Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,763 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 Dead Ringers
Lowest review score: 0 The Green Hornet
Score distribution:
7,763 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A stirring, thought-provoking feat of filmmaking, accomplished in every facet.
  3. A delicious and delicately funny look at the residents of a Copenhagen neighborhood coping with the befuddling complications life tosses at them.
  4. 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.
  5. Ramsay reaches out boldly with a film that is as unsettling as it is minimalist.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A gorgeous film with a vision strong enough to sustain heart-tugging, heightened by San Bao's romantic score, that verges on the sentimental.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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."
    • Los Angeles Times
  13. Exuberant and insidiously funny satire.
  14. A completely charming reality-based romantic fantasy, both sweet-natured and sympathetic, Show Me Love is a leader of the pack.
  15. 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."
  16. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  17. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. This utterly compelling behind-the-scenes account of that horrific event unfolds with a potent sense of authority and authenticity.
  19. 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.
  20. Succeeds by never tipping its hand or losing its equilibrium while its characters often seem to be doing nothing but.
  21. If Asian martial arts movies interest you even a little bit, you're going to want to see Iron Monkey. Not only that, you're going to want to see it more than once.
  22. Handsome as all Allen films are, and it proceeds with the brisk, sophisticated air of throwaway confidence and lack of pretense that we expect from the contemporary master of grown-up comedy.
    • Los Angeles Times
  23. It's the style of the thing, not the plot, that is the attraction here, the great way the cast has with the snarky dialogue.
  24. A roguish and delightful comedy of duplicity that's as entertaining as it is sly.
  25. A sharp and satisfying romantic comedy.
  26. There is something about Stephen Frears' complex, heartbreaking, beautifully made Liam that seems to speak eloquently, painfully to the dilemmas we are facing today, to the terrible price dark times can extort from us all.
  27. A graceful mood piece that is infinitely moving.
  28. A bombshell in its home country, Herod's Law is made with the kind of flair that ensures a following everywhere politicians are venal and voters hope against hope for deliverance.
  29. A delightful, effervescent morality tale for children conveyed with such wit and sophistication that adults are likely to be enchanted as well.
  30. One of the better documentaries I'd seen in years -- it plays like a suspense thriller because that's exactly what it is.
  31. Exuberant and pitiless, profane yet eloquent, flush with the ability to create laughter out of unspeakable situations, Trainspotting is a drop-dead look at a dead-end lifestyle that has all the strength of its considerable contradictions.
  32. Requires careful attention at its abrupt finish. Close concentration on the final shots yields a meaning not possible should a viewer's attention wander or turn away a few moments too soon.
  33. This animated retelling of the familiar Old Testament story is playful, high-spirited and unmistakably amusing. It's nice to see that a sense of humor and a sense of values don't inevitably have to cancel each other out.
  34. In Auto Focus, the strangely wonderful and weirdly touching new film from Paul Schrader, the comedy and the tragedy keep getting mixed up.
  35. Once positions hardened, tragedy was all but inevitable, and Bloody Sunday" does the spirit of that awful day full and unforgettable justice.
  36. The film is never more real than when Jimmy unloads his anger on someone close to him, a frequent occurrence. Eminem is an actor with a rare gift for rage, and movie careers, even big ones, have been built on less.
  37. It leaves you stirred and uplifted not only by its music but also by the determination and courage of the people who sang and danced it on the way to a freer life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In her first feature, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood tells a familiar tale with first-rate acting and an underlying sense of authenticity.
    • Los Angeles Times
  38. Intoxicating and meditative by turns, helped by Fred Frith's minimalist score, this film opens a portal into a singular creative mind.
  39. As audacious as it is compelling and as dark as it is erotic. Its sexuality is explicit, alternately teasing and brutal, and one that is ultimately a cautionary tale.
  40. Godard has always made films that are as thrilling for their ideas and ideals as for the sheer beauty of their images; the difference here is that for the first time in years he's more interested in turning us on than in turning us off.
  41. While the plot twists in Read My Lips may be too intensely melodramatic for some tastes, the performances of the two leads are impeccable, just about compelling our belief.
