Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,475 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 lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Taxidermia
Lowest review score: 0 Nothing Like the Holidays
Score distribution:
7,475 movie reviews
  1. There are problems for us as well in Wonderland. Like its main characters, the film is having an identity crisis -- is it a parable for adults or a fable for children? Its childlike whimsy doesn't always fit with its very grown-up themes.
  2. Trumbo's aim was a kind of proletarian poetry, but McKenzie's broad emoting has the deadly earnestness of a school play.
  3. Shoot on Sight has good intentions but winds up a thematically simplistic, dryly plotted and perfunctorily shot melodrama, one of those movies where dialogue is there to categorize people, not parse the complexities of human beings.
  4. A promising effort that doesn't cohere into anything more, Smother never fully comes to life.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A dead-on-arrival thriller that resolutely fails to come to life.
  5. Davi's heartfelt performance makes for a winning solo, but the movie too often lacks harmony.
  6. Shows strains of stylistic overkill with egregious flash-edit tricks and sped-up camera moves, while the signal-flare plotting indicates that perhaps a bit more time could have been taken on the screenplay.
  7. Only half as clever as it thinks and even less entertaining.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Lurie spins off into invention like a "Law & Order" writer on deadline, scrambling the issues so thoroughly it's no longer clear what, if anything, the movie is meant to address.
  8. Regrettably, the long-delayed adaptation from director Vicente Amorim and screenwriter John Wrathall gets crushed by the weight of trying to be something more; it's really just the story of a rather ordinary but disappointing man. The filmmakers reach for metaphor and allegory, but it comes at the expense of an emotional connection.
  9. There is no real plot, the movie's filled with friends of Steve, the comedy is terribly overplayed, or the comedy is overplayed terribly (again, you can choose) -- what you're left with is a bag of tricks that has seen better days.
  10. The scenes of servicemen feel somehow false, a screenwriter's idea of military life rather than the real thing. Myrick does an admirable job of spinning tension from a group of guys mostly standing around, but too often the film's portentous tone seems more silly than suspenseful.
  11. The leads aren't only miscast -- Brody over-mopes and the usually wonderful Ruffalo seems out of sorts as a rascally schemer -- but interest in the con plot fades as the director's bag of tricks empties further.
  12. A mess of a film that can't quite figure out what it wants to be: an illicit love story, a political thriller or a coming-of-age set piece
  13. Undone by a deadly twofer: lack of trust in characterization coupled with single-minded faith in spelled-out messages.
  14. It's lost-in-life meets lust-for-life in the reliably regenerative wine country, which means most moviegoers could hand this emotionally stranded odd couple a road map of where they'll be by the closing credits.
  15. Sometimes glossy, sometimes hard-edged, the film alternates between glitz and unpleasantness and ends as a kind of glum soap opera, too glam to be bleak and too bleak to be so glam.
  16. Too bad all the forced whimsy of this "Bottle Rocket" wannabe feels maniacally scattershot -- like an off night at an improv club -- rather than organically inspired.
  17. Part of what makes "Connecticut" oddly watchable even as it drags is the oil-and-water mix of acting styles of the leads. Virginia Madsen's refined naturalism is an awkward fit with the sharp mannerisms of Martin Donovan.
  18. Despite the film's haphazard choices and aversion to subtlety, Parker and Williamson come off as appealing sparring partners.
  19. Director James Wong ("Final Destination") and writer Ben Ramsey are utterly blasé in their approach to the series' mythology and structure, cobbling together an 84-minute movie that seems to exist only to rile up fanboys. On that count -- and that count alone -- Dragonball Evolution triumphs.
  20. By consistently and relentlessly overplaying everything, by settling for standard easy emotions when singular and heartfelt was called for, by pushing forward when they should have pulled back, director Joe Wright and screenwriter Susannah Grant have made the story mean less, not more. Instead of enhancing The Soloist's appeal, they have come close to eliminating it.
