Salon.com's Scores

For 3,086 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Post Tenebras Lux
Lowest review score: 0 Hannibal
Score distribution:
3086 movie reviews
  1. Reygadas is an undeniably important artist hewing his own path, but who is also self-consciously playing to the tastes of a tiny elite audience that craves obscurantism, confrontation and heavy-handed symbolism. Still, I really want you to see this. Then I'll have somebody to talk about it with.
  2. Just the latest forgettable thriller that might have been enjoyable if only its conclusion lived up to its windup.
  3. While the portrayal of Southern race relations in the '60s is less central here than in "The Help," it's also less labored and earnest, and one could argue that it's subtler, more intimate and more honest.
  4. May be overly sentimental at times, but at least it's about something.
  5. The type of comedy the Farrellys love requires dizzy, pell-mell pacing. If There's Something About Mary were tightened up by about 20 minutes, it would be much funnier.
  6. To my taste, savvy Hollywood veteran Bill Condon debuts as director of the two-part "Twilight" conclusion in satisfying fashion, delivering a voluptuous if often inert spectacle that splits the difference between high camp and decadent romance.
  7. To paraphrase a line from another Dickens' novel, Nicholas Nickleby is too much like a fragment of an underdone potato. The chef tended it very, very carefully, and still, it didn't turn out quite right.
  8. LUV
    Both for good and for ill, LUV has a film-school feeling about it, and channels a legacy of fatalistic American crime cinema that includes "Mean Streets" and "Treasure of the Sierra Madre."
  9. As an ode to fatherhood, Jersey Girl is sweet without being particularly deep; but Smith is really onto something when he nudges against the ways in which the geographic landscape of a life merges with the genetic one.
  10. Cars is an elaborate concoction all right. But it feels soldered together from a scrap heap of tired ideas.
  11. It's too bad that the glamour wears off about halfway through Entrapment, when it stops being a movie about art heists and starts being one about stealing (ho-hum) money.
  12. A handsome and well-acted film -- if you like that bitten-off, half-Hemingway style -- but also a grim, emotionally strangled one with a strong sadistic current, no genuinely likable characters and almost no humor.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As lightweight as it is, it's easy to feel real affection for the movie.
  13. This well-cast adaptation somehow feels obvious and overblown.
  14. Witherspoon's sophisticated-pixie brilliance practically makes the movie, and her easy, confident, curvaceous carriage doesn't hurt, either -- she's the thinking guy's cupcake, maybe because her mind is just as supple as her curves.
  15. Lean, fast and undeniably entertaining.
  16. None of the characters in Magnolia feel as vividly imagined as the porn stars and filmmakers and hangers-on of "Boogie Nights."
  17. If you can get past its toothpick of a premise, Run Fatboy Run is a perfectly enjoyable light comedy. It's also just good enough that I wanted it be better.
  18. The 76-year-old Zeffirelli will make many more movies, but Tea With Mussolini has the unmistakable feeling of a personal testament. Its sunny disposition and modest wit are well-suited to the genial temper of this born entertainer.
  19. It has a pleasing, noodly elasticity about it -- the picture knows what its limits are and proceeds to boogie unself-consciously far outside them.
  20. Malkovich is usually such a numbingly self-serious actor. But he cuts loose here in a way that's outlandishly brilliant: It's his best performance in years.
  21. The Time Machine is, for the most part, a handsome, pleasant entertainment.
  22. A large part of the movie's problem is that both the characters and the actors who portray them serve as vehicles for Ramsay's stylistic flourishes.
  23. Alexander Payne's new movie, Sideways, makes you feel like you're trapped at dinner with a wiseass who's trying to convince you what a sensitive guy he is.
  24. Shrink offers a roster of wonderfully eccentric characterizations, shoehorned into a dramatic structure that's just a little too formulaic.
