Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 7,511 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Red Riding Trilogy
Lowest review score: 0 The Cell
Score distribution:
7,511 movie reviews
  1. I found myself repeatedly on the edge of tears over its course. It is a relatively short but luxurious film.
  2. There's a muscular sincerity to this movie, a power and spread to its imagery that triumphs over the occasional candied purple patches or strained plot twists. [16 Jul 1993 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  3. A haunting, immersive portrait of a romance between two men, one that's marked - and marred - by both drug dependency and emotional codependency. Not unlike last year's gay-themed drama, "Weekend," it proves an important and mature piece of business.
  4. A transfixing, emotionally complex Israeli drama.
  5. The film is a rigorously thorough biography and an impassioned accolade. Temple spends as much time on Strummer's life before and after the Clash as he does charting the band's powerful musical and political influence.
  6. Swinton is one of the finest actresses working in contemporary cinema, but Guadagnino, who developed the project with her in mind, has created a film that literally luxuriates in her talents.
  7. The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction saga has been a hit on the festival circuit, winning top documentary prizes at Sundance for Sweden's Bendjelloul. What sets Searching for Sugar Man apart, though, is the way in which the filmmaker preserves a sense of mystery in the telling.
  8. It's Stevens, as the all-American cover-model mercenary both friendly and fatal, who gives The Guest its literally killer personality.
  9. A wholly unexpected and ultimately gratifying experience.
  10. This masterful celebration starts off slowly, even uncertainly, giving no hint of the rich and elegant exploration of love, jealousy and animal attraction it will in all good time become.
  11. Directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz and winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, this is the second superb Israeli documentary (after "The Gatekeepers") to come to town in less than a month and deal fearlessly with an aspect of that country's legal and political system.
  12. This is a taut psychological study, based on a true story, of the complexities of personal power relationships that begins with the kind of shattering revelation that would be the conclusion of most films.
  13. Emotional and analytical by turn, The Case Against 8 is a thoroughly engaging documentary.
  14. Not just any kind of trash, it's high-art trash, a kind of "When Tutu Goes Psycho" that so prizes hysteria over sanity that it's worth your life to tell when its characters are hallucinating and when they're not.
  15. Though it has its charms, Monsters, Inc. does not measure up. As a childhood entertainment it is certainly fine, but Pixar's celebrated lure for adults is largely absent.
  16. It takes two to be sisters, two to have a rivalry, and two exceptional actresses to turn Hilary and Jackie into a compelling look at the most intimate and troubling of family dynamics.
  17. Drive is a Los Angeles neo-noir, a neon-lit crime story made with lots of visual style. It's a film in love with both traditional noir mythology and ultra-modern violence, a combination that is not ideal.
  18. The film is as faithful to its subject as perhaps any film biography has been. As Eastwood said, Parker was a paradoxical character, both self-destructive and full of life, and the movie, simultaneously dark and exhilarating, takes that as its theme. [22 Sep 1988, p. 1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  19. A film that is genuinely mind-expanding, an exhilarating intellectual gantlet that tells a remarkable human story.
  20. 28 Weeks Later lacks the streamlined thrust of its predecessor but makes for compelling, adrenaline-fueled viewing just the same.
  21. Above all else expresses the timeless impact of Lily Bart's plight.
  22. To watch this film, in short, can be a transforming experience.
  23. The singular achievement of Jonathan Karsh's graceful and rigorous documentary is that he enables his audiences to see his heroine's family through her very clear but always loving eyes.
  24. It would be a mistake to think that if you've seen one fish up close and personal you've seen them all. Deep Sea 3D is a total-immersion undersea adventure, in which the oceans' glories are on vivid display in three dimensions.
  25. An impeccably acted character drama revolving around a mother and her teenage twin sons, Private Property shows how strong and how terrifying the bonds within families can be. Directed by Belgium's Joachim Lafosse, it etches the line between love and hate with a savagery that is almost unprecedented.
  26. Control keeps you riveted in ways that "24 Hour Party People" doesn't, primarily because of the investment of craft and conviction by all concerned.
  27. The Boys is so heartfelt that it elicits a sense that complex creative relationships may ultimately elude explication, leaving Jeffrey Sherman to speculate that the friction between his father and his uncle was what brought their songs alive.
  28. Intelligent, involving and conspicuously adult, Starting Out in the Evening is almost shocking in its distinctiveness, its ability to create high drama from an unlikely source.
  29. Impeccably made, uncompromising in its implacable vision of the deranging power of love, sex and controlled substances, this savage and staggering film knows how to take our breath away.
  30. One terrific concert film.
  31. The Last of the Unjust, like Lanzmann himself at his advanced age, is ungainly but powerful.
  32. Exquisitely made with a mesmerizing sense of style, it shows the wonderful things that can happen when traditional material is both handled with care and adroitly updated.
