Movieline's Scores

  • Movies
For 693 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 69% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Somewhere
Lowest review score: 5 The Roommate
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 693
693 movie reviews
  1. The Descendants is an ultra-polished picture in which every emotion we're supposed to feel has been cued up well in advance. There's nothing surprising or affecting about it. Not even Clooney, who works wonders with the occasional piece of dialogue, can save it.
  2. The animation itself is technically gorgeous, a class act all the way. But there's so little to be found in the faces of the characters, or even in the way their limbs move (much of it adopted, cleverly enough, from Tati's own physical style), that it's not clear what we're supposed to feel for them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's an enchanting, and very Western, musicality in Certified Copy, a mash-up that charms; Mad Decent - master masher, dj and producer Diplo's label - aptly describes it. (Diplo and Buñuel would've loved each other).
  3. The film also comes across like a rough cut that was never looked at as a coherent whole, and some segments that start off as promising become interminable while others feel entirely unnecessary. There's no pressure on or expectation for Tarantino to please anyone other than himself, and the film feels overstuffed with ideas that should have been pruned.
  4. The tragedy of The Fighter is that Wahlberg's performance suggests a character who wants more. And yet Russell barely seems to notice how much subtlety Wahlberg brings to his role, or to the movie at large.
  5. The story of Pi and Richard Parker already has the clean simplicity of a myth and really doesn't require significant elaboration, but following in the footsteps of the source material, the film provides elaboration anyway, demonstrating a condescension to the audience that dulls the spectacle it punctuates.
  6. Like the recent "Perrier's Bounty," The Guard feels like it might play better at home than overseas.
  7. It was a stroke of genius, at least a miniature one, to cast Black in this role – he's made to play the affable teddy bear who could snap at any moment.
  8. But it's to little Benny that the film's heart belongs -- an adorable kid who seems to live only half in this world and the rest of the time in his own imagination, Benny's on a regimen of Ritalin and Lithium and other meds that sometimes leave him even dreamier than is his norm.
  9. Rather than beginning with the assumption that there is no possibility of our coming to know that kind of suffering exactly and using imagination and insight to truly take us inside the Lvov Jews' plight, Holland makes the base conditions of their confinement a narrative as well as aesthetic priority. And frankly it's boring as shit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Somewhere under all that bloat is the greatest short subject of all time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gere does his best to give Arbitrage an agitated energy, but Jarecki's fatalism works against the film.
  10. The divide between Tatum as performer and Tatum as actor gives the film an interesting unsteadiness.
  11. Armadillo tells us lots of things we shouldn't be so naïve as to think we don't already know. Maybe we need to see these things again and again, just so we don't lose sight of the costs and risks of the wars in which American and European soldiers are currently engaged.
  12. Mostly it's frustrating; the film is an episodic jumble that runs hot and cold not in some implied thematic synchronicity with its subject's character but as part of a misguided approach that assumes the audience will find whatever Mesrine does, in whatever order and with whatever emphasis, inherently fascinating.
  13. Though the film concerns events contained within the roughly 50 square blocks of the East Village, it suffers from the narrative equivalent of urban sprawl.
  14. It's a movie that needs to look down its nose for its laughs, which generally isn't the best place to find them.
  15. Peepli Live opens out slowly to encompass several factions of Indian society, including the press, local, state, and federal politicians, and the shady elements binding them all together. It's a meticulously engineered design that a show like The Wire took several years to execute; here the strain shows within the first half hour.
  16. The picture is broken down into narrative chunks that ultimately don't tell much of a story – what you get instead is a series of mini-climaxes held together by banter between characters.
  17. Too earnest and dour to be a silly bit of summer fun, but it's not exactly scientifically sound, either.
  18. It's hard to say whether Sound of My Voice is a wholly bogus and pretentious indie enterprise or a weirdly compelling bit of low-budget storytelling.
