Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,464 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 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Wild Reeds
Lowest review score: 0 Two Weeks to Go
Score distribution:
10464 movie reviews
  1. If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.
  2. This is no sappy portrait of a saint: Mino is tenacious, critical and defensive, and in one memorable scene, a colleague tries to get her to face reality about what the real world holds for their students after graduation.
  3. These despairing, ambiguous pieces are always emotionally unsettling, and that is due in part to Kieslowski's complete assurance as a director. His spare, minimal visual preferences dominate each episode. The camera work is fluid and precise, and the films are so rich they seem to be feature-length though they're not.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Citizen Kane does occasionally sink to dullness because of its reiterations, notwithstanding it can be classified as, in a number of aspects, one of the most arresting pictures ever produced.
  4. Overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood. And its deaths, like that of Hotspur in "Henry IV, Part I," continue to shock no matter how often we've watched them coming. [16 Mar 1997, Calendar, p.7]
    • Los Angeles Times
  5. The film is a glittering triumph of personal expression at its most elegant and opulent.
  6. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film.
  7. Seems every bit the masterpiece it was when first released by Paramount. In this dazzling film, Bertolucci manages to combine the bravura style of Fellini, the acute sense of period of Visconti and the fervent political commitment of Elio Petri -- and, better still, a lack of self-indulgence.
  8. Moonlight is magic. So intimate you feel like you're trespassing on its characters souls, so transcendent it's made visual and emotional poetry out of intensely painful experience, it's a film that manages to be both achingly familiar and unlike anything we've seen before.
  9. As someone who was part of the Resistance, Melville knew enough to neither melodramatically glorify nor cynically devalue the heroism he presents. This is people doing what needed to be done, Army of Shadows says, this is the way it was.
  10. Beautifully crafted, movingly acted, still involving and entertaining, this is just the kind of film people are talking about when they say they don't make them like this anymore.
  11. With Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro has made his most accomplished film to date, a dark and disturbing fairy tale for adults that's been thought out to the nth degree and resonates with the irresistible inevitability of a timeless myth.
  12. By focusing on the personal side of the city game, Hoop Dreams tells us more about what works and what doesn't in our society than the proverbial shelf of sociological studies. And it is thoroughly entertaining in the bargain.
  13. This one you see for the pure love of great movie making. Its tough-minded, unsentimental writing and ferociously brilliant acting--across the board and especially at the top--manage to give a pretty good idea of what Christy Brown, the Dublin-born writer, poet and painter, was all about.
  14. Beyond the timelessness of the story itself, the film is beautifully shot and though early in Godard’s career already showcased his ability to capture emotional intensity in the very way he frames the shots.
  15. One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against, it's no musty museum piece but a driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom.
  16. The older it gets, and we with it, the more we're able to see in it. As few American films have, Gone With the Wind succeeds both as historical epic and as intimate drama.
  17. This is a film with a commitment to reality unlike any we're used to seeing.
  18. A director in command of everything from the watchful eyes of his actors, to the beauty of a misty morning light, to the heart-stopping vectors of arrows and swords bursting across a widescreen frame, Hu creates cinema that's the definition of kineticism.
  19. Director Wong is at his best in this rerelease of the 1991 film.
  20. Ran
    Ran, which translates as "chaos" or "turmoil," is at once brisk and vital, elegiac and contemplative, intimate and epic, tragic yet shot through with humor. It combines the energy of youth with the perspective of maturity. It encompasses all of human nature in its folly and grandeur, and it does so in images as beautiful and terrifying as any ever captured on film and in performances that are impeccable.
  21. This is impressive filmmaking, but it is not easy to take in.
  22. Powerful, emotional filmmaking that leaves a scar, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By the Sea is heartbreaking yet somehow heartening, a film that just wallops you with its honesty, its authenticity and its access to despair.