  21. Old-fashioned in the worst sense, Bardwell's ghost story is heavy on Freud, light on fear.
  22. The leads can't lend either spunk or gravitas to what was already a preposterous yarn 50 years ago.
  23. As Julia struggles to survive her bad decisions, the film struggles to survive Julia. We never get a good look at her demons, just the havoc they wreak.
  24. Not a remake -- it just feels like one.
  25. It's not so much a movie as a series of running antiquity gags, good for a comedy club, not so much for the multiplex.
  26. Any sort of new insight into comedy's darker themes, to say nothing of life's, eludes Funny People. Instead Sandler and Rogen and the rest are left to wander aimlessly, with tedious comedy gigs, an even more tedious faux sitcom and relatively vapid relationships masquerading as a plot.
  27. When faced as a director with the rudderless screenplay he (Jonze) co-wrote with Eggers, he's been powerless to energize it in any involving way. Sometimes you are better off with 10 sentences than tens of millions of dollars, and this is one of those times.
  28. There is no real plot either; instead the narrative seems designed to get this prehistoric pair from one funny sketch to the next, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.
  29. Like its characters, the film keeps getting lost too, stumbling as it struggles to keep kids and adults from squirming in their seats.
  30. A sour romantic comedy, only sporadically amusing.
  31. Blood's only surprise is that the filmmakers landed Gianna (also known as Gianna Jun, or Jeon Ji-hyun) for the lead. The South Korean megastar proves a more-than-capable action heroine, despite the creative detritus around which she has to navigate.
  32. So a pioneering feminist in the hands of a feminist filmmaker should have been a perfect match. But like her subject, the filmmaker gets lost in the clouds.
  33. While this film fits squarely into Soderbergh's recurrent goal of ignoring audience interest when possible, that's the only area in which it can be considered a success.
  34. That this superficial romance between a successful self-help author and a nurturing florist is also a film about overcoming the tragedy of losing a loved one only makes its clichéd insipidity that much more irksome.
  35. Ironically for a film revolving around psychotherapy, Shrink doesn't stand up to analysis.
  36. An interesting idea, but unfortunately, the film's narrative and emotional engine operate as mechanically as the titular, dead-eyed glamazoids.
  37. It lapses into that familiar category of movies that go in for lots of fancy obfuscation along the way only to make its story seem all the more simple, trite and contrived by the finish.
  38. Ultimately it's the characters who are the joke -- too thin, too vacuous, too unlikable for us to care what happens in the next 30 minutes, much less for the rest of their lives. Too bad, really, because the truth is Gervais is a very funny guy. The ugly truth is that The Invention of Lying isn't -- funny, that is.
  39. It has its successful moments but it's surprisingly inert overall, more like a Burton derivative than something he actually did himself.
  40. The film's greatest sin isn't its cynical moral posturing but its complete failure to engage audiences on even a visceral level.
  41. It's revealing that writer-director Dave Boyle has said that in a way he fulfilled his lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist with the live-action White on Rice because his people in this wan, trite and increasingly silly comedy are little more than stick figures.
  42. Peter and Vandy has the decided disadvantage of arriving a couple of months after the similarly structured "(500) Days of Summer," a movie sporting a sunnier sheen, more appealing cast and an actual reason to care about the outcome.
  43. Elephants aside, the plot of this Ong Bak is rudimentary at best.
  44. Here's the surprise of the new incarnation of The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro -- there isn't one. No bite either, or humor, or camp.
  45. Despite its obsession with décolletage, Bitch Slap is surprisingly puritanical (much teasing, no pleasing), substituting plentiful violence and a howlingly predictable "shock" ending for the payoff it promises.
  46. The prospect that this role would officially shift Bettany to a bigger stage, taking him from the character roles that have become his specialty to leading man status, dies a sort of Darwinian death from bad plotting.
  47. The presence of the ever-reliable Steve Buscemi adds a welcome boost to Saint John of Las Vegas, an otherwise unremarkable debut feature from writer-director Hue Rhodes.
