Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,137 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 House of Sand and Fog
Lowest review score: 0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Score distribution:
10137 movie reviews
  1. While Extract is mildly amusing and a slice of a mostly working-class world that doesn't make it into comedy that much anymore, it's not completely convincing as a movie.
  2. The Kite Runner is a house divided against itself. The Marc Forster-directed version of the Khaled Hosseini novel does one part of the story so well that its success underlines what's lacking in what remains.
  3. The result is solid and efficient, if unadventurous, illustrating both the lure and the limitations of comic book extravaganzas.
  4. Not ultimately original enough to sustain its many horrific images.
  5. If the pacing flags a bit en route, enough vivid imagery remains to hold interest, with Solomonov proving a smart, appealing and personally invested guide.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The problem is that Antal and Metallica took two different movies — a fine live-band document and a supernatural end-of-days romp — and smashed them together to make both of them more boring.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lee's attempt at making a romantic comedy that black audiences can enjoy without having to reimagine themselves as Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
    • Los Angeles Times
  6. A standard-issue Hollywood family film about a boy and his dog growing up in a Southern small town during World War II.
  7. It starts out like a house afire, but by the time it's over we're the ones feeling burned. A slick heist tale with more twists than sense, this is one movie that ends up outsmarting itself.
  8. Transformers' multiple earthling story lines are tedious and oddly lifeless, doing little besides marking time until those big toys fill the screen.
  9. Stabile keeps his affecting story hurtling forward with such grit and integrity it's easy to forgive its loaded setup and occasional lapses in detail and logic.
  10. A one-sided attack piece like FrackNation doesn't add much to the conversation.
  11. The visuals and concepts presented here may be compelling and vital, but director Luc Jacquet (“March of the Penguins”) weaves them together with too little urgency, propulsion and, ultimately, unique sense of purpose.
  12. Although the pulp energy that Blomkamp brings to this material makes it consistently watchable, the film doesn't feel as singular as we would have hoped.
  13. A kung fu kick of a film that hits more than it misses.
  14. Both too unfocused and overly familiar. It has enough comic energy to generate some chuckles, but even when we laugh we're always wondering why the jokes aren't funnier. [5 Mar 1999]
    • Los Angeles Times
  15. It's exasperating -- a near-parody of bad French comedy.
  16. Tsui will try anything once in 3-D. Splatters of blood travel in bullet-time, and the requisite ridiculousness — like action scenes with skis and zip-lines — characterize Tsui's work. But bookending the story with the 2015-set prologue and epilogue turns out to be his most inspired touch.
  17. Penning's feature directing debut, which he co-wrote, has visual flair but lacks the tightly plotted storytelling this type of film requires. Relying on mood isn't nearly enough to make the outcome compelling.
  18. Any sort of new insight into comedy's darker themes, to say nothing of life's, eludes Funny People. Instead Sandler and Rogen and the rest are left to wander aimlessly, with tedious comedy gigs, an even more tedious faux sitcom and relatively vapid relationships masquerading as a plot.
  19. The Wolverine is an erratic affair, more lumbering than compelling, an ambitious film with its share of effective moments that stubbornly refuses to catch fire.
  20. Long-winded and ultimately uninvolving.
  21. A persuasive thriller for most of its length, it stumbles in its attempt to become an upscale version of "Death Wish" and other vigilante dramas and ends up derailing with a soft thud.
  22. Overall, the film lacks cohesion and a true point of view. Further muddling the film's meaning is a voice-over attributed to Jiang Qing, which we learn at the end is fictionalized.
  23. James and Beth have fun in a grocery store pretending to be different characters meeting in the aisles. As they learn, sometimes the moment works, sometimes it doesn't. The same can be said for this unfailingly modest film.
  24. Yes, some of the individual stunts and action set pieces temporarily hold our interest...but the story itself is not convincing on its own terms, playing like a series of boxes (Bond asking for a martini shaken not stirred) that need to be checked off and forgotten.
  25. Directed in bold, energetic strokes by Taylor Hackford, "Devil" is fine disreputable fun at first, a stylish and watchable hoot. But then its tone changes, the plot goes gimmicky and bombastic speeches about the nature of good and evil clutter the airwaves and confuse the issue.
  26. The ending, which unnecessarily veers toward lumpy, overwrought melodrama, undoes the scrappy elegance the film previously displays in fits and starts.
  27. With the mixing of the sprawling family tree with geopolitical imbroglios already proving daunting for viewers, the filmmaker exacerbates the confusion by eschewing a linear chronology.
  28. Watching it was like opening the wrong gift —- that's not my size, and I don't like blue, but thank you, Warner Bros., for even bothering to shop for me. Most of the other studios forgot my birthday.
  29. A cheerful summer lark that briefly achieves comic liftoff but peters out well before its overblown Times Square climax, it proudly demonstrates that mediocrity — whether in the hunting of malevolent apparitions or the making of a mainstream comedy — is not, and never has been, an exclusively male pursuit.
  30. Greenaway's boundary-pushing, breathlessly in-your-face approach begins to take its toll on viewer patience.
  31. +1
    In trying to say everything, Plus One reveals it doesn't have much to say at all.
