Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 9,506 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 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Son of Saul
Lowest review score: 0 Natural Selection
Score distribution:
9506 movie reviews
  1. I Saw the Light is solid but not spectacular, a retelling of a sad story that never catches fire.
  2. The new Poltergeist is a pleasant enough diversion, better as a low-simmer suspense story than a full-blown effects extravaganza.
  3. The story is too silly, too woefully underwritten, to stake a claim on seriousness.
  4. Despite an energetic set-up, the broad script fails to deliver the anticipated goods once the action relocates to Paris.
  5. Starring Wesley Snipes as the suave Regis, Murder at 1600 is the modern equivalent of the routine B-picture, diverting in a small potatoes kind of way, though its budget and stars are big league.
  6. Director Anais Barbeau-Lavalette builds a persuasive sensory immediacy in Inch'Allah, even as her story grows increasingly contrived.
  7. Not as satisfying as the old and unimproved version. In a zealous attempt to broaden its appeal, the Zorro franchise has drifted from the qualities that made the previous film so successful.
  8. 27 Dresses dutifully privileges its formulaic plot over its stick-figure characters, slapping a happy ending on a setup that, say, "Happiness" director Todd Solondz could have gone to town on.
  9. There are a few inventive battles on a frozen pond and atop the tiled roof of a temple, but they are so CGI-enhanced as to seem cartoonish, not marvelous.
  10. As the film progresses, however, Murray becomes less and less sure of where things are heading or what it is she is trying to get at, such that the last few reels feel perfunctory and unengaged.
  11. When the film's fate rests on the alchemy of its stars, you really don't want to get that wrong. But here, chemistry is a problem, and it proves a significant one.
  12. With "Looper" and the fantastic recent release "Predestination" using the same plot device to explore existentialism, the potboiler Project Almanac feels like a leap backward.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Director Kang Woo-Suk spins an epic swirl of masculine psychodrama over his many punishing fight sequences...But he also makes a handful of sage points about desperate times, the cycle of bullying and our modern culture of ratings-sanctioned aggression.
  13. The period details are so lovingly burnished in this uneven, if heartfelt, feature that for a while they threaten to overpower the story, which delves gently into a rarely explored aspect of the war.
  14. A middling, so-so thriller about a murder investigation on an Army base, it falls to Earth somewhere between failure and success, inconclusive to the end.
  15. A blandly diverting, chastely conceived and grammatically challenged fairy tale for our bland, chaste and grammatically challenged age.
  16. Despite its high craft level and Washington's participation in it, this movie's showy violence is finally as deadening as the over-emphatic violence in these kinds of films generally is.
  17. It's an intriguing film, one of the year's most interesting, but involving as much of it is, it leaves an unsatisfied taste when it's over.
  18. A series of miscalculations caused this project to lose its way, until what we're left with is a film that should involve us more than it does.
  19. Characters and situations are painted in such simple, broad strokes, we’re asked to take much at face value.
  20. Despite strong performances by Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley as the leaders of the two factions and crisply directed soccer action, the movie lacks a powerful central presence to carry the drama.
  21. 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.
  22. What the movie could use is a little more faith — in the power of its message and the art of filmmaking. Instead, Heaven is sincere to a fault, and the closer it gets to heaven, the more it wavers.
  23. Elephants aside, the plot of this Ong Bak is rudimentary at best.
  24. Impressive but uninviting, Wyatt Earp is easier to admire from a distance than pull up a chair and enjoy close-up. A self-conscious attempt at epic filmmaking that feels orchestrated as much as directed, it has noticeable virtues but chooses not to wear them lightly. And at three hours plus, it finally encourages audiences to feel as trail weary and exhausted as any of its characters. [24 Jun 1994, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  25. Ultimately suffers from a late-inning collapse into thematic obviousness and multiple endings.
  26. Wingard’s movie, for all its abundant mischief, doesn’t trust the power of its own illusion. You can see these woods a lot more clearly now, and what you see is that you’ve been here before.
  27. There are some crowd-pleasers - but Hotel Transylvania never becomes the great monster mash that seemed in the offing.
  28. A flimsy episodic feature.
  29. A pleasant diversion, a lightly amusing criminal comedy with a plot so complicated even the people in it can't quite believe what's happening.
  30. No one comes out of Hollywood Homicide looking good, but the film fades fast.
  31. Driven by different agendas, history and movies often tell two irreconcilable stories, which is why, despite some glints of talent, Hancock has given us yet another film and another Alamo to forget.
  32. Go see it. But you'll feel cheap in the morning.
  33. 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.
  34. Harrelson and Maura Tierney, who plays Monix's love interest, seem to be inhabiting a different, more interesting, movie, one that follows the familiar path of a has-been athlete seeking redemption at what looks like his last stop. The strange thing is that the subplot is so tangential to the rest of the movie that the scenes could be omitted with no one the wiser.