  23. Ratatouille is as audacious as they come. It takes risks and goes places other films wouldn't dare, and it ends up putting rival imaginations in the shade.
  24. Faces Places turns out to be a road movie in more than a merely literal sense. It is at once a roving journey into environments we rarely see in cinema and an incomplete but invaluable map of Varda’s memories.
  25. It enables us to recapture exactly the delightful sensations felt all those years ago when we and the world were young and exciting together.
  26. Gravity is out of this world. Words can do little to convey the visual astonishment this space opera creates. It is a film whose impact must be experienced in 3-D on a theatrical screen to be fully understood.
  27. Prepare to be astonished by Spirited Away.
  28. Wised-up as well as traditional, with a striking and detailed look and a strong storyline, it is sure to charm a wide audience both now and for a long time to come.
  29. Haynes understands that swooningly beautiful traditional technique bolstered by thrilling performances creates the greatest impact. He has made a serious melodrama about the geometry of desire, a dreamy example of heightened reality that fully engages emotions despite the exact calculations with which it's been made.
  30. Although its computer-generated imagery is impressive, the major surprise of this bright foray into a new kind of animation is how much cleverness has been invested in story and dialogue.
  31. Urgent investigative report and unforgettable drama, Virunga is a work of heart-wrenching tenderness and heart-stopping suspense.
  32. Smartly written by Aaron Sorkin, directed to within an inch of its life by David Fincher and anchored by a perfectly pitched performance by Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network is a barn-burner of a tale that unfolds at a splendid clip.
  33. What makes I Am Not Your Negro a mesmerizing cinematic experience, smart, thoughtful and disturbing, goes well beyond words.
  34. Achieves its success through a combination of attitude and technique, uniting, to exceptional effect, a way of viewing the world morally while looking at it physically.
  35. One reason Boal makes such a potent combination with Bigelow is that her directing style moves us right along. She is so good with both action and creating a convincing look and feel for the film that the time it takes to get up to speed with the complicated plot does not feel like a problem.
  36. A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised.
  37. Daring and traditional, groundbreaking and familiar, apocalyptic and sentimental, Wall-E gains strength from embracing contradictions that would destroy other films.
  38. The films have only gotten better by letting the relationship marinate. "Midnight's" more disgruntled edge reflects what creeps up on couples as years pass, regrets stack up, kids factor in, real life intervenes.
  39. 45 Years is a quietly explosive film, a potent drama with a nuanced feel for subtlety and emotional complications.
  40. The surpassing accomplishment of Dunkirk is to make us feel an almost literal fusion with its story. It's not so much that we've seen a splendid movie, though we have, but as if we've been taken inside a historic event, become wholly immersed in something real and alive.
  41. The Manchurian Candidate proves that its fascination is intact. [12 Jan 1998, p.C1; Re-Release]
    • Los Angeles Times
  42. One of the strengths of Killer of Sheep, one of the reasons it has not dated, is that the naturalness and simplicity with which it unfolds give it the texture of a story told from the inside.
  43. Just as Turner's expressive, enthralling work changed the nature of painting, Mr. Turner, anchored in the rock of Timothy Spall's astonishing, Cannes prize-winning performance, pushes hard against the strictures of conventional narrative and ends up pulling us into its world and capturing us completely.
  44. Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
  45. Inside Out manages to be honest and unafraid but never cheaply sentimental where emotion is concerned, evoking a largeness of spirit whose ability to be moving sneaks up and takes us by surprise.
  46. From Here to Eternity remains, half a century later, a singular cinematic experience, one of the landmarks of American film.
  47. Exactly written, directed with a surgeon's precision and transcendently acted, Sideways brings emotional reality to a consistently amusing character comedy, making it something to be cherished like the delicate Santa Ynez Valley wines that are the story's vivid backdrop.
  48. An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time.
  49. As completely real on the psychological level as its up-to-the-moment visual effects have on the physical.
  50. Hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius.
  51. Heartbreaking, haunting and unexpectedly heartening, First Cousin Once Removed is an uncommonly moving documentary portrait of a mind in disarray.