  32. The film aims to be a gentle comedy (there are even some songs approaching musical numbers) with serious undercurrents. It stumbles most when reaching for its bigger themes.
  33. The remarkable things about the new film, adapted by Vicente Leñero and directed by Carlos Carrera, are how smoothly it has been transposed to today's Mexico and how far good acting and skillful directing have gone toward tempering those melodramatic roots.
  34. Though Overnight seems to be cautioning us about the excesses of filmmaker ego, it isn't always consistent.
  35. It suffers from a marked lack of narrative energy and a regrettable surfeit of clichéd characterization.
  36. A bland ensemble drama with an unremarkable script that somehow inspired actress Mary Stuart Masterson to make her feature-directing debut. The material doesn't serve her well -- and vice versa.
  37. White's film is a love letter not just to Kelly and the Beatles, but also to postwar working-class Liverpool.
  38. The writing-directing brothers are usually interested in the small stuff of everyday, but perhaps they've gone a little too small here.
  39. Despite its gorgeous soundtrack, historical sweep and wealth of archival material, (the film) is weakened by sluggish pacing and an overly detailed, increasingly narrow focus.
  40. Fans will be thrilled that the auteur hasn't missed a beat with Wild City, although he appears to be making the same concessions to the Chinese market as his contemporaries.
  41. I feel just rotten about this, but I'm afraid I've outgrown James.
  42. Squanders an appealing performance from Costner.
  43. Strongly acted by a highly competent ensemble.
  44. The result is a lopsided, visually uninspired film that works best when it eschews the complex numbers-crunching of its financial industry pundits and whistle-blowers to profile the everyday victims of the crisis.
  45. Though it is a vivid, promising piece of work from first-time director Ernest R. Dickerson, it also shows how difficult it's becoming to deal with this material in any kind of fresh manner.
  46. There’s plenty of intelligence and atmosphere in play here.... But the prevailing tone is of pressure applied and nothing released, a genre exercise that plays as educational rather than exhilarating.
  47. The result is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser that will strike Chen's admirers as a heartfelt but decidedly minor effort.
  48. Sometimes the facts can get in the way of the drama, and that's the central problem here. That sense of needing to be true to the record is reflected in an overwhelmed screenplay.
  49. The Last Five Years is not unpleasant to watch — the leads are delightful — but as a movie experience, it's not especially satisfying either.
  50. The White Countess takes place in a fascinating time and place, rife with conflict and turmoil. But to watch Fiennes float (and Richardson trudge) through it all, absorbed in themselves and their own private misery, is to wish they'd started falling earlier, if only to knock some sense into them.
  51. Moody, mannered and supremely irritating, Christophe Honoré's Dans Paris plays like a pastiche of French cinema clichés through the ages.
  52. Let's hope Romero is not tempted to go for a quartet, for at this point sheer gruesomeness overwhelms his ideas and even his dynamic visuals. He would, in fact, have been better off not having tried for a third installment. [04 Oct 1985, p.4]
    • Los Angeles Times
  53. Politics recede in the face of the realities of Young's life, and Spiro and Donahue would have succeeded in making the same point had they omitted all but his day-to-day existence. Together, however, they comprise a powerful indictment of the tactical politics that led to the invasion and a heartbreaking account of one man's living with the aftermath.
  54. Ultimately, it's too self-conscious of its role in the marketplace and too hamstrung by its source material to risk being honest at the expense of being liked.
  55. Driver, who steadfastly carries Rosina/Mary through every stormy stage of her self-discovery, is consistently better than the picture, as is Wilkinson.
  56. Tentpoles are rarely guilty of overreaching, but Tomorrowland has a tendency to feel out of control, a film that is finally more ambitious than accomplished.
  57. Tumbledown sees its good intentions undermined by cloying sitcom conventions.
  58. Garcia and Farmiga have such an easy, natural chemistry that their on-screen sparkle helps mitigate the film's weaknesses. At others times, it serves to underscore what might have been. It's a feckless conundrum.
  59. Rademacher's vigorous commitment to making the documentary, as well as to his large, close-knit family, deserves respect.
  60. It also points to one of the movie's most nagging problems: Stuck somewhere between personal memoir and universal truth, Fred Won't Move Out ends up being neither.
  61. The script (written by Susan Minot from a story by Bertolucci) suffers from the same tired blood as his characters, and his direction is often ponderously self-conscious.
  62. RED
    Red can't stop itself from trying too hard to be hip. It's not that it doesn't have effective moments, it's that it doesn't have as many as it thinks it does. The film's inescapable air of glib self-satisfaction is not only largely unearned, it's downright irritating.
  63. The feature debut from Irish writer-director Ciarán Foy, Citadel attempts to transform mundane anxieties into the stuff of a horror film. But the initial tension of the premise dissipates like a slow leak.
  64. Rules Don't Apply, as its name implies, is a movie intent on going its own way. It's not without its charms, but there aren't enough of them and they don't readily cohere.
  65. Burger knows how to shoot and this is one feature where the dingy digital imagery arguably makes sense, but it's too bad he didn't work harder at finding something more original with which to test his talent than the JFK assassination and the gimmick of the phony nonfiction film.
