Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,338 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 I Called Him Morgan
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
10338 movie reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The outline of a great story, but it never fills in the gaps.
  1. The film's main misstep, however, is its unconvincing use of celebrity voices to re-create various speeches and letters... Though well-intended, their inclusion proves a needless distraction in an otherwise smart and dignified presentation.
  2. Old stereotypes are trotted out for humor's sake, and it's not a question of offensiveness, just that the jokes feel 10 years old.
  3. After an hour, or two-thirds of the film, they run out of gas. This is the kind of material that's easier to set up than it is to bring together in a satisfying fashion.
  4. No "Babe" but should delight youngsters, although parents likely will find it is sentimental in the extreme, with a plot that telegraphs every development.
  5. The film is at its most effective when band members and lead pastor Brian Houston testify to the strength their faith provides during times of crisis.
  6. The real gold chasers are the filmmakers, who keep pilfering moments from the first film to garland the sequel in order to repeat their success.
  7. The metaphor of senseless rancor is clear, but it's not compelling when the slow-moving monsters pose more of a nuisance than a threat.
  8. One perhaps does not expect a fully formed and cogent political platform from a "Step Up" film, but when a movie puts "Revolution" in the title and engages community action and social justice directly there should be more at the end than simply selling out to the first bidder.
  9. All in all, Call + Response makes alarmingly clear how ugly, pervasive and out-in-the-open the trade in humans for sex or labor often is.
  10. The movie’s noisy, busy and not that funny. But there is a sweetness and a cockeyed optimism here. At heart, it’s a salute to American gumption — however misguided.
  11. Even by the non-Olympian standards of the disaster genre, San Andreas is chock-full of cliché characters, staggering coincidences and wild improbabilities.
  12. Benefits from Caviezel's ability to project earnestness better than nearly any actor currently working, but its near-comic predictability, "What else could go wrong?" plotting and cliché-ridden screenplay sink it.
  13. An oddly appealing, if innocuous, movie of considerable charm.
  14. In the face of The Tempest, the stormy tragicomedy of rage, romance and redemption that is among Shakespeare's last and greatest works, Julie Taymor, a filmmaking savant of extraordinary vision and voice, suddenly and surprisingly folds.
  15. Despite slick camera work by Jonathan Sela and intense, naturalistic performances by Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles, The Omen retains the aura of ceremonious kitsch of the first movie, favoring a well-lighted, upscale Goth aesthetic punctuated with flashes of well-timed, cymbal-crashing shockers and giggly camp.
  16. If The Mexican proves anything, it's that eccentric features need a particularly delicate touch to be successful. With a film like this, how close you come doesn't matter: Off by a little is as debilitating as off by a lot.
  17. This is a movie that leaves you wanting more. To care more, to cry more, to love more.
  18. Equals walls itself off from the suspense implicit in its scenario — it’s practically an anti-thriller — and barely flickers to life as a tale of forbidden desire.
  19. While this jury-rigged exercise may not be an explosion of laughs, it's no dud, either.
  20. Strictly for the very young who will find giggles in the anthropomorphic mash-ups and won't be too distracted by the predictably mawkish sitcom plot.
  21. A hostage drama, cliches intact, is what we get.
  22. It's a copy all the way, a disheartening attempt to capitalize on the success of the original.
  23. As (DiCaprio's) character heads for The Beach's predictable heart of darkness denouement, only die-hard fans will have the heart to tag along.
  24. An uneven thrill-circus display that too often feels like TV writ large and loud rather than the kind of cinematic reimagining that defined the surf-flick genre.
  25. Statham's broody charisma and veteran cinematographer Chris Menges' ("The Killing Fields") eclectic views of contemporary London help hold interest, even as we ponder what Knight is really trying to say.
  26. It's lost-in-life meets lust-for-life in the reliably regenerative wine country, which means most moviegoers could hand this emotionally stranded odd couple a road map of where they'll be by the closing credits.
  27. Like a drug that starts with a rush and ends with a headache, Total Recall is too much of a good thing.
  28. It's not objectionable (which is saying something these days) but neither does it have any compelling reason to be seen.
  29. The sort of noisy nonsense that Woo's earlier action movies made irrelevant, but alas not extinct.
  30. The film is certainly interesting, despite the fact that it's a glorified promotional video for Muniz's installations.
  31. This one's for the conspiracy-minded only.
  32. Acher makes some astute observations about the contemporary dating scene, but this airless vehicle ultimately feels more like a stage piece than a feature proposition.
  33. Serving as something of an overstuffed sampler platter, the documentary The Pulitzer at 100, marking the centenary of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer’s effort to place journalism on equal footing with arts and letters, is big on variety but comes up frustratingly short on substance.
