Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,360 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 45 Years
Lowest review score: 0 BASEketball
Score distribution:
10360 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It's not that the movie is never funny. It's just that you don't feel very good when it is.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. A handsomely mounted if largely melodramatic affair that gains steam as it gives way to truer emotions and bits of veiled humor.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Most of the jokes in Eddie Murphy Raw are the kind you regale buddies with to show off. Anyone as good as Eddie Murphy should have outgrown that years ago.
  18. There's no real jeopardy. The stakes are low. It's a bee movie about nothing.
  19. Fans, go be with your people. Others, approach cautiously.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The results, although emotional, intriguing and a bit surprising, lack the journalistic urgency, heft and deeper danger often connected to these sorts of cinematic unravelings.
  23. Never quite works as a film. The failure to create appropriate cinematic metaphors reduces it to "happiness is a warm puppy" superficiality.
  24. 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.
  25. An art-versus-commerce drama that consists of one beautifully aching performance surrounded by a whole lotta twee.
  26. An initially promising horror film that turns exploitive, Wolf Creek fails to deliver the requisite payoff considering its leisurely pace.
  27. Undone by a deadly twofer: lack of trust in characterization coupled with single-minded faith in spelled-out messages.
  28. Though handsomely photographed and featuring a compelling cast, the Ireland-set memory piece — adapted by John Banville from his Man Booker Prize-winning novel — will leave audiences wondering how much more satisfying the muted drama might be on the page.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    So grimly determined to be even-handed that it never generates tension.
  29. Although the storytelling technique may feel innovative, the story itself is not.
  30. There's an underlying emptiness to Human Traffic and it's difficult to say for sure whether Kerrigan fully acknowledges it.
  31. Minor whimsy of a film.
  32. 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.
  33. Worthy of being seen as more than a potential double-bill partner for "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  34. 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.
  35. The whole effort is undermined by an abundance of mob-movie cliches.
  36. 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.
  37. It has its successful moments but it's surprisingly inert overall, more like a Burton derivative than something he actually did himself.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Sporadically playful, it ends up wearing as thin as any film geared to a preteen sense of humor is bound to do.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. As a showcase for accomplished performers tugging heart strings in a holiday awards season, it's perfectly serviceable.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. The movie thus moves from truly creepy to truly inane, which is, unfortunately, all too common in films of this ilk.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. The actors give it punch, but in the grand scheme of caper comedies, The Art of the Steal is more breathlessly imitative than authentic.
  52. You might not "like" Perry's movie, but it's hard to deny the forensically assured sensibility at work.
  53. Regrettably, Men at Lunch obsesses over disappearing ghosts instead of the records we already have and the history we should know.
  54. 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.
  55. It's an affectionate and admiring collection of moments, but the director's wobbly choreography never locates a dramatic core for this corps' story.
  56. 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.
  57. Not Brooks' funniest film, but it possesses his trademark wry humor and is slyly observant.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. Brother Nature has its amusing moments, providing a showcase that tends toward the formulaic and predictable.
  62. Still, there are some things to savor. Blanchett is an actress who's always involving, and Crowe is very much in his element as an intrepid, laconic archer who lets his arrows do the talking.
  63. The film is not without humor or conflict, but it is a complex coming-of-age story that places a premium on independence and attacks sexual hypocrisy.
  64. Parents and older siblings...may grow impatient with the uneven execution that weakens the genuine charm the film sporadically exhibits.
  65. The well-intended Group is nevertheless problematic. It's relentlessly grueling, as therapy can be, and not everyone will be able to see a reason to watch it.
  66. The movie loses some of its initial atmospheric tension as paranoid thrills give way to Rambo high jinks.
  67. Crass, vacuous exercise in grind-house stylistics.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ritchie whisks you along on a whirlwind tour, but he's not averse to putting on the brakes long enough to admire some of his favorite attractions.
