Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 9,670 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Silence of the Lambs
Lowest review score: 0 Being Human
Score distribution:
9670 movie reviews
  1. At its most provocative, it suggests a tension between spirit and flesh in the nun's maternal feelings. Rather than examine that friction, Améris pushes the narrative in predictable directions.
  2. For the most part, it's an uneven if amiable and occasionally inspired comedy about getting through adolescence that hits some false notes along the way.
  3. As another run-of-the-mill Sandler movie, it is better than most. At this point it seems a little foolish to want, let alone expect, "more" from the guy. If he can't be bothered to put more effort into his films, why should anybody else?
  4. 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."
  5. Although the performances are uniformly on point and the dialogue is tartly British, the film ultimately fails to earn its riotous stripes.
  6. Thanks for Sharing is a bit like the recovery scene it digs into — filled with intoxicating highs and dispiriting lows.
  7. But as Isaac, Rifkin is simply transcendent, giving what is the most accomplished performance of the year. He does not, however, have a completely successful movie around him.
  8. There's not enough sustained musical momentum to simulate the energy of an actual rave; the characters are likable but unremarkable.
    • Los Angeles Times
  9. It's not inaccurate to call Porn Star a puff piece.
  10. Contends that doctrines, including promoting unilateralism, increasing military spending and protecting "access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil," can be traced from right-wing think tanks into U.S. foreign policy.
  11. The film meanders, and the climax descends into campy fantasy worthy of any ’80s B-movie, but Records is quietly winning.
  12. A challenge to eco-orthodoxy, Pandora's Promise subscribes to its own dogma. The lack of opposing voices diminishes the film, even as Stone raises issues that shouldn't be discounted out of hand.
  13. Only a teenage boy could find this kind of stuff continually diverting, and only a teenage boy would not notice flimsy emotions and underdeveloped acting. It seems George Lucas, like Peter Pan, has never really grown up.
    • 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.
  14. Townsend's sincerity, his admiration for the idealism of the people behind the anti-WTO protests, is never in doubt, but combining drama with historical re-creation is frankly a challenge his filmmaking skills are not up to.
  15. Comedy is ever an effective weapon against hypocrisy and oppression, but to be effective it has to cut a lot sharper and deeper than it does in You I Love.
  16. Mindless escape. [12 April 1999, Calendar, p.F-4]
    • Los Angeles Times
  17. Dafoe, who also starred in Ferrara's woefully underseen "Go Go Tales," brings a quiet grace to his role, while Leigh has a rough-hewn emotional directness.
  18. Busy, but not exactly invigorating.
  19. The overall effect here is of parallel biographies juiced to feel important whenever they intersect, and an undercooked paean to lost masculinity.
  20. Some legs of the journey are detours, and the film can feel overlong and diffuse, but as a capsule history it offers revelatory insights, particularly in its emphasis on the role of distance running in the women’s movement.
  21. Much of the dialogue is too literal and undercut by its stolid earnestness, and many of the characters are left underdeveloped.
  22. Ricki and the Flash is a sour movie masquerading as something more cheerful. In that attempted deception the film is both helped and hindered by an indispensable performance by star Meryl Streep.
  23. Charismatic performers Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie lend the lightweight rom-com Save the Date more than its fair share of watchability. But the film is never truly interesting.
  24. Allen's view of what's "deeply real" feels ever more deeply bogus as the movie progresses, his trademark wit having calcified into pastiche and unintended self-parody.
  25. While the film glistens a bit now and again, a closer look reveals you've been diverted not by a diamond but by a genuine synthetic zircon.
  26. All the Wilderness seems tailor-made to play to the actor's strengths — Johnson's script is as lean as Smit-McPhee, both proving adept at doing more with less.
  27. The home-movie vérité style of the early scenes pays dividends when inexplicable occurrences suddenly take us by surprise.
  28. It's an unhinged, off-the-wall comedy that will try anything once, an uneven film in which the hits are so dead-on that the misses don't seem to matter.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ends the series' winning streak, or at least slows it down to a panting, dog-day crawl.
  29. Bisexuality certainly increases the geometric possibilities of the romantic comedy, completing its triangles and allowing for quadrangles and other, more amorphous layers of amorous involvement.