  19. The picture coasts along quite nicely on the strength of its contemplative sensuality, its macaron colors, and the exquisite beauty of its three chief actresses, Léa Seydoux, Virginie Ledoyen and Diane Kruger. Oh, and there's nudity in it too, not to mention lesbian undertones – or are they overtones?
  20. How much you enjoy Damsels will depend on your tolerance for Stillman's particular brand of duct-taped Sperry Topsider whimsy. It's a comedy! It's a musical! It's a trip down memory lane to revisit the blissful confusion of our - or someone's - college years!
  21. Wheatley drops enough unnerving bread crumbs in the first two-thirds to leave you wondering where the hell he's headed, and even the big finale should be satisfying enough: It just belongs to a different movie, and it's unsettling in a way that doesn't feel earned.
  22. The subject of Spurlock's movie is Spurlock, and while he may be reasonably affable, and sometimes extremely goofy, it's a stretch to call him controversial.
  23. In the end, the action sequences are just overblown and dollar-squandering, with no particular payoff in the entertainment department. The supporting actors - particularly Jones, Tucci and Luke - are the thing to watch here; they do all they can to keep the movie's gears running smoothly.
  24. Ultimately just another less-accomplished entry in the booming cinema of catharsis, your average gorgeous-teen-astrophysicist-meets-schlubby-bereft-composer-whose-family-she-wiped-out-in-a-drunk-driving-accident-on-the-night-they-discovered-another-planet tale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Had the movie been made with two different lead actors, I surely believe the movie would have been unwatchable.
  25. Your enjoyment - if that's the right word - of Buried will hinge on two things: Your ability to tolerate situations in which characters are confined to very tight spaces, and your willingness to be emotionally manipulated in the cheapest way imaginable.
  26. The scenes between the young actresses are the film's most compelling: Both first-timers, Manamela and Makanyane are possessed of extraordinary faces and plain attitudes.
  27. The Debt shortchanges itself severely with the weight it gives the portion of its story set further in the past.
  28. While it's not quite enough to fuel a whole feature, the premise of Tucker & Dale vs Evil is a slice of meta-genre brilliance.
  29. It's imaginative only in a stiff, expensive way. Scott vests the movie with an admirable degree of integrity – it doesn't feel like a cheap grab for our moviegoing dollars – but it doesn't inspire anything so vital as wonder or fear, either.
  30. As lukewarm as We Have a Pope may be as a piece of filmmaking, Moretti doesn't tread particularly gently into sacred territory. The picture could be more irreverent, but at least it dares to suggest that popes are people too.
  31. Every actor in Friends with Benefits, including the nearly indestructible Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins, stalls out in the process of pedaling desperately to make this substandard material work.
  32. Even at a generous running time that matches this season's other giant award candidates, Les Misérables seems like it's in a hurry, skittering from one number to the next without interlude. After Hathaway's early high point, it starts to feel numbing, an unending barrage of musical emoting carrying us through Valjean's adopting of Cosette, the latter's first encounter with Marius, the battle at the barricade and a last hour that can feel like it's a non-stop series of death arias.
  33. The result is the double shrift of a thinly sketched background and a story that has trouble standing up on its own.
  34. Mostly, though, African Cats is extremely tactful about the truly harsh stuff that goes down in the world of nature.
  35. The story is so bounteous that Goldwyn can't quite get a grip on it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    So it's too bad 10 Years isn't, you know, funny.
  36. It's an extravaganza of bad taste that in the end just tastes bad.
  37. Hornet's Nest is filled with boring, not-great-looking white guys, talking - a lot.
  38. Its occasional entertainment value aside, the picture is also blithe to the point of being flimsy.
  39. The latest from brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (who co-wrote and directed) seems to expose the limits of a certain kind of realism by stretching them one man-child too far.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Maddeningly repetitious.
  40. It's difficult to get a firm grip on most of what Disco and Atomic War, constructed in a mish-mash collage style, has to offer.