  34. Here's the surprise of the new incarnation of The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro -- there isn't one. No bite either, or humor, or camp.
  35. There's no real depth or texture to the characters of any sort, sentimental or otherwise, and I say that as someone who can be brought to tears by a Hallmark commercial.
  36. Ultimately, Youth Without Youth is more intriguing than it is satisfying. It hooks you, then lets you flounder.
  37. We have a fumbling and fawning - if sincere - tribute to the living legend and a director who has never seemed more out of his element.
  38. 360
    Hopkins' character is the most fully realized in the movie, complete with a monologue that the actor makes work, even if its carpe diem message-mongering is as unconvincing as most everything else in 360.
  39. Anyone who has seen the trailers for Freedomland, which don't exactly skimp on maternal angst, already knows this is going to be a sad-mommy story. What we don't know is that it may be a bad-mommy story as well.
  40. Feels like detention -- without the possibility of recess.
  41. What The Peacemaker doesn't do well, though it tries, is bring much in the way of emotion or character development to the table.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Pays lip service to the joys of exploring new worlds, but it never steps off the tour bus.
  42. Unfortunately, this overlong picture rarely feels particularly authentic.
  43. It has ideas as well as jolts, themes as well as special effects, characters as well as gore. But, as adapted by writer W. D. Richter and director Fraser Heston, these Things seem disappointingly diminished, squeezed and stuffed into a box too small.
  44. Violet & Daisy comes out of the gate guns blazing. Too bad it ends as a misfire.
  45. That, after all these years of playing hard-to-get, the novel has made it to the screen in the form of a plodding, tone-deaf, overripe, overheated Oscar-baiting telenovela smacks of just the kind of deliciously ironic prank an 80-year-old Colombian Nobel laureate could really get behind.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In a movie where the timing of a squeeze bunt is presented as the thing of beauty that it is, and the eradication of small-town culture in a changing world is a genuine concern, the simplifying countrified morality of The Final Season is the real crying shame.
  46. Jelski is a skilled filmmaker, and her sense of reality is so uncompromising that, even when tempered by a touch of dark humor, her film is a grim, hard-to-take business.
  47. It's difficult to get into its "What would I do?" vibe, though, through so thick and transparent a barrier of contrivances.
  48. Cirque is a harmless bit of fluff with a very cool look, but there's just never enough bite.
  49. All three actors turn in solid, committed performances despite physically limiting surroundings, even as you're left with the inescapable feeling that this raft has sailed.
  50. Seasoned pros Allen and LaPaglia are terrific as longtime mates forged together in an unexpected game of cat and mouse.
  51. There’s an absence of character details that could make the central romance of Vincent N Roxxy more believable. Luckily for the film, the palpable chemistry between Hirsch and Kravitz imbues the relationship with realism, even if we don’t have much else to go on.
  52. This is the latest addition to a new type of drug movie -- one that exploits addiction for a lot of self-adoring showboating.
  53. The surfeit of familiar faces is a poor substitute for Steinbeck’s psychological astuteness, his rich understanding of the way human beings respond, individually and collectively, when they are backed into a corner.
  54. The movie may be preaching to the choir -- and every inch of it feels like a sermon -- but it's a pretty decent homily, heartfelt and strongly delivered by a committed cast.
  55. If anything, watching the film is like attending an old-style Southern tent revival - you want to believe in the fight against all that fire and brimstone. Heck, you want to join the righteous brigade. But when the lights go up and the fever dies down, it feels more like you've witnessed a show than a real showdown with the devil.
  56. A greatest-hits collection of plot devices and emotional cues from such films as "Gorillas in the Mist" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," making it something of a trained chimp, one that apes a lot of good movies while making itself look ridiculous.
  57. Such unabashed ludicrousness can be fun, in a brainless sort of way, especially when it's coupled with lots of sudden defibrillator jolts underscored by crashing cymbals. If there's one thing The Forgotten has, it's plenty of cardiac moments.
  58. That the acting is stilted and that the filmmakers and especially Pla take themselves so seriously serves to make Eternal deliriously silly camp fare.
  59. This sour spin on "My Best Friend's Wedding" (crossed with a pale dose of "The Big Chill") proves unsatisfying not only because of its unlikable characters and often contrived conflicts but for the thoroughly implausible bride and groom at its core.
  60. The actors gamely keep up their spirits, but the male characters are too one-dimensional and the female characters too bizarrely divorced from reality to be at all engaging.
  61. This is pretty unremarkable stuff that has little to excite outside of its nicely done twirl-and-dip sections, choreographed here by West Coast swing dancing guru Robert Royston.
  62. It's so predictable in its beats and pedestrian in its execution that a viewer can slip in and out of consciousness, confident she won't miss much and will know exactly where in the story she is when she awakes.