  25. A discombobulated summer movie that’s kind of fun but doesn’t have nearly enough story to fill up two hours.
  26. This hot-button picture isn't especially well thought-out, but it might be crafty and manipulative enough to rile up audiences.
  27. This is Lunson's debut picture and she's smart enough to keep the whole affair very simple.
  28. Some fragments of that Dostoevskian romance linger on here: Just enough so that Wyatt and Wahlberg nail the climactic scene, when Jim is literally playing for his life, and make it momentarily seem to mean something. But not quite enough that you’ll remember what that something might be the next day.
  29. Despite its problems, the picture still satisfies -- more than a lot of allegedly worthy "A list" movies do. In a movie world where heavyweight often means top-heavy, Against the Ropes shows some pretty fleet footwork.
  30. There's a pleasantly malevolent ridiculousness hovering around How to Lose a Guy. But the movie would have been so much better if it had jumped into its mean-spiritedness with gusto and passion, instead of just splashing around in it halfheartedly.
  31. For deeply steeped Marvel Comics aficionados it will probably be fairly satisfying, and there’s no reason on earth why anyone else should even bother.
  32. Starts out, and ends up, as a thriller trying valiantly to show us layers of moral depth. But in between that beginning and ending, Paxton's vision (as well as that of Brent Hanley, who wrote the script) becomes wavy and indistinct, a blurry muddle of sensationalistic, prurient grisliness masquerading as a meditation on the nature of evil.
  33. The Lake House is an example of the way bad movies can sometimes be more interesting than merely mediocre, workmanlike ones, and of the way they sometimes compel us even against our better judgment.
  34. Even as Sylvester Stallone's long goodbye to the heroic underdog who made him famous descends from pathos into silliness, and from fairy tale into hallucination, you can't help liking the big galoot.
  35. It just doesn't have the buoyancy, or the resonance, that this kind of semifactual flight of fancy needs.
  36. Though I admire much of what Cuesta does in L.I.E., the film didn't give me much pleasure. I didn't find it unpleasant or repulsive; it's just that I felt he was too much outside the story.
  37. The sad thing about All the Real Girls is that Green seems more in love with his perceived unconventionality than he does with his characters. If that's not a town without pity, I don't know what is.
  38. It might be nice if Ghosts of Mars had more to offer than snappy repartee and shameless gore, or if it could borrow a little narrative tension from its Alien Chain Saw forebears.
  39. The picture never quite finds its footing.
  40. The best and most moving part of Miracle may be the closing credits, in which we see pictures of the actors accompanied by the names of the real-life characters they played and a strip of type that tells us where they are now.
  41. The movie doesn't for a moment pretend to be subtle, and it has a sprawling, unfocused quality. But it's got some juice, and it's even faithful, in some surprising ways, to the essence of the original.
  42. Watching Last Holiday, I kept waiting for the moment I could decree the movie truly terrible, the instant I could comfortably put my pen and notebook away and give it up for lost. But that moment never came, partly because I never fail to take pleasure in Latifah, and partly because I couldn't shake the eerie feeling that the movie I was watching was something of a ghost from another time.
  43. Shelton has directed Dark Blue in a jacked-up urban thriller style that simply does not play to his gifts. He's a sidewinder, the sort of writer-director who tells his stories through loopy character details and anecdotes.
  44. 21
    Spacey's engaging for a while in one of his patented double-edged, sharky roles.
  45. How's the movie? Big, loud, brutal and stupid, that's how it is. But then, you don't need a critic to tell you that -- anyone with a grade-school education who's seen the previews can figure that out.
  46. One of those movies where the small pleasures stack up high enough to dwarf the disappointments.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A corny, old-fashioned backstage farce.
  47. An absurd little trifle, but it does have a kind of buoyant, punky energy.
  48. The film's intimacy never feels fake, it's sporadically and unpredictably funny (I didn't exactly enjoy the cacophonous trumpet duet of the "1812 Overture," but I won't soon forget it), and the nonprofessional cast is surprisingly good.
