New Orleans Times-Picayune's Scores

  • Movies
For 847 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 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 District 9
Lowest review score: 20 Walk of Shame
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 847
847 movie reviews
  1. Part eco-doc, part legal-doc, it is a troubling, real story -- and a well-told one at that -- that is inspiring and infuriating all at once.
  2. John Wick: Chapter Two is still an exceedingly dumb guilty-pleasure film, with its high body count, shockingly bloody violence and creative comic-book carnage. But that hotel, known as The Continental, and the structure it provides the film, goes a long way to helping John Wick: Chapter 2 become its own distinct, ultraviolent thing.
  3. With all of its excess, Wolf of Wall Street might not rank up there with Scorsese's best, it sure has fun trying.
  4. Those who sit through its talky, belabored first half will be rewarded first and foremost with the finest fight scene of any "Avengers" film to date, one that doubles as a satisfyingly popcorny start to the summer season.
  5. In fact, "restraint" is the word that best characterizes DuVernay's film. This isn't a movie filled with overt action or outbursts of melodrama.
  6. With each new scene, Schumer manages to offer wonderful little surprises. It wasn't long before I found myself excited at the beginning of each new sequence in Trainwreck, just to see how Schumer would make me laugh next.
  7. Still, there's more here to like than to dislike in what ends up being a feel-good movie about a feel-bad topic, a la "Little Miss Sunshine."
  8. Filmmaking is a product of the heart and the head, at least when it's at its best.
  9. What Nolan has created with Inception is the rare movie that is bound to improve with repeated viewings, both as a means to drink in its brilliance one more time, and to see what sly clues might have flown under your radar the first time around.
  10. This is nothing if not an important film. It is important for the bullied to see, if for no other reason than to realize they aren't alone, and it is important for the bullies to see as well as for the parents of both groups so everyone can understand just how devastating the problem is.
  11. Best of all, Disney seems to understand the limits of a preschooler's attention span.
  12. Just as importantly, though, is the tone of Melfi's film...which blends humor and emotion into the proceedings, to heartwarming effect.
  13. It also is a film that does the impossible: It lubes its audiences' mental gears and sets them to spinning without insulting anyone and without issuing threats of eternal damnation. Subtlety, thy name is Vera. Can I get an "amen"?
  14. The real highlight, though, is the music by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
  15. Unfortunately, for the bulk of the film's running time -- its first two-thirds or so -- Davis and Heilbroner oversaturate viewers with scene-setting material, describing the climate for gay men and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s.
  16. An exceedingly well-assembled genre picture, a spell-binding, edge-of-your-seat thriller.
  17. It's that sort of singular imagery that ultimately rescues Lowery's film. Yes, it's a flawed movie, but it also is a downright lovely one.
  18. Not only does Invictus tell a remarkable story of a remarkable man, but it also illustrates how sports can be a salve to a wounded community. And that's something New Orleanians can certainly appreciate.
  19. As far as 'toons go, it's probably most reminiscent of Pixar's "The Incredibles," given that both are stories about superhero teams. There are also echoes of "How to Train Your Dragon" in the flying scenes, featuring little Hiro perched atop Baymax's back. But even then, Big Hero 6 still feels like its own, distinct creature.
  20. Joe
    The result is intense and powerful, a full-color portrait of the importance of never surrendering.
  21. Rust and Bone is somber and gritty if nothing else, a movie that takes itself very, very seriously, even as it struggles at times to find its focus.
  22. What he ends up with is a film that boasts undeniably intriguing parts, but that -- unless you've just eaten some magic mushrooms of your own -- just doesn't gel as a whole, unified moviegoing experience.
  23. Despite the occasional outbreak of tension, it all ends up becoming repetitive as Eye in the Sky gets bogged down in the morality of it all, spinning its wheels for long stretches.
  24. Local viewers will be tickled by the wealth of New Orleans details in the production. One of the best just might be in the film's music.
  25. While Graham Moore's screenplay isn't without its flaws, it brilliantly weaves into the story a case that being different shouldn't necessarily be a negative thing. In fact, The Imitation Game argues in no uncertain terms that those differences can be something to celebrate, not to "cure."
  26. This is a movie to be experienced on a more visceral level. As long as you don't expect anything more, you won't be disappointed.
  27. This is an affecting and emotional drama about the strength of the human spirit.
  28. Michell's is a film with somewhere to go -- and that journey is one well worth taking.
  29. The result is an often-screwball jaunt that isn't without its fun moments.
  30. What you won't find amid the clashing cutlasses and flashing foils, however, is anything resembling a rapier wit.
  31. The end result feels like only half a movie. That half -- the technical half, with Wong's stylistic flourishes and the film's lush technical elements -- is a heck of a film. The rest of The Grandmaster, however -- the storytelling -- is anything but grand.
  32. Witching and Bitching -- though perhaps a bit overlong, and prone to meandering -- is unapologetic about what it is: a crazy, just-for-fun film that revels in its own bad taste.
  33. It's great, gruesome fun, a well-written and fantastically cast romp.
  34. It is classless, it is tasteless, it is idiotic, it is juvenile and it is something your mother totally wouldn't approve of. But it also is flat-out hilarious, a go-for-broke comedy that not only is the best laugher released so far this summer, but one of the best so far this year.
