Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 8,570 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 0.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Before Sunset
Lowest review score: 0 Hudson Hawk
Score distribution:
8,570 movie reviews
  1. Best and most unexpected of all, Rachel Getting Married dares to mix the bitter with the sweet. It understands that life-altering situations like weddings not only bring out the worst in human behavior but also the finest.
  2. It's billed as an environmental horror story, but The Last Winter bears all the hallmarks of an ever-popular genre that has always pitted science, technology and reason against emotion, awe and nature. It bears all the hallmarks of the gothic: ghosts, death, alienated sexuality, decay, secrets, madness and, of course, awe and trepidation in the face of the sublime power of nature.
  3. '71
    Nothing is extraneous, no moment that doesn't enhance the tension of this nightmare scenario is allowed to survive, until the proceedings become, in the best possible sense, almost unbearable to watch.
  4. Teaches important lessons in the most casual, joyful way. How it manages to do that is probably the biggest secret of all.
  5. A remarkable film.
  6. Im Kwon Taek's exquisite Chunhyang brings to the screen one of Korea's most cherished folk tales, a timeless romance in which the lovers are challenged by differences in class.
  7. 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.
  8. Performances this strong and direction this sensitive make us simply grateful to have an emotional story we can sink our teeth into and enjoy.
  9. Rarely have a novelist and filmmaker been better matched.
  10. A deeply satisfying feat of storytelling, Bless Me, Ultima makes a difficult task look easy. It combines innocence and experience, the darkness and wonder of life, in a way that is not easy to categorize but a rich pleasure to watch.
  11. Humor, sentiment and melodrama strike a balance as he brings to life nine major characters and a host of others as well.
  12. With his ability to understand and convey these absurdist scenarios in both adult and preteen terms, writer-director Solondz catches the unlooked-for humor in poignant, hurtful situations.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Caesar Must Die shows us in the starkest possible terms the electric power of drama to move and touch not only audiences but the actors who bring so much of themselves to their performances.
  18. Complex, challenging and richly rewarding, it glows with the kind of wrenchingly selfless portrayals that are the hallmark of the Bergman classics.
  19. Intelligently written and directed with a pleasing frankness by Bill Condon and well played by Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and a strong supporting cast, the film skillfully uses the forms of old Hollywood to tell a story that would have given heart failure to Harry Cohn and his fellow tycoons.
  20. Like an exquisite minimalist painting - its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film, like the many mysteries it slowly exposes.
  21. Irresistible, hugely satisfying feminist fairy tale.
  22. 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.
  23. Brings maximum subtlety, nuance and insight into the timeless story of first love.
  24. An invaluable portrait of us-and-them America, a smart, generous, poignant, quietly disturbing movie about secrecy and hospitality, and how easy it is for a tradition of separateness to flourish when the stakes are as deceptively frivolous as an eye-popping yearly party.
  25. A first-rate contribution to the Holocaust canon.
  26. An expertly designed theme park ride of a movie that packs nonstop thrills.
  27. 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.
  28. Sicko is likely Moore's most important, most impressive, most provocative film, and it's different from his others in significant ways.
  29. [A] smart, relentlessly chilling thriller that opts for originality over cheaply rejiggered jolts.
  30. A deceptively simple, deeply resonant story about the inherent loneliness of family, the odds against assimilation and the enormous distances that can divide two people.
  31. Crisp as the creases in its naval officers' uniforms, this tale of seething conflicts aboard an American submarine on the eve of nuclear war is strictly by-the-numbers, but hardly ever are traditional elements executed with such panache.
  32. By turns thrilling, disorienting and draining, Sicario exists in a border zone seemingly of its own devising between the art film and the action movie.
  33. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  34. The singular achievement of Jonathan Karsh's graceful and rigorous documentary is that he enables his audiences to see his heroine's family through her very clear but always loving eyes.