  49. I personally find the Russo brothers’ lightning-fast action scenes difficult to process — it’s as if cinema editing now exceeds the speed of human brain functions — but they’re undoubtedly exciting and skillfully constructed.
  50. As utterly disastrous movies go, this one's really got something.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Has the same relationship to the dark emotions it glosses that Disneyland's Jungleboat Cruise ride has to an actual excursion down the Amazon.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As it stands, the picture's primary subject is its style; the promotional materials give as much space to the trickery ("a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot") as they do to rising leading lady Olsen.
  51. Feels weirdly impersonal; very little love, or even true thought, shows up on the screen.
  52. For the most part it's a blast.
  53. This film is an inevitable product of our age, and enjoyable, right up to whatever your ickiness threshold is.
  54. I wanted to take these two characters somewhere else and make a real movie about them...But Vaughn provides so many spooky, hilarious, unhinged moments, you won't mind sitting through it.
  55. It's an intelligently made (and beautifully edited) picture that at the very least has a spark of life to it -- more than you can say for plenty of movies that flow through the Hollywood pipeline without a hitch.
  56. While Snakes on a Plane barely stands up as a movie, it definitely qualifies as an event.
  57. It doesn't matter if the movie around Firth is a good one or a lousy one: Either way, I wouldn't be able to explain how an actor could come up with a performance as subtle, in both its heartbreak and its magnificence, as this one is.
  58. Never quite establishes its own identity, and when you remember it in two years it's likely to be that movie you saw that you kind of liked with that girl in it, what's her name, from TV.
  59. It's almost really cool, without quite being really cool.
  60. As to the question of whether Circumstance is actually a good film, or just one with an important story to tell, a high degree of difficulty and some hot all-girl action, I think the verdict is mixed.
  61. Am I alone in thinking that computer animation is the work of the antichrist?
  62. What makes the characters in Pride and Glory real -- and raises the movie above the standard corrupt-cop fare -- is their capacity to live and die in shades of gray.
  63. So subtle and subdued that it nearly undercuts itself. I'd describe it, in fact, as a film that doesn't quite work -- but the way it doesn't work is so distinctive and so interesting that it marks Jenkins as an exciting new face on the American indie scene.
  64. This is a parlor trick, but it's a hell of a good one.
  65. An elegant but muddled affair, worth seeing despite (and maybe because of) its own split personality.
  66. Citizen Koch is kind of a mess. But it’s a mess well worth discovering for yourself.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Thanks largely to its cast, however, it's transmuted into an utterly puerile 90 minutes that fit the brain-dead zeitgeist of Labor Day weekend in a snug and mostly pain-free manner.
  67. Despite its schizophrenic nature and often disagreeable characteristics, Broken English has flashes of something. You might say it has an integrity of purpose, if not of execution.
  68. In the end The Silence is more like an intriguing work of misdirection than a great crime film, but it has a dreamlike and disturbing undertow you won’t soon forget, and Odar is unquestionably a director to watch.
  69. 22 Jump Street is the good-natured, sloppily rendered pile of balderdash for that moment, a movie that’s immune to all criticism and not worth bothering to dislike.
  70. There's nothing in Earth that's as moving as the sight of the mother penguin "grieving" for her chick in "March of the Penguins." You can applaud Earth for not jerking tears. On the other hand, an occasional tear isn't such a bad thing.
  71. That whole meta-biographical aspect doesn't bug me much because everybody who's ever written or directed a romantic comedy is drawing on their own emotional experience; this one's just a little more obvious about it.
  72. Entirely watchable and often pretty fun, in a mishmashed, patchy kind of way.
  73. It's a concept not without its sweet appeal -- if only it were a little wittier, I might actually be convinced.
  74. LaBeouf shambles through the movie with an endearingly lost quality -- his savoir faire is of the hangdog kind, but it pretty much works. And Monaghan, with that upturned nose and those mischievous eyes, always looks like a woman in search of trouble.