  63. Dante's Peak is customary for the genre, with convincing special effects sharing screen time with standard-issue characters and situations.
  64. While the plot is a non-starter, the margins of Gold and co-director Tammy Caplan's debut feature are scattered with other real-life magicians who make quarters vanish every time our attention does the same.
  65. If only Spread were half as entertaining as a Van Halen video.
  66. The film has all the emotional resonance of a dog-themed novelty coffee-table book. Adorable, but ultimately forgettable.
  67. Clocking in at a self-important two hours and 59 minutes, this elongated romantic fable is impossible to sustain at a running time better suited to the fall of the Roman empire.
  68. A few memorable shots don’t offer enough justification to watch a film that’s not scary, rarely exciting and never as engrossing a puzzle as it means to be.
  69. The Grace Card becomes increasingly involving and assured, yet when the inevitable moment of truth arrives for the coming-apart Mac, the film lapses into melodrama, contrivance and improbability.
  70. Strictly for fans only.
  71. An old-style potboiler about desperate cops in dire straits that overcooks both its story and its stars.
  72. Despite appealing features, including stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks (who morphs his patented affability into casually sinister, Jobs-ian salesmanship), The Circle never builds up a head of steam as either dark drama, modern satire or dystopian thriller.
  73. The film raises more questions than it could possibly hope to answer fully, devolving from an intriguing look at an enticingly obscure issue into a more broadly based mess.
  74. What Wingard has delivered is a fitfully entertaining, clearly compromised hybrid of action, horror and science-fiction.
  75. While everyone involved with Backtrack is a polished pro, the movie's tastefulness gets in the way of the suspense.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Complacent yet competent animation kids will enjoy despite its mundane nature.
  76. However caricatured a vision of female empowerment, Lara Croft exercises an irresistible tug not just on the adolescent male imagination but the 12-year-old female imagination as well.
  77. Like its predecessor, it's Hollywood hokum at its most glamorous and effective.
  78. The thriller with a promising premise fails to deliver.
  79. A sad farewell to the promising Project Greenlight concept, this Feast leaves viewers with nothing satisfying to tuck into.
  80. It's got enough formulaic flair to make it a guilty-pleasure cousin of seaborne nailbiters "Knife in the Water" and "Dead Calm."
  81. With Snow Flower, the filmmaker is forever torn between two childhoods, two adulthoods, two distinct political and social eras, and two complex relationships, unable to make both equally relevant.
  82. Granted, there’s not much reason to watch this Whisky Galore! so long as the 1949 version still exists. But it’s clear that everyone involved with this production had genuine affection for the material and for the very idea of old Scotland as a genteel utopia populated by kindly tippler
  83. By turns warmly sentimental, serial-killer sinister and science-fiction fantastical, The Lovely Bones was an unlikely book to achieve worldwide success. In the film version, those mismatched elements come back to haunt the story, so to speak, making the final product more hit-and-miss than unblemished triumph.
  84. The movie is over the top and garish. Its transitions often are sloppy and crude. But it brandishes its excesses like a loud, retro suit.
  85. If Welles was unhappy at the prospect of the human race splitting in two, he probably wouldn't be too crazy with his great-grandson's movie splitting up in pretty much the same way.
  86. Not even a sincere and heroic effort by Nicolas Cage can redeem the film's essential phoniness.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Like the song, the movie is bouncy and catchy but disposable pop material.
  87. It's nice, once in a while, to come upon a movie that knows it's nothing special, proves it and doesn't care so long as its target audience feels good enough to have a refreshing beverage or two afterward.
  88. You find Went to Coney Island sticking with you long after it's over.
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. As it zigs and zags, its plot unravels rather than tightens, and its curveball of an ending is bound to leave audiences feeling as double-crossed as some of the characters.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie's mild-mannerness is especially disappointing when compared with such documentaries as "The War Tapes" and the excellent "Home Front," vivid and incisive explorations of post-Iraq anger and disillusionment that have gone largely unseen by a disinterested public. If Americans are suffering from Iraq fatigue, Home of the Brave will do little to rouse them.
  90. The difference between the "Phantasms" is the difference between "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010." Coscarelli's sequel is a fast, entertaining fright show, but it's not inspired in the way the original was.
  91. It's too little Grier too late, but it's also fairly satisfying to watch.
  92. Unfortunately, Garner doesn't have as much screen time as her prominence in the advertising would indicate: Daredevil has a hard time staying alive when she's not on the scene.
  93. Even when bits go thud, there's a brittle, unsentimental wit about kin's inexplicable tug that's hard to ignore, and the leads — game for some surprisingly sublime bits of physical comedy — eventually wear one's anti-charm defenses down.
  94. This brief, loosely-knit film never builds any empathy or tension.

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