Movieline's Scores

  • Movies
For 692 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 70% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Artist
Lowest review score: 5 The Roommate
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 692
692 movie reviews
  1. As it is, The Devil's Double, a handsome and occasionally dazzling thriller with at least one dynamo performance from its star, is ultimately dominated by its style.
  2. It's the kind of movie whose value lies between the lines, not directly on them, and if the pleasures it offers are slender ones, at least there's something good-hearted about them.
  3. Despite this provocative introduction Love Crime isn't some Sapphic French answer to "Disclosure."
  4. The picture is so fluttering and tender, so guileless, that you almost can't believe it was made by an old hand like Van Sant. Then again, maybe you can.
  5. 3
    Tykwer is a director known for his visual inventiveness and style, and 3 has its imaginative moments, though they sometimes seem like attempts to goose up what's actually a fairly talky, cerebral drama.
  6. It goes through all the motions, properly and efficiently, and yet it's missing some core warmth. Watching Real Steel, I kept thinking of Brad Bird's retro-modern cartoon "The Iron Giant," and of how that picture humanized a metal alien so effortlessly.
  7. Genial and mild, The Big Year doesn't give in to the temptation to juice up its story with outsized caricatures or inflated dramas.
  8. Tower Heist is overstuffed with actors, and yet Ratner manages to give each of them one or two good moments.
  9. It's that mean edge to Killing Bono's storytelling, none of it directed at the famous figure of the title, that makes it more than the film equivalent of someone's prize bar anecdote about the celebrity he knew (and could have been - nay, should have been) back in the day.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A well-heeled French assassin chick who murders in exchange for diamonds? So '90s-era rejected Bond script, guys.
  10. In the Land of Blood and Honey is gratifyingly short on lectures and, interestingly, on history lessons.
  11. It's still an obligingly tense, scruffy addition to the one-last-crime genre.
  12. It's valuable for both the vintage footage Rostock has collected and for the observations provided by Belafonte, who is as charming, handsome and persuasive in his mid-80s as he ever was.
  13. Without a strong story to dance with, all of those fabulous tracking shots, lovingly uncanny art direction details and flickering shafts of light can make The Innkeepers feel more like an exercise in craft than a scary movie.
  14. While Wesley is both too good to be true and an absence of a charisma on screen, Good Deeds is very fair to its two main female characters even as they're both entangled with the same man.
  15. When the recessive style works with the characters and the kooky international-incident story, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has an absorbing, old-fashioned sweetness.
  16. For now, 21 Jump Street is a small puff of fresh air simply because it's not, like umpteen other releases coming down the pike, based on a comic-book series.
  17. It wouldn't go so far as to say it feels like you went through Jeremy's ordeal for nothing, but I did wish I had come to know as much about Dorff's character as I did about the size and shape of his nostrils.
  18. Scene by scene The Hunter, adapted from a novel by Julia Leigh, holds your attention like a pair of big, inquisitive eyes, or perhaps the point-blank scope of an automatic rifle.
  19. Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope plants a sloppy, moist kiss on the sweaty brow of geek culture's premiere event.
  20. The picture is devilishly entertaining, not least because it's laced with just the sort of dumb raunchy jokes you hate yourself for laughing at. But it also preserves, to a degree, the elemental sweetness that made the original so distinctive.
  21. It offers glancing pleasures of the atmospheric kind – the impact is the equivalent of a filmy cobweb brushing against your cheek. It tickles more than it bites.
  22. Inter-chimp and territorial fighting are facts of nature, but the extreme anthropomorphism of Chimpanzee makes what is natural feel bizarre.
  23. To the Arctic uses spoonfuls of cuteness - featuring walruses and caribou, though polar bears are its primary animal stars - to make its fairly grim environmental message go down a little easier.
  24. The Five-Year Engagement is, for a movie in which a guy fakes an orgasm and (in a separate incident) stuffs a dead deer in his car's sunroof, very grown-up.
  25. It's all rather casual - not unengaging, exactly, but lacking a narrative energy all its own.
  26. Last Call at the Oasis makes a convincing case that we're on the verge of both "Waterworld" and large scale Erin Brockovich-style scenarios.
  27. Safety Not Guaranteed is permeated with that aura of unfocused melancholy common to so many indies these days -- what are we all so damn sad about? -- but by tying it back to characters that don't seem popped from any too-familiar mold, the film allows its sense of regret, its alarm at time passing, to feel earned.
  28. Seeing Tom Cruise swathed in leather pants and fake tattoos, as Axl Rose-style metal god Stacee Jaxx, is supposedly Rock of Ages' big draw. But the movie is much more fun when he's not around.
  29. Probably not as good as you hoped or as bad as you feared.
  30. Despite this careful (and successful) depiction of a warm and decent person, Perry the pop star remains stubbornly two-dimensional.
