New Orleans Times-Picayune's Scores

  • Movies
For 593 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 127 Hours
Lowest review score: 20 Hotel Transylvania
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 593
593 movie reviews
  1. Hitchcock purists will certainly take issue with some details, but Gervasi's film shouldn't be taken as an ironclad factual film docudrama. Rather, it is fact-inspired fiction -- a film based on real events but one that isn't shy about taking creative liberties. As long as viewers keep that in mind, Gervasi's stands to be a nice bit of murderous fun.
  2. Never elevated beyond much more than mere presidential puffery.
  3. Tony Scott pushes all the right buttons, crafting a worthy -- and in many ways, a superior -- update.
  4. While Washington and Wahlberg help make sure the flawed 2 Guns isn't too bad, it's hard not to think that it could have been better.
  5. Maybe it's a touch twee, but Curtis' film is far too uplifting, too life-affirming and too good-natured to do anything but embrace.
  6. The ultimate goal of a film like this, of course, is to change minds. As compelling a case as it builds, Promised Land isn't quite persuasive enough to be able to promise to do that.
  7. The Croods does a lot of things well -- even if it does none of them extraordinarily. The end result is a solidly middle-of-the-road bit of animation -- but the kind that is easily forgotten as soon as something more evolved, and original, comes along.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If the surpassingly murky narrative logic behind "Generations" is any indication of what's to come, Paramount had better start making explanatory material available to perplexed viewers as well as confused critics. [18 Nov. 1994, p.L27]
  8. Before it gives itself a chance to deliver on that promise, however, it morphs into something different -- something often resembling a soap opera, just with prettier sets and less-passionate smooching.
  9. Lillard's film ends up being more unsatisfying than anything else. His "Fat Kid" might rule the world, but it doesn't quite rule the screen.
  10. Lacks any real sense of vitality. And no matter how worthwhile a film's message is, it's difficult for audiences to care if the path to the payoff so often feels like a slog.
  11. Never coalesces into anything memorable, much less meaningful.
  12. Twenty-five years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that Imagine That would see Eddie Murphy and The Beatles coming together to create family entertainment, but I'll be darned if it doesn't work.
  13. None of that is to say that Thor: The Dark World is a bad movie, necessarily. I would never speak ill of a man with a giant, magical hammer. At the same time, hammer or no hammer, it doesn't quite nail it, either.
  14. Between its ridiculous setup and its hard-to-care-about ending, McDonald still manages to craft an engaging suspense film that -- when you're not scratching your head in puzzlement -- will have you on the edge of your seat.
  15. Director David Bowers' story is straightforwardly -- almost unimaginatively -- approached. But, armed with a talented cast and Kinney's chuckle-generating source material, it functions nicely as a sort of big-screen "Wonder Years" for Millennials.
  16. What it lacks in style, however, it more than makes up for in substance, as Shearer -- as smart as he is funny -- has assembled a vital and admirably accessible post-mortem on Hurricane Katrina.
  17. Granted, "intelligent" might be too generous a word to describe Oblivion, which flirts with big questions, but never answers them. What's left is a story that doesn't quite go where no man has gone before.
  18. A satisfying dose of wild imagination and unbridled silliness.
  19. Pros and cons aside, Sinister has the benefit of arriving in the thick of Halloween season, right when movie-goers are most hungry for a few scares. And they'll get them from Derrickson's film, too.
  20. Burton's most imaginative film in some time.
  21. One of the reasons it's so effective is because it's based on a real-life, odds-defying story: that of mountainous Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher (played by Quinton Aaron).
  22. McNamara's relentlessly shiny, happy outlook crosses the line between believable and artificial by about the 10-minute mark.
  23. The problem is, Draft Day doesn't really capture that sense of urgency until late in the film.
  24. Still, it's not the iconic, be-all-end-all that Scott was certainly hoping for.
  25. The joy of Hysteria, like the joy of certain other things, isn't necessarily rooted in the element of surprise. Rather, it's in the pleasure of the path taken to get to that crescendo.
  26. It's not really a Disney film. Rather, this is a product of Starz Animation. It's a key distinction, because -- well, because Starz Animation is no Disney, and it's certainly no Pixar. It proves that here.
  27. Thanks to Rochefort and Folch, as well as Trueba's delicate direction, it still manages to be an embraceable journey, one with its own quiet -- and artistic -- rewards.
  28. This is solidly a genre picture, and one that follows all the necessary conventions -- but it's also one that does it all very well. That means lots of big, dumb and loud action -- but it also means good, popcorny, summer fun.
  29. LUV
    Thank goodness for Rainey. Even when the story feels false, he never does, operating with an open-faced sense of easy honesty that is missing from much of the rest of the film.
  30. She could stand to learn a lesson herself, from another magical governess -- you know, the one about the spoon full of sugar.
