Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,401 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 Cinema Paradiso
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
7,401 movie reviews
  1. Not only is the film that good, it's also that wonderfully, inescapably Czech.
  2. Droll and delicious.
  3. Such a smart and savvy piece of work it encourages us to feel we're eavesdropping on history.
  4. Ulee's Gold stands out for its sureness, its quiet emotional force and writer-director Victor Nunez's ability to find and nurture the mystery and power in the events of an ordinary life.
  5. Terrific escapist fare, stylish, outrageous and compelling.
  6. A handsomely mounted, graceful production that is well-played across the board.
  7. A confidently adroit thriller that captures a comprehensive sense of life in an edgy, multicultural and economically diverse Paris. The large cast couldn't be better, but the film belongs to Kiberlain.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it's possible to view this movie like a short-story collection, putting check marks beside the selections one likes best, to do so would deny the pleasure of experiencing this beautifully crafted, intricately designed story the way it was intended, as an organic whole. [11 June 1999, Calendar, p.F-8]
  8. The Cronenberg trademarks are here in full force, including an outrageous sexual suggestiveness in his bizarre special effects.
  9. A film of exceptional emotional honesty.
  10. Truly, there can be nothing as complex as the simplest human relationships, and nothing as satisfying as a film that understands that as this one does.
  11. Restrained yet powerful, devastating in its emotional effects.
  12. Rarely have a novelist and filmmaker been better matched.
  13. Boldly structured, intensely focused and briskly paced, Alice and Martin has a tremendous emotional density that places the utmost demands upon its actors--and asks a lot of audiences, too.
  14. A dynamite concert film.
  15. Although there is real pain and suffering in It All Starts Today, it is too impassioned, too brisk and too embracing of life and human foibles to be depressing.
  16. Gathering its forces slowly, this careful, thoughtful film, quietly but deeply moving, is dramatic without seeming to be.
  17. This graceful and wise film moves to its denouement with subtlety and, at its end, strikes a note that seems just right for all that has gone before.
  18. A wild at heart, anarchic comedy that believes in living dangerously.
  19. A wholly unexpected film, as heady and surprising in its humor as in its emotional texture.
  20. While other films struggle for their effects, Brothers simply lives and breathes, thoroughly likable from beginning to end.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a nearly pitch-perfect melding of genres, influences and modes of expression--it's the first Mafia movie for the hip-hop age.
  21. It takes a director with exceptional talent, skill and experience to explore ambiguity in all aspects of human nature and behavior, and Oshima has created a film of resilient, downright tensile strength that ends on a satisfyingly ironic note.
  22. Intimate and human yet deeply ambitious, a powerhouse of a film made with a disturbing vision.
  23. Time is truly on Apted's side because the passing of time not surprisingly brings a richer, deeper perspective with each new segment.
  24. Spring Forward is so fully realized and so moving that you wish you could get away with merely saying: "Go see it for yourself."
  25. Branagh has mastered the tricky high-wire act of simultaneously kidding the conventions he is being absolutely faithful to, allowing us to squeal with both fright and knowing laughter. His is a film lover's film [23 Aug 1991, Calendar, p.F1]
  26. To watch this film, in short, can be a transforming experience.
  27. 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.
  28. It's a film of high energy, punctuated by rock music and a dark wit, yet it is capable of profound reflection and tragic irony.
  29. Carvalho's superb cinematography, Antonio Pinto's score and a dedicated cast and crew admirably sustain this poetic and uncompromising film.
  30. Though the politically incorrect language is tough enough to have earned Clerks an initial NC-17 rating (re-rated R on appeal), its exuberance gives it an alive and kicking feeling that is welcome and rare. [19 Oct 1994]
  31. Ethan Hawke, in his feature directorial debut, has brought Nicolette Burdette's play to the screen with fluid grace and a perfect blend of dreaminess and grit, expressed in camerawork that seems to float and in Jeff Tweedy's shimmering, gently insistent score.
  32. The look and feel of the film is entirely beguiling. It is deliberately not a period piece, heavy with dated styles and fads, but instead evokes a sense of timelessness.
  33. We may have seen it all before, but when it's done up like this, experiencing it all over again is a pleasure. [16 June 1999, Calendar, p.F-1]
  34. Not just an especially subtle and thoughtful psychological drama, it's a provocative, even an unnerving one as well.
  35. Made under unique and wrenching circumstances, it gained poignancy and a kind of purity from its troubles, and an already affecting film ended up suffused with emotion.
