Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,650 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 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Aliyah
Lowest review score: 0 Nothing Like the Holidays
Score distribution:
7,650 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A tedious two-plus hours. There were such possibilities in the origins idea.
  5. 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.
  6. What's missing is any of the real-life messiness that might have lifted this material from its creatively tic-ridden confines.
  7. Zookeeper has the territory-marking scent of a franchise product from the Sandler-produced stable: pratfalls, caricature and aggression, which the likeable-enough James isn't as effective at getting laughs with as he is the more recessive, aw-shucks moments.
  8. The Ward is bland shock therapy from the guy who reinvented bloody peek-a-boo with the classic "Halloween."
  9. Despite a capable cast and attractive Baton Rouge, La., locales photographed by Bobby Bukowski, The Ledge suffers from a seriously flawed script that's just too implausible to be taken seriously.
  10. Though the hambone acting quotient is high (and not necessarily unenjoyable), the loud, closely photographed limb-hacking becomes as monotonous as the movie's unrelentingly gray palette.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite numerous pluses - Lee Tamahori's vigorous direction, handsome cinematography, outstanding production design, an impressive dual performance by Dominic Cooper as Uday and Latif - the film is more wearying than entertaining.
  11. As so often happens with love, what you hope for is not even close to what you get, and in this case we are left with a heartbreaking disappointment of a film.
  12. This fourth "Spy Kids" picture isn't so much bad as it is just boring, lacking the buzz and brio of even some of the earlier entries in the series. It feels like someone is now just marking time.
  13. Weakly developed characters, a lack of substantive tension and an ending that's more startling than sound round out the minuses of this earnestly motivated but undercooked morality tale.
  14. Really, truly, very scary … At least until about 30 minutes in, when you start to be distracted by the lack of logic in the storytelling and the fact that the nasty little gremlins responsible for all the bumps in the night can be offed pretty easily.
  15. Director Vivi Friedman's inability to successfully reconcile the film's duality undercuts an eclectic cast gamely committed to Mark Lisson's thematically ambitious, if scattered, script.
  16. Even if Apollo 18 is not exactly as it presents itself to be, it is less of a stunt than a low-key and unassuming film of rising tension rather than big scares or wild shocks.
  17. The better moments are fleeting. More often, the film feels flat-footed, and the story plays out as you'd expect. Long before Tanner Hall ends, you may well find yourself wishing for the final bell.
  18. Abduction is just the third movie John Singleton has directed in the past decade, and it contains neither the passion nor the competence of his two previous genre efforts - "2 Fast 2 Furious" and "Four Brothers."
  19. With its telegraphed twists and clunky pacing, the film would be unbearable were it not for the fine trio of Craig, Weisz and Naomi Watts, all more or less slumming.
  20. Courageous, proves a particularly clunky, tunnel-visioned vehicle whose overbearing, overlong script nearly smothers the movie's quibble-free message.
  21. There's a strange sort of diffidence that seems to inhabit Dafoe and Roberts' performances, and the disconnect between the two Janes is simply insurmountable.
  22. As good as Worthington, Chastain, Moretz and Morgan can be as they try to untangle the morass and the menace - and get caught up in it - they just can't quite pull it off. The real killer, sadly, is the script.
  23. The "Midnight Run" meets "Bonanza" idea isn't exactly a terrible one, but writer-director Mike Pavone has only one point-and-shoot gear, whether the scene is light comedy, dysfunctional family drama or western-tinged gunplay. (Even television shows these days exhibit more directorial flair and editing variety.)
  24. The movie's few pleasures, though, do belong to Gere, who makes the most of his preening caginess as a spook thrust back into the cold. Grace, though, comes off more whiny than tantalizingly adversarial.
  25. Winds up feeling scattershot and unfocused. Rather than capturing punk brattiness maturing into wary adulthood, director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins might have been better off simply making a film solely about Lindberg.
  26. After a grating start, the movie, directed by Peter Odiorne from a script by Gail Gilchriest ("My Dog Skip"), finds its way into warmer, more likable territory. That is, until it flies off the rails in a third act so devoid of logic it could have been concocted on the moon.
  27. The film doesn't have nearly the bite - ferocious or delicious - that any self-respecting vampire movie really should. It's as if all the life has drained away.
  28. We have a fumbling and fawning - if sincere - tribute to the living legend and a director who has never seemed more out of his element.
  29. W.E., Madonna's second go at directing a feature film, leaves one wishing she'd find other creative outlets for those times when she's bored with the pop-star life.
  30. When the filmmakers move into Nobbs' isolation, though, the movie flags - a surprise given Garcia's excellent work on HBO's minimalist personality study "In Treatment," on which he wrote and directed extensively.