  30. Get Smart neglects the laughs and amps up the action, resulting in a not very funny comedy joined at the hip to a not very exciting spy movie. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
  31. It is deeply unpleasant to see women abducted, tortured and eviscerated by a methodical and meticulous butcher.
  32. Style is content in action movies, but when all the style originates elsewhere, it's just plain lazy.
  33. More satisfying than not, and it plays out credibly.
  34. Dunne and Wittenborn, who adapted his book, work too hard at stressing just how ruthless the unspoken standards of the stinking rich can be, leading to a story-pivoting act of brutality toward Finn that careens the movie into a tonal wilderness that it never recovers from.
  35. Despite Almereyda's invention in approaching this tawdry Shakespearean tale, he misfires badly. All that is left is the semblance of Cymbeline.
  36. 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.
  37. It's not that the movie is never funny. It's just that you don't feel very good when it is.
  38. At the moment, modestly amusing does not stave off that desire for a really great live-action family film after years of watching the terrain land-grabbed by animation.
  39. The film -- buoyed by its cast of excellent actors -- loses its momentum in the final half-hour when it starts to take itself too seriously.
  40. The film catches her long after she's left the public eye, and rather than an examination, or an assessment, of her politics, it instead offers up an affecting if not always satisfying portrait of the strong-willed leader humbled by age.
  41. Decidedly uneven yet intriguing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film lacks the comedic charm of "American Pie," but with its dark, hyper-sexualization of teens, it offers an engrossing if not soap opera-esque tale of self-discovery.
  42. A lovely performance by Ethiopian supermodel-actress Liya Kebede as supermodel-activist Waris Dirie works wonders to elevate this uneven, occasionally awkward but often absorbing film.
  43. There are moving moments as Cornish channels the slow self-enlightenment necessary for Ashley's character arc. And the actress is particularly good in the scenes with the promising young Hernandez.
  44. There is something sharp, exciting and more original tucked within The Berlin File — and it is in moments a sleek, crackling film — but it all feels somehow misshapen.
  45. Through a first-person narration, Bialis makes much of the film about herself. Her account certainly turns the daily travails of living in Sderot into something tangible for viewers. But at the same time, her life-experience narrative proves a distraction and a disservice to the promise of the film's title.
  46. What writer-director Michael J. Weithorn, a sitcom vet, gets right is the Long Island vibe, the New York smarts crossed with small-town insularity. If the film takes too long to reach its rather soft denouement, Fischer makes Laura's awakening convincing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A little of this junk-drawer fusillade goes a long way.
  47. This is an earnest and way-contrived endeavor that manages, due largely to Costner's efforts, to be genially diverting in a gee-whiz kind of way.
  48. By boiling too much down to black and white, Camp X-Ray's ability to say something significant is diluted.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Overly earnest and roughly constructed, the film is bearable largely thanks to the performance as the daughter by Carly Schroeder, recently seen in the girls' soccer pic, "Gracie."
  49. A lot of heart and a lot of music. It just doesn't sing.
    • 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.
  50. A sense of lethargy hangs uneasily over the lumbering new version of The Magnificent Seven. Despite its sturdy plot, seasoned director and capable cast toplined by Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke, it arrives in a comatose state, a film unlikely to arouse passions one way or another.
  51. There's no real jeopardy. The stakes are low. It's a bee movie about nothing.
  52. Fans, go be with your people. Others, approach cautiously.
  53. The relentlessness of corporate might is disturbing but no surprise; "Big Boys" is, however, an eye-opening look at the way the U.S. media fell lockstep behind Dole's claims.
  54. In the film based on her memoir Mulberry Child, Jian Ping speaks of her family's ordeal during the Cultural Revolution with searing detail and not an ounce of sentimentality. The same can't be said of director Susan Morgan Cooper's heavy-handed approach to the material.
  55. Never quite works as a film. The failure to create appropriate cinematic metaphors reduces it to "happiness is a warm puppy" superficiality.
  56. By having Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter play the maniacs' feisty antagonists, the filmmakers seem to believe that they've made a significant feminist statement, the movie's two hours-plus of almost continual sadistic abuse of women notwithstanding. Even in an industry known for self-delusion, that is quite a feat.
  57. An art-versus-commerce drama that consists of one beautifully aching performance surrounded by a whole lotta twee.
  58. An initially promising horror film that turns exploitive, Wolf Creek fails to deliver the requisite payoff considering its leisurely pace.
  59. Undone by a deadly twofer: lack of trust in characterization coupled with single-minded faith in spelled-out messages.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    So grimly determined to be even-handed that it never generates tension.