  35. Jackson modulates Abel's internal turmoil and heated exchanges with enough shades of loneliness, steely generosity and wicked playfulness to give the actor firm control of our fascination and growing unease.
  36. Though an admirable shake-up of the typically overbearing, munch-intensive undead yarn, The Returned is still a far cry from the smarts-and-shocks zombie allegories George Romero mastered.
  37. 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.
  38. Taking a cue from David Lynch, Hopkins fractures the narrative from the first frame, but unlike Lynch he doesn't go far enough in establishing a context from which to deviate. If the story fragments we're watching spring from the same mind, in other words, it's not obvious.
  39. Increasingly perplexing film, which is more concerned with being clever than satisfying.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Structurally, 44 Inch Chest resembles "Reservoir Dogs"; but, without the added amusement of Tarantino's skewing of narrative time, it feels very much more like a direct adaptation of a stage play (which apparently it's not). The filmmakers do goose things up by playing with reality in the second half, but it all leads to a payoff that, while perfectly legitimate, feels limp.
  40. There are moments when it is possible, with effort, to forget the plot and its tired premise and enjoy Witherspoon and Ruffalo's chemistry and imagine they are in another movie. But never for long.
  41. Because it's all shot to look like a South Korean noir, with umpteen slo-mo shots and stylistic noodlings to affect a kind of grimy urban anti-hero chic, Christensen effectively leeches the emotion from the central story.
  42. An underwhelming experience. I pity the fool, as TV star Mr. T might say, who mistakes this for genuine entertainment.
  43. This is a standard-issue gross Hollywood knockabout comedy in which slapstick antics have been piled up with a steam shovel and driven home with a sledgehammer. Reynolds and Smart are game and even dimensional, but all others are stuck playing tiresome, obnoxious characters.
  44. At the Devil's Door goes right up to the threshold of being an interesting possession saga but never truly gets inside.
  45. While films are admired for making fantasy real, some manage a reverse, unwanted kind of alchemy, turning involving reality into meaningless piffle.
  46. The group's intent is not to insult those physically or mentally challenged in any manner of degree but, rather, to disturb middle-class types as much as they possibly can.
  47. Consistently sleek but works best if no more is expected of it than a mild diversion.
  48. The cause is just. But there's something off-kilter about the mix. Maybe it's because the animation retains its TV flatness while the story's texture is gratuitously bulked up.
  49. A film rich in atmosphere but emotionally as blunt as its title.
  50. Although graceful and dynamic, Three Dancing Slaves is none too substantial or original, lacking the edge or complexity of Morel's impressive debut film, "Full Speed."
  51. A paint-by-numbers indie that barely uses its most vivid hues.
  52. [Aselton's] disregard for her male characters causes Black Rock to spiral into dudette "Deliverance."
  53. Gentlemen, it's a male chick flick - "The Dirty Secrets of the Ya-Ya Brotherhood."
  54. The twists and reversals that pile up, stirred by greed, friendship and betrayal, fail to register any meaning, simply accumulating -- so that ultimately Autumn is as dry and lifeless as the leaves that fall to the ground in its opening images.
  55. Newsies becomes a string of set-pieces, some of which work, some of which don't, all barreling full-speed ahead toward its Teddy Roosevelt deus ex machina. [10 Apr 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  56. Flat jokes, uneven performances, and a predictable romance help make Bounty Killer a lot less fun than it should be — a killer shame, given its boldly gonzo premise.
  57. This new romantic comedy from the U.K. lands on an emotional gold mine only to spin it into synthetic straw.
  58. Has the makings of that rarest of ventures, an adaptation that is true to the spirit of the original as well as its own time and place. But as Payback wends its way toward its conclusion, its promise dissipates and its pleasures wane.
  59. Figgis remains a compelling storyteller, holding you with the intensity of his vision and his mastery of nuance.
  60. A nutty, often enjoyable farrago of craft and cinematic sampling, King Arthur moves fast and loose, and is almost aggressive in its absence of an original idea, in and of itself a Bruckheimer trademark.
  61. Alternately silly and provocative, strained and funny.
  62. The fantasy of a punk icon for a friend is one thing, but the filmmakers undercut the modest liveliness of their enterprise with a save-the-day storyline that seems far removed from the roiling, anti-authoritative ethos of punk.
  63. A romantic drama with some good qualities -- among them earnestness and strong performances -- but not enough to completely overcome the strain of its clichés.
  64. If I Stay takes time to find its footing amid miscalculations and awkward moments.
  65. The film aims for a light social satire but mainly falls flat. It feels more like a long-lost pilot for some never-aired 1970s sitcom or a misguided sequel to a Billy Joel song.
  66. Flowers abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz.
  67. "You've got a sense of humor, I like that," Lester Long proclaims at one point. Well, we all like that, but would it be asking too much to have a little coherence to go along with it?
