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 Motherland
Lowest review score: 0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Score distribution:
10360 movie reviews
  1. The film is well intentioned and mildly diverting, but in attempting to modernize its story it has lost many of the things that make the original so memorable and not gained much in return.
  2. Mell never quite knows how to mine this conceit to best effect. The result: a tonal mishmash involving silly demon-trapping bits, supernatural speculation and lots of yakking that derails the film’s potential tension and credibility.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For the most part, The Rocker is content to simply keep the beat, marking time as the summer movie season moves on.
  3. Above all, its gratuitous graphic gore and exploitative nudity are unmistakably giallo. What "The Strange Color" lacks is the heart that separates a good film from a great one.
  4. The gimmicky nature of the flashbacks weakens the story and lessens the film's suspense. Nevertheless, The Burial Society is a clever, spiritual film that argues that God sees all and, what's more, he's always right.
  5. A decorative Italian soap opera with an asterisk for earnest aspirations. Its beautiful people say painful things to each other in gorgeous clothes, and though the film expects us to take their problems seriously, it's awfully hard to do so.
  6. 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.
  7. "Next Chapter" may not exhibit the scrappy charm that characterized the first film's glimpse into a marginalized but colorful world, but for devotees, Dana Brown has assembled a love letter to a now-global culture.
  8. 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.
  9. If anything, the manic energy and aggressive sarcasm of Wain's "Role Models" (2008), which also starred Rudd, has become much more refined in Wanderlust, (well, as refined as something this raw can be).
  10. Lynskey, Ellis, and Jackson are charming enough to buoy this lightly dramatic tale, but with a laid-back energy the stakes are never quite high enough. “Little Boxes” offers tame social commentary in a pleasant package.
  11. The movie's intended audience will likely be satisfied by its parade of gory mayhem, cheap thrills and groan-worthy dark humor. Everyone else: You're on your own.
  12. Had the movie itself been more focused as a story of messy loss — and not played tonal Twister with its high concept — it might have better served its freshly oddball lead.
  13. Wasabi dawdles and drags when it should pop; it doesn't even have the virtue of enough mindless violence to break up the tedium of all its generational bonding.
  14. Not as bad as Bobby's mother's lasagna, neither is Brooklyn Rules anywhere near the best you've ever had, though at times, it may remind you of it.
  15. It's no "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." (What is?) But on its own modest terms, the alien adventure Earth to Echo is a lively and likable knockoff that should divert, if not exactly enthrall, tweens and young teens.
    • 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.
  16. The hour of mike time isn't as strong as such previous dispatches as "Seriously…Funny."
  17. Nakache and Toledano...pepper the film with enough stirring emotional beats, crowd-pleasing bits...and vivid supporting characters such as Samba's ebullient immigrant pal, Wilson (Tahar Rahim), that there are distinct pleasures to be had.
  18. Writer-director Nic Bettauer hits upon some important themes, including homelessness, environmentalism and the plight of the elderly, but not enough care has gone into developing the subsidiary characters who merely come across as types.
  19. The movie itself plays more like a corporate recruitment video — or an extended episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” — than a deep, discerning dive into an American success story.
  20. Plays like "Transformers" for tots, a "Pinocchio" story that stays true to its source material's storied past without adding much in the way of interest, outside of some clankingly obvious political subtext that will alienate people of all stripes.
  21. The 20 or so minutes we spend with the Albatross in the squall is high adventure, to be sure. Everything else is ballast.
  22. Intermittently fun and high-spirited, Dead Man's Chest sags under the weight of its own running time.
  23. The film supplies a succession of hyper-stylized and potent set pieces without ever establishing any sort of internal logic.
  24. The sharp satirical edge that earned Fountain’s novel comparisons to “Catch-22” feels duller and more sluggish on the screen as Lee strains to weave his story’s dissonant tones and subplots...into a movie that works as both a compelling psychological portrait and an astute political argument.
  25. The film tries to mix the two 1930s movie comedy strains: screwball romance and populist fable. But there's something nerveless and thin about it. Hawn and Russell are good, but their scenes together have a calculated spontaneity--overcute, obvious. Director Garry Marshall keeps the lines slamming off each other briskly but with a shallow, hectoring energy. And he doesn't have much visual flair.
  26. 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.
  27. Neither funny enough to be a comedy nor serious enough to pass for drama, and it ambles along aimlessly before grinding to an unconvincing halt.
  28. Like a lot of other Asian sci-fi anime: a stunningly imagined world of the future populated with one-dimensional characters caught up in a trite plot.
  29. Flaked with offbeat witticisms, cheese ball effects and fanboy splatter gore, the surreal John Dies at the End has the vibe of a shaggy dog story, which works both for and against it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Awakening just meanders like an aimless ghost.
  30. An imperfect, messy and sometimes trying film that has moments of genuine sweetness and humor sprinkled in between the saccharine and the sadness.
