beauty is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino's mind, a lot more.
  30. The most memorable thing about Sweet Dreams is that it allows us to experience the resilience, the capacity for happiness these women retain in spite of all they've been through. There's a lesson there for all of us.
  31. Deeply moving and devoid of melodrama, These Birds Walk is as pragmatic as its subjects.
  32. Like art itself, words can't fully capture what it is like to see the Vermeer emerge under Jenison's brush. Or to see Jenison's obsession with the idea run its course.
  33. [A] captivating documentary.
  34. Illusion and disillusionment entwine through the film like twin helixes, weaving a dreamy, free-form look at his life and legacy.
  35. As the secrets that almost everyone is hiding slowly but inexorably come to light, Farhadi's gifts as a very specific director, someone who knows exactly how he wants every scene to be played, come to the fore, adding honesty and involvement to a plot that might seem artificial in other hands.
  36. Between Lelio's ingenuity in staging the film, an extremely clever script co-written with his frequent collaborator, Gonzalo Maza, and the pumping disco that interjects its opinions and assessments of each situation, Gloria is one of the most enjoyable movies to come along in a while.
  37. The filmmaker constructs a growing sense of dread with the calculated precision of a classic horror movie.
  38. Guitarist-composer Bill Frisell's wall-to-wall, bluesy-jazzy soundtrack beautifully reflects and unifies the visuals while also helping to personalize this distinct endeavor. It's a terrific achievement.
  39. The Lego Movie is strikingly, exhilaratingly, exhaustingly fresh.
  40. One thing that makes Lunchbox so strong is that a touch of melancholy hangs over its sweetness. Finally this is a film about the wheel of life, about what helps us cope with its turns and find our way in its unforgiving labyrinth.
  41. Though Bottle Rocket is wryly amusing from beginning to end, the hard edges of the real world are never too far from its surface. And it is the particular grace of the film that though all its characters end up with something like what they're looking for, its not exactly how they'd imagined it would be.
  42. A vital, urgent and infuriating look at the devastating failures of the juvenile court system and the insidious reach of prison privatization.
  43. A film that is genuinely mind-expanding, an exhilarating intellectual gantlet that tells a remarkable human story.
  44. If you can't place the name, or want to know more, Anita is a splendid place to start.
  45. The exquisitely calibrated Breathe In explores such a fraught mutual passion with honesty, intimacy and complete emotional involvement.
  46. Less concerned with fake shocks and show-me violence than the grimly calibrated rotting of personalities, Oculus is one of the more intelligently nasty horror films in recent memory.
  47. The Railway Man is an impressively crafted, skillfully acted, highly absorbing journey into a dark corner of world history.
  48. A documentary that doesn't force-feed its message of hope but genuinely earns it.
  49. If Watermark does nothing else, it will make you question society's contradictory view of water use.
  50. Locke stands out both for the way filmmaker Knight conceived and executed it and for the kind of hypnotic acting Hardy can be counted on to bring to the table.
  51. If this all sounds fairly rote, it's far from it. That's because the filmmaker largely eschews done-to-death family dynamics, forced obstacles and predictable responses for authentic interaction, organic humor and a hopeful vitality.
  52. It is the interplay between Wasikowska and Eisenberg that gives "The Double" both its tension and its charm... Their struggle captivates, the resolution shocks, and you can't help but wonder what windmills Ayoade will tilt next.
  53. There is action galore, but Future Past is a deeper, richer, more thoughtful film, more existential in its contemplations than earlier Xs, all rather nicely embedded in the mayhem churned up by the mutants' altered states.
  54. Bagdad Cafe, which Adlon wrote with his wife, Eleonore, and Christopher Doherty, is a miracle of timing and control for all its aura of zany, off-the-cuff spontaneity. It is the work of a director who has such a clear idea of what he wants and where he's going that he can take his time to build up every joke for the maximum payoff.
  55. It's a star-driven mass-market entertainment that's smart, exciting and unexpected while not stinting on genre satisfactions.
  56. Emotional and analytical by turn, The Case Against 8 is a thoroughly engaging documentary.
  57. There is nothing noble about Eric's mission or about the considerable violence he resorts to to get the job done, but Pearce's willingness to give him an integrity of purpose mixes well with Michôd's intense, controlled direction and his ability to blend unexpected, empathetic character moments with all the killing.
  58. Grainily shot but radiating life, The Amazing Catfish is an enormously affecting portrait of a family in crisis that dares to hope.
  59. A documentary that's admirably frank about the difficulties of insightfully portraying such a widely lauded — and subtly cagey and habitually self-effacing — figure.
  60. McGarry has created something that feels personal, vital and revelatory, allowing the rest of us behind the curtain.
  61. It is a caustic, comic, cerebral romp for a long time before it hits you with its best shot — some Polanski-worthy darkness.
