New Orleans Times-Picayune's Scores

  • Movies
For 840 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lowest review score: 20 The Comedian
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 840
840 movie reviews
  1. The greatest movies, the ones that stick with us, are those that hold up a mirror to the human condition and reflect something back at us that we too often manage to overlook. Boyhood is one of those movies, and with it Linklater proves he is among the best practitioners of that art.
  2. The result is an unconventional film that exists in a class by itself to this point in 2016.
  3. There's something Shakespearean about it. From the case of mistaken identity (though willfully mistaken) to the formal, old-fashioned language to the tragic tone in which it is all swaddled, this is Shakespeare by way of the Deep South.
  4. Opening a window into a wounded soul, it reminds us that beneath even the most brusque, hard-to-approach exterior often lies a human being bearing the scars of real, sometimes devastating human experiences. Also like "Moonlight," it is one of the best films of 2016, and one not to be missed.
  5. Gravity, it turns out, is a great film, a technical and storytelling masterpiece that is buoyed by stunning visuals and which functions both as a ripping, tension-filled yarn and as a profound and life-affirming work of art.
  6. The result is a film that is at once sobering and thoughtful -- and, yes, uncomfortable, at times. But it's a necessary uncomfortable.
  7. Disney's unrivaled ability to wed emotional depth to high-tech razzle-dazzle endows Toy Story with its authentic heart and soul. [24 Nov 1995, p.L28]
    • New Orleans Times-Picayune
  8. The result is a ripped-from-the-Zeitgeist film that is razor-sharp, an astute and funny portrait of the early 2000s, with all its LOL's, its IMO's and its WTF's. Mostly its WTF's.
  9. The U.S. government did torture prisoners of war in the name of its so-called war on terror and, by extension, in the name of all Americans. What Bigelow and Boal seem to be arguing is that such actions take a deep cosmic toll on the people responsible -- whether directly, in the case of Chastain's character, or indirectly, in the case of you and me.
  10. It's the little moments in Farhadi's film that are its most important, speaking every bit as loudly as its big, narrative-driving moments.
  11. Not only is the result edifying, but it's also rewarding. And it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a therapy session.
  12. In the end, Mr. Turner ends up being the best kind of period drama. That is, it is a transportive one, whisking audiences away to a distinct time and place, while also providing no small amount of insight about its subject.
  13. Inside Out isn't just a movie. It's a doctoral dissertation on human psychology, with a bit of therapy on the side. Miraculously, it's fun, to boot.
  14. Amour is a far cry from the warm-and-fuzzy version of love that most people are probably looking for on Valentine's Day. This movie is more of a slap than a hug. But reality hurts sometimes - just like love does.
  15. With Spotlight, we get a reminder of the vital importance of an independent, professional press to any community.
  16. La La Land is a film with strikingly broad appeal. Whether you're a "Star Wars" geek or a hopeless romantic, a jazz fan or somebody who complains they just don't make 'em like they used to anymore, you'll la-la love it.
  17. Inside Llewyn Davis isn't as goofy as 2008's "Burn After Reading," nor as solemn as 2009's "A Serious Man," but it's an embraceable film just the same.
  18. Positively soars.
  19. Simply, this is a story that needs to be told, one that proves that sometimes the past shouldn't be relegated to the past. It also makes The Look of Silence an unassailably essential and necessary film.
  20. A great storyteller, however, is one who can entertain an audience in the moment -- but who also gives them something to think about, something for them to take home with them when the story ends, which is exactly what Polley does in Stories We Tell.
  21. Ida
    Agata Kulesza is pitch-perfect as the tortured aunt, weighed down by years of shame and sorrow. In a quieter but equally impactful role is newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska as Ida, a character defined by a quiet, rigid stoicism but who, with her cherubic face, engenders great empathy.
  22. Like "The Hurt Locker," Winter's Bone is a spare but riveting drama with a female director. It is built around a raw, revelatory performance by a young, little-known lead actor.
  23. Merely from a film-study standpoint, it's an interesting exercise.
  24. More than anything else, however, director Jacques Audiard's gritty, grab-you-by-the-shirtfront film is a mob movie -- a really, really good mob movie. Think "GoodFellas," but with Gauloises and accent aigu instead of plates of spaghetti and accent Pesci.
  25. Like everyone else in Russell's cast, Lawrence appears to be having a blast in the role. It's downright contagious.
  26. If nothing else, this is a cinematic high-wire act.
  27. Whiplash is, at its core, about jazz -- that smoothest, mellowest of American art forms. But don't let that fool you. Writer-director Damien Chazelle's impressive sophomore effort is about as rock 'n' roll as a movie about jazz can possibly be.
  28. There are moments of depth there as well, as Anderson touches on themes of friendship and loyalty. More than anything else, though, The Grand Budapest Hotel is just a fun ride -- a wild, wonderful ride seemingly plucked out of Anderson's dream journal.
  29. One of the chief reasons that director Tom Hooper's richly produced film works so well is because it operates on so many different levels. The King's Speech is all about layers, and Hooper keeps it humming on several at once.