  35. I wouldn't expect many people to remember Cold in July come September, when the movie-award season gets underway. But as a guilty-pleasure May release? You could do far worse.
  36. Only one of a number of recent immigrant tales to hit theaters, but with its blend of sweet humor and topical relevance, it's one of the more compelling -- and surprising -- in some time.
  37. What we're left with is something sobering but searing, muscular but compassionate.
  38. Straight Outta Compton doesn't shy entirely from the uglier side of the N.W.A. story, including the claims that their music and their lifestyles glorified thug life, perpetuated gun violence, advocated drug use and reveled in misogyny. Instead, Gray's film owns it.
  39. Even if its stumbles a bit with its less-than-satisfying conclusion, the blend of humor, horror and grotesque whimsy on display throughout Tale of Tales combine to create what often feels like some sort of grown-up, far darker cousin to "The Princess Bride."
  40. McGlynn's film clocks in at just a shade under two hours, which normally would be a little long for a documentary. In this case, the length not only is warranted but welcomed.
  41. In ParaNorman, Butler, Fell and company have crafted a refreshingly enjoyable bit of family entertainment. In the process, they've also made the best animated film to hit theaters so far this year.
  42. Even if something feels crazy -- whether it's falling in with a self-taught time-traveler, or buying into a charming but faintly flawed movie premise -- if you listen to your gut, wonderful things can happen.
  43. What's more -- and here's where Abrams' brilliance is on full display -- you don't need to know a Class M planet from a hole in the ground to enjoy it all.
  44. Yes, it is first and foremost a thorough chronicling of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but its real value is in its function as an expose on the energy industry, which, with aid and abetting from the federal government, repeatedly places profit above all else, including environmental concerns and human safety.
  45. Yes, it's a nature documentary, so it includes predatory behavior, but it's mercifully brief and generally tastefully photographed. Plus, it doesn't involve any of the film's main monkeys, so little hearts won't be broken.
  46. It's not a film for everyone. Those who see it, however, will have trouble forgetting it.
  47. An entirely fitting Christmas Day release -- filled as it is with magic and talk of miracles -- and easily one of the best films of 2011.
  48. A movie that charms its way to being a kind of well-crafted teen touchstone that very well could become to today's generation what "Ferris Bueller" was to teens of the '80s.
  49. The result is an artist profile that doesn't feel like the standard, stuffy artist profile. Instead, Beauty is Embarrassing is an entertaining whimsy that, like White, never takes itself too seriously, doesn't overstay its welcome and never, ever underestimates the value of a chuckle.
  50. John C. Reilly provides the voice of Ralph, and he's every bit as good as you'd expect in the role. It's Sarah Silverman, however, as his unlikely sidekick, and rescue subject, whose considerable charm threatens to steal the show.
  51. The result is the kind of movie that can be counted on to put a smile on the face of even the casual Beatles fan. In other words: a good laugh.
  52. It's easy to be interested in the characters' lives -- as tragic as they are -- but it's not nearly as easy to become emotionally invested in them.
  53. And let's be honest: Hawking and Wilde's romance is lovely in its own way. But his scientific work? That's important. That's staggering. That's life-changing, not just for him, but for all of us. And The Theory of Everything? Despite that title, and despite those performances, it just doesn't feel like any of those things.
  54. Leisurely paced and plot-challenged, it's too unique and kindhearted to be outright disliked, but it's not the kind of film you can get too close to, either.
  55. This is a self-contained story that stands nicely on its own. How novel.
  56. For appreciators of fine acting, it's a film well worth seeing, as well as one worth toasting - if only with ginger ale.
  57. This newer installment is every bit its predecessor's match as far as action goes. Where it exceeds it, however, is in the between-the-fights moments.
  58. His a wonderful, touching story, one that made me want to scoop up every kid I know who has a scrap of creative talent, and have them watch the film. Because Elmo's story is sweet -- but Clash's is nothing short of inspiring.
  59. Where the original was a goofy, campy bit of stylized storytelling, Lowery's becomes a nicely realized, feel-good love song to fantasy and magic, buoyed by solid, updated visual effects, a strong cast (including two wonderful child actors) and a throwback sense of wide-eyed wonder.
  60. The updated version of the familiar tale strikes a nice balance between humor, adventure and romance, making it a movie that will appeal to the whole family.
  61. Ends up being foreign but familiar, artful and honest, as well as beautiful and believable.
  62. There are movies based on real events that must be embellished in order to make them work on the big screen. Mel Gibson's World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge is not such a movie. In fact, it's the opposite.
  63. Here's the crazy thing, though. Against all odds, it works.
  64. In reality, in this age of cookie-cutter entertainment, the movie's success probably is because of Cody's unconventional script. This isn't a silly, disposable, rom-com -- and thank goodness for that.
  65. If there's a complaint, it's that it flirts with rambling once the main case is solved -- nearly 20 minutes before the movie ends. But Fincher uses that remaining time to expand on Lisbeth's character, which is hard to hold against him.