  48. It's difficult to get into its "What would I do?" vibe, though, through so thick and transparent a barrier of contrivances.
  49. This is generic filmmaking at its most banal, a simple-minded simplification of a not overwhelmingly complex book.
  50. The material gets away from him (Stuart) quickly, leaving emotionally forced, clunky filmmaking that feels simultaneously rushed and dawdling, like a chopped-down TV miniseries. (It even has natural commercial breaks.)
  51. Try as they might, Nicole and Milo, as they are called in the movie, don't steam. Wispy vapors is about as good as it gets.
  52. Instead of invitations, they should be sending out apologies for Our Family Wedding, a cake-and-kisses comedy that has disaster written all over it and not for the right reasons.
  53. There's a key organ missing from the movie itself: a brain. In its place is a memory bank of other, better movies.
  54. One of those maudlin romantic melodramas you just can't warn folks off.
  55. Good slapstick is actually an art -- unfortunately not one practiced here -- and bad slapstick is just tedious.
  56. A romantic drama with some good qualities -- among them earnestness and strong performances -- but not enough to completely overcome the strain of its clichés.
  57. The satire is sagging, the irony's atrophied and the funny is flabby.
  58. Rather than some deeper understanding of the human condition, what we get from Multiple Sarcasms is a lot of heavy breathing.
  59. An underwhelming experience. I pity the fool, as TV star Mr. T might say, who mistakes this for genuine entertainment.
  60. The number of clearly talented individuals who committed themselves to the folly of The Living Wake were fearless too.
  61. The new Adam Sandler comedy has all the charm of a home movie that does not star your own family, which means it's overly sentimental, filled with you-had-to-be-there moments, bad jokes and even worse camera angles.
  62. Aims for something trenchant about thwarted destiny and ugly ambition in modern Indian democracy but mostly winds up with a convoluted and tonally awkward "Godfather" rehash, with nary a character worth rooting for.
  63. Airbender, whether intentionally or not, is pegged almost exclusively to a small-fry state of mind.
  64. Against all reason and expectation, the result is a distinctly unfunny film.
  65. For now, Efron remains an unrealized dream and Charlie St. Cloud an unrealized movie, though judging from the "ooohhs" and "awwwws" from the audience, for his core tween-girl fans, that's more than enough.
  66. With the patiently assembled '90s films "Ruby in Paradise" and "Ulee's Gold," director Victor Nuñez gave independent film a quiet luster of hand-craftsmanship sorely lacking in his dreary new effort, Spoken Word.
  67. Shaped more for message than for convincing narrative impact, The Dry Land ends up feeling like a PSA to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  68. A glum British kidnap movie in which writer-director J Blakeson manages to generate tension and some suspense, never rises above the mechanical and contrived, finally lapsing into the improbable.
  69. It also features deaths by strangulation and immolation as well as a nasty bit with a flying severed limb.Kids may be less put off by all that, though, than by the film's uninspired hand-drawn animation, visual flatness and elongated running time.
  70. This sour spin on "My Best Friend's Wedding" (crossed with a pale dose of "The Big Chill") proves unsatisfying not only because of its unlikable characters and often contrived conflicts but for the thoroughly implausible bride and groom at its core.
  71. A bold-faced name for a lowercase effort, a school wrestling drama so mired in family-film clichés it can never shake loose the suspicion that - not unlike certain high-gloss mat bouts - the emotional fix is in from the get-go.
  72. Greer's wallflower is bitter, and their respective families - played by Jean Smart, Malcolm McDowell, Cybill Shepherd and Chloë Sevigny - come off like a second-rate sitcom's castoffs.
  73. This underdeveloped, lackluster glance at brotherhood practically demands a response of "Is that all there is?" at its 70-minute fadeout.
  74. While her latest, It's a Wonderful Afterlife, is affectionate and energetic, its comic premise seems too silly, and at times, too tedious, to hope for much cross-cultural appeal, despite a fine, committed cast.
