Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 8,178 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Lowest review score: 0 Waking Up in Reno
Score distribution:
8,178 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A wild at heart, anarchic comedy that believes in living dangerously.
  4. It is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of.
  5. A beautifully made, unapologetically artistic piece of work.
  6. This is a beautifully rendered film.
  7. A triumph for all concerned, it is especially so for the multitalented Chereau.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Such a smart and savvy piece of work it encourages us to feel we're eavesdropping on history.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Highly entertaining and encouraging documentary.
  14. Exuberant and insidiously funny satire.
  15. Tchoupitoulas is a jewel-bright whoosh of a ride through nighttime New Orleans.
  16. 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.
  17. Deeply fascinating, unexpectedly potent documentary.
  18. A remarkable and remarkably compelling document.
  19. Two teen girls forge an explosive connection in a compelling Pawel Pawlikowski film.
  20. Carvalho's superb cinematography, Antonio Pinto's score and a dedicated cast and crew admirably sustain this poetic and uncompromising film.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Miller and Futterman avoid the pitfalls of the genre by refusing to mythologize the artist, plunging instead into the soul of the man.
  25. 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.
  26. In his knockout directorial debut writer Kevin Williamson taps into such universal memories with his shrewd and energetic dark comedy.
  27. It earns its considerable impact by telling an unnerving story and leaving it, in ways both daring and effective, fundamentally unresolved.
  28. James Mangold directs it with such energy and passion that it's as if he didn't know it's all been done before.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. In Auto Focus, the strangely wonderful and weirdly touching new film from Paul Schrader, the comedy and the tragedy keep getting mixed up.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. It's a B movie made with A-student love for the relentless thrill of bodies in brutal motion.
  36. 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.
  37. An enjoyable celebratory ode to a fiercely entertaining counterculture-inspired genre.
  38. 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.
  39. 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
  40. 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."
  41. 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.
  42. Carefully made, involving and old-fashioned, the superior work it's inspired gives it an impact that lingers even when the endgame is over.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. When I Walk is extraordinarily accomplished, poignant, and wise.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. A pleasure in all ways.
  50. Abounds in psychological suspense and plays like a mystery film, even though the mystery at hand may be purely one of the human heart.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. A dynamite concert film.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. A fervent assertion that an individual has the right to pursue his own path lies at the vibrant heart of The Business of Fancydancing.
  58. Always looking forward, Godard remains remarkably capable of seeing the world and thinking about filmmaking with clear eyes and fresh ideas.
  59. What results is a thoughtful, analytical yet still emotional film, meticulously investigated and absolutely compelling.
  60. Working with cinematographer Harris Savides and serving as the film's editor, he (Van Sant) has fashioned a visual style and a narrative shape that has the quality of a waking dream, then a nightmare. Rarely do form and content add up with such harmonious grace and power.
  61. 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.
  62. This is a film done right by just about every measure. The extremes of the story seep deep into your bones -- the beauty, the allure, the desperation and especially the cold in this world where life literally hangs on rope and what Mother Nature chooses to throw at you.
  63. Sublime psychological thriller.
  64. 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.
  65. The Catherine Breillat-directed period piece is an extreme cinematic pleasure, a well-told yarn of merciless desire.
  66. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg has stood the test of time as beautifully as Deneuve and seems likely to enchant future generations as fully as it has audiences over the past four decades.
  67. The film, which came out in 1970 after a censorship battle with the Franco regime, catches — and releases — all the tension of shifting sexual mores. You can almost sense the director's pleasure in taking apart the duplicities of a patriarchal Spanish society. [21 Feb. 2013]
  68. Cassavetes' riveting film not only re-creates the glory days of the Z Channel through a generous offering of film clips and interviews, but also presents a clear-eyed portrait of its creative driving force, Jerry Harvey, and the tragic circumstances of his death.
  69. Moll, in only his second feature, evokes a sense of foreboding, playing the routine against the unnerving, the humorous against the sinister, with a wit and deftness that might have impressed Hitchcock.
