Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,705 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 The Inheritance
Lowest review score: 0 Miss March
Score distribution:
7,705 movie reviews
  1. Franco is a refreshingly offbeat screen presence and in lighter moments boasts an appealing smile. He may be someone to watch, but too bad there's little room for emotional spontaneity - acting, in other words - in a rote Hollywood drill such as this.
  2. This isn't your father's cross-dressing. At the same time, the science of comedy attains a new level of appreciation, since hardly anything about this sluggish sequel to the 2000 box office hit comes close to being funny.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Trier gets lost in his own rhetoric, forgetting to entertain his flock while raking them over the coals.
  3. The campier aspects of the film are not enough to make up for its lapses into melodrama and just plain silliness.
  4. The Wayne's World concept, which, egged on by a rabid studio audience, works so beautifully in skit format, ends up feeling dragged out and energy-less at feature length. [14 Feb 1992 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  5. Anyone who has seen the trailers for Freedomland, which don't exactly skimp on maternal angst, already knows this is going to be a sad-mommy story. What we don't know is that it may be a bad-mommy story as well.
  6. Reunion is an awkward compound of paradoxical tones and ideas... But one shouldn't underestimate Perry's ability to make such contradictions work and get away with the most wretched excess.
  7. To her credit, Jovovich carries out her action-hero duties with swagger and conviction that never get out of control. Clearly, she's expecting a franchise out of this.
  8. Despite a fine cast, the film feels as lost as Howard, unsure of its direction or tone.
  9. Stay Alive spends a lot of time inside the video game system, and what will terrify the audience very early on is the realization that there's better acting in the video game than on the big screen.
  10. The film is haphazardly structured, undercutting its potential power.
  11. A fictional look at film school life, realized in that archetypal film school style. If it were being workshopped in a seminar, some criticisms might include: awkward mise-en-scène, stock characters - and did you actually repeat that reaction within 10 seconds of first using it?
  12. Fans of the band will likely be disappointed (its music is represented by a handful of covers), and younger audiences will wonder what the fuss is about.
  13. From the beginning to its very end, The Benchwarmers seems to be struggling to justify its own existence.
  14. A self-consciously zany dysfunctional family comedy, When Do We Eat? strains so hard to be outrageous that it sacrifices characters for caricatures. They might have had something if they'd let everybody relax, be themselves and enjoy dinner.
  15. Director Tony Vitale, best know for "Kiss Me Guido," gamely tries to keep pace with Cupo's erratic storytelling and struggles to convey the inner life of Cupo's character.
  16. Maddeningly exploitative, the film takes a provocative subject -- pedophilia -- and wraps it in a sterile, vacuum-sealed package, devoid of meaning.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Possibilities ends up as a testament to only one thing: a missed opportunity to explore one of the most visionary and influential careers in modern music.
  17. A pompous, overwrought and itchingly claustrophobic psychodrama.
  18. Shot in just 24 days, the film staggers under the weight of stale gags and a meandering plot.
  19. Wants to be an honest, earnest look at the difficulties of growing up and moving on, but it remains stuck in such a fantasy-laden milieu that the characters never feel particularly real, and their problems seem phony and arbitrary.
  20. The film strives for some type of a girl-empowerment message that equates trading one type of conformity for another with self-determination but muffs the dismount and stumbles on the landing. In other words, it fails to Stick It.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The misfortune, of Michael Stürminger's low-boil melodrama is that it's entirely too familiar. Underneath the movie's cool surface beats the heart of a 1940s tear-jerker. It's a subzero "Stella Dallas."
  21. A hopelessly muddled example of inspirational indie cinema.
  22. At times, the narrative thread slips the movie's grasp and there are flat spots in which characters just scream and thrash. Given what its ending aims for (don't ask), such interludes feel flabby and gratuitous even with Sutherland and Spacek providing gravitas to the ghoulishness.
  23. As the film progresses, however, Murray becomes less and less sure of where things are heading or what it is she is trying to get at, such that the last few reels feel perfunctory and unengaged.
