Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,682 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Distant Voices, Still Lives
Lowest review score: 0 Stolen Summer
Score distribution:
10682 movie reviews
  1. For the most part "Matru" is neatly energetic, a mix of screwball whimsy and softball seriousness.
  2. The documentary A Small Section of the World is straight-up corporate propaganda. But its uplifting, powerful, well-meaning message might be enough to win over even some skeptics.
  3. Director Amelio turns Antonio's brief stint at a "real" job into a piercing and visually striking glimpse of hypocrisy and corruption — a glimpse too of the film that might have been.
  4. One would almost be inclined to give Morgan a pass for interviewing some of his executive producers as expert sources. A bigger disappointment is the missed opportunity to address the significant retailer markups that could have gone toward improving sweatshop conditions instead of profit margins.
  5. An initially compelling but uneven drama elevated by two centered performances.
  6. It’s a warm, uplifting portrait of the potentials to be found in startup culture, but feels blinkered by its specific focus.
  7. There’s an appealingly sentimental destination in store for Ronnie and Myla’s parallel quests that keeps the movie from floating away entirely on its all-too-airy premise.
  8. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. It’s really not anything.
  9. The strong cast, including John Heard, Dash Mihok, Jacinda Barrett and Cloris Leachman, sells the warm, at times cloying material with earnest conviction.
  10. If this low-budget indie is any indication, the younger Levinson's creative sensibilities appear to be darker than his dad's, the voice clearly his own.
  11. Writer-director siblings Jen and Sylvia Soska allow their film to turn slack and unfocused after an enticingly lurid, wickedly tense first half.
  12. Lively and often comical.
  13. It's hardly a perfect film, not even close, but it is the most entertaining made-for-adults studio movie of the summer, and one of the reasons it works at all is the great skill and commitment Cruise brings to the starring role.
  14. It has some heartfelt performances and a nice, nondescript vibe, but it's largely unmemorable.
  15. Muddled tale of faith and reason.
  16. Forces them (the cast) to reenact the entire unabridged Encyclopedia of Treasured Romantic Comedy Clichés and Chestnuts, Revised Second Edition.
  17. Had the comedy been sharper, this movie-loving movie might have convincingly meshed its Technicolor caricatures and antifascist heroics.
  18. What’s painfully clear is that all the artfully composed shots, hinky situations and extra conceptual surprises can’t make this Detour all that compelling beyond its crisp artifice.
  19. The Crossing Guard, Penn's second film behind the camera, is a troubling, troublesome movie whose makeshift structure cannot contain the powerful flood of passions that he and his cast have poured into it.
  20. Because of its look, some fine period music including the Mills Brothers version of "Coney Island Washboard," and actors giving it their best effort, Wonder Wheel is not as completely forgettable as it would otherwise be.
  21. At all times the wretched high-concept, low-intelligence story contrives to bring everything down to its sudsy level. [22 Nov 1985]
    • Los Angeles Times
  22. There’s plenty of predatory behavior on display in the impressively acted Wolves, a curious if unsuccessful cross-breeding of gritty domestic drama with conventional coming-of-age sports crowd-rouser.
  23. It is clear that these individuals have exercised considerable courage and determination to sort out their sexual natures and to be true to them. They have the sturdy sense of human survivors, and in Venus Boyz Baur regards them with compassion and dignity.
  24. Knoxville is surprisingly good playing a man who may have been in one too many barroom brawls, moving with a hunched, hips-forward swagger that suggests someone constantly walking through very low doorways.
  25. Most of the movie is like the ice on which Bombay's limousine rests: cold and shaky. The only time it really comes alive is in the obvious scene, the fast, furious championship, with every Duck having his day.
  26. Unfortunately, the human relationships depicted here are less credible than the solid special effects.
  27. A dreary experience.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The result is far from evenhanded, but capable of raising important questions.
  28. The film's greatest asset is Kelly LeBrock, who is triumphant. She may represent souped-up womanhood at its most fanciful but she does so with great warmth and a sharp sense of herself.
  29. Killing Bono whips up a frenzied mix of musical jealousy, wishful stardom and farcical lucklessness into a movie too slippery to hold onto.
  30. In this stately and fairly slavish representation, directed by Richard Attenborough, what pokes through with the pain of a broken bone is how thin the material really is. [12 Dec 1985]
    • Los Angeles Times
  31. Davi's heartfelt performance makes for a winning solo, but the movie too often lacks harmony.
  32. As synthetic as a plastic Christmas tree.
  33. Decidedly a minor item that's been on the shelf for a while but is nonetheless an effective calling card for its writer-director-star.