  33. All of this romantic back and forth unfolds gradually and in charming ensemble style. As the characters think about seducing each other, as they inevitably complicate their lives without being able to help themselves, the film is simultaneously seducing us.
  34. It could have done with fewer plot devices, but it is ultimately far more satisfying than countless less ambitious and risky films.
  35. Writer-director Jay Bulger combines warts-heavy interview footage of Baker with vivid archival bits, concert clips, jaunty animation and chats with various musical greats to paint a lively portrait of yet another brilliant but wildly self-destructive artist.
  36. Intimate in the telling, sweeping in the implications, Loznitsa has created an unusually incisive film.
  37. A documentary that's admirably frank about the difficulties of insightfully portraying such a widely lauded — and subtly cagey and habitually self-effacing — figure.
  38. As David Rakoff once wrote, "Youth isn't wasted on the young. It is perpetrated on the young." Exactly how is brilliantly captured by Andrew Bujalski in his debut feature, Funny Ha Ha.
  39. A transcendent, transporting experience, a trance movie that casts a major league spell by going deeply into a monastic world that lives largely without words.
  40. The movie is among the filmmaker's most emotionally affecting.
  41. The film doesn't always follow up on its more interesting issues: safety, technique, financial hardship, even the sport's history. But the emotional dynamics of its trio of formative hopefuls, and their touching relationships with the parents or guardians who work hard at enabling their passion, set a solid pace.
  42. Del Toro is almost alone in his ability to re-create on screen the wide-eyed exhilaration and disturbing grotesqueness that is the legacy of reading comics on the page.
  43. With her new film, the poignant and funny Please Give, Holofcener is at the top of her game.
  44. Truly, there can be nothing as complex as the simplest human relationships, and nothing as satisfying as a film that understands that as this one does.
  45. Lumumba is potent stuff. Complex, powerful, intensely dramatic.
  46. Im recounts the painter's life in bold strokes rather than with the literalist's painstaking detail, and in the process tells us more about the mysteries of genius than a bushel full of quotidian fact.
  47. In a superb cast of mostly unknowns -- with the exception of Matthew Modine and Dorain Harewood -- D'Onofrio, who put on 60 pounds for this pivotal role, and Ermey are exceptional. [26 June 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  48. At first Tabu is intriguing. But the enigma gets wearing as the director's attention is divided between the homage to the silent film era and the film's underlying exploration of the regret of old age.
  49. De Bont and his team have turned in a visually sophisticated piece of mayhem that makes the implausible plausible and keeps the thrills coming. [10Jun1994 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  50. Seven years in the making, it demands to be experienced not just because of the good it does but because of how unexpectedly good, even buoyant, it makes you feel.
  51. The film captures the particular listlessness of youth in summer, the passed pipes and lazy swims in the gorge or the backyard pool. The adolescent posturing is equal parts toughness and vulnerability.
  52. The immediacy with which it bears witness to injustice is powerful and affecting, as are the images of joy he captures amid the burning olive trees.
  53. Tarantino's palpable enthusiasm, his unapologietic passion for what he's created, reinvigorates this venerable plot and, mayhem aside, makes it involving for longer than you might suspect. [27 Oct 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  54. A very small film but a sweet one, an easygoing venture of the feel-good variety. What sets it apart is something even larger pictures often lack: an excellent performance by its star.
  55. A seamless model of form and content. (My only quibble is the poor quality of the digital video, which doesn't do justice to Johnson's work.)
  56. With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
  57. This is a film that insinuates itself deeply into our awareness. It's that rare pulp story with something on its mind, an unnerving, socially conscious thriller with a killer sense of narrative drive.
  58. An art film to the core. If it's an epic, it's an intimate, dream-time epic, an elliptical, episodic film, dependent on images and reveries, that treats war as the ultimate nightmare, the one you just cannot awaken from no matter how hard you try.
  59. It leaves you stirred and uplifted not only by its music but also by the determination and courage of the people who sang and danced it on the way to a freer life.
  60. Charming and outlandish by turns, this misfit love story of disconnected people trying to find one another in an antagonistic world is a comedy of discomfort and rage that turns unexpectedly sweet and pure.
  61. This is a gentle comedy, both funny and melancholy, about a timid soul who discovers the necessity of embracing life in all its absurdity and unlooked-for joy.
  62. Not Yet Begun to Fight is barely an hour long, but it justifies a theatrical release with a lyrical meditation on nature and war.
  63. One of the truly heartening international political stories of recent years.
  64. Watching this film feels like a genesis moment — of sci-fi fable, of filmmaking, of performance — with all the ambiguity and excitement that implies.
  65. The Counterfeiters demonstrates that no matter how many Holocaust stories the movies tell, there are always new and unexpected ones waiting to be revealed.
  66. After the Wedding would never pretend to have any answers, but in hands this skilled the act of exploration itself couldn't be more illuminating, or more dramatic.