  31. It feels more like a poor man's "Poltergeist, " minus the static-filled TV.
  32. Part 2 really is a continuation of "Part 1," both from a story standpoint and from an artistic standpoint.
  33. All aspects of this great story are drawn toward the middle ground of mediocrity.
  34. Although Epic isn't quite an animated masterpiece -- or as enchanting as the vastly underrated "Guardians" -- it's still a fun, sweet-hearted kid-pleaser that boasts some downright lovely animation.
  35. A gritty spy thriller directed by relative newcomer Daniel Espinosa, and a film that -- despite the occasional misstep -- ends up being a taut, suspense-filled ride.
  36. Unimaginative and painfully generic.
  37. Any improvements over the original RoboCop are mere window dressing, more a superficial function of technical advances in filmmaking than of any sort of storytelling prowess or fresh narrative ideas.
  38. Beautiful Creatures is still an unabashed imitator, hewing closely to the "Twilight" blueprint. Some might go so far as to call it a blatant ripoff, as the differences between the two are cosmetic at best.
  39. What we're left with is a movie that is about as nourishing as the Junior Mints and nachos available at the theater snack bar. But, then, many a Friday night dinner has been made of far less.
  40. It's hard to resist the pairing of such talented actors as Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianakis - and they prove why here. They are funny guys, both of whom make the most of the material.
  41. There are plenty of entertaining moments to latch onto beneath the sci-fi tropes -- and maybe even a few that will inspire a new generation of storytellers.
  42. It's not only shameless, it detracts from what this movie could have been, and still is when the self-promoting Harvey shuts up.
  43. This is the sort of movie that Charles Bronson would have made back in the day, and indeed a shot of Johnson standing in a sporting goods store, contemplating a wall of shotguns as he gets ready to get busy, could have come from any "Death Wish."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Dialogue is often stilted (and fraught with unlikely outbursts of speechifying) and the ending hardly soars, but Cook, a near-ringer for the young Winona Ryder, has a shyly appealing personality and O'Keefe makes a villainess you'll love to hiss. [29 Jan 1999, p.L24]
  44. No, Funeral Kings isn't quite dead on arrival -- but it's not too far from needing life support.
  45. A movie that offers exactly the kind of bittersweet drama you'd expect from something called White Irish Drinkers.
  46. You can't just cast an appealing actress in the lead role -- in this case Queen Latifah ("Valentine's Day, " "The Secret Life of Bees") -- and expect her to do all the heavy lifting.
  47. In the final analysis, that's the real endgame here: to get people into theaters and build a film franchise. For all of their film's flaws, Hood and company do that well, as Ender's Game shapes up as a decent franchise starter -- and a film that makes it hard not to be intrigued by what will come next.
  48. For 91 minutes of its briskly paced 94-minute running time, the film works as a tightly wound bit of pins-and-needles storytelling. Then, Anderson lets it all unravel in a three-minute stretch of cheap writing that not only betrays the characters he worked so hard to develop, but that also thumbs its nose at any audience members with a brain.
  49. Rather than "Greased Lightning," we get a holding pattern -- which is better than a crash-landing, but still ...
  50. There's no point mincing words: My Sister's Keeper is a difficult film to watch. That's not to say it isn't well-assembled, well-cast or well-acted.
  51. Anonymous starts admirably quickly, but Emmerich repeatedly forgets to look over his shoulder to see if his audience is keeping track of which stringy-haired Calvin Klein model is which.
  52. The hard, cold truth is that the hard, cold For Colored Girls is just plain difficult to fall in love with, regardless of the amount of passion Perry poured into it or how much meaning he's freighted it with.
  53. Hit and Run achieves its chief goal: to put the pedal to the metal for some good, goofy fun, squealing the tires as often as possible along the way.
  54. I've got a fourth verb to add to the comma-challenged title of Julia Roberts' how-to-be-happy travelogue, Eat Pray Love. How about "edit"?
  55. Even though it's a strictly no-frills, straight-forwardly shot affair, it feels overdue.
  56. A predictable but painless pastiche of high school drama clichés that will give its intended tween audience a lot to squeal about -- and leave their parents reminiscing quietly about how good films from '80s icon John Hughes were.
  57. No, it's not a perfect movie, given how dangerously close it comes to running out of quality third-act punchlines before you're liable to have run out of Sno-caps and Raisinettes. Also, some of the biggest names in the supporting cast -- John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd, specifically -- are all but wasted.
  58. The Lottery Ticket doesn't hit the comedy jackpot, but it doesn't roll snake eyes, either. In my book, that's a winner.
  59. Despite the derivative nature and low production values of Super, there are laughs in the at-times ragged script.
  60. A sleight-of-hand heist film that feels like a cross between David Blaine and "Ocean's Eleven," with a little Robin Hood thrown in, it's a ripping bit of fun. If, that is, you let it be.
  61. A surprisingly entertaining movie on its own, a strap-yourself-in, suspend-your-disbelief summer popcorn adventure.
  62. Without the fantastic performances from Gandolfini, Stewart and Leo, it wouldn't hold together nearly as well as it does.