  31. Peirce has done a remaking rather than a reimagining.
  32. The overly familiar plot points also make the film feel a little dated.
  33. What's missing are the kind of moments that actually matter, the ones that are so gripping that you want desperately for time to stop - to savor them, to feel the fear, the passion, the regret. Ah, well … maybe next time.
  34. Nominally a satiric comedy, the film is only sporadically effective, running out of energy before it reaches the end.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Priestley doesn't exploit the dramatic devices that fell into his lap.
  35. A potato chip of a movie. Tasty and lightweight, it's fine for a cinematic snack, if that's what you're looking for. Making it an entire meal, however, really isn't advisable.
  36. Beautifully made but emotionally empty, it exists only for the sensation of its provocative moments.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Grace doesn't need a high body count to frighten, although its gore is stomach-turning. It's a horrifying meditation on the unbreakable union of mother and child.
  37. The film is driven by a we-are-the-world connectedness, but remains a travelogue in search of a defining center. The overall impression is as fleeting as much of the imagery that flashes across the screen.
  38. Although it was made on a smaller budget, "Neverbeast" is a more coherent and entertaining film than the bizarre jukebox musical "Strange Magic."
  39. By ambitiously aiming to encompass the full scope and complexity of the social pandemic, Lost and Love winds up being all over the map.
  40. The banter between Brian and Arielle is easy and often amusing. But despite all the tangled sheets and entwined bodies during assignations at the St. Regis hotel, the relationship never moves beyond the look of puppy love.
  41. Directors Jean-François Pouliot and François Brisson fail to organize the material into a coherent story or strike a consistent emotional tone.
  42. The twisty plot mostly comes together via flashbacks, following an opening armed robbery. Too often though, Yang opts for brute force over brains, defaulting to violent fights that don't quite fit with the film's overall lightness.
  43. Veteran director Roger Spottiswoode has tried to pep the old warhorse up, but the combined inertia of all those pictures over 35 years proves hard to budge.
  44. This is not a chance to "experience the most timeless of stories as you've never seen it before" but just the opposite: an opportunity, for those who want it, to encounter this story exactly the way it's almost always been told.
  45. On the surface, Anderson seems to have all the necessary pieces for a surreal psycho pop. But the fear factor eludes him, leaving Stonehearst Asylum more insipid than insane.
  46. A mostly pedestrian political thriller whose basis in true events adds little to the film's excitement or entertainment value.
  47. Unfortunately, writer-director Ray Yeung leapfrogs over several key emotional beats and points of credibility. At the same time, he plies an ambitious slate of social, sexual and cultural messages, some more fully formed than others.
  48. LUV
    What begins as a promising peek into the tragic cycle of waylaid promise that's crippling broken inner-city families is itself dispiritingly pulled sideways in the Baltimore-set indie LUV.
  49. Awkwardly balanced between comedy and significance, with plotting that gets increasingly schematic and unconvincing, My Old Lady is bound and determined to get more serious than it is capable of sustaining.
  50. In all his athletic scenes, leaping through doors, leaping between uptown and downtown trains, leaping on an assortment of villains, Swayze is just fine. It's the movie's big cosmic questions that throw him; for these he's reduced to a look of total stupefaction--not the movie's finest moments. [13 July 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  51. Director Peyton Reed gets the film's look and, in moments, its disingenuous innocence, but you have to wonder what he and the screenwriters, Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, thought they were parodying. The actors clearly haven't a clue.
  52. It's an overly familiar setup played out by overly familiar types but, curiously, what invests XX/XY with its tension is that there's no sense that Austin Chick, the film's capable young director and writer, knows what he feels about any of this.
  53. It would be dishonest to deny that Jade Scorpion has amusing moments, but it never gets better than that and often settles for less.
  54. A persuasive if not groundbreaking drama.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a very mixed bag. When it's good, Hollywood Dreams is corrosively funny and unexpectedly poignant. And when it's bad, it's over-the-top bad.
  55. The result is a kind of "Three Ages of Woman, With Plastic Surgery," that veers between insight and hand-wringing.
  56. It's Whoopi Goldberg, however, who gives you something extraordinary. At the center of all this formula tongue-in-cheek thriller pablum, she keeps sending out weird curves and bent splinters of off-center energy. She's a remarkably empathic actress, and you only hope she'll get a few vehicles that push her to the limit.
  57. 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).
  58. The film may be fearlessly sentimental, but it is sturdy enough to provide rewarding major roles for two veterans, who are of an age when such starring parts are rare.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Some concert movies make you feel like you have the best seat in the house; this one plants you squarely in front of the Jumbotron.
  59. Unlike the similarly multi-strand "Valentine's Day," Hot Summer Days has heart, however overstated most of its action.
  60. There is just enough in Comet to keep it from fizzling out entirely – largely in the performances of Long and Rossum – but its conceits also get in the way of its characters, making it feel fussy and convoluted when it aims for something more simple and elegant.
  61. With its moments of comic relief overly exaggerated and at odds with its realistic tone, Dorian Blues is at its best at its most serious.