  24. For fans of Nunez's previous work, it's almost as if he put in all the clichés he would normally avoid and left out the wonderfully textured internal moments that made "Ruby" and "Ulee's Gold" unique.
  25. Parker Posey, the queen of the indies, is a stylish actress, but there's not much she can do with the flat, trite sex comedy The Oh in Ohio, written by Adam Wierzbianski and directed by Billy Kent without a trace of imagination or originality.
  26. The film raises more questions than it could possibly hope to answer fully, devolving from an intriguing look at an enticingly obscure issue into a more broadly based mess.
  27. Writer-director Todd Stephens set out to make the raunchiest gay teen movie ever, which this picture most certainly is, but the result is far more frenetic than funny.
  28. The problem with Sherry is that, unlike Ryan Gosling's Dan in "Half Nelson," whose humanity transcends his addiction and who is still capable, no matter how uneasily, to maintain relationships with others, she is a terminally uninteresting narcissist with a bad case of arrested development.
  29. Weirdly clueless.
  30. A sad farewell to the promising Project Greenlight concept, this Feast leaves viewers with nothing satisfying to tuck into.
  31. Perhaps in an effort to root the film in the genre, the dialogue reaches for a particular hard-boiled register but grasps only clichés. El Cortez, like so many before it, searches for that nugget in the genre mine but just doesn't find it.
  32. This is not the cool, eerie déjà vu, but the "Hey, isn't that exactly what happened in the first movie?" déjà vu.
  33. The film is forever trying to balance between being for younger teenagers and keeping their parents occupied as well, and never quite gets it right.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's not much joy in One Night With the King, a lavish but listless retelling of the biblical story of Esther.
  34. Murphy, who created the creepy, funny, lunatic "Nip/Tuck," is a master of mordant and macabre camp. But here he loses his teeth, seeming to lack any ironic distance from material that practically begs for it.
  35. Working with cinematographer Karl Walter Lindenlaub, director Caton-Jones has givenRob Roy a beautiful wide-screen look, filled with gorgeous vistas. But this film is like a color Xerox copy of the real thing: hard to tell from an original until you look closely at the details.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Conversations has all the telltale signs of a religious film that keep your basic moviegoer away: stilted dialogue, overwrought music, the subtlety of a daytime soap.
  36. There's no social commentary discernible here; merely a rap-video style glorification of the gangsta life, complete with mad money, barely clad babes and that annoying affectation of holding pistols sideways. As to its treatment of women, well, it's not exactly a feminist film.
  37. While it would like to be nimble, light-footed satire, too often Death and Texas stumbles on its own earnestness, wearing cement shoes when it should be tap-dancing.
  38. For all the time we spend watching Justin and Nicole negotiate their needs, we have no idea who these people are.
  39. It's an ambitious film drenched in sincerity and oozing with nostalgia that, despite the energy provided by its title icon via archival footage, falls flat dramatically in nearly every other way.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Like a fatally snarled string of Christmas lights, Deck the Halls promises holiday cheer but delivers only frustration.
  40. Not only screams out to be a midnight movie, but one in need of, shall we say, an herbal supplement, and we aren't talking ginkgo biloba.
  41. Eating Out 2 is sweet-natured, but like the first edition, lame and way too talky.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Eragon is likely to center on its place among the likes of "Dragonheart," "Reign of Fire" and the rest of the mediocre dragon flicks.
  42. The bulk of the movie is a series of sight gags and set pieces that wreak much havoc but little else.
  43. What's missing is less a sense of the protagonist's inner nose (which is very well-trammeled) as a sense of his inner life, motivation or desire.
  44. Scotsman not only lacks vision, a true sense of how to mesh Obree's sporting triumphs and personal setbacks, but it also lacks passion. What it needs, as strange and tacky as it may sound, is a bit more madness.
  45. In a film with several over-the-top characters bordering on camp, Timberlake's Frankie is the only one who approaches three dimensions, adept at convincingly dishing out some of the movie's disturbing violence as well as registering subtle shifts in Frankie's allegiance.