  75. An attempt to counter noisy, hyper effects-laden alien invasion flicks with something teasing, indie and good for you. Instead, it's like a pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
  76. About 33 minutes in, I couldn't help but think, if they do another close-up of your watch as it tick, tick, ticks toward another three, I will scream. But honestly, any screaming should be directed at Paul Haggis, who both wrote and directed this mess.
  77. In the face of The Tempest, the stormy tragicomedy of rage, romance and redemption that is among Shakespeare's last and greatest works, Julie Taymor, a filmmaking savant of extraordinary vision and voice, suddenly and surprisingly folds.
  78. Sadly, an obsession with raunchy one-liners trips everything up, turning a clever conceit into something closer to a sleazy, cheesy affair.
  79. The Roommate proves that the one thing worse than a crazy, stalker roommate is one that's boring, predictable and no fun.
  80. Levesque has rough, in-the-moment charm but paltry characterization skills, Corrigan's natural edge feels out of place as a Disney-esque hoodlum and Winter seems hamstrung playing an adolescent only a fraction as compelling as her hilariously bookish daughter on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family."
  81. After scoring big in 1998 with "Mary" - the zipper issue, the "hair gel" mix-up, the roving troubadours - their (Farrelly brothers) raw inventive edge has never been quite as sharp. Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, continues that creative slide into everyday crude.
  82. The clumsily shot and scripted Now & Later is a hollow concoction of sex, politics and endless chatter that's just a few camera angles short of hard-core porn.
  83. Brotherhood isn't badly acted or without some skillfully tense moments, but it doesn't have much in the way of entertainment value either.
  84. Overall Take Me Home Tonight represents a lateral move at best for its 24-hour party people, a step back at worst, and not worth your time either way.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Treating their problems like they're the most important crises in the world is what people in their 20s do, but that doesn't mean we have to go along for the ride.
  85. Instead of breathing life into cartoonist Berkeley Breathed's cheeky kids morality tale, the movie - with all its 3-D motion capture animation flash - flatlines.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Atmosphere is about all Cracks has going for it. Although it's nominally set between the wars, the movie feels rootless and adrift, less a fable than a story only half told.
  86. The clichés are what make White Irish Drinkers a drearily predictable bout, so much so that the decent last-round plot twist that momentarily dazes is immediately undercut by the sappy, life-changing-fuh-EV-uh jab telegraphed from the beginning.
  87. Falls squarely into the a-family-needs-to-eat category, because there is a careless lack of attention about the whole thing, something that could be perceived as smugness if the film didn't feel so haphazard and lazy.
  88. Where Gunn's last feature "Slither" was an enjoyably icky, funny riff on schlocky horror tropes, the split-personality Super merely repels with half-baked ideas, Wilson's and Page's scorched-earth overacting and atonal bursts of jokey gore.
  89. Unexpectedly flatfooted when it should be light on its toes, Legend of The Fist fails to pack much of a punch.
  90. Despite the powerful sense of place, Sympathy for Delicious unwinds a narrative thread that grows increasingly tattered and flimsy.
  91. Despite the pretty overload and the smoldering blue-eyed handsome of Egglesfield, the heart-pounding, palm-sweating, heavy-breathing chemical reactions that should be causing major blackouts in Manhattan, where this story unfolds, are nowhere to be found.
  92. It is a third man, a revolutionary, who nearly steals the show. Which might have been all right if writer-director Roland Joffé hadn't been so conflicted about whose story he wants to tell. But indecision can be deadly, and it proves to be here.
  93. The movie never rises above a style-over-substance exercise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film is somehow a disappointing combo of too-full and oddly empty. Even with all the various parts and pieces going into its structure, it feels bare-bones.
  94. A tedious two-plus hours. There were such possibilities in the origins idea.
  95. Unfortunately, writer-director Josh Shelov's sendup of the Manhattan private school culture flies off its comic rails after an engaging start, never to land back on solid ground.

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