  66. Vinterberg's Far From the Madding Crowd is a lovely adaptation. What's more, it's downright entertaining.
  67. Sleepwalk With Me is a decent film -- even if its not one that lingers.
  68. It's an intriguing travelogue, showing parts of Iran that most of us could never see, or would never dare try to see, given that nasty "Death to America" thing.
  69. His (Jonze) obvious affection for, and veneration of, Maurice Sendak's 1963 Caldecott Medal-winning children's book is palpable in his near-perfect live-action adaptation, a dreamy -- and, like Sendak's book, faintly nightmarish -- exploration of one child's tantrum-y side.
  70. It also includes the elucidating, offering a rare glimpse at the architecture of Spinney's elaborate Big Bird costume.
  71. To be clear: Despite the holiday flavor, and despite the pint-sized hero, this is no kids' movie. There is swearing. There is blood. There is an army of 180 very nude Santas coursing through the snow. That's not the kind of thing Frank Capra ever could have dreamed of -- and that change of pace is exactly what makes Rare Exports a rare, if unexpected, holiday treat.
  72. It's provocative stuff, and The Yes Men approach it with a wicked sense of humor.
  73. Few of the film's secondary characters feel fully developed, with the possible exception of Nelsan Ellis' portrayal of Brown sidekick Bobby Byrd.
  74. Just as key to the movie's impact are its well-acted scenes of heart-wrenching emotion, although some stray perilously close to melodrama.
  75. That's the kind of movie this is, the kind that sticks with you, that prods you to examine things. In the process, it reveals itself to be something of an emotional roller coaster -- but one well worth riding.
  76. There's plenty of melodrama, plenty of whispered intensity, plenty of dramatic pauses in his story. There also are a few bizarro -- and, in some cases, unnecessary -- detours. But when it's all said and done, there's no real call for any emotional investment on the part of his audience.
  77. So here's what moviegoers can trust from the Russo's Captain America: Winter Solider: They can trust it to be a brisk ride. They can trust it to be entertaining. They can expect it to be suspenseful.
  78. These women deserve to have their voices heard, and this film finally lets them have their say.
  79. Brilliant in its simplicity, as he turns the floor over to the three masters with this simple instruction: The guitar. Discuss.
  80. It's a decent comedy, mind you, one with its fair share of chuckles. But it's really more amusing than it is fall-out-of-your-seat funny.
  81. Never Let Me Go isn't the kind of movie you talk about on the drive home -- it's even better. It's the kind that makes you sit quietly and think, rolling it around in your head and considering the angles.
  82. The result is a deliriously watchable and darkly comic portrait of a high-velocity death spiral.
  83. The magic is back at Pixar.
  84. "Down" is in many respects a quite modest achievement. While several of his characters are colorful enough to elicit laughs (the sweet but bland hero, I'm afraid, isn't one of them), Breathnach takes a perilously long time to generate narrative excitement and delivers only a pint-sized dramatic payoff. [3 July 1998, p.L27]
    • New Orleans Times-Picayune
  85. They're fascinating characters, to be sure, with back stories ripe for development. But Whedon doesn't commit here, and the results are shrug-worthy.
  86. This is a world where training wheels are called "stabilizers" and where children leave something called "mince pies" for Santa. (Um. Ew?) As a result, the occasional line will fly over your little ones' heads. But you can also expect for them to be charmed by it all.
  87. As strong as that cast and those visuals are, however, they don't quite add up enough to guarantee a happily-ever-after for moviegoers looking for a memorable in-theater experience.
  88. Oddly, though, Everyday Sunshine ends up being a mostly optimistic tale. That's because, despite it all, Fishbone is still gigging.
  89. There are moments when the freak-show elements of the film threaten to overpower its message, but that message is such a fascinating one -- and the debate an important one as well -- that The Elephant in the Living Room manages to overcome them.
  90. There's not much meat to the story. So while the picture on the menu suggests filet mignon, we really get mostly fish-and-chips stuff.
  91. Formally, Berg's film is at its root a police procedural, albeit an exceptionally well-executed one.
  92. It all adds up to a film that is at times interesting, and at times funny in spite of itself. But more than all that, it exudes a sense of heart-rending, chest-penetrating sadness.
  93. Without a doubt, stupid, but it's willfully stupid, built in the comic style of "The Hangover" and "Due Date." Better yet, it also is genuinely funny, which is the point.
  94. The result is a movie that is about as riveting as -- well, as your average Robert Novak column.
  95. Without Hardy, The Drop would be in danger of becoming just another crime drama. With him, though, it's something else entirely -- something alive, tightly wound and irresistible.
  96. A refreshingly original take on the comic book adaptation.
  97. The Birth of a Nation is ultimately involving as a cinematic history lesson. It is its flashes of modern relevance, however, in which it scores most effectively.
  98. Unlike most enforcers in the movies, Jacky isn't just a brainless slab of meat.
  99. Katniss is gritty, she's flinty, she's intimidating -- and she doesn't have to compromise one iota of her femininity for it. And Ross' movie tells her story wonderfully.
  100. Boasting a rock-solid academic architecture, Bhutto is a film bursting at the seams with gravitas.

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