  68. If you're young enough to have missed some of the better Lemmon-Matthau pairings, like "The Fortune Cookie" or "The Odd Couple," then Grumpy Old Men won't seem so grumpy. [25 Dec 1993, p.2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. It would have been nice if Harris, who casts a sardonic yet compassionate eye on the Travis family, had set his sights a little higher than the typical chronicle of a dysfunctional suburban family.
  70. With two of the world's biggest stars in tow, the creators of The Devil's Own can be forgiven for figuring that nothing else really mattered. If you've got Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt, do you really need a coherent script? Unfortunately for everyone concerned, the answer is yes.
  71. Solidly done if somewhat unremarkable, there is nothing particularly wrong with "Broken," nothing that needs fixing exactly, and yet it never fully comes together.
  72. Weirdly clueless.
  73. Piranha 3D is trying so hard for the laughs and the allusions amid all the gore, and endless bloodbath of bare naked ladies, that it completely forgets to frighten anyone.
  74. Passion will only rekindle your love affair with De Palma to the extent that his luridly artisan chiller classics are readily available afterward for another viewing.
  75. Will divide audiences between those whose hearts have been tugged into going along with the picture way past common sense and those who find it impossible to accept the film's credibility-defying developments.
  76. The Occasionally Amazing Spider-Man 2 might be a better way to think of the not-always-spectacular but sometimes satisfying Spider-Man sequel.
  77. While individual sequences are genuinely entertaining, Monster Hunt remains considerably less than the sum of its many parts.
  78. 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
  79. Most of the rest of this Hamlet effective or lovely as parts of it may be, just keeps sawing at the air in a drafty hall and pouring all its light on Mel Gibson and his angelic stubble. [18 Jan 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
  80. Often lacks momentum, especially in its early stretches. It is, however, a far more solid film than writer-director James C. Strouse's debut, the war-themed family drama "Grace Is Gone."
  81. Oh, there are sword fights aplenty (as bloodless as ever), but instead of a real story, we are left clinging to individual moments.
  82. The pun is a gun for Penguins' writers. Not a sharpshooter rifle, but a machine gun that unloads a nonstop quip barrage, mowing down the real promise of this 3-D animation action comedy.
  83. If The Hudsucker Proxy is a triumph, it is a zombie one. Too cold, too elegant, too perfect, more an exhibit in a cinema museum than a flesh-and-blood film, "Proxy's" highly polished surface leaves barely any space for an audience's emotional connection. [11 Mar 1994, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  84. In the absence of a more conventional storytelling approach, this series of brief, fragmented glimpses of the harsh challenges that shaped Lincoln's early life never allows you to get sufficiently close to its celebrated subject.
  85. Has little to occupy us once its battle scenes recede. One of those goofy movies where devil-may-care Russian soldiers unwind by playing the balalaika far into the night, it takes itself far more seriously than anyone else will be able to manage.
  86. While Macy is persuasive, much of Focus is not.
  87. Although the results could never be accused of being uneventful, the characters cry out for deeper, more complex dimensions than simply the wide-eyed dreamer and the rhetoric-spewing agitator on display here.
  88. While Hamm and Bateman have the right idea overall, their love of contrivance too often gives The Journey the sense of being reverse-engineered to explain a breakthrough rather than driven by the messy, human possibilities of their what-if.
  89. Given the subjectively interpretive nature of scripture and ancient religious history, which informs most of the Christian-centric debate here, the result is an often dense, contradictory discourse.
  90. Free Samples is a film about wasting time, and it feels like it. Despite clocking in at 79 minutes, Jay Gammill's comedy drags by no fault of its delightfully sour lead.
  91. The-impossible-to-upstage stars are the penguins, a combination of real Gentoos specially trained for the film and some computer-generated counterparts. The special effects gurus blend the two seamlessly, making it easy to believe there was no digital wizardry involved, which is perhaps the niftiest trick of all.
  92. Has enough virtues -- principally Sutherland's presence and the quality of the music -- to make it an enjoyable trip.

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