  41. Despite its tai chi pace and genre-friendly characters, it's almost impossible to tell what's happening in the intriguing, intractable Road to Nowhere.
  42. Though the picture is lovingly and often quite strikingly shot and styled, there are too many dangling and swiftly clipped threads for the film to amount to more than another tasteful Sunday matinee set against one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.
  43. As Lily Tomlin's Ernestine once said, "There's nothing like a Hoover when you're dealing with dirt." Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar could use more dirt: This is a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of a scummy little man.
  44. Combines a deviously tragicomic take on the approaching annihilation of mankind with a irritatingly unconvincing and unnecessary love story.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    Middling, middle-class entertainment aimed at the midpoint between comedy and drama, mass appeal and sophistication, Change of Plans is eager to please and easy to dismiss.
  45. Stone's moralism, coupled with discreet but bloody beatings, shootouts and all manner of tawdry goings on, rings hollow. The picture is neither entertaining nor preachy – it is simply very loudly meh.
  46. How, I'm wondering more and more often, do studios put movies like this one in front of audiences and assume they'll just buy it? The secret to making a great, or even just a good, thriller these days seems to have been lost.
  47. In its empty-headed hubris, it's not much more admirable than the conniving, moneygrubbing elite it's trying to take down.
  48. Trouble With The Curve is an ode to the old ways of doing things, both in terms of acting and baseball.
  49. The film has the feel of something deeply conventional that Crowe, who's also credited as a screenwriter, has tried with very mixed success to punch up with personality.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    In the least, and most significantly, Day of Reckoning should propel British martial artist/stunt veteran Adkins out of the niche genre world - action cinema's Adkins diet?
  50. Eclipse, while admittedly an improvement over last year’s barely coherent "New Moon," only adds insult to injury. Nothing so grand as a real eclipse, it’s more just a massive blind spot.
  51. Most wonderful of all is Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. It's so easy to believe that Brolin could turn into Jones, given a couple of decades.
  52. The film presents the rare instance of a true story that has been fictionalized and yet seems bent on cleaving to its least useful facts.
  53. I was with the movie every step of the way, right until the final credits began rolling – at which point I realized that the whole thing made no sense whatsoever, and that none of my nagging questions about what the hell was going on would ever be answered. There's a distinction to be made between being a dupe and being had.
  54. Actually, The Intouchables isn't bad - its merely shameless, but at least it's overtly so.
  55. The plot of Cars 2 is both overly convoluted and thin, and it folds in so much unvarnished toddler-instruction that it almost feels like an educational film.
  56. Why can't heroines just be heroines anymore, instead of micromanaged personalities who may as well have the words "Role Model" tattooed across their foreheads?
  57. God Bless America only wants to see the worst in people - in fact actively seeks it out in order to be disgusted, and that feels almost as bad as the behavior the film is critiquing.
  58. Despite heavy-handed characterizations, Devine and Bassett make their stake in the union felt, and it's anything but superficial.
  59. Del Toro loves his creatures. Maybe he loves them too much: He always wants us to get a good look at them, and that's one of the things that saps the spookiness from this Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    That's eventually what Unknown is - violent, impersonal and comforting.
  60. Straining for a timeless, family-friendly tone, Allen winds up with something closer to an unironically -- i.e. absurdly -- wholesome rehash of "Leave it to Beaver."
  61. It's hard to know how much of what's wrong with Hereafter stems from Morgan's screenplay, which lacks the characteristic tartness (and brains) of other movies he's written, like "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon."
  62. Jennifer Westfeldt's sort-of romantic comedy Friends with Kids is on to something, even if in the end it suffers from a failure of nerve.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What he's missing in The Eagle is that spark of the insane - the slightly lunatic fever that makes us unable to keep our eyes off him (Channing Tatum).
  63. At 84 he describes himself as being kept alive by young women's laughter and infernal baby-talk, marking off perhaps his final, groaning aspirational standard. Almost makes me feel sorry for those men still trying to keep up.