  30. Up
    A thoroughly uplifting bit of cinema.
  31. Imagine Norman Rockwell had he been more of a realist than a nostalgist.
  32. Even with its flaws, the whole exercise makes for an affecting and effective film.
  33. From the first line of its deep, rapid-fire dialog all the way through to its trippy ending -- which is guaranteed prompt discussion on the drive home -- Inarritu has crafted a film that begs to be rewatched, with the promise of each repeated viewing bringing something new.
  34. This being a period drama, all the expected visual grandeur is present and accounted for, from Yves Belanger's vibrant cinematography to Odile Dicks-Mireaux's period-authentic costumes to Francois Seguin's production design.
  35. As is the case with "Amy," there's probably no way any of us could ever truly understand Brando, who often seemed to be living on a different planet than that occupied by the rest of us. But with its anguished first-person voice -- and its permeating sense of sadness -- Listen to Me Marlon comes as close as one imagines is possible.
  36. A dazzling, stirring capper to a once-in-a-generation movie franchise.
  37. Chaz Ebert says that Roger would have loved Life Itself. I'll take her word for it. She knew him far better than I did. Clearly. But I'll add this: I love it, too.
  38. Pitt and Hill are fantastic individually, and hilarious when together -- and on a surprisingly engaging script by Aaron Sorkin ("Social Network") and Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List").
  39. What plays out is something like CSPAN 1865. That is, it's dense, talky stuff at times -- particularly at its start, as the film takes a good 15 minutes to gain traction -- but also highly rewarding and instructive.
  40. In someone else's hands, Room easily could have become a horror movie. Instead, we get an emotional roller coaster ride -- at turns touching, harrowing, crushing and flat-out beautiful...Along the way, Abrahamson's Room becomes an immensely rewarding film, and the kind of movie that promises to stick with audiences long after the closing credits roll.
  41. A thoroughly and unmistakably modern film so rooted in the now that it's bound to be remembered as a cinematic landmark.
  42. It is a thoughtful film, a serious one, and one that is sneakily affecting.
  43. The Red Turtle -- without saying a word -- offers much more than the standard animated film. It offers food for thought, cause for contemplation, and an appreciation for the beauty of being.
  44. Sharp, brisk and highly entertaining.
  45. Beasts of the Southern Wild is not only a wonderful story -- a portrait of intestinal fortitude in the face of enormous change -- but it's our story, forged in our own shared recent history and dripping with flood, sweat and tears.
  46. Amy
    If there's a voice of wisdom and hope in Kapadia's film, it comes from 89-year-old crooner Tony Bennett, whose duet with Winehouse on "Body and Soul" was reportedly her last studio recording before her death. "Life teaches you how to live it," Bennett tells Kapadia's camera in what ends up being one of the film's ultimate morals. "If you can live long enough."
  47. It's a career-making performance that relies as much on charm as on acting ability -- and Mulligan has both.
  48. All of the pieces fall into place by the third act -- or most of them, anyway. But Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is such a cold, unemotional film that getting there is a chore, muting the payoff.
  49. If you appreciate historical melodrama, you could do worse than Vincere.
  50. All in all, Nichols ends up with a richly drawn, and at times disturbing, portrait of one man's descent into madness.
  51. This film is undoubtedly a piece of art, as much so as a Picasso painting, one that invites viewers to immerse themselves, scratch their heads and consider it.
  52. A film that is beautiful, harrowing, heartbreaking -- and necessary.
  53. Fruitvale Station is only the first in a string of civil-rights minded movies set to hit theaters this year -- contributing to what could be the most racially conscious award season in recent memory.
  54. A thoroughly endearing journey, and one of the most enjoyable and touching movies to land in theaters so far this year.
  55. Feels startlingly real and inherently relevant, a shining, sterling example of cinema at its most powerful and urgent.
  56. Not only is it a searing on-the-ground, in-the-fray portrait of the heart of Egypt's ongoing revolution, but it is also a stirring tribute to the indomitable spirit of those who are risking, and in many cases giving, their lives to keep it alive.
  57. At times humorous, at times poignant, but always absorbing.
  58. McConaughey and Leto's performances are also the saviors of Vallee's film, which has a way of belaboring certain points and, in the process, robbing his film of no small amount of momentum.
  59. Not only does it deliver a powerful message, but it is wrapped in an immensely entertaining package.
  60. A documentary that is equal parts sweet science, brutal art and masterful filmmaking.
  61. A simple story about a difficult man, and it's an impressive debut from writer-director Scott Cooper.
  62. Even though it's right there in the title, "fantastic" might be a touch hyperbolic in describing director Wes Anderson's stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but only by a whisker.
  63. It's also a British comedy, with that singularly British way of being clever and deliriously juvenile all at once, a combination that makes for scathing, laugh-out-loud, big-screen satire.
  64. Extraordinarily engaging but surprisingly sobering.
  65. A crowd-pleaser, through and through.
  66. This kind of cinematic delight is a rarity, a warm and masterfully crafted reminder of why we love to go to the movies in the first place.