  31. Capable and compelling performers like Hirsch and Thirlby seem left to their own devices to make some connection with the material. The idea of semi-invisible aliens, an unseen enemy, should mean the film has a lingering sense of paranoid abstraction (not unlike "Right at Your Door"), but Darkest Hour never gets beyond rote efficiency.
  32. Fitfully enjoyable, the film's leaden pacing and drawn-out running time make the twists of the plot less hairpin turns and more like bends in a river - moving so slowly you can see everything coming from the distance.
  33. Flowers abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz.
  34. Director Xavier Gens seems to have set out to fashion a taut, under-siege thriller, but he never lets the innate drama of the situation play out; too often, events are accompanied by loud thumps and whooshes on the soundtrack.
  35. A uniquely frenetic hodgepodge of story lures.
  36. This is a movie that leaves you wanting more. To care more, to cry more, to love more.
  37. A self-indulgent pilgrimage to the shrine of '70s fabulousness, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston assembles a fine assortment of archival material but falls far short of its stated goal.
  38. A strange and troubling little film, a hermetically sealed creep-fest that seems to have no desire to be anything more than just that.
  39. The first "Ghost Rider" film, directed by Mark Steven Johnson, was sort of a fizzy goof, the kind of movie where you don't expect much and then think, "Hey, that was actually kind of fun." Spirit of Vengeance, though, is undone by increased expectations, as promising more only makes it feel they are somehow delivering less.
  40. This movie version adds a whole lot of other stuff, most of it not very good and not in keeping with the spirit of the Seuss original.
  41. That John Carter is so hit and miss, and miss, and miss is unfortunate on any number of levels.
  42. The film is at its best as a fast-paced enigma. When Kentis and Lau start explaining what's actually going on, Silent House takes a turn not just for the worse but the ludicrous.
  43. Goon feels like a movie starring a gimmick, not a person.
  44. The naughty-yet-nurturing tone is certainly unusual, but in working so hard to be the adult who "gets" kids yet lectures them at the same time, he's ended up with a colorful but superficial mess.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Stillman too often substitutes pith for insight, until even that is drowned out by the sound of him chortling into his sleeve.
  45. ATM
    Screenwriter Chris Sparling worked in confined spaces to far better effect before with the minimalist Ryan Reynolds thriller "Buried." He must have used his best ideas there.
  46. Mostly Lockout is lost in space.
  47. For poker fans only.
  48. Exhausting before its first few minutes of whip-pans, smash cuts, coarsely self-referential jokes and on-screen text visuals is over, the teen horror-spoof Detention is a patience-trying exercise first, energetic genre-jumble comedy second.
  49. Like Freeway, the lovable stray dog at the center of this very teary comedy, Darling Companion has lost its way. Even the marquee ensemble anchored by Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Kevin Kline and Richard Jenkins is not enough to rescue this motley mutt of a movie.
  50. The film feels overstuffed and overcooked, as if the filmmaker were trying to get too much out all in one go.
  51. In its portrait of a Restless City the film is strangely inert and feels like the work of image-makers, not storytellers.
  52. The film's single saving grace is Turner, who channels that legendary Catholic guilt like there is no tomorrow.
  53. Writer-director John Chuldenko stretches a sitcom episode premise to feature-length breaking point in Nesting.
  54. Rather than the engaging enlightenment of the source, the film becomes bloated by confusion.
  55. The film is ultimately a stodgy, overblown and repetitive slog.
  56. There's likely an audience for the cloying and dizzying hip-hop dance flick Battlefield America, but even the most forgiving viewers may feel like they've been underestimated - and underserved.
  57. Given the subject matter, an exercise in delicacy and restraint was unlikely, but it's too bad that the film's concept is way more entertaining than what has ended up on-screen.
  58. Starts imploding long before the massive asteroid hurtling toward Earth is due to deliver annihilation.
  59. Life, however, cannot be lived entirely on stage, and once the characters have to take off their thongs and return to their real lives, the film goes nowhere that is either interesting, involving or surprising.
  60. Dramatically thin, formally uninspired and thematically weak, The Last Ride really goes nowhere.
  61. Director/co-writer Adam Sherman's Bukowski-lite character study is one of those exercises in masculine self-pity and glib misogyny that frustrates because of its shortsightedness.
  62. Like a drug that starts with a rush and ends with a headache, Total Recall is too much of a good thing.
  63. 360
    Hopkins' character is the most fully realized in the movie, complete with a monologue that the actor makes work, even if its carpe diem message-mongering is as unconvincing as most everything else in 360.