  62. 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.
  63. Like everything else about this lovely film, life, love and emotional growth are marked out in lush, languid, luminous terms.
  64. It's a terrific little film worthy of discovery.
  65. As much a plea to change the system as it is an examination of how music helps individuals, Alive Inside is not the most sophisticated documentary, but its power is indisputable, and it does end on a hopeful note.
  66. Blessed with a loose, anarchic B-picture soul that encourages you to enjoy yourself even when you're not quite sure what's going on, the scruffy "Guardians" is irreverent in a way that can bring the first "Star Wars" to mind.
  67. Brydon and Coogan's discourse over breakfast, lunch and dinner is captured with a casualness that makes the eavesdropping delicious.
  68. With clinical dispassion and narrative elegance, Breillat has constructed what she calls "a thriller about denial."
  69. Composed of breathtaking images and cheeky bits of humor, Dencik's travelogue reveals a journey with curious traces of the past, eye-popping encounters with a wild present and — in discovering an oil company's ship in the group's midst — a weighted reminder of our future as stewards of the Earth.
  70. Well-directed with exceptional access by veteran documentarian Doug Pray, whose previous films include "Hype!," "Scratch" and "Art & Copy," Levitated Mass in essence intercuts three stories, each of which is more unexpected than one might imagine.
  71. It's Stevens, as the all-American cover-model mercenary both friendly and fatal, who gives The Guest its literally killer personality.
  72. Pride is an unapologetic crowd-pleaser of a movie, but it has some potent points to make, and the reality of what happened has a power of its own.
  73. Ferran's eccentricity is an acquired taste, but the light, emotional artfulness of Bird People — a cry for the senses in a world that so often dulls — is welcome.
  74. Fine performances (MacKay is a revelation), bristling tension, strong atmospherics and a wealth of superbly wrought, often heartbreaking scenes add up to make "Peril" a must-see for serious filmgoers.
  75. A small-scale gem of a movie, both dramatically aware and psychologically astute.
  76. What tantalizes is the way the story moves between their private passion and their public shame, the way then and now become synchronous. Amalric navigates the shifts with a lapidary precision.
  77. It's a B movie made with A-student love for the relentless thrill of bodies in brutal motion.
  78. While the intolerance fueling this dark, existential comedy won't be to everyone's liking, the film's cerebral beat-down is a strange and sardonic thing of beauty.
  79. Nightcrawler is pulp with a purpose. A smart, engaged film powered by an altogether remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, it is melodrama grounded in a disturbing reality, an extreme scenario that is troubling because it cuts close to the bone.
  80. This is a director's film, and Ostlund knows precisely the effects he is after. This filmmaker is in control at each and every moment, and does he ever know what he is doing.
  81. Interstellar turns out to be the rarest beast in the Hollywood jungle. It's a mass audience picture that's intelligent as well as epic, with a sophisticated script that's as interested in emotional moments as immersive visuals. Which is saying a lot.
  82. It's just as thrilling as it is edifying.
  83. The reason it never ceases to compel is not only the skill of the actors but also the kind of provocative and thoughtful dialogue that characterizes intellectual combat of a high order.
  84. In a time when so many documentary filmmakers take on advocacy roles, National Gallery represents the heart of what Wiseman does best — step back and let the place and its people lead the story.
  85. It is the way in which the writer-director uses the specter of vampires and vices to take an off-center cut at Iranian gender politics and U.S.-Eurocentric pop culture that sets the film apart.
  86. The disturbing, involving, always-complex story of British mathematician Alan Turing is a tale crafted to resonate for our time, and the smartly entertaining The Imitation Game gives it the kind of crackerjack cinematic presentation that's pure pleasure to experience.
  87. The film's exploration of the tenuous bonds within a community will surely prompt serious soul-searching.
  88. Thoughtful as well as sensual, particular yet universal, it is the kind of expertly made examination of the human condition we can never have too many of.
  89. The Salt of the Earth deals with two kinds of journeys the photographer made. The outward one may have literally taken him to the furthest corners of the Earth and resulted in the stunning images the film features, but it is the inward journey that paralleled it that completely holds our attention.
  90. She's Beautiful When She's Angry, director Mary Dore's incisive portrait of so-called second-wave feminism of the late 1960s, is an exceptional chronicle, its mix of archival material and new interviews bristling with the energy and insight of one of the most important social movements of the 20th century.
  91. Marvelously colorful, casually inventive and completely wacky, The King and the Mockingbird just might be the best animated film of the year.
  92. American Sniper is at its best when it deals with the assembly-line-of-death relentlessness of combat for Kyle, how it simultaneously consumes him and wears him down, and how, to his wife's distress, it turns the civilian life he returns to between tours of duty into the aberration, not the norm.

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