  67. The surprise is that Captain Phillips is a surprise in the first place, pitching and rolling tirelessly like the sea on which it is set and, in the process, becoming one of the most enjoyable and well-made movies to hit theaters this year.
  68. Even if the obligatory third-act twist arrives with all the subtlety of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Drag Me to Hell otherwise steers mostly clear of predictability.
  69. This is a film that could -- and should -- catch on. Just be careful nobody follows you home from the theater.
  70. 127 Hours -- just like "Slumdog Millionaire" -- is a masterful slice of four-star cinema, featuring an irresistible performance by James Franco, breathtaking cinematography, and the kind of deep, searching soul that is absent from so much of what comes out of Hollywood.
  71. A beautifully uncomplicated story, really -- about the love between daddies and their little girls.
  72. This is the kind of movie that almost begs for a second viewing, which, admittedly, isn't always a good thing. In the case of The Lobster, however, it is. It's a very good thing -- good and weird and wonderful.
  73. It's one heck of a fun ride, a pure popcorn spectacle that doesn't require a knowledge of the Star Trek mythology to make it enjoyable.
  74. Boyle, Sorkin and company might not have invented the iPhone or changed the way people viewed technology, but it does something the real Steve Jobs had trouble doing: It offers a genuine peek at the man behind the turtleneck, and in the process finds a way to connect with its viewers.
  75. The film is chilled by characters that never really come alive or generate any deep sympathy.
  76. Berger's film is still far more magical than it is macabre. And so although a black-and-white, foreign-film adaptation of a very familiar tale might, indeed, be a hard sell, audiences who buy into it are in for an undeniably rewarding movie-going experience. In a word: ¬°Ole!
  77. It is beautiful, and it is difficult to watch. It is heartwarming, and it is heart-wrenching. It is absorbing, and it's unsettling.
  78. Don't expect there to be a run on Secret of Kells action figures any time soon.
  79. Larrain's film offers something human, something insightful, and something altogether unforgettable.
  80. It's that zippy dialog more than anything that moves "Django" along and that coaxes such fantastic performances from its actors.
  81. A lovely jaunt that ends up becoming one of Allen's most enjoyable films, start-to-finish, in years.
  82. To his credit, however, the often-playful Blomkamp never bludgeons his audience with any specific message. He's too busy letting 'er rip with his edge-of-your-seat, and unapologetically violent, sci-fi adventure.
  83. The result is an intelligent and well-crafted film that works to inspire audiences by finding the humor amid the prevailing bittersweetness of life, and that celebrates the strength of the human spirit with a dose of unbridled and entirely embraceable optimism.
  84. As a result, the slickly produced Food, Inc. is more deeply unsettling than it is out-and-out stomach-turning.
  85. The deeply resonant Gleason isn't a football movie. Rather, it traffics in universal themes that effectively drill down to the very core of the human condition. As such, everybody has something to gain from what ends up being a multilayered mediation on life.
  86. A story of hope amid the ruins -- one that everybody can appreciate, no matter their politics.
  87. This is a dirty, stinky Western -- the kind where authenticity is the guiding artistic hand and where a layer of filth and grime have seemingly settled over everything but the popcorn in your lap.
  88. The performances are strong enough to elevate things. Darin, Villamil and Francella are the kinds of actors who you just know you've seen before, but whom you probably haven't.
  89. This is a film custom-made for dog lovers.
  90. It boasts strong acting and a nice dose of suspense.
  91. The result is a human drama that quietly argues that the gift of life isn't one to be taken lightly.
  92. While Pariah starts out as a film with moments of predictability, it evolves into a smart, compelling -- and optimistic -- portrait of heartbreak and hope.
  93. Precious is painful, it is harrowing, it is emotionally exhausting. It is also a singular film, one that is as difficult to compare to another as it is to forget.
  94. The most impressive thing about Simien's film is his script, which he wrote. With multiple protagonists and multiple storylines to serve, he deftly manages to keep a number of balls in the air -- without losing sight of his film's purpose.
  95. The only thing missing from the film -- which is frequently amusing but too bleak to be consistently laugh-out-loud funny -- is a genuine connection with its audiences, or at least those audiences not raised in 1960s Jewish suburbia.
  96. A punch-drunk tale whose fitful ramble from Jerry Springer-style family seaminess to "Rocky"-like triumph is elevated enormously by knockout performances.
  97. Here is a film that not only entertains, but also educates and -- thanks to Jodo's deep confidence and energetic artistic optimism -- one that also inspires.
  98. Makes for riveting viewing. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is among the more brisk 2 hours and 10 minutes I've spent in a theater in some time -- and it's easily the most rewarding of this year's summer tentpole films.
  99. An easy-going gem that is at times funny, at times heartbreaking, at times scary -- but always, unfailingly engaging.
  100. The result is a movie built upon big ideas -- and timely ones, too, delivering a message of understanding in this frustrating age of great intolerance -- but also a great story and, thanks to Lee, a wonderfully satisfying cinematic journey.

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