  46. Strangely self-serious, and without covering the prerequisites of top-shelf nastiness that contemporary horror requires, this giant crocodile movie turns out to be neither fish nor fowl.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The real problem with Epic Movie is that while it does a decent job imitating films, it never bothers to make fun of or have fun with them, which is what Friedberg and Seltzer did so well with "Scary Movie."
  47. It's a grindhouse-inspired concoction that may not contain a shred of originality, but it is executed with unbridled bombast and glee.
  48. The film has a weird, surrealistic feel abetted by a lack of conventional structure, keeping the viewer off-balance. On the down side, that means the movie occasionally rambles. The staging tends toward the static, the cast is uneven and the small film is technically limited.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Messengers is at once ruthlessly efficient and shamelessly distended.
  49. The romance makes an awkward, contrived fit with the nominally serious political stuff, and even those momentous events come off as generic and unconvincing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Fired! is missing the one thing it could have used most: a career objective.
  50. Walker-Pearlman's strengths lie in these characterizations and his ability to draw subtle performances from his actors. However, the powerfully understated moments are undercut by the film's unwieldy structure. Any emotional momentum that builds is lost with the interminable flashbacks.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Kramer shows zero feeling for the nuances of a midlife sexual awakening.
  51. A new teen fantasy movie, is indeed loaded -- with things you've seen many times before.
  52. Though Black Snake Moan is unadulterated deep-fried silliness from "Hustle & Flow" filmmaker Craig Brewer, Jackson makes it indisputably more palatable. It's still not a very good movie, but it's intermittently entertaining (and sometimes unintentionally funny).
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    My Brother is brimming with would-be life lessons. But the movie goes in so many directions, and follows through on so few of them, that all it transmits is a vague glow. It's watered-down chicken soup for the soul.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A little of this junk-drawer fusillade goes a long way.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    What the new movie lacks in craft, suspense and metaphoric richness it makes up for with, um, gadgets.
  53. At all times the wretched high-concept, low-intelligence story contrives to bring everything down to its sudsy level. [22 Nov 1985]
    • Los Angeles Times
  54. A wax-museum movie that is both bland and reverential despite its focus on the great man's love life, Jefferson is hampered by its disconnected protagonist.
  55. Sanitized for our protection and in the hands of director Adrian Lyne, 9 1/2 Weeks is a swooningly silly cautionary tale about the bad and the beautiful; a pair whose sexual tastes might have surfaced after a night of watching "Bolero" on videocassette. [21 Feb 1986, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  56. For an action thriller based on a Dick story, Next is peculiarly low-tech and hokey.
  57. Really effective horror films make us participants in the horror. Jacob's Ladder doesn't draw us in in that way. It's a movie about interior states that's all on the outside. [30 Oct 1990, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  58. Unengaging and uninspired and that leaves far too much unexplored.
  59. Too slight to be taken seriously and too off-putting (especially when the phone callers get hostile and the work demeaning) to be funny, Girl 6 feels like the first draft of a potentially interesting project. It just hasn't been made good on here.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Because Emory doesn't grapple fully with the issues that loom over the film, there is something soppy and soft-headed about Inlaws & Outlaws.
  60. A cast this charismatic is bound to make something of the situation. In short bursts, the movie is alternately sunny and charming, dark and weird, confounding and dull.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film's subject is not race but gambling, yet the cynical message is the same: We're all pathetic.
  61. The movie unravels pretty quickly as Caleo almost immediately gives away the "what" but remains marginally entertaining as he manages to maintain some suspense in the "why" and the "how" before blowing the genre completely by going soft in the resolution.