  63. A film that is neither great nor horrible. Favreau does enough things right in Cowboys & Aliens to churn out a mostly enjoyable bit of mindless summertime action, just not enough to come close to rivaling his 2008 crowd-pleaser "Iron Man."
  64. It won't stick to your ribs in the way, say, a shank will -- but it probably won't leave you looking for a way to escape the theater, either.
  65. For all of its faults, ends up being relentlessly watchable as well, a summertime popcorn spectacle plopped down in the middle of the fall movie season.
  66. Yes, it is derivative, but in a year in which films from the 1980s are getting needless remakes seemingly every other week, this one stands out as a rare one that works. That's a good "Thing."
  67. In the half-baked American Reunion, though, they might have accomplished what no previous chapter has: They might have just killed it.
  68. Not only did Hughes shoot a handful of prominent scene-setting exteriors in the Big Apple itself, but he does an exceptional job of camouflaging his New Orleans scenes.
  69. Thoroughly, and disappointingly, pedestrian.
  70. Like the character at its center, Wein's film suffers from a certain sense of inertia, which is where Gerwig comes in.
  71. The actors never stray too far from their comfort zones, resulting in a sporadically funny but mostly bland crime comedy that only occasionally feels fresher or more memorable than that cold pizza you scarfed for breakfast Monday morning.
  72. Like the original, it is a moody, atmospheric film, one boasting significantly more depth than your typical blow-'em-up.
  73. Most normal people will not see this as a "pleasant" film -- I hope that's the case, anyway -- but it certain makes you feel something.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Like the often glittering fashions it mostly celebrates, Altman's movie is a melange of hits and misses. The root of the problem is a wildly uneven script (by Altman and Barbara Shulgasser) that contains both near-brilliant bons mots and shopworn banter. [23 Dec 1994, p.L26]
  74. Ritchie is simply trying to buy a good movie here -- and forgetting that a little brainpower is also required to complete the job.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A key strategic decision in the success of this 100-minute feature is Greengrass' determination to accentuate the humorousness of his salty-tongued heroine and valiantly resist the temptation to sentimentalize her plight. The upshot is a touchingly off-kilter, bravely platonic love story that -- wonder of wonders -- never turns sticky. [5 March 1999, p.L28]
  75. At some point, Lee as a storyteller must step in to move things along, to dig the rudder deep into the narrative waters and steer this ship. The destination is almost irrelevant - just steer it somewhere.
  76. There's really nothing definitive about Emperor. Or memorable, for that matter.
  77. It's neither a good movie nor a bad movie. It's just a movie.
  78. It's done with affection, so it's hard to begrudge Hill for indulging in a postcard cliché or two. After all, it - like Hill's movie as a whole - certainly beats a bullet to the head.
  79. A movie that wants to be a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy at times and a weighty drama at others. It ends up being an imperfect blend of both.
  80. If it weren't for the casting of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in the lead roles, the film probably would have gone straight to DVD.
  81. This is a movie that confuses teary with sweet. Mopey with sad. Discomfort with humor. And, worst of all, it confuses weird with odd.
  82. You can color me unimpressed.
  83. The fact that there are so many good comic bits here allowed Kasdan to assemble a great comic cast.
  84. As clearly calculated and self-consciously cutesy as it is, it's also tender and meaningful stuff -- and far more watchable than other recent attempts to capture the existential angst of adolescence. ("The Art of Getting By.")
  85. The chief problem with such gimmick films -- including Maniac -- is that storytelling so often takes a back seat to the gimmick du jour, resulting movie that can be interesting from a technical perspective but not nearly as compelling as one would want.
  86. It features predictable humor and an underdeveloped story.
  87. Unfortunately, like the Poison song says -- and, in many ways, like the decade itself -- it ain't nothin' but a good time.
  88. An uneven story that tries too hard to be meaningful and not hard enough to be funny.
  89. That's not to say it's a bad film, necessarily. It's just not as good as it could have -- and should have -- been.
  90. All along, though, I was struck by an even stronger feeling, that I was sitting in on somebody else's therapy session. That's not a comfortable feeling -- and that makes Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close considerably less rewarding than it should be.
  91. As fun as it is at times -- particularly early on -- the longer The Sorcerer's Apprentice goes on, the more the magic wears off.
  92. How do you know when a romantic comedy just isn't working? Key indicators are that your audience doesn't get goose bumps in the inevitable third-act reunion. They don't get misty-eyed. In short, they don't really care.
  93. This is a tragedy, not a comedy.
  94. As it turns out, though, the most troubling part of the film for me wasn't the rape scene, or the siege scene or the Southern stereotypes. Rather, it was the audience's reaction to Marsden's chilling spasms of bloody violence as he defends his home. Rather than breaking out in hives, many in the audience broke out in laughter.
  95. It's a nice, feel-good story with an appealing cast and strong production values.
  96. Bill Condon returns fans' love and gives them exactly what they have shown they want. That is: uneven storytelling, maudlin dialog and decidedly one-note performances, even from the big names in the cast.

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