  31. With its small cast and focus on performance, Union Square promises to be a welcome showcase for Sorvino, and the early rhymes with Miss Linda are intriguingly open-ended.
  32. Celeste and Jesse Forever creates a handful of likable and very human characters, so much so that halfway through you want the film to stop putting them through the emotional wringer so that you can just spend time with them.
  33. This variation on the demon child subgenre has enough of the familiar and the new to be a decently good time at the movies.
  34. The film is heavily reliant on jump scares, but its best moments are the ones before them, when the tension builds without the benefit of escalating music to queue you in to the approaching shock.
  35. The glorious mess that is Pat's family and community is the warmest, funniest aspect of Silver Linings Playbook.
  36. If gangsterism is just capitalism in a more raw form, then Jackie is the creature best suited for this world. He knows the rules and enforces them without prejudice, because it's just business and this is just a job. Killing Them Softly doesn't give that idea its intended sting.
  37. For all that it is, as promised, about love, it's also a subtly punishing affair that grinds you into the ground as you watch an elderly couple deal with one member's slow deterioration of health and sanity.
  38. Mohan's film may not manage anything out of the ordinary, but it does present a convincingly contemporary depiction of relationships and dating when the goalposts have been moved, or when we're at least trying to pretend they have.
  39. The big problem with Iron Man 2, maybe, is that it so dutifully gives the people what they want, instead of giving them what they didn’t know they wanted.
  40. MacGruber never gathers any momentum. Once in a while a funny line or absurd sight gag will amble into the foreground, only to recede immediately in the rear-view mirror of memory.
  41. A film so tightly rigged that even its star's centrifugal charms can't keep you fully checked in.
  42. The point of Babies, to the extent that it has one beyond allowing us to revel in unstoppable baby cuteness, is to underscore that infants everywhere are more similar than they are different, regardless of what country they’re born and raised in.
  43. Nothing Cruise does seems to come from the inside -- every eye crinkle, every grimace, every brow furrow seems plucked from the air, collected from the universe around him and bent to do his bidding. Maybe that’s one kind of acting. But it’s not cool. Never will be.
  44. What’s remarkable about Looking for Eric is the number of ways in which it ALMOST works.
  45. As a character study Solitary Man, like Ben, has no center. What he amounts to is a pretty consistent set of attitudes and behaviors which, while shocking, are not all that interesting.
  46. Nearly everyone, and everything, in Micmacs is at one point or another guilty of trying too hard.
  47. Despite an admirable mastery of both Russian and French, Mikkelsen has no shot at making a proud (Russian!) musical genius a believably lovesick puppy.
  48. Turteltaub strives to show us realistic-looking magic, without realizing he'd be better off if he acknowledged that there's no such thing. Instead, we get human figures that emerge "magically" from swarms of cockroaches and sorceresses who dissolve into dust particles right before our eyes. It's the best CGI money can buy, and who cares?
  49. There's nothing so frustrating as a small movie, made by a clearly gifted filmmaker, that flies close to magic only to be sternly jerked back to earth.
  50. Has just enough genuine warmth to compensate for the coolness you might feel toward its generic trappings.
  51. A pleasant dramatic caper that wears out its welcome, The Concert is the houseguest who sings a little too loudly and too long for his supper, tone deaf to the line between charm and imposition.
  52. The problem isn't just that the gags feel airless and pointless; it's that the performers - many of whom have done wonderful work in other settings - seem more bent on pleasing each other than on entertaining us.
  53. Suspenseful in a few places and absurd in plenty of others; if she were a real person, Lisbeth Salander herself would have no patience with it.
  54. Wilson's unflappable, deeply sympathetic affect and aging golden-boy visage have a very Jack-like smoothing effect on the story's rough patches.
  55. More helpful is Ice Cube's endearing performance as an aged sparring partner of Leon Spinks and Muhammad Ali who provides cover and advice for Kevin as he tries to hold onto both his wits and the ticket.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Manages to be scary without resorting to cheap special effects or gore. It's not as good as it could have been, but it's so much better than expected.
  56. The main and most enjoyable difference between the second installment and the first is the greater opportunity the latter provides Cassel to sketch some dimension into the coded mythologizing of his character.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Knightley has the least screen time of the three, and her Ruth never registers as much more than a self-serving menace.
  57. Best in show is the final chapter, by "Jesus Camp" directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. "Can A Ninth Grader Be Bribed To Succeed?" is as straightforward a title as the others are oblique.
  58. Most of Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe is so breezily entertaining, and so bracingly clear-eyed about what total pains in the asses writers can be, that its final 15 minutes feel like an all-wrong slap in the face.
  59. Because the film is overproduced and unconvincing in telegraphing its several gestural themes, its excellent lead performances get lost in what feels like an aesthetic tug of war over what a movie should be, and do.
  60. A companion film to "Days of Glory," Rachid Bouchareb's 2006 feature about Algerian soldiers who fought for France in World War II, Outside the Law is another historical drama with a heavy heart and a knack for genre.