  68. The social bite of the popular novel fades into a generic chick flick.
  69. Neither involving as a study in grief nor compelling as a thriller about conscience, the cat-and-mouse tragedy Reservation Road is a misery windup so schematic and obvious it reduces its crisis-stricken characters to little more than emotional bumper cars.
  70. 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.
  71. Except for a memorably haunted performance by Jeremy Irons as the conflicted Humbert Humbert, what the new version lacks most of all is inspiration.
  72. Chintzy-looking gore-bore.
  73. The movie is visually inventive and with enough good moments and smart moves to never be entirely dismissible, while not strong enough to overcome its essential thinness.
  74. Rourke and Wolff certainly have chemistry, and Sarah Silverman (as Ed's concerned single mom) and Emma Roberts (as Ed's potential girlfriend) provide solid support on the edges. But the humor never feels aimed in any particular direction.
  75. If Tony Vitale's Kiss Me, Guido isn't quite the laff riot its trailer suggests, it nonetheless abounds in good-hearted humor, adding up to a perfectly pleasant summer diversion.
  76. I realize that making Immortals immortal was way too much to ask, but frankly, just a shade more plausible, not to mention pleasurable, would have been nice.
  77. More filmmakers should treat the zombie subgenre as allegorical, the way George A. Romero intended. But Extinction and "Maggie" both arrive at the same conclusion about fatherhood, thereby confirming it as a cliché rather than a coincidence.
  78. The finery and regalia of their contributions are integral to Singh's vision, giving this mostly conventional princess story its fair share of romantic froth and more than a little moxie.
  79. The hard-sell comic delivery one expects from contemporary date movies is pleasantly tempered here.
  80. Hindered by its own theatricality, Beyond the Sea feels at once hermetic, defensive and corny.
  81. The challah may be extra special, but the humor found in John Goldschmidt's direction and the conventional script by Yehudah Jez Freedman and Jonathan Benson is disappointingly stale.
  82. All that matters with efforts like this is whether the cookie-cutter plotting serves up enough situations for Atkinson to contort himself into and out of jams. After all, are the narratives what you remember from the "Pink Panther" movies? Or the silly things, like that Clouseau could so easily get his finger caught in a spinning globe?
  83. Doesn't aspire to be much more than a serviceable summer comedy, and the script displays the engineered precision of a theme park ride.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Trier gets lost in his own rhetoric, forgetting to entertain his flock while raking them over the coals.
  84. Very much a first film, but a venturesome start for Devor as well as a splendid launch for Warburton.
  85. It just doesn't add up to anything -- or break down -- to anything special. For good or bad, there's hardly a memorable scene in it.
  86. An earnest but overly contrived and overly long tale.
  87. The film might have worked as a taut, topical corporate intrigue thriller; instead, for all its ambition, it's just a routine mystery, despite a solid performance by Christian Slater.
  88. There is an interesting kernel of a story about beauty, betrayal and brutality inside each of the film's scenarios and a cast that could handle anything thrown at it. But the kernel never pops, and all we're really left with is a whole lot of neo-noir corn.
  89. If, as someone says in one of Brooks' trademark excellent lines, we all feel we're "one small adjustment away from making our lives work," this film is one small adjustment away as well.
  90. t's great to see cherished, longtime stars in big roles to which they can bring so much spontaneity and finesse; you wish only that this movie were sturdier and had aimed higher. Judging from the bloopers that unreel during Grumpier Old Men's end credits, the cast had lots of fun making this movie--more fun, it would seem, than it is to watch. [22 Dec 1995, p.18]
    • Los Angeles Times
  91. Hostel II is far too shrewd and savagely witty to be caught engaging in higher seriousness. Roth could probably go even further with this particular franchise if he wanted to. Yet somehow, I think he's meant for grander, subtler and more intricate distractions than this.
  92. An engaging and forthright documentary.
  93. Unsteadily pitched between horror and comedy, Secret Window turns out to be neither terribly scary nor especially funny.
  94. Any charm and character ascribed to Carl Hiaasen's bestselling book have been homogenized in Wil Shriner's flat screenplay and direction.
  95. Though there's plenty of movement and enthusiasm, director Susan Seidelman is content with a metronomic approach to manipulating our feelings - buoyant Latin music never felt so routinely scene-setting - and seems afraid to let anyone on-screen depart from established caricature.
  96. Fifty Shades encourages us to buy into this credulity-straining scenario because the actors go well together (casting director Francine Maisler did the heavy lifting), Dornan's steely resolve facing off nicely against Johnson's engaging feistyness as each tries to make this cross-cultural relationship work on his or her own terms.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Only intermittently funny at best, but mostly full of dead air, the film is a let-down on both fronts.

Top Trailers