  75. It's melodrama that rises to the complexity of art. The Human Stain takes a complex work of literary art and reduces it to tasteful melodrama. Its smallness is simply crushing.
  76. Works if you just give yourself over to its exuberant silliness.
  77. Isn't much more than a student film made by a talented amateur who's in over his head. Burns has a decent eye and a breezy sense of pace, and he'll make better movies if he remembers where he came from.
  78. It's too good a story not to have been made into a movie. Yet Calendar Girls, directed by Nigel Cole ("Saving Grace"), is filled with lots of extras it doesn't need, when the bare-naked bones of the story would have been plenty.
  79. Isn't a great work of horror, but it's admirable simply because it serves the genre so serviceably. It's nicely constructed, and it doesn't have one of those ridiculous extended endings.
  80. I was so charmed by the opening scenes of 13 Going on 30, and so entertained by the middle portion of it, that I had high hopes for its ending -- hopes that were cruelly dashed. Like a petulant 13-year-old, I'm still pouting over my disappointment.
  81. Whatever we may make of van Gogh's life and death, Buscemi's talky, stagey Interview -- the first of three van Gogh adaptations planned by American actor-directors -- doesn't make much of a case for him as an important or original artist.
  82. Even though it has some amusing moments, Swimming Pool crawls entirely too slowly toward -- well, toward nothing much.
  83. Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley manage to sparkle, but this overstuffed sequel is no treasure.
  84. Perhaps only a marginally effective movie about 9/11, because, I suspect, there can be no such thing as an effective movie about 9/11 -- at least not right now.
  85. If Paranoid Park is mainly an accumulation of the signs and symbols and images inside Van Sant's own head, that's artistically legitimate. When he makes a feeble effort to connect Alex's plight to the Iraq war and the cultural climate of Bush-era America, I just don't buy it.
  86. Fincher is still working on the assumption that he has better things to do than entertain an audience. Which would be fine if he weren't drawn to such schlocky material.
  87. Never lets us forget that it's a nonmainstream story about a nonmainstream subject, when ideally, it should simply be a story about a person. The picture too often feels like a lesson in tolerance.
  88. This movie isn’t nearly as terrible as I was expecting, largely due to Snyder’s OCD-level attention to the visual details. And, yes, due to Wonder Woman (played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot), who brings in a badly needed dose of “Dragon Tattoo”-style female energy.
  89. Isn't a good movie. It's drab, visually ugly and a little pokey...but the two heroines are so recognizable as real girls, and the young actresses who play them are so appealing, that you keep rooting for these kids.
  90. Promising in its first third, only to end up shambling too aimlessly in the last. But as flawed as this picture is, there's one sequence in it that has already burrowed deep in my memory, and of everything in the movie, it's the one element that convinces me that Tykwer has it in him to one day make a truly great picture.
  91. Despite how easy it would be to write off Righteous Kill as one sorry excuse for lazy filmmaking, there is still something utterly mesmerizing in the palpable chemistry between the two leading men.
  92. Ultimately I’m going to vote with my heart and say you should see it, largely for the brooding, physical performance of Tom Hardy, an actor still a shade too peculiar for Hollywood stardom, along with the ominous evocation of Stalin’s Russia on the cusp of change. But that recommendation comes with many asterisks, and in various respects Child 44 is a lost opportunity or, as they teach us to say in film-critic academy, an “interesting failure.”
  93. Tricked up with so many points that there's barely any flow to it.
  94. This Diane Arbus, as she's portrayed by a tremulous Nicole Kidman, radiates warmth and empathy that's nowhere to be seen in the work of the real Diane Arbus. Fur is intended to be a tribute to Arbus, but it's more a fancifully embroidered tapestry of wishful thinking.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite the prestigious talents involved, this is strictly "Minor Piece Theatre."

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