  70. A splendid instance of a surrealist vision that serves to heighten the impact of genuine emotions experienced by believably real people.
  71. The more things change, the more we have to laugh if we are to have a prayer of remaining sane, and the Pythons are the best possible step in that direction.
  72. Graceland is a tense, twisty cinematic artichoke brimming with moral complexity and intriguing shades of gray.
  73. A small gem.
  74. Aside from a riveting adventure story that Herzog tells in all of its terrifying, stripped-down simplicity, Rescue Dawn is a fascinating study of human particularity.
  75. The rousing The Fighter tries a number of risky maneuvers and manages to make them pay off in the end. The movie initially feels like more of a near thing than the filmmakers anticipated, but as in boxing it's only the final decision that counts.
  76. Brilliantly choreographed and shot, Kung Fu Hustle is often grisly, visually spectacular and unabashedly silly, sometimes all at once.
  77. 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.
  78. Marvelously colorful, casually inventive and completely wacky, The King and the Mockingbird just might be the best animated film of the year.
  79. A comedy of the most delicately balanced perfection.
  80. If it weren't for the masterful work of director Dover Kosashvili, this rich, evocative film wouldn't have nearly the impact it does.
  81. Director Nora Ephron and her co-writers, sister Delia plus Pete Dexter and Jim Quinlan (the latter two wrote the original story), bring a smart contemporary sensibility to the hokum, hilarity and heart-tugging that have made for many a classic Hollywood entertainment.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result, narrated in a grave monotone by Campbell Scott, is a catalog of horrors so absurd and relentless it verges on farce, or Greek tragedy.
  82. 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.
  83. A throwback to the days of old-school caper movies like "To Catch a Thief," Duplicity is just the kind of sophisticated amusement you would expect from filmmaker Tony Gilroy.
  84. Naked is a mesmerizing character study, an attempt to stretch the emotional boundaries of truth on film as far as they will go. For once we think we've seen as much of Johnny as we can take, like an etching by Escher we start to see something else, a glimpse of another person easily missed.
  85. A quiet powerhouse of a film, an implacable, uncompromising French police drama, both old-fashioned and modern, that underlines the reasons impeccably made crime stories do so well on screen.
  86. 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.
  87. Author Coben, who says he is a fan of "stories that move you, that grab hold of your heart and do not let it go," has gotten a film that does exactly that.
  88. A film of warmth, insight, humor and surprising originality… [It] isn't perfect, but when it's good, which is every moment John Cusack is on screen, it's a living joy. And when it's not-so-good--earthbound and not inventive enough--it s till almost single-handedly redeems the breed. [14 April 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. It is a bravura work that attests to Pineyro's command of a style rich in texture and nuance and also of multilayered material.
  90. Lucie Aubrac has it all: a tender romance, acute suspense, terrific acting, and a camera style and and score that are beautiful yet understated...a major work, possessing breadth, depth and passion.
  91. Aside from superb ensemble work from an 18-member cast, "Together's sense of human potential is its greatest pleasure.
  92. The smiles don't fade until the finish of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown when we witness Pepa's realization that she has, in fact, come into her own and taken charge of her own destiny. [20 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  93. The result is as gripping as a title fight and as mesmerizing as a conversation with a cobra. You may not be happy with everything said, but you will not be bored.
  94. Knowing the outcome behind the true-life tragedy 24 Days doesn't diffuse the horror, the tension or the sadness of watching one family's drama unfold day after agonizing day when a son is kidnapped and hope dies.
  95. 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.
  96. A martial arts valentine to the power of fighting women. It's a slick and delirious Hong Kong action film.
  97. Denis and Testud, in a wondrous collaboration of a gifted director and equally gifted actress, succeed in making Christine a tragic figure.
  98. A luminous, piercing film from the Elizabeth Bowen novel, richly evokes a world of privilege on the verge of disintegration.
  99. Mastery of tone is everything here, and Azazel's control, combined with his wit, perception, discretion and easy command of the visual and of his cast makes Momma's Man a gem.

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