  36. An exquisite performance by Charlotte Rampling, whose work as Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya, the matriarch of the great estate the cherry orchard sits on, is the film's dazzling centerpiece.
  37. Graced with performers who bring a purity of emotion to their work, the film is always dramatically convincing. There is a fundamental air of truth about it, a sense that, horrific though things seem, this is how it must have been.
  38. The perfect summer tonic for mature audiences looking for sophisticated escape. It's filled with beautiful people in gorgeous, exotic locales.
  39. A stylish work from an accomplished, sophisticated filmmaker that bristles with intelligence and gleams with Scott's and Davis' multifaceted, astutely judged portrayals.
  40. It's sexy, brainy and slightly nuts.
  41. It takes exceptional acting to enable a story like this to take hold, and Campion has gotten it here. [19 Nov 1993]
  42. A wholly enveloping experience. Gentle, ravishingly beautiful and awash in everyday sensuality, it so intoxicates you with the elegance and refinement of its filmmaking that even noticing, let alone caring, whether it has a plot starts to seem beside the point.
  43. An excellent example of its genre, with Pennebaker capturing the excitement of what was a very special, emotion-charged occasion.
  44. By far the most approachable of the director's recent films, with an emotional depth that's true to life and a streamlined narrative that for long stretches barely contains a word.
  45. Charming, disarming and in some ways humbling film.
  46. His film may be something of a beautiful lie, but what's true about Sollett's characters is that their dreams, their grace and their struggles are as real as it gets.
  47. It's a classic rags-to-riches-to-rage tale about the fatal nexus of celebrity and market forces, a story that is unexpectedly poignant even though it's told to an insistent punk rock beat.
  48. A crisp, elegantly resonant film.
  49. Lumumba is potent stuff. Complex, powerful, intensely dramatic.
  50. The Piano Teacher will surely be too strong for some audiences and is best left to those who like films that take big risks and get away with them.
  51. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn never lets up, continually introducing new characters and adding new thrills and chills right up to the last frame… A terrific trip, although admittedly not one that everybody would enjoy taking. [13 Mar 1987, Calendar, p.6-14]
  52. Records an accident while it's happening, revealing a situation that makes you laugh again and again while weeping, metaphorically at least, for the sheer frustration of it all.
  53. It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]
  54. A provocative political thriller that is as troubling today as when it came out in 1970. Maybe more so.
  55. A sweeping romantic fable about love and mortality, targets an audience of girls in their early teens, but has been made with such skill and sensitivity that its appeal spans generations.
  56. Demands the utmost concentration, for to look away from the screen for even a brief moment is to risk losing a plot line or a crucial bit of information, but its cumulative, transporting impact makes it worth the effort. Above all, it has an overwhelming sense of reality atypical of the American cinema.
  57. Here, the message is the moviemaking and the unparalleled joy you get from a film that can carry you off so completely, making you forget about everything save for the beautiful lies in front of you.
  58. Once again Chabrol's son Mathieu has composed a crucially evocative score, and Renato Berta's cinematography is gleaming. Merci Pour le Chocolat crackles with wit and elegance, humor and pathos.
  59. Boldly distinctive in its depiction of individuals caught up in a veritable infernal machine designed solely to give pleasure to a monarch, Vatel is a timeless tale of love and sacrifice in a world as opulent as it is cruel.
  60. The creators of the magnificent Balseros stayed involved with its subject, a group of Cuban boat people who made it to the United States, for a full seven years. If you put in that kind of time, you witness life happening in front of you in all its compelling, confounding drama. What could be better than that?
  61. Never before has a fiction film so clearly and to such devastating effect laid out the calculation of the Nazi machinery of death and its irrationality.
  62. Provocative and engrossing.
  63. Aside from superb ensemble work from an 18-member cast, "Together's sense of human potential is its greatest pleasure.
  64. Catches you up so firmly in its world that you find yourself accepting whatever Thornton presents right up to its deeply ironic finish.
  65. It could have done with fewer plot devices, but it is ultimately far more satisfying than countless less ambitious and risky films.
  66. A dead-on tale of corporate power, courage, cowardice and how we live.
  67. A heady yet disciplined work, a dazzling fable of love, destiny and redemption.
  68. Never loses its priceless stamp of individuality. Reduced to its essence, this is a joke told by a person, not a corporation--and that makes all the difference.