  64. Starts out as an agreeable, playfully off-color comedy of contemporary domestic manners and loses course to become a slack, tacky slapstick.
  65. A movie with a location named Snake Island should deliver more fun than this.
  66. Not only is the story dreamed up by producer Ahmet Zappa even odder than the title indicates, its execution gets increasingly irritating as the film goes on.
  67. It is a disappointment coming from writer-director David Cronenberg, who has proved such a master at mind games. Cronenberg is perhaps too faithful to the book. The topic is provocative and certainly timely, but the film never achieves the incisive power of his best work, "A History of Violence" for one. Even an A-list ensemble that includes Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and Paul Giamatti can't save it.
  68. Why Stop Now? feels trapped in the limbo between comedy and drama where many indies gamely venture, but from which few emerge with any resonance.
  69. For a movie about moonshine, something so imaginatively made, mood-altering and once violently sought-after, it goes down way too blandly.
  70. Long on atmosphere and short on sense, The Tall Man becomes less gripping as it grows more ridiculous.
  71. It is billed as a comedy, but it's really a lipstick-smeared drunken tragedy. The humor is so caustic you won't know whether to laugh or cry.
  72. It's a snooze.
  73. The film is only slightly more boorish than the racy cult hit was on telly and would probably not be worth the celluloid expended were it not for the bookish, brainy Will McKenzie (Simon Bird).
  74. A by-the-numbers thriller that often looks as murky as its plot.
  75. As always, Jovovich's game face is admirable - whether giving gunslinger shade or play-acting a protective mother storyline straight-outta-Cameron. But it can't be easy when all around her are line readings that recall the glory days of baroquely dull foreign-movie dubbing.
  76. There are some crowd-pleasers - but Hotel Transylvania never becomes the great monster mash that seemed in the offing.
  77. Had V/H/S been a nasty jolt of three, it might have been memorable, but at nearly two hours, the gimmick punctures a hole in itself, causing ambience bleed-out. Recommended cure: a tripod
  78. An investment in theatrical self-indulgence with diminishing returns.
  79. The film works hard at its inoffensiveness. Throughout, jokes are left on the table, setups never pay off in any significant way.
  80. Unfortunately, attempts to be original are not enough, they have to succeed, and this film's solutions tend to present themselves as alternately gimmicky and banal.
  81. The story becomes more ridiculous as it escalates, the film's over-determined ecological focus undermining any real horror movie tension. Levinson's casting choices are off-the-mark as well - star Kether Donohue is just plain bad.
  82. It's terribly long and repetitive for so delicately dreamy a diptych, and at times the modern-day story feels like little more than a drawn-out apologia for the wandering male gaze.
  83. While a foreign regime exerting its emergent power over America certainly has a familiar ring to it, if anything, this new Red Dawn is a movie in search of its moment.
  84. Director Feng Xiaogang captures the epic scale of the exodus as well as the often-harrowing details, yet emotional connection proves more elusive.
  85. Melton and Dunstan have created little more than a hollow shell for an empty box.
  86. Romance and capers exist in Lay the Favorite, they just aren't played well.
  87. Some of the language is smart, sinister and ironic in just the right ways, particularly when Addison, Eric Bana's serial-killing mastermind, delivers it. In other cases, the dialogue is so ludicrously off - either unnecessary, or unnecessarily misogynistic if a cop is doing the talking - that it's hard to believe the same person wrote it.
  88. There is something promising about the match-up of an old-school show-biz kid like Streisand with the modern, anxiously self-aware Rogen, but what could have been the multigenerational Thunderdome of Jewish Humor instead turns out bloodlessly disappointing.
  89. So thrill-less, so chill-less is Jack Reacher that it is unlikely to spark interest, much less controversy.
  90. Lazy, smugly self-satisfied movie.
  91. The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" leaves audiences feeling hollowed out, dispirited and dissolute. Texas Chainsaw 3D is simply a bummer for being a big nothing.
  92. The soul of the era is missing, and with it any reason to care. In Fleischer's hands, the high-stakes shootouts are as stylish as a GQ spread, but it's nearly impossible to figure out who's zoomin' who.
  93. Nothing clicks, nothing resonates, everything's broken.
  94. Efficiently told and features solid performances, but without the juicy character detail, vise-grip suspense or black comic intensity of its memorable forerunners, it unwinds as a boilerplate genre item.
  95. It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced. [3 July 1985, p.Calendar 6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  96. By our quote-unquote standards of contemporary comedy, it plays as uneven at best and often just flattens out for long jokeless stretches.
  97. Though assured in execution and not without a few moments of genuine tension — mainly emanating from Combs' flinty weirdness — Would You Rather is hardly a most dangerous game night at the movies.

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