  34. The juxtaposition of grim reality and pure fantasy doesn't work...the entire film seem artificial and contrived.
  35. (Lawrence) has every right to be proud of carrying this rickety film on his stooped shoulders.
  36. The result is hit or miss, with a laugh here and there, ultimately creating an aura of hopeless and drawn-out improbability.
  37. The film means to be an unpretentious, engaging romantic comedy but stretches its charm awfully thin with a 110-minute running time.
  38. Aims for a kind of hip cultural fusion but lacks the sharp satirical perspective to pull it off.
  39. Griffiths' Pam holds your attention without any gratuitous mannerisms or broad asides. It's a sleek, rangy performance that all but redeems the hackneyed familiarity of the premise.
  40. Relentlessly smarmy and contrived, and its pitch for the cause of prisoner rehabilitation preachy and heavy-handed.
  41. Instead of a cautionary tale, they've looked at Flynn's life through rose-colored glasses.
  42. As long as it shuts up and keeps moving, Tracers makes for a sufficiently diverting, not to mention zero-emission, vehicle.
  43. That sense of extreme, excess, over-the-top everything is there from start to finish. And isn't that what Bay fans count on even at cut-rate prices?
  44. In adapting Dean Koontz's series, Sommers nails the hero but bungles the world-building.
  45. Too flat and academic to come alive. The film's lack of dimension tends to render much of it banal, and Downey's lengthy harangues, as beautifully wrought as they are, are overly literary, which serves to make this intricate film seem all the more contrived.
  46. For all its flaws, its obvious if irrelevant similarity to "Dead Poets Society," it lets us spend some quality time with some of the finest actresses in American film as they give energetic life to one of the most radically underrepresented minorities in Hollywood: the intelligent woman.
  47. Sometimes a movie's charm materializes where you least expect it and in this particular case it emerges in the unlikely form of Henderson's character, Scotland Yard detective Janet Losey.
  48. It's good that God's Sanbox has such an intriguing premise and compelling performances, because Doran Eran's pacing tends toward slackness, and most of the dialogue is in an English that is often impenetrable.
  49. American Assassin is a serviceable, workman-like thriller that makes the familiar as involving as its going to get. It demonstrates that even Jason Bourne lite is better than no Bourne at all, if you're in the mood.
  50. For all of its class-act bona fides, Evening lurches between the morose and the sentimental, with occasional incursions into the absurd.
  51. Director James Wong ("Final Destination") and writer Ben Ramsey are utterly blasé in their approach to the series' mythology and structure, cobbling together an 84-minute movie that seems to exist only to rile up fanboys. On that count -- and that count alone -- Dragonball Evolution triumphs.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Treating their problems like they're the most important crises in the world is what people in their 20s do, but that doesn't mean we have to go along for the ride.
  52. It's revealing that writer-director Dave Boyle has said that in a way he fulfilled his lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist with the live-action White on Rice because his people in this wan, trite and increasingly silly comedy are little more than stick figures.
  53. A sour romantic comedy, only sporadically amusing.
  54. What creeps in is the dramatic simple-mindedness attendant with a purity-of-purpose mind-set.
  55. The story is poignant and compelling, but ultimately the film doesn't have the heft it needs to fill out the big screen.
  56. Mendes is charismatic and likable as Grace - perhaps too likable. Conveying Grace's parental blind spots, she doesn't turn her character's single motherhood into an argument for sainthood. Yet she avoids any darker glimpses that would lend a more satisfying complexity to the mother-daughter tension and to the movie's too-neat ending.
  57. This logic-challenged dive-bum thriller directed by John Stockwell, who did the equally silly surf movie "Blue Crush."
  58. An ambitious film that aims to examine the human equations behind the abductions. But for all its good intentions, it's not as subtle as it might be, and it's finally pitched too broadly to achieve the level of emotional truth it aims for.
  59. As a director, Bigelow knows how to get out of the house, but she can be impatient when it comes to humdrum reality. That may account for her interest in Shreve's novel, with its epic tragedies, and it may help to explain the misguided casting of Penn and Hurley, each of whom comes equipped with an oversized personality.
  60. Works up some genuine emotion offset by occasional humor and creates individuals of a certain degree of complexity, but the film is glazed over with an aura of artificiality.
  61. Parigi -- who's clearly made a close study of Alfred Hitchcock's obsessions and has watched a fair share of intelligent horror perched between cheekiness and Grand Guignol (think "Re-Animator") -- succeeds nicely.
  62. The merely depressing ultimately gives way to the contrived in Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's King of the Jungle.