  35. As uplifting as anything you will find in theaters.
  36. An extraordinarily intimate, deeply affecting and revelatory documentary on how pain and passion can come together in a creative artist.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Working with excellent site-specific music and this trio of exemplary -- and exceptionally well-cast -- actresses, director Bertuccelli does a superb job of touching just the right emotional notes in recounting the consequences of deception and the importance of family.
  40. It's a chilling, completely fascinating documentary.
  41. A heart-tugger made totally irresistible because of the combination of Kitano's wry, sly sense of humor and his rigorous detachment.
  42. Emmanuel Carrère's witty, elegant La Moustache is a deliciously unsettling, beautifully sustained enigma, a film of much beauty and flawless performances, especially from Vincent Lindon in one of his most demanding roles.
  43. 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.
  44. A moving and infuriating look at the 2008 murder of openly gay teenager Lawrence "Larry" King.
  45. 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.
  46. Filmmaker Leon has deftly structured Gimme the Loot as a picaresque tale, an anecdotal, observational film that introduces us to all manner of eccentric and original characters. Will Malcolm and Sophia get what they want, what they need, or something in between? The only sure thing is that being along for the ride is pleasure of the most unexpected sort.
  47. 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.
  48. Simultaneously an art film and a crime film, Mann's latest work may not give you a ton to hang on to emotionally, but the beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp.
  49. From the clockwork comic timing to the movie's salty mix of the ridiculous and the reflective, This Is the End is stupidly hysterical and smartly heretical. Cross my heart and hope to die, it's funny as hell.
  50. A wild at heart, anarchic comedy that believes in living dangerously.
  51. It is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of.
  52. A beautifully made, unapologetically artistic piece of work.
  53. This is a beautifully rendered film.
  54. A triumph for all concerned, it is especially so for the multitalented Chereau.
  55. Buster Keaton isn't dead, he's alive and well in Finland, where under a new identity he pursues his own particular brand of deadpan absurdism to wonderful effect. If the name Aki Kaurismäki doesn't mean anything to you, it should, and Le Havre may be the film to make it happen.
  56. A remarkable work -- lively, painful, humorous, deeply revealing of both father and son -- that is worthy of one of Hollywood's finest directors of photography.
  57. Such a smart and savvy piece of work it encourages us to feel we're eavesdropping on history.
  58. One of the strengths of Killer of Sheep, one of the reasons it has not dated, is that the naturalness and simplicity with which it unfolds give it the texture of a story told from the inside.
  59. Brougher has taken material that sounds contrived and potentially exploitative and used her gift for careful observation and restrained emotionality to give it surprising authenticity.
  60. Highly entertaining and encouraging documentary.
  61. Exuberant and insidiously funny satire.
  62. Tchoupitoulas is a jewel-bright whoosh of a ride through nighttime New Orleans.
  63. The vigorous Bang Rajan moves with a sure sense of direction and authority to its major culminating battle, a singularly savage and wrenching encounter that for all its bloodshed is never exploitative and concludes the film on a resounding note of tragic grandeur.
  64. Deeply fascinating, unexpectedly potent documentary.
  65. A remarkable and remarkably compelling document.
  66. Two teen girls forge an explosive connection in a compelling Pawel Pawlikowski film.
  67. Carvalho's superb cinematography, Antonio Pinto's score and a dedicated cast and crew admirably sustain this poetic and uncompromising film.
  68. This haunting phantasmagoria of a film -- comic, singular, surreal -- is not only something no one but the Canadian director could have made, it's also a film no one else would have even wanted to make. Which is the heart of its appeal.
  69. Whether it's Peterson/Bronson's more theatrical bits or his untamable character's many blood-spitting, knuckle-beating, explosions, Hardy chomps down on his once-in-a-career role with stunning ferocity and never lets go. He's extraordinary.
  70. It's a great trick the filmmakers have pulled off to make us feel as if we're there sorting through the memories with him. The movie's editing is especially artful with Maya Hawke and Casey Brooks doing the nipping and tucking.