  61. Perry weaves together not just the individual stories but their arcs, sustaining the emotional tenor across the progress of nine lives.
  62. As potentially appealing as these two actors might be, there's just nowhere for this story to go.
  63. Tries too hard and ultimately achieves less. It's undone by its own inferiority complex.
  64. Rao's ultimate achievements - including a balanced, doleful tone and moments of city symphony elegance - are undercut by the arrangement of her characters into narrative castes that cross paths but can't quite connect.
  65. Mostly, The Mechanic creaks and groans as it goes through the motions, and not even its lavish violence - which includes much smashing of heads and a nasty screwdriver stabbing - is particularly electrifying.
  66. Hopkins is having a blast, and he's fun to watch.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    The Comedy of Emasculation that Judd Apatow and his disciples have made into a separate economy was invented by the Farrelly brothers.
  67. There's a lot that works in Heartbeats - so much that its flaws stand out in disappointingly sharp relief.
  68. The chief reason to see Potiche - maybe the only reason - is Deneuve.
  69. Bier appears to have a delicate touch with actors: In a Better World is loaded - perhaps overloaded - with nuance, and her performers never overdo a thing.
  70. It would have a very good shot at being entertaining were it not so outwardly concerned with being important.
  71. The bad news is that The Conspirator - doesn't have enough crackle.
  72. Rio
    If nothing else, Rio is unabashedly jubilant.
  73. Fox and Rourke embody Lily and Nate's lost souls with vulnerability that's at once strikingly sincere and strange, particularly for two actors renowned for their impunity both on and off screen.
  74. Bridesmaids is the Bride of Frankenstein of contemporary comedies, a movie stitched together crudely, and only semi-successfully, from random chick flick and bromance parts.
  75. The picture is cluttered and convoluted and big, and Marshall - taking over the reins from Gore Verbinski - doesn't seem to grasp how exhausting nonstop action can be.
  76. The Tree of Life is gorgeous to look at. It's also a gargantuan work of pretension and cleverly concealed self-absorption masquerading as spiritual exploration.
  77. The timing couldn't be more opportunistic for a new Steven Spielberg movie that mines the thrilling uncertainties of childhood - even if it happens to have been made by J.J. Abrams.
  78. The goof on New York's awful elite only gets grimmer and less viable as the film goes on.
  79. You'll have to hang on to something to get through the hairpins in The Perfect Host, a chamber piece hostage thriller black comedy undone less by its twists than by the stretches of bad road between them.
  80. The story's obvious and various potential is left to stand on its own, and the scares are largely uninspired.
  81. I'd say you had to be there, but over the course of Magic Trip we learn that the majority of the people who were there didn't want to be there.
  82. For every line or gag that works, there are three or four more that seem to belong in a different movie altogether, either a darker one or a breezier one.
  83. Fright Night glides into its first climax with some funny touches but without building much structure or suspense.
  84. Where Joffe purposely departs from "Brighton Rock" deprives his movie of the book's most revelatory element: Faith. Gorgeous, ambitious and daring as it often is, Brighton Rock has no soul.
  85. A few shots of full frontal and an actual devil to point to are poor substitutes for exposure and depth of character.
  86. Shark Night isn't fantastic, but it's a good enough time, and it'll never be better than when it's watched with a rowdy crowd in a theater.
  87. Dirty Girl is harmless enough, and the early scenes, in which Danielle surveys poor Clarke with snobbish contempt, have a pleasing nastiness.
  88. Where Paranormal Activity 3's weak points show are in the unbelievable silliness of its characters.
  89. It's lovely to see these attempts at punk parenting, but there's really not much "punk" to them beyond appearances.
  90. Embedded in The Lie is a sharp look at the moral limbo of a complacent life, the self-defeat of committing by halves, the self-interest of false equivalencies - but only the shallowest attempts are made to chip its themes out.
  91. It's unpleasant, shrill and exhausting - everyone's so busy airing their own grievances no one has time to listen to anyone else's - but it's a genuine actors' film anchored by some good performances.
  92. While it provides a watchable, nuanced portrait of man in crisis, it's an insistently one-note affair, repeated until it induces a splitting headache.
  93. Fiennes works hard to keep the rhythm going: He stages hand-to-hand combat sequences and knife fights as if he were making a smart action movie, not adapting Shakespeare, which is precisely the point.
  94. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a little too facile in the way it sets up the horrific climax: Just one look at this kid and you know he's trouble, yet no one besides mom can see it.
  95. The Sitter's a lazy ramble of a movie that's amusing enough to hold your gaze for 81 minutes while leaving you feeling a little cheated when it's over.
  96. As Mr. Albert Nobbs, Close wears a discreetly waved cap of cropped ginger hair and the bright, blank expression of a small animal caught mid-nibble.

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