  67. Potent, persuasive and hypnotic, The Dark Knight Rises has us at its mercy. A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch, this dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.
  68. It's the film's glowing visual qualities, a striking performance by Denzel Washington and the elegant control Carl Franklin has over it all that create the most exotic crime entertainment of the season.
  69. With the ambitious and ominous The Devil's Backbone, Del Toro rises to a new level of accomplishment, adding history and politics to his distinctive blend.
  70. A film of simplicity and power, beautifully shot and effortlessly acted by nonprofessionals.
  71. There isn't a single performance in Midnight Run that doesn't have a pulse, that doesn't show the actors at their best or near-best, especially De Niro. [20 July 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
  72. Makes for gripping, merciless drama.
  73. What you see is pretty much what you get. Fortunately, what we see is often vivid and lovely.
  74. The film, which plays like "The Help" minus the safety net of nostalgia, provides a powerful reminder that as we all carry history with us, it is still possible for each of us to change it.
  75. Though its title suggests an exposé on Dodger Dogs, the movie is the moving, inspirational account of John Peterson's discovery of an almost divine calling in the land beneath his feet.
  76. This one-of-a-kind film cycle has become as comfortable and reliable as an old shoe, providing a degree of dependability that's becoming increasingly rare.
  77. Concerned with fathers and sons, expectations and dreams, ideals and reality, this completely engrossing film gets more involving as it goes on.
    • Los Angeles Times
  78. Has both bark and bite. Its low-key but sharp and amusing sense of humor is a nice fit with the frenetic world of competitive dog shows.
  79. Too short by half, Lost Boys of Sudan affords frustratingly little by way of real analysis and history. But it does introduce us to two extraordinary young men whose faith in this country is almost as unbearably sad as their stories.
  80. Anderson, who makes as impressive a directing debut as has been seen in some time, creates a perfectly modulated mystery that doesn't even feel like one. It's a character play, and Hall, Reilly and Paltrow are so convincingly damaged they take on the properties of fine china.
  81. Lemmons' command of cinematic style, her appreciation of the chimerical aspects of life and her ability to inspire actors to give remarkably faceted portrayals mark Eve's Bayou a first film of exceptional promise.
  82. Na captures at once the fragility of the human body and the deep-rooted darkness of the human soul. The Yellow Sea is easily one of the films of the year for underserved action-heads.
  83. It feels like a blessing to have this production at all and we are fortunate it turned out as well as it did.
  84. Buoyed by an unreserved humanism and a cheerful sense of the absurd.
  85. The Catherine Breillat-directed period piece is an extreme cinematic pleasure, a well-told yarn of merciless desire.
  86. Insomnia shows an equally welcome ability: a gift of creating intelligent, engrossing popular entertainment.
  87. It's all terribly tortured, often laugh-out-loud, absurdly funny and, as with all of Maddin's movies, conveyed through images that are as lush and beautifully over the top as the story's emotions.
  88. Leisurely yet intense (Sayles does the editing himself), Lone Star reveals a director whose mastery does nothing but increase. Perhaps now his audience will as well.
  89. What Live-in Maid offers is a pitch-perfect observation of life on a continent where forms are adhered to, distances aren't really kept, and your best friend is the person who knows to pour the cheap domestic whiskey into the empty bottle of imported stuff before your bridge buddies show up to judge you.
  90. Epic and intimate, historical and contemporary, moving and thought-provoking, the impressive The Princess of Montpensier has something for all and sundry but especially for those who like to believe that films can be as boldly intelligent as they are entertaining.
  91. Zodiac is primarily a complex character study, despite the film's grim and gruesome subject matter. It's a role reversal of sorts for a director who normally emphasizes the brutal tension in his movies.
  92. In its gently atmospheric camerawork and nicely underplayed moments between Mike and Chris, Resolution manages to keep its eerier moments surprising and its emotional life arresting.
  93. Mr. Death, which is shot through with one dark absurdity after another, emerges as a cautionary tale if ever there was one.
  94. Although there is real pain and suffering in It All Starts Today, it is too impassioned, too brisk and too embracing of life and human foibles to be depressing.
  95. Gathering its forces slowly, this careful, thoughtful film, quietly but deeply moving, is dramatic without seeming to be.
  96. Ramsay reaches out boldly with a film that is as unsettling as it is minimalist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a highly enjoyable spree that doesn't add up to a whole lot by the end. But you don't necessarily want it to add up to anything -- that's part of its charm. [24 Sept 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
  97. Denis and Testud, in a wondrous collaboration of a gifted director and equally gifted actress, succeed in making Christine a tragic figure.
  98. If you believe that bringing the questionable virtues of "American Idol" to Afghanistan would do that beleaguered nation no favors, the remarkable documentary Afghan Star will change your mind in an instant.
  99. Mysterious and original.

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