  71. Miller and Futterman avoid the pitfalls of the genre by refusing to mythologize the artist, plunging instead into the soul of the man.
  72. A fearless and ambitious piece of work, made with equal parts passion and calculation, an unapologetically entertaining major studio release with compelling real-world relevance, a film that takes numerous risks and thrives on them all.
  73. In his knockout directorial debut writer Kevin Williamson taps into such universal memories with his shrewd and energetic dark comedy.
  74. It earns its considerable impact by telling an unnerving story and leaving it, in ways both daring and effective, fundamentally unresolved.
  75. James Mangold directs it with such energy and passion that it's as if he didn't know it's all been done before.
  76. It turns out to be an especially warm comedy with a hidden heart. It's a film whose humor has feeling behind it because writer-director Peter Hedges doesn't let his comedy overpower an understanding of how emotionally weighted family situations are always going to be.
  77. In a commanding performance that is as compelling as it is unexpected, Mirren has turned The Queen into something you never imagined it could be: a crackling dramatic story that's intelligent, thoughtful and moving.
  78. An example of sophisticated, impassioned filmmaking involving mainly people who lived through the harrowing experiences so unsparingly depicted, Journey From the Fall powerfully illustrates the refugee/immigrant experience.
  79. In Auto Focus, the strangely wonderful and weirdly touching new film from Paul Schrader, the comedy and the tragedy keep getting mixed up.
  80. The most accurate assault against the media age since "Network," To Die For's killer lines and wicked sensibility are given added poignancy by the off-center, sensitive performance of Joaquin Phoenix, River's younger brother, the only person more deluded about Suzanne than she is about herself.
  81. 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.
  82. It's a B movie made with A-student love for the relentless thrill of bodies in brutal motion.
  83. 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.
  84. An enjoyable celebratory ode to a fiercely entertaining counterculture-inspired genre.
  85. Ethan Hawke's documentary on pianist Seymour Bernstein is very much like the sonatas Bernstein plays so beautifully, teaches so insightfully — quietly moving, infinitely deep.
  86. As atmospheric and moody as a film noir, the stylish, sometimes perplexing Purple Butterfly is a remarkable period piece, evoking the bustling, dense and increasingly dangerous Shanghai of the '30s
  87. It is a rare thing to witness the creative process. But in the excellent new documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, filmmaker Ben Shapiro gives us fly-on-the-wall access over a 10-year period to an acclaimed artist as he envisions, designs and executes his surreal commentary on small-town American life in the form of an epic photo installation, "Beneath the Roses."
  88. Director Judy Chaikin, who co-wrote the film with its deft editor, Edward Osei-Gyimah, infuses this fine portrait with grace, nostalgia and a well-calibrated dose of social commentary.
  89. Carefully made, involving and old-fashioned, the superior work it's inspired gives it an impact that lingers even when the endgame is over.
  90. In its mix are ethical quandaries in biotechnology, nature versus nurture and an adorable-sexy-disturbing monster. So there's that. But it wins best in show by focusing on one of the weirder relationship triangles in recent memory.
  91. While Dreamcatcher lays bare some of the horrific violence and victimization that many women face, the film is ultimately hopeful, a testament to the strength and resilience that can be found in sisterhood.
  92. 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.
  93. When I Walk is extraordinarily accomplished, poignant, and wise.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. A pleasure in all ways.
  97. Abounds in psychological suspense and plays like a mystery film, even though the mystery at hand may be purely one of the human heart.
  98. It would be a mistake to think that if you've seen one fish up close and personal you've seen them all. Deep Sea 3D is a total-immersion undersea adventure, in which the oceans' glories are on vivid display in three dimensions.
  99. 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.
  100. A remarkably thoughtful drama, Lantana makes it clear not only how hard to come by any emotional comfort is in this life, but more important, why we can't give up on the struggle.

Top Trailers