  66. If you're willing to suspend a barrel or two of disbelief, then Happy Accidents has its moments.
  67. (Mamet) backslides to a system that has his speeches read in a stylized way. The result is language that sounds unhappily artificial and characters who behave like they are less than real.
  68. Illustrates what happens when a viable premise is spoiled by sheer preposterousness.
  69. The difficulty is that Brassed Off operates at an emotional pitch that starts at a crescendo and never relents--rendering almost everything equally inconsequential.
  70. Winds up feeling scattershot and unfocused. Rather than capturing punk brattiness maturing into wary adulthood, director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins might have been better off simply making a film solely about Lindberg.
  71. In Ashok's reunion with the love of his life (Mary Steenburgen) — the chance to see her after many years is the true reason for his trip — the film taps into a tender wistfulness, Steenburgen making her character's every glance and hesitation resonate with emotion.
  72. There are a few chuckles to be found in Bill, but this is decidedly more "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" than "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
  73. With its shrewd mixture of paranoia and the paranormal, the way its elaborate mythology combines enigmatic phenomena with potent cabals intent on running the world, The X-Files experience resembles "Twin Peaks" crossed with "The Twilight Zone."
  74. A feature-length lampoon needs more than rubbery performances, so-so silliness and the constant thrum of meta humor to make it a consistently amusing variation on a theme.
  75. There's no freshness here, no sense of newness or discovery. In its place, there's an earnest desire not to drop the ball, a determination to risk as little as possible in keeping this golden egg from cracking wide open.
  76. An emotional runaway of a film that carries neither the insight nor the uplift to make the weight of its dark journey worth it.
  77. Beyond some well-observed sibling interaction, the mutual effort of four writers is mutually uninspired. Whoever wrote the episodes between hot-to-trot Jojo (Taylor) and her balky boyfriend Bill (D'Onofrio) should be ashamed. [21 Oct 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  78. Closer in texture and consistency to individually wrapped American cheese than good, tangy English cheddar. But even humble plastic-wrapped cheese has its virtues and so does this film.
  79. The great failing of The Iceman is not in giving us a monster, but in not making us care.
  80. Thanks to Ifans, though, this remains a watchable film, one that, perhaps like Len himself, falls short of its potential.
  81. Unfortunately, this well-acted cautionary tale is hampered by a lack of visual finesse and a script in need of a narrative rethink and a dialogue polish.
  82. Make no mistake, the high-flying stunts in director Renny Harlin's film are definitely state of the art, and while they're going on, the film works up a serious level of excitement. But as soon as the action stops and the inevitable talking begins, Cliffhanger falls to earth with a considerable thud. [28 May 1993 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  83. What director Caryn Waechter does best is artfully and lyrically capture moments of teenage abandon where the girls feel free, self-possessed and full of friendship love.
  84. Though unevenly told and at times too fanciful for its own good, Electrick Children marks an intriguing feature debut for its risk-taking writer-director, Rebecca Thomas.
  85. A provocation, a coup de théâtre and three hours of tedious experimentation.
  86. No one is likely to disagree with the basic correctness of the movie’s conclusions, though you may well object to the process by which it arrives at them.
  87. The genre's recent past has set the bar quite high, and Treasure Planet doesn't quite make it over.
  88. The problem rather is the wholesale embracing of what has become de rigueur in animation, the practice of treating major characters as if they were stand-up comics working a room in Las Vegas.
  89. Like husbands who think that carrying in the groceries is really pitching in, Lucas and Moore have their hearts in the right place, but their efforts have little real insight or impact.
  90. If you can get past the rough patches - a slightly sluggish start and a coda that feels like one punch line too many - there is some sinister fun to be had in watching Kinnear skating toward disaster on ice that is very thin indeed.
  91. Unlike the teeming world living between the lines in Munro's story, there is not nearly enough in Hateship Loveship to keep you invested.
  92. They may not do enough to alter the climate change film landscape, but Klein and those impassioned protesters provide something that has been in short supply in the predecessors — namely, a modicum of hope for the future.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If Biraben had devoted more energy to the human contours of his story, its metaphorical implications would have sorted themselves out. Instead, he herds his characters toward a foregone conclusion, reducing both their scope and his story's power.
  93. This largely Spanish-language film brings on the waterworks because its core story is undeniably affecting. The whole movie, however, would be more convincing if the elements around that vital core were more multidimensional and less contrived.
  94. Director and co-writer Thomas Lilti's mistake, though, is thinking the bland Benjamin's coming of age concerns are worth so much screen time. The sturdier character study in Hippocrates is of soulful, beleaguered Algerian-born Abdel (Reda Kateb).
  95. If director Emmanuelle Bercot's feature isn't always dramatically satisfying, it is fueled by the fine, flinty chemistry of Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel and newcomer Rod Paradot.
  96. The movie both embraces and questions the romance of heroism, a provocative paradox that would have had more dramatic oomph if the screenplay were less staid, the characters more fully fleshed.
  97. The result is as sugary as a fatal toothache, though it's hard to hate a film that merely wants to give the world a hug.

Top Trailers