  42. It is best to let this stunning film simply wash over you and trust that all will become clear enough in time. Vengo in a sense is a concert film tied together with the slenderest of plots.
  43. A work of artistry and craftsmanship at the highest level.
  44. For Fernanda Montenegro, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Italy's late Giulietta Masina (Federico Fellini's wife and frequent star) in appearance and talent, "Central Station" is a personal triumph and a rich cinematic experience.
  45. Pi
    It is a brilliant intellectual adventure that fans of bold independent filmmaking will want to experience, even though the ending is something of a letdown.
  46. A work of art whose beauty has the eternal power of redemption.
  47. A triumph of quiet realism, a piece of sophisticated, subtle filmmaking that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking.
  48. It's a rich, emotional story, a wonderfully appealing film made with humor and intelligence, but there is also something almost magical about how it takes the stuff of innumerable previous films -- love, romance and adolescent coming of age -- and turns them into something that feels one of a kind.
  49. A superbly shot film of emotional extravagance, sentimentality and even humor, House of Fools is a film that is ultimately quite moving but which probably could only have been pulled off by a director steeped in that famous Russian soul.
  50. Alternately heart-wrenching, dismaying, raw and even funny, Solas is ultimately a wonderfully warm and embracing experience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From its invitingly upbeat overture to its pathos-filled but ultimately life-affirming finale, "Martin" is a masterfully conducted work.
  51. Insomnia shows an equally welcome ability: a gift of creating intelligent, engrossing popular entertainment.
  52. It's no thigh-slapper like the Rodney Dangerfield's "Back to School," but it's exceptionally good-natured and perceptive, and Harmon, in his first starring screen role, is a real charmer. [22 July 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  53. That rare comedy that is as completely entertaining now in its re-release...as it was back then.
    • Los Angeles Times
  54. That rare movie that completely fulfills its admittedly modest aims.
  55. A fast and furious action-adventure. The film's comedy counts for as much as the clever and risky ways in which Wahlberg and company go after the nasty Norton, who has holed up in a Bel-Air mansion with a world-class security system.
  56. This is an intelligent epic told without special pleading, a film able to cut deep enough to reveal a keen specificity of experience.
  57. In a superb cast of mostly unknowns -- with the exception of Matthew Modine and Dorain Harewood -- D'Onofrio, who put on 60 pounds for this pivotal role, and Ermey are exceptional. [26 June 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  58. There are all sorts of ways to look at The Son -- as a philosophical thriller, as a statement of faith, as a call to political arms or just as a terrific entertainment.
  59. Smart and funny, touching and unabashedly sensual... the sweet sleeper of a hot season. [21 Aug 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  60. It's Patinkin who scores a special triumph. In his role there's a poignant strain of weariness beneath the leaping bravado, a pain under the braggadocio. [25 Sept 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  61. Somehow, Hoffman makes all this hypnotically interesting, and, through impeccable timing, sometimes terribly funny--a sweet humor which never betrays Raymond's unalterable character. [16 Dec 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  62. A fervent assertion that an individual has the right to pursue his own path lies at the vibrant heart of The Business of Fancydancing.
  63. Not only do Grant, Scott Thomas, Callow and company handle the sprightly dialogue with aplomb, they are also adept at the doubletakes and befuddled looks that make Four Weddings both amusing and irresistible all the way through the not-to-be-missed final credits. [9 March 1994, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  64. Amore satisfying use of the medium would be difficult to imagine.
  65. A blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames.
  66. Offers up a subversive comic sensibility, one that somehow combines Buster Keaton's deadpan stare with Frank Capra's tireless optimism and filters them both through a black-ice Finnish point of view. Welcome to Aki World.
  67. Artfully, even elegantly constructed, Secret Lives skillfully probes issues of conflicting emotions and allegiances in a dark time, yet emerges as a loving affirmation of humanity's remarkable potential for goodness in the face of pervasive evil.
  68. I can't think of another good movie this year that's as tough to watch as Moodysson's, but, then, I can't think of very many movies that are as good.