  69. This masterful celebration starts off slowly, even uncertainly, giving no hint of the rich and elegant exploration of love, jealousy and animal attraction it will in all good time become.
  70. You could say a lot about the very satisfying The Man Who Wasn't There, but what's for sure is that no one but the deadpan, dead-on Coen brothers could have turned it out.
  71. In As Good as It Gets, his (Brooks) mastery of the nuances of language and emotion has turned the most unlikely material into the best and funniest romantic comedy of the year.
  72. Both a step back and a step forward from the trends of modern animation, it feels like a classic even though it's just out of the box.
  73. A handsome work of authoritative yet understated style, responsive to mood, subtleties and nuance in exploring its especially well-drawn and intelligent lovers.
  74. An expertly designed theme park ride of a movie that packs nonstop thrills.
  75. It takes two to be sisters, two to have a rivalry, and two exceptional actresses to turn Hilary and Jackie into a compelling look at the most intimate and troubling of family dynamics.
  76. Brooding, beautifully made and almost impossible for Americans to see -- Quai des Orfèvres, makes a triumphant reappearance on theatrical screens after an absence of about 50 years.
  77. The wonderful thing about Band of Outsiders is that the daring elements that jazzed audiences then have the same power to intoxicate all these years later.
  78. This remarkably revealing and timely film, in which the depiction of pain and sorrow is suffused with a sense of beauty and a graceful, flowing style, more than lives up to glowing advance notices.
  79. Some filmmakers give us dreams and false worlds in which we can find refuge. For others, though, like the young Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, the movies aren't an escape from the world but a way more deeply into it.
  80. A stirring, thought-provoking feat of filmmaking, accomplished in every facet.
  81. A delicious and delicately funny look at the residents of a Copenhagen neighborhood coping with the befuddling complications life tosses at them.
  82. Off-and-on cynical and sentimental, Russell's darkly comic tale shows how much can be done with familiar material when you're burning to do things differently and have the gifts to pull that off.
  83. Ramsay reaches out boldly with a film that is as unsettling as it is minimalist.
  84. A riveting encounter with the woman who was Hitler's secretary...In a daring and successful stylistic choice, directors Heller and Schmiderer include almost nothing in the film but Junge.
  85. Anderson, his superb ensemble cast and inspired cinematographer Uta Briesewitz, appeal at once to the intellect and the emotions as they build suspense and tension mercilessly.
  86. Im recounts the painter's life in bold strokes rather than with the literalist's painstaking detail, and in the process tells us more about the mysteries of genius than a bushel full of quotidian fact.
  87. A gorgeous film with a vision strong enough to sustain heart-tugging, heightened by San Bao's romantic score, that verges on the sentimental.
  88. This splendid film is no mere polemic, for Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, often called the first lady of Iranian cinema, is above all an accomplished storyteller and dramatist who understands the evocative power of sound and image.
  89. It's one of the most emotional and compelling the filmmaker has ever made. Confident, uncompromising and blisteringly realistic, Sweet Sixteen is a gritty and immediate film yet it goes right to the emotions.
  90. This buoyant, giddy comedy of catastrophe is the funniest film of the year so far, possibly the most amusing mainstream live-action comedy since "There's Something About Mary."
  91. Exuberant and insidiously funny satire.
  92. A completely charming reality-based romantic fantasy, both sweet-natured and sympathetic, Show Me Love is a leader of the pack.
  93. A surprisingly satisfying combination of bawdy sexual humor, genuine emotion and a plot with mechanics so excessive that Almodóvar himself calls it "a screwball drama."
  94. Though definitely one of the best American movies of the year--a work of high ensemble talent and intelligence, gorgeously mounted and crafted, artistically audacious in ways that most American movies don't even attempt--it's still a disappointment… It's not the capstone we might have wanted Coppola to make. [23 Dec 1990, Calendar, p.9]
  95. Bristling with shrewd observation, inspired humor and all-around smarts, Office Space is a winner about a guy who's beginning to feel like a loser. [19 Feb 1999]
  96. This utterly compelling behind-the-scenes account of that horrific event unfolds with a potent sense of authority and authenticity.
  97. Though it can overreach for emotional effect and overplay its hand at times -- Sexy Beast brings considerable virtues to telling this tale, including a great eye for faces and director Glazer's palpable excitement at working in the feature medium.
  98. Succeeds by never tipping its hand or losing its equilibrium while its characters often seem to be doing nothing but.

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