  64. Parts of Dark Shadows look lovely. So what happened to the story?
  65. The degree to which they are willing to share their bodies with the world, seeming to reach out for it with each impossible extension, drawing it in with every reeling arabesque, suggests a desire for engagement that is visceral, human, and true in all the ways this film is not.
  66. It has neither the Red Bull–fueled crudeness of "Crank" nor the Frenchified lunatic vitality of the "Transporter" movies; it's not even as cheaply entertaining as the generic hit-man retread "The Mechanic." Safe shows Statham comfortably treading water, proving all the things he no longer needs to prove.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Is it a coincidence that classic action is making its comeback at the same time Schwarzenegger is making his own? Hey, he warned us he'd be back.
  67. Some of us wonder, still, how Margaret Thatcher can continue to live with herself. Watching Meryl Streep walk around so ably in Thatcher's skin isn't enlightening; it's more like a living nightmare.
  68. The film is so busy rifling through genres that it fails to develop a coherent flavor of its own.
  69. There's no doubt that Being Flynn is an attempt at something painful and genuine – the movie itself yearns to make a connection, even if it can't quite locate the most effective channels.
  70. Winterbottom’s version goes too far.
  71. Sometimes funny, sometimes shrill and wildly uneven, Bachelorette demonstrates film and television's continuing struggle to provide a platform for funny women in the realms of R-rated comedy and the tug-of-war between the desire to push boundaries and fears about likability.
  72. What a dud of a story! You know what it needs to dress it up? Garden gnomes.
  73. Relies almost entirely on its tunnel-vision, single-player style for its scares. It’s a strategy that stalls out halfway through, which means it works for twice as long as it should.
  74. Comes across like the creation of a precocious student. I don't mean that to be a damning critique, though Detachment is a mesmerizing misfire -- it's just that it has the uncomplicated earnestness and hyperbolic melodrama of teenage poetry.
  75. A concerted effort to make a scary movie without spilling a drop of blood, Insidious is earnest to the point of suffocation about scaring you silly.
  76. Bella's an empowered badass in this last installment, wielding newborn strength while showing unusual self-control and learning to use her new abilities - and that's why things feel off.
  77. For a movie with a comedic premise this simple – essentially: can you believe we made a movie with a premise this simple? – Casa de Mi Padre can feel pretty exhausting.
  78. Safe House is a twisted claw of a movie, a picture so visually ugly that, to borrow a line from Moms Mabley, it hurt my feelings.
  79. A film loaded with interest that somehow fails to be interesting, La Soga is inspired by true events and not much else.
  80. A massive wedgie of a comedy, which is to say it's a comedy of extreme discomfort.
  81. Hickenlooper too often approaches his subject with the filmmaking equivalent of a wry chuckle.
  82. The disconcerting thing is how easy it is to fool viewers into being satisfied with not being involved, or even entertained - as long as they can RELATE.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately the movie ridicules the culture that compels what Cedric the Entertainer calls grown-ass men to dress up like comic-book characters, as well as the Christian attempts to co-opt that culture.
  83. Robin Williams, who's sometimes too overbearing in real-life live action, makes a great cartoon-character voice.
  84. Smith isn't up to doing anything other than setting up caricatures and then knocking them down.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    One senses that the movie doesn't quite have the chutzpah to be what it wants to be - a "Fast and Furious"-like sequence of balletic car chases - so it periodically halts to wedge in some romance.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film's feel-good message is undermined by its ultimate purpose: As a vindication of the rights of Jewish mothers to annoy their children as much as they please.
  85. Ferrell and Galifianakis both do what they've proven they can do so well in the past, while McDermott, clad in all black, is surprisingly good in a comedic role.
  86. Like the Inuit and their many words for "snow," Jake has a thousand squinty faces and they all mean "Bugger off."

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