  69. It's sensational in both senses of the word: a bravura, provocative sendup of horror pictures that's also scary and gruesome yet too swift-moving to lapse into morbidity.
  70. This fractured fairy tale not only knows there's no substitute for clever writing, it also has the confidence to take that information straight to the bank.
  71. Josh Aronson's Sound and Fury, as illuminating and comprehensive as it is heart-wrenching, is an example of what the documentary can accomplish at its most vital and engaging.
  72. Has an engaging warmth and an effortless sense of life. It also has an instinct for the humanity and universality of situations that are comic, romantic and quite seriously dramatic by turns.
  73. At a time when so many in this country are at odds about what represents America at its best, it's refreshing and then some to see a film that everyone can agree is an example of exactly that.
  74. Quietly devastating. [15 Dec 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
  75. A clever and outrageous piece of whimsical fantasy that is unique, unpredictable and more than a little strange.
  76. Crouching Tiger's blend of the magical, the mythical and the romantic fills a need in us we might not even realize we had.
  77. It's a welcome throwback to the days when the world didn't have to end or tanker trucks explode to get an action audience's attention.
  78. The thinking person's caper flick, with its endlessly clever plotting revealing character under the utmost pressure.
  79. A quintessentially wised-up insider comedy, ideally cast and filled with sharp writing from start to finish.
  80. At once an old-fashioned freakout and an environmental cautionary tale (mess with Mother Nature and she'll mess with you right back), the film combines two genre standbys -- lethal contagion and the undead -- and gives them a wicked, contemporary spin.
  81. Brings maximum subtlety, nuance and insight into the timeless story of first love.
  82. A wildly cinematic futuristic thriller that is determined to overpower the imagination, The Matrix combines traditional science-fiction premises with spanking new visual technology in a way that almost defies description.
  83. A comedy of the most delicately balanced perfection.
  84. Dark, dangerous and a great deal of wicked, amoral fun. A film that manages to be as clever, playful and mock violent as its title, Lock, Stock was a major hit in its native Britain and its cheeky tone, simultaneously calculated and off the cuff, is as hip as anyone could want. [5 Mar 1999]
    • Los Angeles Times
  85. As a dramatist Eason has a classicist's sense of structure and movement to complement his sense of the cinematic. Manito, which has a special grand jury prize from Sundance among its 10 awards, is a small film with a big impact.
  86. An exquisite period film from a script Akira Kurosawa did not live to direct. It has a softer edge than the master probably would have delivered, but it is deeply affecting.
  87. Bleak childhoods make for the best cinema, and Ratcatcher stands at the head of the class.
  88. Wickedly hilarious. [19 Feb 1999]
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. In an instance of director, stars and material melding flawlessly, Spider is a brilliantly realized depiction of a mentally ill individual.
  90. A provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir, an intricate, inventive use of cinema's possibilities that pushes what can be done on screen in an unusual direction.
  91. A potent mixture of sentiment and grit, and it showcases the talents of its young principals.
  92. A substantial film of unexpected emotional force. And when at a certain point it seems to slip the bonds of this world and take a leap of faith into an almost mythological dimension, it breathlessly takes us along for that memorable ride.
  93. Though Kidman doesn't hesitate to make Grace high-strung and as tightly wound as they come, she also projects vulnerability and courage when they're called for. It's an intense, involving performance, and it dominates and energizes a film that would be lost without it.
  94. The jokes would be funny even if they weren't perfectly timed, but what makes them come across as so poignant is the seriousness with which the director and his co-conspirators deliver their jabs and japes.
  95. A sparkling romantic comedy, the kind of picture that glides by so gracefully and unpretentiously that it's only upon reflection that you realize how much skill, caring and good judgment had to have gone into its making.
  96. Halloween: H20 is as stylish and scary as it is ultra-violent. It's a work of superior craftsmanship in all aspects.
  97. It's an exasperating, irresistible, must-see mess of a movie about life in the modern world and so very good that even when its story finally crashes and burns the filmmaking remains unscathed.
  98. A martial arts valentine to the power of fighting women. It's a slick and delirious Hong Kong action film.

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