  52. A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s. Coming at a turning point in French cinematic history, it drew upon several major talents - director Louis Malle, star Jeanne Moreau, cinematographer Henri Decaë, musician Miles Davis - and achieved near-legendary results with all of them.
  53. A perfect storm of a motion picture, with an icy, immaculate director unexpectedly taking on deeply emotional subject matter.
  54. Far from seeming dated, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie seems timelier than ever, downright prophetic, for that matter.
    • Los Angeles Times
  55. Glaciers might be melting, the polar caps might be crumbling, but not even the passage of half a century has taken the frozen edge off this brilliantly icy film.
  56. The performances of Close and Silver are flawless, but it is Irons' portrait that remains behind, an enigmatic after-image… Reversal of Fortune is a delectable tour through facets of the lives of the rich and famous that Robin Leach wouldn't touch with a forked stick. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
  57. Crouching Tiger's blend of the magical, the mythical and the romantic fills a need in us we might not even realize we had.
  58. Ade has an unusual gift for planting more than one idea in each frame; I don’t think there’s a single one of the movie’s 162 minutes that can be reduced to a single emotional beat or narrative function. That hefty running time isn’t a sign of indulgence, but integrity.
  59. Spotlight doesn't call attention to itself. Its screenplay is self-effacing, its accomplished direction is intentionally low key, and it encourages its fistful of top actors to blend into an eloquent ensemble.
  60. Quietly devastating. [15 Dec 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
  61. Wonderfully humanistic film. Yi Yi investigates the entire melody of life.
  62. For a movie that all but demands that you swoon into its arms, La La Land doesn’t always seem to know exactly how to surrender to itself.
  63. While the bleak, funny, exquisitely made Inside Llewyn Davis echoes familiar themes and narrative journeys, it also goes its own way and becomes a singular experience, one of their best films.
  64. A brilliantly conceived epic fable.
  65. A documentary whose visual magnificence is more than matched by unforgettable characters and political urgency.
  66. It's important to remember that Sinclair was as much a committed socialist as a novelist, someone who probably wrote for political purpose more than for dramatic effect. So while Day-Lewis' gorgeous acting largely disguises it, the people in "Blood" tend to be schematic and the film as a whole has a weakness for the didactic.
  67. The film, which came out in 1970 after a censorship battle with the Franco regime, catches — and releases — all the tension of shifting sexual mores. You can almost sense the director's pleasure in taking apart the duplicities of a patriarchal Spanish society. [21 Feb. 2013]
  68. Has a sense of humor that is intellectual, even academic, at heart.
  69. When it comes to unflinching, riveting looks at a compulsive artist who can't be other than who he is, nothing comes close to Crumb.
  70. The aesthetic that Dominik has crafted is a pitch-perfect expression of Cave’s grappling with matters of time and space. It’s gorgeous and ghostly.
  71. Frederick Wiseman's Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is more than a magisterial mash note to that distinguished establishment, it’s a heartening examination of the vastness of human knowledge and the multiple ways we the people endeavor to access it.
  72. Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.
  73. The reality of François' classroom is so intense that it holds our interest even while the film's dramatic focus is building so quietly under the surface that we don't notice it at first.
  74. One of the bloodiest and most beautiful reflections on atonement in the Scorsese canon... It is still one of cinema's most breathtaking films.
    • Los Angeles Times
  75. [Stone] succeeds with an immediacy that is frightening. War movies of the past, even the greatest ones, seem like crane shots by comparison; Platoon is at ground zero.