  62. Filled with unrealized possibilities and fraught with flaws, Final Destination seems destined to be little more than a footnote in the anthology of extraordinary films to come out of the long creative collaboration between producer Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
  63. While its flaws are considerable, the Holocaust-themed thriller Remember benefits mightily from a quietly commanding Christopher Plummer performance that almost makes you forget the wonky plot logic.
  64. Unashamedly silly, inevitably erratic, it has so much fun sending up the world of exploitation filmmaking that even the most serious film student won't be able to suppress a laugh or two. Maybe even more.
  65. There is very little about the hoary conventions of The Mothman Prophecies that couldn't be improved by a little levity, a little more sunlight and some judicious cutting.
  66. Though it has loftier aims, it is in reality strictly a film made by believers for believers. It's like the Discovery Channel version of the Greatest Story Ever Told, an earnest, not particularly distinguished piece of work that has none of the touch of the poet that made Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" such a triumph.
  67. An endearing, affectionately humorous and even lyrical depiction of the dawning of adolescence amid the privileged, yet Jennifer Flackett's script, for all its sheen, is problematic.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The film is a persistent spectacle of audio-visual mood and twee posturing: Strange musical currencies underscore almost every scene, and Logan's acts of scoping and cocooning, in and out of Joey's planetary-themed bedroom, are punctuated with fuzzy video of animals on the hunt.
  68. Citizen Koch is pure advocacy doc: brisk and clear-eyed, to be sure, but not likely to surprise headline-savvy moviegoers or angered progressives.
  69. In the end, Prieto's Pusher feels like a Guy Ritchie knockoff.
  70. Working from a screenplay by Douglas Soesbe that juggles contrivance and insight, Montiel labors to avoid sensationalizing Nolan's story, and in the process he overcompensates.
  71. A chronological brain-teaser confounding enough to keep you busy trying to figure out whether those holes are in the story or in your logic. But ultimately the movie is more interested in the love part of the equation than in the whole crazy, madcap physics part.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This isn't merely a horror film about things going bump in the night, but a study of the effects of desolation on our sense of personal consciousness.
  72. 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.
  73. An illuminating and engrossing look at the life and times of pioneer Los Angeles physique photographer Bob Mizer
  74. Despite its good intentions, Spirit is more self-conscious and uninspiring from a dramatic point of view than one might have wished. Still, whenever it threatens to get bogged down in earnest dramaturgy, a stirring visual sequence -- rouses us.
  75. Not as much fun as it should be. Few of its numerous actors make a lasting impression and Burton's heart and soul is not in the humor but (remember the "Batman Returns" backlash) in deadpan postmodern horrors, of which this film has a few.
  76. 47 Meters Down doesn't have the campy sparkle that made “The Shallows” a cult hit, but it's the kind of cheesy thriller that's good for a few jumps and a few chuckles at its own silliness.
  77. 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.
  78. Carrie Pilby is a studiously quirky affair, but only the natural charm of Powley salvages that tone. The film swings wildly from melancholy to wacky, never truly melding the two; it somehow also lacks verve and energy.
  79. The plot is lean, the dialogue is spare and there are some intriguing stabs at intellectual and emotional terrain. But the pacing is deadly, so slow there might be time for a catnap or two without missing anything important.
  80. Hurting the film is the fact that the central character, Anthony, is so self-absorbed.
  81. That the plot is the problem comes as something of a surprise given Monahan's pedigree. The well-regarded screenwriter ("Body of Lies," "Kingdom of Heaven") won an Oscar for the deliciously conflicted cops and crime twister of 2006's "The Departed."
  82. DamNation is certainly a picturesque splash of doc advocacy, as long as you don't dwell on the cracks.
  83. While this return to indie roots frees up Lee's often gifted image making, his usual pace issues and penchant for jagged flourish over sustained feeling keep it from achieving a rich, strange, sexy and sad whole.
  84. Only really kicks in when it is dancing, which is about half the time.
  85. LaBute can't avoid a fatal mistake in the modern era: He's changed the male academic from a lower-class Brit to an American, a choice that upsets the novel's exquisite balance and shreds the fabric of the film, corrupting all of LaBute's good work and robbing it of the impact it would otherwise have.
  86. A blithe and unapologetic fairy tale about affairs of the heart, it's a spun-sugar confection that's so light and airy it threatens to simply float away.
  87. It's doubtful Milarepa will be opening in Beijing any time soon; all the more reason it deserves a look.
  88. At first American Animal has a mysterious unreality to it, a strange diorama about easy leisure's emptiness. But when James admits he's taken a job - upending the roomies' slacker utopia - American Animal becomes a philosophically strident evening of speechifying local theater (topic: human evolution).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An earnest, well-acted, poignant drama that nevertheless runs afoul of sports movie clichés.
  89. 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.
  90. The frustrating thing about the British heist flick Wasteland is how it creates two admirably entertaining storytelling strands — one a friendship saga, the other a robbery caper — yet can't merge the two successfully.

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