  63. Whatever the facts of the case, Berlin 36 doesn't clear the bar for dramatic impact.
  64. Temple is dependable if uninspiring, and Keough has yet to develop much in the way of screen presence - in the film, her short dark hair and doughy features look sculpted to maximize her resemblance to her grandfather, Elvis Presley.
  65. Lacks originality.
  66. Unfortunately, though its heart is smack in the right place, The Greatest tends to play more like a collection of appropriate, well-acted scenes than as a fully satisfying narrative.
  67. Earnest, gee-whiz and foursquare, this simple and intentionally inoffensive sequel gets points for being easy to take and scrupulously avoiding obvious sources of irritation.
  68. 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.
  69. A motion picture with one foot in artistic expression and one in pulp fiction and commercialized violence. It wants the respect that goes with a quality production, but it can't resist providing the brutality and exploitation the film's core audience expects.
  70. For though it is a reasonable facsimile of a successful thriller, this film (named after a barrier that protects computers from hackers) never manages to be more than mildly effective.
  71. Finding Joe is so centered on the self-realization of the individual that it provokes one to contemplate the millions of oppressed, imperiled people that haven't the luxury of pursuing such an inner quest.
  72. The dreary postmortem drama Five Nights in Maine is barely kept afloat by the gravitas of dueling leads David Oyelowo and Dianne Wiest.
  73. Evans and Gideon never really succeed in selling the idea that serial killing is a disease -- which would require a degree of realism that the slick, over-plotted Mr. Brooks doesn't otherwise aspire to. They seem to be content with occupying the audience with a series of twists and jolts.
  74. The story is spread too thin, or perhaps there just wasn’t that much substance to begin with.
  75. Documents accurately the capacity of pop culture to make mongrels of its consumers. But it doesn't quite know (or want to know) what to make of it.
  76. As saccharine as it is disposable.
  77. (Lipnicki) is pressed into the service of mugging and shtick that would test the mettle of Roberto Benigni.
  78. The film is loaded with striking visuals, high energy and all-stops portrayals from its actors, but for all of Samuell's imaginative cinematic bravura, it is, finally, mainly exasperating. Phooey on Julien and Sophie's excruciating l'amour fou.
  79. With its old-fashioned gloss, the incident-packed story proves only mildly engaging and finally has little to say.
  80. A better-than-most fright-time tale.
  81. The lack of a compelling lead figure, combined with Schnabel's tentative approach to the material, casts the film's later stretches in the balmy glow of soap opera.
  82. Johnny Depp, back again as the swashbuckling miscreant who favors guy-liner and gold, somehow manages to keep this ship of fools afloat. But just barely.
  83. Once tragedy strikes, the clichés in Bram and Toni Hoover's screenplay win out, and Baker never stirs up enough energy to make it feel any different from a thousand other tales of underdog triumph.
  84. The noir atmosphere doesn't quite smother the dialogue's cheesy smell.
  85. The Marine is bad in just the right way, a mindless throwaway that's at least smart enough not to take itself too seriously.
  86. Dramatically thin, formally uninspired and thematically weak, The Last Ride really goes nowhere.
  87. The results are decidedly more mind-numbing than bone-chilling.
  88. JeruZalem is just a wobble-a-thon with incessant screaming and a predictable trajectory for its leading ladies, even if the final, arresting image of a malevolently transformed skyline makes one wish a more enticing, original road had led there.
  89. Gives new meaning to "costume drama" in that it is a drama primarily about costumes. But the drama is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the temple.
  90. The movie is as histrionic as it is ham-fisted, a bad combination that leads to scenes such as the one in which officers threaten to torture a baby to get their point across.
  91. Suffers from an overcomplicated plot, an overpopulated cast, a lot of corny humor and artificial contrivance, topped by a sluggish pace.
  92. The South takes another beating in Sweet Home Alabama, but that's nothing compared with the one conferred on the sweetheart personality of its pint-sized Gen. Sherman.
  93. A wax-museum movie that is both bland and reverential despite its focus on the great man's love life, Jefferson is hampered by its disconnected protagonist.
  94. There's a heft to the proceedings that keeps us invested even when the story's various strands start to unravel.
  95. 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.
  96. There are, thankfully, a few humorous and imaginative touches here and there, but Alien Nation is hardly inspired.
  97. However heroic a figure Fanning’s Liz may be, however much this fine actress makes us feel her terror and determination, any sense of triumph is steadily, grindingly undone.
  98. After scoring big in 1998 with "Mary" - the zipper issue, the "hair gel" mix-up, the roving troubadours - their (Farrelly brothers) raw inventive edge has never been quite as sharp. Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, continues that creative slide into everyday crude.

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