  76. For 20 years, Claire Denis has been among France's foremost filmmakers with her acute yet subtle observations of the ebbs and flows within relationships. Her perception and understanding seem to grow only richer over the years, and her newest film, 35 Shots of Rum, is surely one of her finest -- and thereby one of the best films of the year.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The year’s most razzle-dazzling family movie, an exuberant and technically astonishing space adventure in which the galactic tomorrows of Flash Gordon are the setting for conflicts and events that carry the suspiciously but splendidly familiar ring of yesterday’s westerns, as well as yesterday’s Flash Gordon serials. [22 May 1977]
    • Los Angeles Times
  77. Creates magic of a completely different sort. It makes the unlikeliest subject unforgettable, finding drama, beauty, even poetry in simple things and simple lives.
  78. The screenplay — by the French Mauritania director and Malian co-writer Kessen Tall, in her feature debut — is a mesmerizing blend of the horrific and the humorous as it boils ideology down to the personal level.
  79. This witty and tender 1966 gem remains as timeless and fresh as ever.
  80. What was impressive 22 years ago seems even more so now; what was problematic seems less important. Changes in us as an audience, changes in filmmaking fashions, changes in the times we live in, they've all combined in making this "Apocalypse" feel more impressive, more of a revelation than it did before.
  81. Made with intelligence, imagination, passion and skill, propulsively paced and shot through with an aged-in-oak sense of wonder, the trilogy's first film so thrillingly catches us up in its sweeping story that nothing matters but the vivid and compelling events unfolding on the screen.
  82. "Let It Fall" understands the value of allowing its interview subjects to talk at greater, more involving length than is usual for documentaries, a technique that illuminates the complexities of reality and gives listeners a sense of the emotional textures of these people's lives.
  83. It’s the tension between hardscrabble realism and buoyant fantasy — and the understanding that they are both, in fact, vital aspects of the same experience — that makes The Florida Project so powerfully unresolved.
  84. This film becomes the kind of love note to movies we want and need.
  85. Maitland’s experimental approach to a tricky subject leaves viewers with a deeper understanding of a terrible moment in American history.
  86. There's such a rich sense of the fullness of life in Moolaadé that it sustains those passages that are truly and necessarily harrowing.
  87. It may seem like nothing much is happening on-screen, but by the time A Summer's Tale is all over, it feels like everything important has been said and done. Welcome to the magic of Rohmer, one final time.
  88. Nearly three hours long, and deliberately paced at that, this first feature ever in the Inuit language is a demanding experience. But the rewards for those who risk the journey are simply extraordinary.
  89. In its examination of what is fleeting and what remains, "After Life" is not only perceptive, it leavens everything it touches with a surprisingly sly sense of humor. Few films about death, or about life for that matter, leave you feeling so affirmative about existence.
  90. Seeing E.T. again reminds us of how much we've remained the same, how gratified we still are by a film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy. [2002 re-release]
  91. Fast, funny, unexpected and uninhibited, The Triplets of Belleville may be animated, but it is also the product of an artistic vision every bit as rigorous as any lofty Cannes prize-winner. Hearing about a film this special isn't enough. It demands to be seen, and it generously rewards those who, like Madame Souza, let nothing stand in their way.
  92. A dazzling epic of love, guns, gangsters and cigarettes.
  93. In a commanding performance that is as compelling as it is unexpected, Mirren has turned The Queen into something you never imagined it could be: a crackling dramatic story that's intelligent, thoughtful and moving.
  94. An invigorating powerhouse of a personal documentary, adventurous and absolutely fascinating.
  95. It's an act of defiance that's also a sublime piece of cinema, and it ranks among the director's finest work.
  96. Stirred up impassioned debate everywhere; it would seem the greatest compliment that could be paid a stunning entertainment. [30 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  97. A ruggedly beautiful landscape of desert and sea provides a dramatic setting for a psychological drama told with the utmost rigor--and unabashed eroticism.
  98. Provocative, hallucinatory, incendiary, this devastating animated documentary is unlike any Israeli film you've seen. More than that, in its seamless mixing of the real and the surreal, the personal and the political, animation and live action, it's unlike any film you've seen, period.

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