  62. Hartley turns what might have been a lurid pulp thriller into a freeze-dried art thing. He squeezes all the juice out of pulp. [19 May 1995]
    • Los Angeles Times
  63. The idea that sexual harassment is about power, not sex, and that a woman in power can potentially misbehave just like a man may be news to certain segments of the population, but they are not news enough to light a much-needed fire under this production. [9 Dec 1994, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  64. In essence, you get "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "Wings of Desire," swapping out the substance for self-help platitudes. If you can get past that, you can enjoy it as a 90-minute look at a lovely postcard.
  65. Evans and Gideon never really succeed in selling the idea that serial killing is a disease -- which would require a degree of realism that the slick, over-plotted Mr. Brooks doesn't otherwise aspire to. They seem to be content with occupying the audience with a series of twists and jolts.
  66. Marshall doesn't have the gift for shamelessness, and that's why the film, with its pileup of sentimentalities, seems so processed. [04 Jun 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
  67. Wall Street wants to be a shrewd piece of movie making, our own insider's tip, but it's tinny and thin and close to moral bankruptcy. As for its veracity, it's probably no closer to Wall Street than "The Bad and the Beautiful" was to the skills of movie making. And it's a lot less fun. [11 Dec 1987, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  68. Inspired by the Parker Brothers board game of the same name, Clue is more frenetic than funny, more strained than suspenseful or scary. In fact, it's not the least bit scary or suspenseful but instead quickly grows tedious. The more you struggle to keep track of the constantly multiplying plot developments, the harder it gets to care who did it. [13 Dec 1985, p.6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. In this stately and fairly slavish representation, directed by Richard Attenborough, what pokes through with the pain of a broken bone is how thin the material really is. [12 Dec 1985]
    • Los Angeles Times
  70. For all of its class-act bona fides, Evening lurches between the morose and the sentimental, with occasional incursions into the absurd.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's not vivid or harrowing enough to command attention. Worse, at a mere 76 minutes, the movie skips past what seems like lots of crucial exposition in favor of vague flashbacks and confusing inserts. The awkward documentary-style interviews don't help.
  71. Transformers' multiple earthling story lines are tedious and oddly lifeless, doing little besides marking time until those big toys fill the screen.
  72. Fails to deliver on its main promise of big laughs, which is the film's truly unforgivable sin.
  73. David Wain, director of "Wet Hot American Summer," brings his popular brand of surrealist yet mundane humor to the big screen with more or less dreadful results.
  74. The movie feels stubbornly, resolutely disingenuous and one-dimensional. Everything in it isdesigned to make you feel better, so why does it feel artificial and palliative in that really depressing way?
  75. There's a lot that remains unclear about the powers and abilities of the creatures in Skinwalkers, largely robbing the film of tension as events transpire in a slapdash, haphazard manner.
  76. It's neither very original nor very convincing. "Shakespeare in Love" did something similar by casting its writer protagonist as the hero of a story he himself might have written, but Becoming Jane lacks that movie's wit and playfulness.
  77. The bones of something more interesting are there -- how people come to mentally and emotionally define themselves and the ways in which they often need to realign those beliefs -- but Yeung can never reconcile his impulses toward humor and human conflict, so things tend to sputter about, feeling disconnected and episodic.
  78. As Ruscio piles it on, he gets himself further and further away from any sense of genuine emotional truth.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A dumb twist can be excused, however, if your characters keep the thing afloat, which makes perhaps the most unforgivable sin of this claustrophobic terror scenario the fact that we have to spend it with arguably the two least interesting people in Los Angeles.
  79. Moody, mannered and supremely irritating, Christophe Honoré's Dans Paris plays like a pastiche of French cinema clichés through the ages.
  80. Even after appropriately lowering expectations, it's kind to call this one a cut below.
  81. Black comedy becomes funnier as the action becomes darker and more perilous, but The Hunting Party fails to locate the absurdity in the central situations and goes for midget jokes instead. In the end, you're not sure if you're supposed to be watching "The Three Amigos" or "Hotel Rwanda."
  82. There are enough reasons to avoid this oh-so-wacky comedy as it meanders from piney Georgia to Port Arthur, Texas, to Monument Valley, Utah, and they include Gourley's sense of direction.

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