  60. Although the storytelling technique may feel innovative, the story itself is not.
  61. There's an underlying emptiness to Human Traffic and it's difficult to say for sure whether Kerrigan fully acknowledges it.
  62. Minor whimsy of a film.
  63. Cassavetes isn't much of a director and he never settles on a mood, which he seems intent on ruining with hiccups of goofiness. But there's an underlying humanity to his scenes, a sense that movies are made by people for other people.
  64. Worthy of being seen as more than a potential double-bill partner for "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  65. The problem with Shorts is in the execution. The blown-up plot line at times derails even the little ones, the many fine comedic grown-ups are mostly squandered, and the "message" part of the movie feels like it was thrown together during detention, resulting in a wrap-up that is rushed and cloyingly PC.
  66. The whole effort is undermined by an abundance of mob-movie cliches.
  67. The result is that they never truly find the innate drama in Pimentel's story, instead simply recounting four or five decades' worth of events that shaped the man.
  68. It has its successful moments but it's surprisingly inert overall, more like a Burton derivative than something he actually did himself.
  69. 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.
  70. While it's full of arresting, indelible images, Mr. Lonely remains mostly on the level of abstraction. You get it but you don't always feel it.
  71. Likely to cast its spell primarily on adolescent girls, while their elders might well find it more than a little tedious in its familiarity and artificiality.
  72. Sporadically playful, it ends up wearing as thin as any film geared to a preteen sense of humor is bound to do.
  73. Anyone looking for the kind of comic brio that Dustin Hoffman and company brought to "Tootsie" will not find it here. [24 Nov 1993 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Program pedals fast, but the end result is little more than a psychologically shallow recap reel.
  74. That Soul Surfer rates as a giant leap for this team speaks well about the conviction the movie's actors bring to the material as well as the respect afforded the Hamiltons and their faith.
  75. Ava's Possessions is powered by an amusing conceit that configures demonic possession as a metaphor for addiction. But the metaphor alone is not enough to sustain this minor effort, which wears thin over the course of a feature length.
  76. As a showcase for accomplished performers tugging heart strings in a holiday awards season, it's perfectly serviceable.
  77. Delicacy isn't going to set anybody's psyche on fire with its insights into grieving and emotional recovery, but as a crepe-thin romantic snack, it has its moments.
  78. The only thing that keeps Knight of Cups from terminal artistic overreach as it follows Rick around town is the knockout cinematography of three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, who does superb work showing us contemporary Los Angeles in a most magical way.
  79. The movie thus moves from truly creepy to truly inane, which is, unfortunately, all too common in films of this ilk.
  80. The age-old search for the fountain of youth is engagingly appraised in The Immortalists, a lively documentary focusing on a pair of very different biomedical scientists who are equally obsessed with eradicating the ravages of time.
  81. Kika, which has Almodovar's characteristic high gloss, may not be a vintage film but it's nevertheless indelibly idiosyncratic. Nobody but Pedro Almodovar could have made it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It may be a hard sell to the Gameboy generation, but The Basket has charms that may be more evident to adults.
  82. The actors give it punch, but in the grand scheme of caper comedies, The Art of the Steal is more breathlessly imitative than authentic.
  83. You might not "like" Perry's movie, but it's hard to deny the forensically assured sensibility at work.
  84. Regrettably, Men at Lunch obsesses over disappearing ghosts instead of the records we already have and the history we should know.
  85. The movie has a fan's heart, a sense of loving every goofball moment, but as directed by Mike Mendez it also seems perpetually caught between being a spoof or playing it straight and winds up falling between the cracks rather than rising above.
  86. It's an affectionate and admiring collection of moments, but the director's wobbly choreography never locates a dramatic core for this corps' story.
  87. We, unfortunately, learn very little in this Earth Day release (originally completed in 2012) that we haven't seen before in more evolved, better focused documentaries.
  88. Not Brooks' funniest film, but it possesses his trademark wry humor and is slyly observant.
  89. Shame as well upon the advance marketing department for blowing the end of the movie in ads, thus exorcising any ghost of a chance Quarantine had of issuing a surprise.
  90. Paul Weitz has dialed things down considerably for Being Flynn, writing and directing with an earnest sensitivity that at times suits, at times undermines, the complexities of the story at hand.
  91. Lucky Number Slevin is an attempted cinematic sleight-of-hand that has its moments, but is finally just plain annoying, wearing its influences too broadly on its sleeve.

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